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A protester holds a portrait of Trans activist Samantha Gomes Fonseca at a rally in Mexico City — Photo by Marco Ugarte / AP
A protester holds a portrait of Trans activist Samantha Gomes Fonseca at a rally in Mexico City — Photo by Marco Ugarte / AP

Mexico: Marches follow wave of Trans killings
Authorities in Mexico said at least three Transgender people were killed in the first two weeks of 2024, and rights groups were investigating two additional such cases. The slayings marked a violent start to the year in a country where Queer people are often targeted. The latest death came on Sunday, January 14, when Transgender activist and politician Samantha Gómez Fonseca was shot multiple times and killed inside a car in the south of Mexico City, according to local prosecutors. The killings spurred outrage among members of the Queer community, who protested on Mexico City's main throughway on Monday, January 15.

African bishops rebuke Pope's directives on blessing same-sex couples
The Roman Catholic bishops of Africa and Madagascar issued a unified statement Thursday refusing to follow his declaration allowing priests to offer blessings to same-sex couples and asserting that such unions are "contrary to the will of God." The statement, signed by Congolese Cardinal Fridolin Ambongo on behalf of the symposium of African national bishops conferences, marked the closest thing to a continent-wide dissent from the declaration Francis approved on December 18 allowing priests to offer such blessings. That declaration from the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith has sent shock waves through the Catholic Church, thrilling Queer Catholics as a concrete sign of Francis' message of welcome but alarming conservatives, who fear that core doctrines of the church are being ignored or violated.

Greek prime minister faces opposition to legalizing same-sex civil marriage
Greece's center-right government will soon submit legislation allowing same-sex civil marriages, despite reservations from its own lawmakers and the country's influential Orthodox Church, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said. He stressed that the proposed law would not extend the right to parenthood through surrogate mothers to same-sex couples — an issue that has divided Greek society. Several lawmakers from the right wing of the governing New Democracy Party, along with the Greek Orthodox Church, have expressed opposition to any overhaul of the country's marriage and parenthood laws to include same-sex couples. Allowing same-sex civil marriage was a key campaign promise by Mitsotakis, who secured a second four-year term in a landslide election victory last year.

Human Rights Watch: UK government severely eroded human rights in 2023
The United Kingdom government's policies and practices both severely eroded domestic human rights protections and undermined its efforts to promote human rights globally in 2023, the international advocacy organization Human Rights Watch said on January 11 in its World Report 2024. In the 740-page report, its 34th edition, Human Rights Watch documented how the UK government weakened basic freedoms, such as the right to protest, with new legislation. It focused on efforts of the Conservative government to curtail protections and rights for immigrants, Queer people, and other minorities, as well as the country's failure to condemn alleged Israeli war crimes against Gazans and the increased reports of antisemitism and Islamophobic incidents.