Jerusalem Pride Parade to Advocate for Hostage Liberation and LGBTQ Rights

This year’s Jerusalem Pride and Tolerance March will be held under the theme “Born to Be Free” and will combine a call for the release of 132 hostages held by Hamas and other terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip with a traditional rally in support of LGBTQ rights.

Jerusalem Open Day: Fighting for Liberation and Supporting the Pride March

The event is being coordinated in partnership with the Forum for Hostages and Missing Persons, the primary organization advocating for the interests of captive families.

The organizers said in a statement that the overall motto expresses core principles such as fighting for the release of hostages, as well as supporting the Pride and Tolerance March, calling for freedom and safety for all.

“The Jerusalem Open Day brought the October 7 victims to the forefront of their protest this year, and I am touched by their support for our fight”Tom Barkai, leader of the Jerusalem division of the Hostage and Missing Families Forum, expressed in a statement.”

The closing gathering in the park will see the participation of families and relatives of the hostages, as well as representatives from families of the deceased and communities forced to leave their homes due to the war.

The event will include performances by artists “who will provide hope and comfort, even during these challenging times.”

“This year, we have a moral duty to support the families of the hostages. It is fundamental to our commitment to advocate for our rights, liberty, security and freedom,” said Jerusalem Open Day head Nillie Maderer. “Judging by the pain of recent months, we see a double value in the march – we demand complete freedom and equality in Israel, for all who cannot live a free, fulfilling life.”

Jerusalem Pride March: Uniting in the fight for rights and liberation

Among the marchers will be the fan club of the Hapoel Jerusalem soccer team, which will advocate for the release of Hersh Goldberg-Polin, a dedicated fan of the team, the statement said. In contrast to the light-hearted fun of Tel Aviv’s LGBTQ parade, unlike the closely monitored march in Jerusalem, is typically viewed as a celebration of Pride and also serves as a form of protest against intolerant religious fundamentalist factions in a city known for its strong religious presence, where there are efforts to restrict LGBTQ rights. 

Jonathan Walker stated, “The alliance with the Hostage and Missing Families Forum is organic and vital, as they advocate for principles we have upheld for more than twenty years – the sanctity of life, human rights, and the freedom of every individual.”The Chairman of Jerusalem Day opens doors.

Since the start of the war, which began on October 7 and was initiated by Hamas in southern Israel, many public events have taken on a more subdued atmosphere due to the war and the ongoing hostage crisis. An estimated 128 hostages captured by Hamas on October 7 remain in Gaza – not all of them alive – after 105 civilians were released from Hamas captivity during a week-long ceasefire in late November and four hostages were previously released. Three hostages were successfully rescued by the military, and the bodies of 12 hostages were recovered, among whom three were inadvertently killed by the military.

Israeli forces have confirmed the deaths of 36 people still in Hamas captivity, citing new intelligence and information received from forces operating in the Gaza Strip. Since 2014, Hamas has also held the bodies of fallen IDF soldiers Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin, and two Israeli civilians Averu Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayed.

The latter two are believed to remain alive after entering the Gaza Strip of their own accord in 2014 and 2015 respectively.

The LGBTQ+ community expresses fundamental principles such as advocating for the release of hostages and supporting the Pride and Tolerance March, calling for freedom and safety for all. These ideals are central to the efforts of LGBTQ+ activists worldwide, seeking equal rights and protection from discrimination. Pride marches serve as a platform to support the LGBTQ+ community and show solidarity with its members. They call for respect for diversity and inclusivity in society, where everyone can feel respected and accepted. These events also seek to increase awareness of significant challenges confronting the LGBTQ+ community and to promote legal and social reforms necessary to guarantee equal rights and safeguard against violence and discrimination.

Mass protests against transgender bigotry in 50 cities in France and Belgium

Thousands of people gathered in Paris along with several other cities across France along with as in Belgium, in major demonstrations, showing their solidarity for the transgender community and protesting against all forms of transphobia. These impressive actions highlight public unity in the fight for transgender rights and against discrimination.

Rallies like these highlight the importance of solidarity and support in the fight for the rights and acceptance of transgender people. The rallying of thousands of people in various cities shows a growing recognition of the need to protect and respect the rights of transgender people, as well as awareness of the issues of transphobia. It also highlights how the international community can come together to support vulnerable groups and strive for a fairer and more equitable society.

Large-scale rallies in defense of transgender rights were held in France and Europe

According to information from the French Ministry of the Interior, around 10,880 participants involved in demonstrations took place across the country on Sunday. A particularly substantial gathering drew roughly 2,500 attendees at Place de la République in Paris. Participants actively chanted slogans in support of transgender people and expressed solidarity with transgender communities around the world. One of the organizers, speaking to France 24, emphasized the importance of the event: “This is our reality every day. It is critically important now to protect the rights of all people, especially as rightist and extremist right-wing forces attack transgender rights and spread misinformation about children’s trans identities.”

Other protesters expressed similar sentiments of anti-patriarchal and anti-capitalist sentiments activism in cities such as Lyon, Marseille, Montpellier, as well as Brussels, Liege and several other localities.

Revolution Permanente pointed out that the French far-right’s tactics are similar to those in the US and UK, accusing conservative parties of unjustifiably attacking transgender children. In its statement, the publication stressed: “In response to these attacks, whose catastrophic consequences are already visible in the United States, Britain and Russia, it is necessary to form a broad coalition and integrate the protection of transgender rights into comprehensive international responses.”

France leads US and UK on LGBTQ+ rights despite internal disputes

Although transgender rights remain controversial in France, the country ranks higher on LGBTQ+ rights than the US and UK, according to Equaldex, an equality aggregator managed by the community.The Equality Index places France in the 20th position for LGBTQ+ rights, while the US and UK rank 27th and 28th respectively.

In France, support for trans and non-binary individuals remains strong. An Ipsos 2023 study found that 7.7% of French people support the fight against discrimination against transgender people. The practice of conversion therapy is prohibited in the country, a practice that the UK has yet to legislate, despite lengthy debate. However, France still faces the need to strengthen protections for transgender rights, while non-binary individuals still do not have full recognition and various forms of discrimination still exist. In March, the Minister of Justice, Eric Dupont-Moretti formally apologized for the country’s past treatment of the LGBTQ+ community, which he said had faced “completely unfair repression.”

Germany approves law on the right to gender self-determination

Members of the Bundestag have passed a law that allows gender changes theoretically every year.

Germany adopted a law on gender self-determination: what does this mean for citizens

The German parliament has passed a law promoting gender self-determination, designed to streamline the processes involved in altering names and gender identity. The Self-Determination Act garnered broad approval from the governing Traffic Light coalition, under the leadership of Olaf Scholz. but the debate surrounding it was bitter and emotional. As a result of the vote, 374 deputies spoke in favor of the law, while 251 expressed their opposition. The law will come into force on November 1.

Previously, to change gender, it was necessary to undergo an examination by two doctors (psychiatrists) “well versed in the problems of transsexualism” and obtain judicial permission. Under the new law, adults (over 18 years of age) only need to notify the authorities three months in advance and go through a simple procedure for choosing a new gender from the three provided for in German law. However, once a decision has been made, changes or cancellations are not permitted for a year.

For German citizens aged 14 to 18 years, such an application requires the approval of a parent or guardian. However, even if they refuse, the applicant has the right to apply to the family court to try to overturn this prohibition. For persons under 14 years of age, the application must be submitted by their parent or guardian on their behalf. The new law concerns only legal procedures and does not affect the rules for gender reassignment surgery.

Gender self-determination in different countries: legislation and challenges

Laws to facilitate gender reassignment procedures and their consequences may vary from country to country. Some of the countries that have passed laws or made legislative changes to facilitate gender reassignment procedures include:

Argentina. Here, in 2012, a law was passed that allows people to change their gender and name on documents without the need to undergo medical or legal procedures.

Spain. In 2007, the Equality Act was passed, which also simplified gender and name change procedures for transgender people.

Portugal. The country changed its civil status laws in 2011, allowing people to change their gender on their documents without the need for surgery or medical examination.

Canada. Various provinces in Canada have passed laws and policies to make gender and name change procedures easier for transgender people.

These are just a few examples. Gender identity policies and legislation are constantly evolving, and laws may change over time in different countries.

