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LGBTQI News Roundup – 1 July 2022

Mass same-sex wedding in Mexico

Even after five years of living together in the Pacific resort city of Acapulco, something as simple as holding hands or sharing a kiss in public is unthinkable for Dayanny Marcelo and Mayela Villalobos.

There is an ever-present fear of being rejected or attacked in Guerrero, a state where same-sex relationships are not widely accepted and one of five in Mexico where same-sex marriage is still not allowed.

But this week they traveled the 235 miles (380 kilometers) to Mexico’s capital, where the city government hosted a mass wedding for same-sex couples as part of celebrations of LGBT Pride Month.

Under a tent set up in the plaza of the capital’s civil registry, along with about 100 other same-sex couples, Villalobos and Marcelo sealed their union Friday with a kiss while the wedding march played in the background.

Their ability to wed is considered one of the LGBT community’s greatest recent achievements in Mexico. It is now possible in 27 of Mexico’s 32 states and has been twice upheld by the Supreme Court.

Turkish police clash with LGBTQ supporters at banned Istanbul Pride march

More than 100 people have been arrested in Turkey in defiance of the ban on an LGBTQ Pride march, its organisers have said. In the latest clash between the gay community in Istanbul and police, LGBT+ supporters and a news photographer were detained by officers dressed in riot gear today. 

Marchers were heading towards Beyoglu district, the heart of the city’s shopping and tourism sectors, when riot police and metal fences prevented them from entering Taksim Square, where protestors traditional gather. Some protesters fled from officers, while others were said to have beaten, and forcibly detained before being loaded them on to buses. Local residents were also heard and seen banging pots and pans from their windows and balconies in a show of support for the marchers as a police helicopter circled overhead.  

Despite the continued crackdown and increased hostility shown by Turkish authorities, the LGBT+ community have marched every year in Istanbul since their Pride March was banned – which they claim is unlawful – in 2015. 

Gay Connecticut Supreme Court Judge criticises US Supreme Court judge

A gay Connecticut Supreme Court justice suggested that U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas was being hypocritical in calling for reconsideration of rulings ensuring legal rights for gay people — while not calling for the repeal of a similar ruling that allows Thomas to be married to a white woman.

Andrew McDonald, a senior associate justice on Connecticut’s high court, took a shot at Thomas in a Facebook post after the U.S. Supreme Court justice leveraged a ruling that repealed the constitutional right to abortion to publicly call for the top U.S. court to potentially reverse rulings that bar states from outlawing gay sex and gay marriage. 

“Mr. Justice Thomas had much to say today about my loving marriage. Oddly he didn’t have much to say about his ‘Loving’ marriage,” wrote McDonald, who married his husband Charles in 2009 when McDonald was serving in the state legislature.

“Loving” is a reference to “Loving v. Virginia,” the 1967 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that overturned a Virginia law barring interracial marriages. It effectively invalidated other such bans nationally. Thomas, who is Black, lives with his white wife Virginia “Ginni” Thomas in Virginia — a mirror image of the white husband and Black wife who were the plaintiffs in “Loving.” The couple in the case, Mildred Jeter and Richard Loving, had been convicted of violating Virginia’s law and sentenced to a year in jail. The sentence was suspended after they agreed to leave the state and not return for 25 years.

Norway raises terror alert after two people killed in Oslo nightclub 

At least two people were killed and 10 seriously injured early Saturday in a shooting attack on an LGBTQ nightclub in Oslo. Norwegian authorities raised the country’s terror threat to its highest level Saturday. 

Police charged a 42-year-old man with murder, attempted murder and terrorist acts, as a stunned nation reeled from the attack, which came hours before Oslo’s Pride parade was scheduled to take place. Authorities did not immediately release his name Saturday. The attack is being viewed as an act of “extreme Islamist terror,” the head of the country’s domestic intelligence and security service, Roger Berg, said at a news conference. Berg said the suspect, a Norwegian citizen who was born in Iran, has suffered from mental health problems.

Police said the man was known to them from previous, relatively minor run-ins with the law. He had previously been accused of violence toward people close to him, the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten reported.

Polish court rules that four “LGBT-free zones” must be abolished

A top Polish appeals court ruled on Tuesday that so-called “LGBT-free zones” must be scrapped in four municipalities, a verdict welcomed by activists as a victory for human rights and democracy.

Numerous local authorities in Poland passed resolutions in 2019 declaring themselves free of “LGBT ideology”, part of a conflict in the predominantly Catholic country between liberals and religious conservatives, who see the struggle for gay rights as a threat to traditional values. 

“LGBT-free zones” seek to ban what local authorities see as the promotion of homosexuality and other minority sexual identities, especially in schools. These moves set Poland on a collision course with the European Commission, which said the zones may violate EU law regarding non-discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation.

After a legal challenge from Poland’s Human Rights Ombudsman, lower courts ruled that nine such resolutions must be scrapped. The public prosecutor’s office, the ultra-conservative think-tank Ordo Iuris and the municipalities involved then appealed against these verdicts. In the first four cases, the appeals were dismissed on Tuesday.

“Today’s decision… is a great victory for democracy, human rights and respect for people,” Poland’s Campaign Against Homophobia wrote in a social media post. Cabinet Minister Michal Wojcik, a member of the conservative United Poland party, criticised the ruling.


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