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Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-09-06



WORLD Austria proposal, conferences, Pride marches, tennis player, Gay Games
by Andrew Davis

This article shared 2701 times since Fri Nov 3, 2023
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In Austria, a historic proposal by the country's Ministry of Justice sees 33 million euros (approximately $35 million U.S.) set aside to compensate those who were persecuted or convicted of consensual same-sex acts—although critics say the amount is not enough, euronews noted. The new legislation would apply to anyone convicted under specific sections of Austria's legal code that were put in place after homosexuality was decriminalized in 1971; the Constitutional Court only repealed the last of these provisions in 2002. "The [persecution] of homosexual people was a dark chapter of the Second Republic (government post-1945) and a great injustice," Austria Justice Minister Alma Zadic posted on X (formerly Twitter).

At a press conference during the ILGA-Europe Annual Conference in Ljubljana, Slovenia, that brought together hundreds of LGBTI activists from 54 countries in Europe and Central Asia, Slovenia State Secretary at the Ministry of Labor Dan Juvan further committed to the preparation and publication of the country's first national strategy for LGBTIQ+ persons, the organization noted on its website. This commitment comes after the Ministry of Labor, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities was directed by the Parliamentary Commission for Petitions, Human Rights, and Equal Opportunities last July to prepare and adopt the National Strategy for the Equality of LGBTIQ+ Persons in Slovenia in 2024.

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation hosted its 6th Global Innovative Advocacy Summit in D.C., per a press release. This unique forum brought together 32 established and emerging LGBTQ+ advocates from 32 countries to exchange experiences, ideas and best practices for promoting LGBTQ+ equality around the world. At the conclusion of the Summit, the Innovators (from such countries as Bolivia, Zambia, Turkey, India and Czechia) became members of HRC's ever-growing Global Alumni Leaders Network—now numbering more than 200 advocates in some 100 countries.

According to Reuters, more than 20,000 people marched through Johannesburg, South Africa, recently to celebrate Pride and to make their support clear for LGBTQ+ communities across Africa who cannot be open safely and whose relationships are criminalized. At the front of a parade was Mandela Swali, a 25-year-old Ugandan gay man who was attending his first Pride and who was draped in a Ugandan flag. "This is the space and this is the family I deserve to have right now. I feel like I'm at home," Swali said.

Also, in Taiwan, almost 180,000 people marched in that country's LGBTQ+ Pride parade on Oct. 28—including top politicians such as Vice President and presidential frontrunner Lai Ching-te, according to Taiwan News. Taipei is home to East Asia's largest Pride parade, per CNA. Taiwan legalized same-sex marriage in 2019, a move championed by President Tsai Ing-wen, Lai and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). Although the DPP candidate has tended to lean toward the party's more conservative wing, Lai's attendance was seen as a move to court Taiwan's youth vote, which is more supportive for LGBTQ+ rights.

At the WTA Elite Trophy tournament in China, queer Russian tennis player Daria (pronounced "Dasha") Kasatkina talked about the social-media abuse she has received, ESPN noted. Kasatkina said the abuse is "completely out of control," and posted on social media an image showing some of the harmful messages she received. The tournament featured the 11 highest-ranked singles players who did not qualify for November's WTA Finals in Cancun, Mexico; a 12th player, Zhu Lin, was a wild card. Kasatkina was eliminated in a semifinal by eventual winner Beatriz Haddad Maia.

The Gay Games XI 2023 are opening this weekend in Hong Kong and Guadalajara, Mexico—but not without criticism, The Advocate noted. The Games have been criticized for the selection of Hong Kong due to its record on LGBTQ+ and human rights. Each city is expected to host over 2,000 participants from up to 45 countries and territories.

At the Pan American Games in Santiago, Chile, swimmer/Tokyo Olympic silver medalist Erica Sullivan tried out a personalized gift from Speedo USA—goggles that she said on Instagram "were inspired by the lesbian flag, pink and orange," Outsports noted. She also said that "orange also ties into my history I have here [in] Texas." Sullivan is the sixth swimmer to be part of the Team Speedo Signature Goggles collection, after fellow USA Olympic medalists Caeleb Dressel, Kathleen Baker, Ryan Murphy and Hali Flickinger as well as three-time Paralympic gold-medal winner Becca Meyers.

Amnesty International has called for "human-rights commitments" from Saudi Arabia, which is set to host World Cup 2034, Sky Sports noted. The Middle East country took on hosting duties after Australia declined to bid. Steve Cockburn, the organization's head of economic and social justice, said: "[World soccer governing body] FIFA must now make clear how it expects hosts to comply with its human-rights policies. It must also be prepared to halt the bidding process if serious human-rights risks are not credibly addressed." Amnesty's record on Saudi Arabia is at .

World Rugby announced the nominees for the World Rugby Women's 15s Player of the Year, Women's Breakthrough Player of the Year and International Rugby Players Women's Try of the Year, according to a media release. Player of the Year nods went to Marlie Packer (England), Gabrielle Vernier (France), Abby Dow (England) and Ruahei Demant (New Zealand). Winners across four categories will be celebrated during a special awards presentation in front of fans at Go Media Stadium Mt Smart in Auckland, New Zealand, after the final whistle of the England-New Zealand match on Nov. 4.

A month-long Vatican meeting on the future of the Roman Catholic Church ended without clear stands on hot-button issues such as women deacons and welcoming the LGBTQ+ community, Reuters reported. The Synod of Bishops followed an unprecedented two-year canvassing of rank-and-file Catholics. The 365 synod participants included 300 bishops along with lay men and about 50 women who were mostly lay people.

