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World: Pope eats with inmates; Swedish pronoun; HIV+ candidate
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times.

This article shared 3718 times since Tue Mar 31, 2015
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Pope Francis recently had lunch with prisoners at an Italian prison, some of whom were gay or transgender, according to an On Top Magazine item. The pontiff visited the Giuseppe Salvia Detention Center in Poggiorale during a visit to Naples, Italy. Approximately 90 inmates attended the lunch, including 10 prisoners from a section of the facility that houses gay, transgender and HIV-positive inmates.

Sweden is officially adopting a new gender-neutral pronoun, according to . "Hen" can be used if the gender of the person is unknown, if the individual is on the trans spectrum,or to avoid making a sexist generalization. It was first coined in the 1960s as a way to avoid using "hon" ( or "he" ) all the time in examples—and caught on with Sweden's trans community in the early 2000s. "Hen" is one of 10,000 new words appearing in the Swedish Academy dictionary, which is updated every 10 years.

In Britain, a Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate has become the first to reveal he is HIV positive in an interview in which he discusses mental health issues, drugs and sexual health, according to Pink News. Adrian Hyyrylainen-Trett, 36, said in an interview with Buzzfeed News that he suffered years of bullying and twice attempted suicide. He also discussed drug taking and unprotected sex, which led to his HIV diagnosis. Hyyrylainen-Trett also said he overdosed on drugs five times and appeared in a gay-porn film. Sir Elton John and David Furnish have expressed their support of Hyyrylainen-Trett.

Corporate giants including Qantas, PricewaterhouseCoopers, SBS and Football Federation Australia have signed an open letter to the federal government in support of same-sex marriage, Gay Star News reported. In the letter, they argue that same-sex marriage is not just "the only truly fair option" but "a sound economic option," as it would make LGBTI employees happy and, therefore, more productive and give Australia a competitive edge in attracting international talent. Telstra, Optus, ANZ, Westpac, IBM and David Jones have previously indicated their support for marriage equality in Australia.

Saatchi & Saatchi Canada launched a campaign for the Canadian Centre for Gender & Sexual Diversity ( CCGSD ) by introducing the world's first "gay wweater, noted. The spot aims to curtail the derogatory use of the word "gay." So Saatci & Saatchi Canada teamed with a team of knitters and collected donations of hair from more than 100 LGBT people to create the sweater, along with a video documenting the process.

Nicola Vendola, one of the first openly gay politicians in Italy, has announced his plan to marry his Canadian partner in Canada, as Italy has no current plan to legalize same-sex marriage, according to . The 56-year-old LGBT activist—who is also the left-wing representative for the traditionally conservative southern region of Puglia—is reportedly serious thinking about starting a family and having children. Although Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has announced plans to allow same-sex civil partnerships, the influential Catholic Church vehemently opposes extending this to nuptials.

In the United Kingdom, UKIP leader Nigel Farage branded a group of LGBT rights protesters "filth" and "scum" after they invaded a pub where he was having lunch with his family—apparently causing his children to run away, UK Independent reported. Farage was pictured leaving the pub through a throng of people to his waiting car, after which protesters chased him down the road and tried to jump on the car's bonnet. The politician claimed to be in the pub with his wife and two younger children, ages 15 and 10, when the activists entered. Protest organizer Dan Glass said the campaigners included migrants, HIV-rights activists, gay people, disabled people and breast-feeding mothers.

A Philippine court has begun the trial of a U.S. Marine charged with murdering a transgender Filipino after allegedly discovering her gender when they checked into a hotel, the AP reported. U.S. security escorts brought Marine Pfc. Joseph Scott Pemberton, wearing handcuffs, into a heavily secured courtroom in Olongapo city for the trial after an earlier plea-bargain negotiation with the family of the victim, Jennifer Laude, reportedly collapsed. Pemberton is charged with murder, which carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.

The separate murders of a lesbian woman and a gay man in Nhlangano, Swaziland, have drawn attention to the prejudice in the kingdom, reported. In mid-March, a man killed lesbian Kaylo Glover with an axe; a few months earlier, a gay man known as Themba was also murdered. In November 2011, Chief Mgwagwa Gamedze, the acting minister of justice and constitutional affairs, said Swaziland would not give human rights to gay people because they did not exist in the kingdom.

The Australia Rugby Union has fined Jacques Potgieter A$20,000 ( $15,560 ) for calling two opposing players "faggot," according to Gay Star News. The New South Wales Waratahs forward admitted to using the anti-gay slur in a match against the Australian Capital Territory Brumbies players in Sydney. Potgieter has also apologized, saying "I'm very sorry for any offense caused by what I said on the field during a heated encounter."

In Taiwan, gay-marriage advocates protested the registration rules of the Taipei United Marriage Ceremony event, as the city moved to establish a new, separate ceremony open to same-sex couples, Taiwan News reported. "Homosexuals desiring to marry should not be viewed as something to be quarantined and given 'special treatment'—they should be treated as members of society and as part of everyday life," Taiwan Alliance to Promote Civil Partnership Rights ( TAPCPR ) CEO and attorney Victoria Hsu said. Activists accompanied a lesbian couple who submitted registration forms for this year's Taipei United Marriage Ceremony.

Australian actress Caitlin Stasey says she's a lesbian, despite having a male partner, according to Pink News. The former Neighbours star is thought to be dating actor Lucas Neff—who she describes as "the love of my life." ( Neff was on the U.S. show Raising Hope. ) Stasey told the feminist website Herself, "Compartmentalizing myself only leads to condemnation and contradiction. I'm happier being fluid and I'm happier being honest."

This article shared 3718 times since Tue Mar 31, 2015
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