News

For the latest on current events about, concerning or relating to the gay community.

White House omits husband of world’s only openly gay leader from photo caption

    The White House has been criticised after omitting the husband of Luxembourg’s Prime Minister from a photo caption.

    Gauthier Destenay, the husband of Luxembourg’s Prime Minister Xavier Bettel, posed alongside the wives of world leaders for an historic picture at Royal Castle of Laeken on Thursday night (May 25).

    He joined First Ladies and partners including Brigitte Macron (France), Melania Trump (USA) Emine Gulbaran Erdogan (Turkey), Queen Mathilde of Belgium, Ingrid Schulerud (Norway), Desislava Radeva (Bulgaria), Amelie Derbaudrenghien (wife of Belgium’s Prime Minister) Mojca Stropnik (Slovenia) and Thora Margret Baldvinsdottir (Iceland).

    When The White House added the image to their official Facebook account, however, the image did not include Gauthier in the caption – only identifying the women in the picture.

    While the mistake was later rectified and Destenay was added to the caption, users were quick to accuse the White House of homophobia.

    One commenter wrote: “So wonderful to see a first husband. So sad the White House is either too ignorant or too petty to actually name him.”

    The White House did not give an explanation as to why the omission was made, or whether it was simply a mistake.

    Destenay, a Belgian architect, married Bettel in May 2015, just months after same-sex marriage was legalised in Luxembourg.

    Bettel became Luxembourg’s first openly gay Prime Minister when he assumed office in 2013, and is currently the world’s only openly gay leader.

    He is just the world’s third openly gay head of government in history, following Iceland’s former Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir and Belgium’s former Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo.

    Luxembourg is also the only country in the world to have both a gay Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, Etienne Schneider.

    » Read more

    28/05/17 | Posted in Articles, News

    LGBT sporting event OutGames cancelled hours before opening ceremony

      An LGBT+ sporting event has been cancelled amid controversy over fraud allegations.

      The 2017 World OutGames were set to begin in Miami this weekend, but on Friday (May 26) most of the events were cancelled.

      “It is with deep regret that due to financial burdens, World OutGames must cancel opening and closing ceremonies and sports programming with the exception of aquatics, country western dance, and soccer,” the Games announced in a statement yesterday.

      “The Human Rights Conference and cultural programs will continue as planned. We thank everyone who has supported the effort and apologize to those who will be impacted by this difficult decision.”


      The 10-day event was due to showcase the sporting success of LGBT+ athletes. However, the decision has left athletes disappointed and out of pocket. The city of Miami is also down at least $200,000 in advertising costs, reports the Miami New Times.

      Attendees were understandably angry at the cancellation. François Dallaire tweeted that the OutGames  “just got cancelled in front of me. People from everywhere around the globe are pissed about that awful organization!”

      Miami Beach City Manager Jimmy Morales said that the event organisers were given multiple discounts in order to make sure the Games went ahead. “In our effort to do everything possible to support World OutGames, the City has reduced deposits and extended deadlines, multiple times,” Morales wrote in a statement.

      “In fact, with events set to begin tomorrow, the City has yet to receive the required $5,000 special event deposit and several other key permitting components have not been met.”

      The paper also reports that Miami Beach Police and the Miami-Dade County State Attorney’s Office an investigation into World OutGames over accusations of fraud.

      City Spokesperson Melissa Berthier said: “Due to the potential misappropriation of funds, the Miami Beach Police Department and the State Attorney’s Office have conferred and are jointly opening a fraud investigation.”

      » Read more

      27/05/17 | Posted in News | Tags , , , ,

      Husband of world’s only openly gay leader joins NATO leaders’ wives for historic photo

        A small but hugely symbolic moment took place in Brussels this week as the husband of the world’s only openly gay leader stood shoulder to shoulder with other spouses during a high-powered NATO conference.

        Gauthier Destenay, the husband of Luxembourg’s Prime Minister Xavier Bettel, posed alongside the wives of world leaders for an historic picture at Royal Castle of Laeken on Thursday night (May 25).

