Sunday, April 5, 2020

Restrictions on gay men donating blood relaxed amid COVID19 pandemic

The US federal government is loosening restrictions on blood donations from gay and bisexual men in light of a blood shortage brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

In revised guidelines published, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommended a three-month deferral for men who have sex with men. The previous policy was a full year ban. According to the FDA, the COVID19 pandemic has caused "unprecedented challenges" to the national blood supply.

The new guidelines will remain in place throughout the pandemic and will be updated to incorporate public comment within 60 days of the emergency being lifted.

Donor centers have experienced a dramatic reduction in donations due to the implementation of social distancing and the cancellation of blood drives. The American Red Cross announced last month nearly 2,700 blood drives, where the organization collects more than 80 percent of its blood donations, had been canceled due to the pandemic.

The FDA said experience in other countries like the United Kingdom and Canada with a three-month deferral and improved testing led the agency to make the change.

The three-month deferral also applies to those who recently got tattoos or piercings, as well as former sex workers or injection drug users, who were previously indefinitely banned from donating.

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Prides come together to organise ‘Global Pride’ amid COVID19 cancellations

Pride organisations around the world have come together to organise a ‘Global Pride’ event on Saturday 27 June 2020, in response to the hundreds of Pride celebrations that have been cancelled or postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Global Pride will use online platforms to deliver a Pride in which everyone can participate, wherever they are in the world. It will include musical performances, speeches, and key messages from human rights activists. The event will be live-streamed and people will be invited to join in the event from home.

InterPride and the European Pride Organisers Association, the world’s biggest international Pride networks, are working with national organisations in Canada, Germany, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America, and regional networks in southern Africa, Asia, Oceania, and Latin America, to bring communities and Pride organisations together for this Global Pride event.

In these times, it is even more important that we can demonstrate the power and strength of a joint Pride celebration around the world. Let the rainbow flag light up the world.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Singapore High Court rejects challenge to gay sex ban

It is currently illegal to be gay in Singapore, with archaic colonial-era law Section 377A defining sex between consenting men as “acts of gross indecency”, and people who are convicted of having gay sex can face up to two years in prison.

The attempt to overturn the law was led by three people who each contended that it was unconstitutional with Singapore’s Constitution. Following hearings in November, all three appeals were dismissed.

“The High Court dismisses all three applications,” Judge See Kee Oon said in a summary of the case published by the court. “Legislation remains important in reflecting public sentiment and beliefs.”

He further acknowledged that the law is rarely enacted, but said it still “serves the purpose of safeguarding public morality by showing societal moral disapproval of male homosexual acts.”

Last year, a study looking into religious attitudes in Singapore found that nearly 70% of Singaporeans disapprove of same-sex relationships, with 68% of those asked thinking that same-sex relationships were “always wrong.”

Friday, March 27, 2020

Coronavirus has a devastating impact for LGBT homeless

The corona virus is causing the closure of homeless centers across the United States, putting LGBT people without housing at increased risk of suicide, health complications or hate crimes, according to homelessness experts.

Homeless centers said they have been forced to shut their doors in order to follow safety precautions over social distancing as enforced by international governments and health organizations.

There are about 10,000 shelters for homeless people in the United States with an estimated 250 LGBT centers, largely in metropolitan areas, according to The National Coalition for the Homeless, a network of homelessness advocates.

Some LGBT homeless centers have started to move some services online, including case management, educational and career support and behavioral counseling, but advocates say the closures will have a devastating impact on the queer community’s most vulnerable members.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Prides will be impacted by Coronavirus too #StayAtHome

The increasing spread of the Coronavirus / COVID-19 pandemic is likely to have a major impact on LGBT Pride events across Europe in 2020. Europe’s Pride movement has gone through enormous growth in the last three years, and there are approaching 1,000 Pride events across 48 European countries.

The head of Europe’s Pride organisation has confirmed that some Pride events this summer will be affected by the outbreak of Coronavirus that is sweeping the continent.

Kristine Garina, President of the European Pride Organisers Association (EPOA), made the comments after dozens of Pride organisers from around the world met to discuss the situation, and how Prides can respond.

“Coronavirus is presenting a new challenge for all governments and organisations, and Prides are no different,” said Garina. “The unique challenge for Prides is that most are entirely volunteer organisations, where people have to juggle this additional complexity alongside a career or being a full-time carer. We’re doing all we can to help Pride organisers navigate through this challenge.”

