Game of Thrones star says it’s ‘terrible’ local council won’t fly rainbow flag John Krasinksi as Jack Ryan. | Photo: Facebook A hugely anticipated new show on Amazon Prime has come under fire for using a transphobic slur just hours after its release.
Starring The Office’s (US) John Krasinki, Jack Ryan, tells the story of said CIA analyst. Ryan tracks a group of potential terrorists who they believe to be the ‘next Osama Bin Laden’.
The hunt for the terrorists is seen from many different perspectives including that of soldier Victor Polizzi. The soldier has become disillusioned with his role as missile launcher for US drones.
After a drunken night where he ends up assaulted and with a black eye, his colleague turns to ask him about it.
‘Did you accidentally pick up another tranny on Fremont St?’ his colleague asks. To which Polizzi replies with an adamant ‘no’. This shit is repulsive @jackryanamazon . Trans women die from pick up violence. This isn’t funny. This is real life. pic.twitter.com/S6782JwrSb — Eliel Cruz (@elielcruz) September 1, 2018 Transphobia is never ok
The outcry came quickly on social media. Many Twitter users pointed out the offensive comment came just a day after two more trans women were murdered in the US . So far, 18 trans women have been murdered in 2018, 13 of which are women of color.
Eliel Cruz is the director of communications director at the Anti Violence Project (AVP) . The AVP is an organization which works. to end violence against LGBTQ and HIV-affected communities.
He told Gay Star News that ‘when we trivialize the violence trans women face, both in our language and in dismissing the realities of hate and pick up violence, we contribute to, and perpetuate, that violence’.
Cruz added: ‘While the reality is that cisgender people use trans slurs and pick up violence affects trans women, Jack Ryan had an opportunity to confront this reality with a teachable moment.’
‘Instead, writers decided to affirm the idea that there is something shameful about cisgender men being with a trans woman or that trans women are actually men.
‘This throwaway ‘joke’ is harmful in that it contributes to this culture of violence against trans people, especially trans women.’
Many people agreed and took to Twitter to show their disgust, with some vowing to either not watch the show or cancel their Amazon Prime subscription altogether. Here are some of their reactions:
I mean I already wasn’t planning on watching @jackryanamazon , but now I’m DEFINITELY not watching… https://t.co/IAzQLU9Lfq — RJ Aguiar (@DamnItRJ) September 1, 2018 Perhaps someone can explain why Amazon is out here marketing transphobia in 2018–especially after “Transparent made them relevant. https://t.co/TSqTg8LlUG — Ashlee Marie Preston (@AshleeMPreston) September 1, 2018 Hey @jackryanamazon , this is unacceptable because it bolsters the idea that trans women aren’t women, and that men should be ashamed for being involved with them. These kinds of toxic cultural ideas lead to the murder of trans women of color REGULARLY. You need to do better. https://t.co/O8upXBAtmU — Austen Hartke (@AustenLionheart) September 1, 2018 In the year of Pose 2018–when trans people are still being killed at staggering rates—I refuse to acknowledge that anyone would write a joke at the expense of trans folks and one that includes a slur at that. https://t.co/3ZHI0YLVaJ — J. Dylan Sandifer (@jdylan901) September 1, 2018 Love being the butt of the joke when I see my sisters being murdered every day and their murderers getting away with it because obviously “trannys” dont matter. Canceling my prime membership been meaning to do it because of how they treat their workers too @amazon @jackryanamazon https://t.co/aBTCfjT7Cb — Tall-yuh (@Tahlia_Rene) September 1, 2018 Hey, @jackryanamazon . I’m a trans woman who has survived an actual terrorist attack in real life, ran toward the attacker, and then spent the next 12 months shifting entire military policy. You wanna explain the use of this slur to my face, you cowards? https://t.co/5OqH6Xxylt — Emily G (@EmilyGorcenski) September 1, 2018 Gay Star News has reached out to Amazon for comment.
One of Sophie Labelle’s Assigned Male drawings Canadian webcomic artist Sophie Labelle is touring the United States for the first time this month. Labelle is the creator of the popular Assigned Male comics, about a young trans girl navigating the world. Tell me more!
