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WORLD Brittney Griner, Montenegro Pride, Nobel Prize winners, Brazilian film
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by Andrew Davis

This article shared 794 times since Sun Oct 16, 2022
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(NOTE: This week's news contains some graphic details. Please be advised.)

Former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Bill Richardson said that lesbian WNBA star Brittney Griner and former U.S. Marine Paul Whelan, who are being held in Russia, could gain release by the end of this year, Reuters reported. Richardson told CNN in an interview that he had met with senior Russian officials and individuals close to Russian President Vladimir Putin during his trip, although his visit was not on behalf of the United States. Griner, a two-time Olympic basketball gold medalist, was sentenced to nine years in a Russian prison on Aug. 4 after pleading guilty to drug charges.

Despite strong opposition from the powerful Serbian Orthodox Church in Montenegro joined by family officials, Montenegro Pride was held with more than 500 people marching, South Florida Gay News noted. Montenegro's 10th annual Pride event in this extremely conservative Balkan country was dubbed "No more buts," reflecting demands from LGBTQ+ activists that more be done to stop hate speech and harassment despite huge steps that have been made in the past years, Voice of America reported. The U.S. embassy in Podgorica, the country's capital, also supported the Pride event.

Bisexual Swedish geneticist Svante Paabo was awarded the 2022 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, according to a News Is Out item. Paabo is the director of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, The Advocate noted. The Nobel Prize committee said, "Through his groundbreaking discoveries, Paabo opened a new window to our evolutionary past, revealing an unexpected complexity in the evolution and ad-mixture of ancient hominins, as well as providing the basis for an improved understanding of genetic features that make us uniquely human." The renowned scientist is responsible for sequencing the Neanderthal genome as well as discovering the Denisoval hominin.

Also, lesbian Stanford University professor Carolyn Bertozzi was one of three people who won the Nobel Prize in chemistry, according to The Bay Area Reporter. Bertozzi shared the honor with University of Copenhagen Professor Morten Meldal and Scripps Research professor and 1968 Stanford alumnus K. Barry Sharpless, Ph.D., for their work on "the development of click chemistry and bioorthogonal chemistry."

Brazilian filmmaker Fernando Grostein Andrade and husband Fernando Siqueira left Brazil for Los Angeles after receiving death threats for speaking out against the election of President Jair Bolsonaro—and the result is the film Breaking Myths, Yahoo! News noted, citing France24. The film weaves together the story of Bolsonaro's rise with Andrade's own life growing up and coming out as a gay man in Brazil. Producers are currently airing the film on YouTube. See video below.

Hamed Sabouri, a 22-year-old aspiring gay medical student, was tortured and killed by Taliban fighters in August after being stopped at a checkpoint in Afghanistan's capital city of Kabul, The Washington Blade reported, citing PinkNews. According to a source who spoke via telegram with the Blade, Sabouri had been detained at one of the hundreds of Taliban checkpoints in Kabul used by the terrorist group to enforce adherence to Islamic Sharia law and religious rules instituted after it took control of the country in August 2021. The Taliban have often used the contents of seized cellphones to track down other LGBTQ+ people they seek to persecute, imprison and torture.

In another horrific incident, the decapitated body of Palestinian gay man Ahmed Hacham Hamdi Abu Markhieh was discovered in Hebron on Oct. 5—with his head lying beside it, according to Washington Blade partner WDG. The 25-year-old victim had been living in Israel for the past two years; he fled after he was persecuted and received death threats because of his sexual orientation. "This is a very ugly crime," one of his relatives told Palestinian radio station Al Karama while asking for the family's privacy to be respected after "this heinous and unprecedented crime that shocked the homeland."

The Catholic activist group CitizenGO Africa has launched a boycott campaign against Netflix over its pro-LGBTQ+ content, according to The Washington Blade. The boycott comes two months after its parent organization—CitizenGO, which is based in Brazil—launched a similar campaign. The Kenya-based CitizenGO Africa said the boycott stems from Jurassic World Camp Cretaceous, a 2022 series currently on Netflix. In the ninth episode of the program's final season, Yazz reveals to Sammy how she feels about her and they end up kissing.

Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed anti-LGBTQ+ views in his speech following the annexation of four Eastern Ukrainian regions into Russian territory, LGBTQ Nation noted. At one point, Putin asked, "Do we really want perversions that lead to degradation and extinction to be imposed on children in our schools from the primary grades? To be drummed into them that there are various supposed genders besides women and men, and to be offered a sex change operation? Do we want all this for our country and our children?" In what the United States called a "sham," Ukrainians in Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia voted to join Russia.

