Thousands of people including soldiers and diplomats marched peacefully through the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv in an annual Pride parade despite some opposition to an event called off last year because of the coronavirus pandemic, Reuters reported. Organizers said about 7,000 attended the Equality March this year, compared to 8,000 in 2019, which saw the biggest turnout since the event was initiated a decade agodespite opposition from religious and nationalist groups. There were a few hundred anti-gay rights protesters gathered nearby, but there was no violence.
In Spain, the Madrid prosecutor's office opened an investigation after a crowd of about 200 people sporting Nazi paraphernalia marched in the capital's gay-friendly neighborhood of Chueca shouting anti-LGBT slogans, OpenlyNews.com reported. The protesters shouted "Out of our neighborhood" and "Get out of Madrid" prefaced by derogatory words for gay people, the prosecutor's office said. Equality Minister Irene Montero had asked for the prosecutor to investigate, calling the march "homophobic and racist."
On Sept. 21, President Joe Biden, in his speech to the UN General Assembly, spoke in support of LGBTQ rights around the world, according to The Washington Blade. "We all must defend the rights of LGBTQI individuals so they can live and love openly without fear," he said. Biden specifically cited anti-LGBTQ crackdowns in Chechnya and Cameroon. He spoke after Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who is virulently anti-LGBTQ, addressed the General Assembly.
Canadians gave Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Liberal Party a victory in Monday's parliamentary electionsbut his gamble to win a majority of seats failed and nearly mirrored the result of two years ago, according to NPR. Trudeau's Liberals were leading or elected in 156 seats one less than they won 2019, and 14 short of the 170 needed for a majority in the House of Commons. The Conservatives were leading or elected in 121 seats, the same number they won in 2019. The leftist New Democrats were leading or elected in 27, a gain of three seats, while the Quebec-based Bloc Quebecois remained unchanged with 32 seats and the Greens were down to two.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan said that LGBTQ+ people should not be "tolerated" but, rather, "respected, celebrated and embraced," PinkNews reported. Recently, he cut the rainbow ribbon at the UK's first-ever LGBT+ retirement community, Tonic@Bankhouse, in Lambeth. Khan stated, "I've always said quite clearly since I've been mayor that in London, you should be free to love who you want to love, and free to be who you want to be." The first five residents have already secured their place at Tonic@Bankhouse, but Khan said that he hopes the LGBTQ+-affirming retirement community will be the "first of many" in the United Kingdom.
On Sept. 26, voters in Switzerland were casting final ballots in a referendum on whether same-sex couples can be allowed to marry, france24.com reported. In-person voting was taking place across the Alpine country to cap the latest of Switzerland's regular referendums that give the public a direct say in policy-making. Switzerland's parliament and the executive Federal Council support the "Marriage for All" measure, for which the most recent voter polls showed solid backing. Switzerland has authorized same-sex civil partnerships since 2007.
Homophobic chants ground a football match in Mexico to a halt as players were forced off the field, PinkNews noted. Players left the field for some 10 minutes in the CONCACAF (The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football) Champions League semifinal second leg in Mexico City, which pitted Cruz Azul against Monterrey. At around the 64-minute mark in Azteca Stadium, the match was stopped as Cruz Azul fans began hurling homophobic insults from the stands. CONCACAF said it will investigate the "offensive and discriminatory" comments. According to a press release (at www.concacaf.com/en/champions-league/news/concacaf-statement-regarding-the-2021-sccl-semifinal-between-cruz-azul-and-cf-monterrey/&, hundreds of Cruz Azul fans were ejected.
The school curriculum in Scotland has been updated to educate students of all ages on LGBTQ+ subject matter, including LGBTQ+ identities, issues and history, GCN.ie reported. "I am proud to say that Scotland is leading the way as the first country in the world to embed LGBT inclusive education right across the curriculum," said Children's Minister Clare Haughey. This historic progression in education follows the 2017 founding of an LGBTQ+ Inclusive Education Working Group that sought to improve LGBTQ+ young people's learning experiences as well as address bullying and discrimination.
A Polish province annulled a motion opposing "LGBT ideology" after the European Union (EU) threatened to pull funding, Reuters noted, citing Polish state news agency PAP. Numerous local authorities in Poland have declared themselves "LGBT free" zones; however, the Swietokrzyskie region repealed a motion that was adopted in June 2019, after the European Commission wrote to five Polish regional councils urging them to abandon such declarations earlier in September. The commission said that, if they did not do so, extra funding for part of the EU bloc's COVID-19 recovery fund could be put on hold.
While speaking at the Budapest Demographic Summit, former Vice President Mike Pence praised Hungary's lowered abortion rates under Prime Minister Viktor Orban's leadership and expressed hope for a similar outcome in the United States, according to a Newsweek item that cited the AP. The Hungarian state news agency reported that Budapest would next year host the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), an annual gathering of primarily U.S. conservative activists and politicians. While Orban's approach to immigration has earned him the admiration of many Western conservatives, they overlook his authoritarian streakincluding his consolidation of Hungary's media, erosion of democratic institutions and discrimination against minorities, including asylum-seekers and LGBTQ+ people.
In an interview with UK LGBTQ+ outlet PinkNews, Tales of the City author Armistead Maupin discussed, among other things, why he finds British transphobia so repellent. He said, in part, "Trans people are getting the s**ty end of the stick right now, thanks to a lot of people who call themselves 'feminists' and aren't, in my book. When I first arrived here I did an interview down at The Times, and this very starchy woman told me: 'Well, many people here reasonably believe that trans women aren't women and are detrimental to the cause of feminism.' I was shocked. I was really shocked; I had never heard a woman in the states, in California certainly, ever state anything like that. And then, of course, we had [Harry Potter writer] JK Rowling step into the fray. It's people not living in their higher selvesnot thinking about what their fellow human beings feel and do and need." He added that people should "show our support by speaking out against anybody in our circles who are making noises like that."
Openly gay human-rights lawyer and anti-Brexit campaigner Jonathan Cooper OBE has died at age 58, the BBC reported. "Jonathan was a half of me and I can't imagine how I will ever be whole again," husband Kevin said. Doughty Street Chambers, in London, said the "dear and brilliant colleague" had "died suddenly … whilst walking in Scotland, adding that Jonathan was an "inspiration and life force throughout the bar and globally."
Strictly Come Dancing's first all-male pairing has been officially announcedand former Great British Bake Off winner John Whaite is ready to "inspire young people," PinkNews noted. Johannes Radebe will be his partner; the South African professional dancer, who is openly gay, has previously hit the ballroom with Catherine Tyleskey and Caroline Quentin. Speaking with PA, Whaite, said that he hopes the dance partnership will help give young queer youth the kind of representation he so needed growing up.
In other dancing-show news, Eurovision 2019 star Bilal Hassani became the first male celebrity to be paired with a male dancer on France's version of Dancing with the Stars, out.com noted. Hassani was paired with professional dancer Jordan Mouillerac, and the pair danced to Sia's song "Courage To Change," dressed in all white. Hassani and Mouillerac wowed the judges enough to earn four buzzers, automatically progressing them to the next round.