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Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-09-06



WORLD Trans Pakistanis, new UN expert, Rod Stewart, 'gay tax,' IGLTA
by Andrew Davis

This article shared 2330 times since Thu Oct 19, 2023
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Pakistani authorities have resumed the registration of trans people and issuing identity cards to them after the Supreme Court's Sharia Appellate Bench ruled on the issue last month, The Washington Blade reported. In June, an Islamic court ordered all data-acquisition units to halt the registration of trans people and to issue identity cards only to males or females. In 2009, the Supreme Court extended civil rights to the trans community. Nine years later, Pakistani MPs passed the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, which guaranteed all the rights available for all citizens to trans people and banned any discrimination based on gender identity.

South African activist, academic and writer Graeme Reid has been named the new United Nations Independent Expert on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI), noted. Reid, the third person to hold this position, will succeed the outgoing independent expert, Victor Madrigal-Borloz, who has served since 2017. Reid is currently the director of the LGBT Rights Program at Human Rights Watch in New York. Before joining the organization in 2011, Reid was the founding director of the Gay and Lesbian Archives (now known as The GALA Queer Archive) at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) and a lecturer in LGBT Studies at Yale University.

Legendary British rock singer Rod Stewart rejected an offer to perform in Saudi Arabia—a decision aimed at highlighting what he characterized as the "injustices" prevailing in the country when it comes to queer rights, among other things, according to The Advocate. In a statement on Instagram, Stewart said, "I'm grateful I have the choice whether or not to perform in Saudi Arabia. So many citizens there have extremely limited choices—women, the LGBTQ+ community, the press." In 2022, because of human-rights issues, Stewart turned down a lucrative offer to perform in Qatar ahead of the soccer World Cup hosted by that country.

In the UK, same-sex couples still have to pay thousands of pounds before they can access NHS (National Health Service) fertility treatment, BBC News reported. In England, the NHS will fund in-vitro fertilization (IVF) for opposite-gender couples who have been trying for a baby unsuccessfully for at least two years and meet certain other criteria. However, same-sex couples are often expected to demonstrate their infertility before the NHS will fund IVF—and they must pay privately for three to 12 rounds of artificial insemination. Some people have called the need to privately fund rounds of artificial insemination a "gay tax" and urged the government to follow through on its promise to "remove financial barriers."

The International LGBTQ+ Travel Association (IGLTA) wrapped up its largest convention in its 40-year history with more than 700 attendees from 36 countries and territories attending the event in San Juan, Puerto Rico, per a press release. It was the IGLTA Global Convention's return to the Caribbean for the first time since 1985. "IGLTA's 40th Anniversary Global Convention was a resounding success, and a showcase for the resilience, creativity and diversity of the LGBTQ+ travel community," said IGLTA President/CEO John Tanzella. "We could not be more proud of our return to the Caribbean to celebrate the importance of global LGBTQ+ travel and tourism." Discover Puerto Rico was a key partner in the success of the convention.

A report concluded that Uruguay, Luxembourg, Brazil, Norway, Colombia, Malta and Chile are the countries that best uphold the human rights of their LGBTQ+ citizens, according to The 19th. The United States scored a C or "resisting" grade when it comes to LGBTQ+ rights on the Franklin & Marshall Global Barometers Report (at The annual study, conducted by a partnership led by Franklin & Marshall College, gave more than half of the world—62 percent —an F. The report ranked the United States 31 out of 136 countries, based on more than 167,000 queer people surveyed worldwide.

In Japan, the Shizuoka Family Court ruled that the country's requirement that trans people be surgically sterilized to change their legal gender is unconstitutional, per Human Rights Watch. The ruling is the first of its kind in Japan, and happened as the country's Supreme Court considers a separate case about the same issue. In 2021, trans man Gen Suzuki filed a court request to have his legal gender recognized as male without undergoing sterilization surgery, as national law requires.

Australia's Human Rights Commission (AHRC) rejected The Lesbian Action Group's request to exclude trans women from its events, according to PinkNews. transgender or bisexual women. The group had filed a request to the AHRC for a five-year exemption from the country's anti-discrimination laws, so that only same-sex-attracted biological women could attend its events, excluding transgender or bisexual women. The commission stated that granting this exemption could lead to further exclusion of and discrimination against transgender women.

The World Bank will aim to ensure LGBTQ+ Ugandans are not discriminated against in its programs before resuming new funding, which was halted in August over an anti-LGBTQ+ law, Reuters reported. Victoria Kwakwa, the bank's head for eastern and southern Africa, said that World Bank project documents will make it clear that LGBTQ+ Ugandans should not face discrimination and that staffs will not be arrested for including them. Rights groups have said that the Anti-Homosexuality Act (AHA), enacted in May, has resulted in a wave of abuse against LGBTQ+ people, mostly by private individuals.

