Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Homophobia has no place in football, not in Australia, not anywhere

 


Port Adelaide forward Jeremy Finlayson has been suspended for three matches for making a homophobic slur towards an Essendon player. 

The player accepted a three-match ban for a homophobic slur the Australian Football League (AFL) decreed was “hurtful and totally unacceptable”. The League took his contrition into account when determining the penalty.

“I unreservedly apologize again to the Essendon player, my teammates, Port Adelaide members and supporters and the LGBTQIA+ community for the distress I have caused,” Finlayson said in a statement. 

In addition to the three-game ban, Finlayson will also complete a Pride in Sport education course, at his own cost.

AFL general counsel Stephen Meade reiterated the AFL's stance that there was no place for homophobia in football. "Everyone, including Jeremy, understands the word he used is both hurtful and totally unacceptable in any setting, ever," he said.

"The AFL is very clear that homophobia has no place in our game, nor in society. We want all people in LGBTQI+ communities to feel safe playing or attending our games and we know the incident that happened on the weekend does not assist this goal. As a code we will continue to work together to improve our game as a safe and inclusive environment for all," Meade added.


Football is for everyone!!!



Monday, April 8, 2024

Books about LGBTQ people were among the most challenged books, subject to ban attempts, in the U.S.

 


The American Library Association (ALA) has released its list of the 10 most challenged books of 2023, and seven of the 10 were challenged, that is, subject to ban attempts, at least in part for LGBTQ content. Several of them are by or about people of color.

“In looking at the titles of the most challenged books from last year, it’s obvious that the pressure groups are targeting books about LGBTQIA+ people and people of color,” ALA President Emily Drabinski said. “At ALA, we are fighting for the freedom to choose what you want to read. Shining a light on the harmful workings of these pressure groups is one of the actions we must take to protect our right to read,” she added.

The top 10 list, released Monday during National Library Week, consists of these books:

  • Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe; reasons: LGBTQ content, claimed to be sexually explicit.
  • All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson; reasons: LGBTQ content, claimed to be sexually explicit.
  • This Book Is Gay by Juno Dawson; reasons: LGBTQIA content, sex education, claimed to be sexually explicit.
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky; reasons: claimed to be sexually explicit, LGBTQ content, rape, drugs, profanity.
  • Flamer by Mike Curato; reasons: LGBTQ content, claimed to be sexually explicit.
  • The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison; reasons: rape, incest, claimed to be sexually explicit, equity, diversity, and inclusion content.
  • Tricks by Ellen Hopkins; reasons: claimed to be sexually explicit, drugs, rape, LGBTQ content.
  • Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews; reasons: claimed to be sexually explicit, profanity.
  • Let’s Talk About It by Erika Moen and Matthew Nolan; reasons: claimed to be sexually explicit, sex education, LGBTQ content.
  • Sold by Patricia McCormick; reasons: claimed to be sexually explicit, rape.

The fight to protect access to books comes amid a book banning boom, with an alarming increase in attempts to censor books in K-12 schools, universities and public libraries. Many of these efforts seek to pull books with LGBTQ characters or themes and are part of a broader, Republican-led movement to chisel away at the rights and status of LGBTQ Americans.

Each attempt to ban a book represents a direct attack on every person’s right to freely choose what books to read and what ideas to explore, and to suppress the voices of LGBTQ community.



Friday, April 5, 2024

Cardiff becomes first UK city to host LGBTQ+ EuroGames



Cardiff has been chosen to host the EuroGames in 2027, marking the first time the LGBTQ+ inclusive event has been held in the UK.

LGBTQ+ sports development and inclusion organisation, Pride Sports Cymru, has been successful in ensuring that Europe’s largest LGBTQ+ sporting event would be staged in the Welsh capital.

The first EuroGames, governed by the European Gay and Lesbian Sport Federation, was held in The Hague in The Netherlands in 1992 and this year’s event will be staged in the Austrian capital, Vienna, in July.

It is the largest multi sport event for athletes, regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation in Europe. Up to 10,000 athletes, including transgender sportsmen and women, are expected to descend on Cardiff in 2027.




Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Shamefully, Uganda top court rejects to overturn harsh anti-gay law



Uganda's Constitutional Court rejected to scrap a harsh anti-gay law that is considered one of the toughest in the world. 

The legislation was adopted in May last year, triggering outrage among the LGBTQ community, rights campaigners, the United Nations and Western powers.

It imposes penalties of up to life in prison for consensual same-sex relations and contains provisions that make "aggravated homosexuality" an offense punishable by death in Uganda.

"We decline to nullify the Anti-Homosexuality Act 2023 in its entirety, neither will we grant a permanent injunction against its enforcement," Richard Buteera, Uganda's deputy chief justice and head of the court, said in the landmark ruling.

The decision was greeted with dismay by opponents of the law, although the five-judge bench did strike out several provisions it said were inconsistent with international rights conventions.

This law violates basic human rights and sets a dangerous precedent for discrimination and persecution against the LGBTQ community. Same-sex relationships were already against the law in Uganda before the signing of the bill, as they are in more than half of countries in Africa.




Tuesday, April 2, 2024

President Joe Biden honors Transgender Day of Visibility

 


President Joe Biden honored Transgender Day of Visibility observance with a statement highlighting his administration’s work advancing the rights of trans Americans and fighting back against harmful anti-LGBTQ state laws.

“On Transgender Day of Visibility, we honor the extraordinary courage and contributions of transgender Americans and reaffirm our nation’s commitment to forming a more perfect union, where all people are created equal and treated equally throughout their lives,” president Biden said.

“I am proud to have appointed transgender leaders to my administration and to have ended the ban on transgender Americans serving openly in our military,” noting also his issuance of “historic executive orders that strengthen civil rights protections in housing, employment, health care, education, the justice system and more” and his signing, in 2022, of the Respect for Marriage Act which ensures “that every American can marry the person they love,” president Biden added.

Joe Biden is the most pro-equality U.S. president ever. According to polling result released by GLAAD, most LGBTQ voters prefer President Joe Biden to Trump.




Thursday, March 21, 2024

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Thailand is closer to legalizing same-sex marriage

 


Thailand is poised to make history as the first nation in Southeast Asia to legalizing same-sex marriage, granting LGBTQ couples equal marital rights.

A parliamentary committee approved a draft amendment to the country’s Civil and Commercial Code. The amendment would redefine marriage as a union between “two individuals” rather than between “a man and a woman”.

The proposed legislation represents a huge milestone for LGBTQ rights in the region. It would grant same-sex couples aged 18 and above the same rights and legal protections as heterosexual couples. They include inheritance, tax allowances, and child adoption.

The landmark bill is expected to be put to a vote in the elected House of Representatives for the second and third readings. If passed, it will then require approval from the Senate and a royal endorsement. The process is expected to conclude by the end of the year.

It's time Thailand!!!



Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin supports marriage equality



Sunday, March 17, 2024

Japan high court says ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional



A Japanese high court ruled that denying same-sex marriage is unconstitutional and called for urgent government action to address the lack of any law allowing for such unions.

The Sapporo High Court ruling said that not allowing same-sex couples to marry and enjoy the same benefits as straight couples violates their fundamental right to equality and freedom of marriage. 

The case was brought by three same-sex couples who appealed three years ago after a lower court recognized the unconstitutionality of excluding same-sex couples from marriage equality.

Government offices may continue to deny marriage status to same-sex couples unless the existing law is revised to include LGBTQ couples or a new law is enacted that allows for other types of unions.

Japan is the only member of the Group of Seven nations that still excludes same-sex couples from the right to legally marry and receive spousal benefits. But support for marriage equality has grown among the Japanese public in recent years.


It's time Japan!!!



Thursday, March 14, 2024

Congratulations Josh Cavallo!!!

 


Josh Cavallo proposed to his boyfriend on the soccer pitch and he said ‘Yes!’

The Australian soccer star is the only openly gay male professional player in the world.

Congratulations!!!



Josh Cavallo and his partner Leighton Morrell



Wednesday, March 13, 2024

Florida students and teachers can finally 'say gay' in classrooms

 


Students and teachers will be able to speak freely about sexual orientation and gender identity in Florida classrooms, provided it’s not part of instruction, under a settlement reached between Florida education officials and civil rights attorneys who had challenged the Parental Rights in Education Act.