Her first stop is in New York City. She’ll be giving a talk at the LGBT Center in the West Village.
‘I’ve done tours in many regions of the world, but never felt safe enough to go to the USA, even though it’s where I have the most fans,’ Labelle told GSN via email. Online harassment
Last year, Labelle’s website was hacked by alt-right trolls. The hackers orchestrated this attack, deleting all her comics and replacing them with Nazi imagery. She was also sent death threats and was forced to go into hiding until the abuse died down.
‘The country has a very bad reputation outside its borders,’ Labelle continued. ‘I guess I was waiting for the political situation to be less intense, but seeing how it’s not really happening, I decide to come anyway, since I believe it’s in these troubled times that marginalized populations need support the most.’
Despite the brutal harassment, Labelle has not put her work on pause. In December 2017, she released coloring books based on the Assigned Male series. Organizing the Tour
‘The way I organize this tour is by putting a message on my Facebook and Tumblr pages, saying I would be around if any group is interested in having me,’ Labelle stated.
‘I simply go wherever I’m invited, might it be a small college in rural Florida or a major LGBT association in San Francisco. I don’t have any agent or manager, so I can’t really organize anything by myself, even if that means skipping some major city where I didn’t get any invitation from.’ Stops on the Tour
In addition to NYC, Labelle will be traveling to Washington State and New Mexico, where she has friends. Despite being openly LGBTI, Labelle is looking forward to visiting Southern states, such as Alabama and Georgia.
Other confirmed tour stops include New Jersey, Connecticut, and Maine.
‘During [the] tour, I hope to meet as many fans as possible. It’s really what’s at the core of it. I’m volunteering for all of it, so for me, a webcomic artist, it’s only just a great opportunity to connect with my readers,’ Labelle said.
Rev. Jasper Williams Jr. gives eulogy at Aretha Franklin’s funeral at Greater Grace Temple on August 31, 2018 in Detroit, Michigan (Angela WeissAFP/Getty) An Atlanta pastor’s fiery eulogy at Aretha Franklin’s funeral has sparked controversy. It was only one of the uncomfortable moments at the ceremony in honour of the Queen of Soul, who died in her home on August 16 at the age of 76.
Rev. Jasper Williams Jr., a friend of Franklin who also delivered the eulogy at her father’s funeral in 1984, made several comments regarding black-on-black crime, African-American mothers and gay people.
The pastor criticised homicides within the black community, then said that African-American women were unable to “raise a black boy to be a man” and later remarked that “the straights need to respect the gays. The gays need to respect the straights,” as NBC News reported. A woman holds a program from Aretha Franklin’s funeral at the Greater Grace Temple in on August 31, 2018 in Detroit, Michigan (Jeff Kowalsky/AFP/Getty) The remarks infuriated several people who were following the live-streamed event. Several comments posted on social media thought that Williams was being disrespectful to Franklin, who was a teenage single mother when her first two sons were born in 1955 and 1957, and to the black and gay community in general.
“Dear #JasperWilliams. I am a Black man who was raised predominantly by a Black woman. I have never slaughtered my people & never will. I own my own business .I’m one of a very few African-Americans with a James Beard Award. I have two. I’m gay & a productive citizen. Bless your heart,” African-American and Jewish author Michael W. Twitty wrote in response to the eulogy.
The ceremony took place at Greater Grace Temple on August 31, in Detroit, Michigan and saw in attendance prominent civil rights activists Reverend Jesse Jackson and Reverend Al Sharpton, current and former politicians such as Senator Maxine Waters and former President Bill Clinton, and music legends like Stevie Wonder and Chaka Khan. Ariana Grande performs during Aretha Franklin’s funeral at Greater Grace Temple on August 31, 2018 in Detroit, Michigan (Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty) Singer Ariana Grande gave a rendition of Franklin’s hit “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” but it was the way Bishop Charles Ellis addressed her after the performance that caught people’s attention.
