Monday, May 30, 2022

Croatian top court backs same-sex adoption

Same-sex couples in Croatia starting have the right to adopt children, the country's high administrative court ruled. The sentence went against the family ministry's arguments, ruling in favor of a same-sex couple in Zagreb who wanted to be listed in a registry of potential adoptive parents.

The legal battle of Mladen Kožić and Ivo Šegota started eight years ago, when the center for social assistance rejected their request to be included in the registry of possible adoptive parents, after an evaluation of their suitability, in the same way as heterosexual couples. 

All their subsequent requests had been rejected with the explanation that a Croatian law on civil unions, in place since 2014, does not include the right to adopt while guaranteeing to homosexual couples all the other rights of a traditional marriage. 

Finally, the top administrative court said the motivation was discriminatory, citing the European convention on human rights and its sentences, which consider distinctions based on sexual orientation illegal, including in family law. 

Substantially, the court ordered social centers to accept the applications of same-sex couples for consideration and, if they are considered suitable to adopt, to include them in waiting lists, which are very long in Croatia, for the adoption of minors without a family.


Sunday, May 29, 2022

It's time to march for our lives, again!

People will take to the streets on June 11th for the 2nd March for Our Lives.

People will march on Washington DC just like they did in 2018. Show up, and demonstrate to the elected officials that people demand and deserve a nation free of gun violence. Details March DC.

In 2018 hundreds of communities also showed up by hosting local marches across the U.S. Check out the map to find a location near you, or to potentially host your own march. Find an Event.

It's time to act!

Friday, May 27, 2022

Number of young people identifying as gay, lesbian or bisexual in UK doubles in just four years

The number of people, aged 16 to 24, that identify as gay, lesbian, or bisexual in the United Kingdom has doubled in just four years, between 2016 and 2020.

According to the UK’s Office for National Statistics, in 2016, 4.1% of young people aged between 16 and 24, identified as lesbian, gay, or bisexual. In 2020 it increased to 8%.

Of those identifying as lesbian, gay or bisexual in 2020, around 72.5% of those had never been in a civil partnership or married. Just around 23.7% of those who identified as gay, lesbian or bisexual\ were married or in a civil partnership. This may reflect the younger age structure of the LGB population and that the legislation for same-sex civil partnerships and same-sex marriage is relatively recent.

In February, a Gallup poll showed the percentage of Americans that identify as LGBTQ had doubled over the last decade. In the 2021 Gallup poll of 12,416 Americans, 7.1 percent of Americans identified as LGBTQ compared to just 3.5 percent back in 2012.

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

It's time to act!


A gunman shot and killed 19 students and two school employees in Uvalde, Texas. He was later killed by police. It was just a week earlier that after a racist, hate-filled shooter killed 10 Black people at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York.

Lamenting a uniquely American tragedy, an anguished and angry President Joe Biden delivered an urgent call for new restrictions on firearms. President Biden addressed the shooting and said:

"It’s time to turn this pain into action. For every parent, for every citizen in this country, we have to make it clear to every elected official in this country: It’s time to act. It’s time, for those who obstruct or delay or block the commonsense gun laws, we need to let you know that we will not forget. We can do so much more.  We have to do more."

Watch President Biden' speech below:

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Gay Florida high school senior refuses to be censored during his graduation speech

Zander Moricz, 18, is the senior class president at Pine View School in Florida's Sarasota County. He's set to speak at his upcoming high school graduation, but Moricz claims his principal and school administration officials are trying to preemptively silence him and censor his speech.

Moricz is also one of the plaintiffs named in a lawsuit against the State of Florida relating to its recently signed Parental Rights in Education law, or what critics have dubbed the "Don't Say Gay" law.

"A few days ago, my principal called me into his office and informed me that if my graduation speech referenced my activism or role as a plaintiff in the lawsuit, school administration had a signal to cut off my microphone, end my speech, and halt the ceremony," wrote Moricz on Twitter. "I am the first openly-gay Class President in my school’s history, this censorship seems to show that they want me to be the last."

Moricz opted for a hair metaphor after he says faculty members threatened to censor his graduation speech if he spoke about his LGBTQ activism or experiences as a gay teen. So, when Moricz delivered his speech at Pine View’s graduation ceremony, he shared quips about his curly hair as euphemisms for being gay.

