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Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2022-06-08



WORLD Religious leaders, Canadian monument, Sri Lanka, Ukrainian clinics
by Andrew Davis

This article shared 923 times since Sun Mar 27, 2022
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More than 150 senior religious leaders from around the globe have committed to protecting LGBTQ+ people in faith communities, according to PinkNews. A "revolutionary" set of safeguarding principles were set out by the 2022 conference of the Global Interfaith Commission on LGBT+ Lives. The group discussed recently commissioned research into conversion therapy practices in the Caribbean and Hungary and its findings—including the "significantly higher levels of suicide attempts, suicidal thoughts and self-harm experienced" by survivors. In response, the religious leaders agreed to six principles designed to protect LGBT+ people in religious communities.

Canada will soon have a national monument to honor LGBTQ2S+ communities that features a cloud-shaped, disco-ball inspired structure as well as stages that can be used for protests and performances, according to CTV News. The winning design for the planned federal monument—meant to commemorate and honor the victims and survivors of Canada's so-called LGBTQ2S+ purge and others in the community who have been marginalized for who they are—was revealed by representatives from the LGBT Purge Fund, the federal government and the project team. Called "Thunderhead," the monument—conceived by a team based in Winnipeg— will be built in Ottawa.

The U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women decided a law that criminalizes consensual same-sex sexual activity in Sri Lanka has violated a lesbian activist's rights, The Washington Blade reported. The committee published its decision in the case of Rosanna Flamer-Caldera, executive director of Equal Ground, a Sri Lankan LGBTQ+-rights group. In part, the ruling indicated Flamer-Caldera has been "threatened frequently and has faced abuse from the media and the public" since she co-founded a support group for lesbian and bisexual women in 1999. She founded Equal Ground in 2004.

In basement shelters and makeshift clinics, Ukrainian doctors are trying to keep treatment for HIV-positive people on track as Russia's invasion raises fears that years of progress to combat the virus could be undone, Openly News reported. Russian bombing and fighting have shuttered HIV clinics in two Ukrainian cities and forced others to limit their services, a leading nonprofit said, while the supply and distribution of vital antiretroviral drugs is also at risk. Infectious-disease experts say the war could unleash a public-health crisis in Ukraine and neighboring countries regarding HIV, tuberculosis (TB), hepatitis C and opioid addiction.

An app produced by the Malaysian government that promised to help the LGBTQ+ community "return to nature" has been removed from the Google Play store after it was found to be in breach of the platform's guidelines, The Guardian reported. The app was first released in July 2016, but attracted new attention after it was shared on Twitter by the Malaysian government's Islamic development department. It claimed the app would enable LGBTQ+ people to return to a state of nature or purity, and that it included an e-book detailing the experience of a gay man who "abandoned homosexual behavior" during Ramadan.

A report says that so-called conversion therapy is still widely practiced across South Africa, impacting the well-being of the LGBTQ community in the process, The Washington Blade noted. Access-Chapter 2, a South African NGO, found conversion therapy is proving to be more harmful toward the society and could pose serious repercussions in the future if nothing is done to address it. The study notes 50 percent of respondents "have reported to have been forced to convert by their families, while 43 percent [of respondents] had a session with a religious representative or institution as intervention by parents, families, or communities."

TikTok has been running a questionable word-filtering system in Germany, Deutsche Welle noted. The popular Chinese-owned social network has been blocking posts that contain German-language words relating to Nazis, LGBTQ culture and the tennis player Peng Shuai, according to research by NDR, WDR and ARD's Tagesschau. Words such as "porn" and "sex" were blocked, presumably to protect minors. However, words such as "gay," "queer," "LGBTQ" and "homosexual" were also blocked. Other words that were partially blocked include "transsexual" and "government in exile." In Peng's case, the company claimed her name was automatically blocked because it contained the letters "Hua"—a derogatory term sometimes used for sex workers in Austria.

England's players will aim to use their platform to shine a light on issues surrounding this year's World Cup in Qatar, according to Thomson Reuters Foundation News. Homosexuality is illegal in Qatar while a report by Amnesty International found that thousands of migrant workers in the country were being exploited, which the country has denied. England manager Gareth Southgate said he was unhappy some fans will not feel able to travel to Qatar for the World Cup due to concerns over human-rights issues. Captain Harry Kane added that he and his teammates would discuss the issues in greater depth and suggested he could speak to other national team captains to take a unified stance.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has defended anti-trans British writer JK Rowling against "cancel culture," according to LGBTQ Nation. "They canceled JK Rowling, the children's author recently," Putin said during a speech. "Her books are published all over the world. Just because she didn't satisfy the demands of gender rights." Russia currently has a ban on "gay propaganda" that prevents the publication of pro-LGBTQ books, articles and social-media posts. Interestingly, Rowling didn't like the high-level endorsement, per . "Critiques of Western cancel culture are possibly not best made by those currently slaughtering civilians for the crime of resistance, or who jail and poison their critics," she wrote, adding,"#IStandWith Ukraine."

