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Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-02-22



WORLD Church of England, Japanese officials, Hong Kong ruling, drag kings
by Windy City Times staff

This article shared 1757 times since Sat Feb 11, 2023
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The Church of England has voted to bless same-sex marriages for the first time in its history; however, its ban on conducting ceremonies will stay in place, PinkNews reported. It was approved after a six-year consultation period, with all three houses—bishops, clergy and house of laity—of the Synod voting in favor of the blessings. The archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell, celebrated the development, telling the Synod that same-sex couples "could now come to church and have that relationship acknowledged, celebrated and the couple receive a blessing."

Japanese LGBTQ+ people and rights groups condemned a discriminatory remark by a senior aide of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida as well as one by Kishida himself, demanding his government enact laws to ban discrimination against sexual minorities, legalize same-sex marriage and guarantee equal rights before Japan hosts a Group of Seven (G-7) summit in May, ABC News reported. Their comments followed remarks from Kishida aide Masayoshi Arai, who was fired after telling reporters he wouldn't want to live next to LGBTQ+ people and that citizens would flee Japan if same-sex marriage was allowed. And Kishida himself has said that same-sex marriage is "an issue that must be examined extremely carefully."

Hong Kong's highest court made a landmark ruling that will allow trans people to change their gender on identity cards without undergoing surgery, PinkNews reported. Trans activist Henry Edward Tse and another trans man, only identified as "Q," filed a legal challenge in 2019 against the government's current policy that trans people can only update their gender on ID cards if they undergo certain gender-affirming surgeries. In its ruling, the Court of Final Appeal ruled found the surgical requirement unconstitutional, saying the policy imposed an "unacceptably harsh burden on the individuals concerned."

Brazil recently held its first in-person drag-king contest, according to Reuters. The King of Kings competition, which took place in Sao Paolo, was the first of its kind and 15 drag kings from around the country competed for the title. The first competition had been planned in 2020, but was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic; it was held virtually in 2021. Drag kings are mostly female or transgender performers playing exaggerated male characters, but the contest is open to anyone.

One of the films being shown at the Berlin International Film Festival, or Berlinale, is the LGBTQ+ film Silver Haze, per a press release. The film's logline states, "23-year-old Franky is a nurse who lives with her large family in an East London borough. Obsessed with a thirst for revenge and a need to assign guilt for a traumatic event that happened 15 years before, she is unable to build any meaningful relationship until she falls in love with one of her patients—Florence. They escape to the coast where Florence lives with her more open-minded patchwork family. There, Franky finds the emotional shelter to deal with the grudges of the past." Berlinale runs Feb. 16-26.

The Annual Human Rights Watch Canada Film Festival (HRWFF), in partnership with Hot Docs Cinema, will be held March 8-19—March 8-12 in-person at the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema, and March 13-19 on Hot Docs' digital platform, Human Rights Watch noted. Among the films being screened is Juliana Curi's Uyra: The Rising Forest (on March 11); the film is about Uyra, a trans Indigenous artist who travels through the Amazon on a journey of self-discovery using performance art to teach Indigenous youth that they are the guardians of ancestral messages of the Amazon forest.

The government of Sri Lanka said it supports a bill that would decriminalize consensual same-sex sexual relations in the country, The Washington Blade noted. "There is a private member bill initiated by Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) Government MP and attorney Premnath C. Dolawatte," Foreign Affairs Minister Ali Sabry told the Daily Morning, a Sri Lankan publication. "The government will support its position of decriminalizing same-sex relationships. We are, however, not legalizing same-sex marriages."

The European Court of Human Rights rejected a challenge to French law by an individual who sought to have their birth certificate changed to recognize them as neutral or intersex, reported. The Strasbourg court said French authorities had not violated the European Convention on Human Rights in denying the person's request. Medical certificates indicate that the individual, born in 1951, was biologically determined to be intersex not long after birth and this status had not been altered.

In the United Kingdom, trans women Alice Litman died by suicide at age 20—and her parents have said she died partly because of the inaccessibility of gender-affirming healthcare, per The Washington Blade. The BBC reported that an inquest is to be held into the death of Litman, who died by suicide while on a National Health Service waiting list for almost three years for gender-affirming healthcare. The clinic's website recently showed the waiting list to be more than 11,000 people long.

A trans couple in India have made history as the first in the country to become biological parents, PinkNews reported. Trans woman dancer Ziya Paval and her partner, trans man Zahad, welcomed their baby into the world in Kozhikode. Zahad, an accountant, plans to go back to work after two months while Paval takes care of their child.

