Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Norwegian Dream, a gay romance facing double oppression


Norwegian Dream is a coming of age drama that centres on the 19-year-old Polish immigrant Robert (Hubert Miłkowski). He’s working at a fish factory in Norway and struggling with his feelings for a fellow colleague Ivar (Karl Bekele Steinland) who is an aspiring drag queen. 

Robert has come to earn money to pay off his mother’s debts.When a strike breaks out in the factory, Robert's relationship with Ivar and his loyalty to his fellow workers will be tested. He has to face a double oppression, as immigrant and gay.

Director Leiv Igor Devold makes an unexpected link-up between Norway, the country where he grew up, and Poland, where he attended film school, in his idealistic second feature. Devold does find a way of dovetailing the two strands, when Robert’s flaky mother (Edyta Torhan) turns up and forces him to break a strike that even Ivar is supporting. 

Watch the trailer below:

Friday, April 26, 2024

Mexico approves bill to ban conversion therapy nationwide

The Senate of Mexico approved a bill that would ban so-called conversion therapy in the country.

The measure passed by a 77-4 vote margin with 15 abstentions. The Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of Mexico’s congress, approved the bill last month.

The Senate described conversion therapy as “practices that have incentivized the violation of human rights of the LGBTQ+ community.”

Apart from being immoral and ineffective, conversion therapies can involve dangerous practices such as electric shocks, beatings or “corrective rape”, which can be harmful to the physical and mental health of the victims, on top of being stigmatising and discriminatory.

Besides Mexico, a lot of countries already banned conversion therapy, but it has to be banned around the world!!!

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Iran enforce compulsory veiling laws through surveillance and mass car confiscations

Iranian authorities are waging a large-scale campaign to enforce repressive compulsory veiling laws through widespread surveillance of women and girls in public spaces and mass police checks targeting women drivers.

Tens of thousands of women have had their cars arbitrarily confiscated as punishment for defying Iran’s veiling laws. Others have been prosecuted and sentenced to flogging or prison terms or faced other penalties such as fines or being forced to attend “morality” classes. 

Women said that the process to retrieve their cars from the Moral Security Police involves long queues and degrading treatment from officials including gender-based insults and reprimands about the appearance of women as well as humiliating instructions to cover their hair and threats of flogging, imprisonment and travel bans. 

The intensifying persecution of women and girls is taking place just weeks before the UN Human Rights Council is set to vote on extending a Fact-Finding Mission with a mandate to investigate rights violations in Iran since the death in custody of Mahsa Amini, particularly against women. 

Never forget Mahsa Amini!!!

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Dominica High Court overturns ban on same-sex relations


Dominica’s High Court has overturned the country’s ban on consensual same-sex activity, which dates back to colonial times.

The High Court ruled the law that criminalised consensual same-sex activity between adults (sections 14 and 16 of the 1998 Sexual Offences Act) were unconstitutional. 

Prior to the ruling, both male and female same-sex sexual activity was illegal. Anyone found guilty faced a maximum penalty of 12 years’ imprisonment, and the possibility of compulsory psychiatric treatment.

The case was brought by a gay man living in the Caribbean country, who argued that the law violated his constitutional rights. The man claimed the legislation had forced him to live in constant fear of criminal sanction for engaging in consensual sexual activity.

Justice Kimberly Cenac-Phulgence wrote in the ruling that the court found the law breached the constitutional right to liberty, freedom of expression and protection of personal privacy.

Laws criminalising homosexuality were first imposed in several Caribbean nations by the British during the colonial era of the 1800s. Following gaining independence, several countries, including Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, and Saint Kitts and Nevis, have legalised homosexuality. Although, some Caribbean countries still criminalise homosexuality, like Guyana, Grenada, Jamaica, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, where judges recently ruled to keep homosexuality illegal.

Dominica can finally leave this infamous map

Sunday, April 21, 2024

Activists protest demanding EU to sanction Uganda over anti-LGBTQ act


More than a dozen activists protested in front of the European Union Delegation to the United States in D.C. and demanded the EU to sanction Uganda over the country’s Anti-Homosexuality Act.

They urged the European Union to respond more forcefully to Uganda's Anti-Homosexuality Act and to punish the officials who spurred its enactment.

“The European Union should immediately announce a comprehensive review of all of its funding to Uganda, and should pause or reprogram any funds that go via government entities. Any essential humanitarian support should be rerouted to non-government organizations who are committed to providing services to and employing LGBTIQ people,” they said in a statement.

