Wednesday, May 29, 2024

A new governmental committee is stablished in India to study rights for same-sex couples

Last year, the Indian Supreme Court declined to grant legal status to same-sex marriages. However, the Supreme Court instructed the federal government to establish a committee to address the myriad issues faced by the LGBTQ community in India.

In compliance with the Supreme Court’s directive, the Indian government has established a committee with Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba appointed as its chair. The committee, consisting of six members, will include secretaries from the Home Affairs, Women and Child Development, Health and Family Welfare, Social Justice and Empowerment, and the Law Ministries.

The establishment of a committee chaired by the Cabinet secretary to address the issues faced by LGBTQ couples in a union is a promising step forward. These include matters such as marriage equality itself, pensions, joint property ownership, healthcare access, and child custody.

This committee’s effectiveness will depend on its ability to engage with LGBTQ communities, understand their needs, and implement policies that are both inclusive and practical. 

It's time India!!!

Activists marching at New Delhi's Pride

Monday, May 27, 2024

First trans woman to win Cannes Award Best Actress

The Cannes Film Festival has awarded Best Actress to the ensemble cast of Emilia Pérez, making actress Karla Sofía Gascón the first trans woman to win the award. The movie is a musical crime comedy written and directed by Jacques Audiard.

Alongside Selena Gomez, Zoe Saldaña and Adriana Paz, Karla Sofía Gascón won the award for the Spanish-language musical about a lawyer (Saldaña) who’s hired to help a cartel leader (Sofía Gascón) escape Mexico to seek gender reassignment surgery.

Sofía Gascón accepted the award on behalf of the four women with an emotional speech, which she dedicated to “all trans people who suffer so much and must keep faith that changing is possible. We all have the opportunity to change for the better, to be better people. If you have made us suffer, it is time for you also to change.” 

Watch Karla Sofia's interview after winning here.


Emilia Pérez's director and cast

Sunday, May 26, 2024

GLAAD gives failing grades to major social media platforms


GLAAD, the LGBTQ advocacy organisation, released its fourth Social Media Safety Index report for the third consecutive year, with TikTok, YouTube, X/Twitter and Meta’s Facebook, Instagram and Threads.

The report shows that major social media platforms failing to keep LGBTQ people safe online. Three social media platforms improved since last year while others have fallen further down the rankings:

  • TikTok: D+ 67 per cent (+10 points from 2023)
  • Facebook: F 58 (-3)
  • Instagram: F 58 (-5)
  • YouTube: F 58 (+4)
  • Threads: F 51 (new rating)
  • Twitter: F 41 (+8 points)

Despite being eight points better off than in 2023, Elon Musk’s X still scored the worst out of all the major platforms.

Commenting on the findings of the report, GLAAD president and chief executive, Sarah Kate Ellis, said: “Leaders of social media companies are failing at their responsibility to make safe products. When it comes to anti-LGBTQ hate and disinformation, the industry is dangerously lacking on enforcement of current policies.

“There is a direct relationship between online harms and the hundreds of anti-LGBTQ legislative attacks, rising rates of real-world anti-LGBTQ violence and threats of violence, that social media platforms are responsible for and should act with urgency to address.”

Check the report here.

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

NFL rejects Harrison Butker's sexist and retrograde graduation speech remarks


The NFL has come out against comments made by Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker in a commencement speech at Benedictine College in Kansas.

“Harrison Butker gave a speech in his personal capacity,” Jonathan Beane, the league's senior vice president and chief diversity and inclusion officer, told People in a statement. “His views are not those of the NFL as an organization. The NFL is steadfast in our commitment to inclusion, which only makes our league stronger.”

In his 20-minute speech, the football player attacked various social issues, starting with what he called “dangerous gender ideologies.” He also referenced Pride Month, claiming: “Not the deadly sins sort of Pride that has an entire month dedicated to it.” And he criticized president Joe Biden too.

Butker also said, “Bad policies and poor leadership have negatively impacted major life issues. Things like abortion, IVF, surrogacy, euthanasia, as well as a growing support for degenerate cultural values and media all stem from the pervasiveness of disorder.” 

The Chiefs kicker also shared his views on traditional gender roles, saying, “I think it is you, the women, who have had the most diabolical lies told to you. Some of you may go on to lead successful careers in the world, but I would venture to guess that the majority of you are most excited about your marriage and the children you will bring into this world.”

