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World news: Intersex Kenyan; Chinese law; gender-fluid lion
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times

This article shared 4652 times since Tue Jan 5, 2016
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A young intersex Kenyan has died after several days in hospital, following an attack the victim's own family orchestrated, Gay Star News noted. Muhadh Ishmael died of blood loss Dec. 21, 2015—allegedly because he could not pay his hospital bill of 25,780 Ksh, or $260. His body was not accepted by his family for burial, and friends are currently organizing funds for a proper funeral. According to interviews in the hospital he gave before his death, he family never accepted his choice of gender; Ishmael was called a "curse" upon the family and locked indoors.

China has passed the country's first law against domestic violence which prohibits all forms of abuse in both married and cohabiting couples—but gay couples will not be afforded the same protection, reported. Domestic violence is rampant in China, although it is typically unspoken of for fear of shaming the family. A study in 2013 found that 50 percent of men have admitted to physically and sexually abusing their partners.

A gender-fluid lion, Mmamoriri, resides in the African country of Botswana, according to . The lioness exhibits several male traits, like a mane with black fur and a deep, low-register roar, that she developed after her pride leader died. Researchers suspect Mmamoriri developed these typically masculine traits in order to protect her pride against other lions. When the "gender fluid" lioness was first discovered in 2012, researchers suspected she had an extra Y chromosome, but that was disproved after a blood test from the Zoological Society of London. She is just one of five lions worldwide believed to identify as both male and female.

The State Department weighed in on an escalating war of words between the U.S. ambassador to the Dominican Republic and a cardinal who has leveled gay slurs against him—telling the fight "does underscore" the importance of pushing human-rights causes. U.S. Ambassador to the Dominican Republic James "Wally" Brewster, who is openly gay and married, has been mocked over his sexual orientation by Cardinal Archbishop Nicolas de Jesus Lopez Rodriguez for more than two years. It got so heated that earlier this month, Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., sent a letter to Pope Francis asking him to intervene in the verbal attacks.

In Malawi, a student and a cook were pressured to withdraw from Mzuzu Government Secondary School when authorities suspected they were gay, reported. The school's deputy head teacher, Fides Msowoya, summoned the boy ( name withheld because he is a minor ) and asked him about the allegations that he was having sexual relationships with fellow students. Also, Gilbert Nyasulu was kicked out before he allegedly enticed schoolboys into sexual relationships with promises of better food.

Israeli lawyer Amir Ohana was sworn into the Knesset, replacing the recently resigned Likud politician Silvan Shalom—and becoming the party's first openly gay MK, according to . However, something unique also happened later, as the politicians got into an argument over which party was the first to elect a gay member in its primaries. The Jerusalem Post settled the discussion by posting, "MK Itzik Shmuly ( Zionist Union ) is gay and was elected in a primary, but he was in the closet when he was voted in; former Meretz MKs Uzi Even and Nitzan Horowitz are gay, but their party's primary is limited to its central committee." Ohana is the first out gay individual elected in an open primary.

Gay poet Payam Feili, 30—who fled his native Iran in 2014 because of the persecution he faced over his sexuality—recently talked about visiting Israel, Iran's archenemy and a country known for its tolerance toward gays, reported. "All the stupid and ridiculous threats the regime issues against Israel have never influenced me and will never influence me," he said. Feili—who has written nine books, many of them openly discussing homosexuality—escaped to Turkey when the Iranian government's threats against him and his family became unbearable.

A baby girl relinquished by her mother at birth into the care of a lesbian Australian couple will be returned to her biological family after the mother later "changed her mind, The Sydney Morning Herald reported. The girl, who is now almost 3, will be gradually returned to the care of her biological mother and father, with a court finding it in her long-term interest to live with her parents and half-siblings. As part of the transition process, the girl will spend one weekend a month with the lesbian couple; however, they will have no legal parental responsibility for her.

In what is being heralded as an "unprecedented" move, a gay man in Malawi came out publicly, demanding the government of the African nation either kill LGBT people or grant them full and equal rights, according to . But shortly after Eric Sambisa, 26, came out in an interview on Malawi's Daily Times TV, he was detained by police—and has now gone into hiding. Sambisa, who leads the Southern Region Rainbow Alliance, has said he is tired of living in the shadows and being treated like a second-class citizen.

A gay-themed film mysteriously disappeared from China's domestic-video sites—but in an unexpected twist, a Beijing court said the censors aren't to blame, The Wall Street Journal noted. Chinese director Fan Popo had filed suit against the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television ( SAPPRFT ). The verdict is being hailed as a victory for China's LGBT community, as China's censors still hold a tight grip over gay-themed content. "I still think the verdict is to my advantage, because now knowing the agency did not release any document, I can require the video sites to put my film back," Fan said.

An Indian politician has launched a petition to end his country's anti-gay law, Gay Star News reported. Shashi Tharoor, an MP for the opposition Indian National Congress party, introduced a private-members bill to repeal the statute that criminalizes gay sex; however, the lower house of India's parliament voted 71-24 against it. The petition ( at ) says, in part, "Section 377 should be amended so that all consensual sex between consenting adults irrespective of gender and sexuality is legal."

A British man dubbed one of England's most famous "demon children" is recounting his life of crime in a new interview with The Sun, according to NewNowNext. Danny Oakley, 21, and his younger brother Ricky, 19, are infamous in their homeland for being the youngest recipients of anti-social behavior orders ( ASBOs, or probationary restrictions ) after racking up more than 40 arrests by age 12. Danny told The Sun he's straightened himself out, and believes most of the crimes he committed were triggered by the fact that he was trying to hide his sexuality.

Out British rugby star Keegan Hirst is opposed to outing gay athletes, On Top Magazine reported. The 27-year-old Hirst, a father of two, came out in August, making him the first British Rugby League player to publicly announce he's gay. When asked when he expects other rugby players to come out, Hirst answered that they'll come out "when they're ready to. I don't think it's fair to try and force it. A person, whoever they are, can only come out when they want to."

An Istanbul court has ordered the Turkish Football Federation ( TFF ) to pay compensation for sacking a referee on the grounds of his homosexuality, the BBC News reported. The TFF was fined 23,000 lira ( $7,900 ) for dismissing Halil Ibrahim Dincdag, 38, in 2009. The federation claimed Mr Dincdag was "unfit" for military service and thus unable to work as a referee. Homosexuality is not illegal in Turkey, but there is a social stigma attached in areas outside cities like Istanbul and Ankara.

The Japanese city of Iga is set to recognize same-sex partnerships as being equivalent to marriage next year—making it the country's fourth such city, according to Gay Star News. Although Japan does not recognize same-sex marriage, the city says it plans to accord the same rights to same-sex couples at hospitals and apartments run by the municipal government and work with private companies, such as real-estate agencies.

Andy West—the BBC journalist suspended for his remarks over his network's nomination of a homophobic boxer for the Sports Person of the Year award—aired his latest public thoughts in a YouTube video that has since been deleted, according to . Sporting a full beard, West recounted the moment he tweeted he was "ashamed" to work for the BBC—and said he is not remorseful at all. In part, he stated, "I wanted to just say that I chose between being an objective journalist and being a human being with thoughts and opinions with principles."

Australian actress Carol Burns recently died at age 68 after battling cancer, according to Brisbane Times. Burns is best known for her award-winning performance in the Australian cult television series Prisoner, in which she played tough lesbian biker Franky Doyle. Burns—who is survived by longtime partner Alan Lawrence—began her professional career as founding member of the Queensland Theatre Company in 1969.

This article shared 4652 times since Tue Jan 5, 2016
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