International News Highlights — August 5, 2022

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Santiago Maldonado and Jorge Esteban Farias, the couple who were attacked, take part in the kiss-a-thon — Photo courtesy of Reuters
Santiago Maldonado and Jorge Esteban Farias, the couple who were attacked, take part in the kiss-a-thon — Photo courtesy of Reuters

Colombian kissathon supports accosted Gay couple
The BBC reported on August 1 that hundreds participated in a kissathon in Colombia on July 31, to show support for Gay couple who were driven from a park after kissing in public. Bogotá mayor Claudia López Hernández condemned the attack, which was perpetrated six years after same-sex marriage was legalized in the country.

The protest was organized after a video of the incident was shared on social media. Couples kissed among rainbow flags, music, and signs reading "Kisses are signs of affection, not a crime" in the Engativá neighborhood of Bogotá.

The couple reported the incident, which is being investigated, according to David Alonzo, the official in charge of sexual diversity in the city. Mayor Hernández, Bogotá's first openly Gay mayor, swore on Twitter that she would "fight until equality is the norm."

Australian rugby players bench themselves over rainbow jerseys
The BBC reported on July 31 that rainbow Pride jerseys are still an issue with Australian rugby players, since seven on the National Rugby League's (NRL) Manly Warringah Sea Eagles boycotted a match on "religious and cultural" grounds after being given the garments.

Sea Eagles coach Des Hasler apologized afterward: "Instead of enhancing tolerance and acceptance, we may have hindered this."

The seven players were told not to even attend the game for security reasons after public backlash. Ian Roberts, the first male professional athlete to come out as Gay during their career, said he was "heartbroken" at the boycott, and NRL women's star Karina Brown said it left her "enraged" and "frustrated."

Some church leaders, fans, and players defended the boycott. New Zealand Warriors player Shaun Johnson said, "Each to their own... if we're asked to respect the pride community, then we should also respect the Christian or religious community."

The BBC noted that this wasn't the first time Australian players had missed games over rainbow jerseys. Others have been sacked or banned for homophobic comments, and fans have been no better, harassing women athletes over photos.