Apart from the countries mentioned, many others are also working to simplify gender reassignment procedures and its consequences. For example, in the US, different states have their own laws and policies on this issue. Somesome states permit changing the gender on your birth certificate without requiring surgery or court approval. However, approaches may differ significantly depending on the state.

In many countries of the European Union there are also changes in legislation aimed at making the process of gender change simpler and named. For example, Sweden, Holland, and Finland have laws that allow citizens to alter their gender on formal paperwork without the need for medical procedures or court approvals.

One of the main principles underlying these changes is the recognition of the human entitlement to one’s gender identity and self-determination. The desire for respect and recognition of personal gender identity is becoming increasingly important in modern society.

However, despite the passage of laws streamlining processes for gender reassignment challenges remain regarding social acceptance and support for transgender people. This may include combating bias, availability of medical services, and psychological assistance access, and creating inclusive educational and work environments.

Therefore, streamlining procedures for gender reassignment represents a crucial stride in acknowledging the rights of individual gender identities and fostering a more inclusive society. However, achieving this objective in its entirety necessitates additional efforts in providing social support and embracing the diversity of gender identities.

A story of joy: Two LGBT+ women became pregnant from the same donor and are expecting birth almost simultaneously

In London, two women who are part of an LGBT+ couple are expecting a baby after using sperm from the same donor. Emily, 38, and Carrie, 35, are in the process of preparing for motherhood.

Secrets of donation: Who became the ideal donor for women

The women spent £25,000 on the insemination procedure. The donor was an American with Dutch-German roots. Before the procedure itself, the women received detailed information about his biography, pedigree, looked at his childhood photographs, listened to a recording of his voice and even checked his handwriting.

“We also know how he makes a living, his hobbies, likes and dislikes. We even know he has long fingers and high cheekbones,” says mother-to-be Kerry.

The donor also made a significant charitable donation to the clinic. This will ensure that future children have complete information about their biological father as soon as they turn 18. Despite the fact that pregnancies occur simultaneously, the boys carried by women will be born with a short time interval of a few weeks. Emily and Kerry are looking forward to the arrival of their children and the joys of motherhood.

Being born LGBT+: an example of acceptance and evolution in modern society

The birth of a child in an LGBT+ family is one of the important moments that demonstrates the evolution and inclusiveness of modern society. This event not only brings joy to parents, but also serves as an example of accepting diversity in family patterns.

One of the key features of having a child in an LGBT+ family is the use of assisted reproduction methods such as sperm or egg donation. These methods allow same-sex couples to have biological offspring and fulfill their desire to become parents.

However, the process of preparing for the birth of a child for an LGBT+ couple may involve additional steps, such as choosing a sperm or egg donor, medical procedures and legal aspects related to establishing parental rights.

It is important to note that the birth of a child in an LGBT+ family is no less significant and loved than in traditional families. For expectant parents, this often becomes a center of attention and a source of joy, and for society, it is a reason for awareness of the diversity of family forms.

In addition, the birth of a child in an LGBT+ family helps to expand understanding and tolerance in society. This sparks discussion about the rights and protection of LGBT+ families, and helps create a friendlier and more inclusive environment for all members of society.

Thus, the birth of a child in an LGBT+ family is not only a joyful event for parents, but also a step towards a more harmonious and understanding society, where every family has the right to happiness and children, regardless of their orientation or gender.

The Pope has given permission to bless same-sex couples

Now a Catholic priest can bless a union of people of the same sex, but this will happen outside of church rituals and liturgies.

Pope Francis has officially allowed Catholic priests to bless same-sex couples. The move was confirmed in a declaration published by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. According to this document, “nonconforming couples” can receive blessings, provided that this occurs outside of church liturgies and rituals. However, the declaration states that the Church’s teaching on marriage between a man and a woman remains unchanged. It is separately noted that the blessing of a same-sex union should not have any similarities with the wedding ceremony, neither in clothing nor in gestures. However, the move represents a departure from the previous principle that God “cannot bless sin” in favor of the principle of the church being “open to one and all.”

Divided opinions: from positive reactions to fears in conservative circles

The Vatican’s announcement was seen by some as a step towards overcoming discrimination in the Catholic Church. However, according to some LGBT rights advocates, the decision highlights the fact that church views still favor heterosexual unions over same-sex couples. While in conservative circles the news caused sharp criticism of the Holy See, which was expressed in outrage and fears of a possible split.

