Friday, September 30, 2022

Putin defends the illegal annexation of Ukrainian regions with insane anti-LGTBQ reasons

Russian President Vladimir Putin presided over a ceremony at the Kremlin to annex four Ukrainian regions partly occupied by his forces. The United Nations has condemned the annexation as illegal.

Besides announcing the annexation is irreversible and region's people will become Russian citizens forever, Putin also said during his speech that any gender other than male or female is unacceptable for Russia.

"Do we really want, here, in our country, in Russia, instead of 'mum' and 'dad', to have 'parent No. 1', 'parent No. 2' or 'No. 3'? Have they gone completely insane? Do we really want that there are supposedly genders besides women and men, and children to be offered the chance to undergo sex change operations? We have a different future, our own future."

"Do we really want that children in our schools from the Primary grades to be taught perversions that lead to degradation and extinction? Do we want all this for our country, for our children? For us, all this is unacceptable."

And he added: "The dictatorship of the Western elites is directed against all societies, including the peoples of the Western countries themselves. This is a challenge to all. This is a complete denial of humanity, the overthrow of faith and traditional values. Indeed, the suppression of freedom itself has taken on the features of a religion: outright Satanism."


Wednesday, September 28, 2022

The state of marriage equality in Latin America


After the recent legalization of same-sex marriage in Cuba in a referendum, Latin America has made impressive progress on marriage equality. In 2010, Argentina became the first country in the region to approve same-sex marriage. 

In 2013, neighboring Brazil and Uruguay followed suit, and later Colombia (2016), Ecuador (2019) and Costa Rica (2020). In 2019, the Mexican Supreme Court declared bans on same-sex marriage unconstitutional. In 2020, Bolivia passed a law recognizing same-sex civil unions, and in 2021, Chilean Congress approved the same-sex marriage bill. 

Only in Paraguay, same-sex marriage and civil unions are banned, since 1991, by a constitutional ban.

Sadly, a number of obstacles stand in the way of further progress. LGBTQ activists face backlash from social and religious conservatives, and some leaders, including Presidents Nayib Bukele of El Salvador and Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil, are openly hostile to LGBTQ rights. 

Besides, in the Eastern Caribbean countries, human right activists condemned discriminatory legislation that leaves LGBTQ populations ready victims of discrimination, violence and abuse, most of them with colonial-era laws that still criminalises homosexuality. 

A lot done, but still a lot to do!

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


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: