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WORLD Laws and HIV/AIDS, Russia's crackdown, LGB Alliance, Olympians
by Andrew Davis
2023-12-08

This article shared 2272 times since Fri Dec 8, 2023
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A senior UN official said that anti-LGBTQ+ laws stop people from accessing life-saving health services and seriously impede progress on eliminating HIV/AIDS, The Guardian reported. Sixty-seven countries have laws that criminalize gay sex—and nearly half are in Africa, the continent most affected by HIV. UNAIDS Executive Director Winnie Byanyima said, "When LGBTQ+ people and other marginalized communities are stigmatized and criminalized, their access to lifesaving health services is obstructed, and the HIV response is undermined."

Less than 48 hours after the Russian Supreme Court declared the "international LGBT social movement" to be "extremist," police and security forces raided at least four Moscow LGBTQ+ establishments, The Advocate noted, citing multiple media outlets. An employee of the Central Station gay bar said police raided Club Secret, Mono Bar and Hunters Party in Moscow, the local group SOTA reported. Critics accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of using the crackdown to appeal to his culturally conservative base.

One of the largest streaming services in Russia has changed its age rating for My Little Pony to "adult audiences" under the country's so-called LGBTQ+ propaganda laws, PinkNews noted. Created mainly for children, the cartoon series My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic has had its rating changed to 18+ on the Kinopoisk movie database, which is owned by search engine and web portal Yandex. In November, Russia's Supreme Court declared LGBTQ+ activism illegal in a continued crackdown on the queer community.

LGB Alliance, a UK organization that has historically campaigned for the "biological definitions of sex," shocked supporters by tweeting support of trans people, PinkNews noted. "We are horrified by this latest example of Putin weaponizing homophobia and transphobia to try and distract from his own failings," LGB Alliance tweeted, in reference to Russian police raiding queer clubs in Moscow after a Supreme Court ruling branded LGBTQ+ activism "extremist." Supporters criticized LGB Alliance for its reference to standing in solidarity with trans people in Russia, with some saying they would "unfollow" the charity for its apparent change regarding trans rights.

Outsports noted that, so far, at least 12 out LGBTQ+ competitors have qualified or are likely to qualify for the 2024 Paris Summer Olympics. Those who are definitely in include New Zealand rowers Robbie Manson and Emma Twigg as well as Australian rock climber Campbell Harrison. Potential/probable entries include Irish taekwondo athlete Jack Woolley, Venezuelan track-and-field competitor Yulimar Rojas, U.S. sprinter Sha'Carri Richardson, U.S. wrestler Kayla Miracle and Canadian soccer player Kadeisha Buchanan, among others.

Uganda criticized the United States and accused the country of trying to push an "LGBT agenda" in Africa after D.C. announced new sanctions against Ugandan officials, PinkNews noted. The US confirmed that it would expand visa restrictions on Ugandan officials that it deems responsible for repressing several marginalized groups; they include the LGBTQ+ community, the subject of the controversial anti-LGBTQ+ law Uganda introduced this year. Uganda President Yoweri Museveni signed an Anti-Homosexuality Bill into law earlier this year that makes it illegal to identify as LGBTQ+.

Also regarding Uganda, LGBTQ+-rights activists are hopeful the queer community will get justice from the Constitutional Court hearing on a petition that challenges the country's Anti-Homosexuality Act, per The Washington Blade. The plaintiffs include Uganda's Deputy High Commissioner to South Africa Kintu Nyango, Makerere University Law professors Sylvia Tamale and Busingye Kabumba, veteran journalist Andrew Mwenda, West Budama Northeast MP Fox Odoi (Uganda President Yoweri Museveni's former legal advisor) and several advocacy groups.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) has said that Jordanian authorities have systematically targeted LGBTQ+-rights activists and coordinated an unlawful crackdown on free expression and assembly around gender and sexuality. HRW documented cases in which Jordan's General Intelligence Department and the Preventive Security department of the Public Security Directorate interrogated activists about their work, and intimidated them with threats of violence, arrest and prosecution. Senior LGBTQ+ rights researcher Rasha Yours said, "Security forces' intimidation tactics and unlawful interference in LGBT organizing have driven activism further underground and forced civil society leaders into an impossible reality: severe self-censorship or fleeing Jordan."

Andrew Haigh's latest feature, the queer-centric film All of Us Strangers, scored seven wins at the British Independent Film Awards (BIFA) in London, Deadline reported. The wins—in addition to three craft honors announced in November—included Best Film, Best Director, Best Screenplay and Best Supporting Performance (which Paul Mescal shared with How To Have Sex's Shaun Thomas). Nathan Stewart-Jarrett and George MacKay won the Best Joint Lead Performance award for the LGBTQ+ film Femme, about a hate-crime victim.

Chile's proposed constitution has alarmed the country's LGBTQ+-rights activists, per The Washington Blade. Fundacion Iguales—one of the country's most prominent LGBTQ+-rights organizations—is asking Chileans to vote against the proposed constitution in the referendum that will take place Dec. 17. Fundacion Iguales Executive Director María Jose Cumplido told the Blade, "Our position as a foundation is to vote against this proposal because of the conscientious objection without limits, the lack of a robust nondiscrimination principle, a misconception of the best interests of children and adolescents, and the weakness in the sexual and reproductive rights of women and pregnant women."

Kemi Badenoch has not met with any of the UK's largest LGBTQ+ organizations since she became minister for women and equalities, despite claiming to have engaged "extensively" with them, PinkNews confirmed. She made the claim in the House of Commons as she laid out plans to prevent people who have received a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC) in countries where self-ID is already a reality from having their gender legally recognized in the UK. Stonewall said it has not had a meeting with Badenoch since July 2021—three months before PM Rishi Sunak appointed her minister for women and equalities; also, reps for Mermaids, Gendered Intelligence and the Kaleidoscope Trust have confirmed that they have not had any meetings with her.

A study showed that children of gay fathers in Europe are happier than kids of their straight counterparts, a Metro Weekly item noted. Researchers looked at the well-being of 67 families with two dads, along with 67 families with heterosexual parents. American, Italian and Belgian researchers reported that "children of gay fathers via surrogacy showed fewer externalizing and internalizing problems compared to children of heterosexual parents via unassisted conception."

British LGBTQ+-rights activist Andrew Lumsden died in November at age 82, PinkNews noted. Lumsden was in his twenties in the 1960s, when he began to fight for LGBTQ+ rights; he called for the decriminalization of homosexuality, helping to organize the very first Pride in London march in 1972 as a member of the Gay Liberation Front and founder of Gay News. Veteran LGBTQ+-rights activist Peter Tatchell called Lumsden a "friend, comrade, HERO" in a post on X, formerly Twitter.

Source Journeys—which specializes in LGBTQ+ cruises—will set sail from Venice, Italy to the Dalmatian coast (Croatia) on Aug. 17-24, per a newsletter. Attendees will see three countries while stopping at places such as Kotor, Montenegro; Dubrovnik, Croatia; and the Pakleni Islands—seeing everything from old towns to nudist beaches—before looping back to Venice. Also, people will participate in activities including kayaking, snorkeling and paddleboarding as well as themed parties held by gay DJs. See sourcejourneys.com/treasures-of-venice-dalmatian-coast-cruise/ .

In the UK, the Liverpool Magistrates Court ruled that the assault on the Drag Race UK star The Vivienne (aka James Lee Williams) was motivated by homophobia, PinkNews reported. During the trial, Alan Whitfield claimed the attack—in which he punched Williams in the face—was not motivated by homophobia but by what he called "banter." Whitfield will be sentenced on Jan. 3, 2024.

Legendary British duo Bananarama revisits two tracks—"Robert De Niro's Waiting" and "Velvet Lies"—with new remixes by The Reflex and Luke Million, specially commissioned for their upcoming collection, Glorious: The Ultimate Collection, a press release noted. Following the new single "Feel the Love" and the Boys Noize re-rub of the smash "Venus," these new remixes will be on the digital and deluxe three-CD versions of "Glorious," which is slated to be out in March. Other formats include a collector's triple vinyl and double CD.

The late Pogues frontman Shane MacGowan has been remembered for the time he slammed right-wing activist and former actor Laurence Fox as a "herrenvolk s***e" online, according to PinkNews. On X (formerly Twitter) in November 2020, Fox called for the BBC to be defunded after it censored the anti-gay slur 'f****t' in the Pogues' popular anti-Christmas hit. Then, MacGowan—who led The Pogues from 1982 until 2014—clapped back with "f*** off you little herrenvolk s***e." MacGowan died last month after being hospitalized with encephalitis.

Prime Video has canceled the British LGBTQ+-inclusive drama Riches after one season, TVLine noted. "This time last year we launched," creator Abby Ajayi wrote on Instagram. "Much love to this incredible ensemble of actors and our fabulous screw. Thank you to everyone who supported." The drama followed the very wealthy Richards family after its patriarch's sudden death, focusing on his various children's fight for control of his business.

Switzerland has been named the Country of Honor at the 2024 edition of the Cannes Marche du Film, running alongside parent event the Cannes Film Festival during May 14-22, per Deadline. The Swiss delegation—featuring filmmakers, producers and industry experts—will participate in the market's programs dedicated to fiction and non-fiction feature films, immersive projects and innovation.


This article shared 2272 times since Fri Dec 8, 2023
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