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Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-09-06



WORLD Couple's win, attack in Beirut, German military, gay ski week
by Andrew Davis

This article shared 1597 times since Fri Sep 8, 2023
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In Strasbourg, France, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that Bulgaria violated the rights of a same-sex couple (Darina Koilova and Lili Babulkova) by not recognizing their marriage abroad, RFE/RL reported. Rights groups lauded the Sept. 5 ruling as a "historic win" showing Bulgaria has an obligation to ensure a specific legal framework exists to allow same-sex couples adequate recognition and protections." The court's ruling does not require Bulgaria to legalize same-sex marriage, but says the authorities must have a legal framework ensuring that same-sex couples have protection.

Members of the Christian militant group Jnoud El-Rab attacked patrons outside of a popular LGBTQ+-friendly club/bar in the Lebanese capital of Beirut's restaurant and entertainment neighborhood, Mar Mikhael, The Washington Blade reported. A drag event was being held at the Om Bar Room when the attack attacked. Multiple videos showed the men physically attacking patrons while yelling that LGBTQ+ people are "satanic" and have no place in Lebanon. In June 2022, the group defaced a billboard in Achrafieh that was decorated with flowers and a Pride flag.

The German defense ministry said it has received 178 applications for compensation from gay servicepeople who have experienced discrimination in the military—and is expecting more, ABC News reported. A law rehabilitating gay soldiers who suffered discrimination went into effect two years ago and, so far, more than $400,000 have been paid in symbolic compensation. The law also offers compensation for gay soldiers who served in East Germany's National People's Army until Germany's unification in 1990.

In Switzerland, Arosa Gay Ski Week will take place Jan. 20-27, 2024, per a press release. Nestled in the Swiss Alps, the event will include social events, including apres-ski parties, themed dinners and nights, live performances and more; and, of course, skiing for people of all skill levels—and organizers have expressed their hope that more women will attend. (Also, part of the proceeds from the event will be donated to pro-LGBTQ+ organizations dedicated to promoting equality and acceptance.) See .

London Mayor Sadiq Khan is financially backing a project to provide "LGBTQ+ housing free from oppression," The Anglican Mainstream and The Telegraph noted. Documents seen by The Telegraph show that start-up funding of almost 5,000 pounds (about $6,300 U.S.) has been put into the First Brick Housing project. Greenpeace also supports the plan.

London's Seven Dials Playhouse condemned anti-LGBTQ+ hate speech directed at cast members of the new play Jock Night, PinkNews reported. Seven Dials published a message shaming anti-LGBTQ+ trolls who had been harassing cast members of the upcoming production. The production, created by Adam Zane, sees main character Ben—described as a "40-something Victoria Wood fan"—explore the underground clubbing scene of Manchester's Gay Village, which is a world of "chemsex and jockstraps," per the play's description.

Also in London, a man was arrested in connection with an Aug. 13 homophobic stabbing incident outside of a nightclub in Clapham, PinkNews noted. Two men who had been standing outside were approached by a man who attacked them with a knife before running away. On Sept. 7, the Metropolitan Police said that a 19-year-old man had been arrested in South Norwood on suspicion of two counts of grievous bodily harm.

Organizers of the upcoming Hong Kong Gay Games (GGHK) reacted to an unexpected statement from the city's government urging them "to observe laws and regulations," Outsports noted. GGHK organizers told the Hong Kong Free Press hey do not interpret the government statement as any sort of warning, saying, "As we have said all along, as any responsible organization and event organizer would do, we will of course comply with all laws in Hong Kong." The 11th edition of the LGBTQ+-inclusive multisports event is due to start in Hong Kong and Guadalajara on Nov. 3.

Prominent Israeli LGBTQI+-rights activist Hila Peer claimed authorities tried to launch an investigation against her because she is one of the leaders of the protest movement against the government's proposed judicial reforms, The Washington Blade reported. Peer—chair of the Aguda, the Association for LGBTQ Equality in Israel—told the Blade the police called her on about "an emergency investigation for my involvement and suspicion of disturbing the peace." The Aguda is among the many groups that have participated in protests against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's coalition government's efforts to reform the Israeli judicial system.

Irish singer Roisín Murphy apologized after being slammed for anti-trans comments she made on Facebook when talking about gender-affirming care, Out noted. She took to X (formerly Twitter) to post the apology, saying that she has been "thrown into a very public discourse in an arena I'm uncomfortable in and deeply unsuited for." Murphy got blowback after initially posting, "Please don't call me a TERF [trans-exclusionary radical feminist], please don't keep using that word against women. I beg you! But puberty blockers are f—-ed, absolutely desolate, big pharma laughing all the way to the bank."