People younger than 18 have been banned from visiting this year's World Press Photo exhibition in Budapest, after Hungary's right-wing government decided that some of its photos violate a contentious law restricting LGBTQ+ content, according to RFE/RL. A set of five photos depicting elderly LGBT people in the Philippines led a far-right Hungarian lawmaker to file a complaint with the country's culture ministry, which found that the images violate a Hungarian law barring the display of LGBTQ+ content to minors.

In Canada, groups have until Nov. 30 to file their motions if they want to be heard in a lawsuit over New Brunswick's school gender-identity policy, CBC reported. This summer, the province made it mandatory to get parental consent before school staff can use a child's chosen name and pronoun, if the student is under 16. Already, five organizations—The New Brunswick Teachers' Federation, Ontario-based Egale Canada and local LGBTQ-advocacy groups Alter Acadie, Chroma N.B, and Imprint Youth—have asked to intervene and add to the arguments.

The International LGBTQ+ Travel Association (IGLTA) announced its board of directors for 2024, per a press release. Four industry thought leaders—Burcu Kisakurek, Sangeeta Naik, Shiho Ikeuchi and Fred Dixon—were first-time appointees and will begin their two-year term in January. The 2024 Board Executive Committee was also announced; members include Dougal Mckenzie, Meg Ten Eyck, Norma Dean, Josh Good, Kisakurek and Felipe Cardenas.

Many celebrities—including actor and comedian Mae Martin, actor Russell Tovey, various Drag Race UK stars, and musicians Rina Sawayama and Little Mix's Jade Thirlwall—have called on British Prime minister Rishi Sunak to ban conversion therapy, PinkNews noted. A ban was promised in 2018 by then-Prime Minister Theresa May; however, five years and three prime ministers later, a trans-inclusive ban has not materialized, despite it receiving cross-party support. Previously, it was reported that Sunak would include outlawing the harmful practice as part of the King's Speech on Nov. 7. Days later, it was noted that he planned to ditch the trans-inclusive ban due to "intense" lobbying by anti-trans Tory MP Miriam Cates.

Malaysia has reportedly told concert organizers to introduce power kill switches at concerts after The 1975 frontman Matty Healy kissed his bandmate on stage at a festival in Kuala Lumpur to protest the country's anti-LGBTQ+ laws, PinkNews noted. The indie band received backlash after Healy kissed the band's bass player, Ross MacDonald, on stage at Malaysia's Good Vibes Festival in July; Healy said the incident led to him being "briefly imprisoned." The band was criticized for the incident by local LGBTQ+ activists, who described the staged kiss as "giving white savior complex" and who claimed the incident could see increased scrutiny of the LGBTQ+ community.

Approximately 60 stars of David have been found graffitied on buildings in the Paris area, in acts that political leaders have said "recall the 1930s," the BBC reported. France is dealing with a big rise in antisemitic incidents. Almost 900 such acts have been reported in France since the Hamas attacks in Israel on Oct. 7, said Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin. Political leaders, including President Emmanuel Macron, have warned of the risk of "importing" tensions caused by the Israel-Hamas war into France.

Russian feminist activist performance group Pussy Riot opened an exhibit at the Musee d'art contemporain de Montreal, and it will run until March 10, 2024, CBC noted. The exhibit, "Velvet Terrorism: Pussy Riot's Russia," is a blend of art and social commentary that features photos, a hands-on segment and more. The show is assembled by Pussy Riot member Maria (Masha) Alyokhina, who fled Russia in May 2022, disguised as a food carrier—as her girlfriend and fellow Pussy Riot activist Lucy Shtein had done a couple months prior—as Vladimir Putin cracked down on activists.

In Britain, Democratic Unionist Party councillor Colin Kennedy was criticized over comments linking the LGBTQ+ community with support for Hamas, the BBC noted. Kennedy made the remarks at Ards and North Down Borough Council during a debate on the Israel-Gaza war. The Alliance Party said it was "disgusted" by the comments.

Trans women Eli Rubashkyn—who threw tomato juice over anti-trans activist Posie Parker in New Zealand in March—will now have to face trial, according to PinkNews. Rubashkyn said at the time that she threw the juice because she wanted the anti-trans activist to "know that her words are blood." Recently, judge Claire Ryan rejected Rubashkyn's lawyer's motion to throw out the two assault charges against Rubashkyn so she will now have to face two charges of assault at trial.

World of Wonder confirmed a star-studded selection of guest judges joining regular judges Brooke Lynn Hytes, Brad Goreski and Traci Melchor, on season four of Canada's Drag Race, which will debut Nov. 16 for a nine-episode run, per a press release. Some of the guests will include sister duo Tegan and Sara, supermodel Winnie Harlow, singer/songwriter Nelly Furtado, Real Housewives of New York original cast member Luann de Lesseps and RuPaul's Drag Race winner Jaida Essence Hall.

David Walliams and Matt Lucas' sketch show Little Britain is in the center of controversy after research by UK media regulator Ofcom found that viewers were shocked that an "explicitly racist" scene from the BBC comedy was available to stream on iPlayer, Deadline noted. The scene—first broadcast in 2004—involved Linda Flint, a university counselor played by Walliams, describing student Kenneth Lao as having "yellowish skin, slight smell of soy sauce … the ching-chong China man." Some questioned why the BBC removed controversial blackface scenes from Little Britain in 2020 but continued to feature racist tropes about Asian people.

This article shared 2701 times since Fri Nov 3, 2023
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