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LA STAMPA
La Stampa ("The Press") is a top Italian daily founded in 1867 under the name Gazzetta Piemontese. Based in Turin, La Stampa is owned by the Fiat Group and distributed in many other European countries.
photo giorgia meloni on a tv set with mario draghi's image behind her
Geopolitics
Stefano Stefanini

Giorgia Meloni Is No Real Threat To European Unity

After far-right politician Giorgia Meloni emerged as the top vote-getter in Italy's election, the question on everyone's lips is what will her relationship be with the European Union. The risk of her pushing for an Italian exit from the EU is slim.

-Analysis-

ROMEGiorgia Meloni has unquestionably earned the trust of Italians. But now she will have to work on earning the trust of the rest of the world, especially the world to which Italy belongs: the West and Europe.

Italy cannot afford political isolation, economic self-sufficiency or cultural marginalization.

"Italy first" does not represent the national interests. Not for an Atlantic, European and Mediterranean middle power that belongs to organizations scattered around the globe — a dense network of interdependencies and ties on which our security and well-being depend.

New leaders are often given a trial period on the international scene. Not so for Meloni, who will get to the prime minister seat with the Russian-Ukrainian war at the center of Europe and a pressing energy emergency.

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Backlit photo of a woman holding onto a fence
Migrant Lives
Sara Perria, Monica Perosino

Taliban To Traffickers — The Perilous Journey Of Women Fleeing Afghanistan

Staying in a theocracy whose rulers subjugate women was not an option, but trying to get to destinations in Europe and beyond comes with unthinkable perils of its own.

ATHENS — Hariana* always knew that fleeing Afghanistan would not be easy. But it turned out far worse than that.

Now 29, she fled to Iran with her family two years ago, but was sexually assaulted by her employer in Tehran. That prompted her to leave on her own for Europe. Hariana found herself as the only woman following a smuggler on a perilous journey that would be on foot, by bus and by sea.

"Once on the bus I looked around and got scared," she recalled. "The trafficker told me to get off. He wanted me for himself."

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Photo of Tashi Choden, crowned Miss Bhutan 2022 in June
LGBTQ Plus
Laura Valentina Cortés Sierra, Lisa Berdet, Lila Paulou, McKenna Johnson, Joel Silvestri and Emma Albright

LGBTQ+ International: Iraq Homosexuality Ban, Bhutan’s Beauty Queen — And The Week’s Other Top News

Italian police, Brazilian soccer, Japanese politics, and plenty of other stories from around the world

Welcome to Worldcrunch’s LGBTQ+ International. We bring you up-to-speed each week on the latest news on everything LGBTQ+ — a topic that you may follow closely at home, but can now see from different places and perspectives around the world. Discover the latest news from all corners of the planet. All in one smooth scroll!

Featuring, this week:

  • The first Queer Miss Bhutan
  • A Brazilian referee coming out just before Qatar World Cup
  • Life as an Argentine trans dad
  • … and more
✉️ You can receive our LGBTQ+ International roundup every week directly in your inbox: Sign up here.

🇮🇹 Italian Police Equate Gender Identity With Mental Disorder In Job Application Form

Italy’s Ministry of Interior is looking to hire 1,381 new police agents, but as part of their eligibility criteria, they class “gender identity” in the list of mental health disorders, as reported by Open media.

The call, published on May 16, on the Ministry’s website, indicates the procedures and requirements to apply. Under the heading "mental disorders" that the candidates cannot have, the words "current or previous gender identity disorders" appear, last in the list with "schizophrenia, current or past mood disorders, current or past dissociative disorders, current or past anxiety disorders,” and other ailments.

According to La Stampa, this part of a 7-page application process was flagged by an aspiring policeman, who was “offended and humiliated” and turned to a lawyer. “It seems to me as a wrong reference in a wrong context.”

