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  WINDY CITY TIMES

WORLD Court rulings, trans kids' books, activist dies, Naomi Campbell
by Windy City Times staff
2021-03-07

This article shared 1645 times since Sun Mar 7, 2021
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A Chinese court upheld a ruling that a textbook description of homosexuality as "a psychological disorder" was not a factual error but merely an "academic view," according to the South China Morning Post. The Chinese LGBT community and the 24-year-old woman who filed the lawsuit expressed disappointment at the decision, handed down recently by the Suqian Intermediate People's Court in the eastern province of Jiangsu. Ou Jiayong, who also uses the name Xixi, said the court's decision about what constituted a "factual error" was "random and baseless."

A court in Poland acquitted three activists who had been accused of desecration and offending religious feelings for adding the LGBT rainbow to images of a revered Roman Catholic icon, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported. The three women created posters in 2019 that used the rainbows in place of halos in an image of the Virgin Mary and baby Jesus. Their aim was to protest what they considered the hostility of Poland's influential Catholic Church toward LGBT people.

The Taipei High Administrative Court revoked a decision by a household registration office not to permit a same-sex marriage involving a foreign national from a country in which such marriages are illegal, and proposed alternate legal grounds on which the marriage could be performed, FocusTaiwan.tw noted. In the case in question, Taipei's Daan District Household Registration Office refused to permit the marriage of Taiwanese gay-rights activist Chi Chia-wei and his Malaysian partner when they attempted to do so on May 24, 2019. At that time, the office based its decision on Article 46 of the Act Governing the Choice of Law in Civil Matters Involving Foreign Elements, which states that "the formation of a marriage is governed by the national law of each party."

Swedish "rainbow" multimedia company Tallbergs Forlag has published English-language versions of its Perfectly Me series of educational children's books about trans kids, a press release stated. Written by Camilla Gisslow and illustrated by Klaudia Drabikowska, Perfectly Linus, Perfectly Bella and Perfectly Charlie are coming-out stories where each child asserts their chosen gender identity, which is then celebrated with a party at school for their new names. Swedish author, transgender- and LGBTQ+-rights activist, educator and filmmaker Camilla Gisslow created TransForming (Transforming.se), a consulting company that offers lectures and seminars on trans and LGBTQ+ inclusiveness to schools, businesses and organizations, including the Swedish Armed Forces.

Colin Robinson—an activist who was a pioneer of Trinidad and Tobago's LGBTQ+ community—died in Washington, D.C., of colon cancer at age 58, Newsday.co.tt reported. Robinson was the executive director of the Coalition Advocating for Sexual Inclusion (Caiso): Sex and Gender Justice, which he founded in 2009. Also, he co-founded the Caribbean Forum for Liberation and Acceptance of Genders and Sexualities. Robinson began organizing the LGBT+ community while studying in New York; he co-founded the Audre Lorde Project in 1994 and Caribbean Pride in 1997.

Actor Idris Elba and model Naomi Campbell joined dozens of other British celebrities, designers and politicians in calling for Ghana's president to engage with the country's LGBT+ community in an open letter published on social media, Openly News reported. A public outcry forced the country's first LGBT+ community center to temporarily close to protect its staff and visitors, just three weeks after it had opened. "We see you and we hear you," wrote the 67 signatories of the letter, mostly of Ghanaian heritage, including architect Sir David Adjaye, former Labour Party shadow home secretary Diane Abbott and British Vogue Editor-in-Chief Edward Enninful. LGBTQ+ people face widespread persecution in the West African nation, where gay sex is punishable by up to three years in jail.

In Tunisia, hundreds of protesters took to the streets of the capital of Tunis to demand the release of an LGBTQ-rights and democracy activist sentenced to jail for insulting police officers, the South China Morning Post reported. Rania Amdouni, a 26-year-old LGBTQ-rights campaigner often seen at pro-democracy protests, has been the target of a smear campaign by police unions after taking part in protests against police repression in January. Amdouni's lawyer, Amine Hadiji, recently said Amdouni was sentenced to six months in prison for insulting officers as she tried to lodge a complaint over police intimidation.

LGBT+ people living in a refugee camp in northwestern Kenya urged U.N. officials on Friday to move them to a safer area following a series of homophobic attacks by other residents and locals, Openly News reported. The refugees—from countries including Uganda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo—said a section of the Kakuma camp occupied by 135 LGBT+ refugees had been attacked at least five times since the start of the year. In one incident last month, three gay men needed hospital treatment for burns after attackers set their bedding on fire as they slept.

South African Olympic champion runner Caster Semenya has appealed to the European Court of Human Rights to end "discriminatory" testosterone limits imposed on female athletes, CNN.com reported. Semenya is hyperandrogenous—meaning she has naturally high levels of the male sex hormone—and is fighting against new rules introduced in 2019 by track and field's governing body World Athletics (previously known as the IAAF) that regulate levels of the hormone in female athletes. Semenya won gold running 800 meters at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics; however, the rules mean she will now need to take testosterone-reducing medication in order to compete internationally over distances between 400 meters and one mile—something she has declined to do.

