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: