Monday, October 19, 2020

Students in skirts protest against sexist dress code in Canada

 

Over a hundred students at Collège Nouvelles Frontières in Canada wore skirts to school to protest a sexist dress code. Students joined similar protests that are sweeping through Quebec to highlight the arbitrary requirements imposed on girls, but not boys, and the inherent anti-LGBT rationalization behind it.

When Zachary Paulin told classmates he intended to wear a skirt, he urged them to do so as well and he thought about 30 students would join him. Instead, over 100 classmates came to school showing their legs. “I knew that it was going to be a big movement, but not that big of a movement,” he said. “I was pleasantly surprised.”

“Today, you probably saw that some boys, including me, wore skirts,” Paulin posted with on Instagram with some snapshots of the day. “Well, let me talk a bit about why we did that. Basically, a boy wearing a skirt is a sign of resilience, solidarity, and support in the intersectional battle for equality between the sexes.”

“The double standard on the way society views our women and men is blatant; if a woman decides to wear a suit or pants, clothes associated with masculinity, it’s not a big deal. But the moment a man does anything remotely feminine – whether it is to put nail polish, makeup, or, in our case, a skirt – fingers are pointed and he gets insulted. People will say that he’s not a ‘real man’ and they will automatically assume his sexual orientation.”

“So, by wearing a skirt, we are united and together against the sexualization of women and we’re sending a message against toxic masculinity which keeps boys from being who they truly are, without judgment,” he continued. “We’re in 2020, we should be open-minded and fight to end discrimination, homophobia, and sexism. That’s what our skirts represent.”


Zachary Paulin has led the protest



Saturday, October 17, 2020

The attendees at gay wedding have been convicted in Algeria


44 people have been charged and convicted after attending a gay wedding in Algeria. The arrest took place in July after the police stormed a private residence and arrested 9 women and 35 men, after neighbours complained. Most of the attendees were university students from the el-Kharoub district in northeastern Algeria.
 
Algerian Police decided the event must have been a “gay wedding” because the men had a “gay appearance” and there were decorations, flowers and sweets present. 

 The ruling was made on 3 September, with the court convicting the 44 people of “same-sex relations.” “public indecency,” and subjecting others to harm by breaking Covid-19-related quarantine measures”. 

The married gay couple, which was immediately imprisoned, have been sentenced to three years in prison with a fine and the others 42 attendees were handed a one-year suspended sentences. 

Even though Algeria has laws protected under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and has joined the African Court on Human and Peoples Rights, the country still showcases the lack of regard and protection for its LGBT citizens.


Friday, October 16, 2020

Top European Court rules that Russia unlawfully violated LGBT activists’ right to protest

 

On June 6, 2013, several activists gathered outside Russia’s State Duma to peacefully protest the reading of a bill banning the “promotion of non-traditional sexual relations among minors”.

They were harassed by an opposing group of conservative Orthodox Christian activists carrying religious icons, who pelted them with eggs while chanting: “Russia is not Sodom.” Riot police surrounded the LGBT+ protestors, pushed them into buses, and arrested, convicted and fined them for so-called “administrative offences”. 

In a recent ruling, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) concluded that the measures taken against the protestors “did not correspond to a pressing social need and were thus not necessary in a democratic society”.

The top human rights court rejected the Russian government’s claims that the police’s behaviour wasn’t motivated by sexuality, ruling that the activists’ arrests, transfer and ensuing sanctions constituted an interference with their right to freedom of peaceful assembly.

It also found violations of the right to liberty and security, and the right to a fair trial in relation to all of the applicants. Their arrests outside the State Duma were deemed to be arbitrary, and the administrative proceedings, taken as a whole, did not allow them a fair hearing.

The court ordered Russia to pay each of the applicant’s damages of €5,000.

Unfortunately this is only the fourth time in three years that the ECHR has found Russia to have violated LGBT+ people’s rights. The country lost a 2018 case over a ban on Pride events, while a 2017 decision found that the country’s “gay propaganda” law violates human rights standards. And just a few months ago the court issued fines for violating freedom of association by blocking the registration of LGBT+ groups.

