A Croatian court has ruled that same-sex partners can now adopt children, backing a same-sex couple in their five-year fight for the right to family life, Openly News reported. On April 21, Zagreb's Administrative Court ruled that same-sex couples should not face discrimination in state adoption, the LGBTQ group Rainbow Families Association (RFA) said on its website, alongside a redacted copy of the judgment. Croatia has introduced human rights reform since joining the European Union in 2013, but the Catholic-majority country remains relatively conservative, with media reporting Pride flags being burned and attacks on LGBT+ Croatians.
More than a dozen lesbian couples have gone to court since August to try to reform Germany's civil code, which does not recognize lesbian parents and forces the second woman to apply to adopt her own child, according to Openly News. Germany is one of the most liberal countries in the world in terms of LGBT+ rights. Same-sex relations have been legal since the 1960s and LGBT+ people have wide-ranging workplace discrimination protections and are allowed to serve in the military. However, a 2019 study by the Robert Bosch Stiftung, a charitable foundation, found that 21% of Germans did not believe gay men or lesbians should be able to have children.
Police in Tonga are investigating the death of one of the country's leading LGBTQI+ activists after his body was found on a beach near his home in Tongatapu, Tonga's main island, according to The Guardian. A 27-year-old man was charged with the murder of Polikalepo Kefu, 41. Kefu, who was affectionately known as "Poli", was the president of Tonga Leitis Associationan organization dedicated to the country's LGBTQ+ communities, providing support services, advocacy, and education on HIV-AIDS. Police declined to comment if they suspected Kefu's death was a hate crime.
In Canada, Ken Haire, 71, has won the fight to access his late partner's Canadian National Railway (CN Rail) pension after initially being denied because he was in a same-sex relationship, CBC.ca reorted. CN Rail had withheld pensions from Haire, the widower of late employee Gerry Schwarz, who died in 2012. The offer letter recognized him as the common law spouse of Schwarz, a CN employee for 30 years, and granted him the survivor pension for the rest of his life.
Also in Canada, Ottawa drag performer Sunshine Glitterchild has become popular for bringing joy to a palliative-care facility, ET Canada noted. The performances of Shirley Bassey's version of Stevie Wonder's "You Are The Sunshine Of My Life" and ABBA's "Dancing Queen" have since gone viral. "We may only have days or weeks left with her so I had to act fast," she captioned the video.
A Taiwan court ruled in favor of a Taiwanese-Macanese same-sex couple in a legal test case greeted by activists as a first step toward getting full recognition of same-sex unions with foreigners, france24.com reported. Taiwan legalized marriage equality in 2019; more than 5,700 same-sex couples have wed since then but there are still some restrictions that opposite-sex couples do not face. Under current rules, Taiwanese can marry foreignersbut only those from countries where same-sex marriage is also recognized. The Taipei High Administrative Court revoked a government office's 2019 decision to reject the marriage registration of Ting Tse-yen and his partner Leong Chin-fai, who's from Macau.
In Israel, trans parents will now be able to be recorded on their children's birth certificates as "parent" after a landmark court ruling, PinkNews reported. The High Court of Justice ruled that transgender parents will now be registered as "parent"but not "mother" or "father"on birth certificates in a case brought by a trans man and his partner. The ruling came in the case of Yonatan and Daniel Martin Marom, two men who had a son together. After the baby was born Yonatan, who is trans, found that his legal gender had been changed without his permission from male to female and that he'd been registered as his child's "mother."
Kosovo police said they are looking into allegations that the life of a well-known LGBT activist, Lend Mustafa, was threatened, Balkan Insight noted. Mustafa said in a post on Facebook that he was threatened in Pristina's main square. "It is noon in the square and a bearded boy spat in my face and shouted 'I will kill you,'" Mustafa wrote. The Centre for Equality and Libertya local organization that advocates for the rights of the LGBT community in Kosovocondemned the threat and urged the police to bring the perpetrator to justice.
The International Weightlifting Federation revised its qualifying requirements for Olympic selection due to COVID-19 after a meeting, making it so that athletes are required to attend only four competitions instead of the previous sixa development that puts New Zealand weightlifter Laurel Hubbard on track to become the first transgender athlete to compete at an Olympics, ESPN.co.uk reported. Hubbard, 43, competed in men's weightlifting competitions before transitioning in 2013. Weightlifting New Zealand, the national body for the sport, has been a staunch supporter of Hubbard's right to lift in women's competitions.
