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LGBTQ News Roundup – 3rd December 2021

Botswana appeals court upholds ruling that decriminalised gay sex

The Court of Appeal in Botswana has upheld a 2019 ruling that decriminalised gay sex, a decision hailed by the LGBTQ community as establishing the southern African country as a “true democracy”.  Before the 2019 ruling by the country’s high court, males engaging in same-sex relations could be sent to prison for up to seven years. The government had argued on appeal that the penal code outlawed gay sex and there was no evidence that people’s attitude toward homosexuality had changed. However, Court of Appeal Judge President Ian Kirby said the criminalisation of consensual same-sex activities violated the constitutional rights of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgender persons to dignity, liberty, privacy, and equality. 

Santa gets a boyfriend in Norwegian TV commercial 

Norway’s 375-year-old postal service, Posten Norge, this week released a Christmas commercial in which Santa Claus gets a boyfriend. The four-minute clip titled “When Harry met Santa” has Scandinavian actors Johan Ehn and Terje Stromdahl playing the lead roles.  The couple meets when Harry sees Santa delivering presents to his home. The story covers many Christmas encounters between both of them, and in the final scene, the couple kiss in a loving embrace. The ad was produced to mark 50 years since the decriminalisation of homosexuality in Norway. 

Qatar promises it is ‘tolerant’ and ‘welcoming’ prior to World Cup

People gather around the official countdown clock showing remaining time until the kick-off of the World Cup 2022, in Doha, Qatar, Thursday, Nov. 25, 2021. The World Cup is due to start in November 2022. (AP Photo/Darko Bandic)

The chief executive of the 2022 FIFA World Cup insists that Qatar has been treated unfairly and unjustly since it earned the right to host the tournament 11 years ago. Nasser Al Khater was responding to criticism of the country’s human rights record. Recently Josh Cavallo, the only current, openly out, gay player in Australia’s football team said he would be “scared” to play in Qatar where homosexuality is illegal and punishable by up to three years in prison. Khater responded to Cavallo’s fears by saying “On the contrary, we welcome him here in the state of Qatar, we welcome him to come and see even prior to the World Cup. Nobody feels threatened here, nobody feels unsafe”.

Hungarian parliament votes to allow government’s LGBTQ referendum

Hungary’s parliament passed a resolution this week which will empower the government to hold a referendum on LGBTQ issues prior to next year’s election. Prime Minister Viktor Orban proposed a referendum on legislation that limits schools teaching about homosexuality and transgender issues.  


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