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WORLD School items, Olympics, Angola law, Dutch senate
by Windy City Times staff

This article shared 835 times since Sun Feb 14, 2021
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Toronto's Catholic school board reinstated the link to an LGBT support phone line on its website following outrage from the community, according to Yahoo! News, citing The Canadian Press. The school board removed LGBT YouthLine from its website recently, citing what it described as "inappropriate material" on the site. YouthLine said the Toronto Catholic District School Board pointed to an article that claimed the group linked to pornography on its website; the resource group says this is untrue and amounts to "overt homophobia and transphobia."

Students at the Seaford Head School in the United Kingdom announced in a letter that they're going to rename all the student houses at the school because one of them is named after J.K. Rowling, explaining the change on "her recent words about the trans community," LGBTQ Nation noted. The letter also cited Winston Churchill, who the students said "promoted racism and inequality, unfairly imprisoning and torturing many." The Seaford Head School has four student houses; they're named after Rowling, Churchill, Florence Nightingale and Nelson Mandela.

In a joint statement from All Out, Human Rights Watch, Athlete Ally and the Japan Alliance for LGBT Legislation, the organizations urged the international community to put pressure on Japan's government to pass an Equality Act that includes protections for LGBTQ+ people before the Summer Olympics, which are scheduled to take place July 23-Aug. 8 in Tokyo and the surrounding area, The Advocate reported. "The Olympic Charter bans 'discrimination of any kind,' including on the grounds of sexual orientation," the statement read. "And while the Tokyo Metropolitan Government adopted an ordinance that protects LGBT+ people from discrimination in 2018, several Olympic competitions will take place outside of Tokyo."

Tokyo 2020 Olympics chief, Yoshiro Mori, said he will resign due to the fallout after sexist remarks he made at a meeting were leaked to the public, reported. Mori expressed his "deepest apologies," acknowledging that his "inappropriate statement has caused a lot of chaos." Mori, a former Japanese prime minister originally said that "board meetings with lots of women take longer" because "women are competitive. If one member raises their hand to speak, others might think they need to talk too," according to reports in the Japanese press.

A new law decriminalizing same-sex sexual relations has gone into effect in Angola, according to . The new law overturned a colonial-era "vice against nature" provision that was seen as a ban on same-sex relations. The changes were passed in January 2019 by Angola's parliament, but was not signed into law by the country's president until November 2020. The new law also prohibits discrimination based upon a person's sexual orientation.

The Dutch Senate overwhelmingly backed changing the Dutch constitution to ban discrimination on grounds of disability or sexual orientation, reported. The upper house voted 58-15 to extend Article 1 of the constitution, which explicitly forbids discrimination on grounds of religion, conscience, political affiliation, race or sex. The measure—proposed by the D66, Labour (PvdA) and GroenLinks—had already been approved by the lower house.

Proposed changes to the legal code in Spain would allow transgender people to change the gender on official government identification more easily and participate in sports according to their registered gender rather than the gender assigned at birth, according to an item that cites El Pais. Other proposed changes would levy fines for people promoting or selling conversion therapy, as well as provide a host of other LGBTQ+ protections. A bill entitled the Law for Real and Effective Equality for Trans People was drafted by the Equality Ministry and would allow people 16 or older to change their gender with only a sworn statement rather than the two years of therapy and hormone treatment now required. Euroweekly earlier reported a separate proposed law from the ministry would levy heavy fines for offering conversion therapy.

The reigning Miss Great Britain, Jen Atkin, recently told The Sun she is bisexual and has been attracted to girls she was a teen, noted. "I watched wrestling with my brother and I was obsessed with the divas in their tiny shorts," said Atkin. "I would also fancy his girlfriends which is something I've never admitted before." Her title reign as Miss Great Britain—which was originally for 2020—was extended due to the global pandemic, and Atkin has used the extra time to fight misconceptions, adding that she finds it "hurtful" that many men seem only interested in asking about threesomes when learning she is bisexual.

Malay territory Putrajaya is opposing a call by U.S. President Joe Biden for the superpower's agencies to protect the rights of sexual and gender minorities globally, Malay Mail reported. Malay daily Berita Harian reported religious affairs minister Datuk Zulkifli Mohamad as saying that the LGBTQ community is "violating the norms" of human behavior. Zulkifli however said that he is reserving his opposition for intersex persons, who he said are recognized by the Muslim faith and, therefore, should not be lumped together in the LGBTIQ category.

