More than 100 Catholic church officials in Germany came out as LGBT, queer or non-binary, adding to calls for reform within the crisis-hit church, TheLocal.de reported. Demands for a more liberal attitude to homosexuality within the German church have coincided with uproar over reports of widespread child sex abuse by Catholic clergymen in the country, including allegations of cases where former pope Benedict XVI failed to act. "We are part of the church," added Raphaela Soden, who works in pastoral care for young adults and identifies as queer and non-binary. "We always have been. It's time to finally make it clear that we exist and how wonderfully queer the body of Christ is."
By a vote of 227-214, the lower house of Poland's parliament, known as the Sejm, passed a measure that would give school administrators and superintendents the power to remove books, lessons, and ban student participation in events or clubs that are LGBTQ+, per The Washington Blade. The measurecalled "Lex Czarnek," or "Czarnek's Law," after anti-LGBTQ+ Education Minister Przemysław Czarneknow moves on to the upper house, the Senate, where it faces opposition and likely will be rejected, Polish broadcast media outlet RMF 24 reported.
In Britain, a gay man claimed he was brutally assaulted without provocation by bouncers at a popular LGBTQ+ nightclub in Manchester, out.com reported. Ronan Gordon visited Bloom Nightclub on Jan. 22, and said bouncers assaulted him in an "unprovoked attack,'' knocking him unconscious and leaving him with numerous injuries. Bloom Nightclub responded to Gordon with a message posted to social media, claiming Gordon was "detained" in a "Code Red" incident after he allegedly attacked a "female member of door staff."
Two people have been arrested in connection with the murder and dismemberment of a lesbian couple in the Mexican city of Ciudad Juarez, The Washington Blade reported. The Chihuahua attorney general's office announced authorities arrested a 25-year-old woman and a 24-year-old man, charging them with aggravated femicide. On Jan. 16, the dismembered body parts of Julissa Ramirez and Nohemí Medina Martinez were found in plastic bags placed along the Juarez-El Porvenir Highway.
Queer Australian comedian Hannah Gadsby was set to travel Europe on her new Body of Work tour after wrapping the Australian leg, but unfortunately, she had to cancel after suffering an injury, per Out Magazine. Gadsby made a video on her Instagram announcing that she had to cancel her upcoming shows in Barcelona, Lisbon, Paris and Milan because she slipped on ice and broke her leg in two places. She was also set to do a U.S. leg of the tour after Europe.
Jamaican LGBTQ-rights activist Angeline Jackson has written a book about her sexual and spiritual awakenings, 76Crimes.com noted. Funny Gyal: My Fight Against Homophobia in Jamaica, scheduled for publication in June, can be ordered now. Jackson founded the organization Quality of Citizenship Jamaica, which advocates on behalf of lesbian and bisexual women; see www.qcjm.org/ .
Human Rights Watch (HRW) said a group of lawmakers in Guatemala advanced a bill that would stigmatize transgender people and curtail children's and adolescents' rights to education, information and health. "Bill 5940 is unscientific and stigmatizes transgender people as a corrupting influence, harmful to children," said Cristian Gonzalez Cabrera, LGBT-rights researcher at HRW. "Lawmakers should aim to promote tolerance, not demean a vulnerable minority, especially given the high levels of anti-trans violence in Guatemala." The 21 lawmakers in the Congress' Commission on Education, Science, and Technology unanimously approved the bill in December 2021.
Netflix's first original Arabic filman adaptation of the Italian movie Perfect Strangersis causing controversy overseas although the streamer is standing by it, according to out.com . Set in Beirut, Netflix's Perfect Strangers remake has been stirring controversy in Egypt and other Middle Eastern countries, with critics alleging the movie "promotes homosexuality and immorality." The film is directed by Lebanese filmmaker Wissam Smayra, and follows seven close friends who get together for dinner and decide to play a game where they place their cellphones on the dinner table and agree to openly share every call, text, and voice message they get. One character is revealed to be gay.
Few recent launches of virtual currencies have provoked as much debate as the maricoin, which its founders billed as the world's first LGBT+ cryptocurrency and rolled out for a pilot test in Madrid on Dec. 31, Openly News noted. Even its namea variation of a homophobic insult in Spanishhas proved controversial. Hundreds of social-media users criticized the Spanish cryptocurrency's name, saying it was disrespectful toward the LGBT+ community; however, others said such criticism was unwarranted, noting how the Spanish word "maricon" had been reappropriated by gay men.
Football Australia sanctioned the Melbourne Victory soccer club with a fine of $5,000 (AUD) for the death threats and racist and homophobic abuse hurled at out soccer star Josh Cavallo by their fans during a recent home game, out.com noted. Cavallo, 22, plays for the Adelaide United soccer team in the country's A-League, the highest level of professional soccer in Australia and New Zealand. "Hate never will win," Cavallo wrote to his Instagram shortly after the match. "I will never apologize for living my truth and most recently who I am outside of football."
Also, British soccer fans could be severely punished for anti-LGBTQ+ chants, Openly News noted. The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) for England and Walesan independent body that decides which cases to prosecutedecided the chants could amount to a hate crime, which could receive stiffer sentencing. Football governing bodies around the world have come under pressure to clean up the multibillion-dollar sport, with Black players regularly abused from the stands and no openly gay or bisexual men playing in the top leagues.
Tech company Samsung pulled an ad in Singapore showing a Muslim mother supporting and hugging her son, who is dressed in drag, The Advocate noted. Social-media users had criticized the ad as "an attempt to push LGBT ideology," reported the BBC. The ad was meant to feature Samsung's new wearable products, such as its noise-canceling earphones, and a smartwatch with a heart-rate monitor.
Jonathan Bailey and Taron Egerton have begun rehearsals for the West End stage play Cock, Attitude Magazine noted. Bridgerton star Bailey and Rocketman actor Egerton will play a couple whose relationship is thrown into turmoil when one of them "meets the woman of his dreams" in the upcoming London production of Mike Bartlett's provocatively titled drama. Opening night will be March 5.
British-American skier Gus Kenworthy will be joining the growing number of openly LGBT+ athletes heading to Beijing for the 2022 Winter Olympics, according to PinkNews. The out medallist will represent Team GB in the men's freestyle halfpipewhich has competitors performing a series of tricks while going down the pipe. The 2022 Winter Olympics will be Kenworthy's third Olympic appearance, but it's his first time representing Great Britain. The 2018 Winter Olympics featured 15 out queer athletes, and Outsports said the upcoming games will see more openly LGBT+ athletes than before. The 2022 Winter Olympics will take place Feb. 4-20 in Beijing.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said hip-hop artist Kanye West (also known as Ye) will have to be fully vaccinated if he wants to play concerts in Australia, after media said the performer planned a tour there in March, The New York Post noted. The warning comes just two weeks after tennis superstar Novak Djokovic's hopes for a Grand Slam title were dashed when a court upheld the government's decision to cancel his visa over COVID-19 rules and his unvaccinated status. In a 2021 interview on social media he said he had received one vaccine dose, but in a 2020 interview with business magazine Forbes, he had called getting vaccinated "the mark of the beast."