LGBT Ireland launched a new campaign called Empowering Anthems to celebrate and support people coming out, according to Yahoo! News. The project has LGBTQ+ community members and allies share the songs in their lives that make them feel uplifted and inspired. Launched ahead of National Coming Out Day on Oct. 11, it also encourages donations to LGBT Ireland in order to help the organization continue providing vital services to queer folks throughout the country.

This year's Miss Universe pageant will feature at least two trans women for the first time after 23-year-old flight attendant Marina Machete was crowned Miss Portugal, CNN noted. Machete will compete for the crown at the 72nd Miss Universe competition in El Salvador this November alongside Rikkie Kolle, who, in July, became the first transgender winner of Miss Netherlands. If either candidate wins, she will become the first trans Miss Universe.

The Canadian outlet CBC ran a profile of Logan Oxenham, who is believed to be the first openly transgender person elected as a Manitoba MLA (Member of the Legislative Assembly)—and possibly in Canada. "I feel honored," Oxenham said in a recent interview about his Oct. 3 election win."I feel that I have an opportunity now to really amplify voices that have traditionally not been heard in places such as the legislative building," Jamie Lee Hamilton was the first trans person to seek public office in Canada, when she unsuccessfully ran for Vancouver City Council in 1996. Oxenham previously ran in 2022, but lost.

At the British event the Iris Prize LGBT+ Film Festival, Doctor Who showrunner Russell T Davies doubled down by saying he's "absolutely sticking" to his view that gay actors should be cast to play gay characters, PinkNews noted. "I know a straight actor can portray a gay character brilliantly," Davies said during a panel. "I know certainly a gay actor can play a straight character brilliantly." Also, Davies—who has also been behind such series as It's a Sin and the original Queer As Folk—suggested that he is likely to address this "hatred" and "nonsense" (referring to anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric) in an upcoming series.

Legendary UK girl group Bananarama is celebrating more than 40 years by announcing the forthcoming album Glorious: The Ultimate Collection, to be released on collector's triple vinyl and double CD on March 8, 2024, per a press release. The collection will also include songs from throughout the group's career, including "Cruel Summer," "Venus" and "Move in My Direction." The group has released the first track, "Feel the Love." Touring and recording constantly, they founded their own IN SYNK label and embarked upon a resurgence that resulted in the 2019 album In Stereo.

Nineties British girl group Eternal cancelled a planned full-band reunion due to an alleged difference in views on trans rights, The Guardian reported. Simon Jones, a rep for singer Louise Redknapp, said she had left the reunion due to a clash in values with sisters Easther and Vernie Bennett. Jones said the sisters "felt that the gay community was being hijacked by the trans community," adding, "The team behind the proposed Eternal reunion are gay … and neither myself nor any of the team would work with artists who held such views about the trans community."

Embattled gay actor Kevin Spacey received a standing ovation after an appearance at the University of Oxford lecture "What Shakespeare Can Teach Us About Cancel Culture," Deadline reported. In what is thought to be his first stage appearance since he was acquitted of sexual assault, Spacey delivered a five-minute scene from William Shakespeare's Timon of Athens. The reception came days after London's Prince Charles Cinema declined to host the premiere of Spacey's new film, the Welsh thriller Control, after discovering he had a voice role in the movie.

Netflix announced on X, formerly Twitter, that the eighth season of the LGBTQ+-inclusive Spanish drama Elite will be its last, Variety noted. Netflix Spain's longest-running fictional series, Elite follows a group of working-class students at an elite high school and their relationships with their wealthier classmates. Though the series' stars come and go, recent featured players include Omar Ayuso, Valentina Zenere, Andre Lamoglia, Carmen Arrufat, Alex Pastrana, Anitta and others.

Pro-LGBTQ+ groups commended the 60-day jail sentence a Swiss court gave to French-Swiss polemicist Alain Bonnet (who goes by Alain Soral) for calling a journalist a "fat lesbian," among other criticisms, per NBC News. Soral was sentenced for crimes of defamation, discrimination and incitement to hatred after he lashed out at Catherine Macherel, a journalist for Swiss newspapers Tribune de Geneve and 24 Heures, in a Facebook video two years ago. He called Macherel a "fat lesbian" and said her work as a "queer activist" meant she was "unhinged," according to Swiss public broadcaster RTS.

At London's O2 Arena, on the first night of her rescheduled tour, Madonna told the crowd, "I didn't think I was going to make it," per Deadline. She added, "I forgot five days of my life—or my death. But the angels were protecting me. If you want to know my secret, how I survived, I thought, 'I've got to be there for my children. I've got to pull through for them.'" It was the first night of the tour that had to be rescheduled after Madonna fell seriously ill in June and spent time in intensive care in hospital in New York. The show took a tour of more than 40 hits from her 40-year career, including "Like a Prayer" and "Holiday"; she opened with "Nothing Really Matters."

This article shared 2330 times since Thu Oct 19, 2023
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