PinkNews recently ran an article spotlighting the South African queer-rights activist Simon Nkoli (1957-98). Nkoli—who died of an AIDS-related illness—dedicated his life to fighting injustices brought against people because of their race, sexual orientation and HIV status. Among many other accomplishments, he founded the Gay and Lesbian Organisation of the Witwatersrand (GLOW), which organized South Africa's first LGBTQ+ Pride parade in 1990. Unlike the Gay Association of South Africa (GASA), which he temporarily joined in 1983, GLOW took active steps to fight the injustices of apartheid and it included Black leaders.

A gay man (identified only in the press as Aziz M.) is suing Canada's federal government, alleging that its restrictions on gay and bisexual male sperm donation are unconstitutional, LGBTQ Nation noted. Health Canada's current policies ban men who have sex with men (MSM) from donating to a sperm bank unless they've abstained from sex for three months or are donating sperm to someone they personally know, CTV News reported. Aziz's lawsuit says the policy "perpetuates stereotypical attitudes and prejudices against gay and bisexual men, including false assumptions about their health, their sexual practices, and their worthiness to participate in child conception."

Keegan Hirst stepped out onto a rugby league field in a competitive fixture for the first time in nearly three years when the Batley Bulldogs opened the Championship season at the London Broncos, according to Love Rugby League and other media outlets. Hirst, 34, made history in 2015 when he became the first British professional rugby league player to come out as gay. Hirst announced his retirement after the 2020 season, which he had started at Halifax, was canceled due to coronavirus. The same year, the French team The Catalans Dragons stirred controversy with the signing of Australia international Israel Folau, who was previously fired by Rugby Australia for making homophobic comments on social media.

In the United Kingdom, a new organization will help young trans people and their families across the world with the costs of gender-affirming healthcare, according to PinkNews. GenderGP, an online private clinic that offers gender-affirming care to trans people worldwide, is launching its GenderGP Fund with trans advocate Susie Green, the former CEO of Mermaids. "It's not a neutral option to withhold treatment, and we know it basically costs kids' lives," Green told PinkNews. "As a parent who went through that, watching my kids suffer, I think it's appalling that children are being used as a political target."

UK sports stars and newlywed couple Anita Asante and Beth Fisher (who wed Jan. 20) announced they're expecting a baby, The Advocate noted. Asante played soccer for Chelsea, Arsenal, Aston Villa, and the British national team for 20 years, retiring last April, according to PinkNews. Fisher was a hockey player in Wales for 15 years, has served on governing bodies for various sports and joined ITV Cymru Wales as an on-air sports reporter in 2019.

Queer Vancouver-based singer Mathew V announced Anything Goes—a new record that seeks to reframe the assumed heteronormative narratives of the Great American Songbook, according to a press release. Due out April 14 on 604 Records, Anything Goes takes on standards by the likes of Cole Porter, George Gershwin and Henry Mancini and draws out queer perspectives from their lyrics.

The only Black designer belonging to Italy's fashion council withdrew from Milan Fashion Week, citing a lack of commitment to diversity and inclusion—and announced a hunger strike out of concern that other minority designers associated with her will suffer backlash, USA Today noted. Stella Jean told The AP that the Italian National Fashion Chamber had significantly cut back support for the We Are Made in Italy collective of young designers of color working in Italy after she made an impassioned speech last September about the personal price she had paid for highlighting racial injustice in the country. Italian Fashion Chamber President Carlo Capasa told the AP that he regretted Jean's decision, adding that the final fashion week calendar was "full of diversity."

Spanish fashion designer Paco Rabanne, known for his industrial couture, died at age 88, Vogue noted. "I am deeply saddened by the passing of Mr. Paco Rabanne. The history of Puig and Paco Rabanne began in the late 1960s with the launch of Calandre," Puig Chairman and CEO Marc Puig said in a statement. Rabanne came of age as a couturier during the 1960s, creating futuristic clothing of hammered metal, paper and pliable plastics. At the 2023 Grammys, rapper Cardi B paid tribute to the designer with a silver metal dress.

Sex on gay cruises shouldn't be filmed and posted online, according to a new warning from Royal Caribbean and Atlantis Events, according to Out. A new amendment has been added to the guest handbook of passengers aboard the Harmony of the Seas cruise ship who are attending the latest Atlantis gay cruise event. According to this notice, guests who "post or publish an explicit and publicly visible photo or video will be asked to leave the ship with no refund." This includes public social media networks as well as paywall pages like OnlyFans and JustForFans.

U.S. musician Phoebe Bridgers recently led an expletive-filled rant against anti-gay Australian tennis great Margaret Court, Stereogum noted. "So, Margaret Court," Bridgers told the crowd while playing a show at an arena named after Court. "F—k that stupid-ass, dumbass bitch. F—k that stupid c—t. Change your name!" After leading a chant of "F—k Margaret Court!" she continued, "I think hate is undervalued. I think it's like a fucking weird, white supremacist idea that hate is bad, or something?"

This article shared 1757 times since Sat Feb 11, 2023
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