Hundreds of people took part in the first Delhi Queer Pride march in three years as pressure grows for legal recognition of same-sex marriage in India, The Manila Times noted. In March, the South Asian's top court is due to hear petitions from same-sex couples seeking the same marital rights as opposite-sex ones, five years after it struck down a colonial-era ban on gay sex. A favorable ruling by the Supreme Court could pave the way for the nation of 1.4 billion people to become the second country in Asia to recognize same-sex marriage; Taiwan was the first, legalizing it in 2019.
In northern India, the Lucknow Pride Walk route will change after six years, The Hindustan Times noted. In light of the high court orders to not conduct processions near the General Post Office, the walk will now start from Lucknow University through Begum Hazrat Mahal Park to Halwasiya, and then return, ending at Begum Hazrat Mahal Park. The change for the eventnow slated to take place Feb. 26was decided at the Awadh Queer Pride collective's seventh planning meeting in Lucknow.
Openly gay Congressmember Mark Pocan (D-Wisconsin) was among a small delegation that traveled to Cuba in December, The Bay Area Reporter noted. The trip was supported by the House Foreign Affairs Committee, chaired by Congressmember Gregory Weldon Meeks (D-New York), and headed by Congressmember Barbara Lee (D-California). "I think, rather than a lack of wanting to do something in Cuba, it was just the priority list has been long," he said. "I think we've decided that it's time to try to up this on that list," referring to President Biden's campaign pledge to reverse ex-President Donald Trump's policies and reinstate former President Barack Obama's Cuba policies.
The Moscow Times reported that Russia's interior ministry has opened its first investigation into a breach of the recently expanded law against so-called "LGBT propaganda." State Duma Deputy Alexander Khinshteyn made the announcement on his Telegram channel. The first investigation involves Popcorn Books, an independent publisher based in Moscow that had a recent best-seller with the novel Summer in a Pioneer Tie, which centers on a relationship unfolding in a Soviet summer camp between a teenage pioneer and a camp counselor. "This publishing house has played a leading role in promoting LGBT literature in Russia," Khinshteyn said, adding that he had asked for Popcorn Books to be investigated by the authorities in the past.
More than 145 LGBTQ+ leaders signed an open letter to UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak calling on him to halt the government's "unnecessary and damaging" response to gender law reforms in Scotland, PinkNews reported. In the letter, the leaders present a united front for trans rights and describe the Tories' response as opposing "the inclusive values that characterize modern Britain." In December 2022, the Scottish parliament passed reforms to the 2004 Gender Recognition Act (GRA) to make obtaining gender recognition certificates (GRCs)used to update gender markers on legal documentseasier.
In Kenya, more arrests were made in the murder of fashion designer/LGBTQ+-rights activist Edwin Chiloba, VOA reported. Chiloba's mutilated body was found on a roadside stuffed in a metal trunk. Police said they had arrested a freelance photographer said to be a longtime friend of the 25-year-old victim; later, another three suspects were detained for their alleged role in disposing of his remains.
In Canada, trans-rights advocates stormed into a talk at McGill University led by a speaker associated with a group that is allegedly "notoriously transphobic and trans-exclusionary," CBC reported. McGill University's Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism (CHRLP) hosted the event, titled "Sex vs. Gender (Identity) Debate In the United Kingdom and the Divorce of LGB from T," and it was led by McGill alumnus Robert Wintemute. He claimed he has 37 years experience defending LGB human rights and he would never associate with any group that "promotes hate." The talk was cancelled shortly after it started.
Also regarding Canada, Moving Waldo ranked the top 10 LGBTQ+-friendly cities in that country in terms of quality of life, according to Curiocity. The cities included Toronto; Montreal; Vancouver; Ottawa; Edmonton; Winnipeg, Manitoba; Calgary, Alberta; St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador; Halifax, Nova Scotia; and Nelson, British Columbia. The evaluating criteria are based on info from by Canada's LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce (CGLCC), the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Gay Pride Calendar, and supporting info from Zumper and Numbeo.�
Officials in Algeria, where homosexuality is illegal, are trying to stop any use of the Pride flag, PinkNews noted. Video shared on both Twitter and Reddit depicts the police and other officials handing out information pamphlets to the public about LGBTQ+ flags and symbols. Also, the words "I'm a Muslim and these flags and symbols don't represent me" are printed above the images, reported the Middle East news site Al Bawaba.
Star Trek's George Takei and Aladdin's Telly Leung are making their London stage debuts in the UK premiere of the 2015 Broadway musical Allegiancebased on events in Takei's family during World War II, Playbill noted. The intimate production, conceived specifically for the off-West End space the Charing Cross Theatre, is directed and choreographed by Tara Overfield Wilkinson. Now titled George Takei's Allegiance, the production will officially open Jan. 17 and continue through April 8.
While February's Sydney World Pride is the biggest LGBTQ+ event this year, the Glam Slamconnected with the Australian Openis the only LGBTQ+ tennis tournament played as part of a grand slam event anywhere in the world, The Age reported. Players will compete under the global Gay and Lesbian Tennis Alliance rules at Albert Park's Tennis World before the finals take place at the Open's 5,000-seat Kia Arena on Australian Open Pride Day on Jan. 27 (the same day as the men's semifinals). Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley said the AO Glam Slam was one of the biggest events on the calendar.
A group of scientists gathered by the United Nations said that the ozone layer is on track to fully recover from its depletion within the next four decades, Yahoo! News noted. In an assessment conducted every four years on the progress of the Montreal Protocol, the group confirmed an almost 99% reduction in emissions of ozone-damaging substances banned by the agreement. That is allowing the ozone layera section of the stratosphere that contains high concentrations of ozone, or trioxygen (O3), which absorbs ultraviolet (UV) raysto gradually recover.
Actor Kevin Spacey pled not guilty to seven charges relating to alleged sexual assaults in the United Kingdom, Deadline reported. The charges were brought by one male and the incidents are alleged to have taken place between 2001 and 2004; they span three counts of indecent assault, three of sexual assault and one of causing a person to engage in sexual activity without consent. A trial date has been set for June 6. In total, Spacey faces 12 charges, all connected to when he lived in London and was artistic director of the Old Vic Theatre.