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WORLD Italian senate, Polish bill, LGBTQ+ Afghans, soccer player
by Windy City Times staff
2021-10-31

This article shared 742 times since Sun Oct 31, 2021
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Italy's senate killed a bill that would have made violence against LGBTQ+ and disabled people, as well as misogyny, a hate crime, The Guardian reported. The 315-member senate voted 154 to 131 to block the debate on the law, named after the gay center-left Democratic Party (PD) legislator Alessandro Zan; the measure was previously approved by the lower house of parliament in the face of months of protests from far-right and Catholic groups. Pina Picierno, a PD member of the European parliament, called the more recent vote "one of the worst pages in the history of the Italian republic."

The Polish Parliament voted to send a bill that proposes to amend the right to freedom of assembly to ban Pride marches and other events promoting LGBTIQ equality for further work in committees, according to an OutRight Action International press release. The draft bill stipulates that any event that questions marriage as a relationship between a woman and a man or propagates the extension of marriage to persons of the same sex cannot go ahead. Pride events, locally known as Equality Marches, have taken place in Poland in growing numbers since 2000; in 2019, 50,000 people attended Warsaw's Equality March, and a record 20 Pride events took place around the country.

Twenty-nine LGBTQ+ Afghans have been evacuated from Taliban-controlled Afghanistan and resettled in the United Kingdom as part of a government initiative, PinkNews reported. Human-rights groups have expressed significant concern for the safety and wellbeing of LGBT+ people in Afghanistan ever since the Taliban seized power in August. Activists have been calling on governments across the world to help bring LGBT+ Afghans to safety.

In a related development, in a rare statement addressing LGBT rights, the Taliban said its intended support for human rights did not include them, Reuters reported. Afghanistan's Taliban government is pressing for the release of billions of dollars of central bank reserves as the drought-stricken nation faces a cash crunch, mass starvation and a new migration crisis. Human rights, he said, would be respected but within the framework of Islamic law, which would not include gay rights. "LGBT... That's against our Sharia law," ministry spokesman Ahmad Wali Haqmal said.

An Australian soccer player has come out of the closet. According to ESPN.com, Adelaide United midfielder Josh Cavallo has become a rarity in professional sports: an openly gay male athlete. "I know there are other players living in silence," he wrote on Twitter. "I want to help change this, to show that everyone ... deserves the right to be their authentic self. The 21-year-old said growing up he "always felt the need to hide myself because I was ashamed."

In Brazil, a professional volleyball star was cut from the nation's pro team after he made a homophobic Instagram post about the new bisexual Superman comic-book hero, out.com noted. Mauricio Souza, 33, a volleyball legend in Brazil with multiple championships and medals to his name, refused to back down after his post generated significant backlash from fans and sponsors, and gave a forced, half-hearted apology before the Minas Tenis Clube let him go. One of his teammates on that squad and others, Douglas Souza (no relation) is an out, gay Brazilian volleyball star, and he took offense to the homophobic post without specifically naming Mauricio.

In India, the Delhi High Court listed Nov. 30 as the final hearing date regarding a landmark marriage-equality ruling, The Hindu reported. A bench of Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh granted time to the parties for filing replies and rejoinders in the matter. The petitioners are a married same-sex couple—Joydeep Sengupta, an OCI, and Russell Blaine Stephens, a U.S. citizen—as well as Mario Dpenha, an Indian citizen and a queer-rights academic/activist pursuing a Ph.D. at Rutgers University.

In Greece, six men—including two police officers—are standing trial for the death of 33-year-old Greek-American Zacharias Kostopoulos in September 2018 in Athens, The Advocate reported. Kostopoulos, known also by Zak or Zackie Oh, was an LGBTQ-/HIV-rights activist and drag queen who his family says was a victim of a hate crime. The defendants have all been charged with causing "fatal bodily harm," but Kostopoulos' family wants the charges upgraded to homicide.

Shortly before a new vaccination requirement kicks in for most foreign travelers to the U.S., the Biden administration detailed the new international COVID-19 air travel policies, including exemptions for kids, and new federal contact tracing requirements, PBS Newshour reported. Beginning Nov. 8, foreign, non-immigrant adults traveling to the United States will need to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, with limited exceptions, and all travelers will need to be tested for the virus before boarding an aircraft to the States, with tightened restrictions for those who are not fully vaccinated. Those who are unvaccinated will need to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test within a day of travel, while those who are vaccinated will be allowed to present a test taken within three days of travel.

Also related to Biden, the U.S. president said that Pope Francis told the president that he should continue receiving communion, and the pope is happy that Biden is a "good Catholic," according to CNN.com . Asked if he discussed abortion with Francis, Biden said he hadn't. The President has long found himself navigating the delicate politics that come with being a Catholic Democrat who supports abortion rights and same-sex marriage. The pontiff has spoken out against the moves by some U.S. bishops to permit individual bishops to deny communion to pro-choice politicians.

Facebook removed a video in which Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro warned of a supposed link between COVID-19 vaccines and AIDS, per france24.com . The far-right leader's latest run-in with the social network he relies on to rally his base came after he cited purported "official reports" from the British government—since debunked—in his weekly live address on Facebook. The president has said he does not plan to be vaccinated against COVID-19, and joked in the past the vaccine could "turn you into an alligator."

In Japan, trans entertainer Ai Haruna reflected on the Tokyo Paralympics, in which she danced during the Aug. 24 opening ceremonies, Kyoto News reported. The television personality, singer and entrepreneur had done a general audition to get her part, eager to spread the much-needed message of resilience and togetherness through the games for athletes with disabilities. "Let's have the freedom to spread our wings and dream big. That's the message I wanted to send to the world," Haruna said.

The IGLTA Foundation LGBTQ+ Tourism Scholarship is offering to support the next generation of LGBTQ+ tourism professionals and allies, per a press release. A full scholarship will be awarded to participate in the online master's degree program (conducted in English) in LGBTQ+ tourism at CETT, the School of Hotel Management and Tourism at the University of Barcelona. This scholarship was created with the generous collaboration of Queer Destinations, and is open to staff of all current IGLTA member businesses. The deadline is Nov. 22; visit https://www.iglta.org/IGLTA-Foundation/-Scholarships.

Australian reality-show figure Harry Jowsey (from Netflix's Too Hot to Handle) was in hot water after hurling an anti-gay slur at beauty consultant James Charles, out.com noted. "James Charles is trying to f*ck me," the 24-year-old influencer revealed to his podcast co-host, which was met with the co-host not knowing who Charles is. "He's just some f*ggot," Jowsey then replied, before laughing. The incident took many of Jowsey's LGBTQ+ fans by surprise, especially after he publicly vocalized his support for trans women. Shortly after being rightfully called out by numerous folks on social media, Jowsey took to Instagram Live to address the situation and publicly apologize both to Charles and the LGBTQ+ community.

British singer Adele revealed that she will perform twice in London's Hyde Park in July 2022—her first shows since 2017, according to a People Magazine item that cited CNN.com . "Oiii Oiiiiiiiiiiiii," Adele wrote with a heart emoji, dropping details on presale ticket information for the July 1 and 2, 2022 shows. In her tweet, Adele also added art for her upcoming album 30, slated for release Nov. 19. The 15-time Grammy winner's fourth album is due to arrive nearly six years to the day since she released her last record, 25.


This article shared 742 times since Sun Oct 31, 2021
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