Italian rap artist Fedez made headlines over accusations that his country's television censors tried to block remarks in support of the LGBTQ community, according to Queerty. ABC News reported that Fedez made the comments supporting the so-called Zan Lawwhich would add women, disabled and queer people to Italy's list of protected classesduring a concert that aired on RAI state television. RAI denied pressuring Fedez to scrub any remarks in support of Zan Law, or demanding to approve any political remarks in advance.
The International Tennis Federation (ITF) is seeking a new host city for the finals of the Billie Jean King Cup, formerly the Fed Cup, after Budapest backed out because of COVID-19 concerns, tennis.com noted. The Hungarian capital was due to host the 12-nation tournament but the event has twice been postponed because of the pandemic, and the country's tennis association has informed the ITF that it won't be able to host in 2021.
British world-champion diver Tom Daley added two more gold medals to his career collection with his recent victories at the FINA World Cup competition taking place in Tokyo, Japan, out.com noted. Daley bested the competition in the 10-meter platform and the synchronized 10-meter dive (the latter with Matty Lee) at the test event for the Olympics later this summer, also in Tokyo. Daley, who's married to Oscar-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black, said hello to their son, Robbie, after the wins.
By commemorating the bicentennial of Napoleon's death on May 5, French President Emmanuel Macron fully embraced the emperor's vast legacy in building most of the modern French state's institutions, from the penal and civil codes to the appellate court and high schools, Politico noted. However, he also recognized that his restoration of slavery in French colonies in 1802 was a "treason" that the Second Republic "rectified." Macron said, "Napoleon [was both] ogre and eagle, Alexandre and Nero … the soul of the world and the demon of Europe."
Pink Triangle Press (PTP), a Canadian LGBTQ2S+ media group and publisher of Xtra Magazine, announced Tre'vell Anderson (they/them) as this year's Fellow under the Ken Popert Media Fellowship program, according to a press release. Anderson is an award-winning writer, editor and podcaster based in Los Angeles. Listed as one of The Root's 100 most influential African Americans of 2020, Anderson is a co-host of the Fanti podcast, a contributor to the Los Angeles Times and regional director of the National Association of Black Journalists.
Delegates to the International Federation of Actors (FIA) 22nd World Congress elected Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) President Gabrielle Carteris to serve as the organization's presidentthe first time a U.S. leader has been elected to helm the nearly 70-year-old global union federation, a press release noted. Carteris rose to prominence playing Andrea Zuckerman on the hit Aaron Spelling drama Beverly Hills, 90210. Her long list of credits includes Code Black, Criminal Minds, Make It or Break It, The Event, Longmire, The Middle and the recent reboot BH90210, among many others.
PinkNews reported that Princess Diana worked out a queer men's gym because she "really liked gay guys" and she felt "at ease" around them, according to pioneering entrepreneur Jeremy Norman. In the 1990s, Norman set up Soho Gyms, a chain that catered primarily to gay menand Princess Diana, apparently. She was a member of his Earl's Court Gym at the time of her death, he said. When AIDS was decimating the LGBT+ community in the 1980s and 1990s, Princess Diana helped challenge stigma and discriminatory views by visibly hugging and holding hands with HIV positive patients.
Scarlett Johansson has joined the outcry against the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), adding her voice to fellow Avenger Mark Ruffalo, Deadline noted. "As an actor promoting a film, one is expected to participate in awards season by attending press conferences as well as awards shows," Johansson said in her statement. "In the past, this has often meant facing sexist questions and remarks by certain HFPA members that bordered on sexual harassment. It is the exact reason why I, for many years, refused to participate in their conferences." Still silent is Disneywhose Black Widow, starring Johansson, is coming in July to theaters and Disney+ Premier Access; however, Amazon Studios and Netflix have both spoken out against the HFPA. On May 6, about 75 of the insular HFPA's 86 members voted for an inclusion and overhaul proposal the group's board put forth.
The Noel Clarke fallout continues, with The Guardian reporting that the actor has now been accused of sexual harassment by several women on the set of BBC flagship show Doctor Who, according to Deadline. Clarke acted in the series as vehicle technician Mickey Smith from 2005 to 2010. Clarke continues to strenuously deny all allegations of sexual misconduct or criminal wrongdoing, including from the new articlebut has said he will seek professional help for his behavior.