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WORLD Germany's compensation, Lyra McKee, LGBTQ Afghans, tennis player
by Windy City Times staff
2021-09-19

This article shared 633 times since Sun Sep 19, 2021
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Germany has compensated almost 250 people who were prosecuted or investigated under a Nazi-era law criminalizing homosexuality, according to euronews. By September, 317 people had applied for compensation for their persecution, according to the Federal Office of Justice. (They have been paid 860,000 euros, or $1.016 million US.) Fourteen applications are still being processed, eighteen were rejected and thirty-six more were withdrawn, the office said. The so-called "Paragraph 175 law" had remained in force in West Germany in its Nazi-era form until homosexuality was decriminalized in 1969.

Two men have been arrested and charged in connection to the killing of out lesbian journalist Lyra McKee, who was shot to death while covering a riot in Northern Ireland two years ago, according to Gay City News. The arrests followed last year's apprehension of 53-year-old Paul McIntyre, who was charged with murdering McKee. Peter Gearoid Cavanagh, 33, and Jordan Devine, 21, were charged with murder as well as other crimes.

In a letter, a group of six advocacy groups recently urged the Biden administration to develop a 10-point plan to protect LGBTQ Afghans after the Taliban regained control of their country, The Washington Post reported. The Council for Global Equality; the Human Rights Campaign; Immigration Equality; the International Refugee Assistance Project; the Organization for Refuge, Asylum and Migration; and Rainbow Railroad called for his administration to "prioritize the evacuation and resettlement of vulnerable refugee populations, including LGBTQI people, and ensure that any transitory stay in a third country is indeed temporary by expediting refugee processing."

Australia's Samantha Stosur and Chinese player Zhang Shuai paired to win their second Grand Slam women's doubles title as a team with victory at the 2021 US Open, WTATennis.com noted. Number-14 seeds Stosur and Zhang outlasted 11th-seeded U.S. teenagers Coco Gauff and Caty McNally, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 in Arthur Ashe Stadium. According to Yahoo! Sport, Stosur took to social media last year to reveal she's a mother for the first time, announcing partner Liz Astling gave birth to a baby girl.

Russian punk-rock/performance-art group Pussy Riot's 2021 art intervention "Virgin Mary, Please Become a Feminist" will be auctioned off as an NFT on Sept. 29, a press release noted. Nadya Tolokonnikova hand-drawn art pieces that reflect on women's power and the political situation in Russia are placed on top of a copy of Pussy Riot's prison sentence - an exact copy that was given to Nadya while she was locked in cell #309 of Jail Number Six in Moscow. It will be auctioned on SuperRare; visit https://superrare.com/.

A Chinese volleyball athlete took the rare step of publicly revealing she is gay by releasing a marriage-registry-style photo of her and her girlfriend on the social-media platform Weibo, South China Morning Post reported. "She doesn't need to do anything, but I am surrendered time and again. She is the whole part of me, for one year and another," athlete Sun Wenjing wrote. China bans same-sex marriage, and LGBTQ+ people face widespread discrimination in the country despite activists campaigning for years for acceptance and equal rights.

More than 100,000 people have lent support to a measure to ban LGBTQ conversion therapy in New Zealand—which is more backing than any other legislation has, WIONews.com reported. "We've already made history with this movement and we're not even done," said Shaneel Lal, an activist and organizer in the movement to ban conversion practices. "People really and truly care about this because in 2021 it is not appropriate to erase queer identities."

El Salvador President Nayib Bukele said that several constitutional reforms the government will send soon to Congress will not contain decriminalization of abortion, legalization of same-sex marriage or steps to permit euthanasia, Reuters reported. The package of planned measures Bukele received from Vice President Felix Ulloa included the extension and possible early termination of the presidential term and the creation of a new body to replace the electoral tribunal. "I have decided, to dispel ANY DOUBT, NOT TO PROPOSE ANY KIND OF REFORM TO ANY ITEMS RELATED TO the RIGHT TO LIFE (from the moment of conception), to marriage (keeping only the original design, A MAN AND A WOMAN) or to euthanasia," Bukele wrote on his Facebook account, capitalizing certain parts.

