No time to keep in the loop this week? Well, this handy rundown of the biggest LGBT news stories of the week will put you firmly back in the picture.
Tuesday 21 August 2012 – Stephen Fry writes a letter to Pussy Riot
Stephen Fry has waded into the international Pussy Riot row, writing a letter to the three members of the Russian band, who were jailed for ‘hooliganism’ last Friday. Sending the letter via Amnesty International, the document provides moral support to the punk trio, each of whom were jailed for two years by a Moscow Court. Fry begins by referring to the ‘astoundingly unfair and disproportionate prison sentence’ handed down to the three, before stating, ‘so many people around the world are thinking of you and doing what they can, through Amnesty International and other bodies, to see if your sentence can’t be reduced, commuted or suspended’.
Wednesday 22 August 2012 – The Royal Family confirms that leaked Prince Harry nude pictures are real
Late on Tuesday night some pictures emerged online that started tongues wagging. The shots were allegedly of Prince Harry partying in a Las Vegas hotel room, naked, with a gaggle of beautiful girls. It was assumed to be a look-a-like, but on Wednesday morning Clarence House confirmed that the pictures were real. The images were published by US Hollywood gossip website TMZ, showing the Prince partying in his VIP suite at the MGM Grand Hotel. A representative for the Royal Family made a statement saying, ‘We have no comment to make on the photos at this time.’ See our opinion on the scandal here.
Thursday 23 August 2012 – Lesbian couple wed in first same-sex Buddhist ceremony in Taiwan
Taiwan recently had its first same-sex Buddhist marriage, which took place in a monastery in the city of Taoyuan, despite the fact that Taiwan still does not legally recognise them. Fish Huang (Huang Mei-yu) and her partner You Ya-ting, both aged 30, wore traditional white bridal gowns for the Buddhist ceremony, but instead of rings they exchanged prayer beads in front of 300 Buddhist chanting sutras. Shih Chao-hui, the female Buddhist master who performed the ritual said it was an historic moment and could be a sign that Taiwan, one of East Asia’s most westernised and most liberal countries, could be one of the continent’s first to move forward and recognise LGBT rights.
Australian rugby player David Pocock has announced that he won’t marry his girlfriend until same-sex marriage is legalised in Australia. Appearing on a TV show down under to discuss LGBT sports and LGBT rights he said, ‘people don’t choose their sexuality and we marginalise the LGBT community for what they are. I think that this is a conversation that needs to be had and that needs to be discussed compassionately and actually come to something that’s reasonable.’ He continued, ‘how can we be challenging homophobia when we’re saying. “You’re equal to me but you’re separate. I’ll go sign this [marriage] document here but you can go have your civil union,” which is the same, but not, really?’ The Australian Government is currently trying to bring in an early vote on marriage equality to clear it off the political agenda.
Sunday 26 August 2012 – Gay TV show ‘The New Normal’ banned for being ‘inappropriate’
A television station in Utah, America has decided not to show a new NBC sitcom about a gay couple and their surrogate. The New Normal, by Glee and American Horror Story creator Ryan Murphy, will air later this year, but KSL-TV in Utah has deemed it inappropriate to transmit due to its ‘crude dialogue, explicit content and offensive characterisations’. They argued that the show felt ‘inappropriate on several dimensions, especially during family viewing time.’ Group One Million Moms also boycotted the show saying that the show was ‘attempting to redefine marriage’ and ‘these things are harmful to our society, and this program [The New Normal] is damaging to our culture’. Creator Murphy hit back by suggesting that if the women actually watched the show, ‘they would love it’. The New Normal starts in America this Autumn.