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:


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

Saturday, July 23, 2022

Over 150K people march for LGBTQ rights in Berlin

Over 150,000 people marched for LGBTQ rights at Berlin’s annual Christopher Street Day celebration. The motto of the parade was "United in Love! Against hate, war and discrimination."

This Berlin's parade was the first time since before the coronavirus pandemic that the annual celebration had proceeded without major restrictions. In 2020, the parade was cancelled entirely due to the pandemic.

German political institutions showed their support for the LGBTQ community. In a historic first, both the German Bundestag and the chancellery flew rainbow flags to mark the occasion.

Klaus Lederer, Berlin’s deputy mayor and a senator for culture and Europe, said in a speech opening the celebrations that Berlin must be a “safe haven” for LGBTQ individuals facing persecution in their home countries.

German parliament passed a bill legalizing same-sex marriages in 2017, and the gay couples can adopt since that year too.

Happy Parade Berlin!!!

Love always wins!!!

Thursday, July 21, 2022

U.S. Congress may protect marriage equality nationwide

Republican and Democratic senators said they expect a bill to codify same-sex marriage to eventually win the 60 votes needed to break a filibuster, a sign of growing public acceptance and a sea change over an issue that had once badly divided the two parties.

While most GOP senators are likely to vote against the bill, lawmakers in both parties believe there will be at least 10 Republicans who would join all 50 Democrats and advance the bill to a final up-or-down vote.

Buoyed by the 47 Republicans who voted for similar legislation that passed the House, senators expected a similar show of bipartisan support when the measure hits the Senate floor.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat from New York, said he wants to bring the bill to the floor soon, but did not announce when he would schedule a vote. He added that he was "impressed by how much bipartisan support the bill got in the House."

Marriage equality proponents are pressing to quickly pass the Respect for Marriage Act, which also legalizes interracial marriage, after Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in an opinion in the recent case that overturned the constitutional right to abortion that the high court might want to reconsider other decisions related to contraception and same sex marriage. Many Republicans have dismissed Thomas' words and said they don't expect the Supreme Court to revisit those cases.

Hopefuly we can see it after August recess' Senate.

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

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Russia's number one tennis player bravely comes out


Russia’s number one ranked singles tennis player has called for Putin to end his brutal war in Ukraine and criticized her country’s attitude toward homosexuality after coming out.

Daria Kas├ítkina, 25, who is currently ranked world number 12 and reached the semi-final of the French Open in June, spoke out about the Kremlin’s repressive policies in an interview with Russian blogger Vitya Kravchenko on YouTube video filmed in Barcelona, where she trains. 

Daria, who does not live in her home country, revealed that she has a girlfriend in the interview and said she feared returning home. “Living in the closet is impossible,” she said. “Living in peace with yourself is the only thing that matters,” she added.

While homosexuality is not outright banned in Russia, it is illegal to share “gay propaganda” to children. Homophobic attitudes are widespread, however, with horrific reports of human rights violations against gay people particularly associated with Chechnya, the small Muslim republic in southern Russia.

Brava Daria!!!

Daria with girlfriend Natalia Zabiiako, a figure skater

Monday, July 18, 2022

Thousands take part in Seoul LGBTQ festival

Thousands took part in an LGBTQ festival in downtown Seoul. Heralded as the Seoul Queer Culture Festival, approximately 15,000 people were reported to have participated in South Korea's capital.

The pride festival was celebrated by thousands of gay rights supporters who marched under mass police presence for the first time in three years after COVID-19 forced an extended hiatus of large events.  

Participants, some wearing rainbow masks and toting rainbow flags, looked around some 72 booths opened by human rights groups, university LGBTQ clubs, embassies, religious and progressive organisations, taking part in face painting or social media events.

Counter-protesters and conservative Christian groups rallied in nearby streets as well, holding banners and posters that attacked acts of homosexuality and queer relationships. 

Organisers of the Pride festival required photojournalists to take photographs of event attendees from the “farthest possible distance” as well as obtaining consent of all individuals whose faces would be recognisable in images, a standard which is used as a preventative measure to protect festivalgoers from potential backlash or homophobic attacks if their images are found circulating the Internet. 

While there has been strides made to bolster support for sexual minorities and the queer community in South Korea, LGBTQ centered discussions are still considered taboo and often subject to hate speech and crimes. The influence of Christian lobbying groups have impacted public opinion and prevented politicians from passing anti-discrimination laws. 

Thousands gathered the queer festival in Seoul

Saturday, July 16, 2022

European Commission sues Hungary over its anti-LGBTQ law


The European Commission decided to refer Hungary to the Court of Justice of the EU over a Hungarian law which discriminates against people on the basis of their sexual orientation and gender identity.

The Hungarian legislation is discriminatory like the 2013 Russian law banning "gay propaganda,” which is a tool of discrimination and harassment.

The lawsuit add to a long list of increasingly bitter standoffs between Hungary’s hardline nationalist Prime Minister Viktor Orban and the liberal core of the EU over human rights and democratic standards.

