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World: Nepal outreach; U2 and Russia ban; Ecuadorean civil unions
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2015-05-05

This article shared 5766 times since Tue May 5, 2015
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The International Gay & Lesbian Human Rights Commission ( IGLHRC ) is partnering with Nepal's pro-LGBT Blue Diamond Society ( BDS ) to help earthquake victims in that country. The earthquake already took the lives of two members of BDS, our allies, Kumari Bhujel and Jyoti Prakash, and many members of the LGBTI community are still missing, an email stated. IGLHRC will pass all donations made here directly to BDS. Visit https://iglhrc.org/nepal.

A member of Russia's parliament has asked prosecutors to determine whether Apple violated Russia's ban on gay "propaganda" when it delivered U2's latest album to a half-billion iTunes users for free last year, the Associated Press reported. Izvestia, a newspaper loyal to the Kremlin, reported that it has a copy of Alexander Starovoitov's appeal to prosecutors in which he says the cover of the album Songs of Innocence shows two men "in a display of non-traditional sexual relations." In fact, the cover shows the band's drummer embracing his 18-year-old son, and both of them shirtless.

The out gay leader of one of Australia's biggest and most iconic companies says advocating for marriage equality helps support its diverse workforce, and also appeals to a broad costumer base, Same Same reported. At a business leaders function, Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said, "At Qantas, we call ourselves 'the spirit of Australia' and see ourselves as representing our community. ... As a gay man running the biggest iconic brand in the country, I believe Australia is a meritocracy." Joyce and his partner, Shane Lloyd, have been together 17 years.

The Ecuadorian National Assembly has passed an amendment to its Civil Code that will legalize same-sex civil unions, Pink News reported. The South American country passed the broad reforms, which also included raising the age of legal marriage to 18 and specifying criteria for marriage and divorce. Civil unions in Ecuador will be open to those of any sexual orientation, and although the Civil Code will state categorically that they are "not considered as marriage," this is being hailed as a step forward for equality in the country.

Italian designer Giorgio Armani has become the latest fashion figure to utter a controversial statement, according to People. Just a month after Dolce & Gabbana sparked a celebrity boycott by declaring that gay families shouldn't be able to have children, Giorgio Armani has joined that particular conversation by saying he prefers that gay men not dress so "gay," adding that "a man has to be a man." The designer also recently took some heat for saying that Madonna's Brit Awards fall was her own fault for being so difficult about the cape he designed.

In Australia, Labor frontbencher Chris Bowen has changed his mind in favor of same-sex marriage, but says all opposition MPs ( members of Parliament ) should be allowed a conscience vote on the social issue, according to The Australian. The opposition treasury spokesman revealed his changed position on Sky News' Australian Agenda, as another Labor frontbencher, Jenny Macklin, backed calls to strip MPs of their conscience vote at the next national conference in July. Bowen—who, in 2012, voted against recognizing equal rights for same-sex couples, said, "It is our right as a citizen to get married; it should be a right applied equally."

The editorial team of Vangardist, an Austrian queer men's magazine, has thought of a novel way to bring awareness to HIV and its lingering opprobrium: by printing the entire May issue in ink infused with HIV-positive blood, Out.com noted. A limited edition—3,000 copies—is only available in Austria, Germany and Switzerland. Vangardist's May issue coincides with Life Ball, one of the world's largest HIV events, which takes place in Vienna, the publication's hometown. The printing processes was developed according to guidelines established by Harvard and Innsbruck University. Handling the print edition is 100-percent safe and there is zero risk of infection.

In Britain, UKIP leader Nigel Farage has defended the "conscience clause" of his party's Christian manifesto, Pink News noted. The manifesto said, "UKIP opposed same-sex marriage legislation because it impinged upon the beliefs of millions of people of faith. ... We will also extend the legal concept of 'reasonable accommodation' to give protection in law to those expressing a religious conscience in the workplace on this issue." Farage explained, "What we're saying is that all minorities deserve respect, and gay people deserve their rights. But also Christians, and Muslims for that matter, should be able to hold the reasonable position that they don't approve of some lifestyles."

Kenya's deputy president told worshippers at a church service in Nairobi that homosexuality had no place in the east African nation, an LGBTQ Nation item stated. "We will not allow homosexuality in our society as it violates our religious and cultural beliefs," William Ruto told a cheering congregation at the Jesus Winner Ministry Church on the outskirts of the capital. Recently, Kenyan judges ordered a government agency to register a human-rights group representing the country's gay people.

In Northern Ireland, politicians in Stormont have voted against same-sex marriage for the fourth time, Pink News reported. The motion on equal marriage, proposed by Sinn Fein, failed by two votes, 49-47. Same-sex marriage continues to be blocked by the Democratic Unionist Party, whose members used a "petition of concern" to ensure that the legislation would not pass even if it won a majority.

Courthouse News Service reported that European Union ( EU ) states can ban gay men from donating blood where there is a strong link between same-sex relations and HIV in that state, the European Court of Justice ruled. In 2009, a doctor with France's blood bank refused to let Geoffrey Leger donate blood after the man admitted to having had sexual relations with other men. French law permanently excludes blood donations from gay men. Leger challenged the law before the Strasbourg administrative court, which asked the European high court whether a permanent ban complied with EU law.

In Argentina, the government of Buenos Aires made history by granting Latin America's first legal recognition of a three-parent family, according to Advocate.com . It allowed a lesbian couple and their son's biological father, who donated sperm for their pregnancy, to be included on the child's birth certificate. Claudia Corrado, director of the government's registrar of persons, said that the move means that Hernan Melazzi, 37, has not relinquished his parenting rights or responsibilities, and that the child's best interests are best served by all three parents being recognized.

In Australia, South Sydney Rabbitohs player Issac Luke has been fined $10,000 for using an anti-gay slur on social media, Gay Star News reported. Luke, 27, reached out to a young Sydney supporter on Instagram who was hospitalized after a match. Then, in response to taunting comments from rival fans, he wrote, "Get off my page you lil poofters. This is about a kid your fans knocked out." The New Zealand Human Rights Commission praised the National Rugby League for its tough stance.

German Klaus Burkart, from Wangen im Allgau, beat 20 other hopefuls to be crowned Mr. Gay World 2015 at the grand final in Cape Town, South Africa, Gay News Network reported. Before winning, Burkart said if he prevailed, he would work hard to achieve equality for the LGBT community. In second place was Emmanuel Mass Luciano from Hong Kong, while Tomi Lappi from Finland took third.

The so-called "hottest math teacher in the world" is taking issue with his newly found fame, claiming women have inappropriately touched him since sexy photos of him went viral, according to an Edge Media Network item. Pietro Boselli also says he is unhappy that most of the attention he's received is focused on his looks and not his academic accomplishments. After learning about Boselli's other job as a model, student Arief Azli posted pictures of his 26-year-old teacher in class next to his modeling photos. Although he has been modeling since he was 6, Boselli said he tried to keep his modeling career on the down-low from his co-workers at the University College London, worrying they would "look down on him."

Tasmania's anti-discrimination commissioner Robin Banks has, in her final report, recommended that the state implements a dedicated scheme to erase historical convictions for consensual sexual activity between adult men, Gay Star News reported. The report recommends establishing a three-person panel made up of the anti-discrimination commissioner, the registrar of the Working with Vulnerable People Registration Scheme and the dean of law at the University of Tasmania to review applications from men who want their criminal records expunged. The panel would work with and seek information from the Tasmania police.


This article shared 5766 times since Tue May 5, 2015
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