This blog covers world political issues, mostly about LGBT news and rights, and other topics of my interest.
Thursday, September 30, 2021
Taiwan court rules trans woman can change gender without surgery
Wednesday, September 29, 2021
Michigan marching band shows support to LGBT community
The University of Michigan marching band celebrated the school's LGBT students, staff, and supporters with a homecoming halftime show dedicated to the 50th anniversary of the university’s Spectrum Center, a space at the school that supports, advocates, and educates around LGBT topics.
“The point we were trying to make is that love is love. And love wins,” marching band's director John Pasquale explained. The concept was also the starting point for him and his team for the rest of the show. From there, they expanded the concept into the music, marching formations, and visuals. Pasquale said that his team also went to the band's LGBT students and asked what songs they resonated with and which were representative of their experiences.
Music from the performance included hits from Diana Ross, Lady Gaga, Whitney Houston, Madonna, Kim Petras, Andrew Gold, Sister Sledge, and Cyndi Lauper. The show took about seven months to plan and coordinate.
A performance for the LGBT community to feel seen and to feel valued and respected. Awesome!!!
Tuesday, September 28, 2021
F1 champion Fernando Alonso supports LGBT rights in Russia race
F1 champion Fernando Alonso went to the pre-race ceremony in Russian race with "pro LGBT/human rights" shirt instead of the standard "we race as one" shirt.
The shirt sentences in rainbow colors were:
- Science is real
- Black lives matter
- No human is illegal
- Love is love
- Women's rights are human rights
- Kindness is everything
One month ago, in Hungarian race, F1 champion Sebastian Vettel also opted to wear a rainbow-coloured shirt with the words "Same Love" in a clear message against Hungary's anti-LGBT law.
Monday, September 27, 2021
Two trans women win seats in Germany’s parliament
Two transgender women have made history in Germany when they were elected to parliament.
Tessa Ganserer, 44, from Nuremberg in southeastern Bavaria, and Nyke Slawik, 27, from North Rhine-Westphalia, are both members of the Green Party, which is expected to play a pivotal role in a new three-way coalition government after a surprise win by the left-wing Social Democrats.
Both politicians have vowed to push for new laws protecting the LGBT community. They want to make it easier for lesbian mothers to adopt children, as well as make it easier to ratify a sex change on identity documents.
In any case, it's a historic victory for the trans-emancipatory movement and for the entire queer community.
Sunday, September 26, 2021
Switzerland says Yes! to same-sex marriage
Switzerland finally voted 'yes' to same-sex marriage in a nationwide referendum with 64%, this is the culmination of eight long years of drawn out debate and intense campaigning.
The parliamentary work on this project lasted eight years. It was launched in 2013 by a parliamentary initiative from the centrist Liberal Green Party. Several versions of the text were debated by lawmakers before parliament in December 2020 accepted an amendment to the civil code to legalise marriage between two women or two men.
The amended law will make it possible for same-sex couples to get married, and to adopt children unrelated to them. Married lesbian couples would also be allowed to have children through sperm donation, currently legal only for married heterosexual couples. It will also make it easier for foreign spouses of a Swiss individual to get citizenship.
The country is one of the last western European nations without marriage equality and only introduced its first law banning anti-LGBT discrimination as recently as February 2020.
Saturday, September 25, 2021
Restrictions for gay men to donate blood ended in Germany
Homosexual men can now donate blood more easily than before in Germany.
The German Medical Association and the Paul Ehrlich Institute responsible for the safety of blood products have updated the relevant guidelines.
Up until now it was the case that people with so-called sexual risk behavior could only donate blood if they stated that they had ended this risk behavior at least twelve months before the donation.
From a scientific point of view, what is known as risk behavior occurs, among other things, in men who have sex with other men. Heterosexual men and women who frequently change partners also belong to the risk group.
This period has now been reduced to four months, according to the new directive.
The fact that blood donations from people with sexual risk behavior is handled differently than donations from people who live in a stable partnership is justified in the opinion of the German Medical Association.