More than 70 Pride organisers joined an online meeting to discuss how they can make contingency plans, and how they will respond to the Coronavirus situation. Working in partnership with the global Pride network InterPride, the meeting also included representatives of Prides in Africa, North America, Asia and Oceania.

EPOA is urging Prides to follow World Health Organisation (WHO) guidance and ensure that they make plans ahead of their event, think about impact during their event, and how they will manage issues after the event. They are also urging Prides to engage with funders and sponsors to talk about financial impact.

WHO have published helpful recommendations for those planning mass gathering events, such as Pride. They recommend that all Pride organisers have contingency plans in place should there be a need to postpone or cancel their event, and also consider the impact that public concern about coronavirus might have on volunteer recruitment, travel and other factors.

Check news and confirmed changes to Pride events here or look the map.


The number of Pride events impacted 
by COVID19 has now exceeded 70

Sunday, March 15, 2020

No way! Covid-19 is not a God's punishment for gay people!

Rather than wash their hands or stockpile toilet roll, some conservative religious figures have adopted a different strategy to deal with coronavirus: blame the LGBT community.

Last week, an Orthodox rabbi in Israel and an American pastor both claimed that coronavirus was divine punishment for allowing LGBT people to exist.

Rabbi Meir Mazuz claimed over the weekend that Covid-19 was retribution for nations that allow LGBT Pride parades. As evidence of his claims, Mazuz said that nations are being afflicted with coronavirus for supporting LGBTQ equality, “except for the Arab countries that don’t have this evil inclination.”

That statement is false, the World Health Organization currently reports confirmed cases of coronavirus across the Middle East. Iran in particular has seen one of the worst outbreaks of the virus.

Also Christian pastor Steven Andrew who declared March to be LGBT Sin Month has suggested that coronavirus is God trying to destroy LGBT societies. He said: “Our safety is at stake, since national disobedience of God’s laws brings danger and diseases, such as coronavirus, but obeying God brings covenant protection. God protects the USA from danger as the country repents of LGBT, false gods, abortion and other sins.”

Mazuz and Anderson aren’t the first religious conservatives to try to connect LGBT people to coronavirus. In January, Rick Wiles, a right-wing pastor and broadcaster who was granted press credentials by the White House, claimed that coronavirus was sent by God to “purge” LGBT people.

In front of these lies and hate speeches, the health authorities currently recommends: avoid close contact with people who are sick; cover your cough or sneeze with a fixed elbow or tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash; avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands; clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces; and wash your hands frequently with hot water and soap for 20 seconds.

Be safe folks and stay at home!

Friday, March 13, 2020

Tom of Finland centenary exhibition comes to London

Tom of Finland's homoerotic works coming to London in first major UK solo exhibition. The exhibition will go on display in London from 6/3 to 28/6 as part of a new exhbition celebrating 100 years since the birth of artist Touko Laaksonen. 

The House of Illustration in King's Cross, London, will host the first major solo art show dedicated to the late Finnish artist in March 2020. The exhbition, which will feature around 40 works dating from the 1960s-80s, will also include previously unseen works from the Tom of Finland Foundation in Los Angeles.

Born in southwestern Finland in 1920, Touko Laaksonen would go on to become one of the most influential gay artists of the century, drawing popular acclaim for his highly stylised homoerotic illustrations, which cunningly circumvented restrictive censorship laws of thw 1950s and '60s.

The upcoming Tom of Finland exhibition in London isn't the only way the birth of Touko Laaksonen is being marked, a popular gay porn site recently announced a three-part adult film series based on the artist's work starring model and influencer Matthew Camp.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Canada considers legislation to restrict conversion therapy nationwide

David Lametti, the Canada’s justice minister, and Bardish Chagger, the minister of diversity and youth, introduced a bill to restrict conversion therapy nationally. Lametti called the proposal the “most progressive and comprehensive in the world” seeking to limit the discredited and harmful practice of trying to turn LGBT people straight or cisgender.

The new legislation would make it illegal to cause a minor to undergo conversion therapy; to remove a minor from Canada to undergo conversion therapy in another country; cause a person to undergo conversion therapy against their will; profit from providing conversion therapy; or advertise an offer to provide conversion therapy.