🇧🇷🇶🇦 Referee Igor Benevenuto Comes Out Just Months Before World Cup In Qatar

Photo of \u200bBrazilian referee Igor Benevenuto

Brazilian referee Igor Benevenuto

Facebook page


FIFA Referee Igor Benevenuto came out in an interview with theGlobo Esportes podcast "Nos Armários dos Vestiários" (in the locker's closet), a journalistic series that exposes homophobia and machismo in Brazilian soccer. Benevenuto talked about the pain of living in a culture and a religion that rejected homosexuality, as highlighted by Out Sports LGBT+ media.

“For a while, I believed that there was something very wrong with me, because while I respected the Church, its doctrine failed miserably with what I felt. I remained the same, only without the right to express myself,” said the 41-year-old.

FIFA welcomed Benevenuto’s decision to come out, stating that “Igor striving to be true to himself is an important moment for football in Brazil and in other countries around the world.” FIFA has been criticized by LGBTQ+ groups after choosing Qatar as its 2022 World Cup host, a country where homosexual sex is illegal.

🇧🇹 Miss Bhutan Speaks Up For The LGBTQ+ Community

Tashi Choden, crowned Miss Bhutan 2022 in June, is the first-ever public figure in the country that publicly came out as lesbian. She will also be the first openly gay to represent the conservative country at Miss Universe 2022 in December.

She spoke up for the LGBTQ+ community and told AFP, “I'm not only speaking for the Bhutanese community but I'm speaking for the minority community on a platform like the Miss Universe pageant.”

🇫🇷 France Excludes Transgender Men From Medically Assisted Procreation 

The Constitutional Council in France approved the exclusion of transexual men from medically assisted procreation (MAP). The July 6 decision has sparked many reactions from LGBTQ+ associations to politicians.

SOS Homophobie, a non-profit French organization that fights against homophobic and transphobic crimes, expressed its "anger" and "dismay" at this decision, and qualified it as "a missed opportunity to immediately address the inequality of reproductive rights between citizens.”

🇷🇺 Russia May Extend Law Against “Gay Propaganda” To All Adults

Photo of the Moscow Pride

Moscow Pride

Wikimedia Commons


A senior Russian legislator said that the country’s so-called “gay propaganda” law, banning the promotion of any “non-traditional” sexual relationships among minors, could extend to adults later this year. According to Reuters, if the ban extends, anyone seen as promoting homosexuality could be subject to fines. Alexander Khinshtei, the head of the State Duma’s information committee, wrote on Telegram that “We propose to generally extend the ban on such propaganda regardless of the age of the audience.”

Russia’s existing “gay propaganda” law, introduced in 2013, has been used as justification to stop pride marches and detain activists. Last week, parliamentary speaker Vyacheslav Volodin said that because Russia had quit the human rights watchdog group Council of Europe, “Demands to legalize same-sex marriages in Russia are a thing of the past.”

🇮🇶 Iraq’s Proposed Law To Ban Homosexuality Causes Uproar

Iraq's government has taken steps to criminalize homosexuality, the country’s Parliamentary Legal Committee met on July 8 to create proposals targeting the LGBTQ+ community. In an interview with the Iraqi News Agency, State of Law coalition MP Aref al-Hamami confirmed that “It was agreed within the parliament to collect signatures after returning to session to legislate a law prohibiting homosexuality in Iraq”. Homosexuality has been legal in Iraq since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein.

Despite it being legal, politicians and religious leaders have constantly attacked the LGBTQ+ community, which has also been subjected to death threats, attacks and murder by armed groups, as well as targetting through laws punishing "immodest acts" according to Middle East Eye. The current government has even proposed the creation of an annual day against homosexuality.

Amir Ashour, head of the IraQueer LGBTQ+rights group, told Middle East Eye that the new law would provide cover for such attacks. "This will allow the Iraqi government to legally get away with murder and provide legal protection for armed groups and other criminals who continue to target LGBTQ+ citizens."

