In England, police are treating the painting of a homophobic slur on an LGBTQ Pride mural as a hate crime, the BBC reported. The wall in St Helens, Merseyside, which was painted by volunteers and artists to celebrate Pride month, was sprayed with black paint. It follows several attacks on LGBTQ people in Liverpool in June. Merseyside Police described the incident as "appalling," while the council said it was "distressing."
Mexican police arrested the man they say brutally tortured, killed and burned the body of a Cancun man who had just revealed he was living with HIV, out.com reported. The suspect, identified only as Isidoro G., was the victim's next-door neighbor and tenant, and the two had earlier lived together in the victim's home in Cancun. Despite the heinous nature of the crime, the Office of the General Inspector in Cancun said they were not investigating the case as hate crime because such hate crimes are not covered in the state's criminal codes.
Legislation that would make conversion therapy illegal in Canada stalled in the Senate as the chamber began a summer break, CBC.ca reported. The delay means the legislation is at risk of being wiped out entirely should Parliament be dissolved ahead of a widely anticipated fall election. The legislation, Bill C-6, proposes changes to the Criminal Code that would effectively outlaw conversion therapythe widely discredited practice of attempting to change an individual's sexual orientation to heterosexual or their gender identity to cisgender (which means identifying with the sex assigned to them at birth).
Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel was recently hospitalized with COVID-19, more than a week after testing positive for coronavirus, The Hill reported. The Associated Press reported that the openly gay politician was coughing and had headaches and a fever, but was not experiencing any life-threatening conditions. Bettelwho revealed that he tested positive for the virus days after taking part in the two-day European Union Summit in Brussels with 26 other leaders in late Junehad already received his first COVID-19 vaccine dose when he tested positive, and was set to get his second AstraZeneca shot on July 1.
Pakistan's first state-run school for transgender students opened in the central city of Multan, according to a New York Daily News item. The schoolestablished by the education department in the Punjab province, and spanning grades one through 12opened its doors on the first day of classes to 18 registered students. The curriculum to be used with younger kids was developed in Japan; classes for kids 10 and older will be based on Pakistani education boards, according to Pakistan's Geo Television Network.
Bolivia's national civil registry (Registro de Servicio Cívico, or SERECI) rejected a lesbian couple's application to register their relationship as a union, Human Rights Watch stated. The lesbian coupleforeign citizens who legally reside in Boliviaapplied to La Paz civil registry in May to register a civil union. In a June letter to the couple's lawyers, the civil registry asserted that there is no current procedure to register same-sex unions in the country. The couple has begun administrative proceedings to appeal the decision. Last December, the civil registry recognized the union of gay couple David Aruquipa and Guido Montano, based on a court order.
A team of researchers co-led by UCLA Fielding School of Public Health epidemiology professor Dr. Matthew Mimiaga received more than $5.2 million in grants from the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) to develop and test interventions in the United States and Brazil, a press release noted. The projects, funded by three separate NIH grants, all have the goal of reducing the spread of HIV through the use of antiretroviral medications for HIV primary (PrEP) and secondary (ART) prevention among sexual- and gender-minority groups. The grants, announced by the NIH this month, will study the use of a variety of techniquespersonalized, daily text message reminders; video vignettes; peer navigation; and individual and group counselingto facilitate access and adherence to antiretroviral medications among those who would benefit the most from its use. These grants will be implemented in Los Angeles County; Providence, Rhode Island; Boston; and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Gay Jamaican swimmer Michael Gunning has been denied access to the Tokyo Olympics, Instinct Magazine noted. "I was hit by some heart-breaking news that has unfortunately left me feeling shocked, gutted and extremely emotional," Gunning wrote on Instagram. "Some dreams are simply not meant to come true… and the words I've been struggling to say out loud are… 'I have not made the Olympic Team this Summer.'" Among other things, he said that because he is based in England but was on Team Jamaica, he did not get assistance when training in facilities purposed for Team Great Britain, which left him training alone. He also found himself locked out of multiple qualifying competitions due to government laws and the "terms and conditions" of international athletes.
Fumino Sugiyamaa former female fencer for the Japan women's national teamrecently became the first transgender board member of the Japan Olympic Committee, Nikkei Asia reported. As a transgender man, Sugiyama, now 39, said he felt the fear firsthand during his professional fencing career until he retired and came out at the age of 25. "I had been thinking that I cannot be who I really am, while being an athlete at the same time," said Sugiyama, who added that he feared being exposed as a transgender person every time he heard homophobic remarks.
A group of activists in Hungary flew a giant, heart-shaped rainbow balloon in front of the country's parliament building to protest the enactment of recent laws that target the LGBTQ+ community, out.com noted. Prime Minister Viktor Orban has overseen the passage of a series of laws and constitutional revisions that were seen by many as an attack on the community. "We think that the only path we can pursue is civil disobedience, and we will not change anything about our activities," Luca Dudits, a spokesperson for Hungarian LGBTQ+ advocacy group Hatter Society, told the Associated Press.
