\Controversial Australian Sen. Cory Bernardi pulled out of a speaking engagement in England after some anti-gay remarks he made came under fire, according to WaToday.com .au. Bernardi was supposed to address the European Young Conservative Freedom Summit at Oxford University's St. Hugh's College. However, the senator (who's with the Liberal Party) found himself in hot water after suggesting that legalizing same-sex marriage could lead to polygamy and bestiality being legal as well. In addition, 3AW has reported that Bernardi (who has supported legislation to ban the burka) has resigned as Opposition Leader Tony Abbott's parliamentary secretary
The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) has appointed Jessica Stern as its newest executive director, according to an organizational press release. Stern previously served as IGLHRC's acting executive director and director of programs, and led the final, successful year of IGLHRC's application for official accreditation at the U.N. Since receiving this status, Stern has supervised IGLHRC's U.N. engagements, which have included co-authoring shadow reports documenting LGBT rights violations from 18 countries.
In Brazil, a young transgender woman was found in a dumpster in Sao Paulo, Advocate.com reported. She had been murdered and mutilated, with an ear and her genitals removed. Gay Star News reported that there have been several crimes committed against trans people recently, including four women who were shot in the city of Sao Jose do Rio Preto; two of them died.
In the UK, gay executive Jonathan Smyth has won a six-figure insurance payout after his boyfriend, Tony Howe, was cleared of torching his home after having a "hissy fit," the Daily Mail reported. Howe had admitted to what Smyth called "Tony Bear Tantrums"including once lying out on a floor because he couldn't get a sandwich a particular way. However, Judge John Randall QC said a carelessly discarded cigarette probably caused the blaze.
Videos that reportedly show guards abusing prisonersincluding one male inmate being raped with a broom handlehave resulted in arrests both inside and outside the country of Georgia, CNN.com noted. President Mikheil Saakashvili said that what occurred at Gldani Number 8 penitentiary in Tbilisi is "a horrific affront to human rights and human dignity." Human Rights Watch's Giorgi Gogia said, "Sexual assault on a detainee constitutes torture. The prohibition on torture is absolute, and the government should ensure that the justice is done."
A Chinese beauty contest requiring candidates to have nipples spaced at least 20 centimeters (7.8 inches) apart has sparked a storm of criticism online, the New York Daily News reported. A staff member said the event, aimed at crowning 10 university students in central Hubei province, drew the requirement from traditional Chinese and modern Western standards of beauty.
In the UK, it's been revealed that Fiona Bone, one of the two female police officers murdered in Greater Manchester last week, had been planning a civil-partnership ceremony with the woman she loved, according to Pink News. PC Bone and her colleague PC Nicola Hughes were killed in a gun and grenade attack Sept. 18. Dale Cregan, 29, was arrested by police on suspicion of their murders in addition to the killings of two others earlier this year.
Also in the UK, the director of public prosecutions is issuing new social-media rules on abuse after Olympic diver Tom Daley received offensive homophobic tweets about his late father earlier this summer, Pink News stated. The development comes after a 17-year-old boy arrested on suspicion of malicious communications was released without charge. In August, Daniel Thomas, 28, was arrested in connection with an anti-gay tweet about Daley and his diving colleague, Peter Waterfield.
In Sweden, a lesbian couple in County Ostergotland has reported the county council to an ombudsman for making them pay the equivalent of $457 for two inseminations, according to TheLocal.se. (Inseminations are free for lesbians in the neighboring county.) The couple also felt the doctor treated them badly, saying he referred to one of them as the "father-to-be."
In Canada, statistics show that even though the number of opposite-sex families declined, the number of same-sex couples increased significantly during 2006-11, according to Xtra.ca. Same-sex married couples make up just 0.8 percent of all married couples in Canada; however, this is up 42 percent since 2006. Same-sex marriage was legalized in 2005, just before the 2006 census.
In Malaysia, authorities recently issued a pamphlet that included ways to spot gay children, including showing off muscular bodies with tight V-neck sleeveless shirts. Now, businesses and individuals are fighting back by organizing a "National Wear V-Neck Day," according to Care2.com . The event is scheduled for Oct. 1, with more than 1,000 people saying they'll participate.
In Germany, a professional soccer player in the country's top-flight league, the Bundesliga, gave an interview in which he talked about his life as a gay man, the New York Times reported. The player, who talked on the condition on anonymity, said he felt pressure to "put on an act and deny his true self" because of a public image and the news media. However, he added that his sexuality is an open secret among fellow players, and that "none of them had a problem" with it.
Russian gay activists recently joined thousands of people to protest President Vladimir Putin, according to Gay Star News. Gay activists met with other liberals, chanting "Russia without Putin," and "We are the power here!" Speakers at the rally criticized Putin over laws that include increasing protestor fines and new controls on foreign-funded campaign groups' assistance.
As part of reforms to legalize marriage equality, France may be set to ban the words "mother" and "father" from all official documents, according to DigitalJournal.com . The country's new president, Francois Hollande, is apparently making good on a pre-election promise to make same-sex marriage legal. The plan is to use the word "parents" in marriage ceremonies, whether they're opposite- or same-sex; this change would affect adoptions as well.
In Norway, nurse Bjeateianne Marie Saturnino, 30, won the first Miss Gay Philippines-Norway 2012 crown at a recent pageant in Oslo, according to abs-cbnNews.com . Saturnino (who said this was her first beauty pageant) edged four other candidates at the event, held at the Salem Church. She also won Most Creative, Best in Evening Gown and Best in Swimsuit. The Philippine Women's Organization arranged the pageant.
In Vietnam, approximately 200 youths held a flash mob in Hanoi's Cau Giay District for the nation's first-ever community dance performance expressing support for the LGBT community, according to TuoitreNews.vn. At the event, themed "Yeu La Yeu" ("Love is Love"), the group performed for almost three hours with the message "I just want to be myself" to songs such as Lady Gaga's "Hair" and "Born This Way." A similar event took place in Ho Chi Minh City at the Workers' Cultural Palace.
In an interview, Michael Sinana Muslim who is currently Mr. Gay Denmarksaid "it's not easy, but it's certainly easier" for him than it is for gay fellow immigrants who have to live a life that clashes with their religious principles or families' values, the Huffington Post reported. He said he competed in the pageant to show there are modern Muslims in the country, adding that it's not a problem for him to be openly gay and Muslimeven when visiting Turkey. He said Turkey isn't Islamic, but secular; therefore, homosexuality isn't persecuted.
Jon Gnarrthe mayor of Reykjavik, Icelandhas written to Moscow counterpart Sergey Sobyanin to ask him to reconsider his ban on gay pride marches, according to the Iceland Review. In August, Moscow's top court upheld a ban on such marches in the Russian capital for the next 100 years. Gnarr wrote that Reykjavik's Gay Pride festival has positively impacted the city's image and the public's attitude toward LGBT individuals.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad engaged in a heated exchange with CNN's Piers Morgan over homosexuality, in which the political official criticized the LGBT community as engaging in "an ugly behavior," the Huffington Post reported. At one point, Morgan asked Ahmadinejad what he would do if he had a gay child; the president responded, "Do you believe that someone is born homosexual? Homosexuality ceases procreation." Later, Ahmadinejad compared homosexuality to stealing.