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World: Soccer star comes out; 'Thrones' criticized; activist fined
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2015-06-23

This article shared 4137 times since Tue Jun 23, 2015
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Swiss soccer star Ramona Bachmann has revealed she is a lesbian, according to Gay Star News. The 24-year-old has revealed she is in a committed relationship with Camille Lara, a 21-year-old student based in Sweden. The news has been welcomed by the mayor of Zurich, Corin Maunch—herself an out lebsian.

Vitaly Milonov, the notorious architect of Russia's "gay propaganda" laws, has suggested the country should ban the TV series Game of Thrones over its "sexual deviancy," Gay Star News noted. One in 10 characters on the show, Milonov said, is a "sexual deviant," and "such works and their popularization introduce a new matrix to our minds, making us think that certain things and events are normal." Victor Matizen, a prominent Russian film critic, has accused Milinov's suggestions of being "a pure attempt to carry out censorship."

In Britain, out gay Labour MP Chris Bryant has been called a "gay homophobe" during a discussion over his apparent opposition to lifting the ban on gay and bisexual men giving blood, PinkNews noted. Despite blood shortages, gay and bisexual men are still banned from donating blood if they have had sex in the previous 12 months in England, Scotland and Wales, and are subject to a lifetime ban in Northern Ireland. During a spat over the issue, Bryant defended the 12-month ban, saying it was "based on science," responding to an assertion that the ban is "illogical."

Prominent LGBT-rights activist Nikolai Alexeyev was fined $375 for organizing an unsanctioned gay parade in the center of Moscow, The Moscow Times reported. Alexeyev, 37, was handed the fine by the Tverskoi District Court, which found him guilty of organizing an LGBT parade in the Russian capital on May 30 without the consent of the authorities. In 2012, Moscow authorities enacted a 100-year ban on gay parades—a decision that was later upheld by the city's top court

Two Moroccan gay men are set to go on trial for violating "public modesty" after holding each other for a photo at a historic site in Rabat, and could go to jail for up to three years, The Guardian reported. The men ( who may or may not be in a relationship ) were touring and taking pictures near Hassan Tower, the capital's famous minaret, when they were arrested by the police for supposedly standing too close to each other. According to article 489 of Morocco's penal code, homosexuality is punishable by six months to three years imprisonment.

In Israel, the National Union of Israeli Students criticized the decision of Bar-Ilan University not to allow public celebrations of Gay Pride Month on campus, The Jerusalem Post reported. The union released an angry statement after a meeting between Omer Machluf, chairman of the "pride" student organization, and Professor Uri Nir, dean of students. At the meeting, Nir said that the decision, which had been authorized by both the president of the university and the administration, was not to allow any Gay Pride events in public areas of the university, not to allow any organizations to come to the events, and not to allow any flyers to be handed out. MKs ( members of Knesset ) and social organizations demanded the university retract its decision.

The chair of Sinn Fein's LGBT group has spoken out after a fake toxic substance was sent to a pro-gay charity in Dublin, PinkNews noted. Bomb disposal and Hazmat experts shut down an area in central Dublin after GLEN ( Gay and Lesbian Equality Network ) alerted police it received a potentially deadly package. Staff opened a package to find a blue powder with a note that read "Goodbye." Sinn Fein councillor and chair of its LGBT group Chris Curran said, "I call on the Gardai [police force] to fully investigate this threat and to take the necessary precautions to ensure that the Pride Parade and associated celebrations go ahead without further incident."

South Korea's gay-pride organizers won a court battle against conservatives and police seeking to block their parade celebrating sexual minorities late this month, Business Insider noted. The Seoul Administrative Court ruled in favor of parade organizers, invalidating a police ban on the parade imposed last month. More than 20,000 people are expected to take part in the June 28 gala parade.

The Austrian city of Salzburg unveiled gay-themed pedestrian traffic lights after the flashing signals specially installed in Vienna for the Eurovision Song Contest proved a hit, Times Live noted. nstead of the usual stick man, the special lights at pedestrian crossings show two figures: either a man or a woman, two men or two women, holding hands, together with a little heart symbol. Vienna's lights were only meant to be in place for Eurovision and for HIV/AIDS charity event the Life Ball in May but they proved so popular that authorities decided to keep them in place.

A gay man is speaking out after allegedly being fired from global drug company Pfizer for participating in a protest against Russia's anti-LGBT laws, Gay Star News reported. Vadim Gruzdev, who allegedly worked for the U.S. pharmaceutical giant for several years in its Russian branch in Moscow, is now calling for his position to be reinstated. He was one of the three men who were sentenced to 10 days in police cells after holding a brief protest.

Police have arrested a gay couple in Pakistan after they were reported to have carried out a "secret marriage" in the Jaffarabad district of Balochistan, according to Gay Star News. However, reports also suggest that the marriage was not "serious," Station House Officer ( SHO ) Gandawa PS Zulfiqar Jamali has said. The couple's friend and a man who read their Nikkah ( the Muslim marriage contract ) have also been arrested.

Olympic diver Matthew Mitcham has annouced he's the newest contestant for Dancing with the Stars Australia, Gay Star News noted. The gold-medal winning diver told Australian media he wanted to be on the show for most of his professional career. Mitcham, who is from Queensland, Australia, was one of the first out gay sports personalities in Australia, so there were rumors that he might be paired with another man. However, he'll be teamed with female dancer Masha Belash.

The Internet has responded to an anti-gay Australian couple who vowed to get divorced if marriage equality came to their home country, The Huffington Post noted. Last month, Nick Jensen wrote an op-ed for the Canberra CityNews in which he claimed that he and his wife Sarah would split. In response to these claims, Jesse Mount, also an Australian citizen, created a Facebook group for people who will celebrate the Jensen's divorce by having a massive party once marriage equality comes to the country as a whole; more than 175,000 people have RSVP'd for the event.

The Pitcairn Group of Islands—a British overseas territory in the Pacific that's the smallest nation in the world—has officially passed same-sex marriage, according to Gay Star News. The law actually came into effect May 15; however, due to technical problems, the change was not made public on the government website until now. Weddings will likely have to be officiated by the island administrator, as the island's only preacher is a Seventh-Day Adventist, from a religion opposing same-sex marriage. The islands are home to 48 people.

Sweden now has its first-ever all-gay national handball team, according to BuzzFeed. For the first time ever, a national sports federation will support an LGBT team under the Swedish flag. Christer Thelin, president of the Swedish Handball Federation, said in a release: "In team sports you follow the leader and, thus, it is important that the leaders do the right thing." Team founder Andreas Carlsson told BuzzFeed, "We have only received good responses, as it's something unique and the LGBT community is so large—these issues are so important worldwide."

The International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association ( IGLT ) honored Argentina's minister of tourism, Carlos Enrique Meyer, for his commitment to LGBT travel on June 18, according to a press release. IGLTA President/CEO John Tanzella presented the award during the 8th Annual GNetwork 360 LGBT business and tourism conference in Buenos Aires.


This article shared 4137 times since Tue Jun 23, 2015
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