“Conversion therapy is a cruel practice that can lead to lifelong trauma, particularly for young people,” Lametti said. “The approach we are proposing today demonstrates our Government’s strong commitment to protecting the dignity and equality rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and two-spirit Canadians, by criminalizing a practice that discriminates against and harms them. If passed, this bill would make Canada’s laws on conversion therapy the most progressive and comprehensive in the world,”he added.

“We all have a role to play to make sure LGBTQ2 persons feel safe and can fully participate in Canadian society,” Chagger said. “The progressive legislation we proposed today will help to ensure that everyone, everywhere in Canada can be who they truly are, and live full, healthy, and safe lives,” she added.

Chagger and Lametti introducing the new bill

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Putin submits plans for constitutional ban on same-sex marriage

Vladimir Putin has submitted a draft amendment to Russia’s constitution that would enshrine marriage as between a man and a woman in a conservative update to the country’s founding document.

The measure was reportedly part of a 24-page document submitted by the president that would also name Russia as the successor to the Soviet Union; explicitly mention Russians’ “faith in God”; and ensure the “defence of historical truth” regarding the Soviet role in the second world war.

The draft submissions have not yet been made public but were described to journalists in a series of briefings by high-ranking members of the Duma, the lower house of the Russian parliament.

Putin is planning to amend the constitution for the first time since 1993, and the move has been initially seen as a way for him to hold on to power after 2024, when as things stand he will no longer be able to serve as president because of term limits.

His direct support for the amendments makes it likely they will go through. He has taken an increasingly conservative turn in his fourth term as president, and has enjoyed support from both patriotic groups and the Russian Orthodox church.

But plans for a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage have come together quickly, appearing to crystallise during a speech last month. “As far as ‘Parent No 1’ and ‘Parent No 2’ goes, I’ve already spoken publicly about this and I’ll repeat it again: as long as I’m president this will not happen. There will be Dad and Mum,” Putin affirmed.

Russia is a very homophobic place, especially after 2013 when the law that bans so-called gay propaganda was approved.

LGBT activists face jail for their protests in Russia

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Olympic diver Matthew Mitcham has married his partner Luke Rutherford

Olympic diver Matthew Mitcham has married his partner Luke Rutherford. The couple took to Instagram to reveal the news.

The Australian Olympic diving champion came out two months prior to winning the gold medal at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, but back in 2018 he revealed he was worried he would have been "isolated and rejected" in his home country.

Mitcham, who moved to Oxfordshire with his British boyfriend, announced his engagement to his partner last year with a sweet Instagram post.

And now, Mitcham has revealed the couple tied the knot this month and posted to Instagram: "After a sustained period of lovely gestures, loyalty, gazing adoringly and many trips to Ikea, I managed to trick @lukeyluke8 into falling in love with me, proposing to me and finally marrying me. Now he’s stuck with me forever and ever, ha!"

Congrats to the newlyweds!!!

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Cuban television has to apologize for censoring a gay kiss in a movie

Cuban state television had to apologize to the audience “for the mutilation” of a scene from the movie “Love, Simon” in which the two young gay protagonists kissed.

The omission of the kiss scene immediately provoked criticism and protests on social networks by LGTB activists, who called the group to concentrate and kiss in front of the headquarters of the Cuban Institute of Radio and Television (ICRT) in Havana.

In a statement collected by the official media, the Cuban Television described as “error” the omission of the scene and advanced that “the corresponding analysis is made, because the omission does not respond to homophobic positions of the ICRT and its directors of the TVC, as some have referred on social networks.“

ICRT announced that they will reissue the production “in full.”

Watch the trailer below:

Monday, March 2, 2020

Pete Buttigieg drops out of Democratic presidential race

Pete Buttigieg, the first openly gay major presidential candidate, said he was dropping out of the Democratic race, following a crushing loss in the South Carolina primary where his poor performance with black Democrats signaled an inability to build a broad coalition of voters.

The decision comes just 48 hours before the biggest voting day of the primary, Super Tuesday, when 15 states and territories will allot about one-third of the delegates over all. The results were widely expected to show him far behind Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Senator Bernie Sanders.

Buttigieg canceled plans for a Sunday night rally in Dallas and a Monday morning fund-raiser in Austin, Tex., to return to South Bend. “Sometimes the longest way around really is the shortest way home,’’ he told supporters to loud cheers.