The speech concluded with a call for men to embrace traditional masculinity. “Be unapologetic in your masculinity. Fighting against the cultural emasculation of men. Do hard things; never settle for what is easy,” Butker said.

The sisters of Mount St. Scholastica, a founding institution of Benedictine College, said in a statement that Butker’s speech fostered division, and call out him for sexist commencement speech. They have weighed in, denouncing Butker’s remarks as unrepresentative of the ideals of the Catholic liberal arts college.

Kansas City Chiefs player’s commencement speech was not only a clear miss, it was inaccurate, ill-informed, and retrograde about Pride, LGBTQ people and women.

Monday, May 20, 2024

Most of EU members states committed to pursue a European policy for LGBTQ rights

The Belgian Presidency of the European Union (UE) hosted a high-level conference in Brussels focused on the LGBTQ community, titled "Pride Alliances and Policy: Towards a Union of Equality" held on the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Transphobia and Intersexophobia.

The EU member states were called upon to strengthen legal protections and uphold the fundamental rights of LGBTQ individuals. This includes ensuring non-discrimination based on gender identity, sexual characteristics, and sexual orientation, as well as providing legal status to homosexual couples in accordance with EU Court of Justice rulings.

The meeting resulted in the signing by 18 of 27 Member States of a joint declaration on the continued promotion of the human rights of LGBTQ persons.

The States signatories to this declaration notably undertake to implement national LGBTQ strategies and to support the appointment of a new Commissioner for Equality when the next Commission will be formed. 

They also call on the European Commission to pursue and implement a new strategy to improve the rights of LGBTQ people during the next legislature by allocating sufficient resources and working with civil society.

The declaration was not signed by Bulgaria, Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Romania, Lithuania, Latvia, Croatia, and Italy.

Recently, ILGA-Europe released its map and index which ranks all 49 European nations on their legal and policy situation for LGBTQ rights. 

Read the declaration here.

Sunday, May 19, 2024

The ILGA-Europe Rainbow Map 2024 is live

The Rainbow Map and Index is released yearly by ILGA-Europe, which ranks all 49 European nations on their legal and policy situation for LGBTQ rights since 2009.  

While authoritarian leaders across Europe continue to use the scapegoating of LGBTQ people to divide and mobilise their electorates, others are conversely showing robust political will to honor commitments to advancing and protecting the human rights of LGBTQ people.

Malta has sat on top of the ranking for the last 9 years. With 83 points, Iceland jumped to second place with a rise of three places as a result of the new legislation banning conversion practices and ensuring the trans-specific healthcare is based on depathologisation. Belgium also banned conversion practices and now comes third place on the ranking with a score of 78. Spain is in the fourth place with 76 points.

Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Denmark, Iceland, Montenegro and Spain are the only countries that have full coverage of sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics in their anti-discrimination legislations.

The three countries at the other end of the Rainbow Map scale are Russia (2%), Azerbaijan (2%), and Türkiye (5%). Russia lost 7 points and dropped 3 places because of the federal legislation banning legal gender recognition and trans-specific healthcare. Poland still sits at the end of the EU ranking with 18% points, followed by Romania (19%) and Bulgaria (23%).

Check the map and index here.

The ILGA-Europe Rainbow Map 2024

Friday, May 17, 2024

Ukranian LGBTQ people face a double drama in the occupied territories by Russia


The situation of LGBTQ people in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine by Russia is deplorable and requires urgent attention from the international community and human rights defenders. 

Under Ukrainian law, LGBTQ citizens have the right to non-discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity but do not have the right to recognition of same-sex marriages or partnerships. 

From the perspective of Russian legislation de facto applied in the occupied territories, LGBTQ citizens are deprived of the right to freely express their sexual orientation and gender identity by the so-called "gay propaganda law" promoted by Putin. LGBTQ people are subjected to discrimination, harassment, violence, hate speech, etc., by the occupying authorities, illegal armed groups, and organized homophobic groups.

OutRight Action International launched a fundraiser to help LGBTQ people in Ukraine impacted by Russia’s invasion. The money will be channelled to LGBTQ groups in Ukraine and nearby countries to provide shelter and support. Donations can be made here.

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

New Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Law comes into force in South Africa


South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa signed the Preventing and Combating of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill,.

