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WORLD Romanian ruling, conversion-therapy first, Elton John
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2018-06-12

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The European Union's top court has ruled in favor of a Romanian gay man's right to have his U.S. husband live with him in Romania, the BBC reported. The country, which does not recognize same-sex marriage, had argued that the American was not entitled to the EU residency rights awarded to spouses. However, the European Court of Justice said the term "spouse" was gender-neutral. Adrian Coman and U.S. partner Clai Hamilton were married in Brussels, Belgium, in 2010.

Vancouver will ban conversion therapy, and supporters say it's the first municipality in Canada to do so, The Toronto Star noted. City council members voted unanimously in favor of the motion that will prohibit businesses from providing services or counseling intended to change a person's gender identity or sexual orientation. The business-license bylaw will also apply to religious groups who hold business licenses in the city.

British music superstar Elton John has blamed social media for allowing hate speech to slide on their platforms, The Hollywood Reporter noted. In an interview with BBC News, John said that major social-media companies "haven't done anything to try to stem the flow of hate on the internet," and proposed that a boycott could make them take action. John explained that a boycott would make social media giants "sit up" and take a stance against homophobic hate speech on their platforms.

In India, a lesbian couple and one of their daughters have died by suicide, writing in their farewell note that "the world did not let them live," according to PinkNews. The couple, Asha and Bhavna Thakor, lived in the Ahmedabad region of the country. The Deccan Herald reported that, in a bid to be together, the women took their lives by drowning. The women also took the life of one of the women's daughters, a 3-year-old named Megha.

A baby could become the first person in England and Wales not to have a legal mother if a court grants a transgender man the right to be identified as the child's father, according to a Newsweek item that cites the Telegraph. The unnamed man is fighting to be officially identified as the "father" or "parent" on the child's birth certificate. He launched a legal case against The Registrar General for England and Wales after a member of staff told him the law states those who give both to children can only be noted as mothers on official documents. However, the man complained of discrimination, and said he is being forced to be identified as the child's mother breached his human right to respect for private and family life.

Thousands of gay and bisexual men are to be formally pardoned after a new law was passed unanimously by the Scottish Parliament, the BBC noted. Consenting sexual activity between men over the age of 21 was only decriminalized in Scotland in 1981; itt was a further 20 years before the age of consent for gay men was lowered to 16. The new law will pardon men convicted of having consensual sex with other men before it was decriminalized.

Four Church of England bishops in Lichfield have issued new guidance, welcoming LGBT people to the church and acknowledging the "great contribution" that LGBT Christians are making, PinkNews noted. The progressive guidance issued by the Diocese of Lichfield—one of the Church of England's 42 administrative districts—also affirms that LGBT+ people "can be called to roles of leadership and service in the local church."

Warsaw, the capital of Poland, has celebrated Pride with an "unbreakable" monument after the previous one was destroyed, PinkNews noted. Before the Warsaw Equality Parade, a new rainbow monument was unveiled at a busy intersection in the country's capital, where a rainbow is formed by light bouncing off of water vapor, producing a holographic rainbow. The monument is stationed at a busy intersection in the city on the site of a previous rainbow monument before it was repeatedly vandalized.

Police in the U.S. Virgin Islands are investigating a threat made against St. Croix's first-ever Pride parade that took place June 9, The Washington Blade reported. "Everyone that owns AK-47 needs to stay on roof tops and gun them down !!!!," reads the post. "They are tipping the scale. No balance. They will become our destruction if we as a whole don't to ( sic ) something. They are trying to destroy Reproduction ( sic ). No sin will be brought against humans for killing." The parade took place without incident.

British Ambassador to the U.S. Kim Darroch urged Commonwealth countries that have yet to decriminalize consensual same-sex sexual relations to do so, The Washington Blade reported. "We just urge all of our friends and partners in other countries around the world to move on as we have done to make their societies more open, more liberal, to embrace anti-discrimination in relation to the LGBT community as we have," Darroch told the Washington Blade during an interview at the British Embassy in D.C. "It just makes your society a better place."

A quarter of a million people gathered in Tel Aviv to march in the largest ever pride parade in the Middle East—and where Bravo's Andy Cohen served as this year's international ambassador, a press release stated. This year's parade marked 20 years to the City's first pride parade and payed tribute to the pioneering activists who played key roles in promoting LGBT rights and visibility in Israel.

A nurse who cared for some of the UK's first HIV/AIDS patients has been made an OBE ( Order of the British Empire ), the BBC reported. Kathryn Halford is among 64 NHS staff honored in its 70th year. The 54-year-old recalled having to wear protective suits to treat HIV/AIDS patients at St Mary's Hospital, Paddington, in the early 1980s.

Out Adventures and Spiritual Adrenaline have formed a strategic partnership offering group adventures for travelers in recovery from substance abuse and addiction, a press release stated. Out Adventures is the official operator of two Spiritual Adrenaline bucket list tours—Machu Picchu, Peru; and Banff National Park, Canada. Both trips focus on adventure, sobriety, meditation, nutrition, fitness, and components of the 12-step program. Spiritual Adrenaline will also offer an Azores tour, with a local Portuguese operator.

Soccer superstar Mohamed Salah has received a backlash after agreeing to meet Ramzan Kadyrov, the leader responsible for Chechnya's "gay purge," PinkNews noted. Salah agreed to accompany Kadyrov to Egypt's training base in Grozny, Chechnya's capital city, before posing and smiling with the leader in front of the press ahead of the start of the World Cup on June 14. More than 100 gay and bisexual men have been arrested, imprisoned and tortured by authorities in concentration camps since the purge began last year, according to reports.


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