In Slovenia, the Constitutional Court legalized same-sex marriage and adoptions after finding a law under which only heterosexual partners can marry and same-sex couples cannot adopt children to be in contravention of the constitutional ban on discrimination, Total Slovenia News reported. The rulings took effect immediately. Announcing the news on July 8, the court gave the National Assembly six months to amend the law accordingly; however, until the law is amended, its ruling stands as the law and means that marriage is a union between two persons regardless of gender, and same-sex partners living in a civil partnership may adopt a child together under the same conditions as married spouses.
OutRight Action International issued a press release welcoming Antigua and Barbuda's repeal of sections 12 and 15 of the Sexual Offenses Act of 1995. The pro-LGBTQ+ decision, handed down by the Honorable Justice Marissa Robertson, ruled that the law conflicted with Constitutional guarantees of freedom of expression, personal privacy and protection from discrimination. Section 12 of the Sexual Offenses Act punished private, consensual same-sex conduct between men with up to 15 years in prison, and section 15 punished "serious indecency" between consenting adults of the same sex, defined as any sexual act other than intercourse, with up to five years in prison.
A Berlin mosque became the first in Germany to fly a rainbow flag in support of the LGBTQ+ community, and it was done ahead of two major Pride events in the city in July, according to France24. The Ibn Rushd-Goethe Mosque in the central Moabit neighborhood unfurled the flag ahead of Friday prayers in front of a small crowd, including Berlin's culture senator, Klaus Lederer. Many of those attending wore rainbow stickers that read "Love is Halal." Two major events in support of the LGBTQ+ community will take place in Berlin this month: the Lesbian and Gay Festival on July 16-17, and Christopher Street Day on July 23.
Also in Germany, trans man Theo Schenkel has been allowed to teach religion for the Catholic Church in the Archdiocese of Freiburg, according to Archyworldys. The 27-year-old came out as a trans man in a documentary. The trainee teacher for religion and French is one of 125 employees of the Catholic Church who came out as queer at the end of January as part of the #OutInChurch campaign and called for a reform of labor law.
London Pride recently marked its 50th anniversary, The Washington Blade noted. The first was led by the Gay Liberation Front in 1972. According to the BBC more than 1 million people filled the streets of the British capital during Pride, ranking it as one of the largest LGBTQ+ events in Europe. London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who attended, told PinkNews that the LGBTQ+ community and allies "can't be complacent" in the fight for equality.
Nollywood (Nigerian Hollywood) actor Uche Maduagwu has said he was arrested for coming out as gay and advocating for U.S. intervention in Nigerian human-rights abuses, according to Queerty. In his now-deleted Instagram post, the actor said he had called for Biden to sanction Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari and the Bauchi State for their anti-LGBTQ+ judgements. A video of Maduagwu tearfully talking about his experience of being beaten for being gay has also been deleted. He is known for speaking out, having recently criticized another actor, Yul Edochie, after Edochie announced welcoming a son with actress, Judy Moghalu, whom he described as his second wife, Daily Post reported; Maduagwu (who calls himself "Africa's most talked-about actor), in a post shared on his Instagram page, said it is an abomination for a Christian to marry two wives.
The U.S. State Department said it is "very concerned" about the well-being of a transgender woman in Cuba who is serving a 14-year prison sentence after she participated in an anti-government protest last July, The Washington Blade noted. Tremenda Nota, the Washington Blade's media partner in Cuba, reported that Brenda Díaz was arrested in Guira de Melena in Artemisa province on July 11, 2021. In prison, Diaz has had her head shaved and fingernails removed before being placed with male prisoners and forced her to wear men's clothes; Tremenda Nota also noted prison officials refer to García by her dead name. Reports indicate a Havana court earlier this year sentenced García to 14 years in prison, which she is appealing.