The human rights court has little power to take enforcement action over continued breaches, but the victories are still celebrated by human rights groups for the precedent they set.


with the called 'Gay Propaganda' Law



Wednesday, October 14, 2020

French government unveils national plan to combat hatred against LGBT people


The French government has unveiled a national plan to combat hatred and discrimination against LGBT people, which emphasises the importance of inclusive education in stamping out homophobia.

The three-year plan aims to make members of the LGBT community "citizens in their own right", French Junior Minister of Gender Equality Elisabeth Moreno told. She also insisted on the importance of education.

It comprises over 40 measures designed to tackle homophobia or transphobia in the home, school, university, work, healthcare or sport.

The gender equality minister has pledged to work with her counterpart at the Education ministry, Jean-Michel Blanquer, to "amplify" training for teachers serving LGBT students.

A website called "Educating against LGBTphobia" is to be set up in order to "give teachers the weapons to fight homophobia and transphobia, and allow the proper inclusion of LGBT students", Moreno added.

The national plan also aims to act against conversion therapy, "abject and medieval practices" according to the minister, which try to change the sexual orientation of LGBT people. "We want to ban them outright," Moreno said.

Same sex families have not been left out either. Administrative forms will continue to be adapted to include them, the minister insisted.


Minister Moreno explained the plan



Monday, October 12, 2020

LGBT equality is on the ballot, former Democratic candidate Buttigieg says

 

Pete Buttigieg, former Democratic candidate who dropped out of the presidential race in March 2020, has warned LGBT equality is on the ballot ahead of the US election.

Taking to Twitter, as various US states approach/pass voter registration deadlines, Buttigieg reminded followers: "We need to be clear with anyone who considers themselves an ally: LGBTQ+ equality is on the ballot."

The politician also marked National Coming Out Day with a series of tweets, saying: "While every struggle is different, every struggle is connected. So whether you've been out for decades, today is your day, or you're still not ready - know that there is a big, diverse community where you belong."

He added: "Coming out means being vulnerable, and placing your trust in another person. I know the courage it takes, and I'm humbled by that trust anytime someone shares with me - sometimes as soon as we meet - that they are in the process of coming out as LGBTQ+."


The first family some day


Sunday, October 11, 2020

Ukraine wraps skyscraper in rainbow to fight homophobia

 

The rainbow colours will cover Gulliver Mall, a 35-storey shopping and entertainment centre in the Ukraine capital city of Kyiv, every evening between October 5-11.

The flag and accompanying slogan “It’s good to be different together!” will flash across the face of the building in five minute intervals between 6.30pm and 10.00pm, being projected from the nearby Ukrainian Empire State building in an extraordinary public display of LGBT solidarity.

The famous shopping centre is so tall it can be seen from anywhere in central Kyiv as well as surrounding areas of the city. The colourful display has been timed to celebrate PrideMonth in Ukraine, and also International Coming Out Day which is celebrated worldwide on October 11.

#PrideMonth & #ComingOutDay




Saturday, October 10, 2020

World Rugby bans trans women from playing at elite women’s level


World Rugby has announced transgender women cannot compete at the elite and international level of the women's game, becoming the first international sports federation to implement the rule. 

The announcement comes after "a comprehensive, collaborative and inclusive review of its existing guidance" and their decision that transgender women can't play contact rugby at a high level was based"on safety grounds". 

A report published by World Rugby earlier in the years said there was a "20-30 percent greater risk" of injury if a female player was tackled by someone who had gone through male puberty. Instead, transgender men remain permitted to play men's contact rugby.

National unions still have the flexibility to allow transgender women to play in women’s rugby at community level. Individual rugby unions across the world determine their own policies on trans inclusion at a domestic level, and in recent weeks the Canadian, US and Australian Rugby Unions have come out strongly in support of trans inclusion.

Deeply disappointed!



