Putin’s party unveils “straight pride” flag
The Moscow branch of Russia’s ruling United Russia party has unveiled a “straight pride” flag, to celebrate what they call “real family” and counter the rainbow pride flag. The straight flag features the sillouettes of a man, woman and three children holding hands. United Russia has been responsible for a campaign of anti-gay speech and legislation, including the infamous “gay propaganda” law.
Advances and setbacks in the wake of the US Supreme Court ruling
News since the US Supreme Court declared same-sex marriage a constitutional right has been generally good, with the US federal government extending marriage benefits to all gay couples nationwide. Paradise, however, remains troubled. Officials in seven states have opted out of performing marriages due to religious convictions, including an Ohio judge who refused to perform a wedding due to “personal and Christian beliefs.” An Alabama couple who were turned down three times before the ruling attempted to get another licence, and were turned down again by an uncooperative probate office.
Chilean same-sex couples sign up for civil unions
Same-sex couples in Chile rushed July 9 to sign up for civil unions, six months after the law allowing them was passed by congress. The first unions, which are not marriage but confer similar rights, will begin in October.
Venice mayor bans gay books
Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro has banned 49 books from the city’s schools due to content about homosexuality, disability, racism and other forms of discrimination. The city says some of the books may be returned after analysis, but that gay books, such as one about a same-sex penguin family, will likely stay out. Brugnaro said that he would “not be intimidated” by those who want the books back, and that “parents need to educate their children on these things, not schools."
The Economist: World is divided on gay rights
While gay rights leap forward in many parts of the world, other parts are lagging further and further behind, says The Economist. Backlash against perceived Western imperialism may even make things worse for gay people in conservative countries. The best thing to do, says the magazine, is to support local LGBT groups and accept refugees, not to tie aid budgets to gay rights.