Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Cancellation of Taiwan World Pride shows China's bad influence


WorldPride 2025 would have been the first time a global lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer event was held in Asia.

Originally scheduled to be held in Taiwan, the event has been abruptly canceled due to disagreement over the naming of the event. Despite winning the bid to host the pride event under the name WorldPride Taiwan, organizers InterPride suddenly requested that the word "Taiwan" be dropped altogether.

This can be traced to external pressure from neighboring China.

The cancellation of the WorldPride 2025 event in Taiwan is not only a loss for LGBTQ rights in Asia. It's also emblematic of the influence of authoritarian regimes worldwide. 

InterPride admitted as much when it announced that it's seeking consultative status with the United Nations (UN), a status that would give it the same footing as other non-governmental organizations to take part in multilateral discussions on economic, social and human rights issues.

However, China repeatedly abuses its position at the United Nations to prevent groups that are critical of China from receiving UN accreditation.

Taiwan was the first country in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage. Yet it was denied the right to hold a global pride event. This is not the first time that China has interfered and tried to marginalize Taiwan's existence as an independent nation-state.



Saturday, September 24, 2022

#FreeIran

For Mahsa Amini!


 

Belgian bishops agree to bless same-sex unions

 

Bishops in Belgium have introduced a liturgy for the blessings of same sex couples in defiance of teaching from the Vatican.

A document issued by the Flemish-speaking bishops of Flanders also includes prayers, Scripture readings and suggested wording for same-sex couples to proclaim publicly and in a church setting before God how they are committed to one another.

The rite asks God to bless and perpetuate this commitment of love and fidelity between homosexual couples.

Cardinal Jozef De Kesel of Mechelen-Brussels and the other bishops behind the document, called “Being pastorally close to homosexual persons — For a welcoming Church that excludes no one”, argue however that their teachings are consistent with Amoris Laetitia (the Joy of Love), the 2016 post-synodal exhortation of Pope Francis on the pastoral care of families.

They say the document was issued as a “concrete response and fulfilment to the desire to give explicit attention to the situation of homosexual persons, their parents and families in the conduct of policy”.

“Every human being, regardless of his sexual orientation, must be respected in his dignity and treated with respect. We want to continue on that path by giving this pastoral relationship a more structural character,” the Belgian bishops say.

These prelates recognise that love is love. Love is more important than sexual behaviour, and love is something that the Church should always bless.



Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Pope Francis deposes Spanish ultra-bishop Reig Pla

 

Pope Francis has deposed Reig Pla, the ultra-conservative bishop of Alcala in Spain, months after submitting his resignation letter, and he will retire today. 

In his place, Jesús Vidal will act as apostolic administrator, but will not cease to be auxiliary bishop of Madrid. At 48, he is the youngest bishop in Spain.

Reig Pla was associated with initiatives against homosexuality and supporting conversion therapies. He had presided over masses in Dictator Franco’s name, and he was awarded by the far-right organization HazteOír in 2012 for “defending human dignity”. 

In a mass broadcast on public television, Reig Pla declared that homosexuals deserve to go to hell and their sexual condition makes them more likely to prostitution or become pederasts.

The deposes of Reig and the appointment of Vidal signifies the Pope's support to Madrid's cardinal Osoro, close to him, who puts one of his faithful in a demarcation dependent on his authority, and sends a clear message to the most conservative sector of the Spanish episcopate.

Recently, Pope Francis has inducted new cardinals from around the world, most of whom are young enough to have a say in any potential vote for the next pope. The selections hailed from Asia, Europe, Africa and the Americas. The new cardinals include men known for their progressive views and their pastoral work.

Something is changing in Catholic Church?



Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Qatar ambassador hears LGBTQ-rights appeal


Qatar’s ambassador to Germany was urged to abolish his country’s death penalty for homosexuality at a human rights congress hosted by the German soccer federation two months before the Middle East country hosts the 2022 World Cup

Fan representative Dario Minden switched to English to directly address the Qatari ambassador, Abdulla bin Mohammed bin Saud Al Thani, at the congress in Frankfurt. “I’m a man and I love men,” Minden said. “I do — please don’t be shocked — have sex with other men. This is normal. So please get used to it, or stay out of football. Because the most important rule in football is football is for everyone. It doesn’t matter if you’re lesbian, if you’re gay. It’s for everyone. For the boys. For the girls. And for everyone in between.”