Touted as protecting children by the government of Orban, who presents himself as a defender of traditional Catholic family values, it was criticised by human rights groups and international watchdogs as discriminating against LGBTQ people and labelled a “disgrace” by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

Gay marriage is not recognised in Hungary and only heterosexual couples can legally adopt children. Orban’s government has redefined marriage as the union between one man and one woman in the constitution, and limited gay adoption.

LGBTQ community in Hungary faces an uncertain future, with legislative attacks and violence reaching a crescendo this year, but activists remain hopeful that could turn with EU institutions help.

We stand with Hungary!!!

Thursday, July 14, 2022

U.N. extends mandate of the expert on protection to sexual orientation and gender identity

The United Nations Human Rights Council adopted four new resolutions, including one in which it extends the mandate of the independent expert on protection from violence and discrimination related to sexual orientation and gender identity for three years.

The mandate for the independent expert was first approved in 2016 and renewed in 2019. In this year’s renewal resolution, the Human Rights Council called on member states to repeal laws and policies that discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity and take effective measures to prevent violence and discrimination. 

The independent expert is to report back annually on the implementation of the mandate to the council and the U.N. General Assembly. The current independent expert is Victor Madrigal-Borloz, a judge from Costa Rica and a senior visiting researcher at Harvard Law School’s Human Rights Program.

Madrigal-Borloz said in a tweet that he was "delighted" by the news of the renewal, adding that he was "as humbled & honored as the first day to continue serving persons, communities and peoples affected from discrimination and violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity."

This year’s resolution marked the first time that the Human Rights Council adopted a resolution explicitly condemning legislation that criminalizes consensual same-sex conducts and diverse gender identities and called on states to amend discriminatory legislation and combat violence on the grounds” of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Putin wants to extend ‘gay propaganda’ law to all adults

Russian lawmakers have proposed extending a ban on the promotion of “non-traditional” sexual relationships among minors to now include adults as well.

Under proposed changes to law, any event or act regarded as an attempt to promote homosexuality could incur a fine.

“We propose to generally extend the ban on such propaganda regardless of the age of the audience (offline, in the media, on the internet, social networks and online cinemas),” the head of the State Duma’s information committee, Alexander Khinshtein,

Russia’s existing “gay propaganda” law, passed in 2013, has been used to stop gay pride marches and detain LGBTQ rights activists.

Under the proposed changes to the law, any event or act regarded as an attempt to promote homosexuality could incur a fine in Russia.

Authorities say they are defending morality in the face of what they argue are un-Russian liberal values promoted by the West.

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into law a series of constitutional amendments that, among other things, formally defines marriage as between a man and a woman in the country. That simply maked it even harder for marriage equality to ever become a reality.

But the worst happens in Chechnya, where the gay purge continues in under Putin's protection.

Just waving a rainbow flag in Russia is a crime

Monday, July 11, 2022

Yes! We all love Terrell & Jarius family!

A gay black couple from Atlanta were surprised to discover that two surrogates were pregnant with their babies, and now the men are documenting their lives with their five-year-old son and daughter on social media.

Terrell and Jarius, both 29, desperately wanted to be parents, so they began working with a surrogate in their early 20s to start a family. They moved on two women.

They assumed that one of the surrogate wouldn't work out, but were surprised when both conceived at the same time. Months later, Ashton and Aria were born just five weeks apart, both premature.

They've since quit their corporate jobs and turned to content creation and fatherhood full time. On Instagram, they have 342,000 followers, plus 142,000 YouTube subscribers. On TikTok, where they really shine, it's over 2 million.

They share videos of family life. There are clips of the whole group goofing around and having fun together, doing TikTok dances, and answering follower questions, as well as hair tutorials with little Aria. 

For Jarius and Terrell, one of the most important things is showing the family life of a gay parents. 

"I feel like there are so many people in our community who still to this day don't see the life that they would like to have being actually a possibility," Jarius said. "Don't think that just because you're part of the LGBTQ community that you can't have certain things in life or that success won't come your way." 

"With fatherhood in general and black fatherhood, I know that historically, the stereotype is dads aren't involved. We can be active in our kids' lives and give them everything that they dream of, or at least try to," Terrell added. 

Yes, we all love them!!!

Saturday, July 9, 2022

Slovenia legalises same-sex marriage and adoptions

The Slovenian Constitutional Court has legalised same-sex marriage and adoptions with immediate effect after finding a law under which only heterosexual partners can marry and same-sex couples cannot adopt children to be in contravention of the constitutional ban on discrimination.

The court gives the National Assembly six months to amend the law accordingly, but until the law is amended its ruling stands as the law and means that marriage is a union between two persons regardless of gender, and same-sex partners living in a civil partnership may adopt a child together under the same conditions as married spouses.

Referring to marriage, it says discrimination against same-sex couples "cannot be justified with the traditional meaning of marriage as a union between a man and a woman, nor with special protection of family."

The decision "does not diminish the importance of traditional marriage as a union of a man and a woman, nor does it change conditions under which persons of the opposite sex marry. All it means is that same-sex partners can now marry just like heterosexual partners can."

The court uses a similar argument for same-sex adoptions as it notes that same-sex couples have already been allowed to adopt each other's children.

The ban on same-sex adoptions cannot be justified with the objective of maximum benefit for children since "an absolute ban ... is not a suitable means to achieve this end."

Congratulations Slovenia!!!

Slovenia rejected same-sex marriage in a referendum in 2015

Friday, July 8, 2022

Three gay men sentenced to be stoned to death in Nigeria


Three men have been found guilty of homosexuality by an Islamic sharia court in Bauchi, Nigeria, and their sentence is that they shall be stoned to death.

The verdict was announced by the leader of the Hisbah religious police force, Adam Dan Kafi, after all three men gave confessions. However, none of those convicted had any legal representation in the court that found them guilty.

The three men tragically due to be stoned to death have 30 days to appeal the decision starting from June 30 when the sentence was officially given. Although the men have already been charged and sentenced, the death penalty verdict passed in sharia courts must be approved by the state governor.

Bauchi, the Nigerian state where the proceedings took place, subscribes to the Islamic legal system which sees death by stoning as the maximum penalty for homosexual activity. The same system is practised in eleven other Nigerian states.

Recently, in Iran, a gay man was also being sentenced to death and executed in the Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj. He was charged with sodomy and is believed to be at least the third anti-LGBTQ execution in Iran this year.

Enough is enough!!!

Arrests and abuses by police are usual in Nigeria

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

A Caribbean court rules colonial-era law against gay sex is unconstitutional

A Caribbean court has ruled an antiquated law in Antigua and Barbuda that criminalises gay sex is unconstitutional.

The Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court said a law in Antigua and Barbuda that punishes anal sex between men with 15 years in prison with five-year sentences for “serious indecency” could not be upheld as it “offends the right to liberty, protection of the law, freedom of expression, protection of personal privacy and protection from discrimination on the basis of sex.”

Such laws used to be common in former British colonies across the Caribbean but have been challenged in recent years.

The Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court is a regional body with jurisdiction over Antigua and Barbuda, the Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and three British Overseas Territories.

Good news from Caribbean!!!

British colonisers made laws outlawing homosexuality, enough!

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Same-sex marriage just became legal in Switzerland

A law allowing same-sex couples to marry came into force in Switzerland, it also provides these couples with new rights in relation to adoption and artificial insemination.

The law was approved by an almost two-thirds majority of voters in a referendum last September, although participation in the vote was not very high, according to Swiss media.

Since 2007, same-sex couples have been able to enter into a registered partnership in Switzerland, however, marriage will bring them new rights. For example, they will be able to adopt a child, and if one spouse is a foreign national, they will be able to acquire Swiss citizenship more quickly; same-sex female couples will also have greater access to artificial insemination.

Switzerland is one of the last countries in western Europe to allow same-sex marriage. Hundreds of couples throughout Switzerland will transform their registered partnership into a marriage in the next few weeks.

One of the first homosexual couples were married by the mayor of Geneva, Marie Barbey-Chappuis, who supports the new law. “It’s very moving. It’s a very powerful moment that sends an equally powerful message to society, to have the freedom to love and be loved,” the mayor said.


Sunday, July 3, 2022

Heartstopper stars Kit Connor and Joe Locke march together at Pride in London

Heartstopper stars Kit Connor and Joe Locke marched together at Pride in London.

The actors, both 18, have been propelled to fame this summer after starring as school-age friends-turned-boyfriends Nick Nelson (Connor) and Charlie Spring (Locke) in Netflix's smash-hit LGBTQ series, based on Alice Oseman's graphic novels.

Connor and Locke were among the million revelers marching in the annual Pride in London parade, where they were seen holding hands, hugging and interacting with fans along the parade route.

The pair were joined at Pride in London by their Heartstopper castmates Sebastian Croft (who plays Ben Hope), Tobie Donovan (Isaac Henderson), Corrina Brown (Tara Jones), Kizzy Edgell (Darcy Olsson), Rhea Norwood (Imogen Heaney) and Jenny Walser (Tori Spring).

This year's Pride in London marks the 50th anniversary of Pride in the UK, with hundreds of thousands of people taking the streets of the capital after 2020 and 2021's events were cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Happy Pride!!!

Heartstopper cast joined at Pride in London

Saturday, July 2, 2022

Gay footballer dreams to play in World Cup but questions his safety in Qatar

Josh Cavallo has revealed his apprehensions ahead of this year's World Cup that will be held in Qatar.

Playing for Adelaide United in the Australian League, Cavallo became the first active football player to officially come out as gay in October 2021.

This year's World Cup will be held in Qatar, a country where women and LGBTQ people continue to face discrimination.

Asked whether he would agree to travel there to represent his home country of Australia in the tournament, Cavallo said: "'I'd definitely go to the World Cup." However, he said the prospect hasn't come without concerns and he has questioned if his life would be in danger.

"I want to do something really good in my career. I've always dreamed of playing for my country at the World Cup, but do I want my life to be in danger?"

Nassar Al-Khater, president of the organizing committee for the 2022 world cup in Qatar, has confirmed that “homosexuality is not allowed” in the emirate, but promises that LGBTQ football fans will have the right to travel to the country and attend the games as any other fan, but the “public displays of affection are frowned upon and this applies to everyone.”

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