On Sept. 2, the Venice Film Festival's red carpet became political, hosting a flash mob in solidarity with the Iranian people (including filmmakers) who are being oppressed, Variety noted. One of those individuals is Leila's Brothers director Saeed Roustaee, recently sentenced to six months in prison for showing the film in Cannes; he has also been banned from making movies. Directors/jurors Jane Campion (The Power of the Dog) and Damien Chazelle (La La Land) were among those who participated in the flash mob.

The Nobel Foundation reversed a controversial decision to invite Russia, Belarus and Iran to the Dec. 10 awards ceremony in Stockholm, the BBC reported. Russia and its ally Belarus were not invited last year following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, while Iran was excluded over its human-rights record. There's also controversy over the foundation's invitation to "all parties that have parliamentary representation in Sweden through democratic elections." This includes the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats—a party founded by Nazi sympathizers.

A group of men who claimed they were sexually abused by a Japanese boy-band producer expressed hope that the company will provide financial compensation and introduce measures to prevent a recurrence, Billboard noted. The men said producer Johnny Kitagawa sexually preyed on young dancers and singers for decades, having them stay at his luxury home, handing them cash and promising potential fame. Kitagawa died in 2019 at age 87 and was never charged.

The sixth and final season of the Netflix series The Crown will feature Prince Charles (now King Charles III) getting married to Camilla Parker-Bowles, per Deadline. A teaser confirmed that The Crown's final season will feature Charles grieving the death of Princess Diana in 1997 and later moving on to his second wife, who is now Queen Camilla.

The UK version of Married at First Sight will have a historic eighth season, thanks to the show having its first openly transgender contestant, Ella, Out noted. Ella is a 29-year-old clinic consultant from Weston-Super-Mare, and will be one of 16 people who will marry someone they've never met before.

Ava DuVernay made history at the Venice Film Festival, becoming the first female Black U.S. director in the event's 80 years to have a film in the main competition, The Hollywood Reporter noted. At the press conference for her movie Origin (starring LGBTQ+ actress Aunjanue Ellis and Jon Bernthal), DuVernay said Black U.S. filmmakers are led to believe that international film festivals are simply not places for their work.

Tom of Finland Foundation is presenting the "Tom of Finland Art & Culture Festival 2023: GlobalSexual," per a release. This year, the festival will take place in Berlin, London and Los Angeles, with the latter event happening Oct. 7-8. This year's event will bring together erotic artists, panelists, DJs and galleries. Amongst the participating artists are Rick Castro, S. M. Shifflett, Rubén Esparza, Steve MacIsaac and Nora Rachel, while vendors are slated to include Peachy Kings, The Mr. She, and Folklore Salon & Barber, among others.

Strictly Come Dancing pro dancer Johannes Radebe reacted to former show partner John Whaite revealing that he fell in love with Radebe—despite Whaite having a life partner, Out noted. Radebe (who said he wants a love of his own) told The Times, "We have gone on to have such a beautiful experience together that it would be a shame if we were not friends after all that. What we agreed is that, regardless of what life throws at us, we will always keep [this friendship] going. 'We are friends for life,' I always say to him. 'I know where you live. You cannot get rid of me.' I still speak to him."

Rufus Wainwright recently performed at London's Royal Albert Hall for the BBC Proms series of concerts—honoring Jeff Buckley as well as duetting with fellow LGBTQ+ musician Jake Shears (of Scissor Sisters) as he played his classic albums Want One and Want Two in full, per NME. Toward the end of the second set for Want Two, Wainwright invited the Shears to the stage for closer, "Old Whore's Diet"—and noted how they used to date, saying they made out in a car in Philadelphia while attending a Ween concert.

In the wake of Spain's soccer federation president Luis Rubiales forcibly kissing star forward Jenni Hermoso and making a lewd crotch-grabbing gesture at the Women's World Cup, the federation dismissed its women's national team coach, Jorge Vilda, and named as its new coach Montse Tome—the first woman to hold the role in Spain, NPR reported. The members of Spain's World Cup-winning team and dozens of other Spanish players announced last month that they would refuse to play for Spain while "the current leaders" continue. However, Rubiales (who is serving a 90-day suspension) has refused to step down.

On a related note, director Woody Allen has defended Rubiales, per The Independent. In an interview with Spanish-language publication El Mundo at the Venice Film Festival, Allen was asked about the situation. In response, Allen said that the football boss should apologize to Hermoso, who has said that the kiss was not consensual; however, Allen argued that Rubiales shouldn't lose his job over what he called "just a kiss." Allen added, "He wasn't raping her. It was just a kiss and she was a friend. What's wrong with that?"

Kanye West and his wife's antics caused them to be banned for life by a Venetian boat company, according to HipHopDX. The married couple made headlines recently after West suffered a wardrobe malfunction (resulting in him baring his rear) while riding on a water taxi through the city's historic canals with Bianca Censori. Fueling the outrage was that, according to some, West could be seen holding his wife's head near his lap as he was perched on the boat, leading to speculation that she was committing a public sex act on him.

This article shared 1597 times since Fri Sep 8, 2023
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