According to Variety, Tencent's WeChat social-media platform recently blocked and wiped all past content of the accounts for the campus LGBTQ groups of China's top universitiesstriking a major blow against LGBTQ awareness and rights. Many campus LGBTQ clubs have never been officially recognized or condoned, but have been able to operate unofficially for years under the radar. The accounts now read, "In response to related complaints, all content has been blocked for violating the 'Regulations on the Management of Internet User Official Account Information Services,' and all usage of the account has been suspended."
In a victory for a transgender rights, the European Court of Human Rights ruled July 6 that Russia's denial of a transgender parent's visitation to her children violated her rights to family life and freedom from discrimination, according to Human Rights Watch. The woman, known in court documents as A.M., had two children with her spouse before they separated. After a local court legally recognized her gender transition, A.M. continued to regularly see her children for 17 months until her former spouse obtained a court ruling to cut off visitation. The European Court found that the decision to restrict A.M.'s contact with her children was made "in the absence of any demonstratable harm to the children" and was not based on a "balanced and reasonable assessment."
In the former Soviet republic of Georgia, LGBTQ activists were forced to cancel a planned Pride march after opponents clashed with activists and police, and the prime minister spoke out against the event, france24.com reported. Hundreds of protesters took to the streets of Georgia's capital Tbilisi against a Pride march that was scheduled for July 5. They clashed with police and assaulted journalists at several locations, including outside parliament and the United Nations representative office to Georgia. Thousands rallied July 6 in the Georgian capital pf Tbilisi to denounce attacks on the LGBTQ community, according to RTHK.hk.
Also in Georgia, 20 people were detained as Georgian ultranationalists attempted to disrupt a film screening at the opening of the four-day Tbilisi Pride LGBT rights festival, which aims to combat homophobia and transphobia, RFERL.org noted. Outside the July 1 screening, protesters clashed with law enforcement personnel and threw stones and eggs, with some resisting arrest.
Russian supermarket chain VkusVill pulled an advertisement featuring a same-sex couple following a social-media uproar by conservative groups, according to france24.com . An ad highlighting health-conscious families featured a woman, her two daughters and the female fiancee of one of the daughters. Later, the company deleted the ad and replaced it with a statement explaining that it had "hurt the feelings of a big part of our customers, employees, partners and suppliers."
The International LGBTQ+ Travel Association (IGLTA) Foundation announced that LGBTQ+ tour company OUT in Colombia is the recipient of the 2021 Impact Award to honor responsible tourism development, a press release noted. The award was launched this year in partnership with The TreadRight Foundation, a non-profit organization created by The Travel Corporation's family of brands, to recognize a smaller business member (fewer than 10 employees) of the IGLTA whose initiatives encourage sustainable tourism in three key areas: environment, community, and diversity and inclusion.
UK politician Jim Wells, of the DUP, said he does not need to apologize for any comments he has made about the LGBTQ community, the BBC noted. He was responding to remarks by party deputy leader Paula Bradley, who said that some of the things said by party colleagues in the past had been "absolutely atrocious." On a radio show, Wells said, "The vast majority of comments that have been made by public representatives of the Democratic Unionist Party on this issue have been measured, they have been sensible and they have been reflective of the views of a large number of people in Northern Ireland."
In France, the 74th Cannes Film Festival kicked off July 6 as big names came out to support the event that's just getting back to business after last year's cancellation and this year's delays, Deadline noted. Assembled together, 2019 Oscar and Palme d'Or winner Bong Joon-ho, Cannes veteran Pedro Almodovar, Jury President Spike Lee and honorary Palme d'Or recipient Jodie Foster paid tribute to the event and officially opened the 2021 proceedings in a mix of Korean, Spanish, English and French.
British author Gareth Peterwho wrote the April 2021 children's picture book My Daddies!recently revealed the hateful messages he has received in response to his LGBTQ-centered book, LGBTQ Nation noted. His book is about an adopted child and their two fathers. Peter wrote it after he noticed a lack of children's books showing families like his, which includes his partner and their two kids. One hateful message he received was, "I genuinely pray for you to see the light of God's love [prayer emoji] My [D]addies will not go far, as is a distorted image of family." Peter also received many comments praising his book.
Radiohead, the Chemical Brothers and Annie Lennox are among the artists calling on the British government to make it easier for musicians to tour in the European Union (EU), independent.ie noted. New post-Brexit UK rules which came into force at the beginning of the year do not guarantee visa-free travel for musicians in the EU. The #LetTheMusicMove campaign is urging action to ensure an end to "Brexit-related cost, paperwork and bureaucracy currently preventing EU touring."
The full line-up for this year's Warehouse Project season in Manchester, England has been revealed, NME.com noted. A few acts, including Nile Rodgers & Chic, were announced back in May as the festival confirmed its 2021 return, and organizers have now added a huge list of acts stretching from mid-September to post-Christmas. Among the acts heading to Warehouse Project are Megan Thee Stallion, Jamie xx, Disclosure, Caribou, Four Tet, Gina Breeze, Goldie, Soul II Soul and many more.