JAPAN. The finalists for Mr. Gay Japan have been announced. ‘This year's grand final in early May will be held in Cape Town, South Africa. But before the final competition, there will be a local round in Tokyo to determine the Mr Gay Japan winner who will represent the country at Mr Gay World 2019.'
CAYMAN ISLANDS. Same-sex marriage is legalized in historic ruling. ‘The Cayman Islands has legalised same-sex marriage after a judge ruled prohibitions on such relationships was unconstitutional. The decision marked a personal victory – and the end of a tough legal battle – for Chantelle Day and Vickie Bodden, who had last year applied to get married in the islands but were turned down.'
ITALY. Torino mayor Chiara Appendino unveiled a banner in response to the anti-LGBTQ, anti-choice World Congress of Families convention in Verona, which says the city welcomes all kinds of families.
CHINA. Dating app Blued is connecting men with overseas surrogates: “The service, part of a larger strategy of diversifying into new business lines for the LGBT community, has seen modest success. Blued has its eyes on an initial public offering—ideally in the U.S., which offers a simpler IPO process and deeper capital markets. The trick for Geng will be convincing investors that he can expand his operations in a country where gay people have few legal protections and where every new service pushes the frontiers of government tolerance and social acceptance.”
PHILIPPINES. New series launching in April and produced by dating app Blued explores orgy dynamics. ‘The story directed by Rod Singh (of the acclaimed Cinema One Originals movie “Mamu; And a Mother Too”) revolves around a group of gay men engaging in an orgy, carefully selecting their invites and negotiating their desires & preferences. ‘
PUERTO RICO. Governor signs ban on gay conversion therapy for minors: “As a parent, as a scientist and as governor of everyone in Puerto Rico, I firmly believe that the idea that there are people in our society who need treatment because of their gender identity or who they love is not only absurd, but is harmful to so many. children and young people who deserve to be treated with dignity and respect,” said the chief executive.
UK. Suspect held after using Grindr in violent attacks on three men: “The first victim, a man in his 50s, was threatened in his own home in Irlams o' th' Height in Salford shortly before 7pm on Monday by a man with a knife who demanded that he hand over his car keys. … An hour later in Prestwich, a man in his 40s had a knife held to his throat by a male in Bury Old Road who demanded his car keys. … The third man, aged in his 20s, was attacked at about 5.45pm on Tuesday. He was threatened by a man who was a passenger in his car on Bolton Road, Pendlebury, as they were parked on the roadside. He demanded he hand over his car keys before stabbing him several times.”
AUSTRALIA. Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras contemplates a name change: ‘The world class festival and organisation has come a long way since its protest beginnings in 1978. However, despite its growth in recent years, members of the local community have often debated whether or not the ‘Gay and Lesbian' is still necessary and reflective of the annual event's inclusive values. However, a change isn't that simple, with the organisation needing to win the support of its vocal and committed membership base, a motion that has failed in the past.'
FRANCE. European arrest warrant sought for woman who posed as man on gay dating app: “Yannick Glaudin, 30, is due to be sentenced on charges of disclosing private sexual photos, harassment and stalking but has fled to France, a court heard. She was granted bail after pleading guilty to the charges at Camberwell Green Magistrates' Court in July last year but has since failed to appear at court.”
CANADA. B.C. Human Rights Tribunal orders anti-LGBTQ activist William Whatcott to pay $55,000 to trans activist Morgane Oger: ‘Whatcott printed 1,500 of the flyers and distributed them in the Vancouver-False Creek riding that Oger was contesting as an NDP candidate. The flyer had a photo of Oger, described her as a “biological male” and claimed she was promoting “homosexuality and transvestism.” It went on to state transsexuals were prone to sexually transmitted diseases and at risk of domestic violence, alcohol abuse and suicide.'
TAIWAN. Gay Taiwanese men granted permission to stay in Japan: ‘A gay Taiwanese man in his 40s who lived with his partner in Japan for 25 years, partly illegally after overstaying his visa, has had his deportation order revoked and a special residency status granted by the Justice Ministry, his lawyers said Friday. “It's the first time special permission to stay in the country has been given to a foreign gay partner of a Japanese citizen,” said one of the lawyers, although the ministry denied its decision was based on the man's sexual orientation.'
MALAYSIA. LGBTQ dinner event under investigation.
INDONESIA. University shuts down news website over lesbian love story: ‘A student news website in Indonesia that published a story about a woman expressing her love for another young woman was ordered by university officials to shut down its entire news operation after the story went viral. North Sumatra University (USU), a public university in Medan, North Sumatra province, gave the 18 students who write for and publish Suara USU (USU News) just 48 hours to shut down and vacate the newsroom.
FRANCE. French football league president's remarks anger SOS Homophobie, a group fighting violence and discrimination against LGBT people. Nathalie Boy de la Tour's remarks: “ When it comes to homophobic chants, for many fans, it's part of folklore. This is the reality. The majority of fans (chanting) don't have the feeling they are hurting others. But I'm not telling you this is not serious. There is important work to do to educate people.”
CHINA. Lesbian dating app exposed 5 million user profiles: “Rela (热拉), a popular dating app for gay and queer women, has exposed millions of user profiles and private data because a server wasn't protected with a password. … It's believed the database had been exposed since June 2018, a month after the app returned, Gevers said. Each record included their nicknames, dates of birth, height and weight, ethnicity, and sexual preferences and interests. Records also, where users allowed, included their precise geolocation. The database also contained over 20 million “moments,” or status updates — including private data.”
GERMANY. Bonus video: Meat Zine takes a locker room look at Berlin's gay inclusive rugby team, the Berlin Bruisers.