🇿🇦 South Africa’s Celebrated Film Critic Barry Ronge Dies At 74

One of the most prominent openly gay personalities in South African media, film critic Barry Ronge has died at age 74. Ronge led a decades-long career as a journalist, writer, columnist, and broadcaster. Despite his life in the public eye, Ronge kept a very private life.

For 45 years, he shared his life with his partner Albertus van Dyk, whom he cites as his biggest inspiration.

🌎 UN Renews LGBTQ+ Rights Watchdog

The United Nations Human Rights Council adopted a resolution in order to renew the mandate of the Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) for three more years. The vote on Thursday was adopted with 23 in favor, 17 voting against and 7 abstaining.

In addition to the renewal of the mandate, the resolution also confirmed fundament LGBTQ+ human rights. Since its creation in 2016, the UN expert has raised awareness worldwide about the impact of the criminalization of same-sex relations and the lack of affirming legal gender recognition procedures.

🇺🇸 Burning Book, Hateful Tags: LGBTQ+ Harassment in New England

Screenshot of a tweet by \u200bBoston\u2019s mayor Michelle Wu reacting to vandalism in the city

Boston’s mayor Michelle Wu reacting to vandalism in the city

Twitter


A group of conservative mothers in Connecticut are demanding that a collection of books be burned, after their local library put up a display in honor of Pride during the month of June. On June 22, the group which included a “Christian taxpayer” saw the display and removed the books. They proceeded to demand that the books be removed and burned, using slurs at the front desk of the library.

In the neighboring state of Massachusetts, an LGBTQ+ friendly senior home which is under construction in Hyde Park was vandalized. Messages included: “Die slow”, “your fairytale is over”, “Die by fire”, and “There are 2 genders”. The graffiti was discovered in the Boston suburb on July 10, but was quickly covered by residents with pro-LGBTQ+ messages. Boston’s mayor Michelle Wu tweeted: “Hate and acts of vandalism will not be tolerated … anywhere in Boston.”

🇯🇵 Record Number Of LGBTQ+ Candidates In Japan’s Election

In Japan’s House of Councillors election that took place on Sunday, history was made with a record number of 4 out of 545 candidates aiming to enter Japan’s male-dominated political circle identify at LGBTQ+. Japan’s political landscape was criticized for being unable to reflect the society’s diversity, and it only ranks 147th in political empowerment among 156 countries in the World Economic Forum’s Gender Gap Index.

With transgender candidate Karen Yoda, Shunichi Murata who identifies as bisexual, and Daigo Matsuura who is openly gay, talks on “diversity” and “coming out” and visibility on the LGBTQ+ population in Japan’s political world creates a watershed.

🇦🇷 Argentine Trans Dads Fight For More Visibility

Screenshot of Network of Trans Dads's first Zoom meeting

Network of Trans Dads's first meeting

Screenshot Agencia Presentes


Last year in Argentina, about 20 trans men came together to create the network “Paternidades Trans Argentina.” This online community is helping people share their stories, feel understood, inspired and supported while taking the medical and legal steps to become trans dads. Since the creation of the network, several members have become parents and are contributing to making trans parenthood visible, which is also helping to fight the stigma associated with it.

Members advocate for a much needed cultural change by achieving personal accomplishments and through in-person events like conferences and campaigns. They hope to bring awareness on the reality of “trans and non-binary men who gestate, adopt and accompany” children. Argentine trans men (and particularly those who get pregnant) still have to face hostile depiction by some part of the media as well as difficulties to be supported by the health system. The network thus brings them much needed comfort and relief.

OTHERWISE

• The authors offers a reflection on how David Fincher’s 1999 Fight Club helped him come to terms with his sexual orientation and gender identity.

• The Crown actress Emma Corrin becomes the first nonbinary person to be featured on the cover of Vogue.

• Independent online magazine Autostraddle has put together a list of 49 queer and feminist books coming out in the summer. Enjoy!

