Wednesday, February 28

World

LGBTQ related news & updates from around the world.

Malaysian Authorities Seize Pride Watches in Swatch Store Raids
World

Malaysian Authorities Seize Pride Watches in Swatch Store Raids

Swiss watch giant Swatch revealed Tuesday that Malaysian officials have raided and confiscated 164 watches from their Pride Collection. The company claimed that the Malaysian Ministry of Home Affairs raided their stores in various malls throughout Malaysia on May 13 & 14. The watches were reportedly seized because they featured "LGBT connotations.” In a statement released by the Swatch group, CEO Nick Hayek Jr. said that they “strongly contest” that their “collection of watches using rainbow colors and having a message of peace and love could be harmful for whomever.” Adding that, “on the contrary, Swatch always promotes a positive message of joy in life. This is nothing political. We wonder how the Regulatory and Enforcement Division of the Home Ministry will confiscate the man...
Gay Couples Petition India’s Supreme Court to Legalize Same-sex Marriage
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Gay Couples Petition India’s Supreme Court to Legalize Same-sex Marriage

Four gay couples in India have urged their Supreme Court to legalize same-sex marriage. India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, has been given a deadline to respond to their petitions. A legal battle is expected as Modi’s government has refused to move on marriage equality in the past.  India’s Supreme Court decriminalized homosexuality in 2018 by repealing a colonial-era ban on gay sex. While being gay has become legal, India’s LGBTQ+ community reportedly continue experiencing discrimination and rejection from mainstream society.  The Supreme Court filings argue that gay couples in India are denied equal rights as long as same-sex marriages aren’t legal. Without the government recognizing their marriages, gay couples in India are denied rights linked to pensions, adoption and m...
Colombian Webcam Performer Tortured & Killed in Homophobic Attack
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Colombian Webcam Performer Tortured & Killed in Homophobic Attack

Webcam model Felipe Garzón was tortured and murdered in his Bogota apartment on Dec. 12. By two men he reportedly met on a dating app. Garzón’s partner, Henry Castiel, asserts that the murder was the result of a hate crime that targeted Garzón because of his sexuality. This contradicts speculations of a fatal burglary. Castiel claims that Garzón was tortured and choked with a pride flag before dying. “They tortured and choked him with the flag that represents our community,” Castiel told local news outlet Noticias Caracol.  The two men, who were let in willingly by the 22-year old victim, were last seen leaving the apartment at 8.38 p.m. Garzón’s body was discovered by friends the following day. They reportedly had a locksmith open the apartment door after not having been able to reach...
Gay Norwegian Filmmaker Facing 3 Years in Prison for Saying Trans Women Can’t Be Lesbian
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Gay Norwegian Filmmaker Facing 3 Years in Prison for Saying Trans Women Can’t Be Lesbian

Gay Norwegian filmmaker, Tonje Gjevjon, is facing up to three years in prison for speaking out against a local transgender activist that identifies as a lesbian. Gjevjon’s claims that Christine Jentoft, who transitioned from being a man and now identifies as a woman, can’t be lesbian. This has led to Gjevjon becoming the subject of a criminal investigation as hate speech against transgender people was outlawed in Norway in 2020.  Gjevjon made her claims via Facebook in October by posting “it is just as impossible for men to become lesbians as it is for men to become pregnant.” She also added that she believes that “men are men regardless of their sexual fetishes.”  The comments have led Norwegian authorities to investigate the filmmaker as transphobic hate speech was outlawed i...
US Ambassador to Ghana Stands up for LGBTQ Rights
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US Ambassador to Ghana Stands up for LGBTQ Rights

U.S. Ambassador to Ghana, Virginia E. Palmer makes plea for Ghana’s LGBTQ+ community as the country prepares to pass new anti-LGBTQ bill. In an interview with Accra based Joy News, she also clarified what the Biden administration’s motives are for criticizing the legislation. “We don’t want your straight Ghanaian children to be gay, we want your gay children to be safe,” Palmer said. This after locals have claimed that the U.S. is seeking to promote homosexuality in the country due to the Biden administrations' public critique of the new legislation.  While “same-sex conduct” already is illegal, a bill was introduced in 2021 that if passed, would make Ghana one of the strictest anti-LGBTQ countries in the world. The legislation proposes 5-year prison sentences for people who identify a...
Russia Expands Its ‘Gay Propaganda’ Ban
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Russia Expands Its ‘Gay Propaganda’ Ban

