The 40 Years of Pride conference, organized by The Aguda and A Wider Bridge, will bring together a diverse group of LGBTQ leaders from around the world this summer in Israel on June 9-11, according to a press release. Leaders from around the world will gather in the heart of Tel Aviv to inspire and strengthen each other, build skills and networks, and celebrate 40 years of LGBTQ progress in Israelall culminating with Tel Aviv Pride, a celebration that attracts 150,000 people from across the world. This will be the first global LGBTQ leadership summit to be held in Tel Aviv.
Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy is being accused of making an offensive comment about a rival politician, claiming he is like AIDS and if you "touch him, you die," Gay Star News reported. Sarkozy made the alleged comments about the leader of the Democratic Movement party, Francois Bayrou. Sarkozy, who is also the leader of the Union for a Popular Movement party, and his spokespeople have denied that he made this comment.
In Taiwan, Taipei has rejected a lesbian couple's application to participate in the city's annual mass wedding, despite promises to include same-sex couples this year, according to Gay Star News. The Department of Civil Affairs said Ray and Hsiao Ting did not conform to the civil code's requirements for marriage, which stipulates that an agreement to marry must be made between male and female parties of their own accord. Lan Shih-tsung, director of the department of civil affairs, has now said a separate event for same-sex couples will be held later in the year because there was not enough time to revise the event's regulations which were made public a long time ago.
A Singapore man was charged with eight counts of extortion after he blackmailed a teacher for more than $250,000 with threats to expose their sexual relationship to the Ministry of Education and his school, Gay Star News reported. Vincent Ng, 34, allegedly extorted S$197,000 in cash and valuables, including four Chanel bags and a Rolex watch, from the 45-year-old teacher, who cannot be named due to a gag order.
A district assembly in Tokyo became the first in Japan to recognize same-sex partnerships, a major step forward for gay couples in a country where being openly gay remains taboo, The Nation reported. The vote by Tokyo's Shibuya ward may seem insignificant compared to the situation in countries like the United States, where same-sex marriage is legal in all but 13 states. However, just proposing the statute set off an unprecedented discussion over equality, and is likely to pave the way for similar measures elsewhere in Japan.
The Vatican has been dragging its feet on the approval of France's ambassador to the Holy See, raising suspicions that it has effectively rejected the nomination of Laurent Stefanini because he is gay, the UK Guardian reported. Stefanini, a 55-year-old practicing Catholic, has been described in the Italian press as an exemplary candidate and a man of "exceptional culture." He is a senior diplomat and chief of protocol in the French government of Francois Hollande.
Venezuelan supermodel Patricia Velasquez has come out as lesbian in a new memoir, The Huffington Post noted. Velasquez, now 43, who has been dubbed the "first Latina supermodel," opens up about her sexuality in her new book, Straight Walk. She writes that while working in the modeling world in the 1990s, she was living a lie that was "tortuous" and "eroding my soul bit by bit." Velazquezmother to an 8-year-oldhas modeled for Ralph Lauren, Isaac Mizrahi, Chanel, Victoria's Secret and Sports Illustrated, and has appeared in The Mummy and the TV show Arrested Development.
In the world of tennis, two-time major champion Amelie Mauresmo has announced that she is expecting her first child this summer, Tennis.com noted. Mauresmoa Frenchwoman who won both the Australian Open and Wimbledon in 2006was number one for 39 weeks in her career. The out lesbian tweeted, "Baby will be here in August! Pregnant. So happy."
Toronto cop Luke Watson is taking a stand against homophobia, The New York Daily News noted. Watson dyed his hair hot pink to fight LGBT discrimination, and he's letting Twitter users choose how long he keeps the new hairdo. Watson promised that for every 1,000 retweets of a picture of his new style, he'll keep the hair color for another week. The initial picture to #StopBullyingNow went viral, amassing 1,000 retweets within two hours. He initially dyed his hair for the International Day of Pink, a day of events to "raise awareness to stop homophobia, transphobia, transmisogyny and all forms of bullying," according to its website.