A man with a rainbow flag on his cheek at the Bangkok Pride Parade in Thailand
LGBTQ Plus

LGBTQ+ International: Marriage In Thailand, Trans Teacher Suicide In Italy — And Much More

Welcome to our new exclusive weekly round up of LGBTQ+ news from around the world.

This is the first edition of Worldcrunch’s LGBTQ+ International. We bring you up-to-speed each week on the latest news on everything LGBTQ+ — a topic that you may follow closely at home but can now see from different places and perspectives around the world. Whether it's trans rights, same-sex marriage, gender identity and sexual orientation, find the latest news from all corners of the planet. All in one smooth scroll!

Featuring this week:

  • Thailand taking steps toward legalizing same-sex marriage
  • Joe Biden's move against the discrimination of trans youth
  • Buenos Aires banning the use of inclusive language at schools
  • A forced outing triggering a press reckoning in Australia
  • Homophobic attacks and a float collapsing at a French pride march
  • A first in pro American baseball …

✉️ You can receive our LGBTQ+ International roundup every week directly in your inbox: Subscribe here.

COLOMBIA - Gay Congressman Targeted For Pushing Law Against “Conversion Therapy” 

A gay congressman in Colombia has been cited for an "ethical conflict of interests" while presenting a bill to ban so-called "conversion therapies" for LGBTQ+ people.

Mauricio Toro put forward the law after a Volcánicas media investigation compiled the experiences of 10 LGBTQ+ people who were subjected to these procedures in Colombia. The testimonies show "electrocutions, rapes, mutilations and procedures with acid" with false promises of "reconversion".

Toro told fellow lawmakers: "What greater act of discrimination than not allowing me to debate in Congress for being gay?" He pointed out that it was absurd to say that there was a conflict of interest, when Congress has not challenged a woman, Afro-descendant or farmer for defending their respective communities.

On Thursday, the Ethics Commission unanimously denied the challenge presented against the representative, which will allow him to continue the fight for this bill to be debated before June 20, when his term ends.

ARGENTINA - Buenos Aires Bans Use Of Inclusive Language At Schools

The City of Buenos Aires has prohibited the use of inclusive language in schools, Agencia Presentesreports.

“The ban includes the use in the classroom and material produced for educational purposes.” In Spanish, words like "All" are gendered, so inclusive language allows non-binary people and women to feel better represented. It only takes one man in a group of a hundred women to make a group masculine, and only a few words are not gendered.

For one Spanish sex-ed teacher, this is an intimidating approach: "It puts us in the situation of having to violate the rights of some of our students, colleagues and other members of the community.”

Despite the opposition to the measure, the head of government of Buenos Aires, Horacio Rodríguez, said, “from now on, teachers in the city will have to respect the rules of the Spanish language.”

MEXICO - First Non-Binary ID Certificate In Guanajuato

For the first time in Mexico, the civil registry of Guanajuato issued a birth certificate that recognizes the non-binary identity of a Mexican citizen (mexicane). It belongs to Fausto Martínez, an LGBTQ+ activist who began a petition in September after being denied the request to adapt their identity on their voting card to NB (non-binary).

After a few weeks, they received the reply that this would not be possible because in the birth certificate submitted for the procedure, this identity did not appear.

With the help of an NGO, Fausto was able to start asking for a birth certificate that matched their gender identity. The Civil Registry of Guanajuato denied this procedure until a district judge based in León, Guanajuato, ruled in favor of Fausto. “The process was carried out through the courts because we are in Guanajuato and here we have obtained our rights by fighting,” Fausto said in an interview for Altavoz.LGBT.

FRANCE - Bordeaux Pride March Interrupted By Protesters, Marred By Injuries

Homophobic protesters at the Bordeaux Pride Parade

Enfants du Stonewall Facebook page


At the Bordeaux Pride march last Sunday, in southwestern France, a float collapsed on the crowd leaving six people wounded, three of them suffering serious injuries.

