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Oslo shooting, abortion bans and Pride Month comes to an end: 5 things you should know this week

Patrick Kelleher June 27, 2022
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People walk through Oslo holding Pride flags

Refusing to balk in the face of a mass shooting, thousands of LGBTQ+ people protested in Oslo, Norway. (Rodrigo Freitas/Getty Images)

Norway’s LGBTQ+ community is reeling after a terrorist attack left two dead, while abortion access is being gutted over in the United States.

Elsewhere, health authorities are continuing to express concern over the spread of monkeypox, and war continues to rage in Ukraine.

It might seem like there’s a lot going on in the world, but we’ve got you covered. Here are five things you should know this week.

1. Oslo shooting has sent shockwaves through LGBTQ+ community

Norwegian crown princess Mette-Marit lit a candle to pay tribute to the victims.
Norwegian crown princess Mette-Marit lit a candle to pay tribute to the victims. (JAVAD PARSA/NTB/AFP via Getty Images)

Queer people in Norway have been left in shock and mourning after a man opened fire in and near an Olso gay bar, the London Pub, as well as the Herr Nilsen jazz club and a takeaway, just hours before the city’s Pride festivities began.

The shooting left two dead and many others injured. The suspect, named by Norwegian media as Zaniar Matapour, has been charged with attempted murder and terrorist acts.

Oslo Pride cancelled its Parade, though a defiant, spontaneous march sprung up in the city anyway.

At a service of remembrance on Sunday (28 June), Norwegian prime minister Jonas Gahr Støre said: “The shooting in the night hours put an end to the Pride parade, but it has not put an end to the fight to end discrimination, prejudice and hate.”

The attack comes just six years after the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida, which left 49 people dead.

2. Fury boils over as Supreme Court overturns Roe v Wade

Abortion-rights activist Carrie McDonald reacts to the Dobbs v Jackson Women's Health Organization ruling in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on June 24, 2022.
Abortion-rights activist Carrie McDonald reacts to the Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization ruling in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on June 24, 2022. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty)

There was an outpouring of anger on Friday (24 June) when the Supreme Court of the United States issued its majority opinion overturning Roe v Wade, which guaranteed a constitutional right to abortion.

The ruling means that individual states will now be tasked with coming up with their own abortion laws. Bans that were already on the books immediately went into effect in a number of states, while others are expected to ban abortion in the coming weeks.

Joe Biden has blamed Donald Trump for the decision to remove the constitutional right to abortion, pointing out that the move was only made possible after he appointed three judges to the court during his presidency.

3. Experts continue to sound the alarm over monkeypox

Microscope image of the monkeypox virus
Microscope image of the monkeypox virus. (Getty/ Gado/ Smith Collection)

Gay and bisexual men are still being urged to keep an eye out for unusual symptoms as monkeypox continues to spread in their communities.

More than 800 cases had been detected in the UK alone up to 22 June, with most of those occurring in men who have sex with men.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) has said European summer festivals shouldn’t be cancelled as a result of the outbreak. Officials have said it does not constitute a global health emergency.

4. Ukraine war continues as Russia strikes Kyiv

Queer couple join front line in Ukraine with unicorn sewn into uniform as a symbol of the LGBTQ+ community
Missile attacks by Russian troops devastate the Darnytsia Car Repair Plant in Kyiv, Ukraine (Anatolii Siryk/ Ukrinform/Future Publishing via Getty Images)

The people of Kyiv are still reeling after Russian strikes hit the city over the weekend. The war, which kicked off in February after Putin launched his full-scale invasion, continues to wreak havoc and cause devastation for the Ukrainian people.

Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskyy is expected to urge the G7 summit to offer additional assistance to his country’s defence at its summit on Monday (27 June).

Four months on, the war is showing no sign of abating.

5. Pride Month comes to an end

A person holds a "against abortion, have a vasectomy" sign in the New York City Pride Parade.
A person holds a “against abortion, have a vasectomy” sign in the New York City Pride Parade. (Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty)

By the end of the week, Pride Month will have come to an end. Over the course of June, the world has watched as defiant LGBTQ+ people have marched through cities, towns and villages to champion their rights and freedoms.

This year, Pride Month took place against a worrying backdrop. LGBTQ+ rights are being rolled back in many places, with sporting bodies and state legislatures doing their best to remove trans people from public life.

The threat of violence, which hangs over any LGBTQ+ event, has been felt strongly this year. In New York on Sunday (26 June), Pride revellers scattered after mistaking fireworks for gunfire.

Still, the LGBTQ+ community has proven once again just how resilient it really is. Even in the face of hatred, queer people have spent Pride Month showing the world that they deserve rights – and that they have no reason to hide.

For that, we can be grateful.

More: abortion rights, Monkeypox, Oslo shooting, Roe v. Wade, Russia Ukraine war

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