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Evgeny Feldman / AP
Evgeny Feldman / AP

Russia: First arrests for rainbow-colored items under new anti-Queer law
The first publicly known cases have emerged of Russian authorities penalizing people under a court ruling that outlawed Queer activism as extremism, Russian media and rights groups have reported. At least three people who displayed rainbow-colored items received jail time or fines.

A Supreme Court ruling in November banned what the government called the Queer "movement" operating in Russia, labeling it an extremist organization. Because of this, Queer rights advocates have warned that those displaying rainbow-colored flags or other items might be targeted by the authorities.

The cases that have emerged include the arrest and fining of Saratov-based artist Inna Mosina over Instagram photos featuring rainbow flags, and Anastasia Yershova in the town of Nizhny Novgorod, who was ordered to spend five days in jail for wearing rainbow earrings in public.

UK: Brianna Ghey's killers sentenced to life in prison
Two teenagers convicted of the February 11, 2023, killing of Trans teen Brianna Ghey have been sentenced to life in prison by a court in Manchester. While initially not named by the court, the judge in the case allowed media to publish the identities of Scarlett Jenkinson and Eddie Ratcliffe, both 15 at the time of the crime, who lured Ghey into a park, where they carried out the brutal attack, leaving her with 28 stab wounds and a broken wrist and ribs. Ghey was discovered unconscious by passing dog walkers and died minutes later at the scene.

During sentencing, Ester Ghey, Brianna's mother, said in her victim-impact statement that Jenkinson and Ratcliffe will always "pose a danger to society," adding, "I would never want them to have the opportunity to carry out their sadistic fantasies on another child."

Congressman demands anti-Queer group disclose its role in Uganda
In a letter released January 28, US Rep. Mark Pocan, chair of the Congressional Equality Caucus, demanded to know if the right-wing group known as the Fellowship Foundation ("the Family") supports Uganda's Anti-Homosexuality Act.

The law, passed last year, provides for a sentence of life in prison for consensual same-sex relations and the death penalty in certain circumstances, while also requiring that citizens report anyone they suspect has violated the law.

Pocan wrote in his letter, "Since the passage of [Uganda's] first Anti-Homosexuality Act a decade ago, there have been numerous reports linking both bills, their authors, and the larger movement to further criminalize LGBTQI+ people in Uganda to the Fellowship Foundation/the Family, and its associates."

Among other demands, Pocan called for the Family's president, Katherin Crane, to provide information on the foundation's communications with Ugandan officials regarding the Anti-Homosexuality Act, whether the Family supports or opposes the law, and, if it opposes the measure, if it will publicly announce its opposition to it and other bills that criminalize LGBTQ+ people, especially those that impose the death penalty.