Thursday, December 14, 2017

Australia’s ambassador to France proposes to boyfriend

Australia has seen an outpouring of love since the legalisation of equal marriage last week, but grand romantic displays haven’t just been limited to Aussie shores.

The Australian ambassador to France put a smile on faces across the world after celebrating the occasion by proposing to his shocked partner of 11-years just hours after Thursday’s vote.

Sharing a video of the proposal on Twitter, Bendan Berne wrote: “Today was a great day for Australia and for me. HE SAID YES!”

In the video, the 47-year-old can be seen outside the Eiffel Tower in Paris where he explains his intention to propose to his unsuspecting partner Thomas.

“As Australia’s Ambassador to France I am responsible for laying the foundations for the relationship between my country, Australia, and France,” he says.

“Now, as Australia has just approved marriage equality, it is my turn now. My turn to ratify my own relationship with my partner of 11 years, Thomas.

“He is not aware of what I would like to do now. Now, it is only a question for me to pop the question. I am ready to ask the question. We’ll see!”

Approaching his partner, Berne says: “Thomas, we’ve been together for 11 years. As the parliament has just approved the bill on same-sex marriage. I would like to ask the question. Would you give me the pleasure of marrying me? I hope this is the right question!”

Of course, Thomas accepts, before the newly-engaged pair embrace in front of the camera.


Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Justin Trudeau appears on the cover of Attitude Magazine

The Attitude Magazine reports:


In the summer of 2016, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made history as the country’s first leader to march at a Gay Pride event.

Now, the Liberal Party politician is marking another milestone as Canada’s first Prime Minister to appear on the cover of an international LGBT magazine.

In a world exclusive interview and shoot in the January issue of Attitude – available to download and in shops from Friday 8 December – Mr Trudeau, 45, opens up about the growing fear and division in world politics, equality, his first two years in office, and how his work at a student sexual assault centre shaped his political career.

“If you allay people’s anxieties and fears about their own economic future, about their jobs and about their kids’ futures, it’s easier to build a cohesive, inclusive and positive society,” he says.

“The politics of fear and division don’t work that well.” he adds.

Read Justin Trudeau’s full world exclusive interview in the January issue of Attitude here.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Gay clubs raided in Belarus

Human Rights First’s Shawn Gaylord cited growing persecution of LGBT communities in Belarus, following reports of anti-gay purges in Chechnya, Azerbaijan, and the launch of a "gay registry” in Tajikistan. 

“The reports out of Belarus are alarming. It is alarming that police targeted legal businesses, violated the privacy of their patrons, demanded personal information, and dragged some away to detention,” Gaylord said.

Two nightclubs popular with LGBT patrons were raided in Belarus, where police harassed and detained numerous patrons. Patrons at Club 6A in Minsk were lined up against a wall and videotaped as they stated their name, address, and occupation. A similar raid was conducted one day later in Vitebsk, the country’s fourth largest city. Two weeks later plainclothes officers raided Club 6A again, detaining some 40 people.

These operations were more like a special operation against criminals, trying to frighten and intimidate those who dared to proclaim their homosexuality publicly in Belarus.

This isn’t the first time gay clubs have been raided in the region.

OMON officers in a gay club

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Hunk of the month December: KJ Apa

Keneti James Fitzgerald "KJ" Apa (Auckland, 1997) is a New Zealand actor and singer. 

He is known for starring as Archie Andrews in the CW drama series Riverdale. 

Apa also starred as Kane Jenkins in the primetime soap opera Shortland Street and as teenage Ethan Montgomery in the comedy-drama film A Dog's Purpose.

A talented guy with a promising career.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

I will not be silent

Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Lawrence, and Emma Stone united as they led a star-studded pledge to speak up against sexual assault, as accusations of misconduct continue to be leveled against men in positions of power.  

The video began with a defiant Nicole speaking powerfully towards her audience, 'I will not be silent.' 

'I will not be silent,' was the promise made by Nicole, Jennifer, and Emma, and a slew of other celebrities in a video made by W Magazine. Gal Gadot, Margot Robbie, Jessica Chastain, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Mary J. Blige were among the stars to band together in lending their support in the video.

Hollywood has copped a lot of criticism over its lack of action regarding sexual misconduct allegations against Harvey Weinstein and others, which many knew about but did not speak out against publicly.

This campaign comes just days after Time named their 'Person of the Year' the Silence Breakers, those men and women that bravely came forward and whose voices "launched a movement".

2017 will certainly be remembered as a pivotal period in Hollywood's history and hopefully, the moment that everything changed.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Same-sex marriage is finally legal in Australia

The Australian Parliament has finally passed same-sex marriage into law. The motion was approved almost unanimously by the House of Representatives, after passing the upper chamber last week. 

