Welcome to our new exclusive weekly round up of LGBTQ+ news from around the world.
Welcome to Worldcrunch’s LGBTQ+ International. We bring you up-to-speed each week on a topic you may follow closely at home, but can now see from different places and perspectives around the world. Discover the latest news on everything LGBTQ+ — from all corners of the planet. All in one smooth scroll!
This week featuring:
- U.S. protecting same-sex marriage
- Russia extending “anti-LGBTQ+ propaganda” law
- Blood donation progress in Ireland
- … and more
✉️ You can receive our LGBTQ+ International roundup every week directly in your inbox: Subscribe here.
TW: This content may address topics and include references to violence that some may find distressing.
🇺🇸 Senate Passes Bill Protecting Same-Sex Marriage Rights
The U.S. took a big step towards granting same-sex marriage rights federal protection on Tuesday. The Senate voted to pass the Respect for Marriage Act by 61 to 36, meaning a significant bloc of Republicans supported the bill. It now moves to the House, where it is expected to pass early next week.
The bill is in response to abortion rights being overturned last June by the U.S. Supreme Court, which currently has a conservative majority. Some feared that the same could happen to same-sex marriage rights if they weren’t protected by federal law.
⚽️ World Cup Update: Blinken Speaks Up, London Transportation Boycott, Qatar Diary…
Mario Ferri waving a rainbow flag during the Portugal-Uruguay game.
The conversation around the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, which kicked off a week ago, is still dominated by the issue of human rights and the treatment of the LGBTQ+ community in the host country. Here’s an update on everything LGBTQ+ related happening at the event:
- Italian Streaker Released After LGBTQ+ Flag Turns Out To Be Peace Flag ... But ...
Italian activist Mario Ferri stormed the pitch during the game between Portugal and Uruguay carrying a rainbow flag. He ran across the field while wearing a Superman T-shirt displaying messages in support of Ukraine and of Iranian women. First thought to be the LGBTQ+ flag, it was later discovered to be the “PACE” peace flag, explaining why the streaker was promptly released by Qatari authorities — although he will not be allowed to attend any more matches. It's worth noting that Ferri has spoken in favor of LGBTQ+ rights on multiple occasions, and therefore may have chosen the similar-looking flag knowingly.
- U.S. Secretary Of State Blinken Speaks Against Rainbow Armband Ban
United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken recently came out against a ban on rainbow armbands at the World Cup tournament in Qatar, which a few European team captains had intended to wear in support of LGBTQ rights. Blinken flagged the ban as “concerning” as well as a restriction on “freedom of expression”.
- Olympic Diver Tom Daley Slams Qatar, Calls For Unity
While accepting his award for Changemaker at the sixth annual Gay Times Honours ceremony on Nov. 25, Olympic diver Tom Daley hit out at the Qatar World Cup as he delivered a speech about unity and LGBTQ+ visibility. He stressed the importance of “every single person” within the LGBTQ+ community working together to combat hate, discrimination and violence.
- London Transport Bans Qatar Ads Over LGBTQ+ Rights
London's public transport operator is not allowing advertising that “portrays Qatar as a desirable destination” or encourages people to attend the World Cup.
- Live From Qatar Thanks To A Gay Soccer Fan’s Updates
Phil, 39, is a lifelong football fan and is currently in Qatar for his fourth World Cup in a row. Even though Qatar had said "everyone is welcome", he does not feel safe traveling in the country as a member of LGBTQ+ community. He has been keeping an online account of his every day experience and the challenges he has faced.
🇮🇱 Israel Forms Coalition Government With Far-Right, LGBTQ+ Rights Opponent Avi Maoz
Former Israeli Prime Minister and Likud Party leader Benjamin Netanyahu have reached a coalition agreement with far-right leader Avi Maoz, leader of the Naom Party. The alliance threatens to form the most far-right government in Israel's history, which will affect the rights of sexual minorities in the country, The Guardian reports.
Maoz is an outspoken opponent of LGBTQ+ rights and women in the military, and has spoken against having Arab teachers educate Jewish students in Israeli schools. He also denies the legitimacy of non-Orthodox Judaism, including the Reform and Conservative movements.
🇺🇸 Veteran Sues U.S. Military For Denying Gender-Affirming Surgery To Trans Daughter
A military dad and his transgender daughter have filled an unprecedented suit against the U.S. Department of Defense for “unconstitutionally” denying the right to gender-affirming surgery for military dependents. The daughter’s claim for gender-affirming surgery was rejected by her dad’s military health insurance, even though she was diagnosed with gender dysphoria at age 17.
Since 2016, the Department of Defense has provided gender-affirming surgeries for active-duty military personnel but not to dependents.
“A victory in this case would ensure that all dependents of military personnel who are transgender would have access to the critical medical care they need, free of discrimination of exclusion,” said Ben Klein, an attorney with advocacy group LGBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders, which represents the father and daughter.
🇲🇽 Mexico State Introduces Platform To Centralize Acts Of LGBTQ+ Discrimination
One of Visible's committee reunion.
Juan Pablo Delgado via Instagram
Visible is a project created in partnership with the Collective for the Protection of All Families (PTF) in Yucatán, Amicus, Colmena 41 and the Trans Youth Network. The platform, where users can register their experience quickly and anonymously, won first place in the country's Transparency Innovation Contest in 2022 for the relevance of the data it was able to collect.
