Monday, July 31, 2023

Over 30,000 people participated in Bucharest Pride 2023


The Accept association organized Bucharest Pride 2023, an event of the Romanian LGBTQ community, and over 30,000 people participated in the march. The demonstrators demanded equal rights for all citizens, regardless of sexual orientation. 

Under the umbrella of "Visible love. Visible families", the event  this year focused on the feeling of family, as well as the right to have a family recognized and legally protected by the Romanian state, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity of the partners.

Every year, the LGBTQ community in Romania takes to the streets to celebrate their identity, to make their voice heard and to claim their right to a dignified life. This year, gay  people are invited to join the march accompanied by the people they love, to show the world the beauty of family diversity.

Bucharest Pride is an important occasion to stand up for LGBTQ rights and inclusion. Encourage the Romanian authorities to address any current legal gaps for the full realization of LGBTQ rights and push for the legalization of same-sex marriages and homosexual adoptions.

Dozens of embassies and diplomatic missions and international organizations placed in Bucharest also signed a statement supporting Pride 2023 and the LGBTQ community in Romania.

Saturday, July 29, 2023

Liverpool to host Kyiv Pride march on behalf of Ukraine


Thousands of LGTBQ people march through Liverpool this weekend, as the city hosts a joint pride celebration with Ukraine.

Kyiv's own pride march cannot be held there, due to the Russian invasion, so Merseyside will hold the event on its behalf.

More than 15,000 turned the city centre into what organisers called a "sea of rainbows" for last year's Liverpool Pride.

Pride organisers in Merseyside believe the event follows on naturally from hosting Eurovision to help Ukraine during the war.

It is a celebration and a protest according organisers. "We've developed an affinity with Kyiv over the time of the war. We've co-delivered, on their behalf, Eurovision which was an amazing success and now... this celebration, this protest in combination with their pride," they said.

Happy Pride!!!

Russian invasion fuels public support for LGBTQ people in Ukraine

Thursday, July 27, 2023

How people view same-sex marriage around the world

A Pew Research Center report evaluating support for same-sex marriage in 24 countries around the world shows how it differs based region, religion, and other factors.

Sweden leads the way, with 92% of respondents backing marriage equality, according to the research. Nigeria, meanwhile, is at the other end of the spectrum, with just 2% of the population in support of marriage rights for queer people.

In addition to Sweden’s pro-marriage stance, the country is closely followed by the Netherlands (89%), Spain (87%), France (82%) and Germany (80%). In the United Kingdom, 73% of adults support gay marriage, but, in Italy, gay marriage, which has been a headline in the news and politics since the election of Giorgia Meloni, is not legal, despite 74% of adults being in favor of it. 

In the United States, support for gay marriage is at 63%, but the support is fragmented depending on political beliefs, religion, and other areas. Democrats are nearly two times more likely than Republicans to support marriage equality, 82% vs. 44%.

In the Americas, support is also generally above the halfway mark. Aside from the United States, support for same-sex marriage is 79% in Canada, 63% in Mexico, 67% in Argentina, and 52% in Brazil.

In Asia, marriage support sits at 75% among adults in Australia and 74% in Japan, though it is still not legal in Japan. In India, 53% of adults are in favor of same-sex marriage, which is currently in the process of being decided in their Supreme Court. 

Africa and the Middle East (except Israel) remain among the least supportive of gay marriage

Check the repoprt here.

Tuesday, July 25, 2023

Heartstopper Season 2 is coming

Netflix has released the official trailer for the second season of its fan-favourite, coming-of-age LGBTQ series Heartstopper.

The show, which is an adaptation of Alice Oseman’s popular graphic novels of the same name, follows the budding romance between two young schoolboys, Charlie (Joe Locke) and Nick (Kit Connor).

Ahead of the forthcoming eight-episode season, premiering on 3 August, the teaser shows the pair sharing kisses and physical affection.

The first season of the show has a 100 percent critic rating on Rotten Tomatoes and reached the Netflix Top Ten list in more than 50 countries, according to the streaming platform.

Watch the trailer and the first scene (exclusive clip) of Heartstopper Season 2 below:

Monday, July 24, 2023

The 1975 cancels show in Jakarta after band's same-sex kiss was censored by Malaysian authorities

British pop rock band The 1975 announced it was canceling its shows in Jakarta and Taipei after the Malaysian government cut short a music festival in the wake of the band's lead singer Matty Healy slamming the country’s anti-gay laws and kissing a male bandmate during their performance.

The 1975 was scheduled to have a performance at We The Fest, Indonesia’s annual summer music festival, in Jakarta, part of their 2023 Asia tour.