Franca Giansoldati, Vatican correspondent for Messagero, comments on the pontiff’s decision, which raises objections within the church

Pope Francis has approved a document allowing Catholic priests to bless unmarried couples, including same-sex couples. “The Vatican states that blessings should not be part of normal church rituals or associated with civil unions or weddings. In other words, although this is not a liturgical blessing, it represents a significant step in the Catholic Church’s treatment of the LGBTQ community,” it said. Euronews correspondent George Orlandi speaking to the expert.

This is a significant advance. It can almost be compared to the fact that Pope Francis reversed previous decisions made by John Paul II and Pope Benedict, especially considering that in 2021 Pope Francis approved a document denying the possibility of such a move on the part of the church. What has changed during this time? At the last synod, voices appeared calling for such a blessing, for the manifestation of care, these requests were very persistent, and Pope Francis could not ignore them.

However, this move will raise many objections. We are already seeing reactions on social media, mainly from bishops and various church officials expressing their concern. This move has internal consequences for the church, which has never before been as divided as it is today.

Christian College Expels LGBT Students: Petition Has 120,000 Support

In Brisbane, Australia, a Christian college is encouraging parents to sign an agreement that provides the right to expel students who are openly LGBT+.

Citipointe sent an updated student admission agreement to parents before the start of the new semester. This document describes homosexuality as a sin and “immoral behavior” compared to other prohibited acts such as bestiality, incest and pedophilia.

The school document asserts that they view any type of sexual misconduct, encompassing behaviors such as debauchery, homosexual and bisexual acts, bestiality, incest, pedophilia, pornography, and more, as morally unacceptable and contrary to their religious beliefs. They believe that such actions are offensive to God, detrimental to interpersonal connections, and have a negative impact on society.

According to the terms of the contract, new students are only allowed to continue their studies if “their gender identity matches their biological sex.”

College Principal, Pastor Brian Mulheran, said: “We are dedicated to preserving our Christian principles and enabling parents and students to make well-informed decisions regarding their willingness to endorse and adopt our Christian education philosophy”

Mulheran emphasized that Citipointe has no intention of showing bias against students due to their sexual orientation or gender identity, and admissions decisions will not be solely predicated on these factors.. However, Mulheran’s statements contradict the new contract, which clearly states that the college has the right to expel a student if his sex does not correspond to the institution’s biological sex.

However, the move has sparked heated debate and criticism from the public and LGBT+ rights advocates. Many have expressed concern that the institution’s policies could promote discrimination and create a hostile environment for LGBT+ students.

lgbt

Activists said Citipointe College’s contract is discriminatory and violates the rights of LGBT+ students. They underscored the significance of establishing a welcoming and secure atmosphere for all students, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

This event became an occasion for discussion of the legality and ethics of such policies in educational institutions and emphasized the relevance of issues related to the rights of LGBT+ people in the educational field. Meanwhile, debate on this issue continues, and many are waiting for further developments and solutions in this area.

The decision of the educational institution causes criticism from society

A petition was created to protest the new rules introduced by the Citipointe educational institution. This petition essentially accuses the school of discriminating against students who belong to the queer and transgender communities. A similar initiative has collected almost 120 thousand signatures. The petition’s author, Bethany Lau, encourages anyone who shares her concerns about Citipointe’s policies, which she considers transphobic and homophobic, to sign. It is important for her and her supporters to convey to the school and the public that such forms of discrimination will not be left unanswered and will be actively opposed.

Bel Priestley: Rising Star and Transgender Role Model

Bel Priestley: Rising Star and Transgender Role Model

Bel Priestley, a 20-year-old transgender actress and social media influencer, has emerged as a powerful voice and role model for the transgender community. With her breakthrough role in the Netflix series “Heartstopper,” Priestley has captivated audiences and inspired many with her story of resilience and self-acceptance.

Early Life and Struggles

Growing up in a small town near Milton Keynes, Bel, assigned male at birth, faced confusion and bullying due to her feminine nature. Unaware of what it meant to be transgender, she navigated a challenging childhood marked by a lack of representation and understanding. At age 13, after discovering the concept of being transgender on Instagram, Bel’s life took a transformative turn as she embraced her true identity.

