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WORLD Church leaders, Amnesty International, students
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2020-10-26

This article shared 2207 times since Mon Oct 26, 2020
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Pope Francis included a U.S. archbishop who has made several strong, positive statements about LGBTQ people in the group of 13 church leaders named cardinals; there are also a bishop from the island nation of Malta who also has an LGBTQ-positive record was also named as well as a bishop from Albano, Italy, a New Ways Ministry press release noted. Archbishop Wilton Gregory, who heads the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., is the first Black bishop from the States to be named a cardinal. Bishop Mario Grech, who serves at the Vatican as secretary general of the Synod of Bishops office, is formerly the leader of the Diocese of Gozo, Malta. And Bishop Marcello Semeraro—who was just recently appointed to lead the Vatican's Congregation for Causes of Saints—has shown that he is open to discussing LGBTQ issues.

Amnesty International Indonesia criticized the Indonesian Military (TNI) for the recent imprisonment and dismissal of a soldier for having same-sex intercourse with another officer, calling the sentence unjust and dangerous to the community, The Phnom Penh Post reported. Amnesty International Indonesia Executive Director Usman Hamid said in a press statement that the ruling would set a dangerous precedent for other servicemembers thought to have engaged in consensual same-sex activities. The Semarang Military Court declared a chief private, identified only as P, guilty of violating Article 103 of the Military Criminal Code on disobedience to service orders, after being found having sex with a subordinate in the Armed Forces.

The Trump administration is reportedly considering declaring that several prominent international NGOs—including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and Oxfam—are anti-Semitic and that governments should not support them, Politico noted. If the declaration happens, it is likely to cause an uproar among civil society groups and might spur litigation. Critics of the possible move also worry it could lead other governments to further crack down on such groups.

A group of Canadian schoolboys wore skirts to school recently to protest systemic forms of oppression against queer students, along with a dress code that inhibits freedom of express for queer students, Out.com noted. Criticizing the double standard "on the way society views our women and men," student Zachary Paulin wrote on Instagram that he organized the skirt-wearing protest at College Nouvelles Frontieres, in Gatineau, Quebec, as "a sign of resilience, solidarity, and support to the intersectional battle for gender equality." Paulin told the CBC he was inspired after watching similar protests by students in Montreal-area schools who objected to disparities in dress code rules between male and female students.

In England, students were left feeling "threatened" and unsafe after a LGBT university association Zoom meeting was "hijacked" by more than 15 people shouting "homophobic slurs," the BBC reported. The online meeting at Durham University was disrupted with loud music, shouted abuse and "sexually explicit videos," say LGBT groups at the university. Durham University said such behavior "will not be tolerated."

Following a landslide victory for Jacinda Ardern's Labour Party, the New Zealand parliament is set to become the gayest ever, Out.com noted. Labour easily won 64 out of 120 seats in the national election, enabling Ardern to form the first single-party government since 1996. An expected 12 of the country's 120 ministers of parliament (MP) will be LGBTQ+, meaning the new parliament will have the highest percentage of out queer representation anywhere in the world, beating the United Kingdom's previous high of 7 percent.

The chief minister of the Australian Capital Territory celebrated his Labour Party's recent election victory by sharing a very big and very public kiss with his husband, Out.com noted. Andrew Barr—the country's first and only out leader of a state or territory—kissed his longtime partner and new husband, Anthony Toms, after being elected to a sixth consecutive term in office. The victory assures another four years for his Labour government, while the kiss was met with support and celebration.

Myo Min Htun is bidding to be elected as Myanmar's first openly gay lawmaker next month, Reuters noted. Min Htun said he would fight for change and LGBT+ equality if elected Nov. 8 to the regional parliament in Mandalay, Myanmar's second-largest city. His candidacy has raised hopes among members of the country's LGBT+ community—many of whom still keep their sexual identity under wraps due to British colonial-era legislation that criminalizes gay sex.

A Chilean LGBTQ advocacy group withdrew from an agreement it reached with the country's government over marriage and adoption rights for same-sex couples, The Washington Blade reported. In 2012, the Movement for Homosexual Integration and Liberation (Movilh) filed a lawsuit with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on behalf of three same-sex couples who were seeking marriage rights in Chile; a law that allows gay men and lesbians to enter into civil unions took effect in 2015. "If [President Sebastian Pinera] reverses course, we are willing to resume the dialogue with the government to reactivate the agreement that the State signed with Movilh," said Movilh spokesperson Oscar Rementeria in a press release.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) and EQUAL GROUND said that Sri Lankan authorities have subjected at least seven people to forced physical examinations since 2017 in an attempt to provide proof of homosexual conduct, according to HRW's website. "No one should be arrested, let alone subjected to torture and sexual violence, because of their perceived sexual orientation," said Neela Ghoshal, associate LGBT rights director at HRW. "Sri Lanka's Justice Ministry should immediately bar judicial medical officers from conducting forced anal examinations, which flagrantly violate medical ethics as well as basic rights."

In France, a father threatened to kill his 19-year-old daughter when she came out to him on the phone—and then drove 500 miles without stopping to confront her, LGBTQ Nation noted. The man, 52, would later tell investigators that he was trembling with anger when his daughter came out to him; the daughter said that he threatened to kill her during their phone conversation. His daughter, her girlfriend, and her mother have filed criminal complaints against the man, l'Independant reported.

In Britain, a Black gay dad has written his own story book after being disappointed by the lack of diversity in traditional tales, PinkNews noted. Leon Wenham explained that he wrote You, Me and Lots and Lots of Love because he never saw his family structure reflected in books he would read to his 5-year-old son, who he adopted as a single parent last year. The title of the upcoming self-published book, he explained, is "something I say to my beautiful son quite a lot: 'In our home there's you, me and lots and lots of love.'"

Pornographic deep fakes being weaponized at an alarming scale, with at least 104,000 women targeted by a bot operating on the messaging app Telegram since July, Wired reported. The bot is used by thousands of people every month who use it to create nude images of friends and family members—some of whom appear to be under 18. Unlike other non-consensual explicit deep-fake videos, which have racked up millions of views on porn websites, these images require no technical knowledge to create.

Australian actor Hugh Sheridan discused his sexuality in the magazine Stellar, Queerty noted. Sheridan penned an essay for the magazine to explain why he had previously declined to talk about his love life, saying he was bullied as a child and was urged by mentors (some gay) to stay closeted. He added he had a relationship with a man when younger, but is currently single, "and everyone is on the smorgasbord!"

In The Netherlands, a gay penguin couple at Amersfoort's Dierenpark zoo stole the complete nest of another couple—who happen to be a lesbian duo, DutchNews.nl noted. Last year the same African penguin couple took an egg from another penguin family, "acquiring" it at a moment when no one was looking.That egg failed to produce a chick and the couple remained childless. This latest theft is also unlikely to result in a chick, since the lesbian couple's egg was unfertilized.


This article shared 2207 times since Mon Oct 26, 2020
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