Al Thani was to be given a chance to respond later, though his comments were to remain off-the-record. Only the opening 90 minutes of the federation's congress was broadcast to the public and no journalists were invited to the event. We don't know what he said.

But we know what Major General Abdulaziz Abdullah Al Ansari, a senior leader overseeing security for the tournament, previously said: the rainbow flags could be taken from fans and they can be jailed. Remember that in Qatar operates an interpretation of Sharia law that criminalises male homosexuality with the death penalty as a possible sanction.

The "gay icon" David Beckham signed a deal worth £150 million to become the “face of Qatar” ahead of next year’s World Cup. This decision contrasts with the announcement made by Tom Daley, who decided to try and ensure that countries which criminalise homosexuality and the LGBT community can’t compete in and host big sporting events in the future.



Qatar is one of the countries where being gay is punished by death


Sunday, September 18, 2022

Belgrade’s EuroPride March goes on despite authorities ban and far-right protests

 

Thousands of LGBTQ activists turned out for Belgrade's EuroPride march, despite a government banSerbian police arrested more than 60 far-right counter demonstrators and some marchers and policemen sustained injuries by the far-right protesters.

The event had been intended as the cornerstone event of the EuroPride gathering. But the interior ministry banned the march earlier this week, citing security concerns after right wing groups threatened to hold protests.

Despite the official ban, demonstrators were able to march in the rain a few hundred meters between the Constitutional Court to a nearby park, a much shorter route than organizers had originally planned.

And although the march took place without major incident, local media said clashes broke out between counter demonstrators and police. Interior Minister had warned in a statement that "we will not tolerate any violence in Belgrade streets, any more than illegal marches.”

Serbia pledged to protect LGBTQ rights as it seeks EU membership, but increasingly vocal right-wing supporters harass and sometimes attack people based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. Homophobia remains deep-seated despite some progress over the years in reducing discrimination.


We (will) walk!!!



Police clashed with far-right protesters



Friday, September 16, 2022

US Supreme Court sides with LGBTQ group at dispute with a New Yorker University


The U.S. Supreme Court declined to block a lower court order requiring Yeshiva University (YU) to recognize an LGBTQ club. 

The case arises out of a dispute between Yeshiva University, an Orthodox Jewish university in New York City, and a campus Pride Alliance group that wishes to be recognized as an official student organization by the university. 

Yeshiva University cannot bar a LGBTQ student club after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to block a judge's ruling ordering the Orthodox Jewish school in New York City to officially recognize the group.

The justices, in a 5-4 decision, declined to put on hold a state court ruling that a city anti-discrimination law required Yeshiva University to recognize YU Pride Alliance as a student club while the school pursues an appeal in a lower court.

The five-justice majority acknowledged that the case could end up back before the justices after the university jumps through procedural hoops. The majority’s brief order went out of its way to note that the university may return to the Supreme Court if it does not obtain a quick ruling in its favor from New York’s appellate courts.

While the Supreme Court’s decision is technically a loss for the university, because it leaves the trial court’s order in place, the decision reads like an implicit threat to New York’s appeals courts. It is very likely that, if New York’s appeals courts do not step in to permit Yeshiva University to deny recognition to the pride group, the Supreme Court will do so in the near future.

Orthodox Judaism is a minority and theologically conservative branch of Judaism and follows a fundamental interpretation of biblical texts. The other branches of Judaism in the United States, including the Conservative, Reform, Reconstructionist movements, account for over 80% of all American Jews, and support same-sex marriage and ordination of LGBTQ clergy. 

In addition, Israel is considered the most progressive country in the Mideast regarding LGBTQ rights, they recognize same-sex unions though they still don’t legally allow same-sex marriage. In any case, Israel stands in sharp contrast to the rest of the region and becomes an exception on acceptance of LGBTQ rights. 



Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Serbian authorities ban EuroPride march, citing security concerns


Serbia’s authorities banned the Belgrade Pride march planned amid pan-European LGBTQ events being held this week in the capital, citing a risk of clashes with far-right anti-gay activists. Organizers vowed to appeal the ban.