This is not the only disturbance that occurred at the Pride parade: LGBTQ+ support organization SOS Homophobie reported that some people held up an anti-LGBTQ+ banner with a discriminating message: “Let’s protect children, stop LGBTQ+ craziness.” Other people got hit by projectiles thrown on the crowd.

The event, which had some 5,000 people, was interrupted by these incidents. Nine people have been placed in custody for damage, violence and being part of a violent group before being freed on Monday.

SAUDI ARABIA - Authorities Seize Rainbow Toys For “Encouraging Homosexuality”

Officials in Saudi Arabia have been removing rainbow-colored items such as toys, children’s clothing, hair clips, pop-its and pencil cases from shops, claiming they encourage homosexuality, the BBC reports. A report by the state-run Al-Ekhbariya news channel said that the rainbow colors send a “poisoned message” to children, writes The Times of Israel.

Homosexual conduct is strictly prohibited in the country, and even consensual same-sex sexual conduct can be punishable by death under the country’s interpretation of Islamic law. According to an official from the commerce ministry, the items being confiscated “contradict the Islamic faith and public morals and promote homosexual colors targeting the younger generation.”

U.S. - Biden Signs Executive Order Against Anti-Trans Laws And Conversion Therapy

U.S. President Joe Biden signed an executive order Wednesday targeting conversion therapy and discrimination of transgender youth. The sweeping provisions aim to combat the hurdles LGBTQ+ youth face against an influx of conservative state laws, such as the Florida legislation dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill.

Biden said, “My message to all the young people: Just be you. You are loved. You are heard. You are understood. You do belong. All of us on this stage have your back,” The Hill reports.

U.S. - Seattle Pacific University Graduates Hand President Pride Flags In Protest

KING 5 screenshot


Students at Seattle Pacific University handed their interim president pride flags during a commencement ceremony last Sunday instead of shaking his hand, in an act of protest against the school’s anti-LGBTQ+ hiring policy. The policy prevents the school, which is affiliated with the Free Methodist Church USA, from hiring staff “engaged in same-sex sexual activity and extramarital sex,” according to CNN.

U.S./RUSSIA - Moscow Extends Detention Of WNBA Star Brittney Griner


The pre-trial detention of two-time Olympic gold medalist and seven time WNBA All-Star Brittney Griner has once again been extended. She was originally detained on Feb. 17, 2022, after a Russian customs official reported to have found hashish oil in her luggage. She will now be detained until at least July 2. If convicted, Griner could face spending another 10 years in Russian prison.

In May, her wife Cherelle Griner told Good Morning America that Griner would “wholeheartedly love to not go overseas … but she can’t make enough money in the WNBA to sustain her life.” Now, due to the war in Ukraine, Griner’s team has chosen to remain largely silent so as not to politicize her case, though they have been unable to secure her release. Griner’s detention has sparked outrage on social media over the lack of support coming from U.S. officials: “the only reason she’s over there is because the U.S. doesn’t give af about women athletes — let alone Black AND Queer women athletes,” said one user posting under the hashtag #BrittneyGriner.

U.S. - New Suit Filed to Stop Texas Probes Of Families Seeking Transition

Trans activism

Transgender youth and allies rally at the Texas State Capital in Austin, Texas to decry Governer Greg Abbott's policies.

Bob Daemmrich/ZUMA


A new lawsuit filed last week aims to stop investigations in Texas of families supporting its young members from transitioning among genders. The lawsuit is filed by one named family, two pseudonymous families and the LGBTQ+ support and advocacy organization PFLAG.

The suit comes after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued an order earlier this year to investigate for child abuse parents who provide gender-affirming health care for their non-binary children.

The families and PFLAG wish to prevent probes of their families and others under Abbot’s order. The suit names Abbott, the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) and its commissioner Jaime Masters as defendants. The Texas Supreme Court had previously held that Abbott did not have the authority to set DFPS policy, but the probes have resumed.

