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WORLD Israel court, conversion therapy, death sentences, Georgia bill, fashion items
by Andrew Davis

This article shared 13892 times since Fri Mar 29, 2024
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Israel's Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the Population Authority must register female couples as mothers on the birth certificates of their children they have together, The Washington Blade reported. The decision was made following a petition submitted by nine female couples—mothers of children born through anonymous sperm donation. The panel of judges, headed by Supreme Court President Uzi Fogelman as well as judges Ruth Ronen and Alex Stein, denied the Population Authority's claim that the birth certificate reflects only biological parentage, and ruled that the birth mother and her partner must be registered as the child's parents. The decision does not apply to male same-sex couples because the petition dealt with couples who conceived with the help of anonymous sperm donation.

New South Wales became the latest state in Australia to ban so-called "conversion therapy" practices, joining Victoria and the ACT (Australian Capital Territory) as well as New Zealand (which has the option of becoming a state), Yahoo! News noted. The NSW Upper House passed the bill on March 22 by a vote of 22 to four after debating the issue in an overnight marathon session. The legislation will criminalize all conversion therapy practices within the state. The law will also make it illegal for people to be taken out of New South Wales to undergo such practices and it also provides civil remedies for survivors.

In Yemen, nine men were sentenced to death by a Houthi court in a mass trial based on "dubious" charges of sodomy, PinkNews noted. The trial, which allegedly took place Jan. 23, resulted in 32 men being sentenced. Nine of them received death sentences that include crucifixion and stoning, while 23 were sent to prison for periods of up to 10 years; three were also sentenced to public flogging. Yemen and Bahrain researcher at Human Rights Watch Niku Jafarnia called the trial an "abhorrent disregard for the rule of law."

Georgia's ruling party introduced a bill curtailing LGBTQ+ rights—a move seen by opponents as an attempt to boost its popularity ahead of elections in the conservative South Caucasus country, Reuters reported. The draft law would ban gender changes and adoption by same-sex couples, and it would prohibit "gatherings aimed at popularizing same-sex family or intimate relationships," according to a summary from the Georgian Dream party. In a post on Facebook, the LGBTQ+-rights group Tbilisi Pride called the proposed bill "homophobic."

Luxury fashion house Valentino and Pierpaolo Piccioli are parting ways after 25 years, per The Hollywood Reporter. Piccioli was appointed creative director of the luxury fashion house in 2016. During his tenure, he dressed stars like Florence Pugh and Rihanna for the Met Gala and Zendaya, Emily Blunt and Carey Mulligan for the Oscars. In addition, he became known for the bright shade he dubbed PP Pink, which became a phenomenon.

Also in the fashion world, Belgian designer Dries Van Noten is leaving his eponymous brand, The Hollywood Reporter noted. His exceptionally well-reviewed fall 2024 women's collection, shown in Paris weeks ago, will be his last. His fall menswear show in June 2024 is his official finale. Van Noten began menswear in 1986, founding his women's line in 1988 and owning his brand independently for three decades. Six years ago, a majority stake was acquired by Spanish giant Puig, owner of Carolina Herrera, Jean Paul Gaultier and Charlotte Tilbury cosmetics. Van Noten and partner Patrick Vangheluwe reside in Antwerp.

A groundbreaking report from Equality Australia concluded that discrimination in religious schools and institutions against the LGBTQIA+ community is "endemic," Women's Agenda noted. The report said there are more than 70,000 students and 10,000 staff members in non-government schools who identify as LGBTQIA+—and these students are more likely to attend a school that discriminates against them than one that supports them. Equality Australia Legal Director Ghassan Kassisieh said the report shows Australian legislation allows independent schools, particularly religious schools, to discriminate against LGBTQIA+ students and staff, and that the current provisions are "out of step" with international humanitarian law and practice.

Argentinian President Javier Milei has proposed closing his country's National Institute Against Discrimination, Xenophobia and Racism (INADI)—prompting criticism from LGBTQ+-rights activists, per The Washington Blade. Alba Rueda—the country's Special Representative on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity under Alberto Fernandez's government—said INADI's closure is a serious setback in the fight against discrimination and the advancement of human rights in Argentina. Milei can't close INADI unilaterally, despite the announcement, because a law created it and another statute would be required to dismantle it; however, there are still concerns about what the government will do.

Onir, one of a handful of out and proud filmmakers in India, discussed the current scenario for LGBTQ+ filmmakers in the country, Variety noted. "There are a lot of non-Indian queer films and series available on streaming and also a lot of queer short films and reel videos being made across the country. Having said that, I feel the mainstream industry and streaming platforms when it comes to queer content are mostly still taking baby steps, and also looking at our stories from a very heteronormative gaze," Onir said. "The queer gaze is largely missing." Onir's latest film, Pine Cone, was set to hold its UK premiere at the BFI Flare: London LGBTQIA+ Film Festival.

