Tuesday, January 31, 2023

The groundbreaking gay love story in the HBO adaptation of The Last of Us

Based on the landmark 2013 video game The Last of Us, the new adaptation for HBO is set twenty years after a parasitic outbreak has infected the human race and turned most of the world’s population into zombie-like monsters.

In the 3rd episode, we can explore the story of Bill (Nick Offerman) and his partner Frank (Murray Bartlett). Bill and Frank’s love story is a statement of free will in the face of a world which seeks to suppress individuality, whether by the forces of a military. 

Bill fights to protect his lover from the threats of the outside world, but he can fight against their destiny in a collapsed world. It can be a tragic or a brave love story, depends on each person's point of view.

In any case, Bill and Frank’s love story shows that a television adaptation, when done well, can add nuance in a way that fundamentally enriches the original narrative.

Watch the trailer below:

Sunday, January 29, 2023

Blood donations in the U.S. could be easier for gay and bisexual men

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has revealed new regulations for blood donations that will make it easier for gay and bisexual men. 

The federal agency announced that it would be easing its rules concerning blood donation restrictions for queer men. The proposed rules would have allowed queer individuals in monogamous relationships to no longer stay abstinent for a year to give blood. 

In addition to the proposed adjustment, the FDA announced that they would explore the idea of gay and bisexual men filling out a questionnaire related to their sexual history. The established donor questionnaire will be revised to ask all potential donors about their new or multiple sex partners in the past three months.

“This proposal is in line with policies in place in countries like the United Kingdom and Canada,” the federal agency said.

With the proposed regulations officially released, the federal agency will be open for public comment, which will last 60 days. After two months, the FDA will review all the submitted comments before finalising the final set of US-based regulations.

Important step, but the goal should be to eliminate all queer-focused regulations.

Stop restriccions anyway

Friday, January 27, 2023

Pope Francis affirms ‘Being homosexual is not a crime’

Pope Francis has reiterated that homosexuality is “not a crime” in a new interview with The Associated Press, which covered a wide range of topics, including laws that criminalize homosexuality and sodomy.

“Being homosexual is not a crime. It’s not a crime. Yes, but it’s a sin. Fine, but first let’s distinguish between a sin and a crime,” the Pope Francis said. “We are all children of God, and God loves us as we are and for the strength that each of us fights for our dignity,” he added.

The Catholic Church has long condemned any forms of unjust discrimination of those with same-sex attraction, including laws in dozens of countries that criminalize homosexuality and sodomy.

The Vatican also stated at the time that “the Christian community and its Pastors are called to welcome with respect and sensitivity persons with homosexual inclinations and will know how to find the most appropriate ways, consistent with Church teaching, to proclaim to them the Gospel in its fullness.”

Nevertheless, In 2021 the Vatican’s doctrinal office issued a clarification approved by Pope Francis that the Church cannot bless same-sex unions because “God cannot bless sin.” Besides, according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered” and “under no circumstances can they be approved.”

In spite of Pope Francis, much work still to be done in the Catholic Church.

Monday, January 23, 2023

Netherlands changes Constitution to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation


The Upper House of Netherlands voted to amend Article 1 of the Dutch Constitution, expanding it to prohibit discrimination against someone because of sexual orientation. 

Previously the constitution said it was forbidden to discriminate on the basis of religion, philosophy, political preference, race, gender, or on any other grounds. The amendment to the Netherlands' constitution makes it explicitly forbidden to discriminate against someone on the basis of their sexual orientation.

In a 56­–15 vote in the Dutch Senate, the proposal for amendment passed and is now headed to King Willem-Alexander for his royal assent and the Dutch government. Once approved it will be published in the Staatscourant, the official government publication that formally announces the new laws.

Besides banning discrimination, this amendment in the constitution would make a future reversal of laws that allow same-sex marriage and adoption of children by homosexual partners impossible.

Well done!

Netherlands were the first European country 
where gay marriage become legal in 2001

Saturday, January 21, 2023

House Republicans want to ban rainbow flags outside U.S. embassies

House Republicans (R) have introduced legislation prohibiting rainbow Pride flags from being flown outside U.S. embassies in other countries.

Republicans in Congress introduced the so-called “Old Glory Only Act” in response to a State Department official putting a rainbow flag up over a South American embassy, according to Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-Sout Caroline), one of the act’s co-sponsors.

The proposed law would only allow U.S. and military flags flown at embassies and diplomatic facilities. The law follows embassies flying the Black Lives Matter (BLM) banner and Pride flags in previous years.