“The truth is that the path has narrowed to a close, for our candidacy if not for our cause,” he said, adding “Tonight I am making the difficult decision to suspend my campaign for the presidency.”

On a conference call with campaign donors on Sunday evening, Buttigieg said he had reached the decision with regret but concluded it was “the right thing to do, when we looked at the math,” according to one person on the call. Without mentioning opponents by name, Buttigieg said he was concerned about the impact he would have on the race by staying in, saying Democrats needed to field “the right kind of nominee” against Mr. Trump.

Buttigieg has never held statewide or national office but made a strong run in the Democratic primary, winning the Iowa caucuses narrowly from Bernie Sanders, now the national frontrunner, to whom he placed second in New Hampshire. He has really made history, and this is only the beginning of a great political career.

I donot say goodbye Pete, I say... see you soon!

Watch his speech below:

Saturday, February 29, 2020

Gay groups still cannot participate in Staten Island St. Patrick's Parade

Organizers of the Staten Island St. Patrick’s Day parade continue to exclude gay groups from marching, the only Irish parade in city that continues to do so. The decision grows more baffling, and damaging, with each passing year.

One parade organizer recently told that the parade is a “non-sexual identification parade, and that’s that.”

In years past, others have pointed to Catholic Church teachings against homosexuality as a justification for prohibiting gays from marching openly.

A separate committee organizes the parade, but the event is identified with a local chapter of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, a Roman Catholic fraternal order.

LGBT groups now participate in St. Patrick’s Day parades both large and small across the New York region and the United States. But in Staten Island, the city’s least populous and most conservative borough, the parade has not changed.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

China is ready for same-sex marriage

China may get marriage equality faster than anyone thought, after the public called for it in huge numbers.

In late 2019, the country’s top legislative body allowed the public to make suggestions for an updated draft of China’s Civil Code. And Chinese people replied with an avalance of submissions. Nearly 250,000 sent feedback in just one month.

But they surprised LGBT+ activists and the government alike with the most popular suggestion. Over 190,000 of them made the same proposal: legalize same-sex marriage.

Just as significantly, polling indicates that the public response to the government’s Civil Code consultation was not an isolated incident. In December, Chinese news site polled 10million people and 66% of the respondents favored legalizing same-sex marriage.

In the past, Chinese officials have been reluctant to address LGBT issues in public. But these results are so overwhelming, they have now publicly acknowledged that legalizing gay marriage has huge popular support.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

A third of Poland declared ‘LGBT-free zone'

Polish municipalities across an area greater than the size of Hungary have adopted resolutions that critics say discriminate against LGBT people and make intolerance official. A third of Poland has declared itself to be an official “LGBT-free” zone as local municipalities sign a pledge adopting resolutions against “LGBT propaganda”.

Nearly 100 Polish municipal or local governments have now proclaimed themselves to be “free from LGBTI ideology”. Local authorities in these areas pledge to refrain from acts that encourage tolerance and must avoid providing financial assistance to NGOs working to promote equal rights.

European Parliament passed a resolution that strongly condemned the concept of LGBT-free zones last December. It called on Poland to “firmly condemn” LGBT discrimination and to revoke resolutions attacking LGBT rights, and instructed the European Commission to ensure that EU funds are not “being used for discriminatory purposes”.

This warning was ignored by the ruling party Law and Justice (PiS), who are largely responsible for driving the upswing anti-LGBT sentiment in Poland.

Equality parades in Poland are routinely attacked by far-right activists who violently oppose Pride-goers with homophobic chants and explosive projectiles. In fact, Polish hate crime laws provide little deterrent as they do not cover sexuality or gender identity. 

In red, the municipalities which signed the 'LGBT-free' pledge

Monday, February 24, 2020

9 year old boy asks Pete Buttigieg to help him tell the world he is gay

Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg had a rally at the Crowne Plaza Denver Airport Convention Center. At the end of the night, the candidate took questions from audience members drawn from a bowl.

Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold was called on to read the questions. “The next question comes from Zachary, aged 9,” she declared before reading on.

“He says, ‘Thank you for being so brave, would you help me tell the world I’m gay too? I want to be brave like you.'” Buttigieg then invites the young man to join him on the stage.

