Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi praised Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni for signing the African country's Anti-Homosexuality Act, The Washington Blade noted. Iran is among the countries in which consensual same-sex sexual relations remain punishable by death. In May,
Museveni signed the Anti-Homosexuality Act that contains a death penalty provision for "aggravated homosexuality." The United States subsequently imposed visa restrictions against Ugandan officials.
New HIV infections have quadrupled in parts of Asia and the Pacific as complacency, stigma and policy changes have undermined efforts to combat the virus, The Telegraph reported. According to a new report, reductions in new infections have stalled across the region, falling by just 14 percent since 2010, while transmission has actually jumped in five countries. The most drastic of these is the Philippines. In 2010, just 4,700 new HIV infections were reported nationwidebut that number has exploded by 418 percent, to 24,000 in 2022. Also, Fiji has seen a 260-percent rise in new cases, while increases have also been reported in Papua New Guinea, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.
More than 50,000 people in the UK have urged the government to abandon its plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda, citing fears over LGBTQ+ refugees' safety, PinkNews reported. The petition, handed to Downing Street on July 18, asked the government to drop the Illegal Migration Bill, which is now passing through its final stages in parliament, despite the High Court ruling that the plan was "unlawful." Even the Home Office has stated that LGBTQ+ people "can experience discrimination and abuse" in Rwanda.
Italy has begun removing lesbian mothers' names from their children's birth certificates as part of the government's crackdown on the rights of LGBTQ+ parents, PinkNews reported. The move follows right-wing PM Giorgia Meloni's announcement in March that state agencies should no longer register the children of same-sex couples.
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has been criticized for sharing support for same-sex marriagedespite the fact he has never voted for it, per PinkNews. Sunak's tweet was shared to mark the 10th anniversary of legislation being passed in parliament to permit same-sex marriage in England and Wales. However, Sunak's voting record shows he has generally voted against laws to promote equality and human rights, and has never voted for LGBTQ+ rights.
Also regarding Sunak, he apologized to the nation's LGBTQ+ military veterans for what he called [a] "period, many endured the most horrific sexual abuse and violence, homophobic bullying and harassment, all while bravely serving this country," according to The Washington Blade. His apology came after a report, previously leaked in May, confirmed that gay and lesbian British soldiers, airmen and sailors were subjected to electroshock treatment. PinkNews reported, that gay and lesbian servicemembers were forced to endure so-called "conversion therapy," sexual assault, unwarranted surveillance and blackmail from their superiors from 1967, when homosexuality was partially decriminalized, to 2000, when the ban on gay soldiers serving in the military was lifted.
A diplomatic dispute has been brewing between D.C. and Kingston, Jamaicabecause of Jamaica's refusal to grant accreditation to the same-sex spouse of a U.S. diplomat, per the Caribbean National Weekly. The u.S. government formally requested approval from Jamaica to extend diplomatic immunity and privileges to the married partner of a diplomat set to be posted in Jamaica. Notably, the diplomat and their partner are in a same-sex relationship, which has added complexity to the situation since same-sex marriage is not recognized in Jamaica. According to Jamaican media reports, the United States, in response, rejected a request from Jamaica to extend the stay of three diplomats stationed at the Jamaican embassy and consulates within the United States.
Malawi's LGBTQI+ community is awaiting for the outcome of two cases currently before the Constitutional Court that could see the legalization of same-sex sexual relations in the African country, The Washington Blade noted. The Constitutional Court is currently considering two cases that Wim Akster, a Dutch national, and Jana Gonani, a local transgender woman from Mangochi, brought. The cases have been adjourned to Aug. 28.
Peruvian actor and former pro soccer player Nicola Porcella has publicly come out as pansexual, Out noted. On the Mexican reality show La Casa de los Famosos Mexico (which is similar to Celebrity Big Brother), Porcella had a conversation with trans influencer Wendy Guevara and bisexual singer Apio Quijano. As the three held hands, Guevara and Quijano said their names and that they accept their identities as a trans woman and bisexual man, respectivelyand then Porcella said, "Hi. I'm Nicola and I accept that I am pansexual."
Boys on Film 23: Dangerous to Know will be on DVD, Blu-Ray and On Demand on July 24, per a press release. Zachary Quinto is just one of the actors featured in this short-film collection about 10 encounters from across the globe. Some of the films include My Uncle's Friend (Brazil), Red Ants Bite (Georgia), Too Rough (UK), Chaperone (United States) and By His Will (Israel). The newest trailer is at https://youtu.be/SEtQfDv4iD4.
Out Australian diver Matthew Mitchamwho became the first out gay Olympian to win a gold medal during the 2008 Summer Gameswill make his UK acting debut later this year, Queerty noted. Mitcham will play two roles in a theater revival of Strangers in Between, the Australian classic that depicts the highs and lows of growing up gay in rural Australia. The play, an instant hit when it debuted in 2016, follows the journey of a young man who flees his rural hometown for Sydney, where he's finally free to live his true life. The protagonist, Shane, befriends an older gay man and meets a casual lover.
Barbie won't be banned in the Philippines after all, although there was speculation that a scene with a controversial map of the South China Sea might be blurred before its July 19 release there, Deadline noted. Censors were concerned by a scene with a map of the South China Sea that was thought to be displaying the "nine-dash line," representing China's territorial claims, that is contested by several governments in the region. The map scene previously got the film banned in Vietnam.
Netflix's queer coming-of-age series Heartstopper may be a hit in the United States, but in Hungary, the government is fining a retailer for selling the graphic novels the show is based on, per Out. Hungarian authorities are fining a bookstore for selling Heartstopper books without the required closed wrapping, which broke a controversial law against disseminating LGBTQ+ content to young people under 18.
Cuban rapper Maykel "Osorbo," who helped write the 2021 Latin Grammy song of the year ("Patria y Vida"), reportedly sewed his own mouth shut to protest his alleged mistreatment in a maximum-security prison on the island, per ABC News. (Cuban authorities reportedly removed the stitches the following day.) "He is fed up with the abuses and with being unjustly imprisoned when the whole world is raising its voice for his freedom," Cuban artist and activist Anamely Ramos Gonzalez wrote.
Iconic French fashion house La Maison is to be spotlighted in an Apple TV+ drama series starring seven-time Cesar Award nominee Lambert Wilson (best known in the U.S. from his role in the Matrix trilogy), Deadline noted. La Maison will take a behind-the-curtain look at how a family dynasty of an iconic fashion house is thrown into scandal and reinvention by a viral video featuring star designer Vincent LeDu (Wilson), leaving his family's legendary haute couture house hanging by a thread.