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Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-02-22



WORLD Pride parades, Japanese activists, UN expert, anti-LGBTQ+ attack
by Andrew Davis

This article shared 2367 times since Sat Apr 29, 2023
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In France, this year's Gay Pride parade will take place in Paris on June 24 without motorized floats for the very first time, after organizers voted to scrap heavy vehicles along the route for environmental and safety reasons, RFI reported. The decision—described as a "major evolution" for the march—was made by the Inter-LGBT, which brings together the main French LGBTQ+ groups and is in charge of staging the event in June each year.

And in Japan, the Tokyo Rainbow Pride event returned to full capacity for the first time in four years, The Japan Times reported. Tokyo Rainbow Pride is one of Asia's largest LGBTQ+-related events, with more than 200,000 people taking part this year under the theme "Press on Till Japan Changes." The event took place nearly three months after the administration of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida came under scrutiny after a top aide was fired for disparaging remarks against same-sex couples, saying he didn't want to look at them or have them live next door to him.

On a related note, Japanese LGBTQ+-rights groups delivered a statement to the government urging that Japan enact an anti-discrimination law and legalize same-sex marriages ahead of a summit of the Group of Seven (G-7) leading industrialized nations being hosted by Japan in May, per ABC News. Japan is the only G-7 country that does not recognize same-sex marriage or provide other equal rights protections for LGBTQ+ people.

The UN Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, Victor Madrigal-Borloz, will conduct an official visit to the United Kingdom on April 24-May 5, per a United Nations press release. Madrigal-Borloz will travel to England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales to meet with government officials, political representatives and civil-rights organizations working on issues related to the human rights of LGBTQ+ persons and others. The expert will study the different manifestations of violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

In East London (Whitechapel, specifically), two trans people and a gay man were reportedly targeted as their home was "intentionally set on fire," Attitude noted. A GoFundMe crowdfunder has been created to "aid Novaya, Harper and Bart… following a targeted hate crime that took place." The London Fire Brigade told Attitude, "The cause of the fire is under investigation by the Brigade and Metropolitan Police."

A video of lawmakers and drag artists discussing the need for new safety-zone legislation is circulating in posts claiming Canada has outlawed protests or criticism against the LGBTQ+ community, Yahoo! News noted. However, a press conference announced a bill that, if passed, would only apply in Ontario to events or establishments under threat from harassment and intimidation. Bill 94, if passed, would create an advisory committee on LGBTQ+ issues. It would also empower the Ontario attorney general to designate a temporary, 100-meter zone around LGBTQ+ events or establishments to prohibit protests when law enforcement confirms the presence of a threat.

The African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights (ACHPR) passed a resolution affirming the rights of people born with variations of their sex characteristics—also known as intersex people, according to Human Rights Watch. ACHPR also called for an end to bias against people with intersex variations in competitive sport—which comes as World Athletics has tightened restrictions related to gender. Women with higher than typical testosterone, and certain diagnoses of variations in their sex characteristics and hormonal sensitivity must go through medical procedures to reduce their testosterone levels to compete as women.

The EU president, Swedish Foreign Minister Tobias Billstroem, said Bosnian Serb leaders' repeated threats of secession from the rest of Bosnia-Herzegovina are "unacceptable" and are intensifying already high tensions in the region, RFE/RL reported. Billstroem also expressed concern about moves by the Serbian entity to criminalize defamation and restrict the rights of the LGBTQ+ community, saying they undermine the country's efforts to join the European Union.

In Poland, a court found two women guilty of offending religious feelings—a crime that carries a prison sentence of up to two years—for displaying an image of the Virgin Mary and Jesus with rainbow halos during an LGBTQ+ Pride march, according to Notes from Poland. The pair's lawyer plans to contest the judgement, meaning the case would proceed to a full trial. The incident in question took place during the 2021 Equality March in Czestochowa—a city that is home to Poland's holiest Catholic shrine, the Black Madonna.

Edinburgh University said it was "disappointed" after it was forced to cancel the screening of Adult Human Female—a film that examines the clash between female rights and transgender ideology—after trans-rights advocates protested, per Deadline. It is the second time the screening has been canceled after UCU Edinburgh, the university union, forced a cancellation of a similar event last December because it could be "detrimental to the safety and wellbeing of LGBT staff." "UCU Edinburgh, helping stop the screening of a film on their own campus. Academic freedom of thought is just of no interest to these people. They are a disgrace," academic Kathleen Stock wrote in a message that author JK Rowling shared with her 14 million followers on Twitter.

