LGBTQI+

Diversity & Inclusion
Norway extends legal protection for queer people
Norway extends legal protection for queer people
Credit: unsplash.com / Alexander Sinn

Since 1981 hate speech against gays and lesbians has been a punishable offense in Norway. Now the Scandinavian country extended its protection law to include bisexuals and trans people. In the hate speech prohibition, the category "homosexual orientation" was changed to the category "sexual orientation" and so among other things also Bi- and Pansexual humans were included. Furthermore, "gender, gender identity or expression" was added. Under the law, hateful comments in public can be punished with up to three years imprisonment.

Education • School Education
First school for transgender people opens in Bangladesh
First school for transgender people opens in Bangladesh
Credit: unsplash.com / MChe Lee

In Bangladesh the first Islamic school, where 150 trans people can attend courses free of charge, opens. This is a further step to support the queer community. In 2018, a new law was passed that gave trans people of the "third gender" named there the right to vote and to take up political positions.

Regional News • Americas • United States
Sarah McBride (Delaware) becomes first openly transgender state senator in US history
Sarah McBride (Delaware) becomes first openly transgender state senator in US history
Credit: @SarahEMcBride, Screenshot via Twitter

Sarah McBride (Delaware), national press secretary for the Human Rights Campaign, becomes the first openly transgender state senator in US history.

"We did it. We won the general election. Thank you, thank you, thank you," McBride tweeted. "I hope tonight shows an LGBTQ kid that our democracy is big enough for them, too."

Lifestyle • Religion
Pope Francis endorses same-sex civil unions
Pope Francis
Pope Francis Credit: Long Thiên (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Pope Francis as made his most explicit endorsement of same-sex civil unions since becoming pontiff while being interviewed for the feature-length documentary “Francesco,” which premiered Wednesday at the Rome Film Festival.

"Homosexual people have the right to be in a family. They are children of God," Francis said in one of his sit-down interviews for the film. "You can't kick someone out of a family, nor make their life miserable for this. What we have to have is a civil union law; that way they are legally covered."

Regional News • Americas • United States
Two U.S. Supreme Court Justices Question Ruling That Allowed Same Sex Marriage
Two U.S. Supreme Court Justices Question Ruling That Allowed Same Sex Marriage
Credit: U.S. government. / Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain)

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has published an opinion piece in support of Justice Samuel Alito questioning same-sex marriage. Both had voted against the ruling in 2015 that permitted same-sex marriage.

Thomas stated that "those with sincere religious beliefs about marriage now find it increasingly difficult to be a part of society. The verdict would label those who believe that marriage can only exist between a man and a woman as fanatics. And this although they would only refuse to bend their religious attitudes to current legal beliefs".

Regional News • Americas • Canada
Trudeau’s Liberal Party has reintroduced a bill to ban "gay conversion therapy"
Trudeau’s Liberal Party has reintroduced a bill to ban "gay conversion therapy"
Credit: unsplash.com/Elyssa Fahndrich

Trudeau’s Liberal Party has reintroduced a bill that would ban "gay conversion therapy", a pseudoscientific practise of trying to alter someone's sexual orientation or gender identity, on Thursday.

The legislation was previously introduced back in March before parliament had to close due to Covid-19.

"Conversion therapy is harmful, degrading, and has no place in Canada … I hope that all parties will do the right thing by supporting this bill," so PM Justin Trudeau on Thursday.

Regional News • Europe • Germany
Friedrich Merz 'regrets' controversial gay chancellor remarks
Friedrich Merz
Friedrich Merz Credit: Olaf Kosinsky (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

German politician Friedrich Merz says he now "regrets" comments made when asked whether he would have reservations if an LGBT+ chancellor were to lead Germany.

During a video interview for the Bild newspaper, Merz replied to the question with: "No. Concerning the question of sexual orientation, as long as it is within the law and does not affect children — which at this point, for me, would be an absolute limit — it is not an issue for public discussion."

Merz is the leading candidate for the position of chair of the centre-right Christian Democrats (CDU). Whoever is selected for the role would likely become the party's candidate to replace Angela Merkel as chancellor.