The settlement clarifies what is allowed in Florida classrooms following passage two years ago of the law prohibiting instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in early grades. 

Opponents, who dubbed the law “Don't Say Gay,”said it created confusion about whether teachers could identity themselves as LGBTQ or if they even could have rainbow stickers in classrooms.

While the law remains in effect, its interpretation has been significantly altered. The law now clearly states that discussions related to sexual orientation and gender identity are permissible in educational settings. 

Under the terms of the settlement, the Florida Board of Education will send instructions to every school district saying the Florida law doesn't prohibit discussing LGBTQ people, nor prevent anti-bullying rules on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity or disallow Gay-Straight Alliance groups. 

The settlement also spells out that the law is neutral, meaning what applies to LGBTQ people also applies to heterosexual people, and that it doesn't apply to library books not being used for instruction in the classroom.


Let Us Live!!!



Monday, March 11, 2024

France approves bill to rehabilitate people convicted of homosexuality



France's Assemblée Nationale unanimously voted for a bill intended to recognize and compensate homosexual people for the damage caused by discriminatory laws in force between 1942 and 1982.

The anti-gay law was originally introduced by the Vichy government during World War Two, when France was occupied by Nazi Germany. The new bill proposes to reimburse people who were fined for homosexual crimes, and it will also compensate anyone imprisoned for being gay.

The Assemblée reintroduced the principle of financial compensation for people convicted of homosexuality, and the creation of a commission to rule on requests for financial compensation.

Justice Minister Eric Dupond-Moretti asked for forgiveness for those discriminated against: "It is high time to say this evening in the name of the French Republic: sorry, sorry to the people, the homosexuals of France who suffered 40 years of this completely iniquitous repression. Our Republic is never more beautiful than when it recognizes that it has lost the thread of its founding principles: liberty, equality and fraternity," he declared.

An estimated 10,000 people, mostly gay men, were convicted between 1942 and 1982. Many of those convicted are now dead or very old, meaning few are likely to come forward for any reparations. It is estimated that 200 to 400 people could be eligible for compensation.

Recently, President Emmanuel Macron named Gabriel Attal France’s new prime minister, making history in the process because he is the youngest and the first openly gay man to serve in the role.




Friday, March 8, 2024

Most LGBTQ voters in the U.S. prefer President Biden to Trump

 


LGBTQ Americans are highly motivated to vote in November, with a majority preferring President Joe Biden to Donald Trump according to polling result released by GLAAD.

The survey asked 1,000 LGBTQ and non-LGBTQ registered voters about how likely they are to vote in the 2024 presidential election and other key campaign issues. 

Among the poll’s key findings, 83 percent of registered LGBTQ voters said they would definitely vote in November, while 11 percent said they probably would. More than half of those voters said they prefer the Democratic incumbent, with 68 percent indicating they would likely vote for President Biden versus 15 percent who said they prefer Trump.

The polling results found that likely voters who identify as LGBTQ in seven key battleground states (Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin) prefer Joe Biden to Trump by more than 57 percentage points.

In his recent State of the Union address, President Joe Biden referred some important issues on LGBTQ topics.

President Biden called against the recent surge in book bans, stating, “Banning books... It’s wrong!” This declaration was a rebuke of attempts to censor educational materials, with Biden emphasizing the importance of confronting history to forge a better future: “Instead of erasing history, let’s make history!”

President Biden also addressed the challenges faced by transgender Americans, reaffirming his commitment to their rights and dignity in the face of escalating hostility. “To all the transgender Americans watching at home, especially the young people, you are so brave. I want you to know your president has your back,” he declared.

With both the U.S. House and Senate up for grabs in 2024, LGBTQ voters could also play a key role in Congressional elections this year.


 


Wednesday, March 6, 2024

HRW requires Ghana President to veto anti-LGBTQ bill



Human Rights Watch required Ghana President Nana Akufo-Addo to unequivocally reject The Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill 2021 and refuse to sign it. 