Politicians and members of the public, watching in the gallery, broke into cheers, tears and song following the vote, I Am Australian, a popular song some argue should be the country’s national anthem.

The move comes after almost 13 million Australians (79.5%) voted in the country’s non-binding postal ballot to endorse the law.

The final legislative victory follows years of activism and a three-month community campaign by the Equality Campaign.

Australia is now the 25th country in the world to have marriage equality for same-sex couples.

Congrats Australia!!!

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Top Austrian Court legalizes same-sex marriage

Austria’s Constitutional Court ruled today that same-sex couples can marry beginning in 2019, saying existing laws violate constitutional provisions against discrimination.

Same-sex couples in Austria have been able to enter into registered partnerships 
since 2010, a status that provides most of the same rights as marriage, but were unable to legally marry.

“The distinction between marriage and registered partnership cannot today be maintained without discriminating against same-sex couples”, the court wrote in its published opinion.

Existing restrictions on marriage are inherently discriminatory against same-sex couples, the court argued, because disclosing one’s marital status automatically indicated whether the partnership was a same-sex or heterosexual one.

“People living in same-sex partnerships have to disclose their sexual orientation even in situations in which it is not, and must not be, relevant and … are highly likely to be discriminated against”, the court wrote.

Under the court’s ruling, registered partnerships will still exist but will be available to both same-sex and heterosexual couples. Current restrictions on same-sex marriage will expire on December 31, 2018, unless the Austrian parliament chooses to lift them sooner.

Green light to marriage equality in Austria

Monday, December 4, 2017

Australian MP proposes to partner during marriage equality debate

An Australian politician has made history as the first ever Member of Parliament to propose in the House of Representatives.

Tim Wilson, the Liberal MP for Goldstein, fought back tears as he popped the question to his boyfriend Ryan Bolger on the floor of the House as a bill paving the way for equal marriage was introduced.

Turning to address his long-term partner the during the parliamentary debate on Monday (December 4), Mr Wilson said: “In my first speech I defined our bond by the ring that sits on both of our left hands – that they are the answer to the questions we cannot ask.

“So there is only one thing left to do: Ryan Patrick Bolger, will you marry me?”

Mr Bolger immediately responded ‘yes’, to rapturous applause from the MPs assembled in the chamber.


Watch the video below.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Woman arrested in Tanzania for gay kiss

A woman could face jail in Tanzania after a video of her kissing another woman and presenting her with a ring went viral.

Homosexuality is illegal in Tanzania as it is considered "against the order of nature", and the woman was arrested in the northwestern town of Geita after the clip of her at a party was widely shared on social media.

The town's police chief, Mponjoli Mwabulambo, said the woman was in custody and that officers were searching for the other woman in the video, which some Tanzanians condemned online as immoral.

The arrest comes during an even stronger crackdown on homosexuality in the country. Were the women to be convicted, they could be put behind bars. In Tanzania, male homosexual sex carries a sentence anywhere between 30 years and life in prison.

President John Magufuli has threatened to arrest and expel activists and de-register organisations that campaign for gay rights since he came to power two years ago.

In October, officers arrested 12 men after raiding a meeting at a hotel in the former capital city of Dar es Salaam, believing the gathering was promoting same-sex relationships.

Being gay is not a choice, either in Africa

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Transgender actress could be nominated for an Oscar

One of the most talked-about performances of this year is that of Daniela Vega, a 28-year-old Chilean actress who stars in Sebasti├ín Lelio’s movie A Fantastic Woman. The film is Chile’s submission for the Best Foreign Language Oscar, and it could also get Vega her own Academy Award nomination.

A Fantastic Woman tells the story of Marina Vidal (Vega's character), a waitress by day and a lounge singer by night, whose life is thrown into turmoil upon the death of Orlando, her much older lover. Orlando’s family, however, suspects it was a murder, with Marina as culprit, after Orlando's wealth and material assets. 

She endures interrogation at their hands rife with hate speech and discrimination, and the film uses the conflict to tackle the polarizing isolation of transgender living, particularly in Chile, where there is little government or cultural support for the trans community.

For this movie, Sebastián Lelio and Gonzalo Maza won the golden bear for the best screenplay, in the 2017 Berlin Film Festival.

Unlike other films about transgender characters that have made it to the Oscars winner’s circle, like Boys Don’t Cry, Dallas Buyer’s Club and The Danish Woman, A Fantastic Woman’s transgender lead is actually played by a transgender person.

Good luck Daniela!