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  WINDY CITY TIMES

UN's Free & Equal; Grindr controversy; Chinese serial killer
World news: Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2014-09-16

This article shared 5150 times since Tue Sep 16, 2014
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Free & Equal—the United Nations Human Rights Office's global public education campaign for LGBT equality—has released "UN Free & Equal: One Billion Rising," a video highlighting the campaign's impact to date, according to a press release. The ongoing campaign was launched in July 2013 at a press conference held in Cape Town, South Africa, and featuring then-UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu and Justice Edwin Cameron of the South African Constitutional Court. The video is at https://unfe.org/en/actions/first-year.

The developers of gay dating app Grindr are facing criticism from users and a U.S. security company, as fears mount that the smartphone app might have put thousands at risk worldwide in societies where homosexuality is frowned upon or a crime by law, according to The Washington Post. Germany's largest daily, Sueddeutsche Zeitung, reported that Grindr had apparently been used by Egyptian authorities to track down gay people. ( This has not yet been substantiated. ) U.S. security company Synack said it was extremely easy to track down the locations of homosexuals using the app over the last months.

A Chinese serial killer who hanged six men during sexually abusive choking games was executed last month, three years after his sentencing, Gay Star News reported. Singer Zhou Youping, 42, was arrested in November 2009 on suspicion of robbery, and confessed to the killings. He found his victims through a gay website, and men replied to his advert seeking "slaves."

Colombia's constitutional court recently granted a lesbian couple joint guardianship of the biological daughter of one of the women in a significant ruling that brought gays and lesbians closer to full equality under the law, The New York Times reported. In a six-to-three vote, the court found that local officials discriminated against VerÃ"nica Botero and Ana Leiderman five years ago by rejecting a petition to recognize Botero as the mother of a girl Leiderman conceived through artificial insemination. The court's president, Luis Ernesto Vargas, told reporters that four of the six judges in the majority favored a more sweeping ruling that would have given gays and lesbians a broader right of adopting non-biological children.

In Mexico, the northern state of Coahuila has formally legalized same-sex marriage, becoming the country's first state to do so by legislative approval, IBTimes.com reported. The congress of Coahuila, a mining and ranching region that shares a border with Texas, approved more than 40 changes to its civil code, extending all marriage rights to same-sex couples, including the right to have children through adoption or biological means. The law, first introduced in March 2013 by lawmaker Samuel Acevedo, passed 19-1 with the support of six of the seven political parties represented in the legislature.

A bisexual Jamaican man was released from detention after being denied asylum earlier this summer, Advocate.com reported. Orashia Edwards lost his legal battle after a British immigration court said Edwards was "dishonest" about his sexuality. Eight officials detained Edwards when he reported to the Home Office, the U.K.'s immigration office, for his weekly check-in July 25—and was held for approximately six weeks. His legal representative, Immigration Legal Advice Centre director Zareen Preston, was unsure why Edwards, who was denied a phone call by officials, was even detained.

Despite the Finnish Postal Service, Itella, revealing that its new Tom of Finland stamps have been the best-selling in its history, not everyone has embraced them, according to Gay Star News. The country's Halpa-Halli chain of department stores has just announced that it will not be selling the stamps in any of its 38 stores, indicating that they were not compatible with the management's Christian beliefs. The stores—which also remain closed on Sundays and don't sell alcohol or tobacco—sell other stamps but will not be stocking the Tom of Finland collection.

Xiao Zhen ( not his real name ), a Chinese gay "cure" survivor and member of All Out, has secured a meeting with the World Health Organization ( WHO ), according to an All Out press release. Xiao has released a one-minute video calling on WHO to denounce gay "cures" as a dangerous practice. After 98,000+ All Out members signed his petition to get WHO Director-General Margaret Chan to denounce so-called gay "cures," the WHO agreed to meet with Xiao in China.

Authorities and activists say a 27-year-old German man who took part in a gay-rights conference suffered life-threatening brain injuries when he was severely beaten in downtown Belgrade, Serbia, according to the Associated Press. Jovanka Todorovic, from the Labris gay and lesbian group, said the man was attacked early morning by a group of young men who beat him with a glass ashtray and shouted, "We don't want foreigners in Belgrade!" Serbia, which has a long history of attacks by far-right groups against gay activists, has repeatedly pledged to protect human rights as it seeks European Union membership.

The International Lesbian Gay Bisexual Trans & Intersex Association ( ILGA ) is issuing a last call for registration for its biannual World Conference, to be held this year in Mexico City Oct. 27-31, according to a press releaes. ILGA's 27th World Conference, "De-colonizing our bodies," is the second conference to take place in Latin America and the first in Mexico. The symbol of the Conference, Tlazoltéotl, is a Mexican indigenous goddess representing lust, sin, filth and transformation. Visit http://www.ilgaworldconference.org/.

British sportscaster Mark McAdam, who covers soccer for Sky Sports, came out publicly in Gay Times, according to Outsports. "I battled with my sexuality for years and years," he has said, discussing being heavily bullied at school, including being physically harmed. In addition, he recently tweeted, "Already received so many unbelievable msgs, I just wanted to be true to myself. PS: I kept the inflatable lady I got on deadline day ; )"

Political conservative leaders in Kazakhstan are following Russia's lead and calling for government to ban gay propaganda and implement DNA testing to identify LGBT people, according to Advocate.com . Dauren Babamuratov, the leader of the nationalist movement called "Future," told The Independent, "I think it is easy to identify a gay person by his or her DNA. A blood test can show the presence of degeneratism in a person." There was recent outrage in Kazakhstan after a gay club poster in the city of Almaty depicted a gay kiss between Russian poet Alexander Pushkin and Kazakh composer Kurmangazy Sagyrbayuly.


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