U.S. - Baseball Umpires Wear Pride Hats In First For Pro Sports

Umpires in an MLB baseball game on Saturday between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants wore Pride hats — making it the first time that officials in a U.S. men’s pro sports game included an LGBTQ+ insignia as part of their official uniform. The players on both teams also wore hats with their team logos in rainbow colors.

The game was the Giants’ official Pride day. In attendance was former MLB umpire Dale Scott, who came out in 2014 while still working in baseball. The umpires are said to have worn the hats in a gesture of good will toward the LGBTQ+ community, and in support of Scott. Because umpires are thought to be “arbiters of a fair game,” wearing the Pride hats also symbolized the nonpartisan nature supporting the LGBTQ+ community.

MIDDLE EAST/ASIA - Upcoming Disney Movie Banned In 14 Countries For Same-Sex Kiss

Disney’s new film Lightyear will not be showing in 14 Middle Eastern and Asian countries, including Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Lebanon due to its portrayal of a same-sex romantic interest. The United Arab Emirates, which is regarded by many as one of the most progressive countries in the Middle East, is among the countries which will not be allowing the release of the Toy Story spinoff in its theaters. The UAE’s Media Regulatory office did not specify why the film does not meet their standards, but homosexual activity is considered illegal in the UAE.

According to a producer for the film, Chinese officials asked that some scenes be cut from the movie. Disney had reportedly already cut and reinstated a same-sex kiss scene after Pixar staff published an open letter criticizing the company, a production source told Variety. Following the incident with the open letter, Disney is denying China’s request and it appears that the film will not be released there.

"We're not going to cut out anything, especially something as important as the loving and inspirational relationship that shows Buzz what he's missing by the choices that he's making, so that's not getting cut," one of the producers told Reuters.

UK/QATAR - Wales Soccer Team Staff To Boycott 2022 World Cup In Qatar Over Gay Rights


The Welsh national soccer team qualified for their first World Cup finals since 1958, but some of the team’s staff will not travel to Qatar for the tournament due to the country’s stance on gay rights. Homosexuality is illegal in Qatar and they country's human rights record has come under increasing scrutiny.

Despite this, Qatari officials have claimed the World Cup will be a "tournament for everyone.” As FIFA’s decision to host the tournament in Qatar has come under criticism, the head of Welsh soccer Noel Mooney said the team will use the tournament as a “platform” to discuss the state of Qatar's human rights.

UK/RWANDA - LGBTQ+ Asylum Seeker Fears Being Sent To Rwanda 

The UK's plan to deport illegal refugees to Rwanda to have their claims processed there from mid-June has raised controversy, especially among the LGBTQ+ community. The first deportation flight was canceled on Tuesday after the European Court of Human Rights issued a last-minute ruling, but the refugees still fear for their fate.

French-language media Komitid reports on the case of Hadi (not his real name), an Iraqi asylum seeker set to be deported. Hadi fled Iraq because he was persecuted for being homosexual, crossed Europe to reach the UK, and is now afraid of being sent to Rwanda.

Even if homosexuality is not banned there, Rwanda is a country where LGBTQ+ rights are quite limited.

Hadi recalls the discrimination, homophobia and mistreatment he was victim of in Iraq because of his sexual orientation. He doesn’t want to face such prosecutions in Rwanda, saying “Kill me or sentence me to death instead of sending me there.”

AFGHANISTAN - Taliban Use Monkeypox As A Pretext To Arrest LGBTQ+ Afghans

In Afghanistan, the Taliban have found yet another reason to persecute the LGBTQ+ community with the recent outbreaks of Monkeypox in Europe. Most confirmed cases were reported in queer men, although there is no correlation between sexuality and the disease. Monkeypox is transmitted during close contacts between people and can be caught by anybody.

The Taliban are nonetheless targeting men they suspect not to be “straight” on the grounds that they might carry the disease, even though no cases have been reported in the country. Gay men and trans people are subsequently arrested and beaten. Violent persecutions against the Afghan LGBTQ+ community have been commonplace ever since the Taliban takeover in August 2021.