Pro-Serbian Orthodox Church conservative groups, who have been marching unhindered for weeks on the Serbian capital's streets to protest the LGBTQ events, had scheduled a new demonstration the day of the Pride parade. Police also banned that anti-gay protest.

“After the security assessment, it was determined that there is a high risk the safety of participants in both (marches) on the announced routes will be endangered, as well as the safety of other citizens,” police said in a statement.

Organizers of EuroPride, the largest annual Pride event in Europe, said they hoped their legal appeal against the ban will be accepted and that they would hold the festivities as planned. “Belgrade Pride will use all available means to overturn this decision,” their statement said.

Although the ban is the first for EuroPride, Serbia has struggled with regulations regarding homosexuality for decades. Gay Pride marches in 2001 and 2010 were interrupted by violence and rioting after far-right groups targeted the events, prompting more security at Pride marches in the capital since 2014.




Saturday, September 10, 2022

Arab countries threatens Netflix over LGBTQ content

 

Seven Arab countries have demanded that Netflix remove content they consider offensive from the streaming platform’s local sites.

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which includes Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and four other Gulf Arab states, released a statement demanding that Netflix remove “visual materials that violate the media content controls in the GCC countries and contradict Islamic and societal values and principles.”

In the statement, the GCC Committee on Electronic Media and the Saudi Audio-Visual Media Authority said that “if the violating content continues to be broadcasted, it will take necessary legal measures.”

Egypt also issued a similar warning, threatening legal action against Netflix, Disney+, and other streaming services “in case of broadcasting materials that contradict the values of the community.”

While neither statement explicitly mentions the specific content in question, depictions of LGBTQ characters and relationships are widely believed to be the target. Homosexuality is illegal and in some cases punishable by death in the conservative, majority Muslim GCC countries.

In fact, this summer, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Kuwait were among the countries that banned Disney and Pixar’s Lightyear over a brief scene depicting a same-sex kiss. And Saudi state news channel Al Ekhbariya TV aired a report accusing Netflix of being an “official sponsor of homosexuality” and promoting “child homosexuality.”

Not a step back!


Heartstopper, a sucessful LGBTQ series



Thursday, September 8, 2022

Miami-Dade School Board against LGBTQ History Month following the DeSantis' "Don't Say Gay bill"

 

The Miami-Dade County Public Schools board has voted against a proposal to observe October as LGBTQ History Month, following the state's recently enacted Parental Rights in Education law that prohibiting teachers giving lessons on "sexual orientation" or "gender identity."

The law, which critics and others frequently refer to as the "Don't Say Gay bill", was signed into law in March by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis.

After hours of public debate, the board voted 8 to 1 to reject the declaration, which was meant to “remind all cultures within our wider community of the important roles that LGBTQ people have taken in shaping the social, historical, legal, and political worlds we live in today. The only vote in support of the proposal came from sponsor Lucia Baez-Geller. 

“Last year, the board had the courage to support this item, despite all of the attacks,” Baez-Geller said. “There's a reason why this item continues to be under attack, as this year of course is an election year. And unfortunately the anti-LGBTQ agenda has become a very dominant political wedge used by certain people.”

Board member Christi Fraga opposed the proposal saying that the board is going to follow the law. "The Parental Rights law is very clear that this type of imposition should not be imposed on our children, especially in our elementary schools," she said.

Outside the building, members of the Proud Boys gathered, wearing hats, shirts and bandanas emblazoned with the organization's insignia.

This meeting is the first since the last elections, during which a majority of the school board candidates who were endorsed by DeSantis won their races, running on pledges to support his education agenda.

DeSantis has shown his willingness to remove elected officials from office, for allegations of mismanagement, in the case of four former Broward County School Board members, or for what DeSantis sees as a failure to enforce state laws in the case of the former Hillsborough County Attorney.


It's time to change, Florida!!!



Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Iran sentences two gay activists to death


A court in Iran has sentenced to death two gay rights activists on charges of promoting homosexuality. The two women, Zahra Sedighi Hamedani, 31, and Elham Chubdar, 24, were sentenced to death by the court in the northwestern town of Urmia.

They were convicted of "spreading corruption on earth", a charge frequently imposed on defendants deemed to have broken the country's sharia laws. The two women were accused of promoting homosexuality and the Christian religion.