Out actor Andrew Scott was awarded Best Actor at the 33rd Critics' Circle Theatre Awards—making the Irish actor the first performer to win top honors from both of the UK's national critics bodies, Deadline noted. Scott won the Theatre Awards award for his performance in Vanya, a one-man Chekov adaptation during which Scott plays eight different characters in conversation with each other. Scott received the same award late last year from the Film Critics Circle—also under the UK Critics' Circle umbrella—for his performance in Andrew Haigh's feature All of Us Strangers. Some of the other theater winners included actress Sophie Okonedo, actor David Tennant and the Bridge Theatre production of Guys & Dolls.

At the Juno Awards in Halifax, Nova Scotia, trans actor Elliot Page criticized Canada's rollback of LGBTQ+ rights, per Variety. Page, a transgender Halifax native, said, "We are at a time in history where the rights of LGBTQ2+ people are being revoked, restricted and eliminated throughout the world, and the effects are devastating." He made the comments while presenting queer twin singer-songwriters Tegan and Sara with the Junos' humanitarian award. Page praised the work of the Tegan and Sara Foundation for 2SLGBTQ+ youth, supporting healthcare services for youth programs.

In France, Annette Bening's first major TV series role has won the five-time Oscar nominee the Best Actress prize at this year's Series Mania, per Deadline. Bening was honored at the prestigious Lille event for her leading role in Peacock series Apples Never Fall, an adaptation of a novel by Big Little Lies writer Liane Moriarty. Bening's most recent Oscar nod was this year for portraying lesbian swimmer Diana Nyad in the film Nyad; she lost in the Best Actress category to Emma Stone (who won for Poor Things).

In Australia, researcher/educator Dr. Andrew Burrell—the director of visual communication at the University of Technology Sydney—will curate the HIV/AIDS Memorial at LGBTQ Museum Qtopia Sydney, per The Star-Observer. In a statement, Burrell said, "I was truly honored to work closely with Qtopia Sydney to create the permanent HIV/AIDS Memorial." The memorial, which is more than 15 feet tall, is one of 18 inaugural exhibitions at the recently opened Qtopia Sydney, considered the largest home of queer history and culture in the world.

Sziget Festival unveiled the second wave of acts for its 2024 edition, with Halsey and former Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher joining the already strong lineup alongside Sam Smith, Attitude noted. Known as one of Europe's biggest and most diverse music extravaganzas, Sziget Festival 2024 will be held between August 7-12 on Obuda Island in Budapest, Hungary. Some of the other additions to the lineup include the record-breaking RAYE, fresh off making history at the Brit Awards by taking home six trophies; queer musician Janelle Monae; DJ Skrilliex; trans DJ/artist Honey Dijon; former One Direction singer Louis Tomlinson; rapper Stormzy; synth-pop duo Neil Frances; DJ/producer Sam Paganini; and electronic act Modeselektor.

And, in England, Manchester Pride (taking place Aug. 23-26) has announced details of its lineup for the 2024 edition of the August bank holiday weekend festival, per PinkNews. The annual event revealed Jessie J and Loreen as headliners; organizers also said "another huge headline performance" will "be revealed." Some of the other acts already on the bill include Rozalla ("Everybody's Free to Feel Good"), Angie Brown, Ghetto Fabulous and Natasha Hamilton. RuPaul's Drag Race stars such as Ginger Johnson, Black Peppa, Danny Beard and Banksie are also slated to perform on the main stage.

Singer-songwriter Matt Terry, who won the 13th season of the UK show The X Factor in 2016, has come out as part of the LGBTQ+ community, PinkNews noted. Terry revealed to Gay Times that his new single "His Car" is an apology to the first man he fell in love with, after he asked him to keep their romance a secret. Terry, 30, said it was "so f**king hard" to be on The X Factor and in the public eye at 23, and being hounded to come out, adding that tabloids would write stories about him kissing men outside pubs or liking Tom Daley's Instagram photos, while one of his own managers demanded to know his sexuality.

Former Olympian and record-setting professional swimmer Sean Gunn has come out, according to Instinct Magazine, citing in an exclusive interview he had with OutSports. Representing his home country of Zimbabwe in the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio, Gunn also was a swimmer at the University of Kentucky, where he came out. "I honestly don't think anything really changed at all," Gunn said. "If anything, friendships just became better. I think in my head I built it up for so long, and I was terrified that the way they acted or treated me would be different. But I was really lucky that everyone was so amazing and wanted me to be the happiest version of myself." However, while Gunn was dating men and out to various people on the Kentucky swim team, his family in southern Africa had no idea he was gay at the time. Now, Gunn is totally out in his life—living in Cape Town, South Africa with his boyfriend and working at a new job.

This article shared 13892 times since Fri Mar 29, 2024
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