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WORLD Workplace index, Japan survey, stories of the year, Buttigieg
by Windy City Times staff

This article shared 1549 times since Tue Jan 5, 2021
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Two years after the India's Supreme Court decriminalized homosexuality, employment for the LGBTQ community is slowly gaining acceptance in the private sector—to the point where there is now an India Workplace Equality Index, reported. The index—publicized as the country's first extensive benchmarking tool for employers to measure their progress on LGBT inclusion at the workplace—showed 65 private companies sharing data on their diversity and inclusion practices. Some of the companies in the Gold (top) category included Dow, Accenture, Morgan Stanley, Microsoft and ThoughtWorks. The full report is at

Nearly 40% of sexual minorities in Japan have been sexually harassed or assaulted, according to a private survey involving more than 10,000 respondents, The Japan Times reported. Yasuharu Hidaka, a professor of social epidemiology at Takarazuka University, conducted the survey of LGBTQ people. Hidaka said many more cases likely go unreported, noting that LGBTQ people have sometimes been refused help by police or counseling centers; he added that there is a lack of proper support and understanding in the country for issues facing the community.

Non-profit organization Global Americans listed its top 10 LGBTQ stories of 2020 from Latin America and the Caribbean. Its top story was Costa Rica becoming the first Central American and seventh Latin American country to legalize same-sex marriage. A few of the other news items on the list included Bolivia's Constitutional Court ordering the annulment of an administrative resolution that denied marriage rights to a same-sex couple; the Brazilian Supreme Court unanimously striking down laws in the states of Goais and Parana that banned the use in public schools of education material containing information on gender ideology; and Pope Francis taking a more assertive stand in favor of civil unions—a position he embraced as archbishop of Buenos Aires.

On a related note, Vice listed its 12 most important UK LGBTQ stories of 2020. Listed by month, some of the stories included marriage equality in Northern Ireland; TV presenter Phillip Schofield coming out; Freddy McConnell, a trans man who gave birth to a child, losing his appeal to be named "father" or "parent" on the birth certificate; Harry Potter author JK Rowling's anti-trans tweets; and UK Black Pride going digital.

UK LGBTQ glossy Attitude named U.S. political figure Pete Buttigieg as its Person of the Year, according to . Buttigieg—recently tapped to be part of President-elect Joe Biden's cabinet, as transportation secretary—made history as he pursued the White House, becoming the first openly gay presidential candidate in U.S. history to earn primary delegates. He is also the first presidential candidate in a same-sex marriage.

Pierre Cardin—the French fashion designer famed for 1960s-era avant-garde and Space Age looks, and who pioneered fashion ready-to-wear and the fashion licensing system that made him rich but diminished his brand's reputation—died at age 98, USA Today reported. Born Pietro Cardin in 1922 to French parents in their vacation home near Venice, Cardin's family left Italy two years later to escape fascism and moved back to Sainte-Etienne in central France, where he grew up. Among other achievements, Cardin was the first couturier to present a ready-to-wear collection for women, in 1959 at a Paris department store. A documentary about Cardin, called House of Cardin, came out in 2020, Windy City Times noted.

In England, the Leeds Crown Court sentenced Luke Hunter, 23, to four years and two months in prison for seven terror-related offenses, including encouragement of terrorism, disseminating terrorist publications, and broadcasting violent material, LGBTQ Nation noted. Hunter used his influence on thousands of social-media users between Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Discord and Telegram to promote the extermination of Jewish, non-white and LGBTQ people. He also celebrate mass murderers such as Dylann Roof and David Copeland, and assist in the operations of the Nazi groups, including one run by a 13-year-old.

The winners of the 2020 Gay Travel Awards, presented by, have been announced, a press release noted. There were 23 LGBTQ, inclusive and accepting winners chosen from hundreds of finalists. A few of the honorees included Atlanta (Destination, City); Mykonos, Greece (Destination, Island); Puerto Rico (Destination, Wedding); Andaz West Hollywood (Hotel, Boutique); The Langham Huntington (Hotel, Luxury); New Mexico spot Inn on the Alameda (Bed & Breakfast/Inn); and Cape Air (Airline).

Argentina's Senate approved a bill to legalize abortion—a vote seen as a major victory for pro-choice advocates in the mostly Catholic country, reported. The Senate voted 38-29 to give millions of women access to legal terminations under a new law that President Alberto Fernandez backed. (The margin was expected to be much smaller.) By contrast, El Salvador, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua and Suriname ban abortions in nearly all circumstances.

