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WORLD Adoption ban, trans soldier, Belgium killing, archbishop
by Windy City Times staff
2021-03-14

This article shared 1400 times since Sun Mar 14, 2021
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Same-sex couples will be barred from adopting children in Poland even as single parents, under a new law announced by a nationalist ruling party that has made anti-gay policies a major part of its governing platform, Reuters reported. The announcement is likely to intensify a clash between Poland and the European Union over LGBT rights, which the EU says must be respected in all member states; however, Poland calls LGBT rights a collective threat to its Roman Catholic culture and a purely domestic issue. The Polish government announced its plan for the adoption ban hours before lawmakers in the European parliament adopted a major gay rights resolution that was seen as a direct rebuke to Warsaw's recent policies.

The death of South Korea's first known transgender soldier—discharged last year for undergoing gender-reassignment surgery—has sparked calls from advocacy groups and activists for better protections and acknowledgement of trans residents, NBC News reported. Byun Hui-su, 23, who was a staff sergeant before being discharged, was found dead by emergency officials at her home in the city of Cheongju on March 3. Byun reportedly had been jobless, as all her applications were rejected since she went public when the military discharged her last year after having the operation in Thailand.

In Belgium, three juveniles were arrested for the killing of a gay man they lured to a park using a dating app, out.com noted. According to a report in De Standard, the body of the 42-year-old victim—identified only as David P.—was discovered by a cyclist in a park in Beveren; an autopsy showed the man was violently stabbed and beaten to death. One 17-year-old suspect turned himself into authorities and two others, a 16-year-old and 17-year-old, were later arrested by police who are investigating the murder as a possible hate crime.

In a related matter, the rainbow flag of the LGBT community flew outside the Belgian prime minister's office in relation to the brutal killing, KHON2.com noted. "In our country, there is no place for hatred. Love wins," Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said in a tweet accompanying views of the flag.

The Archbishop of Canterbury condemned his Nigerian counterpart's description of gay people as a "virus," PinkNews reported. In January, the Council of Bishops in the Anglican Church of North America (ACNA) issued an anti-LGBT+ pastoral statement on homosexuality, to act as a set of guidelines for church members across the United States. However, for the Archbishop of Nigeria, Henry Ndukuba, the statement was not homophobic enough, as he recently said, "The deadly 'virus' of homosexuality has infiltrated ACNA." The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby—the symbolic head of the worldwide Anglican Communion as well as the leader of the Church of England—has now condemned Ndukuba's language as "unacceptable."

Britain's government promised to push ahead with a ban on so-called conversion therapy, after three LGBT+ policy advisers questioned ministers' commitment to fulfilling the pledge and resigned in protest, Openly News reported. Junior Equalities Minister Kemi Badenoch angered LGBTQ+-rights advocates by talking of "ending" conversion therapy rather than committing to a legislative ban. But Liz Truss, women and equalities minister, said the government was committed to the pledge it made almost three years ago to outlaw the practice.

A Bangladeshi satellite television station has hired the country's first transgender news anchor, saying it hopes the appointment will help change society, ABC News reported. Tashnuva Anan Shishir, a former rights activist and actress, debuted on Dhaka-based Boishakhi TV on International Women's Day. She read a three-minute news bulletin, and after finishing cried as her colleagues applauded and cheered.

A group of lawmakers in Ghana want to criminalize the promotion of LGBT+ rights—a move that comes weeks after a community center for sexual minorities was shut down following strong opposition from politicians and church organizations, Openly News reported. Parliamentarian Samuel Nartey George, from the opposition National Democratic Congress, said he and seven other members of Parliament hoped their private members' bill to ban LGBT+ advocacy would be passed before the parliamentary session ends March 31.

Italy's Constitutional Court stated the country urgently needs a law on the rights of children of same-sex couples, in a step campaigners said did not go far enough, RFI.fr reported. The court issued rulings in two separate cases: a lesbian couple who had children using medically-assisted reproduction abroad, and two men in a civil partnership who had a child via surrogacy in Canada. In both cases, the court ruled that the children's rights were not sufficiently protected and that parliament needed to pass a law to rectify the situation.

The Delhi high court directed the Delhi Police to provide protection to a lesbian who was forced to live a married life and was threatened to be "cured" of her sexual orientation, The Wire reported. Justice Mukta Gupta said the woman is at liberty to shift to a different location if she wishes to and asked the police to take all necessary steps to provide her protection at her new place. The 23-year-old woman, who was forcibly married to a man in October 2019 despite her parents being aware of her sexual orientation, said in the plea that she tried multiple times to put an end to the relationship.

A gay CNN journalist's own surprises through an at-home DNA test pushed him into the world of podcasting, where he leads others through genealogical revelations, according to the Bay Area Reporter. Samuel Burke—currently stationed in London with CNN's overseas networks—is also planning a streaming series and book companions for "Suddenly Family," which is now available. One DNA surprise yielded a sister of Burke's mother who she had never met or heard of.

In Australia, out news journalist Mark Reddie recalled how he and his friends were victims of a hateful attack during the recent Mardi Gras celebrations in Sydney, out.com noted. While walking along Riley Street in the Darlinghurst neighborhood, Reddie said he and his friends were assaulted with eggs by a group of men in a car; other celebrants were attacked as well. The journalist reported the crime to police, who are asking for help from the public in their investigation. Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade is a hallmark of the Australian LGBTQ+ community, which doubles as a wildly grand celebration of queer pride and their long struggle for acceptance in the nation.

Russian film distributors censored an intimate scene between Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci in the movie Supernova, out.com noted, citing The Moscow Times. Unnamed sources who have viewed the edited version of the 2020 film about a gay couple coming to terms with one partner's early onset dementia, and said at least one scene was removed from the Russian version. The Russian distributor World Pictures reportedly made the cuts out of fear of country's new anti-LGBTQ+ laws that make it illegal to promote homosexuality to children.

Italy's arthouse cinemas marked International Women's Day (March 8) by symbolically reopening to stage "closed door" screenings of films and documentaries directed by female filmmakers in empty venues across the country, Variety noted. In a statement, the country's association of arthouse cinemas, called FICE, noted that besides being International Women's Day, March 8, 2021, also marks exactly one year from the date in 2020 when Italian cinemas were forced to shutter due to the coronavirus crisis. Thus, the move was also a preamble of sorts to the possible real opening of some Italian movie theaters later this month.

Italian actor, model, singer, entrepreneur and actor (Netflix's 365 Days) Michele Morrone released his new single "Beautiful," accompanied by a cinematic music video, a press release noted. His debut album, Dark Room, spawned a string of singles, including "Hard For Me," "Feel It," "Watch Me Burn" and the title track. The video is at www.youtube.com/watch .


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