Australian comedian Barry Humphries—best known for his comedic character Dame Edna Everage—died at age 89. According to Deadline, Humphries had been unwell in a Sydney hospital, suffering complications following hip surgery last month. Dame Edna became a star in the 1970s in the UK, getting her own chat show on ITV a decade later. Humphries also voiced the shark Bruce in 2003 Pixar animated film Finding Nemo and made appearances in Spice World, The Hobbit and Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie.

A date has been set for Kevin Spacey's high-profile UK trial on charges of sex offenses, Deadline noted. Southwark Crown Court revealed that the two-time Oscar winner's trial will start on June 28. Spacey previously pled not guilty to 12 charges relating to alleged offenses against four men that are said to have taken place between 2001 and 2013. He appeared at London's Old Bailey last year and denied five allegations relating to three men before subsequently appearing at Southwark to plead not guilty to additional charges relating to a different complainant.

And openly gay Oscar-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black (Milk) is set to face trial in the U.K. after allegedly assaulting a BBC host in a nightclub, Variety noted. (The charge stems from an alleged altercation with LGBTQ+ party planner/BBC3 show The Big Proud Party Agency host Teddy Edwardes last summer.) Black appeared at Westminster Magistrates Court in London via videolink on April 27 and pled not guilty to a charge of assault by beating. Black was released on unconditional bail. His trial is set to take place on Aug. 8.

Nadya Tolokonnikova, creator of the anti-Putin resistance group Pussy Riot, recently gave a TED talk, per a press release. She told the story of her imprisonment and exile, shared what motivates her resistance and delivered a message to Putin himself. In part, Tolokonnikova said, "For some of us, living courageously is a choice. For others, like our friends in Ukraine, this is not a choice—it is a matter of survival. Putin is embarrassed that Ukraine chose truth and democracy." The release added that "Pussy Riot stands for gender fluidity, inclusivity, matriarchy, love, laughter, decentralization, anarchy and anti-authoritarianism."

Soccer player Alberto Lejarraga officially came out as part of the LGBTQ+ community and revealed his boyfriend on social media following his team's recent promotion to an upper league in Spain, according to Out. While he didn't specifically mention how he identifies, Lejaarraga shared a picture of him kissing his boyfriend on social media. The official Twitter account for La Liga—the top soccer division for men in Spain—responded, "Thanks Alberto for inspiring us. Let's continue to build an increasingly diverse and tolerant soccer."

Sony Pictures Classics chose Pedro Almodovar's Strange Way of Life—an LGBTQ-themed Western starring Ethan Hawke and Pedro Pascal—before its world premiere at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival, per The Hollywood Reporter. The short—which sees Hawke and Pascal appear as two middle-aged gunslingers with a deep connection and who meet up again after a 25-year separation—is Almodóvar's second English-language short, after The Human Voice (which starred Tilda Swinton).

Twitter began removing legacy blue checkmarks from user profiles, with famous people including Pope Francis, Microsoft Corp co-founder Bill Gates and Portuguese soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo as well as companies like Prime Video losing their verified status, according to Reuters. (Lesbian tennis icon Martina Navratilova also lost her check, prompting her to post, "I see I lost my blue check—but I kept my checkbook in my purse," while astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson's check mark disappeared and reappeared.) Musk—who admitted that he's paid for the accounts of William Shatner, LeBron James and Stephen King—said in November that Twitter will begin charging $8 per month for the badge in an effort to launch more revenue streams beyond advertising.

Actors Santi Talledo and Toni Gelabert are a couple, and the two of them have been sharing photos online, according to Instinct Magazine. Recently, Spanish actor Gelabert made an appearance in an El Trece talk show, where he confirmed his relationship with Argentinian actor Talledo. Aside from being a couple, the two actors are also co-stars in the soap opera Argentina, Land of Love and Revenge, which is set in 1984 after democracy has returned to Argentina.

British comedy legend Jennifer Saunders (Absolutely Fabulous) will make her pantomime debut as Captain Hook in Peter Pan this winter holiday season at the London Palladium—the idea of pantomime legend Michael Harrison, per Deadline. Peter Pan—also featuring comic performance artist/writer Rob Madge as Tinker Bell—will run Dec. 9-Jan. 14, 2024. Saunders recently appeared on London stages as Madame Arcadia in Noel Coward's Blithe Spirit.

Canadian actor Saint Von Colucci, 22, died at a South Korea hospital after undergoing a dozen cosmetic surgeries over a year in order to look like BTS singer Jimin, Page Six noted. Van Colucci—who moved from Canada to the K-pop (Korean popular music) mecca in 2019—had an operation on April 22 to remove jaw implants he had put in last November. After the surgery, Van Colucci developed an infection and had to be intubated—dying hours later. in the last 12 months, Von Colucci spent $220,000 on 12 surgeries.

This article shared 2367 times since Sat Apr 29, 2023
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