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World news: Japanese LGBTIs; clashes in Russia and Ukraine; UKIP banned
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2015-06-09

This article shared 4733 times since Tue Jun 9, 2015
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A survey shows that Japan has an LGBTI population of 7.6 percent ( the equivalent of one in every 13 persons, or 9.67 million people ), Gay Star News reported. Advertising company Denstu polled 69,989 people aged 20 to 59 in April. A similar survey in 2012 found that only 5.2 percent, or one in 19, Japanese people identified as LGBTI.

Police in Moscow detained 15 people after a clash broke out between gay-rights advocates and opponents, a Toronto Star article stated. A small group of activists tried to hold an unauthorized demonstration in support of gay rights outside the mayor's office—but opponents fought with them and police detained people from both sides. Russian authorities routinely deny permission to hold gay-rights demonstrations on the grounds of maintaining public order and avoiding violence.

At least five policemen were injured in scuffles during a gay-pride march in Ukraine's capital of Kiev, BBC News reported. Unidentified people reportedly attacked the rally alongside the Dnipro river with smoke bombs and stones, with several people being arrested. Ahead of the LGBT march, a number of Ukrainian politicians, including the radical Right Sector movement, had pledged to disrupt the event. Kiev Mayor Vitaly Klitschko had called on the organizers of the Equality March to cancel the event to "avoid confrontation" in the city.

The controversial UK Independence Party ( UKIP ) has been officially banned from attending this year's Gay Pride Parade in London, Breitbart.com reported. The party's LGBT* group, as well as the youth wing Young Independence, had initially intended to send representatives to take part in the Pride march. However, following a campaign against the party by political groups and full-time, left-wing LGBT activists ( including longtime advocate Peter Tatchell ), it appears that the organizers changed their minds.

In Canada, a political roadblock that imperiled New Democratic Party ( NDP ) MPP Cheri DiNovo's landmark legislation to ban transgender "conversion therapy" has been cleared, The Toronto Star reported. DiNovo's Affirming Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Act will ban doctors from billing Ontario Health Insurance for counselling LGBT patients to change sexual orientation or gender identity. The development occurred after the NDP, which had been holding up DiNovo's bill because it was parcelled for passage with unrelated Liberal and Progressive Conservative legislation, agreed to end the political wrangling.

Netflix has let out some of the prisoners in its signature series Orange Is the New Black to party and dance in Brazil at one of the world's largest gay-pride parades, The New York Times noted. Three actresses who play lesbian inmates in the show and at least two other actors of the new series Sense8 celebrated the LGBT community atop a giant red-carpeted Netflix float surrounded by exuberant fans in Sao Paulo. Actress Samira Wiley wore a hat sideways with the words "I love girls," while she waved to the crowds alongside Natasha Lyonne and Uzo Aduba, other stars in the show.

A same-sex couple from Costa Rica were granted a common-law marriage, making them the first legally recognized gay couple in Central America, according to an IBTimes.com item. A judge at the city's Family Court granted partners Gerald Castro and Cristian Zamora a common-law marriage based on an amendment to the Youth Code in July 2013. The change mandated common-law marriages should exist regardless of gender and "without discrimination against their human dignity." The marriage provides the same benefits of a traditional marriage; however, it required the approval of a judge after a couple has been together for at least three years.

A transgender woman who was a prominent activist in El Salvador was killed May 31, The Washington Blade reported. The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, in a press release, cited local media reports that indicated Francela Mendez Rodriguez was murdered by a group of unknown assailants while visiting the home of a friend, Consuela Flores Martinez, who was also killed. Méndez Rodriguez, 29, had been a board member of Colectivo Alejandria, a Salvadoran trans advocacy group, since it was founded in 2010. The advocate was also a member of the Salvadoran Human Rights Defenders Network, and worked on an HIV-prevention program in the Central American country.

A judge in Argentina criticized for reducing the sentence of a convicted child abuser because the 6-year-old victim supposedly showed signs of being gay has resigned, two days after the other judge linked to the case stepped down, the Associated Press noted. Judge Sal Llargues announced his decision to resign from the Criminal Appeals Court of Buenos Aires in a letter to the province's Supreme Court. Judge Horacio Piombo had previously resigned.

Seoul police have banned the Korea Queer Culture Festival in the South Korean capital after Christians camped outside police stations to prevent the event from taking place on June 28, according to Gay Star News. Namdaemun Police Station and Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency denied a permit for the march, citing an expected standoff with Christian groups that would cause "inconvenience to pedestrian and vehicle traffic." Last year, Christians blocked the 20,000 marchers by lying in the streets.

Anti-gay Russian lawmaker Vitaly Milonov has introduced a bill that would ban "nudity or unethical attire" in public places for both men and women, according to Towleroad. The bill includes "either absence of clothes or nudity of either upper or lower parts of the body" for men and women alike. The list of "unethical clothing" includes men's and women's underwear and swimsuits.

Judy Shalom Nir-Mozes, wife of Israeli Deputy Prime Minister/Interior Minister Silvan Shalom, dressed as a man to help bring awareness to Pride Week in Israel, Page Six noted. The motto of the Tel Aviv parade was, "Everybody is marching with the transgenders." "The idea of this project is to take top Israeli celebs and turn them into [trans individuals] for one day," Amit Lewinthal of Walla!news said.

Thailand's public health ministry and U.S. AIDS agencies in Thailand have launched a joint research project with HIV-positive men who have sex with men ( MSM ) and transgender individuals after efforts to reduce the number of new infected patients were not so successful, The Chiangrai Times reported. The cooperation began in 2014, involving such agencies as USAID and U.S. CDC with support from the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR. The research will be conducted in seven Thai provinces at risk of AIDS transmission among the two target groups.

A new commercial airing heavily in Brazil has prompted controversy and calls for a boycott because it features same-sex couples, Gay Star News reported. Cosmetic company O boticÃˇrio ( "Apothecary" ) is using a campaign to promote its Aegean brand of unisex fragrances; in the ad, four couples—including a male couple and a female couple. The commercial began airing and immediately prompted a backlash on social media, with many commentators saying that they objected to children seeing the commercial and that it was "disrespectful to society and the family."

In Morocco, two French activists were expelled from the country for staging a topless same-sex kiss at the site of an ancient mosque, according to PinkNews. The women were members of the human-rights protest group Femen, the female members of which often appear topless in order to campaign for LGBT rights. The protest took place at the medieval site of the Hassan Mosque, which is no longer an active place of worship, but is visited by thousands of tourists each year.

In South Africa, a drug addict who bashed his friend to death while on parole for attacking another friend was sentenced in the High Court in Pretoria to 24 years imprisonment, News24 reported. Judge Tshifiwa Maumela sentenced Juda Plekenpol, 32, to 24 years for murder and four years for robbery. Plekenpol admitted to bludgeoning Louis Eksteen, 45, to death with a knobkerrie in April 2013—claiming he had lost his temper and self-control because Eksteen touched his hand in what he regarded as a sexual manner.

One of the latest travel series that aims to ensure fun and inclusive outings for the gay community is TropOut, which has announced its inaugural week-long travel experience in Bang Tao Beach, Thailand, in April 2016, according to Jaunted.com . More than 1,000 participants are expected to join the outing in southern Phuket, staying at the five-star Angsana Laguna Phuket while enjoying an itinerary that includes DJ parties at nearby Nikki Beach, walking tours and cave explorations, bay cruises, cooking classes and spa treatments. Future TropOut experiences will take a "chill, party and explore" approach to travel, according to a statement about the series' launch.


This article shared 4733 times since Tue Jun 9, 2015
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