The Kenyan Supreme Court allowed an LGBTQI+-rights group to register as a non-governmental organization, The Washington Blade reported. Ten years ago, Eric Gitari, the former executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (NGLHRC), challenged the Kenya NGO Coordination Board's decision not to allow him to register the NGLHRC as an NGO because it contained the words "gay" or "lesbian." The Kenyan High Court and the country's Court of Appeal ruled in Gitari's favor in 2015 and 2019, respectively.
LGBTQ Nation profiled gay Black tech figure Alan Emtage. In 1989, Emtage (who was born in Barbados in 1964) was a student at Canada's McGill Universityand was the first Black out gay man to create an entirely new technology category. Most people already know the results of Emtage's work intimately (Google) and use it daily; also, as a founding member of the Internet Society, he chaired the Internet Engineering Task Force, including the one that established standard URLs (i.e., web addresses.)
In Pakistan, the first trans female anchor on the independently owned and operated Kohenoor News Network escaped serious injury after two gunmen shot at her as she was returning to her residence after a trip to a local pharmacy, the Los Angeles Blade reported. Marvia Malik told investigators that she believed her activism LGBTQ+ rights was a "major factor" behind the assassination attempt citing several threatening calls prior to the attempt on her life. LGBTQ+ rights in Pakistan are still staunchly restricted.
An ad campaign from Hershey Canada intended to highlight women trailblazers is being met online with anti-trans vitriol, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. To mark International Women's Day (March 8), Hershey Canada launched a campaign spotlighting five young Canadian women, including trans writer/activist/Wisdom2Action Executive Director Fae Johnstone. Hershey's inclusion of Johnstone sparked support from some and outrage from others, who claimed the company prioritized a person who wasn't biologically born a woman.
Just days before Sydney World Pride started on Feb. 24, a controversial Pride mural in Sydney's CBD (central business district) was defaced following days of divided opinion among locals about its appropriateness, Sky News noted. The mural on Wynyard Street, located adjacent to the train station of the same name, depicted a leather-clad man with a teddy-bear head reclining on a couch wearing little clothing. Vandals took to the mural with purple, black and white paint to completely cover the man. New South Wales police confirmed that an investigation is underway.
Greece applied for a seat at the UN Human Rights Council, UNHRC, whose mission is to promote and protect human rights around the world, Greek Reporter noted. The UNHRCwhich has 47 members elected for staggered three-year terms on a regional group basisinvestigates allegations of breaches of human rights in United Nations member states and addresses thematic human-rights issues like freedom of belief and religion, women's rights and LGBTQ+ rights. Last year, Greece banned LGBTQ+ conversion therapy for minors.
Panama's Supreme Court ruled against same-sex marriages, saying it's not a human right and, therefore, the country does not recognize such unions, according to WIO News. The court had been considering the issue since 2016, after several appeals from same-sex couples claiming the country's family code (which only recognizes opposite-sex marriages) was "unconstitutional." Reacting to the Feb. 16 ruling, Ivan Chanis Barahona, president of the LGBTQ+-rights organization Fundacion Iguales, told AFP, "The Panamanian justice system has rejected the recognition of the dignity of same-sex couples and their right to build a family in Panama."
El Salvador's Legislative Assembly ignored the one-year deadline that the Supreme Court gave it to create a legal gender-recognition procedure that would prevent discrimination against transgender people, according to Human Rights Watch and COMCAVIS TRANS. In February 2022, El Salvador's Supreme Court ruled that the constitution prohibits discrimination based on gender identity; it ordered the legislature to create a procedure within one year that allows trans people to change their names in identity documents.
Human Rights Watch claimed security agencies and government officials in several countries in the Middle East and North Africa have been using social-media platforms and mobile dating apps to crack down on LGBTQ+ people, ABC News noted. The report, "'All This Terror Because of a Photo': Digital Targeting and Its Offline Consequences for LGBT People in the Middle East and North Africa," documents dozens of cases of security agencies in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Tunisia extorting, harassing, publicly outing and detaining LGBTQ+ people. The report is at https://www.hrw.org/report/2023/02/21/all-terror-because-photo/digital-targeting-and-its-offline-consequences-lgbt.
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said that the country's same-sex marriage ban is not discriminatory to the country's LGBTQ+ community, PinkNews noted. "I do not have a sense of discrimination [on the issue] and I have never stated I'm against it," he stated. His comments came amid growing public calls to allow Japanese LGBTQ+ couples the right to marry. Kishida was recently forced to fire one of his officials, Masayoshi Arai, after he said that he wouldn't want to live next door to an LGBTQ+ couple and that he would "hate even to see them."
A YouGov poll has found that almost half of UK viewers think that LGBTQ+ and ethnic minority communities are overrepresented on television, Yahoo! noted. Just 26% of people surveyed said that they felt ethnic minorities were underrepresented on TV, and more people in the UK shared the overrepresentation opinions than those in France, Italy, Spain, Chile, the United Arab Emirates and Australia, who were also surveyed. The survey also found that 60% of those surveyed believe that obese people are underrepresented on TV.
In the United Kingdom, non-binary individual Eugene Lynchwho lives with HIVsaid they felt stigmatized when they went for a massage and were asked for their HIV status, PinkNews reported. Before receiving his massage, Lynch was asked to disclose if he had conditions such as high blood pressure, asthma, epilepsy, HIV and many more. Around halfway through his massage, Lynch realized the therapist was wearing surgical glovesalthough Lynch admitted he was not sure why she wore them. The hotel is now investigating the incident after Lynch wrote a letter; for that reason, he has not revealed the name of the venue.
Gay Toronto resident Aziz M. (surname withheld for privacy reasons) is suing Canada's government to force it to withdraw regulations that discriminate against gay and bisexual men seeking to become sperm donors, The Los Angeles Blade reported. He alleges that the donor ban is unlawful under the Canadian constitution's ban on discrimination. While the federal government and the agencies responsible for collecting blood donations in Canada eliminated rules banning men who have sex with men from donating blood last year, there are still bans on sperm and other tissue donations from men who have sex with men unless they are abstinent for at least three months before the donation.
Out British actor Stephen Fry is set to host an ITV reboot of the iconic game show Jeopardy!, Deadline noted. The show, which will air as a 20-part order in the daytime, has contestants using general-knowledge skills to win rounds and amass winnings, as many know. The news will no doubt rekindle the debate around UK reboots, with reworks of Big Brother, Survivor and Gladiators all set for later this year.
Internet users are finding buried clips of Chilean-American actor Pedro Pascal (The Last of Us; The Mandalorian) playing gay in an MTV show from 1999, according to Out. According to fan site pedro-pascal.com, Pascal starred in three episodes of an MTV show called Undressed in 1999 while acting under the name Pedro Balmaceda. Pascal is also getting ready to play gay again, this time in Pedro Almodovar's gay western romance short film Strange Way of Life.
Canadian sales company APL Film acquired international sales rights for Canadian-British writer/director Shamim Sarif's LGBTQ+ drama Polarized, according to Deadline. The movie is a love story between two women separated by culture and religion. Holly Deveaux co-stars as a white farm worker who is fired for racism and then falls in love with her Palestinian boss, played by Maxine Denis.
UK-based clothing/spirits brand Molly and Tommy was forced to apologize and vowed to change course after a recent social-media controversy, Out noted. The brandwhich gets its name from 18th-century England ("Molly" being slang for gays and "Tommy" being slang for lesbians)featured a promo image featuring six muscled models. After one commenter asked, "So the brand is for one body type?," the brand account, then operated by Darren Edwards, responded, "Yes so keep scrolling."