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  WINDY CITY TIMES

WORLD Dutch apology, Swiss gov't, Victory Institute, 'Queer Japan'
by Windy City Times Staff
2020-12-07

This article shared 1168 times since Mon Dec 7, 2020
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The Dutch government issued a formal apology to transgender and intersex citizens who were required to undergo sterilization surgeries to legally change their gender and agreed to compensate some of those who underwent the procedures, The Washington Blade reported. The law, which was in place from 1985 to 2014, mandated that trans and intersex people had to undergo sterilization surgeries to change their official gender registration. The government agreed to pay 5,000 euros (about $6,070) each to about 2,000 trans people who had the sterilization surgeries.

In Switzerland, the Senate (like the House of Representatives before it) voted in favor of "marriage for all," according to SwissInfo.ch. The legislative proposal also foresees allowing lesbian couples access to sperm donation, facilitated citizenship for partners and co-adoption rights. The Netherlands was the first country in the world to allow same-sex marriage, back in 2001.

LGBTQ Victory Institute announced that Pennsylvania state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta was slated to receive its 2020 Tammy Baldwin Breakthrough Award and Mexican Congresswoman Ana Lucia Riojas the inaugural Global Trailblazer Award, a press release noted. Both recipients received the honor and award at the virtual International LGBTQ Leaders Conference, which took place Dec. 3-5. The Tammy Baldwin Breakthrough Award was presented by U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin on Dec. 3 and the Global Trailblazer Award by Peruvian Congressman Alberto de Belaunde on Dec. 4.

Following a successful run on the global film-festival circuit, Altered Innocence has announced the North American release of Graham Kolbeins' feature debut, Queer Japan, a press release noted. The colorful and vibrant documentary will be available in the US and Canada on Dec. 11 via Theatrical At Home and on Digital HD, including Apple TV, Prime Video and Google Play. The documentary profiles individuals from across the spectrum, including drag queen Vivienne Sato, erotic-manga artist Gengoroh Tagame, butoh dancer Atsushi Matsuda, multimedia artist Nogi Sumiko, HIV+ advocate Hiroshi Hasegawa, activist Akira the Hustler, and transgender author Tomato Hatakeno.

Magnolia Pictures will release the film Two of Us in theaters and On Demand on Feb. 5, 2021, a press release noted. The movie—France's official submission for Best International Feature Film at the 93rd Academy Awards—centers on two retired women, Nina and Madeleine (played by Barbara Sukowa and Martine Chevallier), who have been secretly in love for decades; an unforeseen event turns their relationship upside down and leads Madeleine's daughter to gradually unravel the truth about them.

In the book The Glamour Boys: The Secret Story of the Rebels who Fought for Britain to Defeat Hitler, Chris Bryant tells how the several gay and bi members of a group of rebels drew the prime minister's ire—for being among the first to sound the alarm about Adolf Hitler's fascist threat, a Reuters item noted. Dismissed as "glamour boys" and warmongers, their warnings initially fell on deaf ears. At a time when gay sex was still illegal in Britain, their decision to break ranks with then prime minister Neville Chamberlain's policy of appeasing Hitler in the 1930s was all the more courageous, said Bryant.

A retired doctor has filed a new legal challenge to force the Singapore government to either fully enforce or introduce legislation to scrap a colonial-era law that can jail men for engaging in same-sex relations, Openly News reported. Tan Seng Kee—a prominent LGBTQ+ advocate also known as Roy Tan—launched his legal bid in Singapore's High Court to target a section of the country's penal code, known as Section 377A, that criminalizes gay sex. Section 377A can imprison men for engaging in gay sex for up to two years, although prosecutions are rare in the modern but socially conservative city-state.

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation—the educational arm of the organization—launched its fourth annual HRC Equidad MX: Programa Global de Equidad Laboral, a survey evaluating LGBT workplace inclusion within major Mexican businesses and multinationals, a press release noted. This year, 212 employers have earned top ratings in the 2021 HRC Equidad MX report, a 77% increase over last year's total of 120. The HRC Equidad MX program is modeled after HRC's Corporate Equality Index.

A former employee at a Japanese company reached a rare settlement with the company, according to Queerty. The man in question was outed as gay by his boss to his fellow employees, and claimed he dealt with discrimination by his co-workers and personally developed mental illness. The Japanese Times reported that the firm has pledged to pay damages to the employee under a new law banning LGBTQ discrimination in Japan; the statute went into effect this past June.

An outspokenly anti-LGBT politician raised eyebrows after a semi-naked man appeared behind him during a Zoom call, The Daily Mail noted. Video showed a document on screen before cutting to Lithuanian MP Petras Grazulis' webcam. Only the top of his head is visible as a topless man peered at the screen over his shoulder. A parliamentary chairman suggested the man was likely a relative assisting the MP with computer troubles.

A senior MEP from Hungary's ruling Fidesz party admitted he took part in a Belgian "lockdown party"—described by local media as "an orgy"—that was broken up by Brussels police, politico.eu reported. Jozsef Szajer said in a statement that he was "present" at the "private party"—at which, according to the Belgian press, police found 25 naked men, including an MEP and a number of diplomats. Szajer said police gave him "an official verbal warning" and took him home. He said he had not taken drugs and added that he was "sorry" and that he "deeply" regretted breaking COVID restrictions. The Hungarian, a long-serving member of Prime Minister Viktor Orban's party, resigned as an MEP two days before his public statement.

British pop-punk star Yungblud discussed an intimate aspect of himself in a recent interview, according to Out.com . While the performer had previously indicated that he was fluid but "more straight," he told Attitude Magazine that things have changed. "I probably would say now, I am polyamorous. Before I didn't f***ing know what I was," he said. Polyamory is in and of itself not a sexuality and is instead having multiple intimate relationships. While the performer isn't quite ready yet to put an exact label on his sexuality, he does consider himself part of the queer community. According to LGBTQ Nation, he credited his ex-girlfriend, the musician Halsey, and his queer fans for helping him to explore and consider his sexuality; Halsey has previously come out as bisexual.

The family of British novelist Roald Dahl—who wrote the children's classics James and the Giant Peach as well as Matilda—quietly apologized for the late writer's "prejudiced" anti-Semitic comments, The New York Post noted. Dahl, who died at age 74 in 1990, had made offensive declarations in several interviews, including a 1983 interview with The New Statesman, reported The Sunday Times of London.

In London, police arrived at singer Rita Ora's 30th-birthday party for allegedly breaking lockdown rules, Page Six noted, citing The Sun. There were allegedly more than 30 people at the gathering, including models Cara and Poppy Delevingne. Nicholas Fallows—who is listed as owner of Casa Cruz restaurant (the site of the event)—told the British tabloid that it was the first he'd heard of the party, as the spot is "owned by shareholders."


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