“I used to hate my curls,” he said in the speech, which can be viewed in full here. “I spent mornings and nights embarrassed of them, trying to desperately straighten this part of who I am. But the daily damage of trying to fix myself became too much to endure.”

“There are going to be so many kids with curly hair who need a community like Pine View and they will not have one,” Moricz continued. “Instead, they’ll try to fix themselves so that they can exist in Florida’s humid climate.”

Watch the speech below:

Monday, May 23, 2022

Taliban orders female Afghan TV presenters to cover faces on air


Women presenters on Afghanistan's leading news channels went on air Sunday with their faces covered, a day after defying a Taliban order to conceal their appearance on television.

Since seizing power last year, the Taliban have imposed a slew of restrictions on civil society, many focused on reining in the rights of women and girls to comply with the group's austere brand of Islam.

Earlier this month, Afghanistan's supreme leader Hibatullah Akhundzada issued a diktat for women to cover up fully in public, including their faces, ideally with the traditional burqa.

The feared Ministry for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice ordered women TV presenters to follow suit from Saturday. But the presenters defied the order and went on air with their faces visible.

Women presenters were previously only required to wear a headscarf. But now they have to wear full hijabs and face-covering veils that leave only their eyes in view, women presenters and reporters have aired morning news bulletins across leading channels like TOLOnews, Ariana Television, Shamshad TV and 1TV.

Soon after resuming control, the Taliban promised a softer version of the harsh Islamist rule that characterised their first stint in power from 1996 to 2001. Since the takeover, however, women have been banned from travelling alone and teenage girls barred from secondary schools.

Not only women have to face a lost of rights, LGBT Afghans and people who do not conform to rigid gender norms in Afghanistan have faced an increasingly desperate situation and grave threats to their safety and lives under the Taliban, Human Rights Watch and OutRight Action International said in a report.

Read the report here

Saturday, May 21, 2022

Turkish police break up student LGBTQ event, arrest dozens


Police in Turkey broke up an LGBTQ pride parade at one the country’s top public universities and detained all of the participants. A small group of students tried to resist arrest.

Riot police entered Bogazici University and surrounded dozens of students who were waiving rainbow flags and calling for tolerance. They arrested the students one by one and led them into police buses with their hands cuffed behind them.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s conservative government has banned LGBTQ parades since 2015, citing security concerns, “public sensitivities” and other issues. Authorities have ordered other LGBTQ events stopped as well.

Tensions at the university heightened a month into the protests after a poster depicting the Islamic holy site Kaaba with LGBTQ flags appeared in a campus exhibition.

Turkey's interior minister called the students involved “LGBT deviants,” and two were arrested on charges of inciting hatred and insulting religious values.

The European Union decried the detention of university students in Turkey and the use of anti-LGBT “hate speech” after President Erdogan lashed out at youth-driven protests.

Mr. Erdogan, love always win!!

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Russian state TV hosts mock the new White House press secretary

The Russian state TV hosts have mocked the new White House press secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre, with comments about her sexuality, gender and skin color.

The TV hosts used footage of Jean-Pierre at her first press conference to mock her. They continued with a racist and sexist rant on the state-owned Russian television channel 1. 

The Kremlin propagandists on Russian state TV claimed Jean-Pierre was not chosen for her professional abilities and said that she only got the job because she is a dark-skinned immigrant.

They laughed as they said Jean-Pierre will be replaced in a month or two by a white, heterosexual male.

Jean-Pierre has become the first black, openly gay White House press secretary. She was born in Fort-de-France, Martinique and is the daughter of Haitian parents. Her family moved to New York City when she was five.

Addressing her historic position in her first press briefing, Jean-Pierre said: "I am obviously acutely aware that my presence at this podium represents a few firsts. I am a black gay immigrant woman, the first of all three of those to hold this position. I would not be here today if it were not for generations of barrier-breaking people before me. I stand on their shoulders."

Jean-Pierre and Psaki at the White House press room

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

New Royal Mint coin released to mark 50 years of Pride


The Royal Mint, the government-owned mint that produces coins for the United Kingdom (UK), has revealed the first-ever official coin created for the LGBTQ community to celebrate 50 years of the UK Pride movement. 

The first official UK Gay Pride Rally was held in London on July 1 1972 since it was the closest Saturday to the anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall riots.

