Two transgender women facing charges of "attempted homosexuality" (as well as public indecency and not carrying identification) in a high-profile case in Cameroon will spend more than two months behind bars without a trial after a judge postponed their hearing again, Reuters reported. Shakiro, a local media celebrity and cosmetician with 100,000+ Facebook followers, was arrested along with Patricia on Feb. 8 for wearing what were considered traditional women's clothes while eating in a restaurant. They have been in New Bell Prison since Feb. 10. The women have pled not guilty.
Irish leader Leo Varadkar and his partner, Matthew Barrett, have been given increased armed security protection following serious threats of violence and death, according to Out.com . A report in the Irish Central stated that Ireland's Special Detective Unit view the threats as credible, and believe at least some come for right-wing and anti-lockdown extremists. Varadkara medical doctor turned politician who publicly came out as gay during the country's resoundingly affirmative 2015 public referendum on marriage equalitywas appointed to the position of Tanaiste, the number-two position in the Irish government, in June 2020.
Russia's premier documentary film festival has pulled a movie about a gay MMA fighter from Chechnya from its lineup after receiving threats over it, the Moscow Times noted. Silent Voice tells the story of Khawaj, a promising young MMA fighter who is forced to flee his home region to Belgium after his brother finds out he's gay and promises to kill him. Artdocfest's Moscow organizers told the independent Novaya Gazeta newspaper that a man who identified himself as "Suliman" asked festival management to remove the documentary from the program. The St. Petersburg Artdocfest, meanwhile, had to cancel its screening of the film after an "anti-gay" activist filed a complaint with Russia's consumer protection watchdog, alleging the festival was promoting "LGBT values" among minors and violating anti-coronavirus restrictions.
In Britain, Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer apologized after visiting a church which has been criticized for its stance toward homosexuality, the BBC reported. The Labour leader visited Jesus House in London on Good Friday and later shared a video from his visit online. However, after receiving much backlash, Starmer tweeted, "I completely disagree with Jesus House's beliefs on LGBT+ rights, which I was not aware of before my visit. I [apologize] for the hurt my visit caused and have taken down the video. It was a mistake and I accept that."
Two assailants pled guilty in a U.K. court to torturing a former magistrate who had recently come out as gay in a local newspaper, out.com noted. Stuart Holland, 45, and partner Joanna Bath, 46, admitted to shoving a fire poker down the throat of Vince McMahon and more during the March 2019 assault. According to a report in Kent Online, the couple claimed the incident was the result of a billing dispute; however, prosecutors presented evidence the pair were motivated by their own homophobia.
An aide to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban called into question Germany's democratic standards after a top German soccer club fired a Hungarian coach for expressing anti-immigrant and anti-LGBT views, WHBL.com noted. The Foreign Ministry said it had summoned the German charge d'affaires to express shock over the dismissal of goalkeeping coach Zsolt Petry from Hertha BSC. "Expressing your opinion cannot be punished under the rule of law," Orban's chief of staff Gergely Gulyas told reporters, asserting that Petry's dismissal reminded him of Nazi-era Germany's "totalitarian regime."
Election posters of minor candidates competing for the mayoral seat in Seoul, South Korea, were damaged by voters after said candidates publicly announced their support for feminists and LGBT rights, Korea Bizwire reported. Seoul Mapo Police Station recently arrested perpetrators who took down election banners of Oh Tae-yang, Mirae Party's candidate for the mayoral by-election in Seoul. On the same day, independent candidate Shin Ji-ye's election poster put up near a church in Mapo district was found to have been ripped. Oh Se-hoon was elected the new mayor of Seoulreturning to the post 10 years after stepping down, The Korea Herald noted. In 2011, he staked his position on a referendum to end free lunches for all elementary and middle school students; he stepped down when the turnout was not high enough.
Less than two weeks after going public with his experiences of living with HIV, Russian blogger Ilya Bronsky was in an emergency room after being punched in the face by an unknown assailant shouting homophobic slurs, RT.com noted. Posting a photograph of his bleeding nose to Twitter, the St. Petersburg-based communications consultant and Instagram star said that he had been receiving menacing messages. Last month, Bronsky was among those featured in a series of interviews about life with HIV in Russia.
A referendum on the extension of marriage rights to same-sex couples in Switzerland is likely to take place later this year, The Los Angeles Blade reported. Last December, legislators approved the "Marriage for All" bill. Mannschaft, a Swiss LGBTQ magazine, reported opponents of the law have collected more than the 50,000 signatures required to prompt a referendum on the measure. Swiss voters, in February 2020, overwhelmingly approved a bill that bans discrimination based on sexual orientation.
Hundreds of people demonstrated in Jerusalem against a group of newly elected Israeli lawmakers who oppose LGBTQ rights, in a Middle Eastern country seen as progressive in promoting LGBT equality, france24.com reported. A coalition of groups marched and held signs outside Israel's parliament, where 120 lawmakers were being sworn in following elections last month. Activists have raised particular concern about a new far-right parliamentary bloc called Religious Zionism, which controls six seats. Within that group are three members openly hostile to LGBT rights, including Avi Maoz, leader of the Noam party.
A German-born ex-gay adult film star living in Scotland is putting his X-rated past behind him and focusing his attention on local politics, according to Queerty. Philipp Tanzer (known for the tattoos that cover most of his body) began working as a gay adult-film star in 2007, performing as Logan McCree. In 2012, Tanzer quit the adult-entertainment business, left Germany and moved to Scotland with his girlfriend. Now, he's launching a political campaignand running on an anti-porn platform as a member of the very conservative Scottish Family Party. Also, Tanzer doesn't believe LGBTQ history should be taught in schools because it promotes "LGBT+ lifestyles and pornography on children."
British Oscar winner Helen Mirren (The Queen) will portray Israel's iconic and only female prime minister, Golda Meir, in the new feature biopic Golda, Deadline reported. Produced by BAFTA-winner Michael Kuhn (Florence Foster Jenkins), Golda will be directed by Oscar-winner Guy Nattiv (Skin). Production is slated to start in October.
An AI software has written "new" songs by Nirvana, Amy Winehouse and more for a project raising awareness for the importance of mental-health support, an NME.com item stated. Toronto organization Over the Bridge has created a compilation featuring songs created via artificial intelligence in the style of musicians who died at the age of 27. The tracks on the compilation, which also mimic the styles of Jimi Hendrix and The Doors, were made through Google's AI program Magenta, which analyses an artist's previous work in order to learn how to compose like them; another AI program was then used to create the lyrics. See losttapesofthe27club.com .
After more than a year of announcements, RuPaul's Drag Race Down Under has officially started its promo for its first season, out.com noted. Ten queens will compete on the show, which will begin airing May 1. The show will air on Stan in Australia, as well as TVNZ in New Zealand; for U.S. viewers, the series will be available on WOW Presents Plus. Permanent judges will include RuPaul, Michelle Visage and comedian Rhys Nicholson.
Netflix has indefinitely postponed a documentary about Princess Diana's famous 1995 BBC interview following news of Prince Philip's death on April 9, USA Today noted. Diana: The Interview that Shocked the World was scheduled to premiere April 11, but has been pushed back to an undisclosed date, Netflix confirmed. The interview was released last year in several countries, but Netflix licensed it for streaming in the U.S., U.K. and Canada starting April 11.