Not only did he made a joke about her name sounding like an item on a Taco Bell menu, but he also put his arm around Grande, with his hand above her waist line and his fingers pressing against the side of her chest.
His conduct was spotted and condemned by several people on social media under the hashtag #RespectAriana.
The preacher was confronted about his behaviour later in the day by a reporter from The Associated Press. Bishop Charles Ellis chats with Ariana Grande after her performance at the funeral for Aretha Franklin at the Greater Grace Temple on August 31, 2018 in Detroit, Michigan (Scott Olson/Getty) “It would never be my intention to touch any woman’s breast. … I don’t know I guess I put my arm around her,” he told the news agency at the cemetery where Franklin was interred, adding: “Maybe I crossed the border, maybe I was too friendly or familiar but again, I apologise.”
He also apologised specifically for the joke about Grande’s name to the singer, her fans and the Hispanic community—even though the performer has Italian, not Hispanic roots.
“I personally and sincerely apologise to Ariana and to her fans and to the whole Hispanic community,” Ellis told The Associated Press. “When you’re doing a program for nine hours you try to keep it lively, you try to insert some jokes here and there.”
(Sherry Lau/Facebook) A lesbian couple has turned their house into a rainbow to show their homophobic neighbours they are gay, they are proud, and they won’t be going anywhere.
Lisa Licata and Sherry Lau live in Penn Hills, Pennsylvania and have issues with their next-door neighbours Ron Makay and Iolanda Wieczorkowski.
According to the same-sex couple, the neighbours have been harassing them for years. They said Makay has been calling them homophobic slurs such as “dykes” and “homo” ever since he found out the pair was married, local news outlet WTAE Pittsburgh reported.
The dispute escalated to the point of violence, when Makay allegedly shot the couple’s dog with an air rifle in July. Police charged him with animal cruelty. While he did not comment on the matter, his attorney told the media outlet he denies the accusation.
The dog is doing ok and a court appearance on the case is scheduled for September 20, Licata told PinkNews.
The couple’s paint job isn’t their first attempt at making a strong statement to their neighbours. Last year, they painted a fence separating the two properties in rainbow colours. (Sherry Lau/Facebook) But the neighbour continued harassing the couple. “Our rainbow fence really ticked them off. Initially we were only going to do the fence, but when he complained to our municipality about our rainbow fence, and the hate continued, we decided to go big and do the side of the house that faces them,” Licata told PinkNews via a messaging app.
Some of the couple’s friends came to help out and the whole side of Licata and Lau’s house facing their anti-gay neighbours turned into a rainbow on Saturday (August 25), after two weeks of work. “We are gay and we are here to stay,” Lau wrote on Facebook , sharing a work-in-progress picture of the paint job.
“Love is love! If our neighbour would have gotten to know us they would have seen we are really nice people. Instead they passed judgement,” Licata told PinkNews.
Several people complimented the couple on their idea and offered to contribute to the cost of the paints.
“Hi Ladies, I don’t know you but I sure am proud to call you my neighbors. I also live in the Penn Hills and you have done a great paint job. What a wonderful idea. If you have a go fund me page I’d like to donate some money towards paint supplies. More power to you,” read one comment from Sheena Smith, ending with the hashtag “LoveThyNeighbor.”
A woman from Florida also expressed support for the initiative “If you start a GoFundMe toward the cost of paint there are a bunch of us who would throw down some coin. You deserve a safe home and a safe neighbourhood. And a fabulous paint job! Sending lots of love from Florida,” Adrienne Margaret wrote.
Licata told Mashable she and Lau were grateful for the community support. Their neighbours, on the other hand, have not expressed their feelings about the rainbow house. “The neighbours have been quiet because they’ve been told by their attorney to be quiet,” she said.
This article was updated with comments from Lisa Licata.
(Agave Jalisco Restaurant/Facebook) A Mexican restaurant in Texas has issued an apology to a gay couple that reported being insulted with a homophobic slur on Thursday.