“I don’t think you need a lot of advice from me on bravery,” Buttigieg said to cheers from the crowd. “You seem pretty strong.”

Buttigieg then took a moment to share advise with young Zachary: “I was afraid that who I was might mean that I could never make a difference and what wound up happening instead is that it’s a huge part of the difference I get to make. I never could have seen that coming and you’ll never know whose life you might be affecting right now, just by standing here. Right now. There’s a lot of power in that,” he said.

He finished with a message of hope and solidarity: “Even if I can’t promise it will always be easy, I can promise you that I’m going to be rooting for you and I think there’s a whole bunch of people here who are going to be rooting you every step of the way,” Pete said.

Watch the video below:

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Pete Buttigieg on Ellen DeGeneres Show

Democratic presidential candidate and former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg told on Ellen DeGeneres show that one of the strongest people he knows "is my husband... Brad Pitt." 

The joke was a callback to Buttigieg's appearance on The Ellen Show in April, when DeGeneres asked the candidate about his husband, Chasten Buttigieg, and pointed to him in the audience, only to reveal Brad Pitt. Chasten was in the audience this time, sitting next to DeGeneres' wife, Portia de Rossi.

It followed Buttigieg's response to conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh's controversial Feb. 12 comments over whether America is "ready" to elect a gay man as president.

"OK, how's this going to look," Limbaugh said. "37-year-old gay guy kissing his husband on stage next to Mr. Man Donald Trump? What's going to happen there?" He went on to say America is "still not ready to elect a gay guy kissing his husband on the debate stage."

Asked by DeGeneres about Limbaugh's comments, Buttigieg raised his eyes to the audience and laughed. "Look, I guess he just has a different idea of what makes a man than I do," he said.

"And since when is strength about the chest pounding and the loud-mouth guy at the end of the bar? The strongest people that I know are not the loudest people. They're the ones who have the deepest sense of who they are and what they value and what they care about," he added.

It wasn't all laughs with the candidate. DeGeneres asked Buttigieg about his low polling numbers with minorities, particularly African Americans. While he's had success in the primaries so far, both states Iowa and New Hampshire are overwhelmingly white. "I think it's gotta begin with humility," Pete told Ellen.

"I think the next best thing I can do is to show up, to listen, to learn and to elevate those voices. And so what we're trying to do is make sure that those voices are elevated in my campaign as a way to demonstrate what it will be like in my presidency, too."

Ellen also asked Pete about his commitment to party unity in light of a contentious debate earlier in the week in Nevada. He criticized candidate Sen. Amy Klobuchar for not knowing the name of Mexico's president, and he went after Sen. Bernie Sanders as a socialist who "wants to burn this party down." He also implied that Sanders and former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg aren't actually Democrats.

"I think the heat of competition obviously draws out our differences," Pete said. "But it's also important to remember that at the end of the day, I think Democrats share the same broad values. And there's going to be one nominee. And whoever it is, we have got to rally around that nominee if we want to defeat this president, and I'm committed to doing that."

To me, he is the candidate. Watch the enterview below:

Friday, February 21, 2020

Student protest for dismissal of two teachers for being gay in Washington

Students at Kennedy Catholic High School in Burien, Washington, staged both a sit-in and a walkout after two beloved teachers, Paul Danforth and Michelle Beattie, were forced to resign for being gay.

People gathered at both protests said in interviews that they demand both the reinstatement of the teachers and a change in the church’s stance on same-sex relationships. Many, including Catholic-school graduate Grace Armstrong, pointed to what she called a contradiction between Jesus’s message of acceptance and love and the church’s policies. 

They spilled out onto the lawn and spoke into a microphone in front of a banner that read, “Who would Jesus fire? #LoveisLove.” 

A GoFundMe campaign had raised nearly $35,000 to help Paul and Michelle cover expenses until they can find other jobs.

Supporters of the teachers also protested outside the local Seattle Archdiocese offices, watch it below:

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Daddyhunt: the serial

A young man mistakes his salt&pepper older neighbor for a handyman, which begins a gay romance story for the modern age. This Award Winning 'Short Movie Version' combines Seasons 1, 2 and 3 of the web series, which was originally conceived to promote the gay dating app 'Daddyhunt'.