THAILAND - Thailand Moves To Legalize Same-Sex Marriage


Lawmakers in the southeast Asian country of Thailand have taken the first steps toward legalizing same-sex marriage after approving two bills that would permit civil partnerships and same-sex marriages. A committee will consolidate the bills into two proposals in order to give MPs a choice between approving civil partnerships or same-sex marriage.

Thailand is a Buddhist majority country, but it has a very visible LGBTQ+ community. This month has seen Bangkok’s first Pride parade in 16 years. Although it has yet to pass, the new legislation marks a significant milestone for the LGBTQ+ community in overcoming the many existing barriers of discrimination. People have taken to the streets to celebrate this historic moment: "I am very happy and glad. It is a good sign in Pride month that there are MPs who want equality and vote for the bills," activist Nada Chaiyajit told AFP.

SOUTH AFRICA - South Africa’s Robben Island Holds First Pride

www.flickr.com


On May 25, more than 200 southern African LGBTQ+ activists held the first Pride March ever on Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 18 years along with other anti-Apartheid activists. They were welcomed by former inmates who gave them an emotional tour of the prison, reminding them of the importance of the fight for diversity and inclusivity.

This event was part of the Kopano conference, a platform for LGBTQ+ activists from 13 southern African countries. As a president, Nelson Mandela fought for LGBTQ+ South Africans’ rights by including protections against discrimination due to sexual orientation in the constitution.

ITALY - Shunned Trans Teacher Kills Herself


A transgender former physics teacher killed herself in her camper van near Venice, in northern Italian, during the weekend. Cloe Bianco had announced she was going to commit suicide in a June 10 post of her blog, where she had previously written about how, as a trans woman, she was not allowed a place in society.

Italian daily La Stampa reports that Bianco had been suspended as a teacher in 2015 when she came out to her students and was demoted to a role as a secretary. “Transphobia kills,” commented LGBTQ+ rights account Radio Zek on Twitter.

AUSTRALIA - Rebel Wilson’s Forced Outing Triggers Ethics Reckoning For Australian Press


Australian actress Rebel Wilson revealed her relationship with fashion designer Ramona Agruma, her “Disney Princess,” last Friday with an Instagram post. But it has since been revealed that the move was to preempt an Australian newspaper that had planned to "out" her. Sydney Morning Herald columnist Andrew Hornery accused Wilson of revealing her relationship to “gazump” a story he planned to publish.

Critics have argued that Horney’s approach was an “abuse of power” and a “journalist ego". The situation has triggered a reckoning for the Australian press and opened a discussion on journalism ethics worldwide, with some saying the incident just shows how far Australia has to go in terms of LGBTQ+ inclusion.

Hornery claims he had reached out to Wilson’s representatives with the intention of publishing Wilson and Agruma’s relationship in his column. He gave her two days to respond, which she ignored. Hornery has since published an apology.

POLAND - Majority Of Poles In Favor Of Same-Sex Marriage

According to a new OKO.press poll, a growing majority of citizens in Poland are in favor of legalizing same-sex civil unions or marriage: 64%, up by 6% from 2019 and 10% from 2015.

Despite progress being made, the influx of refugees fleeing war in Ukraine is highlighting persistent divisions when it comes to LGBTQ+ rights in Poland. As Poland accepts millions of displaced Ukrainians with open arms, activists are working hard to make sure that the same warmth and empathy is extended to members of Ukraine’s LGBTQ+ community.

At the moment, LGBTQ+ refugees are facing a lack of support from local governments and face increased prejudice when seeking housing in the traditionally Catholic country that is run by the extremely conservative Law and Justice party.

OTHERWISE:

Will Putin Declare War On May 9? Or Peace?
In The News
Anna Akage, Bertrand Haugier, Emma Albright

Will Putin Declare War On May 9? Or Peace?

