Thursday, June 30, 2022

Iran executes a gay man under label of sodomy

 

Iran executed ten people, including a gay man, in Karaj, the capital of the Alborz Province, just outside of Tehran.

According to Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), the identity of one of the executed people is Iman Safari Rad, who had previously been sentenced to death on charges of "sodomy by rape".

According to experts, Iran’s regime frequently uses the charge of sodomy to impose the death penalty on gays and lesbians. According them, Iran has executed between 4,000-6,000 gays and lesbians since the nation’s Islamic revolution in 1979.

A United Nations report said that Iran's government inflicts electroshock "torture" on LGBT children, along with psychoactive drugs and hormone therapy, apparently in the belief that these procedures would "cure" them.

Iran is one of a dozen Muslim-majority countries and regions that enforce Sharia law and impose the death penalty for homosexuality.

The international community should impose sanctions on the regime officials, judges and prison staff who authorized these executions.

Enough is enough!!!



Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Fans could be jailed for waving rainbow flags in World Cup in Qatar


World Cup fans have been warned they could face up jail for waving rainbow flags during the tournament in Qatar.

As a country with some of the most archaic laws in the world, Qatar is known for their law of homosexuality as an illegal activity. According to the country's official laws, being homosexual in Qatar can be punished with 3 years in prison and sometimes even the death penalty. 

With the World Cup right around the corner, many rumors started emerging in the wake of this celebration regarding the LGBTQ community. This community has many football fans and they will definitely want to attend the World Cup in Qatar, but they also want to make a statement with their visit to a country with such strict laws against a minority.

According to multiple reports, the country allegedly threatened to punish with prison sentences to people who decided to wave the LGBTQ flag in public. FIFA already assured flags of any color will be allowed inside stadiums in the country. Qatar is one of the most difficult places to live or visit for members ofthe LGBTQ community, which is why suggesting they don't wave these flags is a the best idea.

As one of the most opressed minorities in the world, the LGBTQ community has always fought for their rights to express themselves. This opportunity to attend the FIFA World Cup in a country where free sexual expression is forbidden by the law, is one that many won't want to pass. We can definitely expect some people protesting these archaic laws and possibly get in trouble with the police force within the country.

Surprisely, 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.


We hope that FIFA doesnot accept this



Sunday, June 26, 2022

Over 200 detained in defiant Istanbul Pride march


Turkish police broke up the crowd gathered for the Pride march in Istanbul, arresting dozens, including journalists in an alleged attempt at preventing them from recording the event.

Even before the rally began, riot police raided several bars in the Cihangir district near Taksim and arrested people "at random", including a press photographer.

B├╝lent Kilic, a veteran award-winning photographer with experience in conflict zones, was handcuffed behind his back, his shirt torn off, and taken away with others in a police van. He had already been arrested last year under the same circumstances.

The arrests came after the authorities issued a seven-day ban on gatherings "in open and closed spaces" leading up to Sunday in an attempt to prevent the Pride march from taking place.

Earlier in May, Turkish police in Istanbul arrested dozens LGBTQ activists who gathered to celebrate the beginning of Pride month. The activist claimed they were "tortured" and published images of heavily bruised wrists and legs.

After a spectacular march in 2014 of more than 100,000 people in Istanbul, the Turkish authorities have banned it year after year, officially for security reasons. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has criticised the country's LGBTQ activists in the past, likening them to vandals.

We are here, Erdogan, and we are not going anywhere!



“The future is queer. We are here. We are queer. 
We are not going anywhere,” protesters chanted



Saturday, June 25, 2022

Norwegians stage ‘spontaneous' Pride walk after Oslo shooting


Only hours before the capital city’s annual Pride parade, a 42-year-old Norwegian citizen from Iran opened fire at three locations in Oslo’s nightlife district. Two people were killed and at least 10 seriously wounded in an incident being investigated as an act of terrorism. The suspect is believed to be a radicalised Islamist.

