The boyfriend of Croatian MP Domagoj Hajdukovic shared a picture of the pair kissing, according to PinkNews. Matija Stainer shared a picture of himself with Hajdukovic to Facebook, thanking followers for their support. In June 2020, Hajdukovic, a Social Democrat MP, came out as gay to the public after he was reportedly assaulted by party official Tomislav Mikulin. After Mikulin was expelled from the party, Hajdukovic confirmed the pair had been in a relationship.
In Britain, police searching for missing student Harvey Parker have begun searching the River Thames after reviewing CCTV footage, according to PinkNews. The 20-year-old University of York student has been missing since Dec. 17. He disappeared after attending a Lil Simz concert at the O2 Academy in Brixton before heading to the well-known LGBT+ nightclub, Heaven, near Charing Cross. His mother, Amanda said as Harvey is autistic, his difficulty with reading social situations could potentially make him more vulnerable.
The staff of Brigitte Macron, the wife of French President Emmanuel Macron, confirmed to the Figaro that she is going to pursue legal action against the people who started the rumor that she's trans and did not give birth to her children, LGBTQ Nation noted. Her supposed deadname, "Jean-Michel Trogneux," was trending for several days this month on French Twitter. The false statement was first made in the anti-Semitic newsletter Faits et Documents back in September, according to the more mainstream publication Numerama.
Lawmakers in the African country of Senegal plan to introduce bill that would further criminalize consensual same-sex sexual relations, The Washington Blade noted. Souleymane Diouf, a spokesperson for the LGBTQ-rights group Collectif Free du Senegal, emailed the Blade that the bill would add the "crime of homosexuality" to the provision of the country's penal code that "already targets LGBTI people." Diouf told the Blade that "any LGBTI person" would face between five to 10 years in prison and a fine of between 1,000,000-5,000,000 CFA francs ($1,719.80-$8,599) if lawmakers approve the bill.
The U.S. Agency for International Development appointed Jay Gilliam to lead its efforts to promote LGBTQ rights around the world, per The Washington Blade. Gilliam was previously the director of the Human Rights Campaign Global program. Gilliam's position, senior LGBTQI+ coordinator, is within USAID's Bureau for Development, Democracy and Innovation. He said he has "an open line to" USAID Administrator Samantha Power, a vocal champion of LGBTQ rights.
University College London (UCL) was criticized for disregarding the viewpoints of LGBTQ+ groups after it decided to cut ties with the group Stonewall, PinkNews noted. UCL announced it would end its involvement with the LGBTQ+ charity's Diversity Champions program, which advises on staff LGBT+ inclusion efforts; and it will not be making further submissions to Stonewall's Workplace Equality Index, which rates employers on their LGBTQ+-inclusive policies. UCL is the first university in the UK to formally cut ties with Stonewall, the Guardian reported.
Lil Nas X, Little Mix and Adele are among the nominees for the 2022 BRIT Awards, which features gender-neutral categories for the first time, PinkNews noted. Starting with its 2022 ceremony, the awards scrapped its separate male and female prizes for best solo and best international artist. The gendered categories have been replaced with gender-neutral categories: artist of the year and international artist of the year. Ed Sheeran, Dave and Little Simz have all tied with Adele in leading next year's BRIT Awards, with four nominations each. The winners will be revealed at the BRIT Awards ceremony Feb. 8 at London's O2 Arena and will be broadcast live on ITV; stand-up comedian Mo Gilligan will host the event.
Two brothers from Chechnya who Russia returned to their homeland from which they had fled have reportedly begun a hunger strike, per The Washington Blade. The Russian LGBT Network, in a press release, noted lawyers from the Crisis Group "North Caucasus SOS"who represent Salekh Magamadov and Ismail Isaev "declared the beginning of a hunger strike" after a judge denied their request to move their case. Chechen authorities, in April 2020, arrested Magamadov and Isaev after they made a series of posts on Osal Nakh 95, a Telegram channel used by opponents of Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov, who is a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Russian LGBT Network said Magamadov and Isaev have been held in a prison in Grozny, the Chechen capital, for "more than 10 months."
The LGBT movie Flee (Denmark's submission for Best International Feature) is one of the nominees for Best Indie Feature for the 49th Annual Annie Awards, which honor the best in animation, according to the award's website. Flee will go against Belle, Fortune Favors Lady Nikuko, Pompo the Cinephile and The Summit of the Gods. Best Feature nominees include Encanto, Luca, Raya and the Last Dragon, Sing 2, and The Mitchells vs. The Machines. The trophies will be handed out during ASIFA-Hollywood's ceremony on Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022, per Deadline.
Out British Olympic diver Tom Daley called out sports leagues for allowing countries such as Qatar and Saudi Arabia to host major sporting events even while these states persecute LGBTQ+ people, The Advocate noted. The gold medalist made the remarks for Channel 4's Alternative Christmas Message that was slated to air Christmas Day, Dec. 25. Daley, 27, said he had been "lucky" he could live his life as an out gay man and live proudly with his husband, Dustin Lance Black, and their son, Robert.
Now, Steven Speilberg's film adaptation of the classic musical West Side Story has been banned in six Middle Eastern countries after Disney reportedly said no to transphobic censorship requests, out.com noted. Sources told The Hollywood Reporter that censors in the socially conservative countries objected to the presence of the transgender character, Anybodys, played by non-binary actor Iris Menas. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates all banned the release of the movie.
Carlos Marín, the baritone member of international pop-opera fusion vocal quartet Il Divo, has died at age 53, USA Today noted. The official Il Divo Twitter account announced Dec. 10 that remaining shows for the month had been rescheduled "due to illness" and shared Marín had been admitted to the hospital, although a cause was not disclosed in either announcement.