“The 1975 regret to announce that their forthcoming shows in Jakarta and Taipei will no longer be going ahead as planned,” the group said in a statement. They added that the decision was not made lightly "but unfortunately due to the current circumstances, it is impossible to proceed with the current shows.”

Malaysia’s Communications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil slammed Matty Healy’s conduct and said that homosexuality is a crime in the country punishable by up to 20 years in prison and caning.

Matty Healy likes kissing during his concerts

Saturday, July 22, 2023

Rishi Sunak officially apologises to LGBTQ veterans in UK

UK's Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, has apologised to LGBTQ veterans for the treatment they received after being fired or forced to leave the military for being gay.

Addressing MPs in Parliament, the Prime Minister said: “Many endured the most horrific sex abuse and violence, homophobic bullying and harassment all while bravely serving this country. Today on behalf of the British state I apologise.”

Being gay in the British military was illegal until 2000, something which is believed to have affected thousands of veterans.

Many were imprisoned, experienced corrective violence, and lived with the stain of criminal convictions because of who they loved and which left some homeless and many unable to work.

The apology came after a long-awaited report into the treatment of LGBTQ veterans was published. The LGBT Veterans Independent Review heard evidence from 1,145 people impacted by the ban. 

Read the report here

Thursday, July 20, 2023

A U.S. State Judge could force SCOTUS to rule about same-sex marriage again


Texas judge Dianne Hensley is trying to use a recent Supreme Court ruling to justify her refusal to perform same-sex marriages. 

Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a web designer could not be forced to craft messages that violated her beliefs about same-sex couples.

In a brief filed in state court, the judge argued if the Supreme Court based its ruling on First Amendment grounds rather than state law, that should apply to her lawsuit as well: "Its holding is nonetheless instructive because it rejects the idea of a ‘compelling interest’ in forcing wedding vendors to participate in same-sex and opposite-sex marriage ceremonies on equal terms”.

Hensley is waging a public battle against the State Commission on Judicial Conduct since the state agency warned and sanctioned her about refusing to perform same-sex marriages since 2019.

According to Hensley, the Judicial Conduct Commission’s warning “substantially burdened the free exercise of her religion, with no compelling justification”.

One year ago, President Biden already warned: "They are going to go after the Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage". Sadly, he was right. The new conservative supermajority (appointed by Trump) could change game's rules again.

Last month, SCOTUS ruled that a web designer can refuse work for same-sex weddings

Tuesday, July 18, 2023

Meloni's government begins removing parental rights of same-sex parents in Italy

In conjunction with its crackdown on the rights of same-sex parents, the Italian government has begun retroactively stripping same-sex parents of their legal connection to their children.

For example, Michela Leidi told she received a letter informing her she would be removed from her daughter’s birth certificate as if she did not exist. Michela and her wife Viola, from Bergamo, are reportedly one of the first three lesbian couples to have their children’s birth certificates changed after the country’s right-wing government announced that state agencies should no longer register the children of same-sex couples.

In most cities, the policy has been focused on new babies born, but in the case of Michela and Viola are targeted as one of the first to have their legal status changed retroactively.

While same-sex civil unions have been legal in Italy since 2016, same-sex couples do not have the right to adopt. Surrogacy remains illegal in the country and there are restrictions that prevent the adoption of “stepchildren” by one parent. Besides, nedically assisted reproduction, like in vitro fertilization, is only available to heterosexual couples.

Italy’s Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, leader of the far-right Brothers of Italy party, made anti-LGBTQ rhetoric a cornerstone of her campaign for office. She opposes allowing same-sex couples to adopt as well as marriage quality, calling civil union “good enough” for LGBTQ couples.

Recently, PM Trudeau slammed Meloni over LGBTQ record

Monday, July 17, 2023

Budapest Pride is still very much alive!

Thousands of LGBTQ people and allies attended the Budapest Pride 2023 event. All of them proved that the spirit of Pride is still alive in Hungary as they turned out to march at Budapest’s 28th annual Pride event.

The participants came together to celebrate Budapest Pride against the backdrop of an increasingly hostile legislative environment for LGBTQ citizens in Hungary.

Before the march began at City Park, Pride organiser Jojo Majercsik publicly condemned Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán for legislation he passed in 2021 which bans depictions of homosexuality for under-18s.

Majercsik said: “You can now see how the propaganda law passed two years ago is being applied in practice and how the public discourse has become more angry. It is now apparent how they are trying to limit the rights of LGBTQ people in the media world, in the world of movies and books.”