The bill was passed last month by the parliament making it illegal to identify as LGBTQ in Ghana. 

Under the passed bill, anyone identifying as LGBTQ could face up to three years in prison, while anyone who forms or funds LGBTQ groups could face up to 5 years in prison. 

The bill awaits assent by the president before it becomes law. However, Akufo-Addo said his government will wait for a Supreme Court ruling before taking action on the bill. 

LGBTQ people in Ghana have historically faced serious human rights abuses including discrimination, and  they are living in constant fear of being attacked in public because of their sexual orientation. 

No way, Ghana!!!



Sunday, March 3, 2024

Ron DeSantis, Let Us Live in Florida!

 


Transgender activists from across Florida marched on the state Capitol with a simple demand: “Let Us Live!

At a rally on the steps outside the building, LGBTQ leaders and progressive lawmakers slammed legislation HB1639 threatening to erase trans identities. 

If passed, the legislation could reportedly make it easier for health insurance providers to refuse to offer gender-affirming care for trans people. It might also require medical insurers that cover transition procedures to cover “de-transitioning”.

In addition, the proposed law would mandate that state-issued IDs, such as driving licences, display the person’s sex assigned at birth in Florida

Beyond fighting transphobic bills, trans leaders and allies also promised to seek office and sit more queer lawmakers in the halls of the Capitol to fight Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis’ anti-LGBTQ policies.

Florida has become infamous for passing anti-LGBTQ legislation, with the “Don’t Say Gay” law affecting classrooms across the state. The Republican Floridian lawmakers have also tried to ban public drag performances, as well as bar trans people from using public toilets consistent with their gender.

Not one step back in Florida!!!



Friday, March 1, 2024

No way, Ghana!



Ghana's parliament has passed a tough new bill that imposes a prison sentence of up to three years for anyone convicted of identifying as LGBTQ. It also imposes a maximum five-year jail term for forming or funding LGBTQ+ groups.

It is the latest sign of growing opposition to LGBTQ rights in the conservative West African nation. Gay sex is already against the law in Ghana - it carries a three-year prison sentence.

The bill, which had the backing of Ghana's two major political parties, will come into effect only if President Nana Akufo-Addo signs it into law.

Last month Amnesty International warned that the bill "poses significant threats to the fundamental rights and freedoms" of LGBTQ people.

Also United Nations rights experts condemned arbitrary arrest of LGBT human rights defenders in Ghana and urged their release.

Activists fear there will now be witch-hunts against members of the LGBTQ community and those who campaign for their rights, and say some will have to go into hiding.

In many African countries LGBT people may be stigmatised and excluded from society. Many are forced to hide their identities in fear of their safety.

Across sub-Saharan Africa, legal discrimination is, in part, a legacy of colonial-era laws. Many governments have not taken steps to reform these laws.

Read a report here.



Wednesday, February 28, 2024

28% of Gen Z identify as LGBTQ in the U.S.



The report, titled “A political and cultural glimpse into America’s future,” released by the Public Religion Research Institute, sought to highlight the cultural and political views of Gen Z adults, compared with older Americans. 

About 20% of Americans are Gen Z, which the survey’s researchers specify as those ages 18 to 25, 

28 percent of Z adults in the U.S. identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer, dwarfing the percentages of LGBTQ Americans in older age groups, according to a report 

The report found about 10% of all adults, 16% of millennials, 7% of Generation X, 4% of baby boomers and 4% of the Silent Generation identify as LGBTQ. 

Besides, 20 percent of Gen Z adults say they have personally experienced hostility or discrimination based on their race, age, gender or gender expression, religious beliefs, or sexual orientation. 

Check the report here.




Monday, February 26, 2024

New trailer of Challengers, starring Zendaya

 


The new trailer of Challengers, a queer romantic sports comedy, starring Zendaya (Euphoria), Josh O’Connor (The Crown), and Mike Faist (West Side Story), has been released.

Directed by film director Luca Guadagnino (Call Me By Your Name) and written by American playwright and novelist Justin Kuritzkes. In the film Zendaya, O’Connor, and Faist play members of a love triangle.

