Friday is finally here, but before you shirk off work and get the party started, let’s dive into some of the day’s big gay headlines, starting with the USMCA trade deal, which will include LGBTQ protections. (And Republicans are pissed about it!) Also, Italy has altered its immigration policy to exclude asylum for gays.
In other news, Mike Pence should never be allowed to utter the words “World AIDS Day”; actress Tessa Thompson has opened up about her character’s ‘straightwashing’ in Thor: Ragnarok; and Gavin McInnes, founder of the Proud Boys, has been denied a visa to tour Australia.
From the USMCA trade deal to Italy’s rejection of asylum for gays, here are the day’s top stories:
The USMCA trade deal has been signed, and it includes language requiring the United States, Mexico and Canada to “implement policies that protect workers against employment discrimination on the basis of sex, including… sexual orientation [and] gender identity.” Of course, not everyone is ecstatic. Republican members of Congress and various anti-LGBTQ organizations are furious, arguing that international trade deals are no place for “social policy.” The USMCA trade deal still must be ratified by all three countries.
2. Tessa Thompson Opens Up About ‘Straightwashing’ of Her Valkyrie Character (Film)
Thompson, who played the role of Valkyrie in the Marvel film Thor: Ragnarok — a character who is queer in the comic books but was blasted as “straightwashed” in the film — has spoken up about why one scene in particular, which would have made clear the character was bisexual, was cut from the final film. “It wasn’t Marvel or Disney or anyone extracting that because it was an issue,” she told The Independent. “It just was like, that particular moment didn’t make sense in the context of the scene. And there were other beautiful things where you get a sense of her back story.” Read more here.
3. Australia Denies Visa to Proud Boys Founder Gavin McInnes (World)
Alt-right activist and Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes has failed a “character test” and has thus had his visa application blocked by Australia’s Home Affairs Department. He planned to lead a speaking tour of the country next year, but, alas, that’s no longer in the cards. McInnes recently left the group he founded, which has been deemed an “extremist group” by the FBI.
4. Italy Passes Law to Prevent Immigration Based on Asylum for Gays (World)
Italy’s lawmakers have passed legislation that works to stop the country from accepting migrants based on claims of asylum for gays. Immigrants applying for asylum based on “humanitarian grounds” will be turned away. Italy’s lower house is currently led by far-right politicians who are anti-LGBTQ rights and dedicated to reducing immigration into Italy. Gay Star News reports that some migrants who received asylum previously may lose their legal status when documents expire.
5. Buddhist Monks Can’t Be Ripped, According to the Outrage Over These Photos (Web)
We previously reported on the Buddhist monk who got himself in trouble for having gay chemsex parties inside a Taiwan temple, but today we see Buddhist bigwigs are upset over some sexy pics that may or may not depict a monk with seriously ripped abs. After photos of the shirtless monk went viral, senior monks are saying the religion itself is tarnished. The deputy director of the National Office of Buddhism has said, “Against monkhood discipline, this man has put on clothes similar to monk robes and taken photos of himself with fit muscles online. Although not a grave error in the monk’s way, it is an earthly sin that invites societal criticism and damages Buddhism.” No one knows for sure if the man pictured even is a monk.