We’ve rounded up the most important LGBTQ news items from around the globe. This digest features news from Australia, United Kingdom, Israel, Tunisia, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, Indonesia, Switzerland, India, Russia, and Greece.
ENGLAND. Two new stage productions explore gay parenting: ‘On the London stage, you are still much more likely to see a show about the AIDS epidemic (“Angels in America”) or its legacy (Matthew Lopez’s “The Inheritance”) than you are to see one dealing with same-sex marriage or parenting. But this month, there are inventive new productions about both: “Leave to Remain,” about two men who tie the knot, and “No Kids,” about a gay couple adopting a baby.’
RUSSIA. Town shrugs at murder of elderly gay couple: “On January 10, neighbors reluctantly checked in on 70-year-old Vladimir Dubentsov and 64-year-old Nikolai Galdin and discovered their bodies. People in Ilsky repeatedly asked Novaya Gazeta correspondent Elena Kostyuchenko not to name them in her story — not because they were ashamed of how these two men were harassed or even murdered, but because they were embarrassed that a gay couple lived in their town at all.”
SWITZERLAND. Same-sex marriage is not legal there yet (shockingly) but it could be soon: “Thursday was a big day for romance in Switzerland. But as couples showered each other with flowers and chocolate (what else?), big moves were also afoot in Bern, as a parliamentary committee thrashed out options for a new draft law on same-sex marriage. Late in the day, the committee announced in a statement it had finished off its talks and was now launching a consultation process.”
GREECE. Lacta chocolate Valentine’s ads go viral, and the photographer gets attacked online: “People were tweeting pictures of my face, saying, ‘This is the photographer who did this.’ Personally I love both men and women. I thought that nothing would make me happier than to have these pictures all over Athens so that all these homophobic people are forced to look at them … It’s been the number one subject in Greece.”
INDONESIA. Gay comic strip vanishes from Instagram after government threatens to block entire Platform over it: ‘The Instagram account, @Alpantuni, first appeared in January with the tagline “Gay Muslim comics for people who are able to think.” Its Indonesian-language comics addressed gay identity and religious bigotry, and depicted men with their shirts off and in bed together, though never fully nude. The account prompted a flurry of criticism on social media in the country, with some accusing the artist of pornography or blasphemy.’
INDIA. Netflix India was applauded for this gorgeous Valentine’s Day clip: “The two men meet on the Mumbai metro and it’s love at first sight. They meet on dates at cute restaurants, attend a costume party dressed as Mike and Eleven from Stranger Things, exchange a kiss, dance in fur coats, steal noodles out of each other’s bowls and all sorts of adorable things you’d expect.”
JAPAN. Gay couples sue government for the right to marry. “Thirteen same-sex couples across Japan are taking legal action on Thursday against the government, demanding the right to get married. They are suing for symbolic damages, arguing that being barred from marriage violates their constitutional rights. Should the courts agree, it would mean same-sex unions will have to be permitted in future. While Japan does not allow gay marriage, surveys suggest there is strong support for the case.”
GERMANY. Another international city is getting gay traffic lights: ‘Cologne in western Germany plans to temporarily change 20 traffic lights for pedestrians to show images of same-sex couples, city officials told German media. “Symbols of same-sex couples are currently being prepared for the period surrounding Christopher Street Day,” spokesman Jürgen Müllenberg told the Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger. The Cologne Pride parade is one of Europe’s largest Pride festivals and will this year observe 50 years since the Stonewall riots in New York’s Christopher Street. The riots saw lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people resist police during a raid on June 28, 1969.’
NEW ZEALAND. Gay activist violently attacked at Auckland Pride: ‘The AM Show reporter Aziz Al Sa’afin and his friend were violently attacked walking along Auckland’s Karangahape Road. Al-Sa’afin told The AM Show on Tuesday that three men walked up to him and his friend and begun hurling verbal abuse, before the situation quickly turned physical. “Before I knew it, my friend was on the ground getting decked… as I was walking towards him I got decked in my left eye.” Rāwā Karetai is an LGBTI+ activist, and told Newshub that ufortunately, gay hate crime still happen in New Zealand.’
UNITED KINGDOM. Mob gathers outside school in Birmingham to protest teacher for LGBT curriculum: ‘Andrew Moffat MBE has been under fire from parents who are protesting his No Outsiders project, which teaches children about LGBTQ equality and challenges homophobia in schools. Now the assistant head, who works at Parkfield Community School in the predominantly Muslim Alum Rock area of Birmingham, says that he has been receiving ‘nasty messages’, which left him feeling ‘very threatened’.’
TUNISIA. Gay man sentenced to prison after reporting rape and robbery: ‘The man, aged 26, set up a rendezvous using Facebook, said the Shams group that defends homosexuals in Tunisia, where gay sex is illegal. He turned up at the agreed venue only to be confronted by two men who raped and robbed him, the man told Shams. After reporting the robbery to the police, a magistrate ordered he undergo an anal test to determine if he had homosexual relations in the past. A court in Sfax, eastern Tunisia, sentenced the man to serve six months in jail for sodomy and an additional two months for filing false charges, ruling that the man had rowed after having had sex.’
AUSTRALIA. Sydney has unveiled a permanent rainbow crosswalk. “San Francisco artist Gilbert Baker’s rainbow flag has been a symbol of those first bloody struggles of the gay rights movement. The 78ers in Australia put up with brutal treatment during the first Sydney Mardi Gras, and the rainbow flag has come to represent the LGBTIQ community’s struggles for liberation, survival and equality. The city worked with Roads and Maritime Services to bring the rainbow crossing back to Taylor Square. We believe this may also be the first rainbow crossing in the world that has been painted in a curving rainbow shape.”
ISRAEL. Country sees spike in homophobic incidents: “According to the report, the sixth annual, an incident of harassment or abuse against members of the LGBTQ community occurs an average of every ten hours in Israel, with social media posts expressing hate towards the LGBTQ community going up online every four minutes. There were 821 incidents of harassment or abuse against the LGBTQ community in 2018, representing compared with 533 incidents reported in 2017. Twenty-five percent of the incidents, including violence, hate speech, discrimination and harassment, took place occurred in a public space, according to the report. Some 22 percent were online or in the media, 15 percent were at home or within the family, and 13 percent in the workplace, according to the report.”
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