The bill is supported by anti-LGBTQ+ Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Georgia), Matt Gaetz (R-Florida), Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), and other Republican Congress members. Duncan did not comment on his home state’s capitol flying the Confederate flag, a racist emblem, at its Capitol.

Trump's State Department forbade at least four requests from U.S. embassies worldwide seeking to fly the rainbow flag during Pride month. But embassies defied Trump and flew Pride flags without permission anyway.

President Joe Biden reversed Trump’s ban on rainbow flags at embassies. Biden’s Secretary of State Antony Blinken told American embassies and diplomatic missions that they can fly the Pride flag again as well as “other symbols connoting support for LGBTQ rights based on what is appropriate in light of local conditions.”

Republicans does not like the rainbow flag as Russian President Putin

Friday, January 20, 2023

Protests against UK Government's blocking of gender recognition reform in Scotland

Protests are due to take place this weekend over the UK Government’s blocking of gender recognition reform in Scotland. It follows the UK government’s decision to block Scotland’s gender reform bill, which was passed in December.

The Gender Recognition Reform Scotland bill removes the need for a medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria to obtain a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC). The age at which people can apply for a GRC is also being lowered from 18 to 16.

The UK government, led by Rishi Sunak, expressed concerns over the impact this would have on UK-wide equalities legislation.

Hundreds of protesters gathered outside the UK Government's hub in Edinburgh calling on Westminster to reverse its decision to block Scotland’s gender reform legislation. Further demonstrations will occur in London, Edinburgh, and other cities in the coming days. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Church of England finally rejects to bless same-sex marriages


The Church of England said same-sex couples still will not be allowed to marry in its churches.

The decision followed five years of debate and consultation on the church's position on sexuality. It is expected to be outlined in a report to the church's national assembly, the General Synod, which meets in London next month.

Under the proposals, the Church of England's stance that the sacrament of matrimony is restricted to unions between one man and one woman will not change.

However, same-sex couples would be able to have a church service with prayers of dedication, thanksgiving or for God's blessing after they have a civil wedding or register a civil partnership.

The decision puts the Church of England at odds with its Anglican equivalent in Scotland. The Scottish Episcopal Church and the Presbyterian Church of Scotland both allow same-sex weddings.

Same-sex marriage has been legal in England and Wales since 2013, but the church did not change its teaching when the law changed, and they don't change for now.

Monday, January 16, 2023

Chasten Buttigieg slams Fox News for attacking his husband for his paternity leave


Fox News published an article implying that Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg did something wrong by limiting the amount of work he was doing during his paternity leave in 2021.

The Fox article blasts Pete Buttigieg for refusing to take a call from Sen. Chuck Grassley to discuss a bridge while he was on paternity leave following the birth of his and Chasten Buttigieg’s twins.

It is normal for people on paternity or maternity leave to not participate in all their job duties. Many new parents don’t do their jobs while on leave, even though Pete Buttigieg kept up with some of his duties. 

Chasten Buttigieg, Pete's husband, slammed Fox News over its interest in his partner’s paternity leave and slammed them saying “Go yell at an M&M” and they should look for “new material”.

Chasten’s tweet also came after Fox News host Tucker Carlson recently used his show to cover a rebrand that made the M&M’s mascots “less sexy”, dedicated more time this week to reporting on the popular chocolates.

Fox News not only dislike Pete's paternity leave, they do not really like LGBTQ people becoming parents altogether.

Pete and Chasten announced birth of their adopted twins in September 2021

Friday, January 13, 2023

We want to go to school!

After Taliban's victory in 2021, 'dark days' in Afghanistan against women and LGBTQ people came back. 

Afghan women can no longer work in most sectors, the Taliban ordered working women to stay at home. And Taliban supreme leader ordered women to fully cover themselves, including their faces, in public. He suggested that women should stay at home where possible, as this was the “best option to observe the sharia hijab.”

Among many other prohibitions, the Taliban also barred girls from attending secondary school and suspended university education for all female students.



Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Shame on FIA and its threats!

Sebastian Vettel and other Formula One drivers face potential punishments if they make political, religious or personal statements at races next season. 

International Automobile Federation (FIA) president, the Emirati Mohammed Ben Sulayem, warned drivers could face sanctions if they make such a statement without approval. He said: "They can use sport for peace reasons… but one thing we don't want is to have the FIA as a platform for private personal agendas."

Former world champions Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso are among Formula One stars to have taken a stand on political and social issues at races in recent seasons.

