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Nigeria passes anti-gay law; possible Gay Games 2018 hosts
World news: Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2013-06-04

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Nigeria has passed the "Jail All The Gays" law, punishing not only gay sex but gay people as well, Gay Star News reported. It bans same-sex marriage, outlaws anyone from forming organizations supporting gay rights, and sets up prison terms of up to 14 years. Approved by Nigeria's House of Representatives in a voice vote, the bill will be sent to President Goodluck Jonathan for him to sign into law. The U.S. and the U.K. governments have threatened to cut aid to the African country if it passes the bill.

Three European cities—London; Paris; and Limerick, Ireland—are possible hosts for the Gay Games 2018, according to Gay Star News. If London wins the Gay Games bid, the events will likely be hosted in the city's Olympic Stadium. The Gay Games, started in San Francisco in 1982, are hosted every four years and are open to people of any sexual orientation. The Gay Games 2014 are being held in Cleveland and Akron, Ohio.

Queer Indian filmmaker Rituparno Ghosh died at his home in Kolkata at the age of 49, according to Gay Star News. Ghosh who had been suffering from disease of the pancreas, had a heart attack. Over two decades, he directed 20 movies that won more than a dozen National Film Awards in various categories; his 2000 movie Bariwali won an award at the Berlin International Film Festival.

Chinese researchers claim that scientists can create "lesbian mice," according to a Gay Star News item. A new study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests the neurotransmitter serotonin plays an important role in determining sexuality. Researchers from Peking University bred female mice with a lack of serotonin, and they reportedly ended up choosing the company of other females. The researchers warned the experiment was on sexual behavior, and that the "attraction" was genetic.

Jamaica's Constitutional Court has reserved judgement in the case of a gay-rights activist who sued three national television stations that refused to air an advertisement promoting tolerance of gay people, according to the Jamaica Observer. Maurice Tomlinson—a Jamaican attorney who married another man, Tom Decker, in Canada last year January—brought the suit against TVJ, CVM and the state-run Public Broadcasting Corporation of Jamaica. During the hearing of the case in the Supreme Court, Queen's Counsel Lord Gifford argued that the stations violated the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms by refusing to broadcast the advertisement.

LGBTI Australians will be able to get over-the-phone counseling, according to Gay Star News. Victoria's Gay and Lesbian Switchboard, the Gay and Lesbian Counseling Service of New South Wales, Gay and Lesbian Community Services in Western Australia, the Gay and Lesbian Counseling Service of South Australia, Queensland's Gay and Lesbian Welfare Association (GLWA) and the National LGBTI Health Alliance will all work together to roll out the nation-wide Q-Life Project.

The president of Grenada's Senate says the Caribbean island should reconsider its laws prohibiting sex between men, according to a Las Vegas Sun item. Sen. Lawrence Joseph commented that "the day is fast approaching" when Grenada and other socially conservative countries in the English-speaking Caribbean will need to amend anti-sodomy laws to "fall in line with the mainstream." In a commentary piece for local newspapers, Joseph wrote that acceptance of gays is becoming a modern-day trend.

In Brazil, an estimated 100,000 evangelical Christians marched May 25 in Rio de Janeiro to protest a ruling that effectively legalizes same-sex marriage in the nation, On Top Magazine reported. Gospel singers such as Marcelo Aguiar and Bruna Karla as well as the rap group Ao Cubo were among those who performed at the annual "March for Jesus." The ruling, which the National Council of Justice handed down earlier this month, says notary publics cannot deny a same-sex couple's request for a marriage license.

Russian Children's Rights Commissioner Pavel Astakhov has said it is only "logical" to halt adoptions of Russian children by French couples due to the legalization of same-sex marriage in France, Pink News reported. Echoing a statement from Russian President Vladimir Putin, Astakhov said the change in law should mean an end to French couples adopting Russian children, regardless of their sexuality.