        He joined First Ladies and partners including Brigitte Macron (France), Melania Trump (USA) Emine Gulbaran Erdogan (Turkey), Queen Mathilde of Belgium, Ingrid Schulerud (Norway), Desislava Radeva (Bulgaria), Amelie Derbaudrenghien (wife of Belgium’s Prime Minister) Mojca Stropnik (Slovenia) and Thora Margret Baldvinsdottir (Iceland).

        Destenay, a Belgian architect, married Bettel in May 2015, just months after same-sex marriage was legalised in Luxembourg.

        Bettel became Luxembourg’s first openly gay Prime Minister when he assumed office in 2013, and is currently the world’s only openly gay leader.

        He is just the world’s third openly gay head of government in history, following Iceland’s former Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir and Belgium’s former Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo.

        Luxembourg is also the only country in the world to have both a gay Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, Etienne Schneider.

        More stories:
        Holby City fans shocked as character is revealed as gay
        Coronation Street reveals plans to honour superfan Martyn Hett and other Manchester bombing victims

        » Read more

        26/05/17 | Posted in News | Tags , , ,

        Taiwan becomes first country in Asia to introduce same-sex marriage

          Taiwan has become the first country in Asia to legalise same-sex marriage after a court ruling.

          The country’s top court struck down current laws that defined marriage as between one man and one woman.

          In their ruling, the court argued that current laws are in violation of the freedoms of LGBT+ citizens.

          The court voted 11-2 in favour of the ruling, with one judge recusing himself.

          The ruling states: “The freedom of marriage for two persons of the same sex, once legally recognised, will constitute the collective basis, together with opposite-sex marriage, for a stable society.”

          Chi Chia-wei, a longtime campaigner for LGBT+ rights in the country, said that he is “very happy” with the courts decision.

          “At last the government will be able to modify the law within two years, or sooner if the Democratic Progressive party pushes harder,” he said.

          Hundreds of people took to the streets of Taipei in March to protest against same-sex marriage laws.

          The protest ran in association with the Rescue Taiwan Hope Alliance, a homophobic group working to prevent the legislation of same-sex marriage.

          Protesters at the rally held signs showing pro-LGBT politicians as scorpions, snakes and tarantulas.

          Chao Ying-Ling, a spokesperson for the alliance, said at the time: “In our view, a huge amount of controversy has already been caused, and the government is not prepared to address the issue, so it should be put aside temporarily.”

          » Read more

          Police in Indonesia arrest 140 gay men following sauna raid

            Over 140 men have been arrested in Indonesia’s capital city Jakarta after police raided a gay sauna.

            Police raided Atlantis Jakarta sauna on Sunday (May 21) evening, and detained both visitors and staff.

            A police spokesperson told Reuters that they had “detained 141 people who violated pornography laws”. He confirmed that 10 suspects had been charged.

            Indonesia’s anti-pornography laws are incredibly strict. Offenders face up to 15 years in prison for violating the laws.

            The Advocacy Coalition alleges that the men were removed from the sauna and taken to a police station for questioning. Police officers reportedly forced the men to strip, then took pictures of them which they then distributed online.

            The Advocacy Coalition said in a statement: “They were still treated unlawfully by the local police by photographing the victims naked and then disseminated those photos to the point of virality, be it by messages, social media or the news media.”

            The group has called on the police to release the men immediately and stop sharing the images.

            Last week Amnesty International called on authorities in Indonesia to revoke the conviction of a gay couple.

            The couple will be punished with 85 strokes of a cane in a public ceremony, after they were convicted of homosexuality. The two men, aged 20 and 23, will receive the punishment in public on May 23 – just before the start of the holy month of Ramadan.

            The couple were the first to be convicted for homosexuality under the strict sharia code of Aceh, a semi-autonomous region of Indonesia. The prosecution originally called for a lesser punishment of 80 lashes, but this was increased in the judgement.

            In response to the sentencing, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for Southeast Asia and the Pacific, Josef Benedict, said: “The Aceh authorities must immediately revoke the conviction and the caning sentences and end the use of this punishment, which constitutes cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment and may amount to torture.

            “These men were subjects of an ambush by their neighbours who stormed into their home, filmed them and handed them over to the Shari’a police. Every human being has a right to privacy, a right to enter into consensual relations, and a right to physical protection.”

