Kenyan authorities arrested a suspect in the death of fashion designer/LGBTQ+-rights activist Edwin Chiloba after his body was found dumped in a metal box by the roadside near the town of Eldoret, according to CNN. Last month, Chiloba wrote on Instagram that he was "going to fight for all marginalized people," saying that he himself had been marginalized, the BBC noted. Rights groups feel the killing was related to Chiloba's sexuality. Gay sex in Kenya is punishable by up to 14 years in prison. Although it is rarely enforced, members of the country's LGBTQ+ community routinely face discrimination and stigma, and efforts to decriminalize gay sex have been thwarted.
In Israel, the Knesset elected Likud MK Amir Ohana as its speaker, shortly before the confidence vote to inaugurate Israel's 37th government, The Times of Israel reported. A former minister in past governments, Ohana is the Knesset's first openly gay person to hold the role. Ohanaconsidered a loyalist of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahuhas previously served as justice minister and public security minister, with his elevation to the former post in 2019 making him Israel's first openly gay minister. Netanyahu has repeatedly insisted he will not allow any infringement on LGBTQ+ rights despite the signing of coalition agreements that state otherwise.
The Irish government has committed to banning so-called conversion therapy throughout the country in 2023, the Los Angeles Blade noted, citing The Irish Mirror. Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth Minister Roderic O'Gorman, who is openly gay, last month described conversion therapy as a "cruel process rooted in the promotion of shame." O'Gorman told the Mirror, "I'd hope to bring the legislation into the Dail [the lower house of the Irish Parliament] next year. Obviously, legislation takes time but I think it's possible we could have it passed by the end of the year. That's certainly what I'd be working toward, but it could drift into 2024." Malta, Brazil and Canada are among the countries that ban the widely discredited practice.
A Taiwanese woman and her female Hong Kong partner won their marriage lawsuit as a Taipei court ordered their household registration office to reinstate the marriage registration of the cross-national same-sex couple, Focus Taiwan reported. In its ruling, the Taipei High Administrative Court revoked the decision to annul the marriage registration of the Taiwanese national, surnamed Liu, and her partner, surnamed Tse, by the Household Registration Office of Taipei's Xinyi District in June 2020.
Lesbian, queer and transgender women in Africa are still forced into heterosexual marriages, and many of them have to keep their sexual orientation and/or gender identity a secret because they are afraid of being victimized or even killed, The Washington Blade reported. Vanilla Husseinthe director of Entrepreneur Empowerment and Advocacy-Health, an LGBTQI-rights group in Kenyasaid traditional beliefs and a lack of government acknowledgement of LGBTQI issues are among the reasons why forced marriages are still rampant across the continent.
Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was sworn in as Brazil's president, and he delivered a searing indictment of far-right former leader Jair Bolsonaro and vowed a drastic change of course to rescue the country, Reuters noted. Bolsonarowho left Brazil for the United States on Dec. 30 after refusing to concede defeatrattled the cages of Brazil's young democracy with baseless claims of electoral weaknesses that birthed a violent movement of election deniers. Da Silvawho was behind bars during Bolsonaro's 2019 inauguration on convictions that were later overturnedaccused his predecessor's administration of committing "genocide" by failing to respond properly to the COVID-19 virus that killed more than 680,000 Brazilians. Da Silva publicly supported LGBTQI+ rights during his 2022 campaign, The Washington Blade noted.
Harry Potter co-star Harry Melling, who played Dudley Dursley in the film series, declared to The Independent that "transgender women are women and transgender men are men," according to PinkNews. Defying British anti-trans Harry Potter writer JK Rowling, Melling said, "Every single person has the right to choose who they are and to identify themselves as what's true to themselves." Rowling's stance has caused fans and stars of the wizarding world like Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint as well as Fantastic Beasts star Eddie Redmayne to speak out against the author.
The Inbetweeners star Simon Bird has admitted he doesn't think the British show has aged well due to its "casual homophobia," according to PinkNews. The actorwho played Will McKenzie in the late 2000s teen comedysaid he didn't think it would be made today, predominantly due to its sexism and underlying homophobic rhetoric. During a December 2020 interview, journalists Freddy McConnell and Shon Faye discussed the prevalence of transphobia in the UK, citing shows like The Inbetweeners as representative of casual transphobic rhetoric within society.
The famed British soccer team Manchester United promised to confront homophobia and other forms of discrimination after supporters aimed the anti-gay "Chelsea rent boy" chant at Everton player Frank Lampard, PinkNews noted. The infamous chant has been classified as an anti-gay hate crime and has been widely criticized by several soccer teams. "Homophobia, like all forms of discrimination, has no place in [soccer]," the team said, according to the Athletic.
In Scotland, an official defended a primary school after it faced criticism for asking pupils to fill out a survey that included questions about gender and sexuality, The National reported. Emma Roddick MSP (member of the Scottish Parliament) said that the survey issued at Merkinch Primarywhich asked pupils whether they identified as gay or transgenderwould help open up conversations and "allow space for acceptance" of children and parents who are LGBT+. A photograph of the survey was posted on social media by Scottish Family Party member Niall Fraser, who claimed that Scottish schools were "rainbow indoctrination camps."
In Indonesia, the city of Medan (in the country's North Sumatra province) has been declared "anti-LGBT" by its mayor, Muhammad Bobby Afif Nasution, PinkNews noted. Nasution lashed out at same-sex couples celebrating New Year's Eve together in the city in a homophobic rant, claiming, "There isn't a single ethnic group in Medan that supports same-sex relationships." Same-sex sexual activity is illegal in two provinces of IndonesiaAceh, a conservative Muslim province that practices Shariah law; and South Sumatra, a Muslim-majority province, according to the Human Dignity Trust.
Mexican pop superstar Gloria Trevi has once again been accused of "grooming" and exploiting underage girls in the early 1990s for the benefit of her ex-producer, Sergio Andrade, Yahoo! noted. (Rolling Stone originally reported on the matter.) Two Jane Does have alleged that Trevi, now 54, and Andrade used their "role, status, and power" to initiate sexual contact with them over several years when they were just 13 and 15 years old, respectively, with the alleged abuse occurring in Los Angeles County. Trevi and Andrade were first accused of corrupting and abusing minors in the '90s and, in January 2000, the pair and backup singer María Raquenel Portillo were arrested for their connection to an alleged cult-like sex ring; Trevi served four years in prison but was eventually acquitted.