However, new studies have shown that a period of four months is sufficient to safely rule out possible infections. If the so-called sexual risk behavior was at least four months ago at the time of the donation, this would "not lead to an increase in the risk for the recipients of blood and blood products", according to the German Medical Association.
The scientists expressly do not assess sexual orientation precisely to avoid any appearance of discrimination.
Israel authorities recently decided the same.
Thursday, September 23, 2021
A Poland region renounces to the ‘LGBT-free zone’ adopted in 2019
A region in Poland has gone back on its declaration of being an “LGBT-free zone” after the threat of losing European Union funding.
Świętokrzyskie’s regional assembly voted to revoke the resolution, first passed in 2019. It is the first such U-turn in Poland. At a meeting of the region’s assembly, no one opposed the move to withdraw from the previous anti-LGBT declaration and only three councillors abstained.
In 2019, the Polish Government declared itself free of LGBT ideology after warning the LGBT movement imported into Poland "threatens our identity, our nation, its continued existence, and therefore the Polish state”.
The adoption of LGBT-free zones has set Poland on a collision course with the European Commission, the executive branch of the EU, which is responsible for enforcing EU laws.
Tuesday, September 21, 2021
LGBT veterans, discharged dishonorably for sexual orientation, now can get full benefits
LGBT veterans who were kicked out of the military under the 'Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell' policy of the 1990s and 2000s will now be eligible for government benefits, the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) announced.
The statement comes on the 10th anniversary of the repeal of the controversial 1993 policy, which banned LGBT service members who were open about their sexual orientation from serving in the military.
The policy was enacted under former President Bill Clinton’s administration in 1993, and it was repealed by former President Barack Obama on 2011.
'Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell' policy forced about 14,000 service members out of the military during the 17 years that the policy was in place. Those troops were given other-than-honorable discharges, making them ineligible for many DVA benefits, including health care, disability compensation, home loans and burial benefits.
Although DVA recognizes that the trauma caused by the military’s decades-long policy of discrimination against LGBT people cannot be undone in a few short months, the Biden administration and Secretary McDonough are taking the steps necessary to begin addressing the pain that such policies have created.
This historic move ends an unjust practice and creates a smoother pathway for life-saving benefits like healthcare, pensions, and housing assistance to finally go to the LGBT service members, who were discharged only because of who they are.
Monday, September 20, 2021
LGBT people are terrified at being hunted down by the Taliban in Afghanistan
Afghanistan's LGBT community members have urged human rights advocates across the globe to help them as they are terrified at being hunted down by the Taliban, who have taken control of the country.
Homosexuality has been technically illegal in Afghanistan for years, but had not been prosecuted since the U.S. and its NATO allies drove the Taliban from power in 2001.
For now, no official statement from Taliban has been made regarding enforcement of strict religious laws against Afghanistan's LGBT citizens. But the true is LGBT people cannot go out because they are just scared for their lives and all of them are closeted at home amid the Taliban takeover.
Under the terror group’s brutal interpretation of Sharia law, gay sex carries a death sentence. Its previous regime, 1996-2001, they killed at least a dozen homosexual men by crushing them to death under stone walls toppled by tanks or bulldozers.
In July 2021, a judge from the radical Islamist group vowed to sentence gay men again to death by stoning or by being crushed by a nine-foot wall.
Sunday, September 19, 2021
Outrage in Spain over a neo-Nazi demonstration in the gay district of Chueca in Madrid
A demonstration by neo-Nazi and neo-fascist groups in Madrid’s gay district of Chueca has caused great concern in Spain as homophobic and racist chanting is heard.
Some of the chants heard coming from the neo-Nazi marchers reportedly included, “Out with queers from our neighborhoods”, "Stop Gay Agenda", and, “Here are the fascists”, along with a selection of racist chants, with videos of the march that were posted on social networks creating huge outrage.
Chueca is famous as being Madrid’s meeting point for the LGTB collective and main focal area for LGBT Pride celebrations, along with other associations, centres, and shops that support similar themes.
About the causes of this type of xenophobic speeches and acts, all analysts agree that they are proliferated because the far-right party Vox and some allies from Popular Party, with a parliamentary presence in Spain and Madrid, are encouraging this hate speech and giving coverage to the most intolerant and extremist individuals.
