The olympics may be over, but the world certainly hasn’t stood still. Here is a roundup of all the LGBT news that has happened over the past seven days.
Monday 13 August 2012- Former gay Olympian Ji Wallace confirms he has HIV
Australian Ji Wallace, a Silver medal trampolinist from the 2000 Olympic Games, announced this week that he has contracted HIV. Wallace wrote to the Sydney Star Observer saying, ‘I felt inspired to write. I too am an Olympic medal winner living with HIV.’ He said he was influenced by American Olympic diver Greg Louganis, who came out as gay and announced he had HIV during an interview with Oprah Winfrey in 1995.
The past few weeks focusing on the Olympic games have seen a surge in sales of health-and-fitness focused holidays. Paul Joseph, co-founder of Health and Fitness Travel said; ‘Inspired by the younger generation, more people are motivated to follow in Olympic athlete’s footsteps and kick-start a healthy lifestyle…as a result, more of us want to combine the fun of travel with sports and activities such as cycling, tennis, beach boxing and yoga.’
Tuesday 14 August 2012- Are black and ethnic minority gay people invisible in public life?
A new report, released by Stonewall and the Runnymede Trust, has revealed that 400,000 black and minority ethnic people from the LGBT community feel that the public services fail to meet their needs. The interviews, collectively entitled One Minority at a Time, brought to light the assumption that many black people are heterosexual, with no real effort being made for society to correct this idea. Most participants believed this view lead to inappropriate responses from public services, and the near invisibility of gay black people in the public eye.
Wednesday 15 August 2012- Christian B&B couple to appeal ruling over same-sex bed ban
The highest court in the UK, the Supreme Court, has announced that it will grant an earlier ruling for the appeal from the Christian couple who refused to let a gay couple stay in their Bed and Breakfast. Back in 2008, civil partners Martyn Hall and Steven Preddy were denied a double room at a hotel in Cornwall. The Christian proprietors, Peter and Hazelmary Bull, said that they refused a double room to all unmarried couples. What followed was a landmark court decision in January 2011, which awarded £1,800 each to Mr Preddy and Mr Hall. The Bulls have lost two appeals against Judge Rutherford’s ruling, one in Bristol and the other at the Court of Appeal. It is now up to the Supreme Court to deliver a final verdict.
Thursday 17 August 2012- HIV in Hertforshire: red ribbons at dawn
Recently in the press there’s been a war going on over funding for HIV services in Hertfordshire, with one service receiving 100% of the funding from the combined service of Hertfordshire County Council and NHS Hertfordshire, leaving the other (The Crescent), struggling for over a year to maintain the service it has promised to over 300 people living with HIV in the area. To read the full story and to hear from Head of The Crescent Iain Murtagh, click the title link.
Russian punk trio, Pussy Riot, have been convicted of hooliganism by a Moscow court. The band hit the headlines after they danced a can-can and shouted ‘Mother of God, drive out Putin!’ in one of Moscow’s biggest churches earlier in February. Judge Marina Syrova said the three band members had ‘carefully planned’ their actions inside the Christ the Saviour Cathedral, and sentenced them to two years imprisonment. Stars including Madonna, Sir Paul McCartney and Björk had all called for the three woman to be released before sentencing.
Also in Moscow this week, the 100 year ban on Gay Pride was upheld. Nikolai Alexeyev, Russia’s most famous gay-rights campaigner, had gone to court hoping to overturn the city council’s ban on gay parades, and also to address the law regarding ‘homosexual propaganda’. It’s thought that Alexeyev will go back to the European Court in Strasbourg to push for a recognition that Moscow’s ban on gay pride marches in the future is completely unjust.
Saturday 18 August 20120- Nick Grimshaw- ‘I’d really like to go out with Frank Ocean.’
It might have been a long debated topic, but Radio 1 DJ Nick Grimshaw has spoken openly for the first time about being gay. In an interview with The Guardian, the soon to be Breakfast show host said he was happy to acknowledge he was gay after a reporter informed him of a fan-made website that pondered Grimshaw’s sexuality. ‘I’d really like to go out with Frank Ocean…I think he might be whiny, though. Like, why have you not called me? He might be a bit wet. I think I’m just forcing that Frank thing…as soon as I decide, I talk myself out of it!’
Rapper 50 Cent has spoken out about what life was like growing up with his openly lesbian mother. He told celebrity blogger Perez Hilton during an interview, ‘my mom was a lesbian. Yeah, she liked women. My whole childhood was like that.’ He said his Grandmother helped him understand his Mother’s sexuality, ‘when you’re that small you don’t see things that would indicate there are other things going on. [My] grandmother would say things like ‘That kiss was a little different from all the other kisses you saw’.’ The rapper also pledged his support for Obama and his same-sex marriage campaign, and recently out singer, Frank Ocean.
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