The synopsis reads, “Tennis player turned coach Tashi (Zendaya) has taken her husband, Art (Mike Faist), and transformed him into a world-famous grand slam champion. To jolt him out of his recent losing streak, she makes him play a “Challenger” event —close to the lowest level of pro tournament— where he finds himself standing across the net from his former best friend and Tashi’s former boyfriend (Josh O’Connor).”

Challengers is scheduled to be released in the United States on April 26, 2024, by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer through Amazon MGM Studios.

Watch the trailer below:




Saturday, February 24, 2024

37 schools across Ireland awarded for completing LGBTQ+ Quality Mark programme



37 schools across Ireland have been awarded for championing LGBTQ+ inclusion. The post-primary institutions are the first cohort to complete Belong To LGBTQ+ Quality Mark programme, and received their accreditation.

The initiative saw the participating schools supported in implementing evidence-based actions across key areas, which have been proven to benefit the wellbeing and safety of LGBTQ+ students. 

These include ensuring that staff are equipped to support queer pupils, creating a safe and inclusive school culture and environment with student input, developing and implementing effective policies, plans and curriculums that champion diversity and respect, and working with parents, community organisations and LGBTQ+ youth projects or groups to promote inclusion.

Moninne Griffith, CEO of Belong To, stated: “Today is about celebrating 37 brilliant schools who have shown leadership and outstanding commitment to LGBTQ+ inclusion through participation in the LGBTQ+ Quality Mark. I want to thank the entire school community in each of these schools and, in particular, recognise the incredible efforts of each LGBTQ+ Quality Mark Coordinator and Principal. Thank you for showing up for LGBTQ+ students and for demonstrating commitment, courage and leadership. Congratulations on being the first schools in Ireland to receive the LGBTQ+ Quality Mark!”

Congratulations!!!




Thursday, February 22, 2024

Congratulations Vanity Fair for the anniversary... and for Keoghan's appearance

 


For the 30th annual Hollywood issue of Vanity Fair, the publication created an in-motion cover featuring several A-list Hollywood stars. The cover includes Bradley Cooper, Natalie Portman, Pedro Pascal, Colman Domingo, Jodie Foster, Lily Gladstone, Greta Lee, Charles Melton, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Jenna Ortega, and Barry Keoghan.

Keoghan’s in-motion Vanity Fair cover appearance is standing out for obvious reasons: the actor appears bare-ass naked in it. After making a huge splash with his performance as Oliver Quick in Saltburn, Keoghan has been having a moment as The Internet’s Boyfriend. 

Congratulations Vanity Fair!!!

Watch the Vanity Fair's cover below:




Wednesday, February 21, 2024

'Close to you' with Elliot Page

 


Close to You is Dominic Savage and and Elliot Page’s improvisational drama about a transgender man named Sam (Page) who, after being invited to his ageing father’s birthday party, makes his way back to his small home town for the first time since coming out.

His well-meaning family try to make him feel welcome, but misgendering and mistakes follow. It’s a story that those in the LGBTQ community know all too well, but there is a salvation: Sam manages to reconnect with his closest friend from school days, played Hillary Baack, in a moving reunion.

With an honest and fully felt performance, Page shows us Sam’s fraught process of trying to reconnect with the people he grew apart from as he became more himself, and coping with the dread of returning to a space that never felt fully welcoming to begin with. 

Watch the interview below:




Friday, February 16, 2024

Greece approves same-sex marriage and adoption



Greek Parliament voted to legalize same-sex marriage and adoption, with 176 members in favor, 76 against, and two abstaining, major media outlets report.

Greece “is proud to become the 16th European Union country to legislate marriage equality,” Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis tweeted after the vote. “This is a milestone for human rights, reflecting today’s Greece a progressive, and democratic country, passionately committed to European values.”

The nation has offered civil partnerships to same-sex couples for a decade, but those came with parental rights only for the biological parents of the couple’s children. 

Now both spouses will be legally recognized as parents. But same-sex couples still won’t be able to access surrogacy in Greece, although they can be legally recognized as parents of children born by surrogacy abroad.

Polls indicated a majority of Greeks supported marriage equality, but there was strong opposition from conservative lawmakers and the Greek Orthodox Church.