Human Rights activists were warning that attacks on queer people increased in Spain in recent times, but some of the scenes seen in Madrid did look like old Nazi parades in Germany. What else has to happen in Spain for the institutions and people to put an end to this shame?
Friday, September 17, 2021
Montero was born
Lil Nas X just revealed the track list of his forthcoming debut album Montero. The 15-track collection includes guest Elton John, Doja Cat, Miley Cyrus, Megan Thee Stallion and Jack Harlow.
Lil Nas X recently won top prize at MTV Video Music Awards 2021 and honored by The Trevor Project with its first Suicide Prevention Advocate of the Year Award.
You can make a donation here to Lil Nas X & Happy Hippie Foundation, which empowers youth to fight injustice facing houseless youth, LGBTQ+ youth and other vulnerable communities.
Check out the full track list below:
- Montero (Call Me By Your Name)
- Industry Baby ft. Jack Harlow
- That's What I Want
- Scoop ft. Doja Cat
- Am I Dreaming ft. Miley Cyrus
- Lost In The Citadel
- Tales Of Dominica
- Life After Salem
- One Of Me ft. Elton John
- Dead Right Now
- Don't Want It
- Dolla Sign Slime ft. Megan Thee Stallion
- Sun Goes Down
Enjoy Montero here and watch the birth and That's What I Want videos below:
Thursday, September 16, 2021
Colorado Gov. weds in first same-sex marriage for sitting governor
Colorado Gov. Jared Polis married Marlon Reis, a writer and animal welfare advocate, at the University of Colorado campus in Boulder. The small Jewish ceremony was held outdoors and was officiated by Rabbi Tirzah Firestone. The wedding marks the first same-sex marriage of a sitting governor.
Jared previously made history in 2018, when he became the first openly gay man to be elected governor of a U.S. state. He is also Colorado’s first Jewish governor.
He and Marlon have two children: son Caspian Julius, 9, and daughter Cora, 7. The pair got engaged in December as Marlon was preparing to depart for the hospital after testing positive for COVID-19.
“The greatest lesson we have learned over the past 18 months is that life as we know it can change in an instant. We are thankful for the opportunity to celebrate our life together as a married couple,” the two men said in a statement on social media. “After 18 years together, we couldn’t be happier to be married at last.”
Congrats to the newlyweds!!!
Tuesday, September 14, 2021
Same-sex marriages and partnerships should be recognised across the EU
In a resolution on the rights of LGBT persons in the European Union (EU), adopted with 387 votes in favour, 161 against and 123 abstaining, the European Parliament emphasises that these citizens should be able to fully exercise their rights, including the right to free movement, everywhere in the Union.
The resolution states that marriages or registered partnerships formed in one member state should be recognised in all of them in a uniform way, and same-sex spouses and partners should be treated the same as their opposite-sex counterparts.
The resolution also urges all EU countries to accept the adults mentioned in a child’s birth certificate as their legal parents. More generally, MEPs want rainbow families to have the same right to family reunification as opposite-sex couples and their families. To ensure that children do not become stateless when their families move between member states. MEPs argue that families should be treated the same across the EU.
Finally, MEPs take note of the discrimination faced by the LGBT communities in Poland and Hungary. Parliament calls for further EU action (infringement procedures, judicial measures and budgetary tools) against these countries.
Monday, September 13, 2021
Lil Nas X wins top prize at MTV Video Music Awards 2021
Out rapper Lil Nas X was one of the night’s most celebrated artists at MTV’s 37th Video Music Awards ceremony. Alongside pop sensation Olivia Rodrigo and K-pop band BTS, Nas took home three Moon Person trophies.
The flamboyant rapper was easily the show’s bright spot, with only a few other out personalities in attendance, such as Billy Porter, Bretman Rock, and Megan Fox.
Lil Nas X’s world-shaking video for “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” earned three awards on the night, one for Best Direction, given to Nas alongside video co-director Tanu Muino, one for Visual Effects awarded to Mathematic, and the Video of the Year Award, the ceremony’s top honors.