Gay political commentator Andrew Sullivan said that lesbians are close to extinction, writing in a bizarre anti-trans column that he "needs" gay women to look after him when he's sick, according to PinkNews. As part of The Spectator's Christmas special, Sullivan—a Roman Catholic, British-American blogger who worked as the editor of the New Republic during the 1990s—claimed that lesbians were disappearing in favor of "becoming men" in a column titled "Where have all the lesbians gone?" Twitter users were quick to pick apart Sullivan's column, with one writing, "Has Andrew Sullivan considered that all the lesbians are disappearing from his life because he appears to treat us as part private nurse, part comic sidekick? My God this is reprehensible."

Fashion designer Alexander Wang has been accused of sexual assault by several models, reported. The wave of allegations began Dec. 11, when graphic designer/model Owen Mooney responded to TikTok's popular prompt that asked, "What is your weirdest seeing a celebrity in public experience," to which he responded, "Being sexually assaulted by one counts, right?" Mooney then described an incident in 2017 when he and a group of friends went to see the rapper Cupcake perform at a club in New York City—and where Wang allegedly started touching Mooney's leg and crotch. In response to Mooney's video, several users messaged the Instagram accounts ShitModelManagement and Diet Prada anonymously with additional accusations against Wang. A request for a comment from Wang's representatives had so far gone unanswered.

In Canada, transgender woman Colton Stankowski claimed she was refused service from a women's fashion store in the Calgary community of Lakeview, CTV News noted. Stankowski said she went inside NV Fashions nearly two months ago looking for a woman's shirt; the store owner reportedly told Stankowski that trying on clothes)would make customers feel uncomfortable, so she left without buying anything. Stankowski said she has received a lot of support online after posting the TikTok on Dec. 8, adding that many Calgary businesses have been supportive of her. The owner said she will not provide any comment on the incident until she's received advice from her lawyer.

John Barrowman told homophobes exactly where to go as he celebrated his wedding anniversary, PinkNews noted. The actor—who made a grand comeback to Doctor Who on New Year's Day—celebrated his anniversary with husband Scott Gill, who he wed in a civil-partnership ceremony in 2006. Barrowman shared a video of the pair cuddling in bed, before kissing Gill on the cheek and telling the camera: "If the trolls don't like that, let them ban the Instagram account!" Also, Queerty noted that Barrowman made news by flashing his bottom in an Instagram video that he captioned, "The view behind me…. roller skating in Palm Springs. Can you see the moon?"

German actor Jannik Schumann came out as LGBT+ on social media, while simultaneously introducing his boyfriend to the world, according to PinkNews. The actor posted a black-and-white photo of himself receiving a forehead kiss from his partner Felix Kruck, and captioned it with a heart; Kruck shared the same photo.

In the months since the first postponement in the modern Olympic Games' 124-year history, officials have found themselves wrongfooted by the coronavirus at every turn, The Guardian reported. Far from the communal celebration of sport envisaged by then-Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the realities of COVID-19 (including a new surge in infections) have forced them to lower their expectations. Publicly, Japanese organizers and the International Olympic Committee are optimistic they can ensure the safety of more than 11,000 athletes, as well as thousands of officials, journalists and other Games-related staff.

Japanese tennis player Naomi Osaka was selected by The Associated Press as the Female Athlete of the Year after a vote by AP member sports editors and AP beat writers, noted. Billie Jean King—a 12-time Grand Slam singles title winner and a pioneering advocate for decades—praised Osaka for positioning "herself as a leader not only in women's tennis but in all of sports and a force for change in our society." WNBA Finals MVP Breanna Stewart was next, followed by Sarah Fuller, the Vanderbilt soccer player who kicked for the school's football team.

An independent Chinese journalist who reported from Wuhan at the height of the initial coronavirus outbreak has been jailed for four years by a Shanghai court, reported. Zhang Zhan was found guilty of "picking quarrels and provoking trouble," according to one of her defense lawyers, Zhang Keke. The offense is commonly used by the Chinese government to target dissidents and human-rights activists.

In the UK, a Staffordshire man formerly known as Thomas Dodd discovered he legally changed his name to Celine Dion during a boozy night at home, noted. In an interview with The New York Post, the 30-year-old self-confessed superfan said he had spent much of lockdown watching Celine Dion concerts at home. It was while watching one particular show on Christmas Eve with a magnum of champagne that the drunken idea struck him, forking over the money for the online application. "Once it sunk in, I signed it straight away as I bloody love her!," he said.

Stanley Johnson, the father of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, said that he intended to obtain French citizenship—his comments coming just hours before the UK's final transition out of the European Union, according to . Stanley, a former Member of the European Parliament, told French radio station RTL he "will always be European."

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