News Round-Up: May 29, 2021

The Pentagon will host a Pride Month event including an address by the Defense Secretary

Some news items you might have missed:

Washington Blade: Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is set to deliver the keynote address for an upcoming event at the Pentagon recognizing Pride Month. Defense Secretaries attended such events during the Obama years, but the practice halted during the “other guy’s” administration.

Instinct Magazine: When the pandemic shut down many restaurants and bars, several states legalized to-go cocktails. Now, 14 states have made ‘roadies’ legal forever.

Washington Post: Vietnam’s Health Ministry announced Saturday that it had detected a highly transmissible new variant of the coronavirus that has helped fuel a recent wave of infections in the country.

Dallas Voice: Out writer/actor Ryan O’Connell chats with the Texas outlet about his TV series Special. The Netflix show is loosely based on his own life as an out gay man living with cerebral palsy.

HuffPost: Brazil’s homophobic President Jair Bolsonaro is moving closer and closer to being defeated in next year’s election. As he edges towards crisis mode, he is becoming more abusive toward his adversaries.

Hulu: The documentary Changing The Game takes us into the lives of three high school athletes—all at different stages of their athletic seasons, personal lives, and unique paths as transgender teens.

The film centers on Mack Beggs, who made headlines when he became the Texas State Champion in girls wrestling – as a boy – and all he wanted to do was wrestle on the boys team.

Also featured are Sarah, a skier and teen policymaker in New Hampshire, and Andraya, a track star in Connecticut openly competing on the girls track team.

Gay Couple On Vacation Arrested For ‘Immoral Acts’ In Their Hotel Room

(stock photo via Depositphotos)


(stock photo via Depositphotos)
(stock photo via Depositphotos)

Imagine being arrested for having consensual sex in the privacy of your hotel room while on vacation.

That’s the situation two Vietnamese tourists found themselves in during a trip to Malaysia.

The New Straits Times reports Tang Van Duc, 22, and Lee Vu Linh, 29,  were arrested by the State Immigration Department in their hotel room in Penang for participating in “immoral acts” with an undercover officer on November 12.

The couple pleaded guilty to the charges in court, and Judge Norhayati Mohd Yunus ordered each of them to pay a fine of about $240 (RM1000). They also faced the embarrassment of their photo being posted by local news media.

The men had been visiting the country since October 18 on tourist visas.

I’ve reported on the grim situation for LGBTQ people in Malaysia many times in recent years.

Malaysia provides no legal protections for LGBTQ individuals, and those arrested for same-sex encounters face severe penalties – up to 20 years in prison as well as fines and public whippings.

Earlier this month, five men in Kuala Lumpur were sentenced to at least six months in prison and being whipped with a cane in public for “attempting to have gay sex.”

In August 2018, police raided a gay bar in the same city saying the arrests were an attempt to “stop the spread of LGBTQ culture in society, according to Pink News.

The next month two Malaysian women were caned for “attempting lesbian sex in a car.”

Duc and Linh enjoy a better legal situation in their own country of Vietnam.

Same-sex relations are legally permitted, gay/bisexual people are allowed to openly serve in the military, and a 2016 survey found rising support – up to 45% at the time – for marriage equality in Vietnam.