Thursday, October 8, 2020

UN expert calls for a global ban of conversion therapies


Conversion therapy is any attempt to change a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. These practices inflict severe pain and suffering on LGBT persons, often resulting in long-lasting psychological and physical damage-

Victor Madrigal-Borloz, an UN expert, called for a global ban of these practices. After hundreds of submissions from States, civil society organisations, faith-based organisations, medical practitioners, and individuals who had been subjected to such practices, he concluded that conversion therapy is attempted through beatings, rape, electrocution, forced medication, isolation and confinement, forced nudity, verbal offense and humiliation and other acts of physical, psychological, and sexual abuse.

He said: “These interventions exclusively target LGBT persons with the specific aim of interfering in their personal integrity and autonomy because their sexual orientation or gender identity do not fall under what is perceived by certain persons as a desirable norm,” Madrigal-Borloz said. “They are inherently degrading and discriminatory and rooted in the belief that LGBT persons are somehow inferior, and that they must at any cost modify their orientation or identity to remedy that supposed inferiority.”

And he added: “Such practices constitute an egregious violation of rights to bodily autonomy, health, and free expression of one’s sexual orientation and gender identity. Ultimately, when conducted forcibly, they also represent a breach to the prohibition of torture and ill-treatment.”

Check his report here.

A lot of countries and cities banned it, but conversion therapy should be banned around the world!!!




Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Lesbian Prime Minister remains in office in Serbia for another term

 

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic nominated Prime Minister Ana Brnabic to remain in office for another term. 

“Several minutes ago I have signed a nomination for the prime minister, and that is Ana Brnabic,” Vucic, who is head of the ruling Serbian Progressive Party (SNS), told a news conference. “I think this was a good choice.”

An SNS-led alliance won June 21 parliamentary elections by a landslide, securing 188 deputies in the 250–seat parliament, and the approval of Brnabic’s new Cabinet is largely a formality. Parliament is expected to reconvene in the coming days. 

Brnabic, 45, a technocrat who frequently described Vucic as her “boss”, took the post in 2017, as the country’s first female and first openly gay head of government. 


Brnabic attends Belgrade's Pride Parade every year



Tuesday, October 6, 2020

US soccer team walks off after homophobic slur to gay teamplayer

 


USL team San Diego Loyal walked off the field halfway through their match against rivals Phoenix Rising after their openly-gay midfielder Collin Martin was the victim of an alleged homophobic slur by a Phoenix player.

Loyal, who were chasing a playoff place, were leading the match 3-1 when the incident occurred at the end of the first half. After heated words were exchanged between the two teams' managers, the teams went into the locker rooms for halftime.

After the break, San Diego returned to the field, then took a knee before leaving the pitch.

It is the second time in two weeks that the team has protested discriminatory behavior by opposition players. Last week, their player Elijah Martin was the victim of a racial slur by LA Galaxy II player Omar Ontiveros, who was subsequently suspended by the league, then released by the club.

The Loyal manager, former US National Team star Landon Donovan explained, "We went through a really hard incident last week and we made a vow to ourselves, to our community, to our players, to the club, to USL that we would not stand for bigotry, homophobic slurs, things that don't belong in our game."

Stop homophobia and racism in any sports!!


Martin's teammates said it's enough!



Monday, October 5, 2020

'ProudBoys' hashtag hijacked with thousands of gay love pictures

 

Over the weekend, gay and LGBT people hijacked the #ProudBoys hashtag, usually reserved for the far-right, neo-fascist, and male-only organization, on social media.

The trend follows Donald Trump spotlighting the racist group by saying "Proud Boys, stand back and stand by" (whatever that means) during his TV debate against Democratic rival Joe Biden.

Then, Star Trek actor George Takei took to Twitter to suggest taking over the term. "I wonder if the BTS and TikTok kids can help LGBTs with this," he said. "What if gay guys took pictures of themselves making out with each other or doing very gay things, then tagged themselves with #ProudBoys. I bet it would mess them up real bad. #ReclaimingMyShine."

As the new and improved hashtag began to take off, the iconic actor added: "Look up what’s trending now on #ProudBoys. You’re welcome, Internet." After that, thousands of posts from betrothed boys of all ages and races - as well as some from proud single boys, also spread far and wide on the platform. 

#ProudBoys


The picture shared by George Takei, proud of you!



