In a historic ruling, the Supreme Court of Mauritius decriminalized same-sex sexual relations when it declared the African country's British colonial-era anti-sodomy laws relations to be unconstitutional, The Advocate reported. The decision was handed down in the case of Ah Seek v. State of Mauritius. In the case, activist Abdool Ridwan Firaas and the advocacy group Collectif-Arc-en-Ciel sued, saying section 250 (1) of the Mauritian Criminal Code 1838which outlaws anal sex between two menviolated the constitutional protections based upon a person's gender. The London-based group Human Dignity Trust aided the plaintiffs.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he never suggested that individuals concerned about their rights as parents were hateful when he issued a statement in response to the thousands who attended recent protests about "gender ideology" in schools, per The Globe and Mail. Speaking to reporters in Vaughan, Ontario, Trudeau said the item he posted Sept. 20 on X, formerly Twitter, was about taking a stand for the LGBTQ+ community. Trudeau said in the post that "transphobia, homophobia and biphobia have no place in this country," adding that the country condemns "this hate and its manifestations."
A gay couple (Callum Griggs and Brad Balueta) was beaten in broad daylight on a London public street by a homophobic gang wielding a nail-studded wooden panel, The Advocate noted, citing Yahoo! News UK. The only people to help were two women identified as Ellie and Molly who saw the pair just after the attack as they drove past in their car and gave the couple a ride home. Griggs, a teaching assistant and sports coach, suffered a bleeding and damaged eye.
In the UK, legendary singer Dame Shirley Bassey was recognized as an "Honorary Gay" at the 2023 Virgin Atlantic Attitude Awards, powered by Jaguar. The London show raised money for the Attitude Magazine Foundation to help LGBTQ+ causes. Singer Jacob Lusk opened the award segment with a rendition of Bassey's James Bond hit "Diamonds Are Forever." Dylan Mulvaney, Layton Williams and Luke Evans were among the attendees; and Mulvaney, Lusk, soccer player Jake Daniels and Le Gateau Chocolat were some of the other award recipients, according to Attitude Magazine. Alan Carr and Amanda Holden hosted the event.
Drag queen Pura Luka Vega (real name: Amadeus Fernando Pagente)who dressed as Jesus Christ and performed a rock rendition of The Lord's Prayerwas arrested in the Philippines under the country's obscenity laws, CNN reported. The performer was taken into police custody on Wednesday under a law that prohibits "immoral doctrines, obscene publications and exhibitions, and indecent shows" by "offending any religion," a statement noted. The arrest launched debates about free speech and LGBTQ+ rights. Online videos of the drag artist belting the Tagalog version of The Lord's Prayer alongside bar patrons sparked a backlash from religious organizations.
In Nepal, lower courts have refused to register an LGBTQ+ couple's marriage, despite the Supreme Court's recent decision, PinkNews noted. In July, Supreme Court Justice Til Pradad Shrestha ruled that same-sex marriages could legally be registereddespite the country's civil code that describes marriage as being between a man and a woman. Surendra Pandey, a cisgender man, and Maya Gurung, a transgender woman, were married in 2017, but have had their registration rejected twice; since Gurung is legally recognized in Nepal as a male, their marriage falls under the category of same-sex marriage. The couple are considering appealing once again to the Supreme Court.
In the UK, a group of transgender activists staged a protest in London on Oct. 10 to make a stand against the Tory government's continued attacks on trans people, according to PinkNews. Protestors waved flares in the colors of the trans flag and unfurled a banner over the River Thames while marching over Vauxhall Bridge in central London. The protest came days after the Conservative Party conference, during which several ministers made anti-LGBTQ+ and -immigration comments. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak was widely condemned by LGBTQ+ people and allies after an Oct. 4 speech in which he claimed the British public are being "bullied" into believing "people can be any sex they want to be."
Iran's jailed women's-rights advocate Narges Mohammadi won the Nobel Peace Prize, Reuters reported. The move was seen as a rebuke to Tehran's theocratic leaders and a boost for anti-government protesters. The award committee said the prize honored all those behind recent unprecedented demonstrations in Iran and called for the release of Mohammadi, who has campaigned for both women's rights and the abolition of the death penalty. Mohammadi is serving multiple sentences in Tehran's Evin Prison that add up to 12 years.
Marriott International shared the results of a study into LGBTQ+ travel trends regarding people who reside in the Caribbean and Latin America (CALA), per a press release. When choosing a destination within CALA, LGBTQ+ travelers pointed to inclusion as the top deciding factor (47%); other determining factors included safety and security, perceptions of discrimination and prejudice, language barriers and the availability of LGBTQ+-friendly establishments The study was conducted online in August and September.
Colombian singer Karol G was honored for her philanthropic work at the 2023 Billboard Latin Music Awards, where she accepted the Spirit of Hope Award for her women's advocacy work with the Con Cora Foundation, USA Today noted. The awardcreated in honor of Latin pop icon Selenarecognizes artists who have demonstrated "exceptional commitment to civic, community and humanitarian causes beyond their artistic success," according to a press release from Billboard.
British comedian, actor and trans activist Eddie Suzy Izzard will star as literary character Doctor Jekyll in a "dark twisted fairytale" re-imagining of the classic horror tale, PinkNews noted. The first trailer for the Hammer Horror flick Doctor Jekyllbased on Robert Louis Stevenson's 1886 work The Strange Case Of Dr Jekyll And Mr Hydestars Izzard as Dr. Nina Jekyll/Rachel Hyde, a pharmaceutical industry business tycoon living in a secluded mansion. Directed by Joe Stephenson and written by Dan Kelly-Mulhern, the cast also features Simon Callow and Jonathan Hyde, among others.
The 1975 lead singer Matty Healy defended kissing his bandmate onstage in Malaysia in a 10-minute speech delivered at a concert in Dallas, the BBC noted. He addressed criticism of his conduct at the Malaysian festival, during which he protested the country's anti-LGBTQ+ laws and then kissed his bandmate. In part, he described online anger over the performance as "liberal outrage," adding that criticism of the band for "remaining consistent" by performing its "pro-LGBT stage show" was confusing.
Eight-time Grammy winner Gloria Estefan is writing the music and lyrics for an original stage musical called Five Notes, about Paraguay's Recycled Orchestra of Cateura, per Deadline. Five Notes is inspired by the Orquesta De Reciclados De Cateura, also known as The Recycled Orchestra of Cateura and the Recycled Orchestraa music group composed of children from Asuncion, Paraguay, who played musical instruments made from scrap materials collected from a local landfill.
Simone Biles won four gold medals at the Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Antwerp, Belgium, CNN noted. Biles ended things by finishing first in the floor exercise, as she completed her first international competition since her two-year break from gymnastics. The gold in floor was Biles' 23rd world championship gold medal and was her second of the day (Oct. 8), having also won the beam competition. Biles has now earned 30 career medals at the world championships as well as a record 37 total medals across both the Olympics and the world championships.
In Australia, The Phantom of the Opera's Sarah Brightman will star in a new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Sunset Boulevard that will premiere in Melbourne in May 2024 at the Princess Theatre, followed by an engagement at the Sydney Opera House in August, Playbill reported. In her first theatrical role in more than three decades, the internationally acclaimed concert artist will head the cast as faded silent screen star Norma Desmond. Brightman originated the role of Christine in Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera both in the West End and on Broadway; since then, she has become the world's best-selling soprano, with global sales of 30 million items.
The car that noted driver/LGBTQ+ ally Lewis Hamilton drove to his first Formula One win for Mercedes will hit the block Nov. 17 at an RM Sotheby's auction in Las Vegas, according to AutoBlog. Named for its chassis, W04, the car won the Hungarian Grand Prix with Hamilton in the cockpit in 2013. It's the only Mercedes F1 vehicle from the modern era not owned by Mercedes, team principal/CEO Toto Wolff or by Hamilton himself, according to the auction house. RM Sotheby's estimates its value to be $10 million to $15 million.
Nonbinary pro wrestler Max the Impaler defeated Rika Tatsumi at Tokyo Joshi Pro Wrestling's (TJPW's) "Wrestle Princess IV" event to become the new TJPW International Princess champion, Outsports noted. Max is now the first out nonbinary wrestler to ever win a singles championship in a major Japanese wrestling promotion and the first out trans pro wrestler to win a singles title in TJPW. In January, they won the TJPW Princess Tag Team championships with Wasteland War Party partner Heidi Howitzer, becoming the first out LGBTQ+ wrestlers to win TJPW gold.
Big Brother UK teen contestant Hallie received support from around the house after coming out as trans, Out noted. After saying, "I'm a trans woman if you didn't knowjust wanted to bring that up," castmates immediately hugged her and said "Good for you," among other things. Hallie also said that if she wins, she wants to use the money for her transition.
The Dutch government confirmed the authenticity of a Nazi party card held by Prince Bernhardprince consort for decades after World War Two, the BBC noted. Former head of the palace archives Flip Maarschalkerweerd said he found the card while going through the prince's things after his death. Bernhard, a German aristocrat, repeatedly denied being a member of Adolf Hitler's NSDAP political party; however, historians were skeptical of said denials.
Elon Musk recommended that his nearly 160 million X followers should follow two accounts for updates on the Gaza-Israel conflictonly for CNN journalist Jake Tapper to prove one of them has a history of anti-Semitic content, Yahoo! noted. Musk had tweeted, "For following the war in real-time, @WarMonitors and @sentdefender are good." However, Tapper showed screenshots of War Monitor displaying one derogatory message sent to a user named Avi Kaner and wrote, "Elon Musk lauds this bigot as a good source of information, part Infiniti."