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France OKs marriage equality; Chilean trans man gives birth
World news: Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2013-04-24

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France has become the 14th country to approve a law allowing same-sex marriage, according to the BBC. The bill, which also legalizes adoption by gay and lesbian couples, passed 321-225 in the French parliament, as Socialist President Francois Hollande made the law his flagship social reform. He is expected to sign the bill once it has cleared any challenge in the constitutional council. The issue of marriage equality split France. Recently—despite a police ban—hundreds of thousands of people staged a final protest in Paris against the measure, the BBC noted in a separate piece.

In Chile, a transgender male has given birth in what is believed to be the first such publicly known case for the Latin American country, according to Gay Star News. A judge allowed the individual—who goes by the fictitious name "Matthew" for news interviews—to keep female reproductive organs while re-registering as a male. According to Matthew, the pregnancy was not planned.

In Peru, a man allegedly doused his 22-year-old son with gasoline and set him on fire after discovering the young man was gay and HIV-positive, according to Fox News. Hitler Baneo Nunez was tired of jokes by neighbors about his gay son, and apparently tried to burn his son alive in the central town of Loreto. Neighbors saved the son, but he suffered burns on his face, arms and legs. The attack drew criticism from LGBT-rights groups such as Peru's Comunidad Homosexual de la Region Loreto.

In Northern Ireland, the High Court heard that a gay man's bid to overturn the lifetime ban on him giving blood in the province is a waste of time because he had sex for money, according to the Belfast Telegraph. Northern Ireland is now the only part of the United Kingdom that bars gay men from making donations. England, Scotland and Wales lifted the ban in 2011.

The major regional networks of men who have sex with men (MSM) and the Global Forum on MSM & HIV (MSMGF) have joined forces to form a unified front against HIV to protect the health and human rights of MSM worldwide, according to a press release. The consortium—which includes international networks from Asia, Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean, eastern Europe and central Asia—will work to coordinate the efforts of thousands of human-rights groups and HIV service providers around the world. The consortium was formed through a series of meetings between regional and global networks that took place recently in Oakland, Calif.

For the first time in Pakistan's history, transgender people are running as political candidates, according to Yahoo! News. One example is Bindiya Rana, who decided to run for office after a Supreme Court ruling in 2011 allowed members of the transgender community to get national identity cards recognizing them as a separate identity—neither male or female—and allowing them to vote. Almas Boby, president of the pro-trans Pakistan Shemale Foundation, said she knows of at least five transgender candidates taking part in the elections.

French President Francois Hollande has warned that those behind a rise in homophobic violence will be punished, according to Gay Star News. Once- peaceful protests have become more violent; for example, in one attack, four men broke into a gay bar in the northern city of Lille and three employees were assaulted. Hollande has said, "I cannot accept homophobic acts and violence against property in the midst of protests, or any defiance of law enforcement officials. Procedures must be respected, sensibilities must be respected, and everyone must be heard ... but the law and parliament also need to be respected."

WorldPride, the international pride event, is calling for submissions for presentations at the 2014 human-rights conference in Toronto, according to Gay Star News. The organizing committee want activists, artists, educators, journalists, policymakers, students and others involved in sexual orientation and gender identity human-rights work to submit presentations. The themes for the conference include youth and children; trans rights and activism, sex work, sodomy laws, social media, aging and the role of law. Applications can be made at www.uc.utoronto.ca/worldpride-human-rights-conference-2014; the deadline is June 15.

Former Paraguayan presidential candidate Horacio Cartes has sparked controversy after a series of remarks about the gay community and same-sex marriage, the Huffington Post reported. The New York Times cites a radio interview in which Cartes, 57, compared gay people to "monkeys" and said he would shoot himself "in the testicles" if his son ever married another man. Currently, Paraguay has no legislation in place for same-sex marriage or civil unions.

In Canada, chef Dave Claringbould and his co-owner/partner have shut down their rural Manitoba eatery Pots N Hands after anti-gay slurs from customers became too much, Gawker.com reported. The home-style cooking restaurant initially proved popular among the approximately 1,700 residents in the town of Morris; however, as soon as word got out that it was run by two gay men, many regulars stopped patronizing the establishment. Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger has expressed support for the couple, saying he had planned to visit the restaurant while in the area preparing for the spring flood.

The North-American Interfraternity Conference (NIC) announced that Delta Lambda Phi social fraternity has joined the group as a member fraternity, according to a Campus Pride press release. Delta Lambda Phi's (DLP's) addition increases the total membership of the NIC to 75 fraternities; also DLP, founded in 1986, is the first fraternity for gay, bisexual and progressive men in the NIC. DLP currently has more than 500 members organized into 30 chapters and four colonies throughout the United States and Canada.

The 21st World Conference of GLBT Jews is slated to take place July 5-7 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, according to CJNews.com . Event co-chairs Arthur Blankstein and Paula Parks expect 250 people to attend the event. Winnipeg is the first Canadian city to host the world's largest regular event for LGBT Jews. The first International Conference of Gay Jews took place in August 1976; in 1980 in San Francisco, the World Congress of Gay and Lesbian Organizations (now known as the now known as the World Congress of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Jews) was officially launched.

Gian Paolo Vanoli—a 70-year-old Italian scientist, journalist and opponent of vaccinations—says that vaccines make people gay, according to the Huffington Post. Despite these views, Vanoli insists he supports same-sex marriage and gay adoption. He doesn't "blame" gay people for what he calls their "illness," just as he wouldn't blame someone who "suffers from cancer or a heart attack," he told Gay Star News.

In Iran, Kurdish men from the Marivan County in the Kurdistan province have launched a cross-dressing campaign (called "Kurd Men for Equality") to confront what they feel are outmoded concepts of masculinity and femininity, according to Gay Star News. More than 150 Kurdish men have posted photographs of themselves in women's clothing to campaign against the sexist nature of a court sentence that led to the public humiliation of a man by dressing him in women's clothing.


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