            » Read more

            Former Soviet Union nation welcoming gay men fleeing torture in Chechnya

              Gay men fleeing torture in Chechnya have found an unlikely ally.

              The small Baltic nation of Lithuania, which was once part of the Soviet Union, is openly welcoming gay men who are desperately trying to escape persecution.

              According to reports, so far two men have been granted Visas, and the county’s Foreign Minister, Linas Linkevicius urging other European countries to do the same.

              He took to Twitter to spread the messaging, saying: “Today is zero-tolerance day against hatred, fear, discrimination of all forms of sexuality. Denying reality is not an option | #IDAHOT2017”.

              It comes following reports that Donald Trump is refusing to grant visas to those escaping the country.

              A spokesperson for Russia LGBT Network told Buzzfeed news that the organisation is having “difficulty” securing visas that would allow the men to escape torture and possible death.

              While the spokesperson refused to name all of the countries that are pushing back, they did say: “We were informed that the US is not going to issue visas for people from Chechnya.”

              However, the U.S State Department refused to comment on the claims, responding: “As visa records are confidential under U.S. law, we are unable to discuss individual cases.”

              » Read more

              21/05/17 | Posted in News | Tags , , ,

              Professional baseball player banned after branding opponent a ‘f*ggot’

                A Canadian baseball player has been suspended for two games after he used anti-gay slur against an opponent.

                Kevin Pillar, who plays for the Toronto Blue Jays, called Jason Motte of the Atlanta Braves a ‘faggot’ after he was struck out by Motte’s pitch during a game on Wednesday night (May 17).

                The incident flared tempers immediately, with players from both teams confronting one another on the field.

                After the game, Pillar apologised for his ‘inappropriate language’ in a statement that read: “Last night, following my at-bat in the 7th inning, I used inappropriate language towards Braves pitcher Jason Motte,” he wrote.

                “By doing so I had just helped extend the use of a word that has no place in baseball, in sports or anywhere in society today. I’m completely and utterly embarrassed and feel horrible to have put the fans, my teammates and the Blue Jays organization in this position. I have apologized personally to Jason Motte, but also need to apologize to the Braves organization and their fans, and most importantly, to the LGBTQ community for the lack of respect I displayed last night.

                 

                “This is not who I am and will use this as an opportunity to better myself.”

                Pillar’s team, the Blue Jays, said that they were “extremely disappointed” in his behaviour in a statement. “We know Kevin to be a respectful, high-character individual who we hope will learn from this situation and continue to positively contribute and live up to our values on and off the field,” the Blue Jays said.

                Watch the initial confrontation below:

                » Read more

                Irish LGBT charity to close amid ‘financial irregularities’

                  An LGBT+ charity in Ireland is set to close after its finances came under scrutiny.

                  A report by Irish senator Jillian van Turnhout, as reported in The Irish Times, found that continuing operations of The Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (GLEN) was “no longer viable given the challenges it is facing”, and the decision was made for “an orderly wind-up”.

                  In the report, van Turnhout said that GLEN had been caught up in “a perfect storm” due to the departure of its CEO, diminished public trust, and lack of financial resources.

                  The report accuses GLEN staff of “extremely poor practice” in their use of company credit cards, though it does not conclude that any staff member personally profited from the charity.

                  Accusations of financial mismanagement were made by the charity’s former CEO last month. Áine Duggan, who served the CEO from October 2016 until recently, confirmed that she was aware of mismanagement of finances.

                  In an interview with Morning Ireland in April, Duggan said: “I would like to be able to stand up and say, ‘I can absolutely one hundred percent stand over a statement that there was no misappropriation’, unfortunately, I can’t.

                  “Nobody can, and that’s why the audit is so important and I think that it’s really important that we let the audit run its course.”

                  In a statement responding to the allegations made by Duggan last month, GLEN said that “all grants received have been used for the intended purpose and has no reason to suspect there has been any misappropriation of fund”. They did not address any of Duggan’s accusations directly.

                  In 2015, emergency services were called to the offices of GLEN after a member of staff opened a letter addressed to the organisation which reportedly contained an unidentified blue powder along with a note reading ‘Goodbye’.