While the motive was unclear, Oslo Pride cancelled a parade scheduled for 12pm as one of the shootings took place outside the London Pub, one of the city’s largest LGBTQ venues.

With Oslo Pride cancelled, countless Pride flags and flower bouquets were left outside the London Pub for a makeshift memorial. Thousands gathered in the afternoon to silently march along Rosenkrantz towards the London Pub that soon became a joyous celebration of community spirit.

Finally, Norwegians of all conditions, not only queer, have remained defiant in the face of a mass shooting in front of an LGBTQ venue in Oslo by staging a “spontaneous” Pride walk.

We all are stand with you!!!


Norway Royal Family and Norway PM visited the place 



Friday, June 24, 2022

U.S. Supreme Court overturns abortion rights landmark, what will be next?


The U.S. Supreme Court took the dramatic step of overturning the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that recognized a woman's constitutional right to an abortion and legalized it nationwide, handing a momentous victory to Republicans and religious conservatives who want to limit or ban the procedure.

The court, in a 6-3 ruling powered by its conservative majority, reinforced by Trump, upheld a Republican-backed Mississippi law that bans abortion after 15 weeks. The vote was 5-4 to overturn Roe, with Chief Justice John Roberts writing separately to say he would have upheld the Mississippi law but not taken the additional step of erasing the precedent altogether.

The Supreme Court decision to end the nationwide right to abortion has sparked speculation, including by President Biden, that other landmark rulings could now be on shakier ground, including those that legalized same-sex marriage and birth control.

"This is about a lot more than abortion," said President Biden. "What are the next things that are going to be attacked? Because this MAGA crowd is really the most extreme political organization that's existed in American history, in recent American history."

Obergefell v. Hodges legalized same-sex marriage nationwide. In Ohio, Jim Obergefell had brought suit in order to be recognized as the surviving spouse of his deceased partner, John Arthur.

The justices voted 5-4 to declare same-sex marriage a constitutional right, citing both the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.

"The right to marry is fundamental as a matter of history and tradition, but rights come not from ancient sources alone. They rise, too, from a better informed understanding of how constitutional imperatives define a liberty that remains urgent in our own era," wrote Kennedy, who joined the court's four liberals.

What will be next right to cut?



Don't forget Nigeria in Pride Month


Although homosexuality is illegal in Nigeria, more LGBTQ people are finding the courage to celebrate during Pride month. In 2017, a poll found 83% of Nigerians would not accept an LGBTQ family number. In 2019, that number dropped to about 60%.

In 2014, the Same-Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act was signed into law, which bars not only gay relationships but also any public sign of same-sex affection or membership of LGBTQ groups, with punishments of up to 14 years in prison.

But despite the risks, activists are pushing to express themselves and demand change this June, a month which is marked around the world with LGBTQ Pride rallies and parties.

Nigerian LGBTQ events have been growing in number and size in recent years, although they remain behind closed doors due to safety and legal concerns.

Celebrations this year are centered around the week-long Pride in Lagos event which will include art exhibitions, a drag contest, and a ball.

While there have been no convictions under the same-sex marriage act, rights groups, and activists say it effectively sanctions abuses of LGBTQ people and has emboldened both police officers and members of the public to carry out attacks.

But LGBTQ people are growing increasingly vocal and visible, with the internet providing a space for gay-friendly films, talk shows, and websites. With rights groups barred from formally registering as an organization under the same-sex marriage law, most organizing, and support groups take place online.

We must never forget why Pride Month exists, in our country or anywhere around the world.



Watch Legend of the Underground, a documentary 
about gay activism in Nigeria



Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Irish rugby pro Nick McCarthy comes out


In an interview with his team, Irish rugby player Nick McCarthy said he came out to his teammates and that it has been an “entirely positive” experience.

“I was obviously pretty nervous about doing so, but I’m really happy that I did it,” he said. “I struggled with coming out for a while and it was starting to impact on me and my happiness so it was the right decision.”

