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World news: Trans women arrested; Australian apology; Pride Toronto
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times

This article shared 3872 times since Tue Dec 22, 2015
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In Thailand, four transgender women were arrested in after a man plunged to his death from a fourth-floor window, according to PinkNews. Naami Keyghobadi, 28, from Leeds, was found lying face-up in a street in Pattaya, a city on the east coast of Thailand which is known for its nightlife. Officers said that one of the women claimed she had argued with the deceased over money he owed her for sexual services. She told police that Keyghobadi had climbed out of the window of his own accord and was not pushed.

In an Australian first, men with historical convictions of consensual same-sex acts in Tasmania will receive an official apology from the government and have their convictions expunged, according to the Star Observer. Those offenses were repealed from the Tasmanian Criminal Code in 1997 after homosexuality was decriminalized in Tasmania—the last state in Australia to do so—but the criminal records of those convicted still existed. The legislation will ensure that any individual prosecuted under these offenses will no longer suffer distress or be disadvantaged by a criminal record in relation to travel, employment and volunteering.

In Canada, Pride Toronto has issued a press release proclaiming 2016 as a year of LGBT firsts. For example, the country's first-ever Pride Month will launch June 1, 2016, featuring extended programming and events throughout the city, culminating with the 10-day Pride Toronto festival, June 24-July 3. Also, Pride Toronto is on track to make the 2016 Guinness Book of World Records and claim the title of "World's Largest Drag Queen Stage Show" from the Gay Softball World Series in Columbus, Ohio.

A Mexican state legislature has voted to close the door to foreign couples and gay men looking to have a child by surrogacy, The Guardian noted. The Gulf Coast state of Tabasco is currently the only Mexican state that allows surrogacy, supposedly on a non-commercial basis. However, the Tabasco state legislature voted 21 to nine to restrict the option to Mexicans. It also says that couples looking for a child must include a mother aged 25 to 40 who can present proof that she is medically unable to bear a child.

A politician in Ireland's newest political party has quit—after Facebook posts in which she claimed the Vatican is "riddled" with gay sex, PinkNews noted. Mary Smyth had been selected to stand for the new right-wing Renua Ireland party for the Cavan-Monaghan constituency. However, the candidate was asked to step aside this week after making a number of controversial comments on Facebook, including saying that the Vatican is "corrupt, riddled with gay sex and adoration of wealth."

Scottish man Dale Everard, 22, was found guilty in a Dunfermline Sheriff Court of sexual assault after performing oral sex on a sleeping man, LGBTQ Nation reported. Everard performed oral sex on another person without his consent—a heterosexual male who was passed out drunk, with his girlfriend asleep just a few feet away. Everard was sentenced to 18 months in prison for the incident, and has been placed on a sex-offender registry.

Detectives in the United Kingdom are urging anyone who may have been friends or acquaintances with an alleged gay serial killer to please come forward, LGBTQ Nation reported. Stephen Port, 40, was arrested in October after allegedly poisoning four men, all in their 20s, that he met on gay dating sites between June 2014 and September 2015. Detective Chief Inspector Tim Duffield issued a statement, saying, "We are keen to speak to anyone who may have information in connection with these incidents, no matter how insignificant you may think it is." Port's trial is slated to start in April.

An Italian priest has been arrested after he allegedly used the gay-dating app Grindr to meet teenage boys, Inside Edition reported. Antonello Tropea, 44, was taken into custody after police found him in a car with a teenager in a secluded spot, authorities said. The priest had been under investigation by police, who allegedly determined he was using the U.S.-based app to meet teenagers. He allegedly had sex with the boys in his car and his rectory in Calabria.

Malawi's justice minister, Samuel Tembenu, announced that it will drop all charges against two gay men who were arrested Dec. 7 in the capital of Lilongwe, Gay Star News noted. Cuthbert Kulemela, 19, and Kelvin Gonani, 39, were facing a jail term of up to 14 years for allegedly having sexual intercourse inside Gonani's home. The men were arrested and charged despite the 2012 decision by Malawi officials to halt such arrests countrywide. The Human Rights Watch as well as the U.K. and U.S. governments had called on Malawi to drop the charges.

English cage fighter Alex Reid has said they identify as trans, according to PinkNews. Appearing on the cover of Star magazine, Reid re-created the iconic Vanity Fair cover Caitlyn Jenner used to announce her transition. In an interview with the magazine, Reid said they are not a "drag queen or a female impersonator," but rather they identify as trans. Speaking as Roxeanne during the interview ), they said, "Ever since I was a child I've been happy to dress up and play different characters" and "Bruce [Jenner] was mocked because trans people are the last social taboo."

Controversial British boxing champion Tyson Fury has kissed a gay man to prove he's not homophobic, according to Gay Star News. The British boxing champion reportedly was confronted by a gay man in a Lancashire pub. Paul Cole told The Sun, "He said he wasn't homophobic and suddenly rubbed my beard and kissed me on both cheeks. I've changed my mind about him. He's a big friendly giant who'd float my boat if he was gay." Also, Fury has apologized for the aggressively homophobic remarks he made during a recent interview with The Daily Mail, saying it was never his intention to offend the LGBT community, according to .

Eurovision winner Mans Zelmerlow has appeared naked on the cover of a gay magazine ( Gay Times ) following "controversial" ( see: homophobic ) remarks that sex between two men is "unnatural," Queerty noted. Since his 2014 appearance on a Swedish cooking show in which he stunned the other guests with an unsavory recipe of ignorant homophobic comments, the singer has profusely apologized and has worked with LGBT groups. Zelmerlow is one of four cover models posing naked to raise awareness of prostate cancer.

An advertisement for Lynx that featured a same-sex kiss has been named one of the most complained about advertisements in Australia this year, after viewers said it forced the "gay agenda into the home," Gay Times Magazine noted. The ad came out in January to promote the men's grooming brand, and encourages people to "experiment" with their hair, as well as their life. It features a voiceover speaking the line: "Go out, see amazing things, get an amazing job, kiss the hottest girl … or the hottest boy."

Following the Facebook serialization of love story Yousef and Farhad—about a gay couple in Iran—OutRight Action International has released the full 20-page graphic novel to download for free, according to a press release. OutRight created the graphic novel in partnership with the Algerian-American political cartoonist Khalil Bendib and the award-winning Iranian-American author Amir Soltani, creator of the best-selling graphic nove Zahra's Paradise. Visit

An outdoor exhibition of photos of models and celebrities as well as gay couples in Toulouse, France was vandalized several times since it went on display Nov. 30 on the railings of the city's Grand Rond park, Gay Star News reported. All the artworks—some featuring celebrities posing as "imaginary" same-sex couples—by French photographer Olivier Ciappa in the show "Les Couples de la Republique" were later stolen. To continue the exhibition, many images had to be replaced after vandals spray-painted the faces of those in the images and tore out large sections of others.

British lawmakers have asked that poppers not be banned as part of the government's crusade against "legal highs," according to LGBTQ Nation. Right now, legislation is passing through parliament that requests banning the production, distribution, sale and supply of all "designer drugs," and sellers can jailed for up to seven years.

This article shared 3872 times since Tue Dec 22, 2015
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