The Russian government made an unsuccessful attempt to shut down one of the country's largest and most prominent LGBTQ-rights groups, but human rights advocates say there are likely more attempts on the horizon, NBC News noted. A court in St. Petersburg sidelined a lawsuit that had been filed by Russia's Justice Ministry; the suit accused the Russian LGBT Network of spreading "LGBT views" and engaging in activities that go against "traditional values." The St. Petersburg-based Russian LGBT Network is known for leading actions against the country's anti-LGBTQ policies and actions, including Chechnya's anti-gay purge, which started making national headlines in 2017.
Also, the U.S. State Department said Russian authorities have drawn up a list of Ukrainians to execute after invading the country and LGBTQ citizens are on it, LGBTQ Nation noted. The list also includes politicians and journalists, along with members of religious and ethnic minority groups. Bathsheba Nell Crocker, U.S. ambassador to the U.N. office in Geneva, warned the High Commissioner for human rights that "abuses in the aftermath of a further invasion are being planned."
Almost 3,000 cases of LGBTQ-phobic hate and violence were reported in Israel in 2021the highest number reported since the first report was issued for data collected in 2013, according to the ninth annual report on LGBTQ-phobia by the Nir Katz Center of Aguda-The Association for LGBTQ Equality in Israel, The Jerusalem Post reported. The figure marks a 10% rise compared to 2020 and means that, on average, a case of LGBTQ-phobia is reported about every three hours.
Out gay British-American athlete Gus Kenworthy does not feel the IOC's "heart is in the right place," he said recently as he bowed out of the Olympics for good by accusing the governing body of "greed," per france24.com . Kenworthy, a silver medallist in 2014 for the USA before switching allegiance, has been a fierce critic of the International Olympic Committee's decision to award China the Winter Olympics because of its "appalling" human rights record. He finished eighth in the halfpipe final this year.
Police threats, slurs and even violence are all part of LGBTQ+ life in India, but a new rule could ease the onslaught in one southern state, Tamil Nadu, as it becomes a "pioneer" for sexual minorities, Openly News reported. The government of Tamil Nadu recently changed state conduct rules, telling its police officers to stop harassing LGBTQ+ Indians. The state started taking trans-inclusive steps as far back as 1994, when it gave voting rights to trans Indians. Also, trans candidate Ganga Nayak recently won a seat in the Tamil Nadu urban local body polls, according to The News Minute. Trans candidates Jayadevi and Rajamma also vied in the elections, per The Indian Express.
In Senegal, at an event organized by ultra-conservative Muslim groups, men gathered around a burning gay flag in Dakar and chanted, "Senegal will never accept homosexuality," VOA News reported. They were among the thousands who flocked to Place de l'Obelisque to call for harsher penalties for LGBTQ people. Senegal is a 95% Muslim country that already prohibits any "indecent or unnatural acts between individuals of the same sex," as is written in the penal code. Offenders can be punished with up to five years in prison and a fine of about $2,500.
A Swedish government agency recommended that puberty blockers be withheld from trans youth, despite overwhelming evidence that the treatment is "life-saving," PinkNews noted. The National Board of Health and Welfare advised that blockers should only be prescribed in "exceptional cases" and claimed their use is backed by "uncertain science." The agency, also known as the Socialstyrelsen, is responsible for issuing public health advice and its guidelines informbut do not necessarily dictateclinical practice.
One year after he resigned over inaction on what he said was racism, former Pride in London communications director Rhammel Afflick has claimed that little has changed, according to PinkNews. Speaking to MyLondon, he said, "Now that it's been almost a year since I resigned, I just wonder what little we have to show for that, and that is really sad to think about. There is no evidence I've seen to suggest that anything is different." At the time of his resignation in February 2021, Afflick was Pride in London's most senior Black staffer, and he had volunteered with the organization for seven years.
The queer French comedy My Best Part is available on VOD nationwide from Altered Innocence, a press release noted. The dramedy stars actor-director Nicolas Maury as a young man who heads home to his mother (10-time Cesar Award nominee Nathalie Baye) amidst an existential crisis.
Eurovision organizers decided not to allow Russia to compete in the contest this year following the country's invasion of Ukraine, PinkNews noted. There was widespread backlash Feb. 24, when Eurovision bosses said Russia would still be allowed to send an entry to the hugely popular competition. The next day, the European Broadcasting Union, which produces the Eurovision Song Contest, announced Russia will no longer be allowed to take part.
In addition, the Russian invasion of Ukraine is hitting the classical music world, where star conductor Valery Gergievwho has close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putinis being forced to cancel engagements at La Scala in Italy as well as Carnegie Hall and other venues in the United States, Variety noted. Gergiev, known to be an old friend and vocal supporter of Putin, last conducted Tchaikovsky's opera The Queen of Spades on Feb. 23 at Milan's La Scala opera house, where he was lightly booed, according to Italian press reports.
Also, Formula One has canceled September's Russian Grand Prix following Russia's military invasion of Ukraine, ESPN reported. F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali and the bosses of the 10 teams discussed the status of the race on a call and later confirmed the race, scheduled for Sept. 25, will not happen. Four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel said he would boycott the event if it went ahead.