In Canada, Emera announced the creation of the Emera Inclusion & Diversity Fund, Business Wire noted. Emera and its operating companies plan to collectively invest a minimum of $5 million over the next five years to support organizations and initiatives advancing inclusion and diversity. As part of the fund, Emera and Nova Scotia Power are contributing to the Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia (ISANS) to establish Youth Explore! programming. YouthExplore! participants will learn about culture, rights, and responsibilities in Canada, and develop their skills in areas including digital literacy and resume writing.

Chloe Zhao's road movie Nomadland won three honors, including Film of the Year, at the 41st London Critics' Circle Film Awards (held virtually), Deadline reported. Frances McDormand was named Actress of the Year, while writer-director Zhao won Screenwriter of the Year. Steve McQueen was presented with Director of the Year for his five Small Axe films, and the late Chadwick Boseman won Actor of the Year for Ma Rainey's Black Bottom. (Co-star Coleman Domingo accepted Boseman's award via video.)

Actor Pedro Pascal's sibling, Lux, came out as a trans woman on the cover of a Chilean magazine—and Pedro has been very supportive, LGBTQ Nation noted. "Mi hermana, mi corazon, nuestra Lux [my sister, my heart, our Lux]," Pedro wrote in a post to Instagram sharing a photo of Lux, who came out with an appearance on the cover of Revista Ya. Lux is currently residing in New York and studying at Julliard; she's known for appearing on the Chilean television show Los 80, the Amazon Prime series La Jauría (or The Pack), the miniseries Juana Brava and alongside her brother on Narcos.

French soccer player Yann Songo'o faces up to a 12-game suspension for hurling a homophobic slur against a competing player during a game last month, noted. Songo'o, of The Football Association's (FA) League Two team Morcambe FC, was handed a red card and dismissed from the Jan. 30 game after he was captured on tape uttering the word "f****t" during an injury timeout. Songo'o has until Wed., Feb. 24, to formally respond to the charge of an "aggravated breach."

A religious leader in Iran told his followers that the COVID-19 vaccine is capable of turning people gay, LGBTQ Nation reported. "Don't go near those who have had the COVID vaccine," wrote Ayatollah Abbas Tabrizian of Qom on the instant messaging platform Telegram, according to the Saudi broadsheet Arab News. "They have become homosexuals." Incredibly, Tabrizian is not the only one who has expressed such thoughts; last month, Israeli Rabbi Daniel Asor said the same thing.

Quirky, fan-favorite queen Ginny Lemon—whose discussion of their nonbinary identity had an emotional impact on the Drag Race family—made a shocking exit from RuPaul's Drag Race UK, walking off the set and refusing to lip-sync for their life after landing in the bottom two, noted. Lemon had landed in the bottom two against their close friend, Sister Sister, who shared an emotional moment with Lemon in the Werk Room prior to hitting the runway in Monster Mash-Up couture.

British thespian Golda Rosheuvel—best known for playing Queen Charlotte on the hit Netflix series Bridgerton—told Page Six how she's "proud" to be gay, LGBTQ Nation noted. "There's not a lot of us around who are gay, female, Black—and I'm very privileged and blessed to be one of them," she said. Rosheuvel lives with her partner, writer Shireen Mula, who she said "struggles to get work seen."

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, won a privacy claim in her case against a tabloid newspaper that published a handwritten letter to her estranged father, Thomas Markle, noted. The judge in the case issued a summary judgement, which will avoid a full trial. Justice Mark Warby wrote, in part, "She enjoyed a reasonable expectation that the contents would remain private and not be published to the world at large by a national newspaper; the defendant's conduct in publishing the contents of the letter was a misuse of her private information."

Ashley Judd is recovering from a "catastrophic accident" in which she nearly lost her leg and is currently unable to walk, according to Yahoo! News. The actress and United Nations Goodwill Ambassador is in an ICU trauma unit in a South Africa hospital after shattering her leg in four places and suffering nerve damage during a bad fall in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where she has doing bonobo conservation work.

British singer Tom Jones ("What's New, Pussycat?") has released a new single "No Hole In My Head" (from the upcoming album Surrounded by Time) and its accompanying video, a press release noted. "This song is powerful at any age," said Jones. "It's about having confidence in who you are. Particularly during this time of a pervasive, boundless media that can wield so much influence, it's more important than ever to know and be strong in your own self." The video features an impassioned Jones turning the tables on a mysterious shadowy oppressor.

Rita and Grammy-nominated Kazakh DJ/record producer Imanbek have jointly released the EP Bang, according to a press release. The four-track EP is accompanied by a short film which premiered on YouTube and MTV. Directed by Jasmine Loignon, the five-minute film—shot in Bulgaria—incorporates three songs from Bang into a fantasy wonderland. The video is at .

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