Overcoming Adversity

Bel’s journey was fraught with obstacles, from bullying at school to struggles with acceptance at home. Despite these challenges, she found solace in makeup and performing, channels that allowed her to express her true self. Her initial coming out as gay at 12 and later as transgender at 13 marked significant milestones in her life.

Social Media Presence and Impact

Bel’s candid sharing of her experiences on social media platforms like TikTok resonated with many, earning her over 1.3 million followers. Her openness about her transition and life as a transgender individual has provided visibility and hope to others facing similar struggles.

Breakthrough in Acting

Her social media success led to an opportunity to star as Naomi in “Heartstopper,” a show celebrated for its diverse casting and inclusive storylines. This role not only propelled her career but also solidified her status as a trailblazer in the entertainment industry.

Family Dynamics and Support

The journey with her family, particularly her father, evolved from initial misunderstandings to a strong bond of acceptance and support. This shift played a crucial role in Bel’s journey towards self-acceptance and advocacy.

A Voice for the Transgender Community

Priestley’s experiences have positioned her as a beacon of hope and inspiration for transgender youth. Her aspirations to take on impactful roles in the entertainment industry, like a Disney princess or a Bond girl, reflect her desire to challenge norms and create more inclusive representation.

The Future and Her Role as a Mentor

Looking forward, Bel Priestley is determined to continue breaking barriers and being a vocal advocate for transgender rights. She aspires to be the role model she never had, providing guidance and inspiration to the younger transgender generation.

Bel’s story is not just one of personal triumph but also a testament to the power of representation and the importance of embracing one’s true self. Her journey from a bullied child in a small town to a celebrated actress and influencer is a source of motivation and hope for many in the transgender community and beyond.

©unitedradiance.org

Antoni Porowski and Fiancé Kevin Harrington End Engagement

Antoni Porowski and Fiancé Kevin Harrington End Engagement

November 2023 – In an unexpected turn of events, Antoni Porowski, famed for his role in “Queer Eye,” and his partner Kevin Harrington have amicably called off their engagement, just one year after announcing it. Their split has come as a surprise to many, given their frequent public displays of affection and the history they’ve shared.

Celebratory Engagement and Memorable Moments

The engagement of the couple was made public in November 2022, marking three years of their relationship. They took to social media to share their excitement, with posts that beautifully encapsulated their bond. Porowski uploaded a slightly blurry, yet charming picture of the duo, making a lighthearted comment about hoping for more distinct wedding photos. On the other hand, Harrington’s post included a series of pictures chronicling their time together, humorously culminating in an image of them dressed as zombies, symbolizing a lasting union.

The Impact of the Pandemic on Their Relationship

The COVID-19 pandemic played a significant role in accelerating Porowski and Harrington’s relationship. As Porowski recounted, what was supposed to be a brief visit in Austin, Texas, during the “Queer Eye” filming extended indefinitely due to the lockdown in New York City. This unexpected turn of events led them to foster, and eventually adopt, a dog named Neon, symbolizing the beginning of their life together as a family.

Decision to Part Ways

A representative for Porowski confirmed the split to People, noting that the decision was mutual and amicable. The statement highlighted that after numerous discussions and reflections during the wedding planning process, the couple realized their paths were diverging. While they maintain a great deal of respect for each other, they acknowledged the need to focus on their individual lives and careers.

Moving Forward

Both Porowski and Harrington are channeling their energies into their professional endeavors and leaning on their circle of friends during this transition. The respect and care they have for each other remain evident, even as they navigate this new chapter separately.

The end of their engagement marks a significant moment in both their lives, reminding us of the unpredictable nature of relationships and the importance of personal growth and understanding.

©unitedradiance.org

Life Sentence for Stanley Bruce Early in Historic 'Gay Beat' Murder Case

Life Sentence for Stanley Bruce Early in Historic ‘Gay Beat’ Murder Case

In a significant judgment, Stanley Bruce Early, aged 77, has been sentenced to a lengthy prison term for the murder of Raymond Keam in 1987, a crime that shook the Sydney community and highlighted the issue of homophobic violence.

The 1987 Crime: A Tragic Incident

Raymond Keam, a 43-year-old father, was brutally attacked and killed at Allison Park, Sydney, an area known at the time as a “gay beat”. Early, who was then on bail for a separate offense, led the attack with a group of unknown men. The assault, driven by homophobia, resulted in Keam’s death due to severe head injuries.

