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Australia parliament passes marriage; Intersex Awareness Day
World news: Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times

This article shared 4525 times since Wed Oct 30, 2013
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\A provincial parliament in Australia has become the country's first to pass a law that allows same-sex marriage, although the federal government has threatened a court challenge, according to LGBTQ Nation. The Australian Capital Territory parliament passed the law with the backing of lawmakers from the province's governing Labor and Greens parties. ( Liberty Party legislators voted against the measure. ) Federal Attorney General George Brandis, a member of the Liberal Party, said his government has legal advice that the legislation is invalid.

An Australian health organization is backing Intersex Awareness Day, according to Gay Star News. The National LGBTI Health Alliance—a coalition of organizations across Australia that work toward the improvement of health services for LGBTI people—has publicly shown support for the day, which sees intersex activists from across the world raise awareness of important issues that affect intersex people. Intersex Awareness Day ( Oct. 26 ) started in 1996.

OUTstanding in Business, a professional network for LGBT executives, teamed with Financial Times to compile a list of the 50 most powerful out corporate leaders in the world, according to LGBT Idea. HSBC UK head Antonio Simoes tops the list, which includes Ernst & Young's Beth Brooke and U.S. businessman Ken Mehlman. Noticeably absent from the list is Apple CEO Tim Cook, who topped Out Magazine's 50 Most Powerful gays list for three consecutive years; however, Cook has never publicly acknowledged his orientation.

France's Constitutional Council ruled that the country's mayors cannot refuse to officiate at same-sex weddings, rejecting a bid by a group of mayors who claimed same-sex marriage went against their moral or religious beliefs, reported. The mayors argued that the same-sex marriage bill should have included a "freedom of conscience" clause, giving officiators the right not to carry out same-sex marriages if it conflicts with their personal religious or moral beliefs.

A study says that one in 10 men who have called a suicide helpline are gay, bisexual or concerned about their sexuality, according to Gay Star News. British listening service The Samaritans have revealed that 10.9 percent of the calls they received from men in a single week were those confused, depressed, concerned or even suicidal over their sexuality. In 2012, 3 percent of gay men and 5 percent of bisexual men tried to take their own life, according to gay-rights charity Stonewall.

A French court has allowed a Franco-Moroccan gay couple to marry, going against a government ruling that gay people from Morocco and 10 other countries cannot tie the knot, according to Raw Story. France legalized same-sex marriage in May after months of intense and sometimes violent protests, and the couple—Dominique and Mohammed—immediately got to work planning their official union for September in the town of Jacob-Bellecombette in the Alps. However, just two days before the wedding, prosecutors in the nearby city of Chambery ruled it could not go ahead.

The bodies of a gay couple have been found in the foundations of a building site in central London, Pink News reported. A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: "Shortly before 2.30am on [Oct. 19] morning, police were called to reports of two men seen fighting in Hampstead Road. Two men have fallen down into the basement area of a building site. Both were pronounced dead at the scene. Their deaths are being treated as unexplained." Police have named the men as Gavin Brewer, 32-year-old British transport officer, and his boyfriend Stuart Meads, a 34-year-old who worked on The Weakest Link.

In Montenegro, police fired tear gas to deter anti-gay extremists who threw rocks and firebombs at officers protecting a gay-pride march, injuring about 60 people, according to a Huffington Post item. The violence occurred when the attackers tried to push through hundreds of police to reach those taking part in the march in Podgorica, the capital of the conservative Balkan country. After the march, the gay rights demonstrators were evacuated to a safe location in police vehicles.

UN Women launched a new ad campaign designed to highlight the prevalence of sexist attitudes in Google's auto-complete function—and the pro-LGBT UN human rights office's Free & Equal campaign has done spin-off ads involving the use of the word "gays" instead of "women," according to the Huffington Post. For example, typing "gays should" results in auto-completed phrases such as "gays should not adopt" and "gays should be put to death." Incidentally, type the words "women should," for example, and the most common phrases are "stay at home," "be slaves" and "be in the kitchen."

A gay student plans to lose his virginity live on stage—all in the name of art, The Huffington Post reported. Clayton Pettet, a 19-year-old art student at Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design in London, plans to have gay sex in front of a crowd of between 50 and 100 people in London on Jan. 25, 2014, for a project called "Art School Stole My Virginity." He and his anonymous partner will have sex until completion and then hold a Q&A with the audience afterward.

Soaring rent is forcing London's only lesbian bar, Candy Bar, to close its doors after nearly 20 years, according to . On Oct. 21, Candy Bar, London's only bar primarily catering to lesbians, announced it will shut down for good in January 2014. Since Kim Lucas opened the establishment in 1996, Candy Bar has gone through several owners, but remained the go-to place for lesbians in the Soho district of London to meet and hang out with other women.

In Taiwan, the capital of Taiwan was recently covered in rainbow flags as tens of thousands marched in a gay-pride parade, according to Gay Star News. The Oct. 26 march happened a day after the country's legislature started to review a same-sex marriage bill. Approximately 60,000 people were part of the parade, including 4,000 from abroad; this year was the eleventh that Taipei has sponsored a gay-pride parade.

Graham Norton, in a recent interview, revealed how he revisited the place where he was once stabbed and left for dead following a mugging in London, according to Pink News. The gay talk-show host, 50, told The UK Mirror how he filmed a BBC Christmas trailer "in a house outside of which in 1988, I was stabbed and left for dead." In June, Norton split from his partner after two years together and said he would never want to get married as he would be too embarrassed to do so in front of friends.

In conjunction with Pink Christmas Week in Stockholm, Stockholm Visitors Board and Visit Sweden will focus on a social-media contest to attract more international LGBT travelers to Stockholm, according to a press release. The Pink Christmas campaign can be found at and is based on a contest in which the prize is a trip to Stockholm. With themes such as Charge, Refresh and Recharge, the city hopes to feature how Stockholm's offering can fulfill dreams of travel. The contest will take place until Nov. 19.

This article shared 4525 times since Wed Oct 30, 2013
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