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Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-09-06



WORLD Greece and marriage, Latvia, Japan ruling, Tanzania, soccer news
by Andrew Davis

This article shared 4047 times since Fri Jul 14, 2023
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Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced in a Bloomberg interview that the legalization of same-sex marriage is part of his government's strategy, per The Pappas Post. "Same-sex marriage will happen at some point and it's part of our strategy," Mitsotakis, a center-right politician, said in an interview with Bloomberg Television in Athens. "Greek society is much more ready and mature." Greece currently recognizes same-sex unions, also called "civil partnerships," but stops shy of supporting full marriage equality.

Edgars Rinkevics officially became the first openly gay head of state of a European Union (EU) nation when he was sworn in as president of Latvia, the BBC reported. Rinkevics had served as foreign minister since 2011. The EU has had openly gay heads of governments, but never a gay head of state. Marriage equality is illegal in Latvia, although the country's constitutional court recognized same-sex unions last year.

Japan's Supreme Court ruled that restricting a transgender woman's use of toilets at her workplace was "unacceptable"—a decision that may help promote LGBT rights in the only G7 nation without legal protection for same-sex unions, Reuters reported. The ruling—the first by Japan's highest court on the work environment for LGBTQ+ individuals—happened in the wake of a series of mostly positive regional court rulings about same-sex marriage and after the passing of a law to promote understanding of the LGBTQ+ community.

Less than two months after Muharami Hassan Nayonga received a 30-year prison sentence for engaging in anal sex, Tanzania's government is seemingly intensifying its crackdown on the country's LGBTQI+ community, per The Washington Blade. Por-LGBTQI+ organization LGBT Voice Tanzania has said that LGBTQI+ people who are currently behind bars face very harsh treatment from law-enforcement officials. Also, millions of LGBTQI+ people also lack access to quality healthcare that includes HIV prevention, treatment and support, because of prejudice the community faces.

World soccer governing body FIFA will allow different armbands that highlight "a range of social causes" to be worn at the Women's World Cup taking place July 20-Aug. 20 in Australia and New Zealand, The Advocate noted. Team captains will be allowed to wear an armband around eight different social causes, including gender equality, inclusion, zero hunger, education for all and peace, during the tournament, which FIFA said will reach an "estimated audience of [more than] 2 billion people around the world." At the World Cup in Qatar in 2022, the captains of several men's European teams did not wear "OneLove" armbands due to the danger of receiving yellow cards.

In the UK, trans soccer referee Lucy Clark talked about the "surreal" feeling of being included in a display at the National Football Museum, PinkNews noted. "I believe football is for everyone and think that everyone should be able to play the beautiful game. There should be no barriers to stop people from enjoying the most amazing game in the world," she said. Clark, officially named by Guinness World Records as the world's first trans referee, came out in August 2018—officiating her first game on the same day.

Rugby champion/longtime LGBTQ+ ally Ben Cohen will make his acting debut this summer in a British LGBTQ+ comedy, per a release. Patterns is a British camp comedy in which each episode tells its own humorous and heartfelt story, but all episodes take place in the same queer universe so that a minor character in one episode may reappear as the lead in another and vice versa. Patterns—a new LGBTQ+ series acquired by TLA Releasing—will begin streaming exclusively on Dekkoo on July 27.

Artem Savinovsky, the CEO of the Russian internet/tech company Yandex, was charged with violating Russia's stringent new "LGBT propaganda" law, The Advocate noted, citing Reuters. The move came the day after Yandex's online film database subsidiary, Kinopoisk, was fined 1 million rubles ($11,050) for an "incorrect labeling of LGBT films—with the movies in question reportedly including Bridget Jones's Diary and the black comedy Greed. The new anti-LGBTQ+ law expanded a 2013 ban against spreading "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations" to minors to also include adults.

Chilean President Gabriel Boric's administration intends to strengthen the country's anti-discrimination law that took effect in 2012, per The Washington Blade. (Law 20,609, named after Daniel Zamudio—a gay man who was murdered in Santiago in 2012—marked an important milestone in the country's fight against discrimination.) Boric's government is also reportedly going to create an equality and nondiscrimination council that will provide an institutional framework to fight for LGBTQI+ people and other vulnerable groups.

In India, the Telangana High Court recently struck down the Telangana Eunuchs Act, according to The Indian Express. The bench said the act was unconstitutional, adding that it "criminalizes the entire transgender community." The order was issued following a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Vyjayanthi Vasanta Mogli, who contended the act was discriminatory toward the transgender community.

In Indonesia, rights groups cancelled a Southeast Asian LGBTQ+ event after receiving security threats, Reuters reported. Jakarta was set to host the ASEAN Queer Advocacy Week starting July 17, bringing together activists from across Southeast Asia to discuss advocacy and navigating challenges. Organizers also cited a wave of "anti-LGBT sentiments" on social media. Other LGBTQ+-related events have also been cancelled in Indonesia due to objections from Islamic groups.

Sir Elton John signed off his final European tour with an emotional two-hour concert in Stockholm, Deadline noted. The singer, now 76, told fans, "It's been my lifeblood to play for you guys, and you've been absolutely magnificent," and he praised his band, saying, "They're really incredible. They are the best, I tell you, the best." Coldplay performed in Sweden on the same evening and delivered a video message to the veteran proclaiming love and admiration.

Openly gay Welsh actor Luke Evans will return to London's West End with his first theater role there in 16 years, in a new comedy entitled Backstairs Billy at the Duke of York's Theatre starting Oct. 27, per Queerty. Backstairs Billy was the nickname for William Tallon—a steward and member of the late queen mother's staff; Tallon's partner for 30 years was another member of the queen mother's staff, Reginald Wilcock.

Queer French pop/rock trio Hyphen Hyphen will begin their highly anticipated North American tour on Aug. 24 in Montreal, per a press release. The tour will see the trio making stops across Montreal, Edmonton, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Portland. After more than 500 concerts in Europe, Hyphen Hyphen performed before the American public at Summerstage Festival in New York City last year.

British band Duran Duran announced a special benefit concert for the UK-based charity The Cancer Awareness Trust, following news that their friend and former band member, guitarist Andy Taylor, had been diagnosed with stage 4 prostate cancer in 2018, per a press release. The benefit will take place on Saturday, Aug. 19, at The Guild Theatre in Menlo Park, California. The theater is a very intimate venue whose "Doing Good At the Guild" programming benefits a number of artist charities.

British-Chinese LGBTQ+ multidisciplinary pop artist and RuPaul's Drag Race UK personality Le Fil released his latest single, "Splash Zone," per a press release. This new single followed Le Fil's recent appearance on the fourth season of the show and his subsequent EP Le Filosophical, which featured his original tracks created each week for the show.

Harry Styles was hit in the eye by a thrown object while performing in Vienna, Austria—and again became part of a disturbing trend, per Deadline. The singer (who has been hit before) was hit as he was walking across the stage between songs; he bent over, covering his eyes with his hands and wincing in pain. Artists including Bebe Rexha, Pink, Drake, Kid Cudi, Steve Lacy, Kelsea Ballerini, Drake and Ava Max have also recently been victimized.

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