Congratulations, Greece!!!



Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Polish TV host issues apology over state media’s anti-LGBTQ broadcasts after 8 years of right-wing government



A host on Polish state television has apologised on air for homophobic propaganda aired by state media.

During the eight years of rule by the national conservative Law and Justice party, state media promoted the party’s line that LGBTQ people were threats to Polish families.

Poland’s right-wing government became increasingly anti-LGBTQ and same-sex couples or LGBTQ activists were not allowed to be shown on the TV stations.

Last October 2023, the majority of voters in Poland’s general election supported opposition parties that promised to reverse democratic backsliding and repair the nation’s relationship with allies, including the European Union and Ukraine.

The approach has changed under a new centrist government led by Donald Tusk, elected by Poland's Parliament in December 2023, who moved quickly to eject the Law and Justice supporters from positions of power over state media.

Two LGBTQ activists were invited on air when the state TVP host Wojciech Szeląg apologised to them for the rhetoric directed at their community. Bravo!!!

Watch the historic moment below:




Monday, February 12, 2024

Houthis sentence 13 to death on homosexuality charges in Yemen



A court of the Iranian-backed Houthis in Yemen has sentenced 13 people to public execution on homosexuality charges. Another 35 people have been detained for similar charges.

The ruling was made in Ibb, a Houthi-controlled province from which the jihadist group has been launching attacks on commercial ships in the Red Sea. 

According to Amnesty International, the rebels continue to target LGBTQ people with arbitrary arrest and torture, including rape and other forms of sexual violence. 

A UN Security Council report in 2023 relayed that the Houthis are reportedly detaining children as young as 13 years old, some of whom are accused of 'indecent acts' for their alleged homosexual orientation.

In addition, the Houthis continues to ban women from travelling without a male guardian. The restrictions on travel have affected women’s ability to work, resulting in many being unable to access healthcare.

Iran also executes gay men on homosexuality charges.




Sunday, February 11, 2024

NFL team up with GLAAD for ‘A Night of Pride’ ahead of Super Bowl 2024



The NFL and GLAAD hosted a Night of Pride ahead of Super Bowl LVIII, designed to showcase the NFL’s commitment to the LGBTQ community and welcome gay, lesbian, bi, trans and other queer fans.

Several hundred people attended the celebratory event, hosted in the Legends Lounge in Caesar’s Palace. The event included music superstar and West Hollywood impresario Lance Bass, in addition to other people across sports, entertainment and social media. 

NFL Chief Diversity and Inclusion officer Jonathan Beane, as well as GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis, welcomed the crowd.

Also featured was CBS Sports’ LGBTQ flag football segment Football For Everyone that will be airing on the CBS Sports Network this weekend, and which has garnered acclaim, including former Dallas Cowboys player Jeff Rohrer calling it “well done” at the event.

Over 250 teams across 27 cities in the U.S., united by a love for the game.




Friday, February 9, 2024

Greeks mostly accept marriage equality, new poll shows



Greeks appear to be accepting the marriage of same-sex couples. The findings of a recent poll shed light on the legalisation of civil marriages in Greece.

A percentage of 62 per cent is in favour, with only 36 per cent opposed, indicating that same-sex marriage is now widely accepted.

The poll results show that Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ legislative initiative, which has divided his party New Democracy, encounters clear and majority acceptance from society on the issue of civil marriage.

The analysis of attitudes based on the political self-placement of respondents shows that, concerning rights issues, the left-right axis aligns with the progress-conservative axis.

Acceptance rates are much higher among those who identify as left-wing (81 per cent) and center-left (75 per cent), while declining in the center and center-right, although remaining clearly in the majority.

Only those choosing a “pure” right-wing identity are majority opposed.

It's time Greece!!!



62% to 36% support marriage equality in Greece


Wednesday, February 7, 2024

Shamefully, wearing rainbow earrings means a jail sentence in Russia


A Russian court has sentenced a woman to five days in jail for wearing rainbow earrings as the country’s absurd crackdown on the so-called “international LGBT movement” ramps up.

A court in Nizhny Novgorod, east of Moscow, sentenced a woman to five days of detention for reportedly wearing frog-shaped earrings with an image of a rainbow.

