JUST IDENTITY POLITCS?
Some had said that Buttigieg’s nomination and confirmation was but virtue signaling identity politics — in addition to being the first out Senate-confirmed Cabinet member, Buttigieg is the youngest member of Biden’s Cabinet. But as Buttigieg points out, the proof of his abilities will be in what happens with his plans to rebuild a crumbing infrastructure and make electric vehicles safe, affordable, and practical.
ISRAEL: SHARP RISE IN ATTACKS
An annual report by the Nir Katz Center of the Aguda – The Association for LGBTQ Equality in Israel found 2,696 attacks against the LGBT+ community were reported in 2020, compared to 2,125 reported incidents in 2019, a 27 per cent increase.
The Aguda said their report revealed LGBT-phobia is “still present in all areas of life” including home, work, social settings and government institutions in Israel.
LGBT HARRASSMENT IN TUNISIA
Tunisian security forces have repeatedly targeted protesters, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) activists at protests, Human Rights Watch said today. The targeting involved arbitrary arrests, physical assaults, threats to rape and kill, and refusing access to legal counsel.
An ad for the seasonal snack released last week features real-life gay couple Callum Sterling and Dale K Moran sharing an intimate moment, with Sterling biting the chocolate treat in half in the mouth of his partner.
An entirely-predictable wave of homophobic anger followed, with miscellaneous internet bigots raging that the Creme Egg advert was too explicit for TV and would “confuse children”.
WEATHERMAN TELLS ALL
BBC North West Tonight weather presenter Owain Wyn Evans has shared his coming out story as part of a collection of stories to mark LGBTQ+ History Month.
He’s a pretty nifty drummer, too.
TROUBLE IN GHANA
Ghana security forces raided and shut down the office of an LGBTQ rights group in the capital, Accra, the organisation has said, after politicians and religious leaders called for its closure.
A leading member of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko has advised against waging a hate campaign on homosexuals in the country. He wrote: “You don’t have to be pro-gay to appreciate their situation. You only have to be human. Let us be careful and not generate an intense hate campaign against homosexuals. You can speak for the law and ‘culture’ minus hate. Hate sucks!”
But the National Chief Imam, Sheikh Dr Usumanu Nuhu Sharubutu has urged the government to consider the immediate review of the country’s laws to criminalise homosexuality.
He said going strictly by the Qur’anic teachings and the traditions of the Holy Prophet Mohammed (S.A.W), regarding the non-negotiable prohibition of same-sex, the Muslim Community in Ghana remained resolutely opposed to any attempt to legalise homosexuality as a way of life and asked the government to criminalise the practice.
US HOMOPHOBIA EXPORTED
Roger Kiska and Linda Harvey are well known for spinning discredited homophobic arguments in the U.K. and U.S.A. Now they plan to do the same in Jamaica. Tell them NO! Join me in telling them to keep their hate out of Jamaica!
TIPS FOR JOURNALISTS
The LGTBQ population, which is estimated to include between 9 to 14 million adults in the United States — is at a high risk for substance abuse, poor mental health and domestic violence, problems health officials/academics/advocates worry have worsened during the pandemic.
As newsrooms cover COVID-19 and its impacts on groups disproportionately affected by the disease, journalists often overlook or give less attention to the LGBTQ population.
VENUES ADAPT TO COVID
This isn’t the first challenge that LGBTQ+ people have faced relating to their access to dedicated spaces. And the way LGBTQ+ communities have responded to the loss of spaces in the past could teach us about how they can continue to adapt in these trying times.
CHECHEN GAY MEN’S KIDNAP OK
Chechnya’s top court has ruled that the arrest of two young gay men was legal amid growing concern over their safety and lack of legal representation in the North Caucasus region know for abuses against LGBT people.
The court ruling on February 24 comes after Salekh Magamadov, 18, and a 17-year-old companion were abducted by security agents earlier in the month from Nizhny Novgorod in western Russia and driven back to Chechnya.