They were informed of the sentence while in detention in the women's wing of the Urmia jail. In a short statement, the Iranian judiciary confirmed that the sentences had been issued.

Activists denounce Iran's treatment of LGBTQ individuals. Homosexuality is banned in Iran with its penal code explicitly criminalizing same-sex sexual behavior for both men and women. Activists also accuse Iran of being in the throes of a major crackdown that is affecting all areas of society.

Last June, ten men were executed, including a gay man. Iran is one of a dozen Muslim-majority countries and regions that enforce Sharia law and impose the death penalty for homosexuality.

Enough is enough!!! 



Saturday, September 3, 2022

'The Aussie Boys' you need to watch

 

Come and take a trip 'Down Under' and witness seven stories about the lives and loves of these men and boys from across Australia. From historical beginnings in the 1700's all the way through to noughties truck stop dilemmas, present day road trip romancing and faces from the past returning for a final goodbye.

‘The Aussie Boys’ is a strong and engaging collection of shorts that really does highlight the film-making talent in Australia. Each of these shorts is so different, that it makes the collection compelling to watch.

Cédric Desenfants’ ‘Burning Soul’ opens the collection and it takes the viewer back to June 1727 with two young men held hostage after their ship is wrecked. Despite the two being close friends and having grown up together, it takes this situation for their true feelings to be revealed.

‘Miles’ by Christopher Sampson follows and it takes us back to the present day as three friends find themselves in a love triangle. 

Things take a turn for the erotic with Luke Marsden’s ‘Infidels’, a dimly lit and wordless 7-minute short revolving around a man catching his boyfriend being pleasured by another man.

Andrew Lee’s black-and-white contribution ‘Eric’, sees a ‘lad’ meeting with a returning soldier coping with post-traumatic stress disorder in a motel room.

The standout on this collection is ‘What Grown Ups Know’ by Jonathan Wald. The short tells the story of the relationship between a gay teenage boy and his ailing mother.

Simon Croker’s ‘All Good Things’ captures a young relationship on the verge of ending, with one half of the couple blindsided.

The final short is ‘The Dam’ by Brendon McDonall, which sees two men meet after many years apart to finally confront the feelings they had for one another.

Watch the trailer below:




Thursday, September 1, 2022

Private Desert


The Brazilian romance film “Private Desert” is a gritty and powerful queer drama. Director/cowriter Aly Muritiba develops the story slowly, first following Daniel (Antonio Saboia), a restless policeman who is in trouble for assaulting a recruit during training. 

Daniel’s only joy in life is his long-distance relationship with Sara, whom he has never met. When Sara starts ghosting Daniel after he sends her a nude photo of himself, Daniel drives across the country to find her.

Sara is first seen around the film’s midpoint, and she is revealed to be Robson (Pedro Fasanaro, who is non-binary and starring in their feature film debut), a fact that the lovestruck Daniel discovers as he finally gets to act on his desires with “Sara.” How the couple negotiates their relationship, and the impact it has on both their lives, is what makes “Private Desert” so affecting.

This Brazilian drama is a welcome and assured intervention into that country's calcified ideals about desire and masculinity.

Watch the trailer below:




Tuesday, August 30, 2022

India's Supreme Court says LGBTQ families deserve same legal protection as any other family


In a massive win for LGBTQ rights, India’s Supreme Court has ruled that LGBTQ families are warranted legal protection. 

Justices Chandrachud and Bopanna ruled that queer and other “non-traditional” families are entitled to the same social benefits as “traditional” families. 

“The law must not be relied upon to disadvantage families which are different from traditional ones. Familial relationships may take the form of domestic, unmarried partnerships or queer relationships, ”  they wrote.

The two justices added that many families within the country don’t fall under the “traditional” gender-based roles and assumptions: “This assumption ignores both, the many circumstances which may lead to a change in one’s familial structure, and the fact that many families do not conform to this expectation to begin with,” they explained.

India’s recent ruling joins the country’s growing list of LGBTQ inclusive reforms since 2018, when the Supreme Court overturned Section 377 of the Indian penal code, which criminalised men who have sex with men.

Congratulations India!!!