According to the new law, the direct or indirect unfair discrimination against anyone on the grounds of age, albinism, culture, disability, ethnic or social origin, gender, HIV status, language, nationality, migrant, refugee status, asylum seekers, occupation, trade, political affiliation, conviction, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, sex characteristics or skin color is a criminal offense punishable by a fine or up to eight years in prison.

A hate crime is committed if a person commits any recognized offense under any law that is motivated by prejudice or intolerance based on one or more characteristics or perceived characteristics of the victim, as listed in the legislation or a family member of the victim.

The law also makes it an offense when speech material is intentionally distributed or made available in electronic communication, and the said person knows that such electronic communication constitutes hate speech.

South African LGBTQ organizations have welcomed the new law that seeks to combat hate crimes and hate speech.

“As Out, we commend President Cyril Ramaphosa on the move that he has made in making sure that the rights of LGBTQ persons are protected. We, as Out, also hope that other African countries can learn from this historic milestone that all people are equal and that their rights should be protected,” said Out LGBT South Rights Human Rights Coordinator Sibonelo Ncanana. 

Monday, May 13, 2024

Tel Aviv cancels the Pride Parade 2024

Tel Aviv authorities announced the cancellation of annual Pride parade. The municipality said it will instead hold a rally as a sign of pride, hope, and freedom.

The decision was made after municipality representatives consulted with organizations, promoters and venue owners in the city. 

Mayor Ron Huldai expressed the self-evident reasons for making the change: “This is not the time for celebrations. In coordination with the organizations of the LGBTQ community, we decided that this year, instead of the Pride parade, we will hold a rally in Tel Aviv as a sign of pride, hope, and freedom. 132 of our sons and daughters are still kidnapped in Gaza, the circle of bereavement is expanding every day, and we are in one of the most difficult periods of the State of Israel.”

“Tel Aviv is the home of the LGBTQ community, it was and always will be,” he added.

The coalition of LGBTQ community organizations welcomed the decision: “We welcome the decision of the Tel Aviv Municipality not to hold the Pride parade as usual this year,” they said. “In these difficult days, when we are all in pain and grieving and when many of our brothers and sisters are not at home, either as evacuees from their homes or kidnapped in Gaza, and our hearts are not whole until they return.” 

Israel is a rare bastion of tolerance for the LGBTQ community in the conservative muslim Middle East, where homosexuality is widely considered taboo and is outlawed in many places. Tel Aviv, the second biggest city in Israel, is home to one of the world’s biggest LGBTQ Pride parades, with over 200,000 people attending every year.

132 Israelis are still kidnapped by Hamas

Sunday, May 12, 2024

Swiss non-binary Nemo wins Eurovision

Nemo, the singer from Switzerland, won the Eurovision Song Contest, with electric rap song “The Code” which details their journey towards understanding and accepting their non-binary identity.

“People start understanding being non-binary more and that understanding means the world to me. Just being able to represent this community at Eurovision is amazing,” they said. 

“I’m so glad that I am not even the only one this year. That’s even better because it shows that it’s needed,” they added.


Watch their perfomance below:

Saturday, May 11, 2024

Qtopia Sydney, the first Pride Fest in Australia

Qtopia Sydney, the largest centre for Queer history and culture in Australia, has launched its inaugural season of Pride Fest for 2024. 

The first-time event will be held at Qtopia’s flagship theatre, The Loading Dock, and the wonderful Substation in celebration of Pride month. The Qtopia program has expanded across both venues and will run for a full 30 days in June.

All of the fabulous multi-genre festival acts will include performances from theatre makers, cabaret performers, drag artists, comedians, Acapella groups and more. 

Artistic Director Carly Fisher said: “Pride Fest will be a staple event in the Qtopia Sydney calendar, taking place each year during June, Pride month, to celebrate the creative, diverse and rich LGBTQIA+ talent we have in Australia”.

Do not miss out on Qtopia’s first Pride Fest celebrating creative, diverse, and rich LGBTQIA+ Australian talent.

To secure tickets, visit here.

Thursday, May 9, 2024

Boy Scouts changes name to Scouting America for more inclusion

The Boy Scouts of America is changing its name for the first time in its 114-year history and will become Scouting America. It’s a significant shift and the organization seeks to focus on inclusion.

With an eye on increasing flagging membership numbers, the Texas-based organization announced the name change at its annual meeting in Florida. “In the next 100 years we want any youth in America to feel very, very welcome to come into our programs,” said Roger Krone, president and chief executive officer.

