Compiled by David Webb

Taliban vows to execute gay men with reinstatement of Sharia law

AFGHANISTAN — A Jihadist judge plans torturous punishments for homosexuals once American forces are gone and Islamic militants gain full control.

Judge Gul Rahim, 38, said LGBTQ people would be either stoned or crushed by a 10-foot stone wall that is pushed on top of them. Criminals would also be subjected to barbaric practices like hands being chopped off for stealing, and women would not be allowed to leave houses without permits.

Women and minorities are in great fear of coming developments as Sharia law is reintroduced, and many are making plans to escape the country.


2 convicted transgender women released pending appeal in Central Africa

CAMEROON — Two transgender women convicted of “attempted homosexuality” were released from prison on July 13 until a court hears their appeal.

The women were arrested on Feb. 8 for wearing women’s clothing in a restaurant. One of the women, Shakiro, is a celebrity in Cameroon with thousands of social media followers.

They were sentenced to five years in prison and fines of the equivalent of $361 U.S. on a conviction of charges that included public indecency and failure to carry identification. Arrests and convictions of LGBTQ people are on the rise in the Central African country.


2 Canadian cities ban conversion therapy this year

CANADA — Regina is about to become the second city in the state of Saskatchewan to ban conversion therapy.

The city council preliminarily passed the law, and it will become law on Aug. 11 with final approval without more discussion. A heated debate with input from the public preceded the council vote.

Saskatoon’s city council approved a similar message in February. The federal government is also considering measures to prohibit conversion therapy activities.


Gay journalist arrested at violent protest in Cuba

CUBA — A media partner for the LGBTQ publication Washington Blade was arrested in Havana as he and other journalists covered protests about food shortages, the government’s pandemic response and the escalating economic crisis.

Maykel Gonzalez Vivero said his arrest was “violent,” and riot police kicked his eyeglasses when they fell off during the takedown. He said a plain clothes police officer falsely accused him of throwing rocks before turning him over to the riot squad.

Cuban police have previously detained gay reporters, and the Interior Ministry has banned them from leaving the country.


Anti-gay assault mars Bastille Day celebration on French island

FRANCE — A mob yelling anti-gay slurs beat a young male couple outside of a bar on the island of Corsica during the July 14 Bastille Day celebration because they danced together.

After being confronted on the dance floor the couple left the bar, but angry young patrons followed them on to the street where the attack took place. Some 60 people watched the attack but did nothing to help the victims.

Last year during the same holiday, another gay couple suffered injuries outside of a bar on Corsica because they were observed sharing a kiss.


Lesbian nun movie debuts at Cannes; director promises ‘reality of life’

FRANCE — “Benedetta,” a movie about a 17th Century French nun who talks to God and falls in love with a farm girl, led to a rash of nun jokes and accusations of blasphemy.

The film’s 82-year-old director Paul Verhoeven, whose credits include Basic Instinct and Showgirls, called religious criticism of the work “stupid.” He has long called for more sexuality in cinema to better reflect nature.

The film was inspired by Judith C. Brown’s non-fiction book, Immodest Acts: The Life of a Lesbian Nun in Renaissance Italy. It is based on an abbess who was tried and imprisoned in the early 1600s for her claims of mystical visions.


High Court gives Israeli same-sex couples surrogacy rights

ISRAEL — The Supreme Court ruled July 11 that same-sex couples will be automatically afforded the same access to surrogate mothers that a 2020 law gave to single women.

The court ruled last year that lawmakers must revise the law to include same-sex couples, but Parliament failed to meet a one-year deadline. The revised law will take effect in six months.

Opponents of the revised law said that it will harm Jewish family values while proponents call it a “historic landmark” in the struggle for equality.


Islamic police arrest 5 men for homosexuality in West Africa

NIGERIA — The Islamic Police Board in Kano announced the raid of a “gay hideout” in the north of the country where five men were arrested on July 11 for breaking laws on homosexuality.

Same-sex relationships are illegal across Nigeria under secular law. Penalties range from up to 14 years in jail, and the death penalty can be assessed under Sharia law in about a dozen states.

Prosecutions of the LGBTQ community have increased in Nigeria since an anti-gay law was passed in 2014, but convictions are rare.


Journalist attacked in Russian anti-LGBTQ Pride protest dies

RUSSIA — A Georgian TV cameraman who was beaten by anti-gay protesters was found dead in his bed by his mother on July 11 after being released from the hospital after surgery.

Alexander Lashkarva, 37, was assaulted by a mob that caused the cancellation of a scheduled Pride Parade in Tbilisi a week before his death. He suffered fractured facial bones in the attack, and another 50 journalists sustained concussions, burns and broken arms.

Human rights activists vowed public demonstrations as news spread about his death, and TV stations went off the air in protest. Thousands of protesters demanded the resignation of the prime minister whom they accused of encouraging anti-gay violence. In June of 2019 riot police injured 40 journalists covering an anti-government protest.


Pride Clinic opens in Bangkok for LGBTQ patients

THAILAND — A new clinic will offer gender surgery, hormone treatments, cosmetic surgeries and health checkups for LGBTQ patients at a high-end private hospital in Bangkok.

The clinic has launched in Bumrungrad International Hospital. The clinic plans to cater to people in double-income households with no children and large disposable incomes. Patients are expected to arrive from China, Southeast Asia and the Middle East.

Thailand legalized same-sex unions last year, and it markets itself as an LGBTQ-welcoming destination.


Channel Islands Pride organizers establish COVID-19 policy

UNITED KINGDOM — Participants in a Pride parade in the Channel Islands on Aug. 21 will be required to show proof of vaccinations or negative coronavirus tests.

The organizers said they wanted to ensure that people could freely celebrate without worry of becoming infected with the coronavirus. How the policy will be enforced remains to be announced.

Pride celebrations in the Channel Islands, which are off the Normandy coast, alternate between the cities of Guernsey and Jersey, the site of this year’s event.


Activist seeks apology from Isle of Man police official for past persecution of gay men

UNITED KINGDOM — The Isle of Man waited 25 years after England and Wales decriminalized homosexuality to follow suit, and a gay rights activist wants a public apology for the “witch hunt” that ensued until 1992.

Peter Tatchell visited the self-governing British Crown island in the Irish Sea recently for the 30th anniversary of a gay rights protest in 1991. In a speech he said that an apology from the chief constable would send a signal that police planned “understanding, support and engagement” with the LGBTQ community in the future.

A bill passed in 2019 that is scheduled to become law next year will pardon men sentenced under anti-gay laws in effect prior to 1992.