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WORLD Uganda items, HIV report, Mandela, Liechtenstein, foreign minister weds
by Andrew Davis
2024-03-21

This article shared 9301 times since Thu Mar 21, 2024
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It turned out that U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Senior LGBTQI+ Coordinator Jay Gilliam traveled to Uganda on Feb. 19-27, per The Washington Blade. He visited the capital of Kampala and the nearby city of Jinja. Gilliam met with LGBTQ+-rights activists who discussed the impact of the Anti-Homosexuality Act—a law with a death penalty provision for "aggravated homosexuality" that President Yoweri Museveni signed last May. Gilliam also sat down with USAID staffers. "I really wanted to meet with community members and understand the impacts on them," he told the Blade.

Also in Uganda, activist Ronnie Agaba was arrested for protesting that country's parliament passing antiLGBTQ+ laws, according to a post on X (formerly Twitter) from fellow activist Frank Mugisha. According to Mugisha, "Ronnie was remanded to Luzira Maximum prison. We call for Ronnie"s [immediate] release and [have] all charges dropped. Protesting peacefully should not be a crime." YouTube footage of Agaba's pleading for LGBTQ+ rights is at www.youtube.com/watch. Last year, Uganda's government passed the Anti-Homosexuality Act , which outlaws same-sex marriage, punishes same-sex acts with life imprisonment and calls for the death penalty for "aggravated homosexuality," per CNN.

A new report, "HIV Prevention: From Crisis to Opportunity," shows that HIV infections continue to decline in countries that are part of the Global HIV Prevention Coalition (GPC) faster than in the rest of the world, according to UNAIDS. Eleven GPC focus countries have reduced their annual number of new HIV infections by at least 66% since 2010; however, the average reduction in new HIV infections since 2010 globally is 38%. The GPC is a coalition of 38 countries working together to accelerate declines in new HIV infections to achieve the target of having 95% of the people who are at risk of HIV accessing effective combination prevention choices.

Nelson Mandela—the iconic anti-apartheid leader and LGBTQ+ ally who went from 27 years as a political prisoner to becoming the first president of a free South Africa—will be the subject of the 30-hour scripted TV series Mandela, Variety noted. Writer/producer Josh Wakely secured the TV series life rights to the late Mandela via House of Mandela Entertainment, the media arm of the Mandela estate. Wakely will executive-produce and write the series, along with South African writer/director Kagiso Lediga and producer Kweku Mandela (who is also Nelson Mandela's grandson).

The tiny European country of Liechtenstein got one step closer to marriage equality as its parliament approved a bill to legalize same-sex marriage with a 24-1 vote, ending a years-long process, The Los Angeles Blade noted. Local LGBTQ+-rights advocacy group FLAY expressed gratitude to members of Landtag, the Liechtenstein parliament. The marriage bill is expected to pass second reading before the summer parliamentary break, and come into effect by January 1, 2025, unless a referendum is called on the issue.

And speaking of marriage, Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong announced that she has married partner Sophie Allouache, according to PinkNews. The couple have been together for almost two decades, and have two daughters who were reportedly flower bearers at the wedding. The wedding took place at a winery in Adelaide, and it was attended by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese as well as several senior parliamentarians. Adelaide is the capital of South Australia; Wong represents that state in the senate.

In Russia, two people were the first to be arrested under the country's new "LGBTQ+ extremism" law, PinkNews reported. Staff members at Pose, a bar in Orenburg, were arrested following a police raid earlier this month. Independent news website Mediazona identified the arrestees as Alexander Klimov, the art director of the club, and manager Diana Kamilyanova. Info on the Central District Court of Orenburg's website alleged that they were "persons with a non-traditional sexual orientation" and were "acting as a group of persons in a preliminary conspiracy with persons unidentified by the investigation, who also support the views and activities of the LGBT international public association banned in our country."

Also, supporters of Russian anti-war politician Boris Nadezhdin were arrested for posting "extremist" (i.e. LGBTQ+) content in their personal chats on Telegram, per The Record, citing local media. In Russia, LGBTQ+-rights activists are labeled "extremists" and can face arrest and prosecution; individuals who display rainbow-colored items may receive jail time or fines. Nadezhdin is a Russian opposition politician who intended to compete against President Vladimir Putin (who was recently re-elected) but was barred from entering the race after Russia's electoral committee declared a high proportion of signatures supporting his nomination invalid.

During a recent meeting at the White House, openly gay Ireland leader Leo Varadkar (who recently announced his resignation) urged U.S. President Joe Biden to work toward an "immediate humanitarian ceasefire" in Gaza, the BBC noted. An annual St Patrick's Day tradition, the summit usually focuses on defending Northern Ireland's peace process. Taoiseach Varadkar has faced domestic political pressure to end the ongoing war in Gaza; Biden, who has publicly clashed with Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu, appeared to agree.

In the UK, following a recent decision by the National Health Service to stop prescribing puberty blockers for transgender youth, former UK. Prime Minister Liz Truss introduced a bill that would outlaw gender-affirming care for trans youth, The Los Angeles Blade noted. The measure would also eliminate any recognition of social transition and would define sex to exclude transgender individuals in the Equality Act. However, Truss' bill recently ran into trouble when members of Parliament spent hours deliberating over other issues such as ferrets and pet names, preventing the measure from being heard.

A body found dumped in a Mexican border town cemetery and showing signs of torture was confirmed to be that of Reyna Hernandez—a Washington state transgender woman who disappeared late last month, The Advocate reported. Hernandez went missing Feb. 26 after she ran an errand to her former residence, now occupied by three men, including a 61-year-old who is the prime suspect in the case that is being investigated as a homicide. The man, under arrest in Mexico on unrelated charges, is reportedly Hernandez's partner of 30 years.

