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WORLD Toronto businesses, French law, Thai bills, fight in Jamaica, Jonathan Bailey
by Andrew Davis

This article shared 7117 times since Fri Dec 22, 2023
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Some Toronto LGBTQ+ business owners say they are worried that they're being shut out of a provincial grant program because their businesses sometimes include sexual products or services, which are banned in the program's eligibility rules, CBC reported. In a letter to the province's Minister of Citizenship and Multiculturalism Michael Ford, Toronto-Centre MPP Kristyn Wong-Tam, of the New Democratic Party of Ontario, wrote, "2SLGBTQI+ businesses are going to talk about queer sex—and this government must grow up and live with this reality."

Legislation introduced last month by openly gay Socialist Senator Hussein Bourgi to acknowledge the French state's responsibility in the criminalization and persecution of gay men between 1945 and 1982 was adopted, The Washington Blade noted, citing Agency France-Presse. However, the section of the bill that called for compensation of the victims of French anti-LGBTQ+ laws was not approved. About 10,000 people—almost exclusively men, most of them working-class—were convicted under the law until its repeal in 1982, according to research by sociologists Regis Schlagdenhauffen and Jeremie Gauthier.

On Dec. 21, legislators in Thailand overwhelmingly passed four draft bills on same-sex marriage in their first reading, moving the country closer toward its legalization, Reuters reported. All but 11 of 380 lawmakers present in parliament's lower house voted to approve the draft legislation, paving the way to the formation of a committee to merge the four bills into one ahead of more debate next year. In 2022, parliament debated similar draft laws and the then-government's same-sex civil union bill, but did not come to a final vote before the session ended.

In Jamaica, LGBTQ+-rights activist Maurice Tomlinson has changed his mind about ending his legal fight over the constitutionality of the buggery law and is now determined to take this fight all the way to the country's highest court, the Privy Council, The Jamaica Gleaner reported. Tomlinson—who has been advocating for years for the country to repeal the buggery laws—wants the appellate court to find that the high court has the jurisdiction to enquire into the constitutionality of Sections 76, 77, and 79 of the Offenses against the Person Act in light of a savings law clause. The Supreme Court has ruled that the constitutionality of those three sections "cannot be enquired into" because of the Constitution's saving laws.

Openly gay British actor Jonathan Bailey (Bridgerton; Fellow Travelers) said his life was threatened in a recent homophobic incident, Out noted, citing The Standard. Bailey told The Standard that the situation took place the morning after he went to an event for the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) in D.C. In a coffee shop, another man took Bailey's HRC hat off his head, threw it across the area and said, "Get out of this f***ing coffee shop, you queer." Then Bailey said a woman diffused the situation by taking "her phone out and she said, 'I'm recording this message, I think you are welcome in this country. And what you're saying, I think, is appalling.' That happened sort of five minutes in, and he left."

Organizers behind Australia's Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras decided to throw out police-run "public decency inspections," according to PinkNews. The event has held a deal with New South Wales police (called the Mardi Gras Police Accord, and which was set up in 2014) that allowed authorities to conduct visual inspections on those marching in the parade to "ensure that public decent is not offended." There have long been calls among local LGBTQ+ groups for the accord to be voided due to a history of police violence against the queer and trans communities.

Uganda's Constitutional Court began hearing a challenge to an anti-LGBTQ+ law that carries the death penalty for certain same-sex acts and 20 years in prison for "promoting" homosexuality, Reuters reported. "We hope the court will take the opportunity to address the question in the room—whether the Ugandan constitution protects every single member of our society irrespective of their sexual orientation," Nicholas Opiyo, an attorney for the petitioners, told reporters.

Anti-LGBTQ+ comments from British Equalities Minister Kemi Badenoch during her speech on the floor of the House of Commons prompted Labor MP Chris Bryant, an openly gay lawmaker, to rise in opposition and declare her speech left him feeling unsafe, per The Washington Blade. The debate was triggered by Badenoch claiming that the UK does not recognize self-ID from overseas countries for trans people, PinkNewsUK reported. In his retort to her statements, Bryant explained: "I feel, as a gay man, less safe than I did three years or five years ago."

Openly gay British personality Stephen Fry will use the Channel 4 Alternative Christmas Message to call for British Jews to "stand upright and proud in who they are" in the face of "the greatest rise in anti-Jewish racism since records began," Deadline reported. Fry—who will say he "never thought for a single second" he would have to worry about being Jewish in the UK—will deliver a personal speech in the wake of the huge rise in antisemitism following Hamas' brutal Oct. 7 attack on Israel. Fry said his being Jewish "may surprise some people" and that he doesn't "think of [himself] as especially Jewish" but revealed he has "been on lists of British Jews that some ultra-right wing newspapers and sites have published over the years."

The LGBTQ+ movie All of Us Strangers (nine nominations) and the drama Oppenheimer (seven) regarding the London Critics' Circle Awards, according to Deadline. Celine Song's Past Lives, Yorgos Lanthimos' Poor Things and Jonathan Glazer's The Zone of Interest garnered six nods apiece, while Greta Gerwig's Barbie scored five. All of the films are in the running for the critics' Film of the Year accolade, alongside the French courtroom drama Anatomy of a Fall, Alexander Payne's The Holdovers, Todd Haynes' May December and Martin Scorsese's Killers of the Flower Moon. The winners will be announced at a ceremony in London on Feb. 4, with actor-writer-comic Anna Leong Brophy again hosting.

One of the co-owners of the queer London venue The Glory—which is set to close after Jan. 31—told PinkNews that a new LGBTQ+ set to open nearby will serve as the beloved bar's "naughty, younger, irreverent sister." The Glory's move and rebrand after nine years comes after the owner of the building decided to do construction work that would impact the bar. In a bid to stay relevant and in business, The Glory's co-owners are now focused on creating a "queer triangle" in east London consisting of their new LGBTQ+ venue, Dalston Superstore and VFDalston.

Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour movie is heading to China—the last major market the pop star has yet to conquer this, per The Hollywood Reporter. The concert film, which already has earned more than $250 million worldwide, is set to receive a wide release in China's cinemas on New Year's Eve.

Outsports named its best LGBTQ+ pro wrestlers of 2023. The top 20 were the last to be revealed, with Max the Impaler—who became the first out non-binary and transmasculine wrestler to hold a singles championship in a major Japanese promotion—taking the top spot. Some of the others in the top 20 included Alex Kane (#2), EFFY (#3), Anthony Bowens (#5), Allie Katch (#7), Billy Dixon (#12), Gisele Shaw (#15) and Jordan Blade (#20).

Bebe Rexha released the official video for her new song, "It's On (The Official Song of the FIFA Club World Cup Saudi Arabia 2023)," per a press release. Rexha has released many hits, including multi-platinum G-Eazy collaboration "Me, Myself & I" and Martin Garrix-produced club sensation "In the Name of Love." In 2017, she had a smash with "Meant To Be," a country duet with Florida Georgia Line that was certified diamond. LGBTQ+-rightctivists have complained about Saudi Arabia hosting the World Cup in 2034, citing its socially restrictive laws and policies, PinkNews noted.

This article shared 7117 times since Fri Dec 22, 2023
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