A fairly short news roundup this week!
Church in Wales to bless same-sex unions Chinese copy of Snapchat bans LGBT+ keywords.
US students walkout after their teacher is reprimanded for coming out as bisexual Lil Nas X honoured for commitment to ending LGBT+ youth suicide
Church in Wales to bless same-sex unions Same-sex couples can now have their marriage blessed by the Church in Wales after a historic vote was held this weekend, however same-sex marriages will remain prohibited.
The change is important because a blessing, in religion, signifies God's approval. The bill to allow the blessings was put forward by the Church’s Bench of Bishops and then went to a vote by the rest of the Church’s governing body on Monday 6th September.
The bill will introduce blessings “experimentally” for five years, and individual members of the church are free to decide whether or not to take part in the blessings. The Church of England is yet to make any similar movements and has delayed their decision on same-sex marriage and LGBT+ rights until 2022.
Chinese copy of Snapchat bans LGBT+ keywords.
QQ, a massively popular messaging app in China, similar to our Snapchat, has banned the words “gay”, “lesbian” and “LGBTQ“ and claimed that they are harmful.
Although being gay is not illegal in China, the country does not recognise same-sex marriage and there are no legal protections in place that protect LGBT+ Chinese people the huge social stigma which they face.
QQ allows over half a billion users to connect with each other in group chats which they can find by searching for keywords. Earlier this month, if users tried to search for groups using the keywords “gay” “lesbian” or “LGBTQ”, they get a message which pops up reminding them to “Use the Internet in a civil manner. Say no to harmful information.” This message has now been removed and replaced with a simple “No results found” message.
Tencent, the company behind QQ, has not yet commented on the changes.
US students walkout after their teacher is reprimanded for coming out as bisexual
Over 100 students at a high-school in Iowa in the USA have walked out after their teacher was punished for telling his class that he was bisexual.
Their English teacher, Lucas Kaufmann, was put on temporary leave last week after he included an LGBT+ flag on a “Things that describe me” slide in his introduction presentation to his class. When the students asked him about it, he came out as bisexual.
The students argued that Mr Kaufmann just wanted LGBT+ students to know that they had an ally at the school and did not deserve his punishment. They created an online petition with over 2,000 signatures and on Tuesday 7th September they staged a walkout
The Winterset school district has yet to make a decision on the outcome of this situation.
Lil Nas X honoured for commitment to ending LGBT+ youth suicide
The Trevor Project have named Lil Nas X as their suicide prevention advocate of the year.
This is the first time the Trevor Project have given out this award and it coincides with Suicide Prevention Month in the USA.
It has also been awarded at the same time as Lil Nas X pulled off a huge publicity campaign with a fake pregnancy which turned out to be raising money and awareness for human rights campaigns including the Trans Inclusive Group, an African-American led organisation based in South Florida that provides safe spaces for trans and gender non-conforming people.
Many people have stepped forward on Twitter to thank Lil Nas X for his work towards supporting and uplifting the LGBT+ community.