Sunday, August 28, 2022

EuroPride defiantly vows to go ahead in Belgrade next September


For Serbia’s LGBTQ community, hosting EuroPride in the capital city of Belgrade in September was intended as a way to celebrate diversity and push for more rights in the deeply conservative country.

But Serbia’s strongman president, Aleksandar Vučić, claimed EuroPride won’t be happening amid growing tension with Kosovo, he said at a press conference in Belgrade.

The leader of the nationalist Serbian Progressive Party told reporters: “The Pride parade that was scheduled for the month of September will be postponed or cancelled, or whatever that miracle is called, it doesn’t matter.

“We can’t at this moment when we have both the open Balkans and the crisis in Kosovo and Metohija that will not end at least until 31 October, we have no progress, we have nowhere to move. We have to deal with energy, and drought, we have many crises.”

But EuroPride won’t be shut down anytime soon, European Pride Organisers Association (EPOA) president Kristine Garina said. EuroPride organizers said Serbian authorities must provide security against “bullies” who threaten the march and seek to discredit it.

“President Vučić cannot cancel someone else’s event. EuroPride is not cancelled, and will not be cancelled,” the Latvian activist said.

“EuroPride in Belgrade will not be cancelled and will bring together thousands of LGBTQ people from across Europe with LGBTQ people from Serbia and the wider western Balkans.”

Serbia pledged to protect LGBTQ rights as it seeks EU membership, but increasingly vocal right-wing supporters harass and sometimes attack people based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Check website of EuroPride2022 in Belgrade here

Read the ILGA-Europe statement here.

It's time!!!



Thursday, August 25, 2022

LGBTQ candidates win in Florida in aftermath of "Don’t Say Gay bill"

 

Seven openly LGBTQ candidates running for state House or Senate seats in Florida have won their primaries, advancing to November’s general election where voters will decide whether to triple LGBTQ representation in the state legislature.

Florida voters also ousted Rep. James Bush III, the only House Democrat that voted to pass the “Don’t Say Gay bill" in February.

Florida’s legislature made national headlines in January when state Republicans introduced the Parental Rights in Education bil, known to its critics as the “Don’t Say Gay bill", to restrict public school teachers’ ability to engage in classroom instruction related to sexual orientation and gender identity.

After advancing through the House, Florida senators in March passed the controversial legislation, rejecting more than a dozen amendments that would have bolstered protections for LGBTQ students and their families.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), who also won his primary Tuesday evening, signed the bill into law later that month, accusing public school teachers during a press conference of pushing their “woke gender ideology” on Florida students and peddling “clearly inappropriate” learning materials.

Beyond the legislature, Florida officials this year have pursued policies that if enacted would further restrict the rights of LGBTQ people in the state, particularly transgender youth.

The governor’s race in Florida in 2018 was decided by only 32,463 votes out of 8+ million. The results of the poll suggest that LGBTQ and ally voters are positioned to be decisive in Florida this November if the governor’s race is similarly close. 77% of LGBTQ and ally voters have an unfavorable opinion of DeSantis. 

It's time to change, Florida!



Won't be erased in Florida, nor anywhere!



Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Vietnam declares being LGBTQ is not an illness and ends conversion therapy

 

Vietnam’s Health Ministry said being gay or trans is not an illness and urged medical practitioners to stop discriminating against LGBTQ people in health care . 

Vietnam’s Health Ministry published a document in line with the the World Health Organisation (WHO) which confirmed that homosexuality is entirely not an illness, therefore homosexuality cannot be "cured" nor needs to be "cured" and cannot be converted in any way.

The statement also urged medical professionals need to be fair and respectful of queer people’s sexuality and not to discriminate against the LGBTQ community. The document also stated that so called conversion therapy, to change a persons sexual orientation or gender identity is illegal.

As the most trusted source of medical authority in Vietnam, the impact of Vietnam’s Health Ministry on social perceptions or queerness will be enormous. Now, Rights groups inside Vietnam are simultaneously pushing for legislation that would legalize same-sex marriage.

Read the statement here.



Monday, August 22, 2022

Singapore to end colonial-era ban on homosexuality

 

Singapore will decriminalise sex between men, effectively making it legal to be homosexual in the city-state.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said the government would repeal Section 377A of the penal code, a colonial-era law that criminalises sex between men, adding that society was becoming more accepting of gay people.

Singapore chose to retain the colonial-era ban on gay sex after it won independence from Britain in 1965.

"I believe this is the right thing to do, and something that most Singaporeans will now accept," he said in his annual National Day rally speech.

However, Lee said the government had no intention of changing the city-state's legal definition of marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

"Even as we repeal Section 377A, we will uphold and safeguard the institution of marriage (...). Under the law, only marriages between one man and one woman are recognised in Singapore," Lee added.

Although many places have decriminalized sexual acts between people of the same sex, only a few allow same-sex marriage, partnerships or unions. Singapore tempered its decision by saying it will amend its constitution to prevent such unions from ever taking place.

Singapore is the smallest nation in Southeast Asia by size but has outsize influence as a major shipping and commercial center. Its population of 5.7 million is a mix of Chinese, Indians, and Malay Muslims, who are largely traditional in their values. Southeast Asia as a whole is a conservative region and has been slow to recognize LGBTQ rights; none of its 11 countries allow same-sex marriage.

An important step in the right way.




Friday, August 12, 2022

The best and worst countries for LGBTQ travel in 2022


Every year, Asher & Lyric evaluate the places around the world that are the most dangerous and safest for queer travelers. 

Instead of relying on hearsay and anecdotes from other travelers, the couple behind the travel site compiled over 350+ hours of research, to review 203 countries’ individual laws and gathered data from a variety of trusted international sources to create this definitive “LGBTQ Travel Safety Index” to help travelers find the safest and least safe countries to visit.

Read the full article here and happy vacations!




Monday, August 8, 2022

An openly gay is the new Minister of Justice in Colombia


Colombian President Gustavo Petro appointed former magistrate Néstor Osuna as his Minister of Justice. The arrival of this official to the cabinet has been celebrated for the experience he has and his political positions. In addition, it is highlighted that for years he declared himself openly homosexual, which adds important representation to the country's LGBTQ community.

On his first day in office, Osuna encouraged people of diverse sexual orientation to "come out of the closet." He clarified that he understands that this is a personal decision, closely linked to contexts and life experiences, but assured that once the step is taken, the pressures are eliminated.

This Minister of Justice is very different from the previous ones, since he does not share the conservative overtones of his predecessors. In fact, in addition to being openly gay, he fully supports the decriminalization of abortion in Colombia.

Most Colombians learned of the new Minister's sexual orientation thanks to an interaction he had with his husband, the journalist Mauricio Arroyave from Antioquia, on social networks: "Proud of my husband, the new Colombian Minister of Justice, Mr. Néstor Osuna,” Arroyave wrote on Twitter.

To this message, Osuna responded by thanking Arroyave for his support: “I wouldn't be here without you. Thank you for so much”, affirmed Osuna.

Colombia legalized same-sex marriage in 2016.

Congratulations to the new Minister and to the Colombians!!!


Néstor Osuna (right) with his husband Mauricio Arroyave



Saturday, August 6, 2022

France to create an ambassador role to promote LGBTQ rights worldwide

 

France’s Prime Minister, Elisabeth Borne, announced the new LGBTQ ambassador position on the 40th anniversary of the decriminalisation of homosexuality in the country.

Borne visited an LGBTQ centre in Orleans, where she unveiled plans for the new government position. The Prime Minister said the role of the ambassador is to “campaign for the decriminalisation everywhere of homosexuality and trans identity.”

There is full support for the creation of the role by President Emmanuel Macron and his government. The ambassador will be appointed by the end of the year.

She continued: “The President of the Republic’s approach, my approach, the government’s approach is not ambiguous: we will continue to fight to make progress on the rights of the LGBTQ.”

Earlier this year the French government banned so-called ‘conversion therapy’. Remember that same-sex marriage is legal in France since 2013. In 2018, 70 French artists joined forces to tackle homophobia, and also France, with other 15 EU countries, denounced Hungary's new anti-LGBT law last 2021.

Thursday, August 4, 2022

It's time to change, Florida!

A new poll commissioned by GLAAD reveals broad concerns of LGBTQ and ally voters in Florida about legislation stripping away their rights, and how it’s motivating them to vote in this fall’s midterm election. LGBTQ and ally voters are poised to make a decisive difference in the future of their state.

77% strongly agree it’s more important than ever to vote this year because basic human rights for women and LGBTQ Floridians are starting to be taken away by elected officials currently in charge of Florida’s government.

Florida’s legislature has passed bills targeting abortion access and banning LGBTQ-related conversation in schools, the known “Don’t Say Gay" bill. When measures failed in the legislature to criminalize evidence-based, lifesaving healthcare for transgender youth, Governor Ron DeSantis directed state agencies to issue misinformation to target transgender people and begin the process of stripping Medicaid coverage for gender-affirming care, despite the fact that it is supported by every major medical association. 

DeSantis and his appointees have also threatened small business owners that host drag shows, and schools that enforce federal protections for LGBTQ students under Title IX, prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

The governor’s race in Florida in 2018 was decided by only 32,463 votes out of 8+ million. The results of the poll suggest that LGBTQ and ally voters are positioned to be decisive in Florida this November if the governor’s race is similarly close. 77% of LGBTQ and ally voters have an unfavorable opinion of DeSantis. 

It's time to change, Florida!


Read the pollster memo here




Monday, August 1, 2022

Kiss-a-thon in Colombia to support a gay couple

 

Hundreds of people took to a park in Colombia to show their support for a gay couple who were set upon after kissing in public.

Same-sex couples staged a kiss-a-thon ("besatón" in Spanish) in the park in Bogotá where the pair had been confronted by a group of women, one of whom was wielding a broomstick.

The protest was organised on social media after a video had been widely shared of two young gay men being forced from a park by angry locals.

In the video, women can be heard shouting at the couple, telling them that "in this neighbourhood we don't allow sex in the park, especially not in front of children". The young men ask "what sex?" and say that they had only kissed.

Holding signs reading "Kisses are signs of affection, not a crime", people gathered in the park in the Engativá neighbourhood of the capital. Waving rainbow flags, couples kissed and celebrated as music played.

Bogotá's mayor condemned the incident. Colombia legalised same-sex marriage in 2016 but homophobic attacks are not uncommon.


The attacked couple was also in the protest



Sunday, July 31, 2022

F1 says enough to any kind of abuse


Formula One (F1) launched a 'Drive It Out' initiative to tackle abuse after recent incidents of racist and homophobic behaviour by spectators and the sexual harassment of female fans in Austrian Grand Prix.

F1 said it was sending a clear and united message that the abuse, both at races and on social media, must stop and those who spread it were not welcome. 

The campaign was launched via a video featuring all 20 drivers, Formula One chief executive Stefano Domenicali and FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem.

"Formula One is all about competition and rivalry," said Domenicali, opening a statement continued by a sequence of drivers. "But also respect. Respect as competitors, respect for our fans, respect for the whole F1 family. Abuse of any kind is unacceptable. If you cannot be respectful then don't be part of our sport".

"We cannot let those who think they can abuse others get away with it," said Mercedes' seven-times world champion Lewis Hamilton. "We have a duty to call this out and say 'no more'. We are acting as a community to block those who abuse others online. We won't allow abuse at our races". 

Four-times world champion Sebastian Vettel and two-times world champion Fernando Alonso also showed their support against any kind of abuse and pro-human rights several times, specially in countries where LGBTQ rights are not respected.

Watch the video below:


#DriveItOut



Friday, July 29, 2022

Tom Daley criticises anti-gay laws in Commonwealth countries


At the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games 2022 in Birmingham, Tom Daley and 6 extraordinary LGBTQ athletes and advocates from around the Commonwealth carried the Queen’s baton into the stadium. 

