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  WINDY CITY TIMES

World: London mayoral candidate; UKIP situation; Jamaican pastor
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2014-12-17

This article shared 5823 times since Wed Dec 17, 2014
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Openly gay businessman Ivan Massow has announced his intention to run for mayor of London, according to On Top Magazine. He is the first Tory candidate to enter the contest, which takes place in 2016. In promoting his candidacy during a Gaydio radio interview, Massow, 47—a recovering alcoholic sober since 2008 and a self-made millionaire—said that the London gay scene has a drug problem.

UKIP ( the UK Independent Party ) has been kicked out its offices in Croydon, England, after a group of HIV activists dumped a pile of horse manure outside them on World AIDS Day, according to Pink News. ACT UP London staged a protest outside UKIP's Croydon North and Lambeth office in reaction to "bulls**t" offensive statements by UKIP on HIV. UKIP leader Nigel Farage said in October, when asked whether which kinds of people should be allowed to enter the UK, "People who do not have HIV, to be frank. That's a good start."

A Christian pastor at a Jamaican church has angered some of his congregants, first by urging acceptance in the church of LGBT people and then by washing the feet of lesbian visitor, Advocate.com reported. Despite expressions of "betrayal" from his regular members, Christ Church's pastor, Rev. Fr. Sean Major-Campbell, seemed determined to begin welcoming the LGBT community into the flock. The newspaper The Jamaican Gleaner described Major-Campbell's feet-washing fot two lesbians and a transgender man to the church as "an unprecedented act within local church ministry."

Tori Johnson, the gay café manager of the Lindt Chocolate Cafe in Sydney, Australia, was killed as he fought off an armed terrorist who took the cafe and its patrons hostage, according to Towleroad. Johnson, who managed the café for two years, was trying to disarm the terrorist to provide cover for the other hostages as they fled during a moment in which the terrorist fell asleep. Johnson, 34, is survived by his partner of 14 years, Thomas Zinn.

Venezuelan LGBT-rights advocates are mourning the death of a prominent same-sex marriage activist who was murdered, The Washington Blade reported. Sin Etiquetas, a Latin American LGBT website, reported that Giniveth "Gini" Soto was killed in the Bellas Artes neighborhood of Caracas, the Venezuelan capital, when she was struck in the head as someone tried to steal her car. Venezuela Igualitaria, a Venezuelan advocacy group, said in a press release that Soto was "brutally killed" while working as a taxi driver to make extra money for her wife and infant son, Salvador. Soto, a 32-year-old psychologist, and her wife, Migdelis Miranda Rondon, who is also a psychologist, legally married in Argentina in June 2013.

Human Rights Watch has released a report that says Russian authorities have failed to to prevent and prosecute an increasing number of anti-LGBT attacks, according to LGBTQ Nation. The New York-based group says growing numbers of LGBT people have been attacked and harassed across Russia in the lead-up and aftermath of the adoption of the federal anti-LGBT "propaganda" law in June 2013. The 85-page report, "License to Harm: Violence and Harassment against LGBT People and Activists in Russia," is based on dozens of detailed interviews with LGBT victims of attacks or aggressive harassment in 16 cities across Russia.

Philippine government prosecutors have charged U.S. Marine Joseph Scott Pemberton with murder in the killing of a Filipino, according to The Huffington Post. The prosecutors said Pemberton acknowledged attacking the victim, jennifer Laude, after he found out she was transgender. In October, Laude's body was found in Olongapo city, northwest of Manila. She had apparently been strangled and drowned in a toilet bowl.

Responding to the release of a document that will set the agenda for the second phase of the Vatican's Synod on the Family, to be held in Rome Oct. 4-25, 2015, leaders of DignityUSA said it was "inadequate and alienating" in its approach to the issues that LGBT Catholics and their families face, according to a press release. DignityUSA Executive Director Marianne Duddy-Burke said, "There remains no opportunity for openly LGBT Catholics, or for families who delight in their LGBT members, to have official input into the deliberations, or to vote on policies and doctrines that will affect us for decades to come. Even the language used to refer to lesbian and gay people ( "people with homosexual tendencies" ) is a reversion to the dated and judgmental tone that so many had hoped was fading into the past."

The United Nations ( UN ) celebrated 64 years of its International Human Rights Day, according to a media release. The U.N. LGBTQ core groups—which include the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Human Rights Watch and International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, along with many other groups—hosted an event that supported all families and family members. Meanwhile, DREAMers and LGBTQ Immigrants rallied outside in solidarity with the UN to denounce the Immigration and Customs Enforcement ( ICE ) and the Department of Homeland Security's ( DHS' ) use of solitary confinement tactics in immigration detention.

A South African judge acquitted British businessman Shrien Dewani of murdering his Swedish bride—after a sensational trial where his sexuality played a key role, according to NewZimbabwe.com . Prosecutors said Dewani hired hitmen to kill 28-year-old Anni in a staged hijacking in a Cape Town township during their honeymoon in November 2010, because he is gay and felt trapped into marriage by family pressures. ( Dewani said he is bisexual, and that he loved Anni. ) Anni Dewani's family members said that the justice system failed them.

The mayor of Seoul, South Korea, has issued an apology to LGBT activists after scrapping a charter that would have outlawed discrimination against gays, according to Pink News. The Seoul Metropolitan Government recently cancelled plans to enact a human-rights charter—which had been due to take effect Dec. 10—after fierce protests against it. LGBT activists had occupied city hall, calling on Mayor Park Won-soon to apologize for postponing the charter—and he met with the group. While apologizing, Park said, "I will search for practical ways of resolving the difficulties that you suffer from."


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