Sunday, October 4, 2020

Belgium appoints Europe's first transgender deputy prime minister


A transgender woman was sworn in as deputy prime minister in Belgium's new government, becoming the most senior trans politician in Europe. Petra De Sutter, a gynecologist and Green party Member of the European Parliament, became one of seven deputy prime ministers in Belgium's coalition government. 

De Sutter, who is also minister for public service and public enterprises, was elected to the European Parliament in 2019 representing the Flemish Green party, Groen. LGBT rights groups welcomed De Sutter's appointment as an important step forward for trans politicians.

"Incredibly grateful for the confidence I have received from my party!" De Sutter said. "Now I can do whatever it takes to relaunch our country and work on a new future for all Belgians together with that government!"

She also wrote on Twitter: "I am proud that in Flag of Belgium and in most of Flag of European Union your gender identity does not define you as a person and is a non-issue. I hope that my appointment as Minister and deputy PM can trigger the debate in countries where this is not yet the case. #fighttransphobia"

Congratulations!!



Saturday, October 3, 2020

Simply awesome!


 

I've just watched this 2018 video in Youtube showing 5 year old Bobby Ray absolutely happy dancing in that concert. 

But the most meaningful moment to me is when he looks to the camera and realizes he is being recorded and his reactions is... keep dancing and caring nothing! Awesome! 

Watch the video below and enjoy it as I did:




Wednesday, September 30, 2020

California governor signs four LGBT rights laws

 

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed four pro-LGBT bills into law. The bills address housing and health care needs for trans people, insurance discrimination based on HIV status, and the COVID-19 pandemic's effect on LGBT people.

“California has some of the strongest pro LGBT laws in the nation and with the bills signed today, our march toward equality takes an additional step forward,” Newsom said in a statement about the bevy of bills.

First bill was SB 132, which requires the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation will now be required to ask inmates about their gender identities and pronouns and house them accordingly. This comes just months after a federal judge ruled that calling a transgender person by their correct pronouns would show bias.

The governor also signed SB 932, a bill that will require the state to collect information about LGBT people and the COVID-19 pandemic. This bill was introduced to ensure that LGBT community will no longer be invisible, and they will be counted by public health system.

AB 2218, which Newsom also signed, creates a Transgender Wellness and Equity Fund in the state, which will go towards helping transgender, non-binary, and intersex individuals access housing and health care.

And the fourth bill was SB 1255, which is intended to fight discrimination in health care faced by people living with HIV. The bill, entitled the Equal Insurance HIV Act, says that the life expectancy for HIV-positive people has nearly doubled since 1996 and requires that life and disability insurance for HIV-positive people be treated similarly to insurance for HIV-negative people.

Well done!!



Tuesday, September 29, 2020

New emojis for 2021 will include interracial gay couples

 

A brand new set of gender-inclusive emojis for 2021 will include a 'Woman with Beard' and a gender-neutral 'Person with Beard', it has been revealed.

The 217 digital images will also include an array of mixed-race, same-sex couples in a variety of skin tones and, summing up the modern mood, a 'Face with Spiral Eyes'.

On the organisation's main site, a post further clarified: "Additions are expected to include mixed skin tone support for all variations of [couple kissing] and [couple with heart], which until now have only been available in default yellow on most major platforms."

The emojis, designed by the Unicode Consortium, were recently teased on the Unicode blog.




Sunday, September 27, 2020

Obama endorses Democrat who would be first transgender State Senator if elected


Former President Barack Obama endorsed a second slate of Democratic nominees, including Delaware Senate candidate Sarah McBride. If McBride wins the election in November, she would become the first openly transgender person in the U.S. to be elected state senator.

Obama's involvement in the 2020 presidential election increased after it became evident that his former vice president, Joe Biden, would be the Democratic Party's presidential nominee. Obama officially endorsed Biden for the presidency in April. 

Obama said the second selection of Democratic candidates he chose to endorse "will work to get the virus under control, rebuild the economy and the middle class, and protect Americans' health care and preexisting conditions protections."