The annual May 9 commemoration of the defeat of Nazi Germany has extra significance this year with Russia in the full throes of the invasion of Ukraine. There are conflicting reports about how President Vladimir Putin may use the occasion.

There’s no doubt that next Monday, May 9, all eyes will be on Russian President Vladimir Putin. The annual commemoration of the defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II, known in Moscow as “Victory Day,” has extra significance this year with Russia in the full throes of the invasion of Ukraine, which may indeed be the riskiest war since 1945.

Stay up-to-date with the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war, with our exclusive international coverage.

Sign up to our free daily newsletter.

Of course, two months since the invasion, Putin hasn’t even acknowledged that Russia is at war, calling it a “special operation.” And some sources believe that he will use the May 9 occasion to officially declare war — again, against “Nazis,” as the Kremlin refers to the government in Kyiv.

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Pope Francis greets children with drawings on Ukraine war
Ideas
Luigi Manconi

Why Pope Francis Is Right To Avoid Ukraine War Politics

The Pope is being urged to "go to Kyiv," and name Putin as the aggressor in the war in Ukraine. If he did so, the pontiff would renounce his own religious charisma, and ultimately sap him of his unique role and power as the ultimate messenger of peace.

-OpEd-

ROME — Precisely because I am in favor of the Ukrainian popular resistance and of all initiatives in its support, I am equally in favor of Pope Francis' unmitigated stance for pacifism.

Stay up-to-date with the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war, with our exclusive international coverage.

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The origin of the pontiff's choice should always reside in the words that constitute the foundation of the relationship between Christians and history: Be in the world, but not of the world (John 15:18-19). Everything is contained in that guidance.

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Photo of Ukrainian soldiers on a Russian tank flying Ukraine's flag
Ideas
Anna Akage and Irene Caselli

Why The Battle For Donbas Could Decide The War In Ukraine

Vladimir Putin badly needs a victory, and may be ready to unleash Russia's deadliest assault to date. But Ukraine has its best fighters in the eastern region, fighting a war there since 2014, and may have several key tactical advantages.

Even after last week’s bloody attack on the Kramatorsk railway station, the trains have not stopped running. Here in the Donbas region, a new flock of soon-to-be refugees continue to flee what Vladimir Putin has promised will be the next main theater of hostilities in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Stay up-to-date with the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war, with our exclusive international coverage.

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Families arrived by bus to Slovyansk, half an hour from Kramatorsk, to catch the last trains heading west. "It's the second war we've lived through — eight years ago we stayed, this time it’s much worse, there is no certainty of tomorrow,” one local told Francesco Semprini, reporting for Italian daily La Stampa.

Indeed, in the neighboring region of Luhansk, shelling has already picked up in recent days, leaving more and more residents without power, gas and water. Sergei Gaidai, head of the Luhansk Regional State Administration, used the messaging platform Telegram to explain what local officials are up against:

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Photo of a Ukrainian soldier holding a rifle in an apartment building in Kharkiv, Ukraine
Geopolitics
Francesco Semprini

Ukraine Night Patrol: Elite Forces Hunt Russian Spies — And House Parties

A reporter in Kharkiv joins the Ukrainian Special Forces patrolling the streets in search of pro-Russian saboteurs. But the military police teams also have to deal with those violating the curfew, which can become a deadly offense during war.

KHARKIV — The appointment is set at 10.30 p.m. in one of the operational centers of the national police. The special teams begin patrolling Kharkiv, Ukraine's second largest city, before midnight — in the darkness brought on by curfews and blackouts for more than 40 days now.

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The goal: to identify anyone wandering around the city without permission — looters, vagrants, and saboteurs in particular. The latter are agents recruited by Moscow to facilitate attacks with drones, missiles and artillery. They're a real thorn in the side for the Ukrainians who, at night, engage in a city-wide hunt to drive out anyone who may represent a danger to the city's security.

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