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  WINDY CITY TIMES

WORLD Anti-sodomy law, serial killer, gay prime minister
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2018-03-13

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An attempt to reinstate Belize's anti-sodomy law is "effectively over," says LGBT-rights activist Maurice Tomlinson, according to 76Crimes.com . Tomlinson was responding to the fact that the Catholic Church in Belize decided to no longer appeal the 2016 decision by the Belize Supreme Court to overturn the country's prohibition against consensual anal sex ( Section 53 of the Criminal Code ).

The Canadian landscaper accused of killing at least six men and stuffing their remains in potted planters was questioned by Canadian authorities years before his arrest—and let go, The New York Post reported. Toronto police grilled Bruce McArthur in 2013 in connection with three men who had vanished from the city's "Gay Village" neighborhood. McArthur, 66, has been charged with six counts of first-degree murder, CBC.ca noted.

Irish leader Leo Varadkar will use his face time with Donald Trump to challenge his administration's anti-LGBT agenda, PinkNews reported. Ireland's Taoiseach ( Prime Minister ) Leo Varadkar is only the fourth openly gay world leader in recent political history—and has vowed to put equality at the heart of his leadership. Speaking in Parliament ahead of a traditional visit to the United States for St. Patrick's Day ( March 17 ), Vadadkar said he would use his time with the U.S. leader to press him on a number of issues.

Advocacy groups in Colombia have launched a campaign ahead of the country's national elections that seeks to educate voters about candidates' positions on LGBT-specific issues, The Washington Blade noted. Last month, Colombia Diversa, Caribe Afirmativo, Santamaria Fundacion, EgoCity and Sentiido launched the Vote for Equality campaign that ranks each candidate on whether they support issues relating to non-discrimination and equality for LGBT Colombians. Congressional elections took place March 11, and teleSUR noted that two Colombian LGBT candidates were elected: Angelica Lozano Correa and Mauricio Andres Toro Orjuela.

A teacher who groomed young children to join him on an Islamic State-inspired terrorist attack had been searching online for transgender prostitutes, The Sunday Times reported. Umar Haque, 25, who infiltrated the school system, was convicted of preparing terrorist acts with targets including Tower Bridge and Big Ben in central London. Haque had told police that gay clubs were also among the targets he was considering and said that he did not like Britain because of "mass fornication, mass illicit behavior."

Australia's first same-sex marriage lasted just 48 days and ended in heartbreak with the death of a terminally ill woman, Queensland state parliament heard, Reuters reported. Queensland woman Jo Grant married her partner of eight years, Jill Kindt, on Dec. 15 in the garden of their home on Australia's northeast Sunshine Coast, less than a week after the nation became the 26th country to recognize same-sex unions. Grant, who was in palliative care for a rare form of cancer, died Jan. 30.

Politicians in Germany have abandoned a planned legal challenge seeking to reverse same-sex marriage, according to PinkNews. Same-sex weddings began in Germany last year after the country's conservative Chancellor Angela Merkel—an opponent of same-sex marriage—agreed to allow a bill to pass through the country's Parliament to appease liberal lawmakers. The decision angered the right-wing regional government in the state of Bavaria, which said it was planning a legal challenge.

A man has been charge with the murder of a London LGBT activist, according to PinkNews. Activist Julian Aubrey was found dead with multiple stab wounds in his home in Kensington, London, on Oct. 30, 2017. The dead activist worked with victims of sexual abuse, and was also a former head of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea LGBT liaison group.On Feb. 28, 2018, Enrique Facelli, 48, also of Kensington, was charged with murder in connection with the killing.

An actor was left "confused and upset" after being rejected by an acting agency because they already had a gay client, PinkNews reported. Joseph Segal, a London-based actor, was applying to agencies to represent him when he was rejected by one because of his sexuality. A rejection email read, "Moreover, we already have a gay actor on our books and also a musician/actor of the same age, so we feel there would be a clash."

In Africa, gay film Inxeba ( The Wound ) was "unbanned" and returned to mainstream cinema screens on March 9, Screen African reported. The Inxeba filmmakers appeared in court on March 6 for the urgent application brought by Webber Wentzel on behalf of the film's producers and distributors, to ask the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria to overturn its X18 rating. The film, about a gay relationship set in the context of a Xhosa initiation ceremony, was pulled from cinemas after being given an 18X rating—essentially classifying it as porn.

Ellen DeGeneres has urged fans to boycott Bermuda over its anti-gay marriage law, according to PinkNews. Bermuda, a British overseas territory, recently opted to abolish same-sex marriage less than a year after weddings first began. The region has passed a law that revokes equal marriage and segregates gay couples within a lesser, internationally unrecognised form of union known as a "domestic partnership." DeGeneres took to Twitter to voice her outrage at the decision ahead of a planned holiday in the region.

Australian and former Dancing with the Stars winner Bindi Irwin has been honored as an LGBT ally, PinkNews reporetd. She has vocally backed marriage equality during Australia's public vote on the issue last year. Irwin—the daughter of late zookeeper, conservationist and TV star Steve Irwin—was honoured with an Ally Award at an Australian LGBT awards ceremony. She said, "I wanteto thank you from the bottom of my heart for this extraordinary honor. I feel so proud to be an an ally. Congratulations to the finalists."

Former Britain's Got Talent finalist Calum Scott, 29, recently spoke with Billboard magazine talked about how certain factors—including accepting his sexuality—has played into his songwriting. "All of those guys [like Sam Smith and Ed Sheeran] write from the heart, they write from their past," Scott said. "So I started to look to myself, and that's when those sort of songs started to develop. I started to feel songwriting was pulling different pieces of my heart out—the more I started writing, the more there was honesty." A conversation with some of his co-writers even resulted in a song, "If Our Love Is Wrong."

South Korean actor Jo Min-ki— accused of sexually abusing students amid a spate of #MeToo allegations sweeping his country—was found dead of an apparent suicide, The New York Post noted. Police said Jo's wife found his body in an underground parking lot three days before he was to be questioned about allegations that he molested at least eight women, the Korea Times reported.


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