Happy Friday to all, but before we call it an early day and head to the beach, let’s take a look at the day’s biggest, bestest, queerest headlines, starting with a new story by Women’s Wear Daily that — bloop! — says the new owner of The Advocate and Out magazines “happens to be a documented supporter of conservative Republican politicians.” Wow.
In other news today, Rihanna turned down the next Super Bowl Halftime Show, Israeli cyberspies have been uncovered as helping dictators hunt down gays and see which Cher album is getting a re-release this December.
From The Advocate in a quandary to new old Cher, here are the day’s top headlines:
1. The Advocate and Out Mags Are Now Owned by a Man Who Supports Republicans (News)
The new owners of both The Advocate and Out magazines, longstanding publications by and for the LGBTQ community, are stepbrothers Adam Levin and Maxx Abramowitz, who purchased the mags last September and also own High Times magazine. A recent piece in WWD describes Levin as “perceived as relatively disinterested in the community it serves” and also points out that he has donated to a number of anti-gay Republicans, which didn’t sit well with the magazines’ staff. A spokesperson has since said Levin supports the LGBTQ community.
2. The Inter Parliamentary Union Has Banned Debate on LGBT Issues, Led by Uganda (World)
Yesterday saw the Inter Parliamentary Union, a mass of legislators meeting in Geneva, vote to ban any further debate on LGBTQ issues. The delegation from Uganda, led by Speaker Rebecca Kadaga, led the move to ban debate. The African nation has long opposed rights and safety for LGBTQ individuals. “Today we have made a final vote that will prohibit the issue of LGBT from appearing on the IPU agenda,” says Speaker Rebecca Kadaga. Watch video of the vote — and the Ugandan delegation cheering when it passed — here. It was only in April that Ugandan politicians wanted to reintroduce anti-gay laws that would imprison gay people for life.
3. Rihanna Tells Super Bowl to Kick Rocks, Supports Kaepernick Over NFL (Sports, Celebrities)
Rihanna has officially declined to perform at the next Super Bowl Halftime Show because she supports Colin Kaepernick, according to Us Weekly. “The NFL and CBS really wanted Rihanna to be next year’s performer in Atlanta,” someone told the magazine. “They offered it to her, but she said no because of the kneeling controversy. She doesn’t agree with the NFL’s stance.” Maroon 5 has since been announced as the performers at the next Halftime Show, with Cardi B as a potential guest performer.
4. Israeli Cyberspy Companies Are Aiding the Persecution of LGBTQ People Worldwide (World)
Haaretz has reported that some Israeli cyberspy companies have been helping worldwide dictators hunt their dissidents, detain activists and even persecute LGBTQ people. The investigation has uncovered that these companies sell products and services to undemocratic countries like Bahrain, Indonesia, Azerbaijan and Nicaragua (among many others), knowing what’s being sold is then used to violate civilians’ rights. These firms continued to sell software products even after it was publicly revealed they were being used for illegal surveillance and the hunt for individuals.
5. Cher’s Smash Hit Album Believe Is Getting a 20th Anniversary Re-Release (Music)
It’s hard to believe it’s been two decades since Cher released her hit album Believe, most well-known for its lead single of the same name. Coming down the pipeline on Dec. 7, Warner Bros. is for the first time releasing the quadruple-platinum album on vinyl. (It can be pre-ordered here.) The record label has also officially released the music video for “Believe” digitally. (Watch it above.)