More than 60 different embassies and cultural institutes from across the globe rejected the acts of violence, hate speech, harassment, stigmatisation, and discrimination committed against Hungarian individuals based on sexual orientation, gender identity or expression.

“We stress the inviolability of human dignity, the right to freedom of expression and information, the right to private family life, and the right to non-discrimination for all,” the joint statement read

EU member states have also sprung into action with ongoing legal proceedings that could threaten Hungary’s status in the union. Countries including France, Belgium, Spain and Germany have joined legal action, arguing that the LGBTQ censorship bill, known as the ‘Child Protection Act’, infringed upon several EU human rights laws as well as its values.

We stand with Hungary!!!

Sunday, July 16, 2023

Pride Barcelona 2023 with more 'Orgull' than ever

Barcelona Pride is an annual LGBTQ celebration held every summer in the Catalan city in Spain. Known as Pride! BCN, the event has been running since 2008.

With over 250,000 people attending each year, it’s the biggest pride celebration in the Mediterranean and one of the most popular in Europe. It’s supported by more than 300 volunteers who help make the event possible.

The festival program spans just over a week, from 3-16 July, and is made up of a mix of festive, social and cultural events, alongside protesting and campaigning activities. It is a family-friendly event, with activities for children too.

Its key aim is to promote respect for diversity, especially towards the gay community. It does this through culture, entertainment, protest and visibility.

Each year, the organisers choose a theme for the event. On the Pride Barcelona website, they say: “Every year we commit ourselves to a social cause to provide visibility, create awareness and generate dçbates”. The theme for 2023 is "The Pride of our lives", in Catalan "L'Orgull de les nostres vides".

Next 23 July will be general elections in Spain and most polls suggest that the right wing party Partido Popular is on track to win the election, but that it will need the support of the far right party Vox to govern. 

Human rights groups are warning voters across the country to heed the precedents being carved out in several regions in Spain where both parties already have regional governments and they are ruling against LGBTQ rights.

“For the first time in a very long time, we felt that Pride was not about demanding more rights,” said a LGBTQ activist. “Instead, it was about demanding that the rights we have not be taken away.”

Feliç Orgull Barcelona!!! Happy Pride Barcelona!!!

The rainbow flag is in the balcony of the Barcelona's town hall, 
despite the petition of far-right party Vox to be not

Hundreds of thousands gather in the streets for Pride in Barcelona
Each vote counts in the next elections in Spain

Friday, July 14, 2023

Troye Sivan shares video for new song “Rush”


Troye Sivan, 28, is back and ready to reclaim his position as a foremost purveyor of summer bops that are laden with playful, queer-inclusive innuendo.

The Australian pop singer unveiled “Rush,” the debut single off his upcoming third album “Something to Give Each Other", which is described as a celebration of sex, dance, sweat, community, queerness, love and friendship.

Inspired by nights spent at the gay clubs on Melbourne’s Smith Street, “Rush” is unconcerned with anything but pure ecstasy. Its hook taps into the latent horniness and homoeroticism of a football chant.

Sivan said the new music is also reflective of his recent split from boyfriend Jacob Bixenman after a roughly four-year relationship, but not in the way listeners might expect.

He clarified that the song is meant to encapsulate “the feeling of endlessly being addicted to your friends and wanting to just have a really good time.”

And he added: “I’m gay and I’m singing about sex, but it’s not like I’m trying to make a Pride anthem. I’m singing about my life.”

Watch the music video below:

Thursday, July 13, 2023

EuroPride slams Georgia authorities after Tbilisi Pride attack by anti-LGBTQ protestors

The European Pride Organisers Association EuroPride is demanding that the Georgian government be held accountable after Tbilisi Pride was attacked by “thugs”.

Participants at Tbilisi Pride had to be evacuated after the event was stormed by thousands of anti-LGBTQ protestors. The organisers said the decision to cancel the event was taken because authorities failed to maintain the perimeter, allowing the protestors in.

Many of the protestors, including members of the Orthodox Christian clergy, waved the country’s national flag and religious icons while they scuffled with police. 

The major European LGBTQ Association is now demanding accountability for “hundreds of far-right nationalist thugs” being allowed to storm the event, despite the Ministry of Internal Affairs assuring them it would be safe.

Georgia’s president, Salome Zourabichvili, condemned the mob, highlighting how parliamentary members and other branches of the ruling party had “instigated, tested, and openly supported” the anti-LGBTQ protestors through social media.

Anyway, not being able to prevent the far-right protestors and their actions leading to the event being cancelled is the very height of incompetence in public office, and it was also a complete failure to perform the most important function of government: to protect your people.