In over half of the Commonwealth countries, homosexuality is still a crime and in 3 of those countries the maximum penalty is the death sentence. These laws are a legacy of colonialism

The opening ceremony wanted to show LGBTQ visibility to the billion people watching and meet the incredible six people that walked into the stadium with Tom:

  • Bisi Alimi (@bisialimi) from Nigeria. The first gay man to come out on Nigerian national television who is now Executive Director of the Bisi Alimi Foundation, an organisation working to accelerate social acceptance of LGBTQ people in Nigeria.
  • Glenroy Murray (@glen.divo) from Jamaica – Executive Director of J-FLAG, an LGBT rights organisation that continues to push for LGBTQ inclusion in all areas of life in Jamaica.
  • Dutee Chand (@duteechand) from India. Dutee is a professional sprinter and the first openly gay athlete on India’s national team. She is competing in this year’s Commonwealth Games. 
  • Moud Goba (@microrainbow) from Zimbabwe. National Manager at Micro Rainbow. Micro Rainbow supports LGBTQ asylum seekers and refugees fleeing persecution, providing safe accommodation and integration support in the UK.
  • Jason Jones (@trinijayjay) from Trinidad and Tobago. LGBTQ advocate who fought a successful legal battle to decriminalise adult consensual same-sex intimacy in Trinidad and Tobago in 2018.
  • Prossy Kakooza (@missprossyk) from Uganda. LGBTQ activist and human rights defender. Works with Lesbian Immigration Support Group supporting women seeking asylum on the basis of their sexuality in and around Greater Manchester.

As usual, thank you Tom, you did it again!!!


Tom Daley, in the middle, with the other 6 LGBTQ athletes



Thursday, July 28, 2022

Support for LGBTQ people in Africa is growing


A new report shows that LGBTQ rights are a growing priority for young African people.

The survey, conducted by Ichikowitz Family Foundation, found that addressing gender-based violence was the highest priority for many young people across sub-Saharan Africa, with 81 per cent of the respondents saying more needs to be done.

Improving women’s rights came in close second, with 79 per cent saying that was a concern. 

In comparison, only 38 per cent said they wanted their governments to do more for LGBTQ rights. But, this was a 7 per cent increase in support for LGBTQ rights from the foundation’s last survey, conducted in 2020.

The countries with the most support for LGBTQ rights were South Africa, with an overwhelming 83 per cent, followed by Mozambique with 63 per cent and Gabon with 62 per cent.

The report showed that the countries with the least support for LGBTQ people were Uganda, Sudan and Malawi. Only 9 per cent of people supported LGBTQ rights in Malawi, followed by 16 per cent in Sudan and 21 per cent in Uganda.

Sadly, anti-LGBTQ violence continues to plague many countries across Africa, often fuelled by homophobic laws carried over from colonial rule.

You can find the report here




Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Pete Buttigieg tells Marco Rubio why to protect marriage equality isn't a 'stupid waste of time'


In the aftermath of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade, eliminating federal abortion protections, Democrats are scrambling to protect same-sex marriage from being reversed as well.

Supporters of same-sex marriage are concerned after Justice Clarence Thomas called for other rulings to be revisited in the wake of the Roe decision. "In future cases, we should reconsider all of this Court's substantive due process precedents, including Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell," Thomas wrote, referring to decisions on contraception, sodomy and same-sex marriage.

To ensure that same-sex marriage won’t be overturned by the aggressive court, the House of Representatives passed the Respect for Marriage Act (RMA) bill last week. It won by a 267-157 vote, with 47 Republicans joining a unanimous Democratic caucus in supporting the legislation.

Now, the bill has to be approved by the Senate where Majority Leader Chuck Schumer hopes to get 10 Republicans to support the bill to overcome the Senate's 60-vote filibuster hurdle.

Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio called the bill a “stupid waste of time” after being approached by a reporter at the Capitol building. Rubio says he wouldn’t participate in a vote when it comes to the Senate, saying that it’s a “fake problem.”

Rubio clearly hasn’t considered the fact that the United States has 980,000 same-sex households, of which 58% are married. Repealing same-sex marriage would severely impact the rights of hundreds of thousands of American families.

Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg pushed back against Rubio’s suggestion that it was a waste of time by explaining how important the issue is to his family. He also made note of the fact that Rubio was part of Florida’s Republican Party’s petty culture-war-driven fight against Disney.

If the thought of someone mentioning the word gay in a public school setting is a threat to Rubio then surely considering the legality of same-sex marriage is far from a waste of his time.

“If [Rubio’s] got time to fight against Disney, I don’t know why he wouldn’t have time to help safeguard marriages like mine. Look, this is really, really important to a lot of people. It’s certainly important to me,” Buttigieg said.


I don't know if they will be the 'first family',
I only want the right they could be