In December 2014, Carl Sandler launched Daddyhunt, a mobile, gay dating-app for older men and their admirers. He wrote and produced a web series to promote his app called Daddyhunt: The Serial (2016). It consisted of five episodes that were between 1 to 2 minutes in length. The whole thing was 7 minutes total. It was a very simple and adorable story about an older man who meets a younger guy in a new apartment building but a misunderstanding threatens their coupling. 

In April 2017, a second season was released that picks up right where the first season left off. It was a little bit longer. This time, it was divided into seven episodes or seven parts, each part being about 2 minutes or less with the exception of the last part. The second season in total was 13 minutes and involved the two men discovering their different sexual habits and worrying if those differences mean they won’t be a good match. The last part seemed to suggest a fairy tale ending with the two walking off happily in love.

In October 2018, season 3 continues the saga of two men who connect on the social network Daddyhunt. The daddy and boy’s happy romance is tested when a past love brings to the surface some insecurities and doubts that have profound consequences on the couple. Meanwhile, the BFF meets his romantic match in a self-depreciating dork, but things take a turn for the worse once his HIV status is discovered. And the ex’s hopes of a reconciliation with the daddy may be within reach, with a little help… Two months later, all their lives converge and each needs to decide whether to let history hold them back or to take a second chance on love.

To date, it has received over 10 million views across Facebook and YouTube.

Watch it below:

Season 1: All episodes

Season 2: Part 1

Season 2: Part 2

Season 3: Part 1

Season 3: Part 2

Monday, February 17, 2020

Putin vows to never permit same-sex marriage in Russia

President Vladimir Putin has vowed to never permit same-sex marriage or parenting in Russia.

“As far as ‘parent number 1’ and ‘parent number 2’ goes, I’ve already spoken publicly about this and I’ll repeat it again: As long as I’m president this will not happen. There will be dad and mum,” Putin said.

He also endorsed amending the constitution to prevent same-sex marriages. “We need only to think in what phrases and where to do this,” he said. The possible changes to Russia’s constitution appear to be designed to help Putin keep influencing the nation’s affairs even after he leaves office in 2024,

Putin’s Russia is a very homophobic and transphobic place, especially given the 2013 law that bans so-called gay propaganda, really, any positive mention of LGBT identity that would be accessible to minors. And Putin has largely ignored the persecution of LGBT people in Chechnya, a semiautonomous republic within Russia.

LGBT rights are constantly trampled in Russia

Saturday, February 15, 2020

The Arab world's only gay radio station is in Tunisia

In Tunis, the Tunisian capital, there is Shams Rad, the Arab world's first LGBT radio station. It is low budget but professional, with enough space for seven contributors. The corridors are painted in the colours of the LGBT rainbow flag.

"I was the first person to annoy people in the media and speak openly about LGBT issues in Tunisia on air," says Bouhdid Belhedi, director of Shams Rad.

Bouhdid says that six months after the station was set up, it has 10,000 listeners each week across 15 countries, and is streamed online and live via YouTube six days a week.

The station plays music and issues are discussed in depth but LGBT contributors don't identify themselves as sexually active on air.

The Dutch embassy in Tunis is partly funding the station and after international pressure and a legal challenge, the station's parent organisation, Shams, was officially recognised. This is believed to be the first time any LGBT group has gained this status in North Africa.

Homosexuality is both illegal and widely considered to be unacceptable in Tunisia, and same-sex relations are punishable by up to three years in prison.

“I hope this will make a difference and create more tolerance. That is why we are here,” Bouhdid added.

Contributors cannot be displayed

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Pete Buttigieg is the frontrunner in delegates right now

Bernie Sanders won the popular vote in both the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary, but Pete Buttigieg is leading the field in delegates won thanks to how delegates are allocated. Right now, Buttigieg has early victories under his belt and slightly more delegates than any other candidate.

Democratic presidential contenders are heading to a critical stage of the primary race after Iowa and New Hampshire showed a sharply divided party that is undecided on who is best placed to face Donald Trump in November.

Sanders and Buttigieg have emerged as the two leaders after strong showings in the Hawkeye and Granite states, but they face a much different electorate in the next contests in Nevada and South Carolina.

While polls over the past few months have consistently shown former Vice President Joe Biden leading in South Carolina, and near the top in Nevada, much of the landscape has changed.

The biggest prize, however, will come on Super Tuesday on March 3, when about a third of all pledged delegates will be allocated, with the potential to shake up the race. 