A gay fitness center in TaipeiANIKi World of Wonders, in Da'an district has reportedly been raided 26 times in the last six months, sparking cries of discrimination, Gay Star News reported. The gym's chief executive, Chu Hsi-Kuang, said the police did not give a reason or show a search warrant for most recent raids. He said they treated him like a suspect and burst into the gym's changing room while patrons were still naked. One of the owners, Chan Shan, suspected the raids were part of the mayor's crackdown on drugs but questioned if the city government was persecuting LGBTI residents.
The first-ever study into homophobia in Spanish soccer is ongoing in Andalucia, Olive Press reported. The University of Sevilla has teamed with the Andalucian federation ARCO IRIS to asses the level of tolerance toward gay soccer players in the region's eight provinces. No top-flight Spanish player has ever publicly come out as gay. La Liga clubs Cordoba, Granada, Malaga and Sevilla have already taken part, as well as a number of lower-league sides. The ongoing report can be accessed at www.contralasreglas.tk.
A Congressman in Brazil has come under fire for suggesting that hospital patients should be allowed the choice to reject "gay" blood, Pink News reported. Congressman Jair Bolsonaro has said his far-right Progressive Party would implement a policy meaning patients would be made aware when they were receiving a blood donation of its origin, and would be able to reject it if it came from a gay donor. Bolsonaro, 60, went on to say that recipients should be able to ask for blood from a straight donor, if they do not wish to receive a transfusion from a gay person.
A "gay cure" convention is scheduled to take place in London this month, according to Gay Star News. The Holy Sexuality Conference will take place April 21-25, with gay people being specifically invited in order to help them "overcome" their "sexual habits." Three of the biggest "ex-gay" advocates have been invited to speak: Mike Carducci, Wayne Blakely and Danielle Harrison of Coming Out Ministries.
The BBC radio show Woman's Hour is being condemned for its debate on trans children, Gay Star News reported. Presenter Jenni Murray instigated the talk by referring to recent reports that said puberty blockers were being given to trans children under the age of 11. Charities Trans Media Watch and Mermaids condemned the discussion, calling the show out for spreading misinformation. They said they do not consider it appropriate for people with no medical expertise to be presented as experts in criticizing the experiences of people with a recognized medical condition.
The archbishop of Taranto in the southern Italian province of Puglia dismissed Father Antonio Calvieri, a priest in his 50s who worked at the monastery of the local Carmelite order, according to The Daily Beast. Calvieri is the subject of a sexual harassment charge and lawsuit by 32-year-old Andrea Baldon. According to court documents filed in Taranto, Baldon is seeking unspecified damages against Calvieri as well as the church of the Santissimo Crocefisso after apparent aggressive sexual harassment. In online messages, Calvieri allegedly promised Baldon orgies with Swiss Guards and Roman priests, among other things.
The Bishop of Buckingham, Dr. Alan Wilson, has said gay clergy live in "a culture of fear and intimidation" and that there is a "real injustice" about not allowing them to marry," according to Pink News. Speaking on Premier's News Hour, Wilson said, "I think the whole idea of this ban is legally extremely flimsy. ... Now [that] we live in a society in which it is possible for people to enter into marriage if they're gay, it seems perfectly sensible they should do so."
Former Great British Bake Off finalist Ruby Tandoh has come out as lesbianwith a little help from a Motown superstar, the UK Guardian reported. The 23-year-old, who lost out in the fourth Bake Off final in 2013 to designer Frances Quinn, tweeted a link to Diana Ross's disco hit "I'm Coming Out" and revealed she had told her parents about her sexuality. She also hit out at "misogynists" who had accused her of flirting with one of the BBC show's judges, Paul Hollywood, to reach the final three in the show.
An Australian TV presenter has come out as gay on her 31st birthdayand is celebrated with rainbow cake, Pink News noted. Faustina "Fuzzy" Agolley, who was previously a co-host of The Voice in the country, made the announcement in a blog post. In part, she wrote, "As black as my skin, as Chinese as my blood, and as Australian and British are my nationalities, I'm also a proud Gay Woman. Most importantly though, I'm a happy human being."