The Salvation Army’s anti-LGBTQ stances have caused a headache for the NFL, Saudi Arabia has branded homosexuality a form of ‘extremism,’ and New York City has settled with an ex-firefighter who said he suffered months of homophobic abuse — these are the LGBTQ stories you need to know now:
Singer Ellie Goulding has threatened to pull out of an NFL halftime show on Thanksgiving Day due to the involvement of the Salvation Army, Yahoo! Sports reports. Goulding initially posted on Instagram in support of the organization, but her fans quickly pointed out that it has a history of anti-LGBTQ politics and stances. “I would have no choice but to pull out unless [the Salvation Army] very quickly make a solid, committed pledge or donation to the LGBTQ community,” she said, adding, “I am a committed philanthropist as you probably know, and my heart has always been in helping the homeless, but supporting an anti-LGBTQ charity is clearly not something I would ever intentionally do. Thank you for drawing my attention to this.”
Not exactly famous for being a liberal, tolerant country, Saudi Arabia branded homosexuality, feminism, and atheism “forms of extremism and perversion” in a since-deleted Twitter video by the country’s state security agency. Per Reuters, the video said, “Don’t forget that excess of anything at the expense of the homeland is considered extremism,” adding that “all forms of extremism and perversion are unacceptable.” Saudi Arabia has one of the world’s worst records on LGBTQ rights, with both homosexuality and being transgender punishable by death.
A former probationary firefighter for the New York City Fire Department (FDNY) has settled with the city for $80,000 after he was allegedly repeatedly harassed by colleagues in homophobic “hazing” rituals. Per Queerty, 28-year-old Michael Troina claimed in his lawsuit that other firefighters “regularly [harassed] him by encouraging him to have sex with a stripper” and called him a “hyper-feminine homosexual male.” When Troina complained to management in 2016, he says he was fired. “We take any instance of misconduct extremely seriously, and settling this case was in the best interests of the city,” FDNY said in a statement. “FDNY has a strict anti-hazing policy and will hold staff accountable when it’s violated.”
While Charlie’s Angels has always appealed to LGBTQ people because of its campy nature, the upcoming film (opening Friday, Nov. 15) will feature an openly queer Angel in Kristen Stewart’s character Sabina. “We didn’t really write sexuality into the movie in any way,” director Elizabeth Banks told The Advocate, adding,”The more Kristen and I talked about it, the more it became more important to just own something. Letting her flirt with that woman and making sure that I put that in the movie, it became really important to both of us.” Stewart said that Sabina is “sort of ambiguously identified in terms of sexuality, and you never really know what [she’s] going to do. We didn’t need to have this side story of some girl that she falls in love with or something.”