In Australia, thousands gathered inside Sydney cricket ground on Feb. 6 for the city's annual Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras celebration, the BBC reported. People usually line the city's streets for a huge parade, but plans were altered this year over COVID-19 concerns. Some 36,000 attended the stadium event instead, although a small protest march also took place on the usual parade route after health officials issued an exemption.

A first-of-its-kind LGBTQ+ retirement community will open in London later this year, according to out.com . Tonic Housing announced the purchase of 19 one- and two-bedroom flats available to qualified seniors on a shared ownership basis in the Bankhouse retirement development in the Vauxhall section of central London. The purchase of the flats was made possible by a loan from Mayor Sadiq Khan and the city of London.

In Albania, the British embassy in Tirana hoisted the LGBT rainbow flag alongside the national flag, Exit News noted. In a post on Twitter, the embassy stated that it did so as a symbol of solidarity with the LGBT+ community, and commented that it is working to end violence and discrimination against LGBT+ people. Reports state that the situation for LGBT individuals in Albania continues to be hostile.

In India, a 26-year-old French woman accused LGBTQI activist, poet and psychologist Divya Dureja of sexually assaulting her in a resort in North Goa on Feb. 23, The Indian Express reported. Dureja, who was arrested following the woman's complaint filed at the Pernem Police Station, was released on bail by a local court. Dureja has been charged under Section 354 (criminal assault) and Section 342 (wrongful confinement) of the Indian Penal Code.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter's podcast "TV's Top 5," British It's a Sin creator Russell T. Davies talked about his career, his casting decisions and more, out.com noted. As for It's a Sin. "There isn't a second season. It was lovely. It said everything I wanted to say," Davies said. "The only long-running thing I've ever done is Doctor Who—and that's because Doctor Who is designed to be long-running." He said that instead of working on a second season, he's been mentoring others who are developing shows, working as a script editor and writing.

RuPaul's Drag Race U.K. top-four contestant Lawrence Cheney shut down her Twitter account after receiving insulting comments, out.com noted. Cheney, who had fans turn on her, is not the first person involved with Drag Race to depart from social media. In 2020, RuPaul, Michelle Visage and Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman all took steps back.

The French movie Jumbo will play in virtual and physical theaters on March 16, a press release announced. Starring Noemie Merlant, this film focuses on Jeanne, a young woman who prefers tinkering in her bedroom with wires, light bulbs and spare parts, creating miniature versions of theme park rides. During her late-night shifts, she begins spending intimate time with the alluring new Tilt-A-Whirl ride that she decides to call Jumbo. Finding herself seduced by "his" red lights, smooth chrome and oily hydraulics, Jeanne concludes that the thrilling new relationship she wants to pursue is with Jumbo.

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy was found guilty of influence peddling for attempting to bribe a judge, The Daily Beast reported. He was sentenced to three years in prison, with two years suspended. Sarkozy—who led France from 2007 to 2012 and who was nearly as famous for his marriage to Italian starlet Carla Bruni as for his political prowess—can ask for his sentence to be served on house arrest. The prosecution had requested four years in prison for Sarkozy and two of his attorneys. (Also, the former president will face a second trial on March 17, with 13 co-defendants, relating to another financial snafu in which he is accused of fraudulent overspending in his unsuccessful 2012 re-election campaign.)

Reporters Without Borders has filed a criminal complaint in Germany accusing Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and other Saudi officials of committing crimes against humanity in the killing of Jamal Khashoggi and the detention of 34 other journalists, CNN.com reported. The Paris-based media advocacy group said in a statement that it had filed the complaint with a federal court in Karlsruhe, Germany, and was requesting that prosecutors open a formal investigation.

The movie 76 Days—about the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, in Wuhan—is now available On Demand and for digital purchase via Paramount Home Entertainment, a press release noted. The movie, directed by Hao Wu, tells human stories at the center of this pandemic and the 76-day lockdown—including a woman begging in vain to bid a final farewell to her father, a grandpa with dementia searching for his way home, a couple anxious to meet their newborn and a nurse determined to return personal items to families of the deceased.

British broadcaster Channel 4 plans to no longer work with Ant Middleton—the star of its successful SAS: Who Dares Wins show—after his comments on the Black Lives Matter movement and the coronavirus pandemic, Deadline noted. In a now-deleted tweet posted last June, Middleton wrote: "BLM and EDL [English Defence League, a far-right group] are not welcome on our streets, absolute scum. What a great example you are to your future generation. Bravo." Middleton later posted an apology video in which he said he was not referring to the movement as "scum."


This article shared 1645 times since Sun Mar 7, 2021
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