The incident was first reported by one of the men’s mother Sandra Clement, who wrote a post on Facebook—which has been deleted following the apology—denouncing the treatment her son Miguel and his boyfriend received at one of the Agave Jalisco Restaurants in Corpus Christi, Texas.
According to Clement, her son and his boyfriend hugged as they entered the restaurant. “A male employee pointed at them while talking to some female employees seated at a table and screamed ‘jotos,’” Clement wrote, quoted in the local publication Caller Times .
The Spanish term “jotos” is used in a derogatory way to describe gay people, and, according to Clement, the restaurant employee repeated the words several times to mock the couple.
“The other employees in the kitchen, the female employees seated at a table, and the waiter were laughing and looking at my son and his boyfriend,” she added.
In a message posted on their Facebook page on Friday, the restaurants owners and managers apologised to the couple and said the employee in question would be fired. They also ordered the rest of the staff to undergo sensitivity training.
“We do not condone or accept this type of homophobic behaviour from any single person whom is a part of the team of Agave Jalisco,” the statement read. Miguel Clement and his boyfriend (Miguel Clement/Facebook) The owners explained they did not act more swiftly about the incident because the wrong branch of the restaurant was contacted about it. They said they carried out an internal investigation into what happened.
“Unfortunately we can not control the actions of our employees 100% of the time and sometimes we have issues come up. However in our findings we found that the employee who allegedly said these derogatory, homophobic statements, was no longer fit to give any type of customer service with Agave Jalisco and its team,” the post read, adding that the owners and managers reached out to the Clement family for a private apology, but that they also wanted to write a public one.
“We here at Agave Jalisco are truly sorry for what happened that day, and will strive to always make Agave Jalisco a loving, accepting business, free of judgement. We will make sure this never happens again.” the statement concluded.
The Clement family accepted the apology. “Our son, his boyfriend, and our family applaud Agave Jalisco for taking swift action in addressing the unfortunate incident. Although they cannot control every employee, they have stepped up to ensure they are held accountable. Much appreciated!” Sandra Clement wrote on Facebook .
“We encourage all community members to join us in supporting Agave Jalisco as they have shown true character and compassion. I will delete all social media posts I made on the incident so we can move forward as a community,” she added. “I can’t put into words how thankful we are for all the love and support our son and his boyfriend have received. Above all else, let’s be kind. Please share.”
Unrwa provides health and education services to Palestinians Palestinian officials have condemned the US decision to end all funding to the UN’s Palestinian refugee agency.
The US has been the largest donor to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (Unrwa) – but now says the organisation is "irredeemably flawed".
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s spokesman has called the move a "flagrant assault against the Palestinian people".
However, an Israeli official told AFP: "Israel supports the US move".
Unrwa says it currently supports more than five million Palestinians in Gaza, the West Bank, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon, including providing health care, education and social services. What did the US do?
The US has been the largest single donor to Unrwa, providing $368m (£284m) in 2016 and funding almost 30% of its operations in the region.
But in January, the administration of President Donald Trump withheld more than half of its planned funding to Unrwa, saying it would keep back $65m unless the body carried out "reforms". Palestinians fear cost of Trump’s aid cut
UN alarm as US cuts aid to Palestinians
On Friday, the US state department said in a statement that "the US will no longer commit further funding to this irredeemably flawed operation". Why did the US cut funding?
The state department said the US had shouldered a "very disproportionate share of the burden of Unrwa’s costs" , and that the international community should contribute more.
It has also said it is unhappy that Unrwa has kept expanding the number of people eligible for assistance, and says its business model is "simply unsustainable and has been in crisis mode for many years". Nikki Haley has criticised Palestinian officials for "bashing America" This links to a wider disagreement over which Palestinians are refugees with a right to return to the homes they fled following the 1948 Arab-Israeli war.
The UN says there are about 5 million Palestinian refugees, including the descendants of people who fled the 1948 war.
However, the US and Israel disagree with how this number is calculated, and say the number of Palestinian refugees should be much smaller. President Trump also appears unhappy with how US aid to the region has been received. He has previously tweeted that the US has not received "appreciation or respect" for the aid it has provided, and that the Palestinians are unwilling to negotiate with Israel.
