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WORLD Taiwan marriages, Nigeria court, protests, GQ Awards
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2020-11-02

This article shared 632 times since Mon Nov 2, 2020
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Two women became the first military officers to marry their same-sex civilian partners at a mass military wedding in Taiwan—marking another landmark for LGBTQ+ rights in Asia, CNN.com reported. The island's defense ministry called it an "open and progressive" move and gave its blessings to all 188 couples married during the annual mass wedding in Taiwan, considered a beacon of liberalism in Asia.

A judge in a Nigerian court dismissed a case against 47 men charged with public displays of affection with members of same sex, ending what had widely been seen as a test of the country's laws banning homosexual relationships, Reuters reported. The men were arrested in a police raid on a Lagos hotel in the city's Egbeda district in 2018. The Nigerian law banning gay marriage—punishable by up to 14 years in prison, and same-sex "amorous relationships"—prompted an international outcry when it came into force under former President Goodluck Jonathan in 2014.

The anti-government protests in Thailand and Indonesia have seen LGBTQI activists taking center stage in the fight for democratic reforms and human rights, The Star Observer reported. Recently, a group of 71 organizations and 152 activists from across the world signed a joint statement and expressed solidarity with their "LGBTQI siblings" in Thailand and Indonesia. Although homosexuality is legal in most parts of Indonesia, except a few provinces, in recent years human-rights organizations have condemned the crackdown on the community.

Soccer player Leon Goretzka, supermodel Claudia Schiffer, fashion designer Jean Paul Gaultier, novelist Kimberly Jones, actor Zachary Quinto and actor Jannis Niewohner were recently honored at the GQ Men of the Year Awards 2020 in Munich, Germany, a press release noted. (Actor Jim Parsons—who co-stars with Quinto in the Netflix movie The Boys in the Band—presented his award.) This year's award winners are also featured in the new December issue of GQ with portraits and exclusive interviews, and the cover features out gay actor Quinto.

In the Philippines, Manila Mayor Isko Moreno signed Ordinance No. 8695, or the Manila LGBTQI Protection Ordinance of 2020, Rappler reported. The ordinance bans discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity expression. It defined discrimination as: "Any distinction, exclusion, restriction, or other differential treatment that is directly or indirectly based on sexual orientation, gender identity and expression which has the intention or effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise on an equal footing of political, civil, economic, social, and cultural rights."

A petition by the non-parliamentary Estonian Greens party calling for the Family Act to be amended to allow for same-sex marriages has been signed by 14,500 people and will be debated in the Riigikogu, Estonian Public Broadcasting reported. Once the appeal has been handed over, the parliament checks whether it complies with the law. After that, the Board of the Riigikogu appoints a steering committee that will discuss the appeal.

In Japan, an online survey revealed that approximately a quarter of LGBT people in Japan have experienced outing, or had their sexual orientation or gender identity disclosed to others without their consent, Kyodo News noted. Also according to the survey, about two-thirds of the 10,769 respondents in their teens through their 70s felt society was more "respectful" toward LGBT people than five years ago. However, nearly 80 percent of those who were employed said they have heard anti-LGBT words.

A Canadian transgender woman is suing a beauty pageant company for refusing to allow her to compete in its contest, The New York Post noted. Jessica Yaniv, a transgender LQBTQ-rights activist, filed a human-rights complaint against Toronto's Canada Galaxy Pageants, alleging it is in violation of the Ontario Human Rights Code. She is seeking $10,000 in damages for "injury to dignity and feelings" and wants Ontario's Human Rights Tribunal to rule that organizations cannot refuse service to someone based on their genitals, the conservative organization the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedom announced.

Hundreds of locals took to streets in Italy to demonstrate for a bill that would make anti-LGBT violence a hate crime leading to harsher penalties in comparison to the existing punishments under the current law, WioNews.com reported. The demonstrators came out to request the government to roll out the long-overdue measures to provide basic human rights and safety from the attacks that the LGBT community faces in the country.

The BBC has asked some of its staff not to attend LGBT+ Pride or Black Lives Matter events, for fear they are "political," Gay Star News reported. The new impartiality rules apparently apply to those BBC staff who are supposed to remain "politically neutral," typically meaning news and current affairs staff. Leading LGBT+ campaigners have attacked the policy after iNews broke the story. However, the BBC clarified it was not a blanket ban but that staff should seek permission before attending potentially "controversial" events—although the BBC itself recognized the ban may be wider than this.

The Taiwan Tongzhi Hotline Association (TTHA) said it is one of 70 LGBTQ+ support groups worldwide to have received funding from Google.org, a charitable arm of the tech giant, Taiwan News reported. Google.org has allocated more than $1.2 million US in funds for global LGBTQ+ advocacy groups this year. TTHA did not disclose how much it has received from the organization.

This year's Olivier Award winners have been revealed, WhatsOnStage.com noted. In the acting categories, Sharon D. Clarke and Andrew Scott picked up the top prizes for their performances in Death of a Salesman and Present Laughter, respectively. In the musical categories, Miriam-Teak Lee won for her titular turn in new jukebox show & Juliet, while Sam Tutty won an Olivier for playing Evan Hansen in Broadway import Dear Evan Hansen. In addition, Emilia won for Best Entertainment or Comedy Play, while Cyrano de Bergerac won for Best Play Revival. The Society of London Theatre presents these awards annually to recognize excellence in professional theater in London.

Jersey Boys will return to London's West End next spring, WhatsOnStage.com noted. The jukebox musical will reopen the Trafalgar Theatre, which is a rechristened version of Trafalgar Studios. The space will once more return to a single auditorium configuration. Tickets are on sale now. The musical features the tunes of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons such as "Beggin'," "Sherry," "Walk Like a Man," "1963 (Oh What a Night)" and "Big Girls Don't Cry."


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