The lower house of the Russian Parliament voted last week to expand the country’s ban on “gay propaganda’ or any promotion of LGBTQ+ people. The law which previously applied to “gay propaganda” that targeted minors, will now be expanded to cover all “gay propaganda.”  Any positive mention of “non-traditional sexual relations” or relationships in the media will be considered as serious of an infraction as distributing pornography, promoting violence or inciting racial tensions. Violating the law will lead to costly fines, regular people will have to pay up to $9,600 per infraction while companies can be forced to pay up to $120,000.  The previous version of the law was introduced in 2013 and prohibited “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations” that targeted minors. While t...
London: Transportation Network Bans Ads Promoting Qatar Over Anti-LGBTQ+ Laws
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London: Transportation Network Bans Ads Promoting Qatar Over Anti-LGBTQ+ Laws

London’s public transportation network has banned ads that promote Qatar, or make it appear as a desirable travel destination over the country’s anti-LGBTQ+ laws. The ban, which prohibits advertising that encourages Londoners to attend the World Cup, has reportedly angered Qatari authorities. According to the Financial Times, the Qatari regime is currently reviewing all of its investments in the British capital.  London’s public transportation network has since 2019, taken different nations' treatment of LGBTQ+ people into consideration when determining advertisers suitability. By using a list provided by the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA), Transport for London ensures that ads that promote countries with strict anti-LGBTQ+ legislation aren’...
Report: New ‘Black Panther’ Movie To Be Banned in China for Featuring Queer Content
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Report: New ‘Black Panther’ Movie To Be Banned in China for Featuring Queer Content

Marvel’s newest “Black Panther” installment, “Wakanda Forever,” will be banned in China, experts warn. This comes as one of the characters, Aneka, is openly queer and in love with a fellow warrior named Ayo. While the film made its debut in theaters worldwide on friday, it most likely won’t be shown in Chinese theaters due to the country's strict censorship laws surrounding LGBTQ+ inclusive content. The movies fate in the nation is currently undetermined but experts say that its unlikely that the movie will be shown there, according to The Hollywood Reporter. This would not be the first time a Marvel blockbuster gets banned in China. Movies such as "Spider-Man: No Way Home," & "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" are also banned in the country. In Marvel Studios’ “B...
Gay Couple in Armenia Reportedly Commit Joint Suicide
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Gay Couple in Armenia Reportedly Commit Joint Suicide

Armenian LGBT activists report that a local gay couple committed joint suicide after being rejected by their families for coming out.  According to a spokesperson from PINK Armenia, two men that were in a relationship posted their suicide announcement on their respective Instagram accounts before jumping off the Davtashen bridge in Yerevan, Armenia. The photos showed the couple kissing and were captioned: “Happy End. Decisions about sharing photos and our next steps were taken by both of us together.” Greek news outlets report that the couple were rejected by their relatives after coming out as gay. Facing the alleged abandonment of their families and living in a country that lacks LGBT protections reportedly pushed the young men to take their own lives.  Armenia is kno...
Italy Announces New LGBT Strategy as Its Right-wing Prepares for Power
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Italy Announces New LGBT Strategy as Its Right-wing Prepares for Power

The outgoing Italian government has announced a new plan to help grant and protect equal rights for LGBT Italians as far-right politician Giorgia Meloni prepares to become the new prime minister of Italy.  This after Italy’s far-right won the country’s Sept. 25 election. Georgia Meloni represents the post-fascist party “Brothers of Italy,” and ran on defending “traditional family values” and standing up to the “gay lobby.”   In a statement to Reuters, Equal Opportunities Minister Elena Bonetti said that they "weren't very ideological,” when drafting the strategy but “were very concrete." The "National LGBT+ Strategy 2022-2025," which passed on Oct, 6. is a 30-page plan that seeks to tackle the discrimination LGBT people face in schools, hospitals, prisons, universi...