LGBT health issues were removed from the agenda of the World Health Organization's (WHO) board meeting after Egypt and other member states of the Eastern Mediterranean and Africa objected, according to Gay Star News. Egyptian Health Minister Mohamed Mostafa Hamed boasted that his country "succeeded" in deleting an item on improving the health of LGBT people from the agenda of the WHO's 133rd executive board meeting that was held in Geneva.

In Canada, the Toronto Catholic District School Board has rejected a call from two trustees to ban gay-straight alliances in schools—which Ontario now says schools must allow, according to TheStar.com . Trustees voted seven to four against a motion by trustee Garry Tanuan to defy Ontario's year-old Accepting Schools Act, which says boards must let students set up gay-straight alliances (GSAs) if they wish. Tanuan's motion, which trustee John Del Grande seconded, said gay-straight alliances "promote a positive view of homosexual activity, which undermines Catholic teaching on chastity and marriage."

Sydney's Mardi Gras Parade has had its second name change in two years after members voted to change the name back to "Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade," Gay Star News reported. Members also voted to change the name of the entity that puts on the annual festival from "New Mardi Gras Ltd" to "Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Ltd." The Sydney Mardi Gras Festival will still be known by the same name.

A British Conservative member of Parliament and his wife have been accused of groping their lesbian maid in an attempt to have a threesome with her, according to Gay Star News. The alleged victim claimed the politician and his wife—identified only as "Mr. and Mrs. P."—found it funny as she fled the living room and barricaded the door. The middle-aged woman said she considered suicide after the alleged assault.

Death threats against Caleb Orozco, the gay-rights campaigner attempting to overturn laws that criminalize homosexuality in Belize, reportedly escalated during the four-day courtroom hearing, according to the Guardian. Orozco's lawyer, Lisa Shoman, told a local news station that "there has been a visible increase of threats and violence against Mr Orozco and against all homosexuals in Belize." The country's supreme court is expected to reserve its decision on the legality of section 53 of Belize's criminal code, which outlaws "carnal intercourse" between consenting same-sex adults.

In France, Montpellier Mayor Helene Mandroux is currently the target of a hate campaign after marrying same-sex couple Vinent Autin and Bruno Boileau May 29, according to Gay Star News. Mandroux has received threats from anti-gay campaigners, including a package filled with feces. Mandroux married another couple, Rouesne Saunier and Carole Leonard, in Montpellier June 1.

A Pew Research Center survey shows that homosexuality is broadly accepted in North America, the European Union and much of Latin America, but widely rejected in predominantly Muslim nations and Africa, as well as in parts of Asia and Russia, according to a press release. The view that society should accept homosexuality is prevalent in most of the European Union countries surveyed; Spain had the highest rate at 88 percent. On the flip side, 98 percent of those surveyed in Nigeria believe homosexuality should be rejected. Elsewhere, majorities in Russia (74 percent), South Korea (59 percent) and China (57 percent) also say homosexuality should not be accepted by society.

The Economic and Social Council's (ECOSOC) Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) at the United Nations recommended the Australian Lesbian Medical Association (ALMA) for consultative status and recommended Homosexuelle Initiative (HOSI) Wien, a press release stated. The organizations will not have official consultative status until adopted by ECOSOC's full committee in July. The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission praised the recommendations.

The House of Lords has voted to approve the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill, according to SDGLN.com . On May 21 the House of Commons, the lower chamber of Parliament, voted 366-161 to approve the measure, which would only apply to England and Wales. During the debate, Baroness Barker came out publicly for the first time while Tory peer Lord Black revealed he has been with his male partner for a quarter-century. The overwhelming support made it all but certain that marriage equality will come to England and Wales within the next year.

South Korean movie director Kim Jho Gwangsoo surprised many by announcing he will symbolically tie the knot with longtime male partner Dave Kim Sept. 7 in the highest-profile ceremony of its kind ever in South Korea, according to 570news.com . The couple want a massive public event in Seoul with guests honoring their relations by donating money to build a center for LGBT people. They also plan to subsequently have their marriage registered; if they are rejected, as is expected, they intend to file a constitutional appeal.


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