The organization steeped in tradition has made seismic changes after decades of turmoil, from finally allowing gay youth to welcoming girls throughout its ranks. The organization began allowing gay youth in 2013 and ended a blanket ban on gay adult leaders in 2015. In 2017, it made the historic announcement that girls would be accepted as Cub Scouts. Also in 2017, the first transgender Boy Scout was officially welcomed.

The organization currently services over 1 million youths, including more than 176,000 girls. Since their inclusion in the programs, more than 6,000 young women have achieved Eagle Scout status, the highest rank within Scouts. 

Scouting America hopes the new branding will make everyone more comfortable with the organization. “It sends this really strong message to everyone in America that they can come to this program, they can bring their authentic self, they can be who they are and they will be welcomed here,” Krone added.

Scouts for Equality

Tuesday, May 7, 2024

Czech Republic’s top court rules against forced surgeries for trans people

The Czech Republic’s Constitutional Court has struck down a law that required transgender people to undergo sex organ and sterilization surgeries before completing their legal transition. 

In a 13-2 ruling, the court decided in favor of a trans man who was assigned female at birth but wished to change the gender markers on his government-issued documents without having to undergo surgery. 

In its ruling, the court called the law “unconstitutional,” “a violation of human dignity,” and said it was “at odds with the fundamental right of trans people for the protection of their physical integrity in relation to their human dignity.”

The Czech court gave parliament until 2025 to change the law. The ruling now brings the country in line with most European Union (EU) member nations.

Sunday, May 5, 2024

The first soccer team made up entirely by trans kids in Spain


A group of young transsexuals, all between 18 and 30 years old, decided to make visible a pioneering initiative in Barcelona (the second city in Spain): create a soccer team made up entirely of kids from the trans community.

The idea came from a young influencer with thousands of followers on social networks: Hugo Marlo. The contestant on Spanish talent shows La Voz, Got Talent and Euforia, who began his transition a few years ago, was the one who promoted the Fenix project, the name with which they baptized the soccer team.

Some of the Fenix FC players had to leave their previous clubs due to the process involved in aligning their gender identity with their sex. When the transition began, many had to leave. They could not continue in the same women's or men's teams.

Fenix FC is a home for all those kids who were expelled from their teams and fields. And for those who have never dared to play. But the dream of some players like Hugo is that Fenix did not have to exist. “Sport is very delimited into women's and men's, when there are people who don't even fit into these categories. Ideally, we could all be together, regardless of our gender. In the end we are just playing,” reflects Hugo, who is also the team captain.

The trans colors, pink, blue and white, are what the Fenix FC players wear every time they take the field. Wearing the colors of the trans flag was a bit worrying to some, due to the transphobia they feared encountering during games. But so far, they haven't had any problems.

With hardly any funds, only the support of their families, at first they had many difficulties being able to train and play, and have all the necessary equipment. But in 2023, the club Penya Recreativa de Sant Feliu opened the doors of its facilities to them, making their dream come true: playing soccer like the rest of kids.

Now, there are two teams, the first plays 11-a-side soccer, with the name of the club, and the second plays 7-a-side soccer as Fenix FC, and is the quarry for future first-team soccer players. They also have a fan base that accompanies them in every game.


Hugo, the promoter and captain of the team

Friday, May 3, 2024

Biden Administration is going to protect LGBTQ children in foster care

President Joe Biden's Administration has moved to protect LGBTQ and intersex children in foster care, ordering, among other things, that they be placed in supportive homes.

The protections come in the form of a rule by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and its Administration for Children and Families. 

“This final rule makes clear that all children in the child welfare system, including LGBTQ children, are entitled to protections against harassment, abuse, and mistreatment, regardless of their placement,” says an HHS press release. 

“Additionally, this final rule specifies that as part of meeting the existing statutory requirement to provide safe and proper care for all children in foster care, state child welfare agencies must ensure that LGBTQ children have access to specially designated foster care placements.”

“Every child deserves a safe and loving home. When any child comes into government care, they should have supports and services that meet their specific needs. By addressing the needs of LGBTQ children, this rule brings us one step closer to ensuring that all children have the opportunity to thrive.”

President Joe Biden is the most pro-equality U.S. president ever. LGBTQ Americans are highly motivated to vote in November, with a majority preferring President Joe Biden to Donald Trump according to polling result