Pope Francis demoted Archbishop Giacomo Morandi, the number-two official in the doctrine office, due to the belief that he is responsible for the controversial document that bars blessings for same-sex couples, according to Newsweek. Morandi is believed to be behind the March 2021 document that declared the Catholic Church would not bless same-sex unions because God "cannot bless sin." The document stated that Francis had been informed and "gave his assent" to its publication. The pontiff wrote a recent letter to a U.S. nun, Sister Jeannine Gramick, on her 50 years of LGBTQ ministry.
In Israel, the state informed the High Court of Justice that it will not issue work permits to all Palestinian members of the LGBTQ community or victims of domestic violence who have received asylum in the country, Haaretz reported. Instead, the state said it would grant such permits on a case-by-case basis to individuals who can show that they have an employer willing to hire them. The court accepted the state's position, although there are only 66 such individuals in Israel at this time. The state said it feared granting a sweeping permit would encourage other Palestinians to seek asylum in Israel for similar reasons.
A petition in Denmark calling for two gay fathers to be granted equal parental rights for their child received more than the 50,000 signatures required to be considered by parliament, Macau Business reported. The text calls for the creation of a new status: "co-paternity." It would give a child and its non-biological father legal rights and obligations they would not otherwise have, including parental authority and inheritance rights. In 1989, Denmark became the first country in the world to authorize civil partnerships between same-sex couples.
Lesbian tennis icon Martina Navratilova said she couldn't defend Novak Djokovic's choice not to get vaccinated during his saga surrounding his Australian visa, The Daily Mail noted. Djokovic, who has spoken out against COVID vaccines, won an appeal against the Australian government for tearing up his visa upon his arrival in Melbourne; however, on Jan. 16, judges dismissed Djokovic's challenge to overturn the cancellation of his visa for a second time. Djokovic arrived in the country to compete in the Australian Open holding what he thought was a valid medical exemption to vaccination rules, stating that he had been infected with COVID last month. "It's unbelievablewhat a saga. It could have been avoided. I just wish Novak had taken that vaccination to begin with," Navratilova said on Good Morning Britain.
Hungary is set to hold a so-called "LGBT+ propaganda" referendum on the same day as far-right prime minister Viktor Orban tries to cling onto power in the parliamentary election, PinkNews reported. Orban, an anti-LGBT+ right-wing nationalist who belongs to Hungary's Fidesz party, is attempting to remain in power for a fourth straight term in the election April 3. The election is likely to be close, according to Reuters, with Orban tied in polls with Peter Marki-Zay, who is leading an alliance of six opposition parties spanning the political spectrum.
Compared to most of the larger European countries, microstates generally lag when it comes to LGBTQ+ rights, Openly News noted. An exception is Liechtenstein: Two days after the Swiss vote legalizing marriage equality last year, Liechtenstein lawmakers signaled near-unanimous support for same-sex marriage during a parliamentary session in the principality. Religion and tradition hold heavy sway in the tiny states of Andorra, San Marino and Monaco, which are fellow laggards when it comes to LGBT+ rights protections, according to ILGA-Europe. Only Malta scores highly among Europe's microstates regarding LGBTQ+-rights legislation.
Recognizing the rights of transgender people, the Center asked states in India to make separate enclosures in jails for transgender inmates to protect them from any form of exploitation, The New Indian Express reported. The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has also asked states to ensure trans inmates should be searched by persons of their preferred gender or by trained medical professionals.
An Australian man was convicted of the 1988 murder of U.S. national Scott Johnson after he declared in court that he was guilty, according to an out.com item that cited the Sydney Morning Herald. Scott Phillip White, 50, stunned his lawyers when he took responsibility for killing the math postgraduate student whose naked body was found at the bottom of the cliffs near Manly, in northern Sydney. Investigators believe White and Johnson had gone to the cliffs for sex after meeting earlier at a nearby hotel; they claimed that at some point in the encounter, White panicked and punched Johnson, causing him to fall to his death.
Chilean trans woman Erin Parisi has set her sights on her next challenge in her mission to conquer the highest summits of each of the seven continents, The Washington Blade noted. She recently climbed 16,050 feet to the summit of Vinson Massif in Antarctica, and she plans to return later this year to the tallest spot in North America: Mount Denali, 20,310 feet above sea level. Parisi has also conquered Australia's Mount Kosciusko, Russia's Mount Elbrus and Argentina's Aconcagua.
