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WORLD Canadian law, GLAAD, Pride Flag situation, German story hour
by Andrew Davis
2022-05-29

This article shared 1564 times since Sun May 29, 2022
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Members of Canada's LGBTQ community, Indigenous people and minority groups fear a proposed law tackling online harm could disproportionately curtail their online freedoms and even make them police targets, The Toronto Sun reported. Plans for an online hate law—now being considered by an expert panel appointed by Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez—would give the Canadian Security Intelligence Service expanded powers to obtain subscriber information from companies. Online platforms may also have to report some posts to the police and security services.

GLAAD President Sarah Kate Ellis participated in the World Economic Forum that took place Davos, Switzerland, according to The Washington Blade. GLAAD and the Ariadne Getty Foundation hosted a panel "on the intersection of LGBTQ people and corporates today" that CNN Business Editor-at-Large Richard Quest, who anchors the network's "Quest Means Business" program, moderated. Ellis (who also participated on other panels) spoke alongside BSR CEO Aron Cramer, Intel Corporation Executive Vice President Christy Pambianchi, Mastercard Executive Vice President of Sustainability Shamina Singh and Randstad CEO Sander Van't Noordende.

Indonesia recently summoned Britain's ambassador to explain the raising of a Pride flag at its embassy, and urged foreign missions to respect local "sensitivities" following a backlash among conservatives, AsiaOne reported. Excepting the sharia-ruled province of Aceh, homosexuality is not illegal in Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim-majority country, although it is generally considered taboo. The rainbow flag was flown alongside the British flag at the country's embassy in Jakarta on May 17 to mark the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT), according to an Instagram post from the embassy.

In Germany, a drag-queen story hour scheduled to be held at the library in honor of Pride month at Ramstein Air Base was abruptly canceled by the command staff of the 86th Airlift Wing, The Washington Blade noted, citing Stars and Stripes. The 86th Air Wing's public affairs sent a statement to a radical-right anti-LGBTQ news outlet in Canada, The Post Millennial, that had requested comment to its article about the event and also accused the Air Force of pushing a more "woke" agenda among servicemen. The cancellation of the reading drew mixed opinions from the Kaiserslautern Military Community, which encompasses Ramstein—and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida) took partial credit for the cancellation.

Trans and non-binary people will be included for the first time in National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidance on menopause, PinkNews noted. NICE provides evidence-based recommendations for healthcare in England; its current menopause guidance, last updated in 2019, is aimed at "women in menopause, and their families and carers" as well as "healthcare professionals who care for women in menopause."

Russia permanently banned more than 900 U.S. politicians, celebrities and executives from entering the country, including President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, actor Morgan Freeman, Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, Hillary Clinton and actor/director Rob Reiner, Yahoo! News reported. The Russian Foreign Ministry announced the bans as part of a response to sanctions imposed on the country as a result of the invasion of Ukraine, as well as others who have publicly denounced Russian President Vladimir Putin. Interestingly, former U.S. presidents Barack Obama, Donald Trump and George W. Bush are not on the list.

Even with a spike in COVID cases, Taiwan recently held the inaugural Asian Pride Games, France24 reported. The event started with a colorful ceremony drawing hundreds of athletes and spectators. Organizers said about 2,500 Taiwanese and 250 mostly Taiwan-based foreign athletes competed in 12 categories open to LGBTQIA+ people; other events included cosplay runs, an LGBTQ+ Equality Exhibition, a Rainbow Fair and more. The Asian Pride Games is the only gay-themed sporting event in the region this year, after the Gay Games—to be co-hosted by Hong Kong and Mexico's Guadalajara—was moved to 2023.

In London, Ontario, Canada, a Western University social-media post supporting the fight against homophobia included an illustration of two women in hijabs about to kiss—sparking a backlash from London's Muslim community that forced school officials to delete it, the London Free Press reported. The image—posted on the school's Instagram account to mark the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia—was met with a firestorm of criticism from people who were offended by the imagery. They said the post was "inappropriate" and "disrespectful" because the hijab, an Islamic veil, has religious and spiritual connotations.

Danish professional handball player Jacob Bjorn Hessellund has come out as gay—and he hopes to one day find a "wonderful man," according to PinkNews. The 30-year-old, who plays for the Lemvig-based team Lemvig-Thyboron Handbold, became the second handball player in a month to come out as gay after Norwegian handball player Dane Hoftun Lilleiuen did the same. Hessellund said everyone in his life, from his family and friends to teammates, supports him. By sharing his truth publicly, he said, he hopes he can inspire more athletes to do the same.

Performing their much-loved hits like "Mamma Mia!" and "Dancing Queen," Swedish supergroup ABBA returned to the stage, albeit as digital avatars (or "ABBA-tars," as Today called them), for a new London concert residency, according to Reuters. The band—Bjorn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson, Agnetha Faltskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad—have been brought to virtual life as digital versions of themselves from their 1970s heyday, thanks to motion-capture technology. Their last performance together was approximately 40 years ago. The foursome, all now in their seventies, posed for pictures together at the concert's red-carpet premiere at a purpose-built venue dubbed ABBA Arena.

Actor and unsuccessful London mayoral candidate Laurence Fox was ordered to pay tens of thousands of pounds in legal fees in an ongoing libel battle after he accused several people of being "pedophiles," according to PinkNews. In October 2020, Fox, 44, described Drag Race UK's Crystal, former Stonewall trustee Simon Blake and Coronation Street actor Nicola Thorp as "pedophiles" after they criticized him for accusing the supermarket Sainsbury of "discrimination" for honoring Black History Month.

It was recently announced that Jhonny Caz, Grupo Firme's third vocalist, will be crowned the "king" of Mexico City's Gay Pride 2022 on June 25, according to ReMezcla. According to BandaMax, the "Ya Superame" group member will also be part of this year's talent lineup. In 2020, Caz said in a public Facebook video, "I am gay. … It's something I'm not ashamed of and it's natural."

Queer Eye co-host Antoni Porowski landed a role in the Polish limited series Queen, which is scheduled to premiere on Netflix on June 23, Out Magazine noted. In the show, Porowski will play a tailor's assistant named Antos. (Interestingly enough, Antos is a Polish nickname for Antoni.) Besides this limited series, Porowski has also already been cast as an actor in the upcoming film Spoiler Alert, starring Jim Parsons.

Crimes of the Future director David Cronenberg acknowledged at the Cannes Film Festival press conference that the movie "addresses, though not overtly political way, the question of who owns whose body," according to Deadline. He added, "It's a constant in history: There's some sort of government that wants to control its population and means once again, body is reality. … In Canada, and I have said this recently, we think everyone in the U.S. is completely insane, I think the U.S. has gone completely bananas, and I can't believe what the elected officials are saying, not just about Roe vs. Wade, so it is strange times."


This article shared 1564 times since Sun May 29, 2022
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