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Queen pardons Turing; trans woman's death in Ireland
World news: Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2014-09-02

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The Queen of England has granted a royal pardon for internationally acclaimed British codebreaker and computer scientist Alan Turing, PrideSource.com reported. Turing took his own life in 1954 after being convicted two years prior of having consensual sex with a 19-year-old male. The pardon comes a decade after gay activists and straight allies lobbied the British government for a posthumous pardon for Turing saying his conviction of "gross indecency" was an injustice.

In Ireland, an inquest has heard that a transgender woman hanged herself in Dublin, Gay City News reported. Nikita Keane, 26, was found dead in her home in the Irish capital on July 26, 2013. During the inquest, her family demanded Keane be referred to her birth name and to use male pronouns—despite the facts that her name had been changed by deed poll and she was in transition. Last year, Trans Equality Network Ireland found nearly 80 percent of trans people in the country had considered suicide.

In Italy, a woman whose partner gave birth has been allowed to adopt the child in the first case of stepchild adoption involving a same-sex couple in that country, TheLocal.it reported. The 5-year-old is the daughter of one of the two partners, who were married abroad. The girl was born after her biological mother underwent fertility treatment in another European country; the pair has since raised the child at their home in Rome.

British communications regulator Ofcom received a grand total of six complaints after a lesbian kiss was featured in the recent Doctor Who episode "Deep Breath," the UK Independent noted. The BBC sci-fi drama came under fire from some fans for the "inappropriate" moment between lizard-woman Madame Vastra and her human wife, Jenny Flint, that aired to 7 million viewers.

A Greek MP ( member of Parliament ) waged an anti-gay Twitter war on Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel, prompting a backlash on the social-media site, according to EUObserver.com . "From a Europe of nation states to a Europe of ... faggots!! The prime minister of Luxemburg is engaged with his darling!!" Nikos Nikolopoulos, the president of the conservative Greek Christian-Democratic party, tweeted. The Nikolopoulos tweet was forwarded to Bettel who later replied: "Hello, I heard you want to tell me something, but I don't speak Greek. Sorry." Nikopoulos was bombarded with criticism on the social-media site.

In Russia, two lawmakers in the Murmansk city council representing the ruling United Russia party are featured in a video depicting bearded drag-queen Eurovision winner Conchita Wurst; however, the candidates appear to announce their "anti-gay" platform ahead of the city's municipal elections, The Moscow Times reported. The six-second video first depicts several cartoon figures resembling Wurst gathering at a sign reading: "There will be a parade!" The video then shows the two candidates, Oleg Guz and Almaz Gismeyev, shaking hands while an off-screen voice announces their names and the slogan: "Against loudmouths and gays." Municipal elections are Sept. 14.

The leader of the Russian anti-gay vigilante group "Occupy Pedophilia," who is alleged to have lured LGBT youth to abusive encounters through fake social-media profiles, has been sentenced to five years in a Russian penal colony, LGBTQ Nation reported. Maxim Sergeyevich Martsinkevich was convicted of inciting cases of extremism by posting videos on the "Vkontakte" social network that contained racial slurs and extremist opinions on Russia's state of the union. ( Anti-gay statements were not used against him. ) Other members of "Occupy Paedophilia" are currently awaiting trial for their participation in anti-gay crimes.

A sailor in Chile has become the first serving member of his country's armed forces to announce he is gay, according to BBC News. Mauricio Ruiz, 24, told a televised news conference his decision had "not been easy," but he wanted to help fight discrimination against gay people. Ruiz said that what was most important was not a soldier's sexual orientation, but his or her willingness to serve the country. Correspondents say attitudes are changing in Chile, especially after the brutal assault and killing of a young gay man in March 2012 that sparked outrage and triggered a debate over hate crimes.

A diversity training program will soon be rolled out to cricket clubs, school teams and indoor cricket centers nationwide after Cricket Australia approved funding for its development, Gay News Network reported. The program, called "A Sport For All," will feature a dedicated guide to LGBTI engagement. A Cricket Australia spokesperson said that seminars on inclusion and cultural awareness will be held across cricket's 75 regions.

In South Africa, the brutal rape and murder of an 18-year-old woman in Ventersdorp, North West, may have been yet another incident of "corrective rape," News24.com reported. Gift Makau had been raped and strangled with wire and a shoelace, and a hosepipe had been shoved into her mouth. A 24-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the incident. Media have reported that approximately 30 lesbians have been attacked and murdered because of their sexuality over the past 15 years.

The organizers of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras have blamed negative publicity and high ticket prices after recording a loss of $177,644 last financial year, and suggested a radical overhaul of the festival including a downgrading of its signature party, The Sydney Morning Herald reported. The poor result was a significant turnaround from the modest $45,693 profit in 2012-13. Mardi Gras Chief Executive Michael Rolik said revenue from ticket sales and fees had fallen below expectations by more than half a million dollars, the Mardi Gras party's box office missing budget by $350,000.

Nearly three in 10 adults ( 28 percent ) across 123 countries in 2013 said their city or area is a "good place" for gay or lesbian people to live, but hospitable attitudes range widely from as high as 83 percent in the Netherlands to as low as 1 percent in Pakistan and Senegal, according to Gallup.com . Iceland, Canada, Spain and the United Kingdom followed the Netherlands, while countries on the bottom also included Uganda, Mali, Indonesia, Ethopia and Afghanistan, all at 2 percent.

As the Bingham Cup kicked off in Sydney, Australia, two Rugby World Cup winning Wallabies' captains joined senior federal politicians of every major Australian party, as the International Rugby Board ( IRB ) and the Australian Rugby Union made history, according to a press release. The IRB is believed to be the first major international sporting federation to publicly endorse a gay sporting event, while the Australian Rugby Union is the first Australian sport to adopt a range of policies aimed at eliminating homophobia. Other international sporting organizations, such as FIFA ( soccer ), were challenged to follow rugby's lead.

Lesbian Australian professional tennis player Casey Dellacqua made it to the fourth round of the U.S. open, falling to Italy's Flavia Pennetta. In 2013, Dellacqua came out publicly as a lesbian after announcing her partner Amanda gave birth to their son, Blake Benjamin, according to Outsports.


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