McCarthy said that while the experience of coming out has been positive, he once considered retiring from the sport due to his struggle with his sexuality.

“I agonised over my future and contemplated walking away from rugby altogether because I just didn’t think I could come out while playing rugby,” he said.

“It’s hard to perform at your best when you are carrying something, anything, and that’s the same for all the lads… For me it was my sexuality, for others it could be stuff at home, or studies or whatever.”

The Leinster scrum-half said he was inspired by other LGBTQ athletes to come out himself, citing Australian footballer Josh Cavallo, and his own teammate Jack Dunne, who came out as bisexual last year. 




Monday, June 20, 2022

FINA votes to effectively ban transgender swimmers in elite women's competition


An effective ban on trans women competing in elite women’s swimming events has been roundly criticised.

Swimming’s world governing body, the International Swimming Federation’s (FINA), voted to adopt a new policy ruling out most, if not all trans women from competing in women’s competitions.

FINA’s new policy dictates that trans women who wish to compete must “have not experienced any part of male puberty beyond tanner stage 2, or before age 12, whichever is later”. Trans women will be free to compete in a new, unspecified “open” category.

The international water sports committee passed the 34-page policy during an extraordinary general congress in Budapest, with 71 per cent of its of 152 members backing it. It was described as “only a first step towards full inclusion” for trans athletes, despite being entirely focused on their exclusion.

Chris Mosier, a trans man who in 2020 became the first out trans athlete to complete an Olympics trial in their true gender, said the policy’s age threshold is “outrageous”.

Swimmer and trans activist Schuyler Bailar called the policy “transphobic”, noting that the age limit effectively excludes all trans women and girls in the US.

Trans campaigner Jackie Turner simply said: “Banning swimmers who are trans is discrimination.

There are no reasons to ban trans women from sports, according to science and experts.




Saturday, June 18, 2022

A kiss can change the world, let's face it!


Authorities across much of the Muslim world have barred Disney's latest animated film Lightyear from being played at cinemas after the inclusion of a brief kiss between a lesbian couple. 

Lightyear includes a female character voiced by actress Uzo Aduba briefly kissing her female partner in one scene in the Pixar film. Studios have allowed censors to cut films in global distribution for content in the past, but this time Disney refused to cut the scene that shows two women sharing a kiss.

Nations that refused to allow the film to be shown include Bahrain, Egypt, Indonesia, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and the Palestinian territory. The United Arab Emirates, home to Abu Dhabi and Dubai, earlier this week announced it would not allow the film to screen.

Last year, Marvel’s film, Eternals, had been pulled from Muslim Gulf region markets, like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar, after sources claimed the studio refused to remove a same-sex kiss. 

Remember that homosexuality is considered illegal in all these countries. Besides, in Saudi Arabia and Qatar, the legally prescribed punishment for same-sex sexual acts is the death penalty.

But, it is not only in the Muslim world, there is homophoby inside the U.S too. Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz lamented "woke Disney" for what he says is its promotion gay characters, namely the "lesbian toys" featured in the new Buzz Lightyear movie.

Disney came out against Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis’s so-called ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill, whose official title is the Parental Rights in Education Bill, last month after being pressured by woke in-house diversity factions.

A kiss can change the world, let's face it!!!


Eternals gay kiss was banned too



Friday, June 17, 2022

Chile women’s football stars get married

 

Fernanda Pinilla and Grace Lazcano joined their married life. The player from Universidad de Chile and the host of RedGol’s “Primera Ronda” program were married in an intimate ceremony.

And both the protagonists of the story shared step photos in their relationship, publishing postcards from before, during and after their wedding.

Both shared a photo where Grace appears to make up Fernanda. Another beautiful postcard is a picture of the couple where their faces do not appear, focused on the unity of their hands.

“As the cats want”, the text of them on their respective Instagram accounts, where you can also see photos of the couple alone and with the wedding guests.