For example, last year, Hamilton did stand for LGBTQ rights in Qatar. And he and Vettel strongly criticised the Hungarian government and voiced his support for the LGBTQ community in the country before the Grand Prix in Budapest. Also F1 champion Fernando Alonso supported LGBTQ rights in Russia race.

Recently FIFA (in French, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association) did something similar during the last World Soccer Cup banning players to wear rainbow armbands because they didn't want to annoy the host country Qatar, where just the mere fact of being gay can result from prison to dead penalty.

Shame on them!!!

German team protested against FIFA ban in Qatar

Friday, January 6, 2023

Stranger Things actor comes out after his character did it

Noah Schnapp, one of the young stars on Netflix's hit series "Stranger Things," came out using a TikTok trend.

Noah, 18, posted a video to his verified account featuring popular audio where people describe big life events that weren't "that serious." In his, he wrote about coming out as gay to his family.

"When I finally told my friends and family I was gay after being scared in the closet for 18 years and all they said was 'we know,'" he wrote in the video.

Noah plays Will Byers on the series, one of the main characters in an ensemble of kids who fight supernatural creatures in the 1980s.

During the series' most recent season, fans speculated that Will's character was closeted because he appeared to be in love with his best friend Mike Wheeler, played by Finn Wolfhard

Noah confirmed the fan theory in an interview: "Now that he’s gotten older, they made it a very real, obvious thing. Now it’s 100% clear that he is gay, and he does love Mike."

He referenced his character in his coming out, writing in the TikTok caption that he was "more similar to Will" than he thought.

Bill (Noah) and Mike (Finn) in the series

Thursday, January 5, 2023

Texas lawmaker files a worse version of Florida's 'Don't Say Gay' Law

The Republican Jared Patterson, North Texas state representative, filed House Bill 1155, a Texas take on the so-called “Don’t Say Gay” bill that became law in Florida last year.

Patterson touts his bill as an improved version of Florida’s Parental Rights in Education Law. The proposed legislation requires that schools provide parents with any health-oriented questionnaires before they are given to students. The bill also outlines a parent’s “right to withhold consent for or decline a health-related service.”

“This legislation would restrict all classroom lessons and discussions on the issue of an individual’s sexual preference or gender identity until high school, thereby protecting the youngest and most vulnerable children from unscientific, inaccurate, and inappropriate information,” Patterson said.

“The sexualization of our children must stop. Parents and taxpayers have spoken loudly over the past year-plus. The message is no more radical ideology in the classroom, particularly when it comes to inappropriate or obscene content,” he added. 

Florida’s Parental Rights in Education bill, signed into law in March 2022 by Gov. Ron DeSantis, sparked national discussion regarding how much freedom teachers can have to introduce LGBTQ-related topics in the earliest years of grade school. Florida’s bill extends from kindergarten to the third grade, while Patterson’s bill extends through the eighth grade.

And it’s not just Texas and Florida that are in on the “Don’t Say Gay” trend, more than a dozen Republican states have similar bills in the works, and Biden’s Administration issued a strong statement against these legislations.

Tuesday, January 3, 2023

A new step in Ukraine for equality and making a difference with Putin

Despite the invasion war, the Parliament of Ukraine continues working and a bill banning hate speech against LGBTQ people in the media has passed. The legislation, banning hate speech and incitement based on sexual orientation and gender identity, was unanimously approved by all MP.

In 2015 employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity has been banned in Ukraine.

In 2016  the government changed the legislation for trans people which makes it easier for them to get new papers after a successful transition.

In 2019, 8,000 people attended Kyiv Pride, protected by the police, became the biggest ever Gay Pride Parade in Ukraine, showing things are slowly changing.

President Zelensky promised to continue fighting anti-LGBTQ discrimination when he met President Biden at the White House in 2021.

A recent petition in Ukraine calling for same-sex marriage to be legalised has gained enough signatures for the president to consider the proposal. Zelensky responded that “each citizen is an indivisible part of civil society, for whom all rights and freedoms fixed in the Constitution of Ukraine extend. All people are free and equal in their dignity and rights.” 

The president confirmed that he will ask Ukraine’s government to look into legalising same-sex marriage after the war with Russia ends, because it is necessary to change the Constitution and that is not possible in conditions of war.

According to a poll conducted by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology, over the past six years, the number of people who have a "negative view" of the LGBTQ community has decreased from 60.4% to 38.2%. 

Comparatively, the situation for LGBTQ people in Russia is getting worse. President Putin recently approved an extension of the country’s ‘gay propaganda law’ which now bans any LGBTQ content for anyone. Previously, it only applied to minors.

Support LGBTQ community in Ukraine here