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LGBTQ News Roundup – 8th April 2022

UK Prime Minister says he doesn’t believe transgender women should compete in female sporting events

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson says he does not believe transgender women should compete in female sporting events – a view he conceded may be “controversial”.

Johnson was speaking on a range of issues, including the government’s approach to the ban on conversion therapy, before adding: “I don’t think biological males should be competing in female sporting events. Maybe that’s a controversial thing to say, but it just seems to me to be sensible. 

“I also happen to think that women should have spaces – whether it’s in hospitals, prison or changing rooms – which are dedicated to women. That’s as far as my thinking has developed on this issue.

“If that puts me in conflict with some others, then we have got to work it all out. It doesn’t mean I’m not immensely sympathetic to people who want to change gender, to transition and it’s vital we give people the maximum love and support in making those decisions. 

UK rights watchdog says trans people can be excluded from single-sex services if ‘justifiable’

Transgender people can be legitimately excluded from single-sex services in the UK if the reasons are “justifiable and proportionate”, the government’s equalities watchdog has said.

Guidance from Kishwer Faulkner (pictured) from the  Equality and Human Rights Commission says that the justification could be for reasons of privacy, decency, to prevent trauma or to ensure health and safety.

The body also advises that people who hold gender recognition certificates can be excluded from a separate or single-sex space as long as it is a “proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim”.

It follows an intense debate over whether trans women should be given automatic access to single-sex spaces such as housing shelters, toilets, prisons and changing rooms. Most recently, there has been a debate over the participation of trans women in women’s sports.

The guidance, published on Monday, is intended to be a practical guide to help organisations such as hospitals, retailers, hospitality and sports clubs implement policies that are legal and balance the needs of different groups. A spokesperson for the LGBT+ rights organisation Stonewall said the guidance appeared to undermine the Equality Act 2010 and to go out of its way to justify the exclusion of trans women.

San Marino appoints world’s first openly gay head of state

The world’s oldest republic has established itself as among the most progressive after naming the world’s first openly gay head of state.

San Marino, the medieval micro-state surrounded on all sides by the rolling hills of central Italy, has appointed 58-year-old Paolo Rondelli as one of two captains regent, its heads of state.

Rondelli is a deputy in the Great and General Council, San Marino’s parliament, and he was the country’s ambassador to the US for nine years, ending in 2016. In addition to his roles with the state, Rondelli has been an outspoken LGBT activist.

Brothers Osborne win first every Grammy one year after TJ Osborne comes out as gay 

Brothers Osborne singer-guitarist T.J. Osbourne became visibly emotional Sunday night as he and his real-life brother John won their first-ever Grammy Award. 

Last year, T.J. became the first male artist signed to a major country label to come out as gay. He reflected on that experience in the song “Younger Me,” which nabbed the Grammy for Best Country Duo/Group Performance. 

As the Brothers Osborne took the stage to accept their award, T.J. made it clear that he viewed his band’s win as a deeply personal triumph. 

“I never thought that I would be able to do music professionally because of my sexuality,” he told the crowd. 

“I certainly never thought it would be here on the stage accepting a Grammy after having done something I felt like was going to be life-changing, and potentially in a very negative way.”

Memo to Florida teachers lays out clever sabotage of ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law

A letter reportedly circulating among Florida teachers is highlighting a thought-provoking sabotage of the state’s controversial new “Don’t Say Gay” law.  

Since it’s now illegal to address gender identity or sexual orientation issues in schools for students from kindergarten through third grade, the letter recommends referring to all students as “they” and “them” to avoid “gendered pronouns” like “he” and “she.” Also, “Mr.” and “Mrs.” should clearly be dropped for all teachers to conform with the law, the letter argues.

The “Don’t Say Gay” Florida law in fact does not mention the word “gay” anywhere in the text. And since it now bans addressing gender identity and sexual orientation issues in lower grades, the law could convincingly be understood to apply to all genders and sexual orientations.

Moms for Liberty called on parents in its tweet to “take a stand” against the perspective in the letter. But many responses on Twitter pointed out that ignoring all gender identities and sexual orientation appears to now be the law.


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