The happy couple immediately received congratulations from celebrities and fans, who shared the joy of Fernanda and Grace in their new life as a married couple.

Chile's congress approved in December 2021, a long-awaited law to legalize same-sex marriage. The law also enable married same-sex couples to adopt children.


Congrats to the newlyweds!!!



Wednesday, June 15, 2022

President Biden to sign executive order to fight anti-LGBTQ state bills


President Joe Biden is set to sign an executive order aimed at combating a historic number of anti-LGBTQ bills introduced in state legislatures across the country.

The order will direct federal health and education agencies to expand access to gender affirming care and advance LGBTQ-inclusive learning environments at American schools.

It will also curb federal funding for the debunked practice of “conversion therapy,” which nearly every leading U.S. medical association has condemned, and ask the Federal Trade Commission to consider whether the practice constitutes an unfair or deceptive act.

The president's order comes during LBGTQ Pride month and as advocates fight against a record number of anti-LGBTQ bills introduced in states across the country this year.

A bulk of the bills signed into law in recent months, 24 in 12 Republican states,  aim to limit access to gender affirming care for transgender youth, prohibit trans girls and women from competing on girls' sports teams in school, and bar the instruction of LGBTQ issues in school.

Under the executive order, a coordinating committee will also be established to lead efforts across federal agencies to strengthen the collection of data on sexual orientation and gender identity.




Monday, June 13, 2022

U.S. embassies permitted to raise Pride flags again

 

U.S. missions overseas can once again fly the LGBT Pride flag on their official flagpoles, according to the State Department. The policy, announced by Secretary of State Antony Blinken, repeals Trump Administration's effective ban on Pride flags or others from flying at U.S. embassies and consulates.

The State Department will also move to protect LGBTQ rights by providing asylum categories for LGTBQ people fleeing persecution, lobbying for the repeal of laws that criminalize LGBTQ status or conduct, and building coalitions of like-minded nations and engaging international organizations in the fight against LGBTQ discrimination.

This authorization lays out the Biden administration's policy to support the rights of LGBTQ persons and communities. President Biden vowed that his Administration stands with every LGBTQ American in the ongoing struggle against intolerance, discrimination, and injustice.

Early this month, President Biden issued a proclamation declaring June as LGBTQ Pride Month in the United States, and pledging support at the executive level in fighting discrimination. He also warned of the dangerous anti-LGBTQ legislation introduced and passed in some Republican States across the country.

Happy Pride around the world!!!


Despite Putin, rainbow flag waves again in the U.S. embassy in Moscow



Sunday, June 12, 2022

White supremacists arrested before rioting near a Pride event in Idaho

 

Dozens of masked members of the white supremacist group Patriot Front were arrested as they prepared to stage a riot near a Pride event in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.

The Pride event is one of the largest in Idaho and Patriot Front is a white supremacist, neo-fascist group that likes to travel inconspicuously in U-Haul trucks. 

Coeur d’Alene Police Chief, Lee White, told that dozens of individuals affiliated with the group were in police custody and charged with conspiracy to riot.

The group had traveled from all over the country to sow chaos during the LGBTQ event, White said. They came from states like Texas, Utah, South Dakota, Arkansas, Oregon, and Virginia. Law enforcement was quick to derail the group's plans, he said thanks to one concerned citizen.

“We received a telephone call from a concerned citizen who reported that approximately 20 people jumped into a U-Haul wearing masks, they had shields, and looked like a little army,” he said.

“They had shields, shin guards, and other riot gear with them, including at least one smoke grenade,” White said, adding that paperwork including an apparent operations plan had also been found in the group’s U-Haul. It was not immediately clear if they had any firearms.

Watch the video how Patriot Front guys pulled over by law enforcement:




Friday, June 10, 2022

Over 170K march in Tel Aviv Pride Parade 2022

 

Over 170,000 people took part in Tel Aviv’s Pride Parade 2022, celebrating the LGBTQ community and calling for equality in the largest annual gathering of its kind in the Middle East.