Pride flags were burned in Tbilisi

Tuesday, July 11, 2023

The Mayor of London advocates for trans community

Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, has spoken out against transgender people being “stigmatised, demonised or weaponised” in so-called ‘culture wars’.

Speaking to Gay Times at Pride in London, Khan emphasised the importance of keeping the community at the forefront of this year’s event and due to the ongoing stigma they face in both politics and the media.

“Listen, one of the things that’s the worst of all in politics is people being caught up in the crossfire of a ‘culture war’,” he said.

“And we see every day, not just so-called ‘jokes’ made by the Prime Minister behind closed doors, [but also] things in the mainstream media, clickbait from certain people where the trans community are used as clickbait or as pawns.”

“I’m quite clear, an attack on one minority is an attack on all minorities and an attack on all of us,” he added.

He called on the government to make sure “there are laws in place to protect all minorities, particularly the trans community” and urged it to ban so-called ‘conversion therapy’ for all.

Over one million people took part in London Pride festivities

Sunday, July 9, 2023

FIFA confirms players can't wear rainbow armband at Women's World Cup

FIFA has confirmed that players at the Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, from July 20 to August 20, will not be able to wear the rainbow armband in support of LGBTQ rights, but will instead be able to choose from eight alternative options.

The themes of the armbands for the Women’s World Cup were picked after consultation with the 32 participating teams, players and United Nations agencies. The messages on the armbands are: Unite for Inclusion, Unite for Indigenous Peoples, Unite for Gender Equality, Unite for Peace, Unite for Education for All, Unite for Zero, Unite for Ending Violence Against Women and Football is Joy, Peace, Love, Hope and Passion.

The logo on the Unite for Inclusion armband features the same colours as those used in the OneLove armband, with red, black and green (the Pan-African flag) representing race and heritage and pink, yellow and blue (the pansexual flag) representing all gender identities and sexual orientations.

There will be no change to the regulations that stopped teams from wearing the OneLove armband at last year’s men’s World Cup in Qatar, with sanctions possible should a team choose to breach the rules. However, teams will be invited to choose from eight Fifa-sanctioned armbands highlighting a variety of social causes.

Wednesday, July 5, 2023

Putin agrees same-sex sexual attraction is a mental disorder

Russian President Vladimir Putin has directed Russia's sexologists to help gay folks overcome what he calls the “mental disorder” of same-sex sexual attraction.

Putin directed sex experts to help folks overcome “non-standard preferences” which include homosexuality, bestiality, and autoeroticism among others. The new directive took effect July 1.

Putin also ordered the Ministry of Health to create an institute to study homosexuals at the Serbsky Center for Psychiatry and Narcology, according to istories.

With its actions, Russia is reversing its own 1999 decision removing same-sex sexual attraction from the list of mental disorders.

In addition, last December, Putin signed a law strengthening a ban on LGBTQ propaganda in Russia and making it illegal to promote same-sex sexual relations or suggest non-heterosexual attractions are normal.

Monday, July 3, 2023

Official shut down on LGBTQ activism in China

While celebrations were held around the world for Pride month, there were no major LGBTQ events in China, and crackdown is growing.

The country's largest Pride event has been suspended since 2021. The organiser, a group named ShanghaiPride, did not give a reason for the move, saying at the time it was "cancelling all upcoming activities and taking a break from scheduling any future events."

Instead of parades, ShanghaiPride had organised dance parties, community runs and film screenings in the city. But, in recent years, several activities have had to shut down, raising fears of a crackdown on activism.

Hundreds of accounts dealing with LGBTQ topics on the popular Chinese messaging app WeChat were reportedly deleted in 2021. And last month, the Beijing LGBT Center became the latest group to stop operations "due to forces beyond our control".

Homosexuality was decriminalised in China in 1997 and the Chinese Society of Psychiatry stopped classifying it as a mental disorder in 2001, but people taking part in human rights protests in China often face punishment, and spaces for LGBTQ advocacy have shrunk in recent years. 

Being gay cannot be banned

Sunday, July 2, 2023

Michigan bans conversion therapy for LGBTQ youths

Michigan state senators voted 21-15 to ban conversion therapy by mental health professionals to change the gender identity or sexual orientation of minors.

The bill now head to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who has railed against conversion therapy and in 2021 prohibited state funds from being used to assist such therapy for minors. 

Michigan is now poised to become the 22nd state to ban conversion therapy, a practice that researchers, experts and LGBTQ advocates say increases the risk of mental health issues and suicide attempts among LGBTQ youths. 

Check the U.S. map of conversion therapy laws below: