Namibia's High Court ruled against a gay couple battling to obtain travel documents for their twin daughters, born to a surrogate in South Africa, after authorities refused to do so on the basis the infants were not citizens, Reuters reported. Namibian Phillip Luhl and Mexican husband Guillermo Delgado had already been fighting for citizenship for their two-year-old son when the twins, born in March, were refused the documents required to enter Namibia. Namibian authorities say Luhl must prove a genetic link to the children. In an urgent application to the court, the fathers asked Judge Thomas Masuku to compel the home affairs ministry to issue the documents to bring their new daughters home; he refused, citing "judicial overreach."
U.S. missions overseas can once again fly the LGBTQ Pride flag on their official flagpoles, according to an internal State Department cable that ABC News obtained. The policy, announced by Secretary of State Antony Blinken, repeals his predecessor Mike Pompeo's effective ban on Pride flags or others from flying at U.S. embassies and consulates. Under Pompeo, a conservative Republican, posts were barred from flying any flag other than the U.S. flag on official flagpoles and had to seek permission to fly the Pride flag, which was denied to several embassies.
The Organization for Refuge, Asylum and Migration announced the launch of an in-depth research project to examine the conditions for LGBTIQ asylum seekers and refugees in Kakuma Refugee Camp in northern Kenya, a press release noted. The report is being produced in collaboration with Rainbow Railroad, a multinational non-profit organization based in Canada and the U.S. that assists LGBTIQ people flee violence and persecution. According to the release, "Recent events in Kakuma refugee camp, including the tragic death of a young Ugandan LGBTIQ refugee who lost his life after an arson attack, have precipitated the need for a better understanding of the situation on the ground."
A 15-year-old transgender boy in Australia who died by suicide was given two separate funerals after his father insisted on deadnaming his son on his headstone, according to out.com . According to a report in The West Australian, the boy from Perth had died in hospital on March 4 but funeral plans were put on hold until the dispute could be resolved in Family Court. The pair eventually agreed to split the boy's ashes and bury them in separate ceremonies. The unnamed mother said her son fought hard for his gender identity, even worrying about the name he'd used at his new school for his email login.
Five officials from the inner circle of Chechnya's autocratic leader, Ramzan Kadyrov, are the subject of a criminal complaint in Germany for crimes against humanity, in a legal attempt to seek justice over the Russian republic's anti-LGBTQ purges, The Guardian reported. The 97-page charge sheet accuses the Chechen military and state apparatus of persecution, unlawful arrests, torture, sexual violence and incitement to murder at least 150 individuals on the basis of their sexual orientation since February 2017. If the general prosecutor in Karlsruhe decides to take on the case, Kadyrov's associates could face arrest warrants if they set foot in Germany.
In Northern Ireland, politicians passed a motion (by a vote of 59-24) calling for a ban on gay conversion therapy "in all its forms," the BBC reported. It was proposed by Ulster Unionist assembly members (MLAs) Doug Beattie and John Stewart. The non-binding motion argued it is "fundamentally wrong" to view the LGBTQ community as needing a "fix or cure." The practice is already outlawed in Switzerland as well as parts of Australia, Canada and the United States.
A gay congressman from Guatemala survived a robbery attempt on April 19, The Washington Blade reported. Aldo Davila sent the Blade a surveillance video that shows three men approaching his vehicle while it was stopped at a traffic light near Guatemala's National Library in Guatemala City; the three men appeared to have weapons when they approached the vehicle. (Davila was uninjured.) In 2019, Davilaa member of the Winaq movement, a leftist party founded by Rigoberta Menchu, an indigenous human rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize winnerbecame the first openly gay man elected to Guatemala's congress.
In Canada, the British Colombia education minister is ordering the Chilliwack education board to make reforms after an audit study sparked questions regarding its administration after many years of scandals, scrutiny, and concerns, SouthFloridaGayNews.com noted. According to The Georgia Straight, since 2017, Barry Neufeld, Chilliwack school trustee since 1993, has made headlines for his questionable behaviors and opinions. Neufeld has been the center of scandals for his stances on LGBT issues, questions about the gender identity of Canada's chief public health officer and the use an ableist slur against journalists.
In Australia, five men threatened their new gay neighbor, hair artist Mykey O'Halloran, to keep him from painting his house in the colors of the rainbowbut their plan backfired, helping him get more than 100 supporters to help him paint his house, LGBTQ Nation noted. Authorities arrested at least one of the threatening men, and charged him with unlawful assault and threat-making, according to the Star Observer. Now, O'Halloran is planning to organize the first Pride parade for Phillip Island, which has at least 7,000 residents. He launched a GoFundMe to begin the effort at https://www.gofundme.com/f/phillip-island-future-pride-events.
Also in Australia, a lesbian couple were jailed after a nightlong crime spree, LGBTQ Nation reported. Eleanor Ashford and Sarah Canceri used an axe, a knife and a hammer to rob multiple gas stations before being apprehended. No one was injured in the robberies or the arrests.
A former Swedish LGBTQ-rights activist was convicted of raping four migrants during his work, Euronews reported. The 56-year-old man was a member of Sweden's largest LGBT organization, RFSL, where he allegedly helped migrants obtain asylum on the grounds of their sexual orientation. In April 2020, he was accused of raping four men and exposing two of them to sexual harassment in his office. In a statement, the RFSL welcomed the decision and urged those affected to seek redress.
The IGLTA Foundation has opened applications for its new Impact Award, which recognizes a smaller business member of IGLTA (fewer than 10 employees) whose initiatives encourage the responsible development of tourism in three key areas: environment, community, and diversity and inclusion, a press release announced. The Impact Award presentation will be held in Atlanta on Sept. 11 at the IGLTA Annual Global Convention, and the deadline is May 21. The application is at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdu_suF7gc6oN8Egcd8bLLpznqLz9qREE4hFAvsQor2s04nGQ/viewform?pli=1.
The American Humanist Association (AHA) announced that it is retroactively taking away its "Humanist of the Year" award from British biologist/atheist author Richard Dawkins, citing his statements attacking transgender people, LGBTQ Nation reported. The group gave him the award in 1996 for his work in bringing science into the public discourse, but has now said that he doesn't represent the organization's values any longer because he has been attacking transgender people under "the guise of scientific discourse." On April 10, Dawkins tweeted, "In 2015, Rachel Dolezal, a white chapter president of NAACP, was vilified for identifying as Black. Some men choose to identify as women, and some women choose to identify as men. You will be vilified if you deny that they literally are what they identify as. Discuss."
Indian director Ekta Kapoor called out online users criticizing the successful launch of an Indian lesbian+ TV series, Gay Times Magazine noted. Kapoor's latest project, The Married Woman, follows the life of Astha and her journey to discover her true identity as she blurs all the boundaries set by society to find the love story she never knew she longed for. In part, she posted, "Staying closeted could be claustrophobic in a world where accepting one's sexuality and gender choice is a constant struggle; let's normalize these love stories one step at a time."
Harry Styles, Cara Delevingne and Sam Smith are among the nominees for the British LGBT Awards, Yahoo! Style reported. The accolades are designed to celebrate figures from across business, charity, art and entertainment who "stood shoulder to shoulder" with the community in the last year. Styles is in the MTV music artist category alongside Lil Nas X, Lizzo, Smith and The 1975. Some of the other categories include Online Influencers, Media Moments, Football (Soccer) Allies, and Charities or Community Initiatives. The ceremony will take place Aug. 27.
Anthony Powella three-time Oscar-winning British costume designer who garbed characters from Indiana Jones to Norma Desmonddied at age 85, Deadline reported. With a career that stretched from the 1960s well into the 21st century, Powell (who was born in Chorlton-cum-Hardy, England) designed costumes for such stars as Angela Lansbury, Glenn Close, Lauren Bacall, Harrison Ford, Paul Newman, Bette Davis, Warren Beatty, Steve McQueen, Sean Connery and Betty Buckley, among others.
A British drum major slated to participate in Prince Philip's funeral was dropped from the proceedings after pornographic videos he'd made were discovered, Page Six noted, citing The Sun. Color Sergeant Harry Sutton had been scheduled to lead the Band of the Grenadier Guards into Windsor Castle as part of the Duke of Edinburgh's funeral proceedings. However, he was replaced with only hours to spare when commanding officers discovered adult films Sutton and his partner Gemma Nixon had made and shared on a subscription site.