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World news: Luxembourg has gay leader; South Korean movie's rating
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2013-11-20

This article shared 6549 times since Wed Nov 20, 2013
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Luxembourg City mayor Xavier Bettel looks set to become the world's third openly gay or lesbian national leader after ruling monarch Grand Duke Henri picked him to negotiate the next governing coalition, Gay Star News reported. Bettel said he plans to legalize same-sex marriage as soon as next year and he will be sharing the Prime Minister's official residence with his partner, Destenay Gauthier.

The South Korean Supreme Court overturned a Korea Media Rating Board ( KMRB ) decision for a local gay romance, claiming the conservative rating potentially threatened the human rights of the LGBT community, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Kim Jho Gwang-soo's 2009 film Just Friends? is a 30-minute romantic comedy about the trials a young twentysomething gay couple face before entering the mandatory two-year military service for Korean men. Kim Jho requested a 15-and-over rating for featuring a heavy kiss scene; however, the KMRB categorized it "teenagers restricted."

The recently re-elected mayor of Beit Shemesh, Israel, has claimed there are no gay people in his city, which he describes as "holy and pure," according to Advocate.com . Mayor Moshe Abutbul, an ultra-Orthodox Jew, made the assertion Friday in a television interview. In the same broadcast, a gay resident of Beit Shemesh—a city of about 75,000 located west of Jerusalem—said there are actually many LGBT citizens there. In addition, Beit Shemesh native Elinor Sidi—who now heads the LGBT organization Jerusalem Open House—said she lamented the "hatred, ignorance, homophobia, and racism" that she says have grown in Beit Shemesh, as many ultra-Orthodox Jews have moved there in the past few years.

A British lesbian couple is suing the National Health Service after claiming they were refused fertility treatment because of their sexuality, according to Gay Star News. The women, both 38 and in a civil partnership, are claiming they were told separately by a nurse and a doctor at Saint Mary's Hospital in Manchester that they were ineligible for IVF ( in vitro fertilization ). Delays to their treatment, according to the couple, mean it is now "almost impossible" for them to have a baby.

Northern Ireland Health Minister Edwin Poots has defended his opposition to gay adoption and gay men donating blood, according to BBC News. Poots denied he thought homosexuality was an illness, but said there were heterosexual men "who would desire lots of other folks." A High Court judge Poots recently criticized Poots for his ban on gay blood donations while the Supreme Court refused to allow him to appeal the High Court decision to allow gay and unmarried couples to adopt.

The global meeting of one of the world's largest groupings of non-Catholic Christian churches closed with a prayer for LGBTI inclusion in a first for the World Council of Churches, according to Gay Star News. The World Council of Churches ( WCC ) met in Busan, South Korea, for its 10th Assembly, and its member denominations serve nearly 600 million Christian worshipers worldwide. The assemblies are held once every seven years, and the 2013 Assembly closed with a prayer from Father Michael Lapsley of the Institute for Healing of Memories in Cape Town, South Africa.

A gay British man and his Ugandan partner are facing possible jail terms after images of them having sex were published in one of the African country's newspapers, The Guardian reported. Bernard Randall, 65, faces a charge of trafficking obscene material that could carry a two-year prison sentence; his partner, 30-year-old Albert Cheptoyek, faces a more serious charge of gross indecency that could have him behind bars for up to seven years.

CNN's Anderson Cooper has come under fire for criticizing Cindy Mejia, Peru's entrant in last weekend's Miss Universe pageant, according to Advocate.com . In his "Ridiculist" segment on his Anderson Cooper 360 show, Cooper giggled as her described her dress, which represented the traditional attire of women in the nation's Mantaro Valley region. Peruvians have called Cooper's reaction insulting. "Comments in Peru's media have ranged from outrage to indignation to calls for an apology," reported the website Hispanically Speaking News.

Speaking of Peru, a new billboard campaign in Lima shows some of the country's celebrities posing as if they were same-sex couples to show people that there is nothing wrong with being gay, according to Gay Star News. The billboards are part of the 'Imaginary Couples' campaign, which is modeled on a similar campaign from France by photographer Olivier Ciappa. Lawmakers have been seeking to legalize same-sex civil unions in Peru since 2010; however, the current government of President Ollanta Humala opposes them.

Beginning Thursday, Nov. 21, The Honduran Equality Delegation—a group of American LGBT-rights activists from across the United States—will travel to Honduras to meet with LGBT activists in the Central American country to help bring more visibility to the rampant violence against LGBTs there, according to a joint statement from the delegation, the Chicago Religious Leadership Network on Latin America and the Gay Liberation Network. Fifteen human-rights activists from Chicago, San Francisco, Portland, New York, St. Louis and Kansas City will be in the country through Dec. 1 to meet LGBT and allied leaders, tour organizations and observe the country's general elections.

The Vatican has honored an openly gay U.S. teen for his work to develop a cost-effective method to detect pancreatic cancer, according to LGBTQ Nation. Jack Andraka—a high school junior from Crownsville, Md.—received the International Giuseppe Sciacca Award for his work. The Vatican awards the prize to recognize youth who are positive role models and outstanding in their fields.


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