A scheduled performance at the Balkan Fair in Turkey by pop-folk singer Vasil Trojanov Boyanov—better known by his stage name Azis—was cancelled after an Islamist conservative newspaper led a campaign against the popular Bulgarian performer, Balkan Insight reported. "Homosexual perverted Azis will take to the stage at a festival organised for local people," said an article that newspaper Yeni Akit published. Azis is a popular Bulgarian LGBTQ music star of Roma origin and an activist for LGBT and Roma rights.

The average person doesn't need a COVID-19 booster yet, an international group of scientists— including two top U.S. regulators—wrote in a scientific journal, NPR noted. The experts reviewed studies of the vaccines' performance and concluded the shots are working well despite the extra-contagious delta variant, especially against severe disease. The opinion piece, published in The Lancet, illustrates the intense scientific debate about who needs booster doses and when.

Hungary's media regulator published guidelines for broadcasters to comply with new LGBTQ+ laws—relegating some films portraying sexual-orientation or gender-identity issues to the same age group restrictions as gory horror movies, Reuters reported. Publication of the guidelines follows the June adoption of a law banning the "display and promotion of homosexuality" among those younger than 18 despite criticism from rights groups and the European Union. Programs depicting what the regulator called the virtues of homosexuality or change of gender would be assigned a higher age rating.

Elton John stated he recently suffered an injury in a fall, and has postponed numerous UK tour dates as he recovers, The Guardian noted. John said, "At the end of my summer break I fell awkwardly on a hard surface and have been in considerable pain and discomfort in my hip ever since. Despite intensive physio and specialist treatment, the pain has continued to get worse and is leading to increasing difficulties moving. I have been advised to have an operation as soon as possible to get me back to full fitness and make sure there are no long-term complications. I will be undertaking a program of intensive physiotherapy that will ensure a full recovery and a return to full mobility without pain."

Former Canada's Drag Race judge Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman discussed his exit from the program, Queerty noted. In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Bowyer-Chapman alleged racism from the Canadian Drag Race producers, as well as a toxic fanbase that rocked him to his core, prompted his abrupt exit from the program. "I came into Canada's Drag Race with a false sense of security because I had built that trust with the producers of the American show," he said, in part. "But this was a different set of producers. And I think they were trying to create something impactful and prove themselves along the way. As so, there are many instances where looking back I should have paid attention to my intuition and spoken up. And I didn't."

Researchers with CSIRO, Australia's national science agency, announced that a soldier fly known for its bright, shimmering colors will be known as Opaluma rupaul—named after RuPaul, NPR noted. Bryan Lessard, an entomologist with CSIRO and a fellow with the National Research Collections Australia, found his inspiration while watching RuPaul host his show, Drag Race, he told The Guardian. This fly is the 50th species Lessard has named, with his first one being the Scaptia beyonceae, which he named after Beyonce in 2011, The Guardian reported.

In London, six-time Academy Award-nominated actress Amy Adams is set to make her West End debut in May, according to WhatsOnStage.com . Adams will take on the role of matriarch Amanda Wingfield in Tennessee Williams' seminal and semi-autobiographical play The Glass Menagerie, which is set to open at the Duke of York's Theatre in London on May 23, 2022.

In Berlin, a mass for leather lovers recently took place, france24.com reported. A translator by profession and two-time Mr Leather Germany, Tyrone Rontgagner has been organizing the concert in the Twelve Apostles Evangelical Chuch to promote everything queer since 2015. For the most recent event he had the blessing of the minister, Burkhard Bornemann—an openly gay and active figure in the local community who provides support for drug addicts and prostitutes.

Georgian chess legend Nona Gaprindashvili—who made history as the world's first female grandmaster—is suing Netflix over the show The Queen's Gambit, alleging the show belittled her career and damaged her reputation with a single sentence, according to NPR. At one point during the series, a radio commentator says, "There's Nona Gaprindashvili, but she's the female world champion and has never faced men." The real Gaprindashvili, now 80, and her legal team call this line "manifestly false ... grossly sexist and belittling." They write in the complaint that by 1968, the year in which this episode is set, she had competed against at least 59 male chess players—including 28 of them simultaneously in one game.

The chairman of Prince Charles' charitable foundation resigned after reports the organization was offered a donation of about $692,000 from a Russian banker seeking British citizenship, USA Today noted. The news marked an escalation in the growing scandal over the workings of the future king's much-praised charitable activities and the aides who have helped him raise millions of pounds for good causes.


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