This just started!

Buttigieg has more delegates than any other candidate

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Joaquin Phoenix supports queer rights in Oscar speech

Joaquin Phoenix is continuing to use his platform for good and shining light on progressive causes. 

In an emotional acceptance speech for the Best Actor in a Leading Role award, which he won for his role as the controversial DC Comic villain Joker, the veteran actor talked about how one of the greatest gifts being a notable celebrity has given him is "the opportunity to use our voice for the voiceless." 

He then talked about his support for many different causes for equality, including women's rights, animal rights, and queer rights.

"I do not feel elevated above any of my fellow nominees or anyone in this room, because we share the same love, the love of film and this form of expression has given me the most extraordinary I don’t know what I’d be without it. But I think the greatest gift that it has given me, and many of us in this room, is the opportunity to use our voice for the voiceless," Phoenix said. 

"Whether we’re talking about gender inequality or racism or queer rights or indigenous rights or animal rights, we’re talking about the fight against the belief, one nation, one race, one gender or one species has the right to dominate, control and use and exploit another with impunity," he added.

Watch the moment below:

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Switzerland backs law against LGBT discrimination

Swiss voters approved a proposed law to make homophobia a criminal offence in the country. Results show opponents clearly lagging behind.

The support of the extended anti-racism law, aimed at improving protection against discrimination based on sexual orientation, are likely to win about 60% of the vote.

The reform was approved by parliament in 2018, but a small ultra-conservative religious group, supported by the right-wing Swiss People’s Party, then collected enough signatures to force a nationwide ballot.

Opponents, who forced the referendum ballot, admitted defeat but vowed to fight against further amendments for other social minorities.

Campaigners from the LGBT community described the result as a "clear signal against hatred". They said they will continue to their political fight for same-sex marriage due to be discussed in parliament next month. 

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Utah bans LGBT conversion therapy for children

Utah has became the 19th U.S. state to ban conversion therapy aimed at changing sexual orientation or gender identity in lesbian, gay, transsexual, bisexual and queer children.

The ban in the Republican-dominated state, which took effect on Wednesday, exempts members of the clergy, lay pastors, and spiritual counselors not licensed by the state from the ban. Despite those limits, this is still a big victory in a very conservative state.

Conversion therapy involves a variety of psychological and spiritual practices aimed at changing sexual orientation and gender identity in the belief that homosexuality and transgender identity are mental illnesses.

The American Psychological Association has called the treatment harmful to young people. The American Medical Association has said that conversion therapy does not work and can trigger depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and suicide attempts.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Pete Buttigieg leads in Iowa caucuses!

Yes! Iowa made it possible! Pete Buttigieg leads in Iowa caucuses!

Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg claimed a measure of victory in Iowa, telling supporters at his caucus watch party that the state had "shocked the nation."

A Buttigieg win or top finish in Iowa would be historic, marking the furthest an openly gay candidate has come to securing a party's presidential nomination. 

Buttigieg's potential strength in rural areas. During his campaigning in Iowa, he had tried to argue that he can bring in not only Democrats but independents and what he calls “future former Republicans.” He said that’s important in rural areas and industrial small towns where Trump had strength in 2016.

He declared: "Tonight’s results not only represent an astonishing victory for our movement, they validate the message of belonging that brought us here. If you believe that a new and better vision can bring about a better day, join us."

"With hope in our hearts and fire in our bellies, we’re going on to New Hampshire, on to the nomination, and on to chart a new course for our country," he added.

Jim Donchess, Mayor of Nashua, the second city in New Hampshire, endorsed Pete Buttigieg on Tuesday ahead of the state's presidential primary next week, citing the "unifying vision" of the former South Bend mayor's campaign.

"As a fellow mayor, I know firsthand that we don’t have the luxury of letting politics get in the way of what matters most, delivering for the people who depend on you. It’s time we had someone in the White House who understood that," Donchess said in a statement. 

"As president, Pete will serve communities like Nashua because he comes from a community like ours, and he will bring the voices of working people from cities and towns across America to Washington," he continued. 

New Hampshire, it is your turn to make History!!!

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Help Yulia to avoid jail under Russian gay propaganda law

When Yulja heard about a same-sex couple who had to flee Russia with their two adopted children after being targeted by the authorities, she drew a picture to show her solidarity.