McBride said she was "overwhelmed with pride" to receive Obama's endorsement. "In 2008, I cast my first vote. It was for President Barack Obama. In 2012, I walked into the White House as the first trans woman to work there in any capacity. In 2020, I've been endorsed by the man I was proud to vote for and work for. I'm overwhelmed with pride," she added.

Good luck Sarah!!!




Friday, September 25, 2020

New York LGBT Film Festival is coming


NewFest, New York's LGBT film and media organization, has announced its program for the 32nd New York LGBT Film Festival. This year's event will feature virtual events, as well as drive-in screenings at the Queens Drive-In at Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

The festival will open on Oct. 16 with the New York City premiere of Francis Lee's "Ammonite," a romantic drama starring Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan. Winslet will present Lee with the festival's inaugural world queer visionary award ahead of the screening. On Oct. 27, the event will close with a virtual screening of Faraz Shariat's German drama, "No Hard Feelings."

This year's festival will feature film introductions shot in front of historic LGBT sites, community organizations and queer-owned businesses throughout the city, as well as panels and conversations on different LGBT topics.

Executive director David Hatkoff said: "We have created an 11-day event that will meet and speak to this moment, delivering a thought-provoking, inspiring and joyful look at the LGBT community and the unique challenges it faces, while also paying homage to the incredible queer legacy that exists in NYC."

Check NewFest website here and watch its trailer below:




Thursday, September 24, 2020

Pope Francis expresses acceptance of LGBT children


Pope Francis told a group of parents of LGBT children that “God loves your children as they are” and “the church loves your children as they are because they are children of God.” 

He did so in a brief encounter with some 40 Italian parents of LGBT children after the public audience in the Renaissance courtyard of San Damaso in the Vatican.

The parents are members of an Italian association founded in 2018, Tenda di Gionata, which welcomes and provides information and formation to LGBT Christians, their families and pastoral workers. 

Mara Grassi, the vice president of the association, told Pope Francis: “We wish to create a bridge to the church so that the church too can change its way of looking at our children, no longer excluding them but fully welcoming them.”

Having listened carefully to what she said, Pope Francis reassured her: “The church does not exclude them because she loves them deeply.”

In 2013, Pope Francis said who am I to judge if someone is gay? during a flight with journalists. And in 2016, Pope Francis called for the Catholic Church to be more welcoming to LGBT people.



Monday, September 21, 2020

No place for 'LGBT-free zones' anywhere in the world, Biden says


The head of the EU Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, gave an address to the European Parliament, in which she said there was no place in the bloc for so-called "LGBT-free zones", a pointed criticism of Poland's nationalist government pushing to curb the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

"LGBT-free zones are humanity free zones. And they have no place in our Union. Breaches of the rule of law cannot be tolerated," she said last Wednesday. "Because being yourself is not your ideology. It’s your identity. And no one can ever take it away", she added.

The Democratic Party presidential candidate Joe Biden referred to von der Leyen's address. "Let me be clear: LGBTQ+ rights are human rights - and 'LGBT-free zones' have no place in the European Union or anywhere in the world", Biden wrote.

They did not mention Poland by name, but did not need to. As part of the politically-driven attack on LGBT people, nearly 100 Polish municipal or local governments have proclaimed themselves zones “free from LGBT ideology” and opposing gay “propaganda”, covering nearly a third of the country.

Last December, the European Parliament adopted a resolution condemning anti-LGBT hate speech and public discrimination across Europe, specially in Poland. More recently, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet also highlighted LGBT rights abuses in Poland during her speech at the opening of the U.N. Human Rights Council’s latest session.




Friday, September 18, 2020

Nearly one million homes are composed of same-sex couples, in U.S.

 

Five years after the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriages around the U.S., more than a half million households are made up of married same-sex couples, according to figures the U.S. Census Bureau.

Since 2014, the number of married same-sex households has increased by almost 70%, rising to 568,110 couples in 2019. Of the 980,000 same-sex couple households reported in 2019, 58% were married couples and 42% were unmarried partners.

There were slightly more female couple households than male couple households. However, there was a difference between gay and lesbian couples. 

Married women in same-sex households were much more likely to be working than married women in opposite-sex households, but the reverse was true for married men in same-sex households. They were less likely to be working than married men in opposite-sex households.