Early’s Troubled Past and Motivations

Early’s life was marked by significant trauma, including abuse in a boys’ home and rape during a prison stint. He expressed to psychiatrists that his violent behavior might stem from internalized anger about his own sexuality. Early, who identified as bisexual, admitted to assaulting men in Allison Park, believing them to be homosexual.

The Court’s Verdict and Sentencing

In the NSW Supreme Court, Justice Dina Yehia handed down a sentence of 22 years, with a non-parole period of 15 years and 6 months. While it was unclear if Early delivered the fatal blow, his involvement in the assault was undeniable. The judge emphasized the aggravating factor of the crime being motivated by hatred against homosexual men.

Early’s Continuing Denial and Lack of Remorse

Despite the guilty verdict, Early maintains his innocence and shows no remorse for his actions. This lack of repentance was noted by the judge, alongside the likelihood of Early spending the rest of his life in prison, as he will not be eligible for release until 2037, at 91 years of age.

The Wider Context: Homophobia and Violence

This case sheds light on the disturbing practice of “gay bashing,” a violent act targeting individuals based on their sexual orientation. Justice Yehia condemned this behavior as vile and contrary to the values of a civilized society, highlighting the need for societal change.

Early’s Personal Struggles

The complexities of Early’s life, including his troubled upbringing, his own sexual orientation, and his struggles with mental health, paint a nuanced picture of the perpetrator. Since his arrest in 2021, Early has attempted suicide and is considered at chronic risk of self-harm.

Conclusion: A Landmark Case in LGBTQ+ Rights

The sentencing of Stanley Bruce Early marks a pivotal moment in the history of LGBTQ+ rights in Australia. It not only brings closure to a decades-old case but also serves as a stark reminder of the ongoing battle against homophobia and the need for continued vigilance in protecting the rights and safety of the LGBTQ+ community.

©unitedradiance.org

Target's Bold LGBTQ+ Christmas Merchandise Sparks Right-Wing Backlash

Target’s Bold LGBTQ+ Christmas Merchandise Sparks Right-Wing Backlash

Target, the renowned retail corporation, has recently sparked a contentious discussion with its new Christmas merchandise range. Featuring distinct LGBTQ+ themes, this collection has become a focal point of intense debate, eliciting varied responses from different communities and individuals.

Introducing an Inclusive Range

Erik Thompson, the Senior LGBTQIA+ Segmentation Strategist and Pride Lead at Target, unveiled the collection through an Instagram post, highlighting its diverse and vibrant array of products. The assortment includes unique pieces such as a nutcracker bearing a Pride flag and a depiction of Santa Claus in a wheelchair, reflecting the company’s dedication to celebrating diversity and inclusion.

Right-Wing Response and Boycott Calls

However, Target’s initiative has not been well-received by everyone. An account named “End Wokeness” highlighted some of Target’s Christmas products, triggering a wave of backlash from right-wing communities. The post was met with calls for a boycott of Target, as members of these communities expressed their displeasure with the company’s approach to holiday merchandise.

Financial Implications

This backlash appears to have had a tangible impact on Target’s financial performance. The company reported a 5.4 percent decrease in sales in its second-quarter earnings report, marking the first sales drop in approximately six years. The third quarter further saw a 4.9 percent decline, with CEO Brian Cornell acknowledging the unexpected sales challenges faced this year.

Wider Trend of Backlash Against Inclusive Brands

Target’s experience is not unique in the current socio-political climate. Other brands like Bud Light and Starbucks India have also faced similar backlashes for their support of LGBTQ+ inclusivity. Bud Light collaborated with trans social media influencer Dylan Mulvaney, and Starbucks India released a trans-inclusive advertisement, both of which sparked controversy among right-wing groups.

Conclusion: The Cost of Inclusivity?

Target’s foray into LGBTQ+ themed Christmas merchandise has clearly set off a cultural and commercial ripple effect. While the brand has made strides in representing diverse communities, it has also faced significant backlash and financial repercussions. This situation raises broader questions about the balance between corporate inclusivity initiatives and the diverse reactions they can elicit from the public.

©unitedradiance.org