The United Kingdom canceled its first-ever international LGBTQ+ conference after a boycott by more than 100 organizations, the BBC reported. "Safe To Be Me" was scheduled to take place in London in June to promote LGBTQ+ rights within the UK and globally. The event will not go ahead after LGBTQ+ charities and other groups pulled out over the government's stance on conversion therapy. The government had promised to outlaw the practice of conversion therapy for all, but announced any ban would only apply to attempts to alter a person's sexuality, not attempts to try to change people's gender identity.
The "main protagonist" in the Catholic Church's two-year synodal process now underway "is the Holy Spirit, who is ready to guide us on this journey," Xaviere Missionary Sister Nathalie Becquart, undersecretary of the Synod of Bishops, told a U.S. audience composed primarily of LGBTQ Catholics on April 3, according to Crux. About 1,000 people from 37 countries participated in the online event sponsored by New Ways Ministry. The organization's executive director, Francis DeBernardo, called it historic that a Vatican official was addressing an LGBTQ audience.
Marriage equality is being discussed in a legislative forum in India. Breaking new grounds, an NCP MP introduced a bill in Lok Sabha (the lower house of India's Parliament) to legalize same-sex marriage, and provide the same legal rights to married LGBTQIA couples that heterosexual couples are entitled to, The Free Press Journal noted. Another private-member bill was also introduced on a similar issue by DMK MP DNV Senthilkumar S; that measure talked about providing rights to LGBTQIA persons to enable them to live with human dignity. The bill introduced by NCP MP Supriya Sule proposes to, among other things, replace the words "husband" and "wife" with "spouse" by amending the various sections of the Special Marriage Act.
London's Jermyn Street Theatre is running The Marriage of Alice B. Toklas by Gertrude Stein through April 16, according to its website. The description of the production is as follows: "Picasso's arrived with one of his wives, and two of his mistresses. Hemingway is here too, with his wife and his favorite matador. And at the top table, the brides, literary superstars: Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas, presiding over a banquet of conversation about art, genius, sex, fame and love." Fueled only by wedding champagne, four actors play more than thirty characters in this marriage farce that Edward Einhorn directs.
Irish Deputy Prime Minister Leo Varadkar warned Ireland to not take LGBTQ+ progress "for granted" as Britain back peddles under British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, PinkNews noted. Tánaiste Varadkar told the national independent radio station Newstalk that Britain and the United States are textbook examples of queer rights being eroded. Looking at Britain, Varadkar said that Johnson's repeated potshots against trans people show how the nation is hindering LGBTQ+ rights.
A Hungary-based group that opposes LGBTQ rights around the world has named a former Chilean congressman and far-right presidential candidate as its next president, The Washington Blade noted. The Political Network for Values announced Jose Antonio Kast as its next president. The announcement noted Kast succeeds former Hungarian Family Minister Katalin Novak, the country's current president.
In Poland, a local authority has again launched a legal action to make itself "free from LGBT ideology" after a similar resolution was invalided earlier this year by a court that found the measure to be discriminatory, according to Notes from Poland. Tarnow Countya southern district with a population of almost 200,000was among dozens of local authorities that adopted anti-LGBT resolutions in 2019 amid a campaign by the national-conservative Law and Justice Party (PiS) and parts of the Catholic church against what they call "LGBT ideology." However, the country is appealing the ruling, although the municipal authorities in Tarnow itself support the LGBTQ+ community.
Special Envoy of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation for Human Rights and the LGBTI+ Community Fabrizio Petri was slated to recently pay a visit to Albania, the Albanian Daily News reported. Petri was scheduled to hold meetings with Albanian authorities and NGO reps to discuss possible partnerships. Albania recently approved the National LGBTI Action Plan 2021-2027.
Sweden has become the latest country to order a local version of RuPaul's Drag Race, Deadline noted. It will be the first in Scandinavia, as the hit format's producer, World of Wonder, recently pushed it at MIPTV: The 59th Spring International Television Market. The show started in the United States in 2009 but has only attracted international interest in the past few years; local versions are now being made in Thailand, Chile, Canada, Holland, the United Kingdom, Spain, Australia and New Zealand, France, the Philippines and Italy.
The Ukrainian Defence Ministry reported that Lithuanian film director Mantas Kvedaravicius, 45, was killed in Mariupol, the Ukrainian city that was under siege and the subject of his documentary films, per Deadline. "While (he was) trying to leave Mariupol, Russian occupiers killed Lithuanian director Mantas Kvedaravicius," the ministry's information agency tweeted. Kvedaravicius was best known for his conflict-zone documentary Mariupolis, which premiered at the 2016 Berlin International Film Festival.
Julian Lennon broke his longstanding vow never to perform his father's most iconic solo song, "Imagine," during a benefit for Ukrainian refugees, per Page Six. "Today, for the first time ever, I publicly performed my Dad's song, 'Imagine'," Lennon wrote on YouTube. "The song reflects the light at the end of the tunnel, that we are all hoping for." The singer-songwriter son of Beatle John Lennon presented the cover version of his father's ode to peace as part of the Stand Up For Ukraine campaign, a global fund-raising effort broadcast from Warsaw.
Brazilian drag queen Gloria Groove now has more Instagram followers than RuPaul, per Out Magazine. On YouTube, the music video for Groove's "A Queda" has almost 120 million views; on Spotify, Groove has 6.5 million active listeners. On April 8, Groove reached 4,358,000 followers on Instagram and officially beat Ru's 4,356,000 followers. This makes Groove the second most-followed drag performer in the world in terms of Instagram followers. She's now only behind Pabllo Vittar, who is also from Brazil and has 12.5 million followers on the social network.