“First I wanna say thank you to the gay agenda,” Lil Nas X said during his acceptance speech. “Let’s go gay agenda!”, he shouted.
Nas performed “Industry Baby” with featured rapper Jack Harlow, before segueing into “Montero.”
Recently, the Trevor Project announced that it honored out Lil Nas X with its first Suicide Prevention Advocate of the Year Award.
Friday, September 10, 2021
Almost half of LGBT people face discrimination and harassment at work
Almost half of LGBT people in the U.S. have experienced workplace discrimination at some point in their lives, according to a new report.
A study published by The Williams Institute additionally found that nearly 9% of LGBT workers said they had been fired or denied employment in the past year due to their LGBT identity. The number was even higher for LGBT people of color, over 11% of whom reported having faced unfair employment or hiring practices.
It also found that transgender people face shocking rates of bias on the job. Almost half of trans workers said they had been fired or not hired due to their gender identity. Additionally, over 22% of trans respondents said they had been sexually harassed within the past five years, compared to the approximately 12% of queer people who said the same.
The study’s findings underscore the dire need to pass the Equality Act, which would create sweeping federal protections for the LGBT community in areas like housing, education, and health care, in addition to shoring up the employment protections.
Wednesday, September 8, 2021
6 in 10 LGBT Europeans fear assault if they hold hands in public
Bad news from Europe, 6 in 10 LGBT Europeans would not hold a same-sex partner’s hand in public for fear of harassment or assault, according to a major study published. The survey found progress on tackling anti-LGBT discrimination had largely stalled in recent years and in some areas appears to be sliding backwards.
Too many LGBT people in Europe continue to live in the shadows, afraid of being ridiculed, discriminated or even attacked. Even though some countries have advanced LGBT equality, the survey findings show that overall there has been too little real progress, leaving many LGBT people vulnerable.
Just over half of LGBT adults said they were open about their sexual or gender identity all or most of the time, a rise from 36% in 2012. But 43% said they felt they had suffered discrimination over the last year, up from 37% in 2012.
About 60% of all respondents said they would always or often avoid holding hands with a same-sex partner in public for fear of being assaulted, threatened or harassed. Besides, more than one in 10 respondents reporting they had been sexually or physically assaulted in the last five years because they were LGBT.
In many countries across Europe, LGBT people believe life for is getting worse for them. Poland and Hungary have the highest rates of people reporting that intolerance was rising, but countries like France, Georgia or Spain have seen a spate of homophobic attacks in the recent months.
Tuesday, September 7, 2021
Church in Wales votes to bless same-sex marriages
The Anglican Church in Wales has voted to allow same-sex couples to be blessed in its churches, although same-sex marriages will still not be allowed.
The bill to allow the blessings and declaring it “pastorally unsustainable” to ban them was introduced by the church’s bench of bishops, and went to a vote by the church’s governing body.
All three orders of the church’s governing body passed the bill: the bishops voted unanimously, the clergy passed it by 28 to 12, with two abstentions, and the laity passed it by 49 to 10, with one abstention.
The bill will introduce blessings “experimentally” for five years, and individual clergy are free to decide whether or not to take part in the services.
The move puts the Welsh church at odds with the Church of England, which does not recognise same-sex marriage, nor does it bless same-sex couples, and it only allows clergy in same-sex couples to minister if they remain celibate.
Sunday, September 5, 2021
A big demonstration in Switzerland supporting same-sex marriage
Tens of thousands protested in Switzerland for the legalization of same-sex marriage in the country. They participated in the Zurich Pride parade with the slogan “You can do it. Marriage for everyone now.”
On September 26, Switzerland will hold a referendum on whether to push ahead with same-sex marriage. If a majority votes for the legalization of same-sex marriage, this would also allow couple to adopt children. In addition, lesbian couples would have easier access to sperm donations if they wanted to start a family and it would be easier for foreign partners to get Swiss citizenship.
The parliamentary work on this project lasted seven years. It was launched in 2013 by a parliamentary initiative from the centrist Liberal Green Party. Several versions of the text were debated by lawmakers before parliament in December 2020 accepted an amendment to the civil code to legalise marriage between two women or two men.