International soccer star Barbra Banda, of Zambia, sat out a Women's Africa Cup of Nations contest against Tunisia and was ruled out of competing for the rest of the tournament because she failed a gender-verification test, per The Washington Blade. Banda's testosterone levels were found to exceed those allowed by the Confederation of African Football, according to the BBC. Those rules are established by the global governing body, FIFA, and match those of World Athletics, which required South African runner Caster Semenya to medically lower her naturally high testosterone levels in order to compete against other female athletes.
Pope Francis dismissed reports that he plans to resign in the near future, saying he is on track to visit Canada this month and hopes to be able to go to Moscow and Kyiv as soon as possible after that, Reuters reported. In an exclusive interview in his Vatican residence, Francis, 85, also denied rumors that he had cancer, joking that his doctors "didn't tell me anything about it." Asked about the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling overturning the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling establishing a woman's right to have an abortion, Francis said he respected the decision but did not have enough information to speak about it from a juridical point of view.
Luiz Da Silva Netowho drugged and sexually assaulted one man before raping another in Oxfordshire, Englandhas been given a 22-year jail sentence, PinkNews reported. He spiked the drinks of his victims on two separate occasions at a cottage in Oxfordshire last November and December. Prosecutor Matthew Walsh said Da Silva Neto spiked the drinks with GHB, a drug which he said acts as an "aphrodisiac" with "euphoric and hallucinogenic effects."
Jon Ellery, managing director of the famous amplifier maker Marshall, bought the late gay singer George Michael's grand piano for the company's new state-of-the-art studio in Milton Keynes, according to the Sunday Express. He said, "It's going to be something really special because we have a really amazing recording studio, so to have that and for the people who will be coming through there over the next 10 years … will be incredible." The family and estate of the late Wham! star donated his cherished Bechstein piano to music-therapy charity Nordoff Robbins because Michael wanted to support the cause after his death.
Singer Harry Styles shared a statement after having to cancel a Denmark concert due to a mass shooting near the venue, iHeart noted. "I'm heartbroken along with the people of Copenhagen. I adore this city. The people are so warm and full of love. I'm devastated for the victims, their families, and everyone hurting. I'm sorry we couldn't be together. Please look after each other. H," he wrote. Just hours before he was set to perform at the Royal Arena, the shooting broke out at Copenhagen's Fields mall. Three people were killed and several others were injured.
Russian protest art collective Pussy Riot announced that their debut mixtape, Matriarchy Now, will be released Friday, Aug. 5, on Neon Gold Records (MARINA, Charli XCX, Christine and the Queens, etc.), per a press release. The release date is just before the 10-year "anniversary" of their Aug. 17, 2012 verdict of being convicted with hooliganism motivated by religious hatred, and spending two years in jail for protesting Russian President Vladimir Putin. The mixtape features collaborations with Tove Lo (who executive-produced the project), Salem Ilese, Kito, Hudson Mohawke, Slayyyter, ILOVEMAKONNEN, Big Freedia, Phoebe Ryan and more.
Prominent Iranian director Mohammad Rasoulof, winner of the 2020 Berlin Golden Bear for There Is No Evil, and fellow filmmaker Mostafa Al-Ahmad were arrested in Iran for posting a statement on social media in the wake of a violent government crackdown, Variety noted. Iran's state news agency IRNA reported that the two directors have been detained for posting an appeal urging Iranian security forces to stop using weapons using the hashtag #put_your_gun_down following protests in May in the southwestern city of Abadan, where there were clashes with police. The uproar was prompted by a building collapse that resulted in 41 people being killed.
Queen + Adam Lambert announced details of "Rhapsody Over London"an exclusive concert spectacular filmed live at London's O2 Arena during their current sold-out European tour that will premiere live on July 24 via Kiswe's global streaming platform, a press release noted. The exclusive live concert film will feature a live Q&A with band members Brian May, Roger Taylor and Lambert; fans will have the chance to purchase tickets and submit their questions via video by July 19 for the band to see and answer live during the Q&A. The 28-song concert was filmed during the band's sold-out 10-day run at The O2 Arena in early June.