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  WINDY CITY TIMES

Mexico protest; Milk Foundation in Hungary; Vatican shift
World news: Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2014-10-14

This article shared 4143 times since Tue Oct 14, 2014
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A week after same-sex marriage became legal in Mexico's Coahuila state, about 30,000 people rallied in protest in the capital city of Saltillo, according to SDGLN.com . The march was organized by Casa de Rescate "Cristo Vive" ( House of Rescue "Christ Lives" ), an evangelical group modeled after anti-gay religious groups in the United States. Civil unions have been legal in Coahuila since 2007, and state lawmakers voted to legalize same-sex marriage in September.

The Harvey Milk Foundation—a global organization that promotes Harvey Milk's legacy through human-rights education and global outreach efforts—had Ambassador Nancy Brinker and her openly gay son, Eric Brinker, join Stuart Milk, Harvey's nephew and co-founder of the Harvey Milk Foundation Oct. 9 in Budapest, Hungary, to honor the foundation, according to a press release. The reception brought local civil society advocates, supporters and honored guests together at the residence of the Chargé d'Affaires to honor work by the Harvey Milk Foundation that is geared to move the Hungarian and European LGBT-inclusive civil society forward.

In a dramatic tonal shift, a Vatican document said Oct. 13 that gay people had "gifts and qualities to offer" and asked if Catholicism could accept gays and recognize positive aspects of same-sex couples, Reuters reported. The document, prepared after a week of discussions at an assembly of 200 bishops on the family, said the Church should challenge itself to find "a fraternal space" for homosexuals without compromising Catholic doctrine on family and matrimony. The document will be the basis for discussion for the second and final week of the assembly, known as a synod, that Pope Francis called and that focuses on the theme of the family.

More than 300 Anglican priests, parishioners and other Christians have signed an open "love letter" to bishops in the Church of England who are secretly gay urging them to "come out" about their sexual orientation, LGBTQ Nation noted. The signatories include at least 160 priests and several members of the Church's governing body who pledge to "welcome and embrace" those bishops who decide to go public. The Church of England officially teaches that any sexual relationship outside of traditional heterosexual marriage is "less than God's ideal."

Estonia has become the first former Soviet nation to legalize gay partnerships, while Kyrgyzstan—another ex-Soviet republic thousands of miles east—considers anti-gay legislation, LGBTQ Nation reported. In Estonia, lawmakers voted 40-38 vote to approve a partnership act that recognizes the civil unions of all couples, regardless of gender. The new law will gives those in civil unions, heterosexual or gay, almost the same rights as married couples, including financial, social and health benefits provided by the government and legal protection for children.

The International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association ( IGLTA ) has embarked on new two-year partnerships with Gay and Lesbian Tourism Australia ( GALTA ) as well as Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras to enhance its promotion of Australia as a LGBT-friendly destination, according to Travel Weekly. GALTA has more than 240 tourism members dedicated to LGBT travel across Australia, while IGLTA tourism has business members in 75 countries.

Canadian Blood Services may further lower its restrictions on gay men who want to donate—but the agency wants to know what the public thinks first, Canada.com reported. The non-profit currently bans men who have had sex with other men in the past five years from donating blood; that policy was actually eased in May 2013, before which gay or bisexual men faced a lifetime ban. An online Ipsos Reid survey posted in September asks respondents what they think of a ban only on men who have had sex with other men in the past year.

In Britain, former The Only Way Is Essex star Charlie King has revealed that he is gay in a live interview on ITV's This Morning, according to The Daily Mail. King, 29—who previously insisted he "categorically" was not a "gay man" during his stint on TOWIE—went on to reveal the moment he finally came to terms with his sexuality arrived when he was in a relationship with a woman. Following his admission, King received an outpouring of praise from fans on Twitter.

Burma's first LGBTI film festival will be held next month in Rangoon to celebrate the sexual and gender diversity of the region, Gay Star News reported. The &Proud LGBT Film Festival will run Nov. 12-14 at the French Institute, with Colors Rainbow, YG Event, Equality Myanmar and several other LGBTI groups organizing the event. There will be discussions, parties and an exhibition in addition to movie screenings.

The Supreme Court of the Russian Federation struck another blow to HIV-positive people when it upheld a law banning the adoption of children to people living with HIV, according to HIVPlusMag.com . The ban was upheld based on testimony from Irina Vlasova, a health expert of the ministry of health, who stated that HIV-positive people "are dying" not because of AIDS, but because of other diseases contracted due to HIV.

The United States has condemned Kyrgyzstan for planning to adopt legislation to ban "gay propaganda," saying the law discriminates and will hurt the central Asian nation's fragile civil society, Reuters reported. Kyrgyzstan's parliament has started debating changes to the nation's legislation which propose introducing tougher punishment for "popularizing homosexual relations" and "propaganda of a homosexual way of life." The new bill proposes to slap fines or prison terms of up to one year on those "forming a positive attitude to untraditional sexual relations" among minors or in mass media.

Arsons recently attacked Cape Town's "Open Mosque," leaving damage to its front door, according to The Huffington Post. The intruders reportedly broke through the mosque's security gate and attempted to burn the building down on the eve of Muslim holiday Eid al-Adha. Despite the fire and earlier threats to the mosque, founder Taj Hargey said the doors will remain open.

Out British diver Tom Daley is not concerned about competing in Russia despite the country's anti-gay stance and has no plans to make a political protest ahead of next year's World Aquatic Championships in Kazan, Euronews reported. Daley, 20, who won a bronze medal in the men's 10-meter platform at the London 2012 Olympics, announced last year he was dating a man ( who has since turned out to be Oscar-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black ). Daley has said, "For me I wouldn't be going there thinking 'I've got to do this ( protest )—I just go there and focus on my performance."

Scotland will stage its first same-sex weddings this year as Health Secretary Alex Neil announced gay and lesbian couples can tie the knot in marriage ceremonies from Dec. 31, The Daily Record reported. Neill said the move was an "important signal that our nation is absolutely committed to the same rights for all our citizens." As well as allowing for same-sex couples to wed Dec. 31, those couples who are already in a civil partnership will be able to convert that to a marriage from Dec. 16 onward.

Croatia's government has received a controversial proposal that says a secluded, barren island of rock known as the Naked Island would be the perfect place to put gay tourists, The Daily Mail noted. Goli Otok was used as a penal colony in Communist times and the pitch to transform it into a gay-tourism hub is based on its isolated location in the northern Adriatic Sea. The proposal from an independent think tank says the island—miles away from anywhere—would be the perfect spot for gay tourists because it would give them privacy away from others.

Eight LGBTI activists were detained for "disobedience" Oct. 12 at a National Coming Out Day protest in Moscow, Russia, Gay Star News noted. The activists were reportedly dragged to the ground and into police cars near Sokolniki metro station even though they had the necessary permits. The activists were taken to a police station and released three hours later.

Korean media is speculating that a music video for Chinese girl group SNH48 has been banned in the country because of several intimate scenes between two of the girls, according to Gay Star News. The video for the song "Uza" shows two girls from 16-member group carressing and embracing. SNH48 is the Chinese sister group of the hugely popular Japanese group AKB48.

A new species of snail has been named in honor of same-sex marriage, according to Gay Star News. Scientists in Taiwan have paid tribute to marriage equality and diverse families by naming a new endemic land snail species after the community, saying they believe this snail encapsulates everything in its shell that makes LGBTI people special. The new species is named Aegista diversifamilia.


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