BELGIUM. Gay bars threatened with attack in Grindr message: ‘A message posted on the Grindr dating app on Tuesday night spoke of the threat of an attack on gay bars in Ostend on the Belgian coast.An investigation has been launched following the message, the Bruges branch of the West Flanders Prosecutor’s Office confirmed on Wednesday. The message read: “tonight or this weekend, we will conduct an attack in the gay bars of Ostend.” It also identified bars Valentino and Your Place as potential targets. “Prepare yourself. Nobody can stop us. We are 27 people,” the message added.’
NORTHERN IRELAND. Game of Thrones actor Kristian Nairn is speaking out about his country’s lack of marriage equality: “It confuses me why we always have to be that little step behind on social issues like this. It should be brought into line with the rest of the UK.”
CHECHNYA. Ralph Fiennes denounces “disturbing” anti-gay persecution in Chechnya: “It’s very disturbing. In many countries there is a deep, deep conservatism regarding people’s sexuality. I think it’s important that the world and the news brings these very disturbing situations to light. … When we sit in an enlightened and liberal society like this, it’s often hard for us to understand how deeply these conservative and homophobic principles will go. And I think that makes it very difficult. But I think countries are sensitive to how they’re being portrayed and written up, but I think it’s a big fight. It’s a big challenge ahead of us.”
RUSSIA. Authorities cancel theatre festival under gay propaganda law: ‘Last week, Russian media reported that a theatre festival in the country’s far east was banned by authorities for promoting “hatred against men and non-traditional family relations” after being accused of staging a play and “attempting to illegally hold an LGBT event.” Organizers of the festival, called Tsvet Shafrana (“The Color of Saffron”), said they were forced to cancel the event after a play called Blue and Pink drew the ire of city authorities. The play, one of four productions scheduled to take place at this year’s festival, is a youth production about gender stereotypes.’
GERMANY. Homocon U.S. Ambassador Richard Grenell again faces calls for expulsion: ‘Grenell had on Tuesday criticized Germany’s military spending plans within NATO as insufficient, prompting Kubicki to accuse the envoy of “interfering” repeatedly in political issues of a sovereign country. Grenell’s criticism of Germany’s defense spending came weeks after he demanded that Berlin halt Nord Stream 2, a gas pipeline being laid across the Baltic Sea to deliver gas from Russia to Germany, and threatened firms involved in the project with sanctions.’
GERMANY II. Gay men investigated under a law criminalizing homosexuality after World War II receive compensation: ‘German lawmakers in 2017 approved the annulment of thousands of convictions under the Paragraph 175 law, which remained in force in its Nazi-era form until homosexuality was decriminalized in 1969. They cleared the way for payments of 3,000 euros ($3,380) per conviction, plus 1,500 euros for every year of jail time the convicted men started.’
FRANCE. Spike in homophobic attacks causes plunge in LGBT-friendliness rankings: “Canada, Portugal, and Sweden are the friendliest countries for LGBT travellers and they took joint first place in the latest edition of the guide. Thirteen countries, most of them in Europe, tied for fourth place. The reasons for France’s dramatic fall were a rise in homophobic attacks and the postponement of parliamentary debates on bioethics laws, notably on assisted procreation, which is currently limited in France to heterosexual couples.”
EGYPT. Government praises Rami Malek’s Oscar win, but ignores the fact that it persecutes gay individuals: ‘One of the first officials to congratulate Malek was Egypt’s minister of immigration, Nabila Makram, praising the actor’s acceptance speech where the actor stated that he was “the son of immigrants from Egypt”. But, Makram, who is one of Egypt’s top prosecutors of LGBT individuals, conveniently ignored the part of Malek’s acceptance where he said: “We made a film about a gay man, an immigrant, who lived his life just unapologetically himself”.’
GUATEMALA. Two gay men running for Congress: “Aldo Dávila, executive director of Asociación Gente Positiva, a Guatemala City-based HIV/AIDS service organization, is a member of the Winaq Movement, a leftist party that Rigoberta Menchú, an indigenous human rights activist who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1992, founded. Otto René Félix is a member of the far-left Guatemalan National Revolutionary Unity (URNG) party, a one-time guerrilla movement that formally entered politics in 1998, two years after the signing of the peace accord that ended Guatemala’s decades-long civil war.”
INDIA. The stigma LGBTQ still face: ‘Six months ago, a landmark judgment legalised the sex lives of an estimated 104 million Indians. A law against “unnatural sex” enshrined by the colonial British government (and defended by successive Indian ones) was unanimously ruled to no longer prohibit homosexual acts. The reverberations of the decision – on sheer numbers, perhaps the largest single act of gay liberation ever – are still rippling across a vast, diverse and conservative country.’
BOTSWANA. High court postpones ruling on decriminalizing gay sex: ‘Judge Abednico Tafa told a packed courtroom in Botswana’s capital Gaborone that a decision would be handed down on June 11 after a one-day hearing. Gesego Lekgowe, lawyer for Letsweletse Motshidiemang, named in court as bringing the case, argued the government should do away with the law in light of a changed society where homosexuality was more widely accepted.’
TURKEY. Police officer suspended for being gay: ‘It all started in late 2017, when 34-year-old Metin, who has served in the police for over 10 years, was imprisoned for eight days last year for sexual violence as a result of statements made by his partner while under interrogation. Metin and his partner were drinking tea in the police canteen when his partner was taken away for questioning. The partner panicked and said that he was a police officer, which led to imprisonment for impersonating an officer and further questioning, according to DW. “According to the interrogation transcript, he then told the officers that Metin had forced him to have sex with him, and that he wished to press charges. Metin was subsequently arrested for having perpetrated an act of ‘sexual violence’ against his partner,” the website said.’
POLAND. Governing nationalist party says LGBT groups are a dangerous threat: ‘Poland’s populist government has vilified European Union elites, Muslim refugees, the Germans and anyone questioning Poland’s role in World War II. Now the latest threat comes from homosexuals. Dipping into the playbook of another sworn adversary, Russian President Vladimir Putin, the message from the ruling Law & Justice party is that the advancement of gay rights is a “grave danger” for families. And it’s not just Poland that needs protection, but the whole of Europe.’
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