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  WINDY CITY TIMES

WORLD Poland march, Google's donation, Ireland incidents, True Colors
by Windy City Times staff
2021-06-20

This article shared 830 times since Sun Jun 20, 2021
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In Poland, thousands marched through central Warsaw on June 19 in an "Equality Parade" demanding an end to discrimination against the LGBT community—amid what campaigners said has been a rising tide of homophobia in the country in recent years, Openly News reported. Marchers gathered outside the neo-Gothic Palace of Culture in Poland's capital, as a DJ played dance music from a stage before the start of the march. Politicians and clergy have been accused of stoking homophobia in Poland. Some conservatives have said they have nothing against gay people; they only oppose what they call "LGBT ideology."

Google.org, the charitable arm of Google, has donated $2 million to OutRight Action International's COVID-19 Global LGBTIQ Emergency Fund, On Top Magazine noted. The fund, founded in April 2020, supports LGBTQ organizations around the world responding to the coronavirus pandemic. "Google.org's support for OutRight's COVID-19 Global LGBTIQ Emergency Fund is truly transformative, doubling its reach and impact," OutRight Executive Director Jessica Stern said. Google.org is also providing $1 million in Google Ad Grants in support of OutRight's advocacy for global LGBT rights.

Twice in a week, Pride flags flown in front of the city council building in Waterford, Ireland, were torn down and, in one incident, burned in an act of arson, out.com reported. Mayor Damien Geoghegan made the announcement in a post to Twitter, where he condemned the act and promised the flags would fly again. According to the Irish Examiner, authorities arrested an unnamed man in his 40s and charged him with criminal damage for the initial incident that took place June 7.

Also in Ireland, an iconic gay bar was the target of homophobic graffiti this week, but the city and community quickly responded, out.com noted. Vandals spray-painted an anti-gay slur on the building next to the PantiBar in Dublin, with an arrow pointing at the famed drag venue. Dublin officials quickly dispatched a cleaning team and the graffiti was quickly removed. The club's owner, Dr. Panti Bliss-Cabrera (a.k.a Rory O'Neill), told the Irish Examiner the act was clearly premeditated and that the incident is being investigated. Dublin is currently celebrating Dublin Pride 2021 throughout June.

Performing from their homes, a coalition of artists presented a new take on the classic song "You Gotta Be," by British singer Des'ree, in the latest True Colors music video, a press release noted. Artists include Mandy Harvey, whose performance on America's Got Talent earned Simon Cowell's Golden Buzzer; Raul Midon, a Grammy nominee who devoted his life to music after being told that blindness would be an obstacle; Kenta Kambara, an accomplished aerial performer who was in the Rio 2016 Paralympics; Signmark, the first deaf artist to be signed to a major record label; and Alienette Coldfire, who placed third in France's Got Talent. True Colors Festival (TCF), presented by The Nippon Foundation, is a series of performing-arts events presented across geographies in celebration of diversity and inclusion as "One World One Family."

Hungary is being investigated by the European Commission over a new law that bans the sharing of LGBTQ content with people under 18, euronews reported. The law—introduced by Fidesz, the movement of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban—will target educational materials at schools and TV shows that target minors and has been described as a broad attack on the country's LGBTQ community ahead of a crucial election in 2022. The president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, confirmed that the bill would be investigated by the European Union.

Elton John and David Furnish have been added to the list of co-hosts for YouTube's virtual Pride celebration, taking place June 25 at 3 p.m. ET/12 p.m. PT, Rolling Stone noted. John and Furnish join an already packed lineup of YouTube Pride 2021 hosts, each of whom will helm their own pride parties on their respective YouTube channels during the event. The other hosts include Demi Lovato, Olly Alexander with Mawaan Rizwan, Trixie Mattel and Daniel Howell.

In Mexico, legislators of the Sinaloa Congress unanimously approved changes in the Family Code to allow same-sex marriage, Vallarta Daily reported. Sinaloa joins several states that have okayed marriage equality, including Baja California (which also just approved it), Quintana Roo, Morelos, Chihuahua, Oaxaca, Puebla and Aguascalientes, among others.

Denmark reopened its borders to fully vaccinated U.S. and British tourists, out.com noted. The Scandinavian country is a popular LGBTQ+ travel destination, and is hosting WorldPride and EuroGames in Copenhagen this August. Americans traveling to Denmark will need to show proof of vaccination using a vaccine approved by the European Medicines Agency. Moderna, Pfizer/BioNTech, and Johnson & Johnson have all received approval, although the final shot must be received at least 14 days prior to the visitor's arrival in the country. Once in Denmark, visitors will still need to wear a mask and follow appropriate social distancing protocols.

Mexico will play its next two official home matches in an empty stadium as part of a punishment following homophobic chants by the team's fans at two Olympic football tournament qualifiers in March, USA Today noted. Those matches—one against Jamaica in September, the other against Canada in October—are both World Cup qualifiers. An investigation was opened by the FIFA Disciplinary Committee into two separate incidents that occurred at matches against the Dominican Republic on March 18 and the United States on March 24 in Guadalajara.

Brandi Carlile's Girls Just Wanna Weekend—a destination concert vacation produced by Cloud 9 Adventures in partnership with The Bowery Presents—will return to the Hard Rock Hotel in Riviera Maya, Mexico on Feb. 1-5, 2022, and once again features an all female-fronted lineup, a press release noted. In addition to multiple sets from Carlile, the event will include performances by Sheryl Crow, Tanya Tucker, Indigo Girls, Lucius, Margo Price, Yola, KT Tunstall, Allison Russell, Amythyst Kiah and Katie Pruitt as well as special guests. Complete details regarding the event and packages are available at www.girlsjustwannaweekend.com .

Tennis players Naomi Osaka has withdrawn from Wimbledon while Rafael Nadal has pulled out of that grass-court tournament as well as the Tokyo Olympics, tennis.com noted. "Naomi won't be playing Wimbledon this year. She is taking some personal time with friends and family," read a statement. Nadal, a 20-time Grand Slam champion, said, "The goal is to prolong my career and continue to do what makes me happy."

For those who appreciate the finer things, Swiss luxury watchmaker Patek Philippe released six new versions of existing models showcasing its artisanal crafts to celebrate its "Rare Handcrafts" exhibition on display through June 26 at the company's headquarters on the Rue du Rhone 41 in Geneva, Robb Report noted. According to the brand, it will be the "richest collection ever to be on display there." Just one is the Patek Philippe Nautilus, which is set with 2,553 flawless Top Wesselton brilliant-cut diamonds totaling approximately 12.69 carats.

Following their 40th-anniversary celebrations last year, which included releasing their greatest hits and anniversary box set, Souvenir, UK act Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD) announced that remastered reissues of their UK Top 20 album Liberator and their 1996 album Universal will be out on vinyl Aug. 6 on UMe/Liberator, a press release noted. Neither album has been available on vinyl since being initially released. OMD also recently announced a "You Me & OMD" live show from London's Indigo at The O2 on June 19, and will tour UK arenas in November.


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