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WORLD Alan Turing, Theresa May, UN expert, South Korea military
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2019-07-16

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The Bank of England will honor the late gay mathematician/codebreaker Alan Turing on the 50-pound note, LGBTQ Nation reported. After World War II, he was prosecuted because he admitting to having a relationship with another man and was forced to take feminizing hormones; in 1954, he died by suicide at 41. Bank of England Gov. Mark Carney announced that Turing would appear on the bank note because he "was an outstanding mathematician whose work has had an enormous impact on how we live today."

Outgoing British Prime Minister Theresa May has been accused of double standards for failing to vote in favor of same-sex marriage just days after she promised to be an LGBT+ ally for life, The Independent reported. The prime minister pledged lasting support for the Pride movement, tweeting: "I will only be your prime minister for a few more weeks. But I will be your ally for the rest of my life." But when MPs were given a free vote on extending same-sex marriage to Northern Ireland if devolution is not restored, May abstained. The prime minister's spokesman declined to give a specific explanation for May's decision not to vote. However, he added May had previously said she would like to see marriage equality extended across the UK—but felt the correct forum to make the decision for Northern Ireland was the devolved assembly.

The Human Rights Campaign ( HRC ) celebrated the United Nations Human Rights Council's vote to renew for a second three-year term the mandate of the U.N. independent expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity ( IE SOGI ), a press release noted. The resolution passed 27-12, with seven abstentions, during the 41st session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva. HRC Director of Global Partnerships Jean Freedberg said the "vote ensures that the vital work begun by Vitit Muntabhorn and Victor Madrigal-Borloz on behalf of LGBTQ people will continue, and that countries will be held accountable to protect their LGBTQ citizens."

Amnesty International called on South Korea to decriminalize same-sex relationships for men in the military, warning that current laws fuel violence, discrimination and stigmatization against gay soldiers, Reuters reported. The human rights group said South Korea's military code "does not comply with the international human rights obligations the state has signed on to." Amnesty urged South Korea to repeal Article 92-6 of the Military Criminal Act, which it said effectively prohibited and punished sex between men in the military.

Scotland's plans to reform gender-recognition laws will not be discussed at the SNP annual party conference—despite the planned reforms having recently been postponed, PinkNews reported. On June 20, SNP equalities minister Shirley-Anne Somerville announced that planned reforms to the Gender Recognition Act ( GRA ) were being postponed and that legal recognition would not be extended to non-binary transgender people. The delays came amid heightened public interest about whether improvements to trans rights would impact women.

An Israeli Cabinet minister has sparked outrage from politicians, medical professionals and the country's gay community by suggesting conversion therapy "is possible" and saying he "did it" in the past, CNN.com reported. Education Minister Rafi Peretz told Israel's Channel 12 News he believed the therapy "is possible." Peretz is leader of the religious Union of Right Wing Parties, which is in coalition with Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud Party—but Peretz's comments prompted a swift rebuke from Netanyahu, who tweeted: "The things that the Minister of Education said about the gay community are unacceptable to me."

U.S. rapper Nicki Minaj claimed she was pulling out of a planned concert in Saudi Arabia, citing her support for the rights of women and the LGBTQ community, Openly News reported. Minaj, known for her raunchy outfits and provocative stage performances, was due to headline the Jeddah World Fest music festival on July 18—but her plan to appear was criticized on social media. The New York-based Human Rights Foundation ( HRF ) urged Minaj to cancel her performance, saying her appearance would be at odds with the rapper's participation in festivities in New York marking Gay Pride month in June. Homosexuality is illegal in Saudi Arabia.

Sam Smith posted a video to his Instagram, showing the singer marching in London's annual Pride parade, Billboard.com noted. While Rihanna's "We Found Love" blasts from a speaker, Smith grins as he begins jumping and dancing to the music, surrounded by other participants in the march. "I have truly never felt this proud to be queer," his caption read. "What a day." Smith was marching in the parade with Queer Britain, a national LGBTQ museum based in London, to celebrate the city's annual festivities.

A court in Hong Kong has fined film student Wong Wing-fung, 22, for stripping naked in public during a Pride event, Gay Star News reported. Police arrested him for public indecency, and the Eastern Court fined Wong HK$900 ( US$115 ). Wong argued his stunt was an artistic performance and that the nudity was not indecent.

Singapore rapper Joshua Su aka The G3sh has said his family's response has been "amazing" since he came out as gay in a new track, Gay Star News noted. Su describes his childhood trauma coming to terms with his sexuality in his track "I'm OK." He recently told the South China Morning Post how isolated he felt growing up in Singapore, where gay sex is illegal.

Italian Olympic swimmer Filippo Magnini was sunbathing on Cala Sinzias beach in Sardinia when he ended up saving a gay newlywed from drowning, Queerty noted. The victim, Andrea Benedetto, was drowning in the ocean after being knocked off his inflatable unicorn float by a wave. Magnini stayed with Benedetto until lifeguards arrived.

The British ambassador to the United States resigned following leaked memos that showed he had called President Donald Trump "insecure" and "incompetent," NBC News reported. Sir Kim Darroch said in a statement that the fallout from the leaked communications—which sparked a series of broadsides from Trump—was "making it impossible for me to carry out my role as I would like." Trump called Darroch "wacky," "very stupid" and a "pompous fool," and suggested he would not be able to do his job in Washington because "we will no longer deal with him."

In Germany, a gay male Humboldt penguin couple at the Munich Zoo are brooding over a rock because they have no egg to care for, PinkNews noted. According to the AFP, biologist Guenter Strauss said that the gay male pair were not having a "one-off fling" but were in a committed relationship. The zoo gave a Pride-week tour seeking to boost acceptance of LGBT+ identities.

Johnny Kitagawa, one of the most influential figures in Japan's entertainment industry, has died at 87, BBC.com reported. For more than 50 years the agency he founded, Johnny & Associates, turned multiple boy bands into household names. However, he was also a controversial figure, as there were repeated allegations of power harassment and sexual abuse—although none were ever proven.

UK mobile carrier Three has secured a dynasty with Dame Joan Collins, The Drum noted. In the carrier's latest ad, she approaches mobile contracts like her romantic flings, and urges viewers to "ditch and switch" their network. Lounging on a yacht in St. Tropez, the actress spills the beans on her search for "the one:" "I've never settled for anyone or anything which didn't float my boat," she explains while picking out the perfect neckerchief and dodging texts from Kevin Bacon.


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