Thursday, 13 October 2022
Welcome to the latest issue of the LGBT Great News Digest, a short briefing on the 5 LGBT+ news stories you need to know about right now.
We welcome any thoughts, comments or feedback.
The LGBT Great Team
|5 LGBT+ News Stories from Around the World|
|1. Italy's first female Prime Minister's worrying anti-LGBT+ position|
Giorgia Meloni, the leader of the nationalist far-right Fratelli d’Italia (Brothers of Italy) party, is set to become Italy’s new Prime Minister. The announcement comes after a swathe of electoral results announced on 26 September 2022. Critics have condemned Meloni’s stance on LGBT+ rights. Her attendance at anti-LGBT+ rallies, her position on adoption equality, and her criticism of so-called “gender ideology” have all been subject to widespread criticism.
Our View: The Fratelli d’Italia is the farthest right party elected in contemporary Italian political history. Its basis is found in the historical ideology of Benito Mussolini and suggests a worrying anti-LGBT+ agenda is to come. Meloni has also openly supported other anti-LGBT+ leaders, notably Hungary’s Viktor Orbán, whose agenda has been described as a “war on LGBTQ identities;” the EU famously described the regime as an “electoral autocracy.” In 2017, LGBT+ advocates participated in a huge nationwide awareness program with the tagline Svegliati Italia! (Wake Up Italy!). In the post-Draghi era to come it looks like Italy may be forced back to sleep as far as positive LGBT+ transformation is concerned.
|2. Slovenia legalises same-sex marriage and adoption|
On 4 October 2022, the Slovenian parliament passed an amendment enabling same-sex couples to marry and adopt. As a result, Slovenia becomes the first country in Eastern Europe to enshrine these in law. The amendment follows a ruling by the Slovenian constitutional court in July 2022, which ruled that defining marriage as only between a man and a woman discriminated against LGBT+ couples. In a statement, the Slovenian stated, “there will be no more discrimination between heterosexual and same-sex couples in the definition of marriage”.
Our View: The new Slovenian government promised to bring in legislation to improve LGBT+ rights and protections, and has followed through starting with the legalization of same-sex marriage and adoption.
Even with neighbouring countries continuing to oppress LGBT+ identities, the current Slovenian administration has taken a noticeably progressive approach, which we expect to continue. This announcement follows a wave of recent pro-LGBT+ legislative changes around the world, including in Singapore and Cuba.
|3. Three trans candidates elected to the National Congress of Brazil|
On 2 October 2022, Erika Hilton, Duda Salabert and Robeyonce Lima won seats in the National Congress of Brazil, which constitutes the Federal Senate and the Chamber of Deputies, thereby blazing a new trail for trans representation in Brazilian politics. At least 76 trans candidates ran for office in 2022, which the National Association of Travestis and Transsexuals (ANTRA) noted represented a 44% increase on previous years and the highest number of trans candidates to ever run for office in Brazil in a single election.
Our View: With record-breaking trans representation in parliament in a country infamous for anti-LGBT+ hate crimes, these first-round elections paint a very encouraging picture of inclusion for Brazilian politics moving forward.
Moreover, with two Black trans voices being heard we hope to see more nuanced and intersectional debates and discussions challenging the conservative status-quo across policymakers in Brazil.
|4. First openly gay professional wrestler wins title at All Elite Wrestling|
On 22 September 2022, Anthony Bowens partnered with Max Caster in a match at All Elite Wrestling (AEW) and won the tag team championships, thus becoming the first openly gay wrestling professional to do so. All Elite Wrestling (AEW) is an American professional wrestling promotion based in Jacksonville, Florida. Celebrating his achievement on Twitter, he wrote, “To anyone who needs to hear it right now...it all gets better.”
Our View: It is extremely encouraging to see a sport like wrestling, which has had minimal LGBT+ representation to date, openly celebrating its first openly gay champion. This is an inspirational moment for young LGBT+ wrestling fans and adds to an ever-increasing list of out LGBT+ sportspersons around the world.
|5. New HIV testing plan already seeing ‘amazing results’ after only 6 months|
In late 2021, the UK rolled out a new strategy to HIV testing in hospitals across parts of the UK. The HIV action plan provides ‘opt-out’ and is available in A&E departments, delivering results within 20 minutes. Between April and June 2022, 102 people were newly diagnosed with HIV, who would have been otherwise missed.
Our View: World Aids Day is celebrated on 1 December every year and represents an important moment to come together as a global community to combat the spread of HIV/AIDS. This novel approach to testing in the UK is indicative of the huge leaps forward in the availability of testing, as well as a reminder of the progress in antiretroviral treatments and prophylactics that are now available. With the history of the HIV/AIDS epidemic closely associated with the LGBT+ community, particularly gay men, these positive strides forward continue to support the increased understanding around the realities of HIV/AIDS. Continuing to breakdown the stigma around HIV/AIDS across society and within an organisational context is critical. If you would like to speak with LGBT Great about potential collaborations or engagement around World Aids Day for 2023, please reach out to email@example.com
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