Thailand separates LGBTQ inmates, considers segregated prison

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PATTAYA, Thailand (AP) – Theerayut Charoenpakdee was terrified when police stopped her outside a mall in Pattaya, a Thai resort famous for its sordid nightlife. A urine test on the spot revealed meth coursing through her veins.

“I thought I was going to be thrown in prison with all the men because I still have the title of Mr.,” the transgender woman said. “I was afraid. News and TV tells us that being sent to prison is scary.”

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Texas prison records show more than 330 transgender inmates

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AUSTIN (AP) — Texas prison system records show the number of inmates identifying themselves as transgender is at an all-time high amid greater awareness of gender issues and criminal justice reforms.

The Dallas Morning News reported Sept. 28 that 333 inmates currently identify themselves as transgender. Texas Department of Criminal Justice records show that compares to 67 inmates identifying themselves as transgender in September 2014.

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Texan inmates can now start hormone therapy

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Austin, Texas (AP) – A change in Texas prison system policy means transgender inmates who hadn’t started hormone therapy before incarceration can do so behind bars if they go through a thorough process to confirm the diagnosis.

Previously, Texas Department of Criminal Justice policy said only transgender inmates who were already taking hormones when they entered the system could continue to do so, the Houston Chronicle reported.

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Elton John, Michael Stipe call for protection of transgender inmates

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New York (AP) – Elton John and Michael Stipe are calling for the equal rights of transgender inmates following claims that a transgender woman was mistreated at a Georgia prison.

Last week the Justice Department said prison officials must treat an inmate’s gender identity condition just as they would treat any other medical or mental health condition following a February lawsuit from the Southern Poverty Law Center filed against Georgia Department of Corrections officials on behalf of Ashley Diamond, a transgender woman.

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Pope Frances to eat with gay and transgender inmates

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Pope Francis will visit the Giuseppe Salvia Detention Center in Poggioreale, located near Naples, on March 21 and eat lunch with around 90 inmates at a local prison.

10 of the inmates will reportedly be gay and transgendered prisoners as well as inmates infected with HIV.

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Transgender, gay inmates sue over jail rights

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LOS ANGELES (AP) – Gay, bisexual and transgender inmates filed a federal lawsuit Oct. 22 against San Bernardino County and its sheriff, alleging they are kept in a segregated unit that doesn’t give them equal access to rehabilitation services and work programs that could shorten their incarceration and help them learn job skills.

The lawsuit, which seeks class-action status, was filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles and includes 15 plaintiffs, including current and former inmates at West Valley Detention Center, where San Bernardino County houses gay, bisexual and transgender inmates in a special unit known as the “alternative lifestyle tank.”

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