The rally had approximately 2,000 participants and almost 50 years later, in 2019, 1.5 million people attended, making it the biggest Pride in the UK.

The new 50p coin, designed by east London artist and activist Dominique Holmes, will mark the momentous anniversary.

The eye-catching design features the historic Pride progression flag and is also inscribed with Pride in London’s values. In four striking rainbows, the values read protest, visibility, unity, and equality.

Asad Shaykh, director of marketing and communications at Pride in London, said: “It was a privilege to visit The Royal Mint as part of our partnership and see our coin being made. It humbles me greatly that the words that I coined for the brand … will be on an actual coin, opposite the Queen".

Happy 50 Prides!!!

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

May 17, International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia & Transphobia


The International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) is observed every year on May 17, and aims to coordinate international events that raise awareness of LGBT rights violations and stimulate interest in LGBT rights work worldwide. 

The main purpose of the IDAHOBIT is to raise awareness of violence, discrimination, and repression of LGBT communities worldwide, which in turn provides an opportunity to take action and engage in dialogue with the media, policymakers, public opinion, and wider civil society.

The day is particularly strong in Europe and Latin America, where it is commemorated with public events in almost all countries. Common actions include large-scale street marches, parades and festivals. Since 2021, the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia has been officially recognized and commemorated by over 130 different countries across the globe.

A societal sense of awareness about these enduring issues has been gaining more and more attention as several important figures in the current global setting speak up regarding their approval and support of this initiative. Of these includes a statement officiated by the current president of the United States, Joe Biden, that highlights his endorsement and recognition of the IDAHOBIT. 

In the released statement, the president went as far as to highlight that his support would be coupled with continued aid in formulating and implementing further action towards alleviating LGBT discrimination within communities, making mention of the Equality Act that as of October 2021 remains an unpassed bill because Republicans.

Enough of discrimination, today and always!!!

Sunday, May 15, 2022

President Biden warns: "They are going to go after the Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage"

President Joe Biden has warned that the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) could target gay marriage next if it overturns abortion rights.

It follows a leak of a draft decision from the highest court in America that if actualised would see the historic 1973 Roe vs Wade about abortion overturned. A final decision is expected in June.

Abortion is among a number of fundamental rights that the court over many decades recognized at least in part as what are called "substantive" due process liberties, including contraception in 1965, interracial marriage in 1967 and same-sex marriage in 2015.

Though these rights are not explicitly mentioned in the Constitution, they are linked to personal privacy, autonomy, dignity and equality. 

Speaking to reporters, President Biden said the Supreme Court was effectively saying there is no right to privacy with the decision.  "It's not just the brutality of taking away a woman's right to her body ... but it also, if you read the opinion ... basically says there's no such thing as the right to privacy. If that holds ... mark my words: They are going to go after the Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage."

President Biden, who is a devout Catholic, has said he is opposed to abortion on a personal level, but doesn't think the government should have a say or impose its views on everyone else.

After the leak, President Biden called on voters to support politicians in the upcoming mid-term elections that are pro-choice.

SCOTUS ruled in favor of same-sex marriage nationwide in 2015

Saturday, May 14, 2022

Greece to ban conversion therapy for minors

Greece banned conversion therapy for minors, a practice aimed at suppressing a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity and which the LGBT community worldwide, as well as health experts, have condemned as harmful.

Under the bill, which Greece’s parliament approved, psychologists or other health professionals need a person’s explicit consent to perform such treatment and face fines and a prison term if they violate the law.

The government has drafted a national strategy that runs until 2025 on reforms promoting gender equality in Greece, a largely conservative country. Canada, New Zealand and France criminalized conversion therapy earlier this year.

“There were some false treatments that stated that when a minor has chosen a different sexual orientation, his parents could supposedly proceed with ‘treatments’ for this child to ‘return to normality,’” Health Minister Thanos Plevris told. 

“Obviously these treatments not only are not a therapy but they are not supported scientifically,” the minister added.

United Nations urged to ban conversion therapy worldwide.

Greek Parliament approved same-sex civil unions in 2015

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Don't miss next weekend the Eurovision Song Contest 2022 in Italy


Two of Italy’s most popular young artists, Mahmood & Blanco, will represent Italy in Eurovision 2022 in Turin, after winning the 72nd Sanremo Music Festival earlier this year with their song Brividi.

As with reigning Contest champs Måneskin, Mahmood shot to fame on The X Factor Italia. The Milanese musician released a succession of singles thereafter, and has also put out two full-length albums.

Blanco is a singer/rapper from Brescia with big aspirations. His 2021 single, Mi Fai Impazzire, spent 8 weeks at the top of the Italian charts, and was followed by the release of debut album, Blu Celeste, which also shot to number one.

Their song Brividi, which means “shivers”, is a contemporary ballad that sees two men pouring their hearts out. But, contrary to what some might think it is, or hope it is, it’s not a male couple’s duet, but it’s a connection of two individuals both struggling and making mistakes in relationships. Mahmood happens to be gay and the other, Blanco, straight. 

Mahmood and Blanco have such a funny dynamic and despite their temperamental differences they genuinely have chemistry and seem to find each other’s company amusing and entertaining.

Watch the video below:

Mahmood and Blanco at Vanity Fair's cover

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Afghan men claiming asylum in UK on sexuality grounds are refused

The British Home Office has denied asylum to 25 LGBT men from Afghanistan, forced to flee their homes due to their sexuality, since 2017.

Information obtained under the Freedom of Information act by the Byline Times revealed that 25 Afghan men were denied asylum on sexuality grounds by the Home Office, but none were subsequently deported. 

Those men had their asylum applications denied after the Home Office changed its guidance to say Afghanistan was a safe place for LGBT people so long as they didn’t “seek to cause public outrage”. 

Even after the Taliban seized control of Afghanistan, Home Office guidance from October 2021 said that deporting LGBT Afghans presents “no real risk of harm”, although the Government stopped enforcing returns to the country following the UK’s withdrawal. 

LGBT people in Afghanistan have always faced persecution and violence under Sharia law, all forms of same-sex sexual activity are illegal and are punishable by death. Queer people can also be imprisoned for lengthy sentences if they are found to have engaged in sexual activity with a person of the same sex.

A recent report shows the desperate situation of LGBT people in Afghanistan after the Taliban takeover.

Read the report here

Monday, May 9, 2022

Heartstopper, the new queer sensation of TV series


Heartstopper is about Charlie, an openly gay anxious boy, and Nick, a kind-hearted rugby player. They both go to the same British all-boys school and when they meet, they immediately have a connection and become friends.

Before being the new sensation of TV series, it was also a successful comic created by Alicce Oseman in 2016. After three years and 1 million books sold, there was talk of a television adaptation, but Covid pandemic delayed the release until 2022.

The main roles in TV show are played by Joe Locke (Charlie) and Kit Connor (Nick) but, beyond them, the show get a look at their friend groups and classmates, and how they react to the two hanging out with each other, some of them accepting but other directly bullying. Any way, Heartstopper creators wanted to show queer teens that the future can be bright.

The series has received critical acclaim. It shows an inclusive romance and open-armed embrace for queer youth, which lays the strong foundations of what you can only hope will be the uplifting and inclusive depictions of queer characters for the next generation of viewers.

Watch the trailer below:

Saturday, May 7, 2022

Republican senators want TV ratings to warn about LGBTQ content

Five Republican senators have urged the TV Parental Guidelines Monitoring Board to update its ratings for certain children’s shows to include warnings about what they describe as “disturbing” LGBTQ content, namely “irreversible and harmful experimental treatments for mental disorders like gender dysphoria.”

Sens. Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), and Mike Lee (R-Utah) all signed the letter, which pushes for the PGMA’s rating system to incorporate warnings for LGBTQ content before lamenting how one Disney executive was recently quoted as saying she supports having “many, many many LGBTQ characters in our stories.”

“To the detriment of children, gender dysphoria has become sensationalized in the popular media and television with radical activists and entertainment companies,” the letter reads. “This radical and sexual sensation not only harms children, but also destabilizes and damages parental rights.”

The letter includes multiple mentions of Disney, which has been under assault from conservatives for speaking out against Florida’s new law that prohibits teachers in kindergarten through third grade from discussing sexual orientation or gender identity. The law also allows parents to sue over alleged violations. 

“Sexual orientation and gender identity instruction often entails a discussion concerning an individual’s pattern of emotional, romantic, and sexual attraction,” the senators argue. “Parents all over the country have rightfully expressed outrage over its inclusion in the classroom.”