Results also show almost 15% of same-sex couples had at least one child under age 18, compared to 37.8% of opposite-sex couples. Of the nearly 300,000 children living in a homes with same-sex couples, 66% were children of both partners or spouses, compared to 95% for opposite-sex couples.

Of those who responded to the survey as being in a same-sex married household, 82% identified as white, almost 7% identified themselves as Black and almost 4% were Asian. More than 13% were Hispanic. More than 16% of same-sex married households were interracial couples, double the rate for opposite-sex married couples.




Thursday, September 17, 2020

Michelle Bachelet highlights LGBT rights abuses in UN Human Rights Council speech

 

U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet highlighted LGBT rights abuses in Poland and Honduras during her speech at the opening of the U.N. Human Rights Council’s latest session in Geneva.

Bachelet expressed concern “about the continuing repression of LGBT people and activists (in Poland), including restrictions on their freedom of assembly, and the government’s support for towns that have termed themselves ‘LGBTI-free zones.'”

“The scapegoating and targeting of a minority group, for political purposes, feeds intolerance and discrimination, damaging all of society,” said Bachelet.

Bachelet also noted “attacks on and violent deaths of LGBT persons continue to increase” in Honduras. She said the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights in Honduras has “documented” the murders of seven transgender women in the Central American country.

Last May, UN urged nations to protect LGBT people amid coronavirus



Monday, September 14, 2020

Iris Prize LGBT+ Film Festival 2020 announces Best of British shortlist



The Iris Prize LGBT Film Festival has revealed the LGBT short films which have been shortlisted for this year's £30,000 grand prize.

The Iris Prize, established in 2007 by The Festivals Company, is an international LGBT film prize which is open to any film which is by, for, about or of interest to gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or intersex audiences and which must have been completed within two years of the prize deadline.

The prize is open to filmmakers from around the world and judged by a panel of international filmmakers and artists. The winner receives the largest prize for a gay and lesbian film in the world, allowing the winner to make their next film. 

This year's Iris Prize LGBT Film Festival runs from 6 – 11 October 2020, and it will be online & free across the UK, bringing the best international queer films.

Catch the trailer of the 35 films competing for the 2020 Iris Prize below:




Thursday, September 10, 2020

The proposed ‘Traditional Values’ law in Russia shall prejudice LGBT rights


The bill before Russia’s parliament, called 'Traditional Values' law, would significantly affect the rights of  LGBT people. Among the proposed amendments to the family code are changes to the legal gender recognition rights for transgender people that will negatively affect their ability to marry and raise children. 

This discrimination is compounded by the proposed law’s explicit ban on same-sex marriage. The bill is discriminatory in and of itself and would flagrantly violate the European Convention on Human Rights, to which Russia is a party.

The new law falls into a pattern of the Russian government increasingly using so-called “traditional values” to trample human rights, particularly for LGBT people.

Russia’s notorious anti-gay “propaganda” law has been used increasingly in recent years as a tool for outright discrimination. Under the law, adopted in 2013, portraying same-sex relations as socially acceptable in the public domain and in the presence of children is illegal.

We may stand in solidarity with Russia’s strong LGBT activists, who will #NeverGiveUp their fight for freedom and equality. Please join to this campaign and post your selfie with the sign ‘Never Give Up’ in support of the tireless work of LGBT activists in Russia.




Monday, September 7, 2020

LGBT rights protest at the Poland - Germany border


An LGBT rights protest at the Poland-Germany border has shone a light on the growing disparity between the two nations on queer issues.

Over 2,000 demonstrators stood up to homophobia with a protest held jointly by activists in the closely-connected border towns of Slubice, in Poland, and Frankfurt an der Oder, in Germany, which are separated by a symbolic bridge across the River Oder.

German protesters carried signs and banners expressing their love for their LGBT Polish neighbours, as the groups marched across the border.

LGBT people are a popular punching bag for Poland’s conservative government, with right-wing president Andrzej Duda narrowly winning re-election in July after making homophobia one of the core planks of his campaign.