NBC News compiled a list of 13 must-see LGBTQ art shows around the world. Some of them include "Francis Bacon: 'Man and Beast,'" at London's Royal Academy of Arts; "Kehinde Wiley: 'The Prelude,'" at London's National Gallery; "Being Muholi: Portraits as Resistance," at Boston's Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum; Lauren Halsey's installation at the Seattle Art Museum; and "Queer: Stories from the NGV Collection," at the National Gallery of Victoria, in Melbourne, Australia.

In the UK, it was announced that Nottingham's oldest LGBTQ+ bar would be sold, Nottinghamshire Live reported. Owner Debbie Law confirmed she was selling the New Foresters, which has served as a "safe space" for the LGBTQ+ community since the 1950s. She said the reason behind the decision was due to the pain she was suffering from fibromyalgia "starting to get worse." Speaking to Nottinghamshire Live, she said: "My main aim is to make sure that I can pass it to a person who has the same passion and dedication that I have had for the last 21 years. We all need a safe haven, whether you are gay, straight or bisexual."

The house-music festival Defected Croatia is slated to take place Aug. 4-9 at The Garden Resort, in Tisno, the event's website noted. The website states that "house heads of all generations and over 80 world-class DJs and musicians gather for Defected Croatia festival." A few of the acts scheduled to appear include Bob Sinclar, Danny Tenaglia, Syreeta, Jellybean Benitez, DJ Holographic, Dimitri from Paris, Riva Starr, Derrick Carter and Anna Collecta. See

In Canada, police and local agencies supporting LGBTQ2S+ communities are asking potential victims of a theft investigation dating back to the fall of 2021 to come forward, per City News. Investigators say they arrested a 20-year-old man, Jackson Luu, in late February after stealing money from victims he met over social media and online dating platforms in the Toronto area. As more people share their stories while the investigation continues, Luu faces several more charges, including 11 counts of theft, 13 counts of possession of property obtained by crime and 15 counts of unauthorized use of credit card data.

Canadians Eric Radford and Vanessa James took bronze in pairs figure skating at the World Championships—cementing a comeback for Radford, an out gay skater, that just a couple years ago seemed impossible, Outsports reported. Radford, 37, had previously won the Olympic Games medal trifecta—gold, silver and bronze—with then-partner Meagan Duhamel. The U.S. pair of Timothy LeDuc (the first non-binary person to compete in the Olympics) and Ashley Cain-Gribble also competed; they were second overall after the short program, but several falls by Cain-Gribble forced the two to withdraw from the competition.

In Britain, fashion designer Ross Griffiths has been nominated in the Esteem Award category of the Positive Awards, the Lancashire Post reported. Griffiths—who only recently launched his first online label, Kingfisher Couture—said, "When I was younger I mixed in with the wrong crowds and turned to the life of a criminal. Then I was diagnosed with HIV 11 years ago—and this was the turning point in my life." He has been approached by Lancashire Food Festival to take his fashions to the event in May, when he will be showcasing some of his designs on his first-ever catwalk; he will also be attending Cheshire Fashion Show in June/July alongside the Liverpool Fashion Week Spring Showcase in April. Positive Award winners will be announced April 30; people can vote for Griffiths at .

Canadian singer Avril Lavigne said she would want queer actress Kristen Stewart to portray her in a movie biopic, per Out Magazine. "I'm trying to think, Kristen Stewart would be cool to play me in a film," the rock star said at the iHeartMusic Awards. "Yeah, she's dope, yeah!" Stewart has already rocked out as Joan Jett in the Runaways movie, so she has experience playing a young female rock star.

BTS became the world's top artist as global recorded-music revenues soared to almost $26 billion, Variety noted. The global recorded music market grew by 18.5% in 2021, driven by growth in paid subscription streaming, according to IFPI (International Federation of the Phonographic Industry), the organization that represents the recorded music industry worldwide. The other artists in the top 10, in order, were Taylor Swift, Adele, Drake, Ed Sheeran, The Weeknd, Billie Eilish, Justin Bieber, Seventeen and Olivia Rodrigo.

This article shared 923 times since Sun Mar 27, 2022
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