The International LGBTQ+ Travel Association (IGLTA) was honored by the Pacific Area Travel Writers Association (PATWA) with the 2024 International Travel Award for Best Organization: Inclusivity—the first of its kind to be presented in PATWA's history, per a press release. The award was presented during a ceremony at ITB Berlin. The PATWA International Travel Awards acknowledge outstanding contributions in the promotion of tourism by governments, organizations, brands, ministers, and individuals. "We are incredibly proud to be recognized by PATWA for our dedication to inclusivity. This award serves as a powerful motivator as we continue to elevate LGBTQ+ travel and collaborate with industry leaders through our membership network to create a more diverse and welcoming travel landscape," said IGLTA President/CEO John Tanzella.

Out & Equal extended the deadline to nominate individuals, companies and employee resource groups (ERGs) that are leading the way with bold and innovative advancements toward workplace inclusion for LGBTQI+ people in Latin America for the 2024 Out & Equal LATAM Forum Excellence Awards, per a press release. The new deadline is April 15 and the categories are Executive Leader Excellence, Latin American LGBTQI+ Workplace Advocate Excellence, Employee Resource Group Excellence and Latin America Workplace Excellence. Winners from each category will be recognized at the Excellence Awards Reception immediately following the 2024 Out & Equal LATAM Forum event on May 9, in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Visit outandequal.org/event/2024-latamforum/ to nominate.

The Paris 2024 Olympics will make 300,000 condoms available to athletes this summer following the lifting of a sex ban introduced during the COVID-19 pandemic, per PinkNews. Olympic officials revealed there will be enough condoms available in the Olympic Village for each athlete to have two each for every day of the sporting event. Condoms have been handed to athletes competing at the Olympic Games since the 1988 Seoul Olympics in a move originally designed to encourage safer sex and raise awareness of HIV/AIDS.

In other Olympics news, bisexual taekwando athlete Jack Woolley has secured his place at the games, PinkNews noted. Woolley earned one of two of two European quotas available at the European Olympic Qualification Tournament in Sofia, Bulgaria. Woolley made history at the 2020 Tokyo Games as Ireland's first-ever Olympian in taekwondo.

Non-binary Australian-American R&B artist Forest Claudette has released the single "Gold," per a Warner Records press release. The track arrives ahead of their upcoming EP Jupiter, which will be released on May 3. "Gold" arrives on the heels of the single "Kobe Beef" and Claudette's cover of the Red Hot Chili Peppers' classic track "Can't Stop." Upcoming tour stops include Los Angeles, Brooklyn, Copenhagen, Brighton (UK), London and Sydney.

More than 1,000 Jewish creatives, executives and Hollywood professionals have signed an open letter denouncing director Jonathan Glazer's The Zone of Interest Oscar speech, per Variety. The development happened after The Zone of Interest executive producer Danny Cohen became the first member of the film's production team to publicly address Glazer's speech, saying "I just fundamentally disagree with Jonathan." While accepting the Academy Award for best international film, Glazer delivered a set of pre-written remarks in which he compared his Holocaust film to the current conflict in Gaza. The open letter has signees including actors (Debra Messing, Tovah Feldshuh), executives (Gary Barber, Gail Berman), creators (Amy Sherman-Palladino), directors (Eli Roth, Rod Lurie) and more.

However, out Oscar-nominated playwright Tony Kushner has come out in support of Glazer's speech, describing the British director's comments at the ceremony as an "unimpeachable irrefutable statement," The Hollywood Reporter noted. Speaking on the Haaretz Podcast, Kushner replied "Of course—I mean, who doesn't?" when he was asked if he agreed with Glazer's comments. Kushner added, "What [Glazer's] saying is so, is so simple. He's saying Jewishness, Jewish identity, Jewish history, the history of the Holocaust, the history of Jewish suffering must not be used as an excuse for a project of dehumanizing or slaughtering other people."

UK artist Adam Cole's queer art/film experience Kiss/Crash won the XR Experience Special Event Audience Award at this year's South by Southwest (SXSW) festival in Austin, Texas, a press release announced. The installation consists of three individual works presented in a shared space—Kiss/Crash, Me Kissing Me and Crash Me, Gently—all of which play with the iconic image of the kiss using AI image translation. According to the release, "Repurposing a classic Hollywood aesthetic through a queer lens, the piece reflects on the nature of images, and places AI models within a history of image-production technologies meant to arouse and homogenize our desires. In the process, it reveals the logic of AI imagery and hints at how our relationship to reality will continue to be stretched and shaped by artificial representations at an accelerating pace."

Sam Taylor-Johnson's film Back to Black, based on the life of the late British singer Amy Winehouse, will be released in U.S. theaters on May 17—but the soundtrack, Back To Black: Songs from the Original Motion Picture, will be available on April 12 via UMR/Island Records/Republic Records, per a press release. The 12-song set features three original recordings from Amy's highly influential debut, Frank; three songs from Winehouse's multi-award-winning album Back To Black; and a new track, "Song for Amy," sung by Nick Cave. Also, five songs from artists who were an inspiration to Winehouse—The Shangri-Las, Billie Holiday, Minnie Riperton, Dinah Washington and Sarah Vaughan—will also be featured on the album.

The Gucci family saga that Ridley Scott's movie House of Gucci introduced is set for another take—this time in the TV sphere, and with the real Gucci family as part of the production team, Variety noted. Gaumont, the French film and television group behind Narcos and the upcoming fashion world series Becoming Karl Lagerfeld, has signed an agreement with producer Giorgio Gucci, who represents the Gucci family, to make a TV series about the rise of the iconic Gucci brand.





This article shared 9301 times since Thu Mar 21, 2024
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