Merz' answer sparked an outcry from German politicians, especially as one of his rivals for the position of CDU chair, Health Minister Jens Spahn, is openly gay.

Another gay politician, deputy chair of the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD), Kevin Kühnert tweeted: "This is how someone works who cannot hide the fact that he cannot deal with the normalization of homosexuality."

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Literature
Australian bookshop to no longer stock Harry Potter books after JK Rowling's transgender controversy
Screenshot of Rabble Books & Games' post, announcing they will stop stocking JK Rowling's books
Screenshot of Rabble Books & Games' post, announcing they will stop stocking JK Rowling's books Credit: Rabble Books & Games, Courtesy of Facebook

Perth bookshop Rabble Books and Games has announced they will stop stocking JK Rowling's Harry Potter books to make the shop a "safer place" for its customers. This comes after Rowling came under fire for her comments about transgender people and her misleading portrayal of cross-dressing in her recent book "Troubled Blood".

"While stocking a book isn't an endorsement (good grief, that would be a minefield), and we will always take orders for books that aren't in stock, there are more worthy books to put on the shelf – books that don't harm communities and won't make us sad to unpack them," so the store's statement. "We know that HP means a lot to a lot of people and that often you want to share them with the youngsters in your life. We will always be happy to order them in for you, as with any books we don’t stock," they wrote and added that all the profits of those sales will be going to the Australian organisations TransFolk of WA.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • TV & Movies
"Star Trek: Discovery" introduces first-ever transgender and non-binary characters
"Star Trek: Discovery" introduces first-ever transgender and non-binary characters
Credit: @startrekcbs via Twitter (Screenshot)

"Star Trek: Discovery" will introduce the franchise's first-ever transgender and non-binary characters in its third season premiering on October 15.

Trans actor Ian Alexander will portray the trans character Gray and Blu del Barrio will make their TV acting debut as the non-binary character Adira.

Regional News • Oceania
Queensland bans gay conversion therapy
Queensland bans gay conversion therapy
Credit: unsplash.com / Yoav Hornung

State politicians in Queensland, Australia have voted to criminalize gay conversion therapy. People that attempt "to change or suppress a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity" can under the new legislation face up to 18 months in prison.

Queensland's health minister has stated that "Being LGBTIQ is not an affliction or disease that requires medical treatment".

Regional News • Americas • South America
Banco de la Nación Argentina announces employment quota for trans people
Banco de la Nación Argentina announces employment quota for trans people
(Public Domain)

The Banco de la Nación Argentina signed an agreement Wednesday establishing a quota of not less than 1 per cent of all the bank's personal destined to be occupied by trans people.
"This is part of the change in priorities, abandoning a model of political and cultural exclusion and moving to one of expansion of rights," said the chief of staff, Santiago Cafiero, who participated in the event at the bank headquarters at Plaza de Mayo in Buenos Aires.

Regional News • Europe
Three suspects arrested after pride flags had been placed on statues in Warsaw
Three suspects arrested after pride flags had been placed on statues in Warsaw
Credit: Twitter (Reproduction)

The Police police have arrested three people that they suspect of having placed pride flags on multiple statues around Warsaw.

All suspects have been charged with the offending of religious feelings and desecration of monuments. If the prosecutors decide to bring the case to a court, the suspects could face a fine of up to two years in prison if they get convicted for offending of religious feelings.

The flags had been placed on statues of the astronomer Copernicus, the Warsaw mermaid and Jesus Christ.

Regional News • Asia • India
Indian prince calls for end of conversion therapy, stating that he has been subject of one

The openly gay Indian prince Manvendra Singh Gohil has stated that "I was myself a victim of conversion therapy" after he outed himself to his parents. According to him, religious leaders were involved in his parents' attempt to convert his sexuality and they as well well talked to doctors for possible operations.

He is now calling for a ban on the conversion therapy and stated that "Lesbians are treated so badly, I’ve known cases where the family member with rape the child to prove she can have sex with a man" in a call for more acceptance of the LGBTQI+ community.

Regional News • Middle East
Israel's ban of gay conversion therapy passes first stage in parliament
Benny Gantz
Benny Gantz Credit: ראובן קפוצ'ינסקי (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

In a vote where the opposition parties were joined by two parties from the governing coalition, the members of the Israeli parliament has passed a bill in the first of three readings that bans the practice of conversion therapy for homosexual people.

The alternate prime minister of Israel Benny Gantz has stated that "Conversion therapy was born in sin and its place is outside of the law and the public norm".

Regional News • Americas • Mexico
Gay conversion therapy banned by Mexico City

The regional congress of Mexi City has approved a law that outlaws and criminalizes gay conversion therapy. This includes all methods that have been used in the past to try changing the sexual orientation of a person such as electroshock therapy, psychological counseling and religious instructions.

People that still offer the practice will face up to five years in prison and even longer sentences if the practices is used on minors.

Regional News • Europe
Dutch city cancels partnership with Polish Pulawy over "LGBT-free zones"
Dutch city cancels partnership with Polish Pulawy over "LGBT-free zones"
Credit: Nieuwegein city website

The Dutch city Nieuwegein has announced that the Municipal Council has voted to immediately stop the partnership with the Polish city of Pulawy over a report that Pulawy is now part of the "LGBT ideology-free" zone in Poland.

The council of Nieuwegein has previously sent a letter to Pulawy in which it expressed their concerns and now canceled the partnership. Alderman Marieke Schouten had previously stated that "In Nieuwegein everyone can be who he or she is, regardless of his or her sexual orientation, gender, religion or ethnic origin. LGBT-free zones such as in Pulawy are really unacceptable in our view".

Regional News • Europe • Russia
Russian parliament drafts ban of same-sex marriage after constitutional change
Russian parliament drafts ban of same-sex marriage after constitutional change
Credit: unsplash/Thomas AE

During the Russian constitutional referendum, voters backed a constitutional change that would ban same-sex marriage by defining marriage as a union of a woman and a man only. Lawmakers in the Russian parliament have now introduced a legislation draft to implement this change.

In addition to explicitly banning same-sex marriage, couples of the same sex will be prohibited from adopting children. While this is no explicit change in the current practice,s it explicitly outlaws the option. According to one of the Senators, Yelena Mizulina, the changes will also affect transgender people.

Regional News • Europe
Netherlands announces that it'll remove gender from id cards

The Minister of Education, Culture and Science of the Netherlands, Ingrid van Engelshoven, has announced in a letter to the parliament that the country will remove the gender from id cards from 2024/2025 on. She stated that people should "create their own identity and live in full freedom and security" adding that she wants to "limit the unnecessary registration of gender" wherever possible.

Regional News • Europe
Poland president to propose a constitutional amendment forbiding adoption by same-sex couples
President of Poland Andrzej Duda at the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz
President of Poland Andrzej Duda at the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz Credit: Wojciech Grabowski (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Poland’s president, Andrzej Duda said he plans to propose a constitutional amendment to explicitly forbid the adoption of children by same-sex couples. Duda stated he would draft the bill on Monday, and submit it to parliament.

Duda is running for re-election and During a campaign event in the southern town of Szczawno-Zdrój he said: "In Poland’s constitution, it should be explicitly stated that anyone in a same-sex relationship is forbidden from adopting a child,".

Regional News • Africa
Gabon: Senate voted to decriminalise homosexuality
Gabon: Senate voted to decriminalise homosexuality
Credit: unsplash.com/Teddy Österblom

Gabon senate voted in favor of decriminalising homosexuality. The bill is now awaiting ratification by President Ali Bongo Ondimba.

"Parliament is restoring a fundamental human right for its citizens: that of loving, freely, without being condemned. The Republic defends respect for everyone's privacy and remains One and indivisible beyond feelings. Yes to dignity, no to hate. #Gabon" – Sylvia Bongo Ondimba, the president's wife, voiced her support on Twitter.