As part of the politically-driven attack on LGBT people, nearly 100 Polish municipal or local governments have proclaimed themselves zones “free from LGBT ideology” and opposing gay “propaganda”, covering nearly a third of the country.

The European Parliament passed a resolution that strongly condemned the concept of LGBT-free zones, noting that they are “part of a broader context of attacks against the LGBT community in Poland, which include growing hate speech by public and elected officials and public media, as well as attacks and bans on Pride marches”.



Saturday, September 5, 2020

UK students will receive LGBT inclusive sex education


A landmark ruling last year means that UK schools will finally be teaching LGBT inclusive sex education. The ruling made inclusive relationship and sex education compulsory in all schools in England, with all schools being given until the summer of 2021 to make good on their word.

New regulation means that all secondary schools will teach about sexual orientation and gender identity, and all primary schools will teach about different families, with schools being “enabled and encouraged” by the Government to include LGBT families in this teaching. This is about showing kids that families can have two mums, two dads or a trans parent. Or to put it another way: different families, same love. This is in stark contrast to what was taught in UK schools only a few decades ago, which was total silence on LGBT topics and sex education.

From now, hopefully it be different. Independent and faith schools are not supposed to be excluded from the ruling either, however, they may find ways around it. But in the UK, religion is protected under the 2010 Equality Act (as are sexual orientation and gender identity). As such, some schools may argue to teach within their beliefs.

For now, millions of British students will return to schools for the first time since the start of the pandemic and hopefully they be met with a more inclusive environment.

Awesome!



Thursday, September 3, 2020

Same-sex couples can finally marry in a church in Northern Ireland

 

The first same-sex religious marriages can be arranged in Northern Ireland from 1 September. It follows legislation introduced by the Northern Ireland Office in July.

Same-sex marriage has been legally recognised in Northern Ireland since January but did not extend to ceremonies in churches or to religious bodies. There are exemptions and protections for religious bodies that do not wish to conduct same-sex marriages.

Couples can give their 28 days' notice of intent to have a religious service from 1 September, which means the first ceremonies could take place on 29 September.

Same-sex marriage campaigners have welcomed the move, but are now urging the government to make marriage fully equal by allowing same-sex couples with an existing civil partnership to be able to convert their partnership into a marriage.


The House of Commons backed same-sex marriage for Northern Ireland


Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Pride celebration in Odessa is attacked by neo-Nazis and needs police protection


Odessa Pride organisers said that peaceful Pride event on Sunday afternoon had only been underway for ten minutes were set upon by the neo-Nazi thugs, who were bearing the banners of a ‘Traditions and Order’ far-right nationalist group, in Ukraine.

Pride organisers say that despite assurances from police that they would ensure the event was protected, officers did not react fast enough to the attack, with LGBT activists abused and attacked with pepper spray before police eventually sought to break up the conflict, forming a barrier surrounding the small pro-LGBT group.

The Pride organisers note that the event has gone off without violence for six years in a row, adding: “Those who attacked demonstrators should be punished for physical and psychological violence against citizens of Ukraine. Odessa police should be punished for standing idle during a crime.”

Police said that 12 people were arrested for petty hooliganism and disobeying the instructions of a police officer, while three minors “were handed over to their parents”. Two officers were hospitalised with injuries after the clash, the police department adds. 

LGBT people have few legal rights in Ukraine. The country has passed some basic gender recognition laws and discrimination protections as it seeks to align with EU law, but there is no recognition for same-sex relationships, and gay couples are banned from getting married or adopting children.

Watch the video below:



Monday, August 31, 2020

Global public acceptance of LGBT is increasing

 

The global push for gay rights around the world has been a long, slow struggle in some Middle Eastern and African countries, for example, same-sex acts today can bring the death penalty. But public acceptance is increasing, even in culturally conservative countries, according to a global study.

People in the United States, India, South Africa, Japan, South Korea and Mexico have registered the largest gains in public acceptance with gay rights since 2002, according to findings released from the nonpartisan Pew Research Center.

Pew conducted its polling in 34 countries, including the U.S. The study finds public opinion around the world on the acceptance of gay rights is still divided by country, region and economic development, despite substantial change in laws and norms surrounding issues such as same-sex marriage and the rights of LGBT communities around the world.

