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World news: French pol outed; Irish bill; Chinese activist
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2014-12-24

This article shared 4470 times since Wed Dec 24, 2014
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A French far-right politician has said he will sue the French Closer magazine, which "outed" him as gay after it published photographs of him with a man, Pink News reported. Florian Philippot is the deputy leader of the French Front National, a party that has been accused of fostering anti-gay violence by aligning itself with aggressive anti-equal marriage factions and violent groups. The magazine printed revealing photos of Philippot being intimate with another man, taken covertly with a long-lens camera.

Amnesty International has criticized the first draft of Ireland's new gender-recognition bill, Pink News reported. Currently, Irish law has no process for recognizing that transgender people do not identify as their birth gender, but the Irish government finally published a long-awaited bill that will recognize the gender of trans people. However, activists ( including Amnesty ) have reacted with dismay to some of the proposals, which they say impose a number of unrealistic conditions. For example, the bill forces married transgender people to divorce in order to gain gender recognition, in accordance with the country's ban on same-sex marriage.

A leading LGBT-rights activist in China has announced that her partner is a transgender man, On Top Magazine noted. Li Yinhe, dubbed by the media "China's first sexologist," added that she is not attracted to women. Li explained that after the death of her husband, the novelist Wang Xiaobo, in 1997 she met her current partner of 17 years, a transgender taxi driver. The couple is raising a son they adopted.

Leading Australian political figures are offering to get up close and personal with members of the public as part of a campaign to raise $50,000 for the campaign to legalize same-sex marriage in Australia, according to Gay Star News. The group Australian Marriage Equality conducted the campaign through the crowdfunding website Pozible. For example, $500 would get someone afternoon tea with Australia's first-ever government minister with an equality portfolio, Victorian state Labor MP Martin Foley.

Spanish author and television personality Sandra Barneda has come out as lesbian, according to On Top Magazine. The 39-year-old Barneda is a co-host of the Telecinco political show Un Tiempo Nuevo ( A New Time ) and talk show Hable con Ellas ( Talk with Women ). Patricia Yurena, a Spanish actress and Miss Spain 2013, was a guest on Hable Con Ellas; earlier in 2014, Yurena revealed she's in a relationship with Vanesa Klein, a DJ.

A Royal Air Force Search and Rescue pilot who served alongside Prince William has opened up about her transition for the first time, Pink News noted. Flight Lieutenant Ayla Holdom—who works as part of the same team as the second-in-line to the throne—made history in 2011 when she attended the Prince's wedding to Kate Middleton, now the Duchess of Cambridge, shortly after coming out as transgender. The pilot—who is now in a lesbian relationship with wife Wren— told the Mail: "All my RAF colleagues were brilliant. I think they were surprised because I was pretty adept at pretending to be a man. I walked macho, I sat macho, I worked out hard and I like a bit of banter."

Approximately 35 people were injured when a group of men forced their way into a private event that the organization Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe ( GALZ ), according to a BuzzFeed article. GALZ said that at least one of the attackers—who numbered between 12 to 15—carried a gun, and the group beat attendees "using logs, iron bars, empty beer bottles and clenched fists." The men who attacked the event in Harare, the country's capital, also reportedly "demanded cash and gadgets from the members present in the hall whilst attacking them."

A Taiwanese university's decision to tear down a poster for a lecture by a gay speaker because it was "afraid everyone would turn homosexual after listening" has sparked online debate in the country, according to Gay Star News. The openly gay director of the Alliance to End the Death Penalty, Miao Po-ya, gave a lecture at Fu Jen Catholic University in Taipei entitled "My Coming Out Experience." The lesbian society Good Club and the Gender Studies Group put up three posters to promote the event; however, one in the university's main corridor was torn down within six hours.

Two Japanese actresses will tie the knot next year in the conservative country's first celebrity same-sex marriage, according to Gay Star News. Akane Sugimori, 28, and Ayaka Ichinose, 34, announced that they will hold their wedding ceremony and banquet April 20. The couple met at a gay bar in Tokyo in October 2012 and started living together in spring 2013.

For the third time, a bill to allow gender-neutral registered partnerships has been rejected in Poland, according to Pink News. The vote on the measure—which despite not allowing same-sex couples to adopt, would have allowed some legal protections—was 185 MPs for the bill and 235 against, with 18 abstentions. Poland recently celebrated what is thought to be the first out gay mayor ( Robert Biedron ) in the conservative country.

An Italian teacher was given an official warning after removing a crucifix from his classroom wall to protest "homophobic statements" by the Catholic Church, according to RT.com . Administrators cited a law, demanding that the crucifix be put back. Professor Davide Zotti—a philosophy teacher in a state school in the city of Trieste, northeast Italy—took down the crucifix in October, saying that he was offended by anti-gay statements by Cardinal Camillo Ruini and the church's anti-gay stance.

In New Zealand, Auckland University is offering to cover the costs for transgender students choosing to legally change their names, according to Stuff.co.nz. The decision came after the university found that its administration system did not always support transgender students who chose to use their preferred names instead of their legal names—sometimes leading to outing and harassment. The measure, believed to be a first for New Zealand universities, will be implemented while the administration system is updated to recognize preferred names.

Also in New Zealand, the country's longest-running gay bar is shutting down, On Top Magazine noted. Urge, in Auckland, is the ninth gay bar to shutter in New Zealand over the past two years. The closures are being blamed on the increasing popularity of apps such as Grindr. "In the past you had to go to a venue to meet other LGBT people; today you don't," Sociologist Michael Stevens said. However, Stevens also said that rents have skyrocketed in the last decade for many of the bars.


This article shared 4470 times since Wed Dec 24, 2014
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