The woman was charged and found guilty of publicly displaying “the symbol of an extremist organization.” The judge explicitly cited the Supreme Court’s November ruling.

Remember that Russia’s Supreme Court banned what it called the “LGBT movement” last November, designating it as “extremist” and “banning its activities on the territory of Russia”.

In Putin's Russia, any and all queer expression is effectively against the law. The country passed its infamous laws banning “promotion of non-traditional sexual relations” in 2013 and expanded them in 2022.


Shame on you Putin!!!



Monday, February 5, 2024

Justin Trudeau says Alberta policies are the ‘most anti-LGBT in the country’


 

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that Alberta’s new proposals on the treatment of transgender youth are the “most anti-LGBT of anywhere in the country.”  

Alberta Premier Danielle Smith  announced earlier this week her plans to change rules for transgender children in Alberta. She said the fall sitting of the legislature would bring a ban on gender reassignment surgery for those 17 and under. And there would be no puberty blockers or hormone therapies for the purposes of such surgery for anyone 15 and under, unless they’ve already begun such procedures.

Smith said the changes are to protect children from the consequences of choices they may later regret. It’s also to preserve the role of parents in the lives.

Some parents of transgender children say the Alberta government's policy changes affecting transgender and non-binary youth will interfere with the medical treatment their children need.

And The Alberta Medical Association's pediatric section says there are benefits for patients to start puberty blockers as soon as they show signs as it will make future surgeries less invasive. Bottom surgery is always performed on patients 18 and older. 

Besides, the province would clamp down on transgender female athletes competing in women’s and girls’ sports.

Trudeau had a different assessment. “Danielle Smith has now moved forward with the most anti-LGBT policies of anywhere in the country,” he said. 



Friday, February 2, 2024

Sebastian, a frank depiction of gay sex work

 


Sebastian is a sensual and soul-searching story with the emerging Finnish writer-director Mikko Mäkelä and Ruaridh Mollica, the film’s 24-year-old Scottish-Italian star.

Mollica plays Max, a young hotshot writer with a book deal and a cushy gig at a literary magazine. But, by night, he’s “Sebastian,” a male escort who uses a website to set up appointments with clientele who are frequently older. 

Sebastian’s sexual exploits become fodder for Max’s writing, but no one in his life, not his editor, his family, or his best friend knows that Max is actually writing about himself.

As the lines between fact and fiction blur, Max navigates his sexuality and what he really wants out of life, and Mäkelä’s films probes ideas around identity, authorship, gay shame, and inter-generational differences within our community.

The movie premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, the most important platform for independent films.

Watch the trailer below:




Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Gay Representative Democrats pressure over discharged LGBTQ veterans



Out Reps. Robert Garcia (D-CA), Mark Pocan (D-WI), and Chris Pappas (D-NH) have asked Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin to expedite the process for former LGBTQ soldiers still seeking to upgrade their less-than-honorable discharges after being kicked out of the military under “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell”.

In their letter, the representatives noted that over 114,000 military members were discharged for being LGBTQ. Their less-than-honorable discharges endangered their future “job prospects, home ownership, educational opportunities, and health and disability veterans’ benefits,” the letter stated.

“The United States government has a moral obligation to right the wrongs it committed when it dishonorably discharged veterans from the armed services on the grounds of their sexual orientation,” Rep. Pocan wrote in a statement about the recent letter.

“While it’s been thirteen years since the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ the trauma of these policies is not over, and for far too many LGBTQ service members and veterans, their injustice has not been corrected,” Rep. Pappas added.

Amid mounting opposition to “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” President Barack Obama announced its repeal in mid-2011, ending 17 years of secrecy and silence for LGBTQ members of the U.S. military.

Three years after the Obama Administration told transgender individuals they could serve openly and have access to gender-affirming medical and psychological care, Trump reversed course and reinstated a ban on transgender individuals from serving in any capacity in the U.S. military.

In 2019, President Joe Biden repealed Trump’s guidance that banned transgender people from enlisting and serving in the military. It depends on your vote to continue like this.


Do you remember this kiss?