The Pride Parade in Tel Aviv is a holiday for the LGBTQ community, which symbolizes the uniqueness and openness of the city and brings Israel much respect around the globe

The sprawling event returned last year after pandemic restrictions were mostly lifted. This year it is being held after Israel reopened to foreign tourists.

The crowds have grown so big over the years that this time around the organizers moved the event from the seaside promenade to a larger venue. Some 250,000 people attended the Tel Aviv Pride parade in 2019, before it was called off the following year because of the pandemic. In 2021, an estimated 100,000 people attended.

Israel is a rare bastion of tolerance for the LGBTQ community in the conservative Middle East, where homosexuality is widely considered taboo and is outlawed in some places. Gay people serve openly in Israel's military and parliament, and the current health minister is openly gay. 

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid highlighted his efforts on behalf of the LGBTQ community, including the decision to hang a pride flag outside the Foreign Ministry for the first time. He recalled that far-right MK Itamar Ben Gvir sent a letter to the attorney general demanding that the flag be taken down. “My response was ‘Who asked you?'” Lapid said to cheers from the crowd.

“We are winning the fight for the LGBTQ community but it is not over, we must continue to lead it because as long as there is one LGBT child in the periphery who needs our protection, we will march in their honor,” he said.

Happy Pride folks!!!


Tel Aviv Pride Parade is more and more crowded every year



Thursday, June 9, 2022

Four-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel believes F1 is ready for an openly gay driver

 

Sebastian Vettel says Formula 1 is ready for an openly gay driver, something he believes would help to speed up the elimination of prejudice and push the sport "in a better direction".

The four-time World Champion, who stands third on the list of all-time Grand Prix wins, will be the cover star of the July/August edition of Attitude, the world's best-selling gay magazine.

He will join David Beckham and Adam Peaty among the list of Attitude's straight cover stars, described as an "LGBTQ ally" by the magazine in which he has used his platform to demand action from Formula 1 to combat prejudice.

Currently, there are no openly gay drivers on the F1 grid, with Mike Beuttler, who raced between 1974 and 1976, the sport's last known gay male driver. There have been gay female stars of motorsport, however, including W Series racer and Vettel's Aston Martin colleague, Jessica Hawkins.

"I guess it might be similar to the situation in a sport like football: the old image of a player or driver as a 'hero' who should match a certain set of criteria. But the judging criteria are just wrong," Vettel said when asked why gay F1 drivers may choose to stay closeted.

But more can be done by Formula 1, says Vettel, who used his platform on the cover of Attitude to urge the sport he once conquered to do more than just talking about the issues close to his heart.




Monday, June 6, 2022

Gay weddings return to the U.S. Supreme Court

 

The debate over whether businesses can be forced to provide goods and services for gay weddings will return to the U.S. Supreme Court in an upcoming case.

The Supreme Court agreed to hear 303 Creative v. Elenis. Lorie Smith owns and runs 303 Creative, a web design firm based in Colorado. Smith planned to design and host sites for weddings, but she has religious objections to same-sex marriage and does not want to be forced to design and host sites for LGBT couples. 

In her petition to the Supreme Court, Smith says she is not refusing to serve LGBT customers. Rather, she "cannot create websites that promote messages contrary to her faith, such as messages that condone violence or promote sexual immorality, abortion, or same-sex marriage."

Historically, the Supreme Court has limited the government's ability to compel a private business to transmit a message it finds objectionable. A book publisher, T-shirt printer, or social media platform generally cannot be forced to print or host messages that support or oppose any particular cause or policy. Smith argues that the same logic should apply in her case. 

But the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit ruled that Colorado could legally require her to design and host sites for gay weddings and prohibit her from putting a message on her website stating that her religious beliefs prevent her from supporting gay marriage with her services.