During its launch, representatives of the platform spoke about the importance of working in partnership with local organizations, as it sends a message to the state government and the Yucatán society in general that "there is homophobia and transphobia, even if they don't want to see it."
🇮🇳 Indian Lesbian Couple Wins Case For Right To Be Together
A lesbian couple from India has won a court battle for the right to be together after the family of one forbade her from seeing her partner. Adhila and Fatima won the case against Fatima's family in the Kerala High Court, with the help of local human rights organization, the Vanaja collective.
Same-sex relationships were decriminalized in India in 2018, although marriage is not yet recognized in the country.
🇳🇬 Call To Stop Homophobic Nigerian Comedian AY From Performing In UK
Comedian A.Y. in November 2022
A petition has been drawn up to block Nigerian-based comedian AY from performing in the UK as part of his international tour. The campaign calls his act "toxic and homophobic" after a video surfaced online of him publicly mocking gay men. AY has also called for a gay “witch hunt” in his country.
The petition, started by the openly gay British-Nigerian Reverend Jide Rebirth Macaulay, has now garnered over 1,500 signatures.
🇿🇦 Famous Cape Town Jeweler Refuses To Sell Engagement Ring To Lesbian Couple
A South African lesbian couple are suing Craig Marks, one of Cape Town's best-known jewelers, after he refused to make an engagement ring because it was for two women.
Candice van Eck told Mamba that after she decided to propose to her partner, she ordered engagement rings from the jeweler’s website. But as soon as the owner discovered the order was for a lesbian couple, he immediately stopped responding to messages.
The jeweler stated that his religious beliefs prevented him from fulfilling the order.
🇮🇪 Ireland Removes Sexual Orientation From Blood Donation Restrictions
The Irish Blood Transfusion Service announced that sexuality will no longer be included as a restriction in its blood donation guidelines. Historically, this has impacted trans people, and gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men. They have had to abstain from sexual activity for minimum periods of time in order to be eligible to give blood. Now, anyone in an exclusive relationship for over four months can donate, regardless of their or their partner’s gender and sexual orientation.
The service says it will now conduct evaluations on a person-to-person basis with the newly introduced Individual Donor Risk Assessment.
🇹🇭 Bangkok Holds Second Pride Within A Year
Pride Parade in Bangkok, Thailand
Teera Noisakran/Pacific Press/ZUMA
Members and supporters of Thailand’s LGBTQ+ community joined the Thailand Pride Parade 2022, united under the theme of "unity & diversity."
This is the second such Pride march this year in Bangkok in 2022: In July, the Bangkok Naruemit Pride Parade was the first such event to take place in the city for over 16 years.
🇸🇬 Singapore Revokes Colonial-Era Law Criminalizing Gay Sex, But Blocks Same-Sex Marriage
Singapore has repealed a law inherited from the British Empire that banned gay sex, which was still penalized with up to two years in jail.
"I'm glad we finally got our way," French media Komitid quoted the representative of a Singaporean LGBTQ+ community as saying. "But this is only the first step in eliminating the social and religious prejudices that plague our community because of outdated beliefs and media censorship."
The news comes just as the country’s parliament amended the constitution to reinforce the definition of marriage as between a man and a woman, effectively stumping efforts towards the legalization of same-sex marriage in the island country.
🇷🇺 Russia Extends “Anti-LGBTQ+ Propaganda” Law To All Ages
The Russian State Duma has passed a law that entirely bans "propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations" among people of all ages — and not just minors, as has been the case in Russia up to now.
The bans will affect the book and film industries, the media, and Internet sites. Russian state censorship will also be able to monitor and block resources which, in the agency's opinion, will spread "LGBTQ+ propaganda" — although there is currently no clear definition or criteria as to what constitutes "LGBTQ+ propaganda" according to the new legislative initiative.
🇬🇧 Helena Bonham Carter Defends J.K. Rowling Over Transphobia Accusations
British actress Helena Bonham Carter voiced her support to J.K. Rowling, calling the backlash against the Harry Potter author for her views which some deem transphobic “horrendous.” In an interview with The Times, the actress who played the Bellatrix Lestrange in the film adaptation of the book series said “the judgmentalism of people” had been “taken to the extreme” and that Rowling was “allowed her opinion, particularly if she’s suffered abuse.”
The British author came under fire in 2020 for controversial tweets about the transgender community, causing several actors from the Harry Potter franchise to speak out against her. Rowling also recently criticized proposed amendments to the Gender Recognition Reform Bill in Scotland that would make it easier for people to legally change their gender.
• Mamba looks back on the legacy of Simon Nkoli, the LGBTQ+ activist who fought for queer rights in South Africa.
• Harry Allen was a bonafide cowboy: "skilled barroom brawler, trick shooter, and dashing womanizer" — and as LGBTQ Nation writes, the "transgender heartthrob of the Wild West."
• Gaysi offers a deep dive into Joyland, the first Pakistani film to premiere at the Cannes Film Festival and bring home the Jury Prize as well as the Queer Palm.
• Gay Times scored an exclusive interview with actress Cara Delevingne who talks about her new BBC documentary Planet Sex and her relationship with her queerness.