After she shared this and other drawings promoting inclusivity on social media, the authorities brought trumped-up charges against her for violating the Russian "gay propaganda" law and distributing pornography, fined her 50,000 rubles (around 800 USD), and put her under house arrest. She could face up to six years in prison.

She is not the first person to be targeted under the "gay propaganda" law. But with your help, she might be the last. If enough people speak up, the charges might be dropped, and the "gay propaganda" law abolished once and for all.

Sign Yulja’s petition here.

To face prison for drawing this picture is unacceptable

Monday, February 3, 2020

Gay Chechnya survivor gets standing ovation at Sundance Film Festival

A gay man who survived persecution in Chechnya received a standing ovation at the Sundance Film Festival.

Maxim Lapunov was one of the panelists following the screening of Welcome to Chechnya, a documentary by David France about the violent persecution of LGBT community within the Russian republic.

Over 150 people have reportedly been detained, and some killed, in Chechnya since 2017 when the Chechen government first began a "cleansing" campaign against queer people. Lapunov, a Russian who was among those captured and tortured, is one of the few survivors to have come forward publicly about his ordeal. 

Sundance marked the world premiere of Welcome to Chechnya, which "shadows a group of activists risking unimaginable peril to confront the ongoing anti-LGBT pogrom raging in the repressive and closed Russian republic," according to its festival description. 

The documentary, for which filmmakers obtained unprecedented access to survivors, used digital blurring to mask faces and protect their identities. Early reviews have praised the film as "devastatingly brave" and praised France as "America’s foremost documentarian on LGBT issues."

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Iowans, make it possible!

South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg pushed back on the idea a gay candidate couldn’t win election as president, saying the United States are “absolutely” ready.

According polls, American voters say they’re ready to support a gay candidate for president. Specifically 50 percent of voters say they are ready to back a gay candidate, compared to 37 percent who are not. 

If the 2020 presidential election were held today and it was between Trump and Buttigieg, 49 per cent of registered voters would opt for Buttigieg while only 40 per cent would vote for Trump, the Quinnipiac poll shows.

This is it. In a few days, Iowans get to decide. If you’re ready for something different, something better, he needs your help.

Make it possible!!!

Monday, January 27, 2020

A majority of Czech citizens support same-sex marriage

A new poll shows the support for marriage equality in the Czech Republic is soaring, with around two-thirds of the public backing same-sex marriage.

67 percent of Czechs are of the view that gays and lesbians should have the possibility to get married. And 78 percent of the respondents agreed that homosexuals could adopt a child of their partners and 62 percent say they should get a chance to adopt children from institutional care.

The poll also suggests that support and opposition for marriage equality rather cleanly sits on generational lines. Support for marriage equality is cleanly divided between young and old Czech citizens.

This comes after a bill to legalise same-marriage was introduced to the country’s lower house in 2018. Despite attempts to stonewall the legislation, the Government announced its support for the bill.

Although, it has since been pelted with postponements since a vote was scheduled to take place. Deliberations, at times lasting seven hours, have stalled the bill and it has not been discussed since early 2019.

Public support is very important. It is time Czech Republic!!!

Czech Republic is brink of legalizing marriage equality

Friday, January 24, 2020

An activist denounces the LGBT-free zones in Poland

An activist has released pictures of gay people in front of Polish municipalities that declared themselves LGBT-free. Bart Staszewski said he wanted to show the real people affected by the crackdown on gay rights in Poland.

Last year, 80 municipalities in Poland declared themselves free of LGBT ideology, pledging to refrain from encouraging tolerance of gay people. Local authorities in the LGBT-free municipalities pledge to refrain from acts that encourage tolerance and must avoid providing financial assistance to NGOs working to promote equal rights.

The surge against LGBT rights in Poland gained pace ahead of the country’s general election, with ruling party Law and Justice (PiS) launching a tirade of abuse towards the country’s LGBT community as a key part of its campaign.

Party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski directly targeted LGBT people in frequent demonising speeches. “We are dealing with a direct attack on the family and children, the sexualization of children, that entire LBGT movement, gender,” he said.

This can not be accepted in the EU, what the European Comission is waiting for to take action against Polish authorities for this new apartheid in Europe?

Poland has unacceptable LGBT-free zones