                  » Read more

                  19/05/17 | Posted in Articles, News | Tags , , ,

                  Julie Andrews says she has ‘always’ been an LGBT ally

                    Julie Andrews has spoken about her support of LGBT+ equality, insisting she has “always” been an ally of the gay community.

                    The legendary screen star, known for her roles in classic musicals including The Sound of Music and Mary Poppins, told The Advocate that despite being aware of prejudice as a youngster growing up in 1940s Britain, she “couldn’t understand it”.

                    The 81-year-old is currently appearing in her own Netflix children’s show, Julie’s Greenroom, which made headlines earlier this year for its inclusion of a gender-nonbinary puppet character named Riley.

                    Asked when she first realised she was an ally of the LGBT+ community, Andrews replied: “That’s hard to answer, because, just always!”

                    The Oscar-winning actress, who rose to fame starring in Broadway musicals such as My Fair Lady in the 1950s added: “Theatre, anyway, is such an open community and free. I don’t think there’s been a time when I haven’t been [an ally].”

                     

                    She continued: “I have to say, though, in my hometown, in my community, I was very aware of bias and bigotry, and couldn’t understand it.

                    “I was raised not to be that way and not to think that way, and it always seemed puzzling to me that the world wasn’t just embracing human beings. But it’s never been something that I stumbled on. It’s just always been innate, thanks I think to the professions that I am in. But also the way I was raised.”

                    Of Julie’s Greenroom, which debuted on Netflix back in March sees Julie educate children about the world of theatre with the help of her puppet students, Andrews pointed to another puppet character, Hank, as an example of the show’s diversity.

                     

                    “We tried to be as inclusive as we possibly could within the show,” the Princess Diaries star explained. “Hank has a handicap and yet it’s not really a problem, and he manages his life wonderfully and contributes so much.”

                    The much-loved actress also had a message for US lawmakers who continue to marginalise transgender people with the introduction of so-called ‘bathroom bills’ that prevent them from using public restrooms that correspond with their gender identity. pleading:

                    Andrews pleaded: “Please keep an open mind. Please think.”

                    » Read more

                    Americans almost evenly split on LGBT issues, poll suggests

                      Americans are split almost 50/50 on LGBT+ issues, according to new research.

                      The polling, conducted by Gallup, shows that 51% of those surveyed agree that new civil rights laws are required to reduce discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender people. 46% disagree, while 3% have no opinion on the matter.

                      Groups most likely to support protection for LGBT+ Americans are liberals (76%), Democrats (67%), and women (61%). On the other side, those most likely to oppose new legislation protecting LGBT+ people include Republicans (27%), conservatives (29%), and those who regularly attend church (37%).

                      In terms of age, support for new legislation is highest among younger people, while those 50 to 64 are least likely to support the introduction of new laws.

                      The research also surveyed people on the issue of bathroom policies for transgender Americans. Over the last year, states like North Carolina have introduced ‘bathrooms bills’ that require transgender people to use bathrooms that correspond with their birth-gender, rather than their gender identity.

                      Polling conducted between May 3-7 2017 showed that 48% of Americans believe that transgender people should use the bathroom that corresponds with the gender they were assigned at birth, while 45% say that trans people should be free to use the bathroom that matches their gender identity.

                      This shows a slight change from a similar poll conducted last year, in which 50% said that bathroom use should be dictated by birth gender, and 40% said gender identity.

                      Again, liberals, Democrats and women are more likely to support the more progressive option. 70% of Republicans say that trans bathroom use should be dictated by birth gender.

                      Recent research found that straight men tell homophobic and sexist jokes to mask their own insecurities.

                      The study, carried out by Western Carolina University, found that “disparaging jokes are a way for some men to reaffirm their shaky sense of self, especially when they feel their masculinity is being threatened.”

                      » Read more

                      18/05/17 | Posted in Articles, News

                      Winq Magazine


                      Winq magazine

                      SPRING 2017

                      The latest issue of the newly relaunched Winq features an exclusive interview with AFC Bournemouth’s Eddie Howe, the first Premier League manager to go on the record and say he’d be happy to have a gay footballer in his team.

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