Model, digital content creator, columnist and former Miss Universe Australia Maria Thattil came out as bisexual on a recent episode of the Australian reality television series I'm a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!, per out.com . Thattil, 28, who uses her platform to promote the LGBTQ+ youth support group Minus18, later revealed on social media and elsewhere she made the announcement after she was outed on a dating app.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is facing calls from senior Tories to resign after he admitted attending a party during lockdown, the BBC noted. Johnson apologized for the way he handled the event in the Downing Street garden in May 2020 and said he understood the public's "rage" over it. Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross and MPs William Wragg, Caroline Nokes and Roger are among those urging Johnson to resign; Ross said, "He is the prime minister. It is his government that put these rules in place, and he has to be held to account for his actions."
The Berlin International Film Festival will go ahead as an in-person event, although with seating capacity in movie theaters reduced to 50% and without any parties or receptions, Variety noted. The dates of the fest have also been adjusted, with the 72nd Berlinale running only Feb. 10-16, instead of the full 11 days through to Feb. 20 as previously planned. The Homage section of the 72nd Berlin International Film Festival will be dedicated to French film and stage actor Isabelle Huppert, who will be awarded an Honorary Golden Bear for lifetime achievement, according to the event's website. Gay director Francois Ozon's film Peter Von Kant will open the festival.
The Duke of York's military titles and royal patronages have been returned to the Queen, the BBC reported. Prince Andrew will stop using the style His Royal Highness in an official capacity. All Prince Andrew's roles have been returned to the Queen with immediate effect, and will be redistributed to other members of the royal family. The changes came as he faces a civil case in the United States over claims he sexually assaulted a woman when she was 17, which he has consistently denied.
The Canadian home that Adele chose for the video of her hit song "Easy on Me" is for sale and featured at TopTenRealEstateDeals.com, a media release noted. A 90-minute drive from Montreal, the 173-acre vineyard Domaine Dumont Chapelle Ste-Agnes is now for sale, for $4.37 million. The vineyard estate contains six buildings, including the 1846-built manor house which was renovated in 2021, a castle with a new reception hall, a chapel, a guesthouse, and several more buildings. See https://toptenrealestatedeals.com/weekly-ten-best-home-deals/home/adeles-easy-on-me-video-film-site-near-montreal-is-for-sale.
Celine Dion's Courage World Tour has ended for U.S. and Canadian fans, according to The Hollywood Reporter. She shared that her recovery after being treated for severe and persistent muscle spasms is taking longer than expected. She is canceling her remaining tour dates, from March 9 to April 22, for the North American leg of their global tour. In October 2021, the award-winning singer delayed her Las Vegas residencyinitially scheduled for dates in November 2021, as well both January and February of 2022due to muscle spasms, which prevented her from performing and rehearsing.
Australian actress Rebel Wilson will host the 2022 BAFTA Film Awards, which are taking place in person March 13, per Deadline. The ceremony, staged at London's Royal Albert Hall, will be broadcast on BBC One and iPlayer.Wilson takes over the reins from Edith Bowman and Dermot O'Leary, who hosted last year's semi-virtual edition.
In the upcoming biopic Golda, Helen Mirren plays former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir during the 1973 Yom Kippur warbut in the United Kingdom, where production wrapped last month, Mirren's casting as one of history's most heroic Jewish women has caused some to complain, Variety noted. Actress Maureen Lipman told a newspaper she "disagreed" with Mirren's casting "because the Jewishness of the character is so integral. I'm sure she will be [marvelous], but it would never be allowed for Ben Kingsley to play Nelson Mandela. You just couldn't even go there." While Mirren is not Jewish, Golda is directed by Oscar-winning filmmaker Guy Nattiv, who is both Jewish and Israeli; and written by British screenwriter Nicholas Martin, who has previously worked with the organization U.K. Jewish Film.
Japanese tennis star and four-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka unveiled her latest Nike capsule collection, tennis.com noted. Osaka's third collection with Nike features a range of pieces including tops, hoodies, joggers and a versatile 'tennis vest' with utility pockets. According to Nike Japan, the collection is marked by "gender-neutral and timeless" items that can be mixed and matched in various ways.
Former UFC star Yoshinori Horie appeared to suggest he performed a sex act with another man for money to start his professional MMA career, according to a New York Post item that cited The Sun. The Japanese fighter, 26, reportedly went into detail about the "painful" experience in a series of tweets, translated by the outlet, adding, "I didn't have the money and I really wanted to do martial arts on my own!" Also, he stated he likes women, saying, "I've earned the money to live to do martial arts."