Also regarding Russia, the country fined TikTok 3 million rubles ($51,000) for failing to delete content that violates Russian laws on "LGBT propaganda," euronews reported. Streaming service Twitch was also fined for hosting a video interview with a Ukrainian political figure that Moscow said contained "fake" information; the company has to pay 4 million rubles ($68,000). Russia is considering expanding its existing "gay propaganda" law, passed in 2013, that bans any person or entity from promoting homosexual relationships to children.

A system to register same-sex partnerships opened for applications in Tokyo in a symbolic step forward for a country that has fallen behind its peers when it comes to embracing diversity, Bloomberg noted. The system does not offer the legal benefits of marriage for same-sex couples, but has been welcomed by LGBTQ+-rights groups as a small step forward. Japan is the only Group of Seven major democracy not to allow either same-sex marriage or civil unions—despite polls showing that the public is largely in favor of the change.

A Stonewall study revealed that 40 percent of young Brits who were polled identified as queer, PinkNews noted. Among Gen Z (16-26-year-olds), 71 percent of people surveyed identified as straight, compared to 91 percent of Baby Boomers (56-75). The study, of 2,000 people across the United Kingdom, also found that 40 percent of Gen Z showed a "pattern of attraction" that can be described as queer.

Female boxers Lauren Price MBE and Karriss Artingstall (who are girlfriends) were slated to be in the first-ever all-female boxing card to be televised in Britain, which will see the couple become "part of history," per PinkNews. On Oct. 15, both Olympians were slated to compete for world titles (in separate matches) on the Claressa Shields vs. Savannah Marshall bill live on Sky Sports, having previously won Olympic medals together in Tokyo last year.

Truth Wins Out praised Mexico's Senate for voting to prohibit conversion therapy—a discredited and debunked practice that attempts to change one's sexual orientation or gender identity. The vote was 69 votes in favor, 16 abstentions and two voting against the landmark bill. In a press release, Executive Director Wayne Besen said, "Conversion therapy is a destructive and manipulative practice that employs guilt and shame to force people into failed programs to change who they are."

Former Real Madrid player Iker Casillas shared what appeared to be a coming-out post—but the ex-soccer star later claimed his account was hacked, per Out Magazine. "I hope you respect me: I'm gay," the initial tweet read. Former FC Barcelona player Carles Puyol then responded to the post, writing: "It's time to tell our story, Iker [heart emoji] [kiss emoji]." Both tweets were subsequently deleted after Twitter users noticed that the two men were joking and not actually coming out as gay. After the hack claim, Puyol later stated, "I have made a mistake. Sorry for a clumsy joke with no bad intentions and totally out of place. I understand that it may have hurt [feelings]. All my respect and support to the LGBTQIA+ community."

Scotland's Glasgow Clyde College Student Association (GCCSA) was recently recognized for its inclusivity and recognition of the LGBTQ+ community, according to Yahoo! News. Following a year-long program to create a more inclusive environment for students, the GCCSA has achieved the LGBT Silver Charter Award from LGBT Youth Scotland. The group was recognized for its staff training, policies and legislation, and for celebrating key dates including LGBT History Month, Trans Day of Visibility and Pride.

Musician Lizzo told a Canadian crowd that she's minding her "fat Black beautiful business" following musician the rapper/fashion designer's comments about her weight in a Fox News interview with Tucker Carlson, HuffPost noted. West, who legally changed his name to Ye in 2021, used part of the interview to claim that "bots" attack the "About Damn Time" singer for losing weight and media organizations promote her "unhealthy" weight. "I feel like everybody in America got my motherfucking name in they motherfucking mouth for no motherfucking reason; I'm minding my fat Black beautiful business" the pop star said. She later asked if she can stay in the country and wondered who she can marry for dual citizenship.

British singer Rex Orange County (real name: Alexander O'Connor) has been charged with sexually assaulting a woman on six separate occasions in London, per Variety. The 24-year-old artist appeared at Southwark Crown Court in London to deny the allegations; a provisional trial date has been set for Jan. 3, 2023. As Rex Orange County, the artist reached indie fame with his 2017 hits "Best Friend" and "Loving Is Easy." That same year, he was featured on two songs on Tyler, the Creator's album Flower Boy.

This article shared 794 times since Sun Oct 16, 2022
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