Two women from the Australian women's hockey team may have captured the selfie of the year.
Frans Timmermans of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs , addressed the United Nations yesterday over the shooting down of MH17, which had among its 298 passengers 192 Dutch citizens (including one passenger with dual US-Netherlands citizenship).
Timmermans's speech reflected the anger and bewilderment the world is feeling over the incident and its aftermath, along with the emotion. Said Timmermans of the victims:
"Did they lock hands with their loved ones? Did they hold their children close to their hearts? Did they look each other in the eyes one final time in a wordless goodbye? We will never know."
Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...
(via mashable - note: Timmermans is misidentified in the CSPAN embed as Karel J. G. van Oosterom)
Georgian soprano Tamar Iveri announced yesterday that she intends to hold a benefit concert in Tbilisi dedicated to sexual minorities, reports Classical Lite.
Last month, Iveri was released from her contract with Opera Australia after posting anti-gay comments on Facebook in which she referred to gay people as “faecal masses.” The homophobic post was framed as a letter to the Georgian president regarding the violence which occurred at a gay march in Georgia in 2012.
Iveri said that the planned concert, which is "dedicated to the victims of all kinds of violence," is to apologize to LGBT people.
The concert will take place in Tbilisi on October 11, which is National Coming Out Day. All money raised at the event will be used to assist victims of violence.
Describing Iveri’s views as “unconscionable”, Opera Australia has since replaced her with Armenian soprano Lianna Haroutounian.
A rugby club in New Zealand has denied claims that a former gay player was voted out because of his sexuality, reports The Sydney Morning Herald.
Both clubs that Claydon played for at senior level in 2006 and 2007 have refuted the player's claims. Sources close to Claydon’s family have also backed up one of the club’s assertions and Don Fisher, a former coach at Claydon’s second club, said that there were no issues with the player who was ”a valued member of our club."
Speaking to Fairfax Media, Claydon said he discovered when he moved to Australia in 2008 that homophobic slurs were an accepted part of sporting culture and that he felt compelled to keep his sexuality secret for fear of being ostracised.
"It's such a stereotype, but at most clubs they see a gay guy and think you can't be sporty or masculine. They think that you're weak or you're not as tough as them. Even when they didn't know I was gay I'd hear the word 'faggot' all the time."
The Fairfax Media article also cited a new study, Out On The Fields, which was commissioned by organisers of the Bingham Cup, the gay rugby World Cup, which will be held in Sydney in August.
The reports revealed that 85% of gay athletes had experienced or witnessed homophobic abuse.
Last year, Claydon joined the Sydney Convicts, Australia's first gay rugby union club.
Watch the official Bingham Cup Sydney 2014 video, AFTER THE JUMP...
Australian tabloids are spreading a rumor: that Ricky Martin, currently a judge on the Aussie version of The Voice, mentored professional swimmer Ian Thorpe prior to his coming out this week. The "Thorpedo," as he was called when he swam in the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, told Sir Michael Parkinson that he is gay in a pre-recorded interview for Channel 10. Martin is currently denying any connection to Thorpe.
The Independent reports:
“I am extremely happy that he is talking about his happiness, and that is where I would like to leave it,” Martin apparently told a Daily Mail reporter when asked about the claims as he promoted his The Voice Australia finalist contestant in Melbourne yesterday (15 July)...
Martin was among the first to tweet his support for Thorpe:
Whether Martin and Thorpe were connected or not, it is heartening to see such support.
Martin recently expressed the joy he felt after his own coming out experience, stating in a radio interview, “I wish I could come out again because that moment felt very blissful. It really feels amazing and then when it happens you realise all your fears were in your head.” Hopefully Thorpe has felt much the same.
A survey conducted on behalf of Australia’s Liberal Party shows that support for same-sex marriage and for a conscience vote in the coalition government is at an all-time high, reports The Sydney Morning Herald.
The poll, commissioned by Australian Marriage Equality, found that 72% of Australians want same-sex marriage legalised, while 77% think coalition MPs should be granted a conscience vote.
Marriage equality advocates are expected to now start canvassing MPs to support same-sex marriage.
The poll results come after a recent interview in which Australian swimmer Ian Thorpe confirmed that he is gay and Liberal Democratic Senator David Leyonhjelm’s call to allow MPs a free vote on same-sex marriage.
Watch Leyonhjelm’s call in support of same-sex marriage, AFTER THE JUMP...