US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, said earlier this week: "There’s an endless number of refugees that continue to get assistance, but more importantly, the Palestinians continue to bash America."
The state department says it remains "deeply concerned regarding the impact upon innocent Palestinians, especially school children, of the failure of Unrwa". What has the reaction been?
Unrwa has expressed "deep regret and disappointment" at the US move.
"We reject in the strongest possible terms the criticism that Unrwa’s schools, health centres and emergency assistance programmes are ‘irredeemably flawed’", it said in a statement.
"These very programmes have a proven track record in creating one of the most successful human development processes and results in the Middle East." Unrwa says it is facing increased demand for its services due to a rise in Palestinian refugees Germany’s foreign ministry has said it will increase contributions to Unrwa to try to maintain stability.
Palestinian officials have also condemned the move.
A spokesman for President Abbas told Reuters the decision was in "defiance of UN resolutions", and would not change the fact that the US "no longer has a role in the region" and "is not a part of the solution".
The Palestinian Liberation Organization said a statement that the cut was "a cruel and irresponsible move targeting the most vulnerable segment of Palestinian society".
The Palestinian militant group Hamas told Reuters that the move was a "grave escalation against the Palestinian people".
Palestinian officials have already accused the US of pro-Israel bias, especially after Mr Trump recognised Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and opened a US embassy in Jerusalem, despite the city being claimed by both sides. Why Trump and Jerusalem was not about peace
Palestinian territories profile
The move overturned decades of US neutrality on the issue and attracted international criticism. What is Israel’s position?
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has previously called for Unrwa’s funding to be cut gradually and its responsibilities transferred to the UN’s global refugee agency, the UNHCR, arguing that it "perpetuates the Palestinian problem".
On Saturday, an official in Mr Netanyahu’s office told AFP that "Israel supports the US move", adding: "Consolidating the refugee status of Palestinians is one of the problems that perpetuates the conflict."
However, some Israelis have previously raised concerns that weakening Unrwa could cause regional instability and create more extremism in the region.
Game of Thrones star says its ‘terrible’ local council won’t fly rainbow flag These are the best LGBTI movies at this year’s Venice Film Festival Over 5,000 people protested the controversial politician’s comments last month | Photo: Twitter / @Mae_To_Ushiro A petition with over 25,000 signators has been submitted to Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), calling for an apology from an MP called LGBTI people ‘unproductive’.
Lower-house LDP lawmaker, Mio Sugita, caused a public outcry over comments she made in a magazine article in July.
In the article, Sugita claimed LGBTI people ‘lacked productivity’ as they could not bear children, and should not receive state welfare support.
When later asked to address these comments in a TV interview, Sugita doubled-down on her remarks. She also said that preventing LGBTI suicide was a ‘low-priority’.
Her comments caused an instant backlash from LGBTI groups, along with elderly and disabled rights campaigners.
In total, 26,650 people signed the petition calling on the LDP to take action, AP reported. Public backlash
Anger over Sugita’s comments has become increasingly vocal since July.
In August, thousands of people took to the streets to protest Sugita’s comments outside of the LDP’s headquarters in Tokyo.
The LDP were initially slow to respond to the criticisms, though later relented under growing public pressure.
The party eventually released a statement saying that Sugita’s comments ‘show her lack of understanding of (LGBT) issues and consideration for the feelings of people involved.’
Sugita is no stranger to controversy when it comes to LGBTI rights in Japan.
In a talk-show interview in 2015 she said she compared same-sex relationships to incest and bestiality.
‘If we recognize different sexual orientations, that will lead to calls to allow marriage between siblings, marriage between parents and children, or even marriage to pets or machines,’ she said. Not alone in courting controversy
Sugita is not the only Japanese lawmaker to make headlines for holding outspoken views on LGBTI rights.
In July, fellow LDP lawmaker Tom Tanigawa courted controversy after saying same-sex marriage was ‘like a hobby’.