The Supreme Court appears ready to tangle with the underlying issue in 303 Creative v. Elenis: "whether applying a public-accommodation law to compel an artist to speak or stay silent violates the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment."

President Joe Biden recently warned that the U.S. Supreme Court could target gay marriage next if it overturns abortion rights. We will see what happens.


Supreme Court ruled in 2015 in favor of same-sex marriage


Sunday, June 5, 2022

Record number of Americans back same-sex marriage


Support for same-sex marriage has reached an all-time high in the U.S., according to new polling. 71 per cent of Americans said they support same-sex marriage in Gallup’s annual Values and Beliefs poll.

This is one percentage point more than last year, and the highest level of support since Gallup began asking Americans about marriage equality in 1996. That year, just 27 per cent of Americans supported same-sex unions.

According to Gallup, the statistic reflects a steady increase of support among most subgroups of the population, even those who have traditionally been the most resistant to gay marriage.

Overall, since 2011, the majority of Americans have backed same-sex marriage. It hit 60 per cent in 2015, just one month before the historic decision by the U.S. Supreme Court that guaranteed the right to same-sex marriages

Sadly, President Joe Biden warned that the Supreme Court could target gay marriage next if it overturns abortion rights. All we hope they will not. In any case, these are very good news!


Support increased from 27% (1996) to 71% (2022)



Friday, June 3, 2022

Taliban is using monkeypox to harass and detain LGBTQ+ people in Afghanistan

 

The Taliban is using monkeypox as an “excuse” to harass and detain LGBTQ+ people in Afghanistan. The Taliban’s persecution of LGBTQ+ people has been ramping up ever since monkeypox started being detected in Europe.

The virus, which is usually found in parts of Central and West Africa, is seeing outbreaks UK, Spain, Portugal and some other locations, with queer men making up the majority of confirmed cases.

While not sexually transmitted, public health officials believe monkeypox is being transmitted in these networks through close contact during sex, though experts have also suggested the statistics may be skewed towards queen men because they are more conscious of their sexual health.

Right now, Afghanistan has not officially recorded any cases of monkeypox, but that hasn’t stopped the Taliban from using the spread of the virus to crack down on and attack the LGBTQ+ community.

Two gay man living in Kabul told that the Taliban’s persecution of LGBTQ+ people has only worsened since the monkeypox outbreaks began. “The Taliban have no scientific knowledge about the disease,” they say. “The Ministry of Health has stated that no cases of the disease have been registered, yet they are still looking for excuses to harass the Afghan gay community.”

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


Read the report here



Wednesday, June 1, 2022

President Biden proclaims June as LGBTQI+ Pride Month


President Joe Biden issued a proclamation declaring June as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Intersex (LGBTQI+) Pride Month in the United States, and pledging support at the executive level in fighting discrimination. The last president who declared June as Pride Month was President Obama. Trump never did it.

The proclamation said, "During Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Intersex (LGBTQI+) Pride Month, we reflect on the progress we have made as a Nation in the fight for justice, inclusion, and equality while reaffirming our commitment to do more to support LGBTQI+ rights at home and abroad".

President Biden said the proclamation comes at a time the rights of LGBTQI+ Americans are under relentless attack. Members of the LGBTQI+ community, especially people of color and trans people, continue to face discrimination and cruel, persistent efforts to undermine their human rights. 

An onslaught of dangerous anti-LGBTQI+ legislation has been introduced and passed in States across the country, targeting transgender children and their parents and interfering with their access to health care. These unconscionable attacks have left countless LGBTQI+ families in fear and pain.

President Biden vowed that his Administration stands with every LGBTQI+ American in the ongoing struggle against intolerance, discrimination, and injustice. He condemned the dangerous State laws and bills that target LGBTQI+ youth. He said his Administration is commited to helping LGBTQI+ people in America and around the world live free from violence.

He also called on the Congress to pass the Equality Act, which will enshrine long overdue civil rights protections and build a better future for all LGBTQI+ Americans.

Happy Pride Month!!!