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  WINDY CITY TIMES

World news: LGBT Ugandans; Ireland and marriage; trans deaths
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2015-11-24

This article shared 5197 times since Tue Nov 24, 2015
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Hundreds of people in Uganda's LGBT community have fled the country to escape homophobia and persecution—but many are now stuck in Kenya, where the situation is not much better, according to BBC News. For example, Tyrone ( not his real name ) has said that he was beaten up in Kenya's capital, Nairobi, just days after arriving there ( on Christmas Day ). Recently, almost a dozen LGBT people were taken by the United Nation's refugee agency ( UNHCR ) to a safe house in Nairobi, after they were attacked on a night out.

Ireland celebrated its first same-sex marriages, six months after voters overwhelmingly chose to legalize the practice in the traditionally conservative Catholic nation, ABC News noted. Dozens of couples nationwide converted their existing civil partnerships into full marriages in brief ceremonies in settings such as hospital offices. Gay marriage became officially legal Nov. 16, but the legislation required a minimum 24-hour notice to upgrade civil partnerships.

Gay Star News noted that trans people have been hanged, stoned to death and even killed by their own parents, according to a new report. It highlights the tragedies of 271 trans and gender-variant people, at least, who were murdered in the last 12 months; 37 were 21 years old or younger. Brazil ( 118 murders ) and Mexico ( 34 ), once again, lead the list of the most reported killings of trans men and women, according to Transgender Europe's Trans Murder Monitoring Project.

China has reported nearly 110,000 HIV/AIDS cases so far this year, with gay men accounting for over 25 per cent of the total, according to an NDTV.com article. In worse-hit cities such as Beijing and Harbin, more than 70 percent of the cases reported in 2015 involved gay men. Wu Zunyou, head of the National Centre for AIDS/STD Control and Prevention, made the remarks on the sidelines of the ongoing 2015 National Conference on HIV/AIDS.

A 21-year-old trans woman has been found dead in a men's prison in the United Kingdom, Gay Star News reported. Vicky Thompson, who was being held at Leeds prison, had told friends and family she would kill herself if she was sent to a prison for men. The one she was sent to held 1,200 violent male prisoners. According to boyfriend Robert Steele, she had asked to be sent to a female prison. He said that she didn't "like it there," as people were making sexually abusive comments, as the BBC reported.

In Canada, authorities are looking for four to six men in Calgary who attacked a gay teen in August after walking a female friend home from a house party, Towleroad noted. The police believe the attack was hate-motivated and are currently seeking help from the public in identifying the assailants.

Ukraine's parliament hampered the ex-Soviet country's chances of visa-free travel to most EU nations by blocking legislation that would have banned discrimination against gays in the workplace, according to Yahoo! News. The pro-EU leadership that replaced the Moscow-backed president last year has made it a priority to join the Schengen zone. However, the European Union said in 2010 that Ukrainians being allowed free travel depended in part on Kiev adding a clause to its Soviet-era labour code that would ban all forms of discrimination against gays and lesbians at work.

Premier League boss Richard Scudamore has said that gay soccer players would be treated with respect if they choose to publicly reveal their sexuality, according to BBC News. "The environment would be entirely suitable for them to come out," Scudamore told BBC Newsnight. There have been no openly gay male footballers ( soccer players ) in England since former Norwich striker Justin Fashanu in 1990.

A lesbian was elected as the first LGBTI student president of South Korea's top-ranked Seoul National University, according to Gay Star News. Kim Bo-mi, 23, ran unopposed and won 86.8 percent of the votes. Kim came out earlier this month at a campaign meeting.

A British woman who fooled her friend into having sex by using a fake penis has been sentenced to eight years in prison, The New York Daily News reported. Gayle Newland, 25, tricked the unnamed woman into thinking she was a man by wearing a disguise and persuading her to wear a blindfold when they met. Judge Roger Dutton described Newland as "scheming," "deceitful" and "highly manipulative."

In Turkey, homosexuals are exempt from serving in the army, which is compulsory for men aged between 20 and 41. In order to prove their exemption, gay men were being forced into rectal examinations, and even made to photograph themselves having sex. Now, Gay Times reported, the Turkish Armed Forces have now relaxed this policy, meaning that these humiliating methods will no longer be enforced. Being exempt from the Turkish military does mean having one's sexual orientation listed on the official record, which could then lead to further discrimination.

Lahcen Haddad, the tourism minister of Morocco, has called for the decriminalization of both homosexuality and consensual sex outside of marriage, Gay Times Magazine noted. The self-described modern liberalist made the comments in an interview with CNN Arabic, where he said it was time to start a debate on LGBT rights in the Muslim-majority country. The Moroccan Penal Code currently punishes same-sex sexual activity with up to three years imprisonment under Article 489.

Although the court denied asylum to a gay man with HIV, a Ninth Circuit judge fought against requiring an immigrant to show proof that Mexico will not protect him, Courthouse News reported. Carlos Bringas Rodriguez, also known as Patricio Iron-Rodriguez, was born and raised in Tres Valles, Veracruz, Mexico, where he was sexually abused by an uncle, cousins and a neighbor. The Ninth Circuit was divided two to one in refusing to grant Rodriguez asylum. Citing the 2011 holding in Castro-Martinez v. Holder, Judge Jay Bybee wrote for the majority that Bringas was required to show "that the government was unable or unwilling to control his attackers."

In Britain, Steve Brookstein, the first-ever winner of the X Factor, has sparked outrage with a joke about Olly Murs' live gaffe on a show, ITV.com noted. Murs accidentally said that contestant Monica Michaels was eliminated before the results of the public vote was revealed. Brookstein then posted, "Dr Murs, 'Sorry you have HIV, actually no, sorry I'm wrong. You haven't. My mistake. Hold on, yes, sorry you have HIV. Sorry.' #XFactor" After getting backlash, Brookstein then tweeted, "Oh dear the X Factor viewers are upset. Duh! No surprise there then."

The Sunshine Coast of Australia is making a push to be known as a gay friendly destination, following a visit by Gay and Lesbian Tourism Australia ( GLTA ), Gay News Network noted. GLTA held its annual general meeting in Noosa, and locals took advantage to show off the area as an LGBTI-friendly community. The Sunshine Coast stretches along the Coral Sea in Australia's Queensland state.


This article shared 5197 times since Tue Nov 24, 2015
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