Appearing on an internet TV show, Tanigawa said: ‘It’s not that I don’t approve of diversity and it’s fine if women like women and men like men. But it’s not necessary to legalize same-sex marriage. It’s like a hobby.’
Japan is considered generally progressive on LGBTI rights, particularly when compared to other Asian countries. However, the LGBTI community does not have full equality.
Here We Go Again: Mamma Mia! The Party is coming to London – for real this time These are the best LGBTI movies at this year’s Venice Film Festival Marina Mahatir, human rights activist and daughter of Mahathir Mohammed | Photo: YouTube Malaysian rights activist Marina Mahathir has criticised the country’s Deputy Prime Minister Wan Azizah Wan Ismail over her comments saying that LGBTI rights should be considered haram (forbidden) in Malaysia.
Marina is a well-known rights campaigner and supporter of LGBTI rights in Malaysia .
She is also the daughter of Malaysia’s prime minister, Mahathir Mohamed.
In response to the comments by Wan Azizah, Marina tweeted, ‘Dear @drwanazizah, did you just call a lot of people including me who have shown the slightest bit of compassion towards marginalized people in our society haram??’
Earlier this week Wan Azizah said that it was haram for Muslims to support the LGBTI community and LGBTI rights in the Muslim-majority country.
‘Most important this, for us, as a Muslim, it is haram … I do not condone it,’ Wan Azizah told local radio station, BFM. Dear @drwanazizah , did you just call a lot of people including me who have shown the slightest bit of compassion towards marginalized people in our society haram?? — Marina Mahathir (@netraKL) 30 August 2018 ‘Respect people who are different’
Marina also tweeted an article by the Nikkei Asia Review with a quote from Wan Azizah’s husband and prime minister-in-waiting, Anwar Ibrahim.
‘Malaysian society, he said, must live with different beliefs and ways of life and must respect people who are different, including gays, bisexuals and those who identify as transgender,’ Anwar is quoted as saying. Marina wrote at the end of this tweet ‘How now @drwanazizah?’ “Malaysian society, he said, must live with different beliefs and ways of life and must respect people who are different, including gays, bisexuals and those who identify as transgender.” How now @drwanazizah ? https://t.co/U0BSJFjnRk — Marina Mahathir (@netraKL) 30 August 2018 Ongoing saga
Disputes over LGBTI rights in Malaysia have courted numerous headlines in recent weeks.
Last month, portraits of two LGBTI activists carrying the Malaysian national flag were removed from a popular arts festival under the orders of the religious affairs minister.
This caused an instant backlash from LGBTI rights campaigners and members of the arts community, some of whom (including Marina) asked for their portraits to also be removed in a show of solidarity.
The removal of the activists’ portraits also set off a war of words between rights campaigners and Islamic leaders.
In August, Wan Azizah also made headlines when discussing LGBTI rights in Malaysia by saying the LGBTI community should be tolerated, as long as LGBTI ‘practices’ were kept behind closed doors . She also discussed the Malaysian statute banning homosexuality, Section 377A, a remnant of the British colonial era law.
Wan Azizah’s husband, Anwar, has been charged and sentenced twice for sodomy under Section 377A while he was an opposition politician. He has always maintained his innocence, and said his imprisonment was due to persecution by political rivals in the former government.
Iwan Rheon as Ramsay Bolton in Game of Thrones. | Photo: HBO A Game of Thrones star has lashed out at his local council for not flying the rainbow flag during the Welsh pride celebrations, Price Cymru.
Wales’ biggest Pride event ran from August 24-26 with 50,000 people attending in the capital, Cardiff.
But one local council in the south-west town of Carmarthen has copped criticism for flying the rainbow flags over its building in honor of Pride Cymru. It was the only council in Wales that didn’t fly the flag to mark Pride Cymru. The council also didn’t fly the flag for LGBTI History Month (LGBTHM).
Best known for his menacing performance as the ambitious and sadistic Ramsay Bolton in GOT, Iwan Rheon grew up in Carmarthen.
He said it was ‘terrible’ the council didn’t fly the rainbow flag when asked about the issue on Twitter.
