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Gay-sex scene on morning news; Saudi Arabia bans gay students
World news: Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy CIty Times...
2012-04-24

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In Ontario, Canada, viewers of CHCH's morning-news broadcast Morning Live got an eyeful when a graphic gay-sex scene interrupted the airing for about three minutes, the Huffington Post reported. The station blamed the mix-up on a switching error at one of the cable companies that picks up its signal. CHCH Vice President of News Mike Katrycz said he called the network's master control to immediately fix the problem; however, since the problem originated elsewhere, the crew couldn't immediately pull the material off the air.

A new report states that Saudi Arabia has asked its Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice to banish gay and "tom boy" students from schools and universities, according to a Huffington Post item. The Arabic-language newspaper Sharq noted, "Instructions have been issued to all public schools and universities to ban the entry of gays and tom boys and to intensify their efforts to fight [ homosexuality ] , which has been promoted by some websites." Homosexuality is already considered a capital offense in the country.

In Halifax, Nova Scotia, authorities are investigating the beating death of a prominent gay-rights activist, according to the Huffington Post. Investigators say that Raymond Taavel, 49, was attacked when he attempted to break up a fight between two men. Andre Noel Denny—who had failed to return to a local psychiatric facility after being granted a one-hour pass—was arrested and charged with second-degree murder.

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has denied that antigay discrimination and persecution exist in his country, according to Advocate.com . He added that the Anti-Homosexuality Bill is only about privacy and discretion. Talking with CNN's Christiane Amanpour, Museveni said, "The problem [ with homosexuality ] is exhibitionism. And the second problem would be trying to lure young children into homosexuality."

In Israel, the Masorti Movement of Judaism will ordain gay and lesbian students as Conservative rabbis starting the next academic year, Pink News reported. The board of trustees of the Schechter Rabbinical Seminary voted to accept gay and lesbian students for ordination beginning the 2012-13 academic year. A statement said the decision followed a "long process."

In the Czech Republic, Prague will hold its second pride event Aug. 13-19, Pink News reported. Prague Pride will incorporate entertainment, debates, concerts, exhibitions, theater and more. The event took place for the first time last year. President Vaclav Klaus openly criticized the event and far-right groups attended to protest the march, but it reportedly attracted 25,000 visitors.

Chris Birch, the British man who claims to have "woken up gay" after suffering a stroke, is the subject of an upcoming BBC documentary, according to the Huffington Post. Titled I Woke Up Gay, the new film explores the 27-year-old Birch's "new" life as a proud gay man. One part of the film features Birch taking a series of computer-based tests issued by sexual-orientation expert Dr. Qazi Rahman—with Rahman suggesting that the stroke brought Birch's long-dormant gay feelings to the surface.

My Way, a short film about a Chinese transgender woman who lives in Hong Kong, has already garnered more than 2 million views on Youku ( China's version of YouTube ) , according to Gay Star News. The movie ( starring Frances Ng ) tells the story a trans woman's marriage break-up; tentative new friendships with other transgender women; and checking into hospital for gender realignment surgery in Hong Kong.

In Scotland, Muslim leaders in Glasgow have stated their opposition to same-sex marriage, according to the BBC. The Council of Glasgow Imams said a law approving same-sex weddings on religious property would be an "attack" on their faith and fundamental beliefs. Currently, same-sex couples can enter a civil partnership that carries full legal rights; however, the ceremony cannot be conducted in a church or other religious premises.

Tanzanian gay-rights activist Edson "Eddy" Cosmas can stay in the UK as a refugee after a yearlong battle to stay in the country, Gay Star News reported. The Home Office granted Cosmas asylum after rejecting his application in May 2011, claiming his home country in Africa was safe for LGBT people and not believing he is gay. Cosmas said, "I want my victory to encourage other gay and lesbian people who have escaped the persecution in Tanzania to join the Movement for Justice and demand asylum in Britain."

In Argentina, a proposal to allow citizens to change their gender and name in public records may become law soon—which would be a first for Latin America, according to ABS-CBN News. Pedro Paradiso Sotille, secretary for legal affairs of the LGBT-rights group Comunidad Homosexual Argentina, said that many senators are supporting the Gender Identity Bill. The Chamber of Deputies approved the bill, pending since 2007, in December; the Senate is currently debating it.

Also in Argentina, a draft bill has been introduced in Buenos Aires' legislature that could allow foreign same-sex couples to get married in the city, PinkPaper.com reported. Argentina's Same-Sex Marriage Act, introduced two years ago, would be amended to include LGBT visitors from other countries. Non-resident couples would be asked to present photocopies of their passports; a temporary address; and the duration of their visit to Argentina.

Rugby star Sacha Harding recently bared all for the cover of Britain's Gay Times magazine as part of a fundraiser for the Elton John AIDS Foundation, according to HIVPlusMag.com . He was one of 54 men who posed nude for the magazine's annual Naked Issue, and his photo was auctioned off to raise even more money for the charity. Harding said, "AIDS is a huge issue and one that can't be ignored. I was asked to help and I couldn't say no."


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