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LGBTQI News Roundup – 25th November 2022

5 killed after gunman opens fire at LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs

A gunman entered a Colorado Springs LGBTQ club and immediately began firing with a long rifle late Saturday, killing at least five people and injuring 18, officials said. Colorado Springs Police Chief Adrian Vasquez praised “at least two heroic people” inside Club Q who, he said, “confronted and fought with the suspect and were able to stop the suspect from continuing to kill and harm others. “We owe them a great debt of thanks,” Vasquez said at a news conference Sunday morning. 

“Their actions clearly saved lives,” Mayor John Suthers said later at the news conference. Club owner Matthew Haynes told NBC News he never imagined “this level of hate,” would descend on his club. He said the timing of the shooting worsens the situation with Thanksgiving on the horizon.  “Family members won’t be with their family members,” Haynes said.

Haynes opened the club 20 years ago to give people a place to gather and be themselves. “We started it when there were darker days. We didn’t have a lot of rights and we needed places to have a community and that’s what Club Q has been for twenty years,” Haynes said. The suspected shooter, who officials identified as Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22,was injured in the attack, apprehended and hospitalized, Sgt. Pamela Castro, the Colorado Springs Police Department spokeswoman, said at an earlier briefing. 

Wales LGBT Rainbow Wall ‘disrespected’ at World Cup opener

Wales’ LGBTQ+ Rainbow Wall fans were “disrespected” at the World Cup opener, according to the country’s fan embassy. The embassy’s Paul Corkery said the hats were “virtually thrown in the bin”, despite reassurances beforehand. Laura McAllister, a gay woman and past Fifa Council candidate, was one of those told she had to remove the hat for the game against the USA.

Fifa – world football’s governing body, which is responsible for the tournament – has been asked to comment. The rainbow version of Welsh fan hats shows support for the LGBTQ+ community.  Mr Corkery is a volunteer with the Wales fan embassy, set up with the help of the UK government to assist fans at the World Cup. He said there were as many as 6,000 Wales fans in the stadium – more than double the number predicted.

However, he said thousands were initially left at the gates unable to download tickets to their phones.  Mr Corkery said reassurances had been given to the fans embassy about travelling supporters, but nothing was put in writing, only the words “everyone was welcome”. “They took them off seven FAW staff (rainbow hats and related items) and virtually threw them in the bin – it was disrespectful,” he said. 

“They could have said ‘come back and get them after’ or ‘put them in your bag’. They have to deal with things the right way.  “But now it’s an international story. I just feel sorry for Laura, she is a friend and you could see how upset she was.”

However, Mr Corkery said he was not surprised, in light of the decision to ban alcohol from stadiums just days before the tournament started.  “They decided that in the face of a £60m Budweiser (tournament sponsorship) deal. “They weren’t afraid to do that. If they can do that, they can take a bucket hat off you,” he added.

Russian Duma approves key reading of LGBT ‘propaganda’ bill

 Russian lawmakers on Wednesday gave crucial second-reading approval to a bill that significantly expands restrictions on activities seen as promoting LGBT rights in the country. A 2013 law banned what authorities deem to be spreading “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations” to minors. The new bill expands that ban to spreading such information to people aged 18 and older.

The bill must pass a third reading on Thursday in the Duma, the lower house of parliament, before going to the upper house and then to President Vladimir Putin and becoming law. But the second reading in the Duma is when major amendments are approved, so Wednesday’s approval presages easy passage.

The new bill outlaws advertising, media and online resources. books, films and theater productions deemed to contain such “propaganda.”

It also broadens the existing restrictions by banning information about gender transitions to be spread to minors.

Violations are punishable by fines and, if committed by non-residents, could lead to their expulsion from Russia. The fines range from 100,000 to 2 million rubles ($1,660-$33,000). For some violations, foreigners could face 15 days’ detention prior to expulsion. The bill does not make violations a criminal offense — Russian law stipulates that the criminal code can be amended only through an independent bill. Some lawmakers have suggested they favor such a measure.  Arseny Pastukhov, director of the LGBT Resource Center, said that if the bill becomes law it could severely obstruct his organization’s outreach. 


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