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International LGBT events that have marked the last few years

International LGBT events that have marked the last few years

2010 – Repeal of the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” law in the United States

“ Your country needs you, your country is calling you and we will be honored to welcome you into the ranks of the best army the world has ever  known ” declared Barack Obama on December 22, 2010, addressing his LGBT+ compatriots. The compromise law known as “Don’t ask, don’t tell” created under the Clinton administration required gays and lesbians in the American military to conceal their sexual orientation or face to be fired.es His repeal was one of Barack Obama’s main campaign promises. The Democrat has therefore enacted a historic law allowing homosexuals serving in the military to finally openly affirm their sexual orientation. It thus puts an end to a 17-year-old injustice.

2011 – Belgium chooses an openly gay Prime Minister

On December 6, Elio Di Rupo is appointed Prime Minister of Belgium and goes down in history. He became the first French-speaking socialist to lead the Belgian government since 1974. He also became the first openly gay head of government in a European Union country (the openly lesbian Icelander Jóhanna Sigurdardóttir was indeed appointed Prime Minister in 2009, but his country is not a member of the European Union).

Since then, several European countries have followed in Belgium’s footsteps. On December 4, 2013, Xavier Bettel becomes Prime Minister of Luxembourg. He will marry his companion shortly after the opening of marriage to same-sex couples in Luxembourg, thus becoming the first leader of a Member State of the European Union married to a person of the same sex.

Then it was the turn of Leo Varadkar, openly gay leader of Fine Gael, to be appointed Prime Minister of Northern Ireland on June 14, 2017. Note that 15 days later, Serbia will choose a president of the government openly lesbian in the person of Ana Brnabić, even if this country is not yet a member of the European Union.

2013 – Vladimir Putin announces several laws banning “gay propaganda” in the country

In June 2013, Vladimir Putin enacted two very controversial laws punishing any act of homosexual “propaganda” before minors and punishing “offenses to religious feelings”. According to the law, “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations before minors” is punishable by law. fines from 4,000 to 5,000 rubles (100-125 euros) for a natural person. The penalties are even more severe if this propaganda is carried out on the Internet. Foreigners also risk a fine of up to 100,000 rubles, or 2,500 euros, and may also be detained for 15 days and expelled.

In December 2018, a report by the NGO Human Rights Watch revealed obvious but shocking findings since the establishment of these laws. “ By depriving them of vital information, Russia’s ‘gay propaganda’ law harms young people ,” said Michael Garcia Bochenek, senior legal adviser in

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the children’s rights division of Human Rights Watch.

2014 – Conchita Wurst wins the Eurovision Song Contest for Austria

On Sunday May 11, 2014, drag queen Conchita Wurst (AKA Tom Neuwirth) wins the annual Eurovision Song Contest for Austria. The 25-year-old artist won over audiences in the 37 voting countries not only with his extravagant appearance but also with his talent. In the semi-finals as well as in the final, her vocal mastery impressed during her performance of ‘ Rise Like A Phoenix ‘. At the end of the competition, the drag singer declared:  “This night is dedicated to all those who believe in a future of peace and freedom. You know who you are. We are unity. And we are unstoppable.”

Conchita Wurst’s victory at Eurovision  “is also a victory in Europe for tolerance and respect” , commented the former Austrian Minister of Culture, Josef Ostermayer. A message of tolerance” all the stronger since the drag queen has been the subject of numerous homophobic attacks in several Eastern European countries (Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, etc.). 

2016 – Pulse shooting in Orlando

On the night of Saturday June 11 to Sunday June 12, 2016, a man opened fire at the Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. 49 people are killed and 53 injured. Claimed by the Islamic State, it is the worst mass shooting in the history of the United States, but also the deadliest attack on American soil since the attacks of September 11, 2001. The killer, Omar Mateen , was described by his ex-wife as violent and by his father as homophobic.

Four years later, the city of Orlando has partnered with several architectural firms to build around the old nightclub, a huge complex that will serve as a memorial to the victims of this attack. 

2017 – Revelations on LGBT+ conditions in Chechnya

On April 1, 2017, the independent Russian newspaper  Novaya Gazeta  revealed that more than a hundred men, perceived to be gay, had been abducted in the previous days, as part of a coordinated campaign. These men were allegedly subjected to torture or other ill-treatment, and were allegedly coerced into disclosing the identity of other lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people they know.

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Novaya Gazeta  claimed to have verified information about at least three men who were killed by their captors, but the newspaper’s sources claimed that more people were killed. Since these revelations, the Russian government has remained apathetic to the situation of LGBT+ people still persecuted in the constituent country. Only Russian LGBT+ associations and NGOs are working to save these people, as  Amnesty International revealed  in 2018. 

2018 – Ángela Ponce, Miss Spain, is the first transgender woman to participate in the Miss Universe pageant

The representative of Spain at Miss Universe, had revolutionized the competition, which took place on December 17, 2018 in Bangkok: she became the first transgender candidate in history. And although many media around the world saw her as the winner, the Miss did not reach the top 20. Nevertheless, as she confided at the end of the competition, “I do not need to win the competition of Miss Universe. I just need to be there” . Ángela Ponce added on her  Instagram account  : “ This is for you, for those who have no visibility, no voice, because we all deserve a world of respect, inclusion and freedom. And today I stand here proudly representing my nation, all women and human rights.” These changes, Ángela was already working on them before Miss Universe. The young woman is employed in a Spanish NGO dedicated to the LGBT + community.

2018- Assassination of Brazilian elected official Marielle Franco

She wanted to put an end to police violence, racism, homophobia that is eating away at Rio de Janeiro. Black and openly lesbian city councilor Marielle Franco represented hope for the working classes and racialized LGBT+ characters in Brazil. On March 14, she was shot dead in the middle of the street by several bullets. According to the security minister, the bullets used in the assassination would have been stolen from the police years before. But in October 2019, for the first time, the name of current Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is mentioned in the case.

2019 – Taiwan legalizes marriage for all

2019 – Claudia Lopez becomes mayor of Bogota

Sunday, October 27, 2019, Claudia Lopez, was elected mayor of Bogota, capital of Colombia. This is not only the first woman appointed to this position but also an openly lesbian woman. Candidate for a left-wing alliance between the green party and the democratic pole, the one who will take office on January 1st has pledged to fight against insecurity in the city and complete the metro project in order to reduce traffic jams and Pollution. His victory was particularly important at a time when the country is led by a right-wing political party hostile to the peace agreement which allowed the disarmament of the Farc guerrillas in August 2017, which has since become a political party. Even more recently, Claudia Lopez announced on her Twitter account that she had married her partner, Angélica Lozano. 

2019 – Gabon becomes the 70th country to criminalize homosexuality

Same-sex relationships are now officially prohibited in Gabon. The country has become the 70th to criminalize homosexuality. A law, passed last July and incorporated into the penal code in October, now defines homosexual relations as “unethical”. They therefore constitute a criminal offense which will result in a sentence of up to six months in prison as well as a fine of 5 million CFA francs (€7,621). The country is the 33rd out of 54 countries in Africa to criminalize homosexuality. A situation that is becoming increasingly critical for a large part of the LGBT+ community on the continent, which is undergoing a veritable witch hunt.

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