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni last May signed the Anti-Homosexuality Act that, among other things, contains a death penalty provision for “aggravated homosexuality.” 

The country’s Constitutional Court refused to nullify the Anti-Homosexuality Act in its totality. A group of Ugandan LGBTQ activists have appealed the ruling.

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.

The Biden Administration called for immediate repeal and threatened to cut aid and investment to Uganda. The U.S. removed Uganda from the list of nations eligible to benefit from the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), which allows eligible sub-Saharan African nations to export over 1,800 products to the U.S. duty-free.

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Houthis, Iran' allies, must stop executions and persecution of gay people in Yemen

The Houthi authorities in Yemen increased persecution of people based on their real or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity, after two courts sentenced more than 40 people either to death, flogging or prison over charges related to same-sex conduct.

A criminal court in Dhamar, in northern Yemen, sentenced nine people to death, with seven sentenced to be executed by stoning and two by crucifixion, while 23 others were handed prison sentences ranging between six months and ten years on charges including “homosexuality”, “spreading immorality”, and “immoral acts”.

Besides, another court in Ibb, in southern Yemen, handed down death sentences against 13 students and flogging sentences to three others on charges of “spreading homosexuality”.

At present, Houthis are the best friends of Iran, and they have become key partners in Tehran’s quest for regional dominance. Iran is considered one of the most dangerous places to be gay. Under the Islamic Shariaa law practiced in Yemen and Iran, same-sex relations are a criminal offence and the punishment ranges from flogging to the death penalty.

The Houthi authorities must immediately quash the death sentences against these individuals and drop all charges related to their sexual orientation, gender identity or expression. They also must immediately and unconditionally release all individuals who are held solely based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Monday, April 15, 2024

Nicholas Galitzine proves he is more than just a pretty face


Mary & George is inspired by the “outrageous true story” of Mary Villiers, played by Academy Award winner Julianne Moore, who “moulded her beautiful and charismatic son” George (Nicholas Galitzine) to become King James’ “all-powerful lover”. As The New York Times wrote, Galitzine is more than just a pretty face and he is now outstripping the limits of his debonair onscreen identity and looking for what’s beyond them.

Based on The King’s Assassin by Benjamin Woolle, the series is described as an “audacious historical psychodrama about a treacherous mother and son who schemed, seduced and killed to conquer the Court of England and the bed of its King”. 

The official synopsis reads: “Through outrageous scheming, the pair rose from humble beginnings to become the richest, most titled and influential players the English court had ever seen, and the King’s most trusted advisors.

“And with England’s place on the world stage under threat from a Spanish invasion and rioters taking to the streets to denounce the King, the stakes could not have been higher.

“Prepared to stop at nothing and armed with her ruthless political steel, Mary married her way up the ranks, bribed politicians, colluded with criminals and clawed her way into the heart of the Establishment, making it her own.”

The series boasts an ensemble cast, with supporting players such as: Nichola Walker (The Split), Niamh Algar (The Wonder), Trine Dyrholm (The Legacy), Sean Gilder (Slow Horses), Adrian Rawlins (Chernobyl), Mark O’Halloran (The Miracle Club), Laurie Davidson (Guilty Party), Samuel Blenkin (Atlanta) and Jacob McCarthy (SAS: Rogue Heroes).

Check out the spicy first trailer below:

Saturday, April 13, 2024

Two new LGBTI teams in the Spanish Soccer


Soccer is one of the most closed sports: few active male professional footballers have declared themselves openly homosexual. Furthermore, in lower categories it can be difficult to practice this sport if you are gay. 

Aware of this, two LGTBI football teams were born in SpainOrgullo Hispalense in Seville and Rinos Fútbol Club in Granada. The desire to enjoy football in a safe environment free of homophobia was one of the motivations of these teams for their foundation.

"Most of us end up leaving football due to issues of rejection, homophobia, discomfort in the locker room and some annoying comments," explains Jose, a player on the Sevillian team.

"The intention is to have this safe space where all people integrate without problem and can live together and enjoy this sport without any type of rejection from anything or anyone," says José María River, founder, president and player from Rinos Fútbol Club.

Now, one of their main objectives is to participate in different competitions in Spain, seeking to federate, and begining to play more continuously. In June, they will play in the Pride Games in Madrid and would also like playing in some edition of Euro Games.

There are no openly gay footballers in any of the major male leagues in the world, except Josh Cavallo in Australia, an anomaly considering the increasing number of professional athletes that come out of the closet in recent years, we all may be wondering why they take so long in soccer.

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.