These Repubican senators sound like Putin's anti-gay propaganda law, why am I not surprised?

The 5 Republican senators who support this retrograde initiative

Thursday, May 5, 2022

Historic appointment as White House press secretary, the first black woman and out LGBTQ person in this role

After a year and a half at the podium, White House press secretary Jen Psaki is planning to leave the White House, and her current deputy, Karine Jean-Pierre, will be her replacement, President Joe Biden announced.

In a historic pick, Jean-Pierre will be the first Black, and first openly gay person to hold the position of White House press secretary. Last month, Jean-Pierre spoke out against anti-LGBTQ legislation in states across the country.

"Karine not only brings the experience, talent and integrity needed for this difficult job, but she will continue to lead the way in communicating about the work of the Biden-Harris Administration on behalf of the American people. Jill and I have known and respected Karine a long time and she will be a strong voice speaking for me and this Administration," President Biden said in a statement.

Jean-Pierre has an accomplished background as a communications leader, from work in the Obama White House to presidential campaigns and local politics. She has also served as Chief Public Affairs Officer for and as an NBC and MSNBC Political Analyst. 

Jean-Pierre and Psaki at the White House press room

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Tom Daley, champion of Pride

For The Advocate's May/June cover story, Tom Daley, the world-class diver, discusses using his platform to fight for LGBTQ+ athletes and the joy of raising a son with his husband, Dustin Lance Black, here.

The Advocate

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Police looking for serial killer of gay men in north of Spain


Very bad news from Spain, the police is investigating the action of a serial killer of gay men in the city of Bilbao, after four deaths occurred late 2021.

At first, the four deaths seemed unconnected, but the investigators have found some similarities between the four victims: they were all male users of a dating app for homosexuals and lived in the historic center of Bilbao.

The alert was activated when the relatives of a 43-year-old man who had apparently died naturally reported that someone had taken "thousands of euros" from his bank account. 

Everything changed when liquid ecstasy was found in the samples of the corpse. According to experts, this is a drug that takes away the willpower of those who use it and that, in larger doses, may cause death.

The police verified that one of his last decisions had been to meet at his home with another man he had met through a dating app for homosexuals.

After this discovery, the police began to work with the hypothesis that the alleged murderer drugged the victim to get his online banking passwords and credentials.

Three previous similar deaths had gone unnoticed: there were no signs of violence on the bodies and no indication of unnatural death was found in the homes of the deceased. But the results of new autopsies carried out on the victims confirmed that there were also traces of liquid ecstasy in them.

Following that lead, investigators began to find similarities to the three previous cases. The three other victims were all homosexual men with profiles on said dating application.

At the time of writing this post, the police have already identified a suspect, a man between 20 and 30 years of Colombian origin, who calls himself Carlos in his dating profiles.

I hope they find and arrest the killer as soon as possible, Spanish gay men are totally frightened and shocked.

Monday, May 2, 2022

Mormon university student shows rainbow colors while graduating

Jillian Orr, 28, majored in psychology at BYU in Utah, which is owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS), commonly known as the Mormon church.

The university has strict anti-LGBTQ policies enshrined in its Honor Code, which students can be expelled for breaking. For example, requiring that they “live a chaste and virtuous life, including abstaining from any sexual relations outside a marriage between a man and a woman”, and even banning “same-sex romantic behaviour” because it does not “lead to eternal marriage”.

Half-way through her course Jillian, who was raised Mormon, realised that she was bisexual. However, she decided to stay because of the low tuition fees, well-respected psychology department, and the fact that her credits for BYU’s many required Mormon religion classes would not be transferrable to another university.

Ahead of her graduation ceremony, her little sister suggested that she make a statement on stage, and offered to sew a Pride flag to the inside of her gown. She showed herself flashing the inside of her gown to the audience as she crossed the stage.

Jillian wrote after the ceremony: "At BYU it’s against the Honor Code to be in a homosexual relationship. If you are discovered to be dating or just holding hands there are severe consequences. They threaten to take away your degree and kick you out of the university. Students are afraid to be who they are, so they hide out of fear until they get out. I will not hide. I will be seen. In front of the entire school.”

Proud of you!!!

Jillian in front of the entire school