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  WINDY CITY TIMES

Canadian official's pro-gay move; 'It Gets Better' drops Pistorius
World news: Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2013-02-20

This article shared 3258 times since Wed Feb 20, 2013
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Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird called out "offensive" and "mean-spirited" statements on the website of an organization that gets federal funding to do aid work in Uganda, according to CBC.ca. The Canadian International Development Agency is providing $544,813 over three years to Christian Crossroads Communications Inc., which called homosexuality and "transvestism" perversions, and lists them along with pedophilia and bestiality. International Co-operation Minister Julian Fantino has defended the funding, saying, "Projects are delivered without religious content, including this particular project."

In the wake of an investigation about the alleged murder of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, South African Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius was cut from the pro-gay "It Gets Better" campaign, Gay Star News noted. The so-called "blade runner," 26, is alleged to have shot Steenkamp, 29, multiple times through a locked bathroom door at his Pretoria home on Feb. 14. In Pistorius' video, which will no longer be included, he says, "Just remember that you're special. You don't have to worry. You don't have to change. Take a deep breath and remember 'It will get better.'"

In England, Dale Cregan—a one-eyed suspect accused of killing lesbian police officer Fiona Bone and another officer, Nicola Hughes—has admitted to killing them, according to Gay Star News. The 29-year-old pled guilty to luring two Bone, 32, and Hughes, 23, to a false robbery in Manchester and killing them. Before her death, Bone was engaged and planning her civil partnership with girlfriend Clare. Cregan still denies other murders he stands accused of committing.

In Belarus, the justice ministry has refused to legally register a gay-rights organization in Minsk, according to Gay Star News. The GayBelarus website published part of a letter from the ministry that says, "The organization does not have in its charter any clauses on supporting social maturity and comprehensive development of the Belarusian youth." Organizations cannot legally operate unless they are registered with the ministry.

Some are saying that Ghana's president, John Dramani Mahama, has known international gay lobbyist Andrew Solomon for more than eight years—confirming the worst fears of many of the country's residents, according to AllAfrica.com . After initially denying Mahama knew Solomon, the communications team acknowledged that was not the case after reference was made to the president's book launch in the United States, where Solomon played a major role. Some residents see a connection between the two individuals and Mahama's promotion of gay rights in the country.

In Israel, a court appeals committee set a legal precedent by instructing the country's defense ministry to compensate a 3-year-old girl who lost her mother's female partner, according to Gay Star News. The court recognized the late Faviola Bohadana as the girl's stepparent, overruling a refusal by Israel's ministry. The girl's biological mother, Rahel Algavassi, had been in a lesbian relationship with Bohadana for five years prior to her death during a fire in December 2010.

The coach of a gold medal-winning Russian wrestler has claimed that the sport's demotion by the Olympic committee is part of a conspiracy by "sexual minorities" that signals the end of the world, according to Pink News. The International Olympic Committee voted to cut wrestling from the list of 25 sports confirmed for the 2020 Olympic Games. Coach Vladimir Uruimagov told R-Sport, "If they expel wrestling now, that means that gays will soon run the whole world."

In France, the Subway sandwich shop in Angers posted a sign promoting a Valentine's special for couples: two foot-long subs for about $10. However, according to Queerty.com, the store's owner indicated that only opposite-sex couples were allowed to use it—and insisted he was within his rights because same-sex marriage hasn't official passed in the country.

A study in Mexico has attempted to put an exact price on how much gay and bisexual men would have to be paid to change behaviors that put them at high risk of HIV, according to Pink News. The questionnaire revealed that for $288 a year, three-quarters of those questioned would be willing to attend monthly talks on STI prevention, be regularly tested and pledge to stay STI-free. The Mexican government's health care offers HIV treatment universally, at $5,000 to $7,000 each year.

Far-right French politician Richard Jacob has been accused of physically attacking three gay rights activists at a marriage-equality rally, according to Gay Star News. Jacob, an elected member of Marine Le-Pen's anti-gay party, allegedly shouted abuse at the three advocates before pushing them down the steps of Auxerre's Town Hall. The victims have filed complaints with police accusing Jacob of assault and using anti-gay language; Jacobs denies the accusations.

Sadiq Khan, Britain's most senior Muslim member of Parliament (MP), has received death threats from Islamic extremists after voting in favor of marriage equality, according to Pink News. Some Islamic groups said that by voting for same-sex marriage, Khan was "selling out" his religion. Khan was among 400 MPs, five of them Muslim, who voted in favor of the marriage bill Feb. 5.

A report says that the Chinese carvings known as the Kangjiashimenji Petroglyphs show "the earliest—and some of the most graphic—depictions of copulation in the world," according to the Huffington Post. Moreover, one set of figures appears to be bisexual, including a bisexual man who appears to have an erection. Also, while unprecedented in Central Asia, the iconography echoes images far to the west, with images similar to those found on Copper Age pottery in what is now Ukraine.

In India, a gay man who was raped by several men has spoken out about his ordeal, hoping to break the silent suffering of male sexual-assault victims, according to Gay Star News. The recent news about the 23-year-old woman who was gang-raped on a bus (and subsequently died) spurred Vinodhan to discuss his experiences on the blog of LGBT-support group Orinam. Vinodhan said he didn't go to the police or tell anyone about the incident because he "thought everyone would blame me for hooking up. I did not know how the police would treat a gay man." An HIV/AIDS organization official said that most men who rape men are heterosexual.

In England, Middle East studies student Colin Cortbus secretly filmed an extremist Muslim saying gays should be executed, according to Gay Star News. Cortbus was attending a meeting at the University of Manchester's Students' Union and asked the chair if she would feel comfortable killing a gay man; she replied, "Absolutely." Now the university's students are debating if their union should give space to people expressing what they call "fascist" views.

The Mexican Supreme Court formally released its ruling that found a Oaxacan law that bans same-sex marriage unconstitutional, according to the Washington Blade. The 56-page decision cites two U.S. Supreme Court cases: Loving v. Virginia and Brown v. Board of Education. The court released its decision more than two months after the judges unanimously struck down the Oaxaca law that defined marriage as being strictly between a man and a woman.

Germany's Federal Constitutional Court strengthened gay couples' adoption rights in a ruling that the country's justice minister greeted as "a historic step," the Huffington Post reported. The court ruled that one member of a civil partnership should be able to adopt the partner's stepchild or adopted child; until now, only a partner's biological child could be adopted. In a separate case, the court is considering if same-sex partnerships should be granted the tax breaks given to married couples.


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