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WORLD KyivPride, Romanian bill, marriage items, Cynthia Erivo
by Andrew Davis

This article shared 1270 times since Sun Jul 3, 2022
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Ukraine's largest LGBTQ+-rights event, KyivPride, went ahead as a peace march—in Warsaw, Poland, CNBC reported. It joined Warsaw's yearly Equality Parade, the largest such event in central Europe, using it as a platform to keep international attention focused on the Ukrainian struggle for freedom. In a manifesto, KyivPride calls on people to realize that the geographical border between democratic Ukraine on one side and autocratic Russia and Belarus on the other "is not just a separation line between the states, but also a boundary between the territory of freedom and a zone of oppression."

Romania is considering a bill that would ban minors from being exposed to so-called "gay propaganda" in schools and in public life, despite warnings from rights groups that it would "fuel Russian propaganda and disinformation campaigns" and reinstate censorship in the former communist country, RFE/RL reported. Seven lawmakers from the ethnic Hungarian UDMR, a junior ruling coalition party, initiated the bill under the guise of preventing child abuse and promoting child rights.

A law that allows same-sex couples to legally marry in Switzerland took effect on July 1, The Washington Blade noted. Last September, Swiss voters voted overwhelmingly in favor of the "Marriage for All" statute. Austria, Germany and France are among the European countries that have extended marriage rights to same-sex couples. Scott Miller, the U.S. ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein who is openly gay, is married to Tim Gill.

Mexico City hosted a mass wedding for same-sex couples as part of celebrations of LGBT Pride Month, NBC News noted. About 100 same-sex couples participated in the event, which took place under a tent set up in the plaza of the capital's civil registry. Marriage equality is now possible in 27 of Mexico's 32 states and has been twice upheld by the Supreme Court. Mexico, Brazil and Argentina top Latin America in the number of same-sex marriages.

British actress/singer Cynthia Erivo opened up to British Vogue about being bisexual, and what the journey was like to finally be able to share that part of herself with the world, Out Magazine noted. Erivo said it took her a while to publicly share her bisexuality with the world because she says that so many LGBTQ+ folks "still feel the need to be constantly justifying why we deserve to be treated as equal beings, when really the only difference is that we love differently and we express ourselves differently." Before speaking with British Vogue about being bi, Erivo previously self-identified as queer in a 2021 interview with the Evening Standard about her music career.

Filipina Fuschia Anne Ravena was crowned Miss International Queen 2022 at a contest in Thailand billed as the world's largest and most popular transgender pageant, according to Euronews. The 27-year-old business owner beat 22 other contestants for the crown, with the second and third place going to contestants from Colombia and France, respectively. The pageant—halted for almost two years because of the pandemic—resumed in the Thai seaside town of Pattaya during Pride Month to also celebrate gender equality, the event's organizer said.

Amazon succumbed to pressure from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to censor certain searches and keywords related to LGBTQ+ products and books, Out Magazine noted, citing The New York Times. (Homosexuality is criminalized in the UAE.) According to a report from The New York Times, the UAE government gave Amazon until July 1 to comply with these restrictions under the threat of certain penalties. A spokesperson for Amazon said, "With Amazon stores around the world, we must also comply with the local laws and regulations of the countries in which we operate."

Slovakia's Constitutional Court will decide on same-sex couples who were married abroad, the Slovak Spectator reported. The court announced that it accepted the motion filed by former ombudswoman Maria Patakyova and will make a decision on the rights of same-sex couples in Slovakia. Before wrapping up her term in March, the ombudswoman asked the court to look into the legal provisions on permanent residence for third-country (non-EU) nationals married to Slovak citizens. For now, Slovak authorities do not recognize these same-sex marriages.

During a break between sessions during the first summit meeting of the Commonwealth nations since the coronavirus pandemic in the Rwandan capital of Kigali, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was asked by a reporter about the FINA ban on transgender women athletes—and he backs the ban, The Washington Blade noted. "When it comes to, when you start to move from issues of sexuality to issues of gender, you start to raise particular problems," Johnson told reporters. Pressed on whether he backed the ban on trans swimmers, Johnson said, "I haven't studied it in detail but I see no reason to dissent. That follows from what I've previously said."

On a related note, openly gay Olympic champion diver Tom Daley criticized FINA—the organization that regulates international swimming, diving and other water-sports competitions—for its ban on transgender women, The Advocate noted. "I was furious," Daley told iNews at a press conference. The new FINA policy, announced in June, bars trans women from competing in women's events if they haven't transitioned by age 12.

British bank Halifax announced that its employees will now have the option to list their pronouns alongside their names on their tags, LGBTQ Nation noted. The post was inundated with messages from customers who objected to the new policy. In response, the bank suggested they take their business elsewhere. "We want to create a safe and accepting environment that opens the conversation around gender identity," a spokesperson for Halifax told Business Insider. "We care about our customers' and colleagues' individual preferences so, for us, it's a very simple solution to accidental misgendering."

A new production of Masquerade—a play telling a tale of love and loss set in an iconic Liverpool, England, gay club in the '80s—is coming to the city's Epstein Theatre this fall, The Guide Liverpool noted. Following a successful run at the Royal Court Studio in 2019, the acclaimed play written by Laura Lees is back in a new electrifying and reimagined staging, with Liverpool's queer history at its heart. The play will run Nov. 22-26 for only eight performances.

Ethan Hawke and Pedro Pascal have signed on to star in gay Spanish director Pedro Almodovar's next film, Strange Way of Life, ("Extrana forma de vida"), a half-hour Western shot in English, Variety reported. The Spanish director will shoot the short before making his English-language feature debut, A Manual for Cleaning Women, with Cate Blanchett. According to Out Magazine, Pascal and Hawke will play a pair of middle-aged gunslingers in a project reportedly being referred to as Almodovar's answer to Brokeback Mountain.

Adele, who headlined two festival shows at BST Hyde Park in London, told BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs that going forward with her planned Las Vegas residency at Caesars Palace earlier this year was impossible, saying the show simply was not up to her standards, Deadline noted. The concerts were initially scheduled to begin Friday, Jan. 21 and run through mid-April. The postponements (without any make-up dates) remain a sore spot for many Adele fans and critics.

Controversial actor Kevin Spacey's life and upcoming legal cases are to be the subject of a two-part doc series from British broadcaster Channel 4, Deadline noted. Spacey Unmasked (working title) will look at Spacey's life, from his emergence on Broadway and meteoric rise to stardom through to his fall from grace amidst multiple allegations of grooming, sexual harassment and abuse. It will also follow the outcomes of two upcoming cases—a civil case brought by Spacey's first public accuser, Anthony Rapp, which will be heard in New York in October; and the criminal case in the UK, where Spacey stands accused of several crimes.

Mattel's world-famous Barbie doll brand is releasing an androgynous David Bowie-inspired doll in celebration of the 50th anniversary of his landmark album Hunky Dory—the second doll based on the late British singer that Barbie has released, according to LGBTQ Nation. The $50 doll appears in the iconic baby blue suit that Bowie wore in the 1973 "Life on Mars?" video.

This article shared 1270 times since Sun Jul 3, 2022
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