So far, same-sex couples in Switzerland can only get official approval for civil unions, which are not on equal footing as marriages. Switzerland is one of the four countries in Western Europe that bans marriage for homosexuals, along with Italy, Greece and Liechtenstein.
It's time Switzerland!!!
Saturday, September 4, 2021
Pete Buttigieg and husband Chasten announce birth of their adopted twins
In a post to social media, the U.S. Transportation Secretary and former candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination said: “Chasten and I … are delighted to welcome Penelope Rose and Joseph August Buttigieg to our family.” Sharing a picture of the babies, they said they were “beyond thankful for all the kind wishes since first sharing the news that we’re becoming parents”.
The Buttigiegs announced last month that they were engaged in the adoption process. They had put themselves on lists to adopt a baby or babies abandoned or surrendered, and were preparing by “going through home studies and parenting workshops, writing up descriptions of their family values and ideal weekends”.
Pete Buttigieg, is a former mayor of South Bend, Indiana who made a strong impression in the Democratic presidential primary in 2020. He is now the first out gay parent in the U.S. cabinet, having already become the first openly gay person to be confirmed by the US Senate for a cabinet post.
Congrats to the new parents!!
Lil Nas X honored by The Trevor Project
The Trevor Project announced that it has honored out Grammy Award-winning artist Lil Nas X with its first Suicide Prevention Advocate of the Year Award. The organization said Lil Nas X has shown a strong commitment to ending suicide among LGBT young people through his open and candid comments about his own experiences with his sexuality and suicide ideation.
The Trevor Project is the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBT youth. Research from the group has shown that 42 percent of LGBT have seriously considered attempting suicide over the last year, more than half of trans and nonbinary youth have.
“The Trevor Project is thrilled to honor Lil Nas X with the Suicide Prevention Advocate of the Year Award,” said Amit Paley, CEO and executive director at The Trevor Project. “His vulnerability in his journey to self acceptance and expression has created space for candid conversations around mental health and sexual identity, signaling to LGBTQ youth that they are not alone.”
In response to the award, Lil Nas X said that he appreciates the work of the Trevor Project, noting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity is still a real thing in our society.
“I often get messages from fans telling me about their struggles with depression and suicidal thoughts, and it made me realize that this was something bigger than myself,” he said. “If using my voice and expressing myself in my music can help even one kid out there who feels alone, then it was all worth it.”
Thursday, September 2, 2021
China bans not masculine enough men from TV
China’s government has banned effeminate men on TV and told broadcasters to promote “revolutionary culture,” broadening a campaign to tighten control over business and society and enforce official morality.
Broadcasters must “resolutely put an end to sissy men and other abnormal esthetics,” the TV regulator said, using an insulting slang term for effeminate men: “niang pao,” or literally, “girlie guns.”
That reflects official concern that Chinese pop stars, influenced by the sleek, girlish look of some South Korean and Japanese singers and actors, are failing to encourage China's young men to be masculine enough.
From last year, Chinese male stars are being censored by ear, literally. The country's most popular idols have been given awkward pixellation over their earlobes during TV programmes for wearing earrings to the shows. The 'earring ban' added to the prohibition to male singers singing hip hop, having tattoos, dyeing hair and acting in a 'sissy' way on TV, to stop 'alternative cultures' from spreading.
Homosexuality is not illegal in China and it was officially removed from a list of mental disorders in 2001. But experts and activists say LGBT people still face persistent discrimination and prejudice.
Wednesday, September 1, 2021
Mexican state legalises same-sex marriage and bans conversion therapy
Same-sex marriage has been legalised and conversion therapy banned in the Mexican state of Yucatan. It becomes the 22nd state in the country to allow same-sex weddings, with Sinaloa doing so in June and Baja California in August.
Yucatan’s Congress voted 20 to 5 to pass the measure allowing gay couples to marry, which altered Article 94 of the state’s constitution to define marriage as a “free and voluntary legal union” between two people.
In a unanimous vote, the legislature also criminalised conversion therapy in Yucatan and medical professionals or individuals gound guilty of practicing it will face up to three years in prison.
Congrats to Yucatan!!! Vamos Mexico!!!