Leighton Jenkins asked Rheon: ‘Hi Iwan, as a Carmarthen boy, do you have a view on Carmarthen Council’s refusal to fly the pride flag last weekend for @ PrideCymru and their refusal to fly the pride flag for @ LGBTHM ?’ @iwanrheon Hi Iwan, as a Carmarthen boy, do you have a view on Carmarthen Council’s refusal to fly the pride flag last weekend for @PrideCymru and their refusal to fly the pride flag for @LGBTHM ? Link to story: https://t.co/Na01vLJwkA — Leighton Jenkins (@jenkinsleighto) August 28, 2018 To which the GOT star replied: ‘I think it’s terrible. Shame on them. We should celebrate each other and everyone should be represented.’ I think it’s terrible. Shame on them. We should celebrate each other and everyone should be represented. — Iwan Rheon (@iwanrheon) August 28, 2018 Council hits back
But the council defended itself saying it had flown the rainbow flag on previous occasions.
‘Carmarthenshire County Council continues to proudly support and celebrate LGBT staff members and residents,’ council head, Councillor Emlyn Dole told Wales Online.
‘We have flown the Rainbow Flag on three occasions so far this year, for two days during LGBT History month in February; on the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia in May; and at Llanelli Town Hall to celebrate a local LGBT Day event in August.
‘We have received no other requests to fly the Rainbow Flag, and likewise have not refused any requests.’
Game of Thrones star says its ‘terrible’ local council won’t fly rainbow flag These are the best LGBTI movies at this year’s Venice Film Festival Apple has always been keen to emphasize their progressive, equality-based business ethos, but this might not go down well in every country.
In June, the tech firm created an LGBTI background for the Apple Watch so owners around the world can wear that rainbow on their wrists for Pride.
As long as they’re not in Russia, that is.
If you set the location on your watch or iPhone to Russia and select the Pride background, the rainbow colors vanish.
Technology news site The Verge reported that numerous Reddit users and posts on Apple help forums have been flagging this issue for months.
One of the site’s senior editors put this to the test, posting a video of changing a watch face to the Pride colors, then switching user region to Russia.
The globally recognizable LGBTI banner disappears. Apple’s pride Watch face simply disappears in Russia https://t.co/Pn1c8o9c8y pic.twitter.com/1wRDbFVqIt — Tom Warren (@tomwarren) August 31, 2018 Twitter user and iOS developer Guilherme Rambo (@_inside) has pointed out: ‘The Apple Watch pride face is hardcoded to not show up if the paired iPhone is using the Russian locale.’ The Apple Watch pride face is hardcoded to not show up if the paired iPhone is using the Russian locale pic.twitter.com/vEP8XquYsP — Guilherme Rambo (@_inside) August 31, 2018 Another victim of the ‘gay propaganda’ law
This is likely to do with Russia’s notorious ‘gay propaganda’ law.
The law purports to protect children from imagery which could be considered as normalizing homosexuality and LGBTI culture in Russia.
Since its implementation in 2013, the law has been used to justify clampdowns on the LGBTI community.
The first minor was prosecuted under the law last month.
16-year-old Maxim Neverov was fined 50,000 rubles (the equivalent of around $760) for posting pictures of partially nude men embracing each other on social network site Vkontakte.
LGBTI rights activists said this was the first time someone who is not actively involved with campaigning for LGBTI rights and awareness was prosecuted under the law.
Neverov said he would appeal the decision.
The law is just one element of Russia’s overall woeful LGBTI rights record, where the authorities regularly clamp down on LGBTI rights marches, awareness campaigns, and protests .
Russia is ranked Europe’s second least LGBT-friendly nation by ILGA-Europe.
However, Russia hasn’t been completely devoid of the Pride colors.
During the World Cup which was hosted in Russia, six activists took to the streets of Moscow sporting their national football shirts to form the rainbow flag.
The project, named The Hidden Flag, was a protest against Russian anti-LGBTI discrimination and the ‘gay propaganda’ law.