The data reflect public acceptance of gay rights is shaped by the country where people live. People in Western Europe and the Americas are generally more accepting than people in Eastern Europe, Russia, Ukraine, the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa, while people in Asia-Pacific countries are split on the topic.

Pew's study also found that people in wealthier and more developed economies are more accepting than countries that are less wealthy and developed. Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden, nations with a per-capita gross domestic product of more than $50,000, registered among the highest levels of acceptance. By comparison, less than 2-in-10 respondents in Nigeria, Kenya and Ukraine have per-capita GDPs of less than $10,000, express acceptance.

Then, according the study, a global divide on admission of LGBT communities still remains but is narrowing.




Friday, August 28, 2020

Black trans people honoured in a street mural in Chicago


The words ‘Black Trans Lives Matter’ stretch across the street in Catalpa Avenue, in Andersonville. It was created by 22 artists or art groups, with the help of neighbours who donated $4,000 to pay the artists for their time and materials.

Each participating artist decorated an individual letter in the mural. One artist, Bailey Funk, painted the words “say their names” in the letter B, prompting the chamber to consider giving more prominence to the names of the dead.

Now the names encircle the mural, each one colour-coded to give context to the deaths. The names in pink are people whom police killed in the last five years, while the names in yellow identify unarmed people of colour killed by police since 1975. 

Among those honoured in portraits are Merci Mack, a Black trans woman killed by a gunshot to the head; Tony McDade, a Black trans man shot by police, and Marsha P Johnson, a Black queer rights activist instrumental in the Stonewall uprising of 1969.

#BlackTransLivesMatter




Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Netflix releases its new gay drama ‘The Boys in the Band’


Netflix has revealed first-look pictures of its new gay drama 'The Boys in the Band', starring by Jim Parsons.

The film is based on the 1968 play by Mart Crowley, and follows a group of gay men who meet in New York to celebrate one of their birthdays. Everything is fun and games until the guests find themselves forced to confront some uncomfortable truths.

Parsons plays the lead character of Michael, a writer and semi-lapsed Catholic with a withering wit as sharp as Sheldon Cooper in The Big Bang Theory. As the party’s host, Michael is the catalyst for most of the drama that ensues.

Parsons stars alongside Matt Bomer, Zachary Quinto, Andrew Rannells, Charlie Carver, Brian Hutchison, Michael Benjamin Washington, Robin de Jesús and Tuc Watkins.

'The Boys in the Band' premieres globally on Netflix on 30 September.




Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Berlin Film Festival introduces gender neutral acting awards


Berlin Film Festival is set to introduce gender-neutral acting prizes in an effort to create a more gender-sensitive film industry.

The decision makes it the first major film festival to introduce gender-neutral acting awards. Not separating the awards in the acting field according to gender comprises a signal for more gender-sensitive awareness in the film industry

“Instead of the awards for the Best Actor and the Best Actress, a ‘Silver Bear for Best Leading Performance’ and a ‘Silver Bear for Best Supporting Performance’ shall each be awarded on a gender-neutral basis,” a statement from organisers said.

The Berlin Film Festival is regarded as one of the most important European film festivals, alongside the Venice Film Festival and Cannes, both of which continue to offer gendered awards categories in the acting fields.



Sunday, August 23, 2020

‘All Black Lives Matter’ street inclusive painting will stay permanently in LA

 

The huge, LGBT-inclusive ‘All Black Lives Matter’ installation on Hollywood Boulevard is being made permanent to commemorate the history-making march in Los Angeles.

Tens of thousands of people joined the march on June 14 to protest the brutal murders of two Black trans women, Dominique “Rem’Mie” Fells, 27, and Riah Milton, 25.

The block-long message between Highland Avenue and Orange Drive was completed the day before with the help of hundreds of volunteers, who painted the powerful words in the colours of the transgender, non-binary and LGBT Pride flags.

The iconic street will now be closed for a week to restore the paint and make it a permanent street art fixture dedicated to the Black LGBT community.

#AllBlackLivesMatter, yes!!!