It seems there are only two subjects making the media rounds right now: COVID-19 and the election. You most likely have heard enough about both. If you’ve followed me for any period of time, you know that next week’s column will be all about the election. So this week let’s take a break and see what else has been happening around the world while we’ve been otherwise preoccupied.
The Italian parliament is debating LGBT violence and hate crime legislation. Australia just re-elected the openly gay chief minister of the capital territories, and he brought his new husband up on his victory stage and gave him a kiss. The Israeli government is creating a commission to tackle bureaucratic hurdles for trans people dealing with government agencies. Britain will have questions in its census that ask about sexual orientation and gender.
New Zealand, which has a parliament of 112 members, became the gayest parliament in the world with 12 openly LGBT members. Japan has opened a Gay Center intended for the Olympics, and activists there have launched a petition demanding more LGBT rights. China’s Blue City, whose main product is a dating app for gay men, just had an IPO on the New York Stock Exchange and raised over 84 million dollars.
Closer to home, Anchorage Alaska will have its first out Mayor, Austin Quinn-Davidson. The first openly gay candidate ran for office in ultra-conservative Poplarville, Mississippi. And One Million Moms, a conservative organization who launches boycotts against companies that are pro LGBTQ, has launched a boycott against Oreos because of an ad featuring rainbow-colors. Yes the cookie. The group has previously called for boycotts against Hallmark Channel for featuring a lesbian in one of their films.
And that, as they say, is the tip of the iceberg. The world doesn’t stop because there’s an election in the U.S., but our election outcome could help move the dial in the right direction, and the U.S. once again could be a leader in LGBT equality.