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LGBTQI News Roundup – 2nd December 2022

Italian man invades World Cup pitch for Ukraine, LGBT people and women

An Italian man who ran onto the pitch during a World Cup game brandishing a rainbow flag on Monday says he’s “like a Robin Hood 2.0” spreading a message to the world. “We want a free world that respects all races and all ideas,” Mario Ferri wrote on his Instagram account Tuesday.

“FIFA banned rainbow captain’s armbands and human rights flags in the stands, they blocked everyone, but not me,” he said. Ferri stormed the pitch during the game between Portugal and Uruguay at the Lusail Stadium, and besides the LGBT rainbow flag, he wore a Superman T-shirt that read “Save Ukraine” on the front and “Respect for Iranian Woman” on the back.  “A message for Iran where I have friends who suffer, where women are not respected… the world must change,” he said.

Singapore parliament repeals gay sex ban but limits prospect of same-sex marriage

Sex between men has been decriminalised in Singapore, but an amendment to the constitution to prevent court challenges that has seen same-sex marriage legalised in other countries has left LGBT advocates disappointed.  The decision on Tuesday comes as other parts of Asia, including Taiwan, Thailand and India move to recognise more rights for the LGBT community.

Activists cheered the repeal, but said the amendment to the constitution was disappointing. The government has defended amending the constitution, saying decisions on such issues should not be led by the courts.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his successor, Deputy PM Lawrence Wong, have ruled out any changes to the current legal definition of marriage as being between a man and a woman.  Both the repeal and the constitutional amendment were passed with an overwhelming majority, on account of the ruling People’s Action Party’s dominance in parliament. There is no timeline yet for when the new laws take effect.

The changes do, however, leave room for a future parliament to expand the definition of marriage to include same-sex relationships.

Netanyahu signs Israel coalition deal with anti-LGBT Noam party

Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party has signed a deal to give an Israeli government post to an openly homophobic ultra-nationalist party leader. It is the latest development set to give far-right parties unprecedented power within Israel’s ruling coalition.  Avi Maoz will be a deputy minister and run a “Jewish identity” authority.

He heads Noam, a religious-nationalist, anti-Arab and anti-LGBTQ party that argues for a strict interpretation of Jewish religious laws in Israel. The agreement has added to a growing sense of alarm over the composition of Mr Netanyahu’s likely government. 

Outgoing Prime Minister Yair Lapid has described it as “full-on crazy”, while Palestinian leaders have warned about the dangers of an impending “right-wing fascist coalition”. 

Mr Maoz has described LGBT people as a threat to the family and has said he wants to cancel gay pride parades. His party ran a poster campaign in 2019 with the words “Israel chooses to be normal”.  He has also said a woman’s greatest’s contribution is in marriage and raising a family.

ItalianJapan court upholds ban on same-sex marriage but raises rights issue

A Tokyo court has upheld a ban on same-sex marriage in Japan, but also said that the ban was a violation of human rights.  The compensation case was brought by four couples who claimed the law was discriminatory. Japan is currently the only G7 nation that does not recognise same-sex marriage. Campaigners have welcomed the ruling as an indication to the government that it needs to change the law.

“This is actually a fairly positive ruling,” said Nobuhito Sawasaki, one of the lawyers involved in the case. 

“While marriage remains between a man and a woman…, (the court) also said that the current situation with no legal protections for same-sex families is not good, suggesting something must be done about it,” he told Reuters. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s ruling party has not disclosed any plans to change or review the legislation, although several senior members support same-sex marriage and union.

In Wednesday’s ruling, the judge dismissed the case but also said that blocking gay couples from a legal pathway to marriage was irrational. The lawyers and couples involved welcomed the ruling as “ground breaking”, urging the government to promptly enact a law to mitigate the problem. Currently, Japan’s constitution says that marriage is defined by the mutual consent of both sexes.


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