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WORLD Angola's pro-gay move, sterilization ruling, 'Queer Eye'
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times

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Angola has finally decriminalized the "vices against nature" provision in its law—widely interpreted to be a ban on same-sex conduct, Human Rights Watch reported. Taking things one step further, the government has also prohibited discrimination against people on the basis of sexual orientation, with violators facing up to two years in prison. The changes came Jan. 23 as the African country's parliament adopted its first new penal code since it gained independence from Portugal in 1975 and removed the provision, inherited from its Portuguese colonizers.

The Japanese supreme court has ruled in favor of a law that requires transgender people to get sterilized in order to update their documents, LGBTQ Nation reported. The case was brought by Takakito Usui, a trans man who wanted to update his papers but was told that he couldn't because of a 2004 law that requires a trans person to have "a body which appears to have parts that resemble the genital organs of those of the opposite gender." The court ruled that the government had an interest in limiting societal "confusion" and "abrupt changes." The World Health Organization condemns forced sterilization.

Netflix will start production on four special episodes of the Emmy-winning original unscripted series Queer Eye, titled Queer Eye: We're in Japan!, a press release noted. In Queer Eye: We're in Japan!, the Fab Five—Antoni Porowski ( Food/Wine ), Bobby Berk ( Interior Design ), Jonathan Van Ness ( Grooming ), Karamo Brown ( Culture ) and Tan France ( Fashion )—will forge relationships with four Japanese men and women from different backgrounds and cultures who were selected from a wide group of applicants and nominations. Queer Eye: We're in Japan will debut globally on Netflix this year, preceded by Queer Eye: Season Three, which was filmed in Kansas City, Missouri.

Toronto serial killer Bruce McArthur—who targeted men within the city's gay community—pled guilty to eight murders, PinkNews reported. There were eight counts of first-degree murder over the deaths of eight men that took place between in 2010 and late 2017. The 67-year-old landscaper was arrested in January 2018 after police linked him to a series of unsolved murders in the city's gay community. McArthur will be sentenced Feb. 4, and is likely to face the remainder of his life behind bars.

One of the most powerful gay businessmen in the world ( Apple CEO Tim Cook ) was recently spotted dining at a table with one of the world's most frighteningly anti-LGBTQ+ political leaders ( Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro ), reported. At a dinner held in Bolsonaro's honor ( held in Davos, Switzerland, as part of the World Economic Forum's Annual Meeting ), Cook was pictured sitting two seats away from the political leader.

A militant Islamist group in Indonesia raided the offices of an HIV-prevention organization on suspicion that the group had been conducting "LGBT activities," according to Human Rights Watch. The Islamic Defenders Front ( FPI ) was joined by Indonesian soldiers and local residents in an incident that follows a pattern of similar vigilante raids across the country. Tensions seemingly began across the country in January 2016, when Indonesia's higher education minister, Mohammed Nasir, tweeted that he wanted to ban all LGBT student groups from university campuses.

In a Japanese first, the city of Chiba issued its first certificates to same-sex couples recognizing their relationships, Gay Star News noted. The Chiba municipal government announced the decision to issue the certificates in August last year. On Jan. 29, Mayor Toshihito Kumagai presided over the ceremonies of six same-sex couples.

Confirmed cases of shigella have been on the rise among gay and bisexual men in the United Kingdom, reported. Shigella is a mostly drug-resistant strain of a bacterial gut infection that can be contracted during sexual activity, and symptoms are often mistaken for food poisoning. Although resistant to several antibiotics, shigella remains susceptible to other drugs including chloramphenicol, ertapenem, temocillin, mecillinam and fosfomycin.

In Spain, The Centre LGBTI Barcelona was vandalized—one week after opening, PinkNews reported. Observatori Contra l'HomofÃ"bia condemned the attack on Twitter; "This morning we found painted #LGTBIfobiques and broken glass in center #BarcelonaLGTBI," it posted Jan. 27. "We condemn the attack and we make it very clear that we will continue working and defending the space and our rights and freedoms."

Australian politician Bob Katter told the media recently that being gay is merely "a fashion trend" in an effort to blame marriage equality for suddenly creating new wave of gay people, according to an Instinct magazine item that cited Newsweek. Campaigning in the northwestern state of Queensland, the member of Parliament from northern Australia said, "In my whole life up to 50, I have never seen or heard of a homosexual person." However, the politician's very own brother came out to him when he was 18.

French tennis pro Lucas Pouille made it to the semifinals of this year's Australian Open—and he credited his success this time to his new coach: Amelie Mauresmo, noted. ( Mauresmo is a former women's pro who's an out lesbian. ) However, Pouille lost to six-time champion Novak Djokovic 6-0, 6-2, 6-2.

The International LGBTQ+ Travel Association ( IGLTA ) will present the Hanns Ebensten Hall of Fame Award to George Neary, a longtime advocate for LGBTQ+ tourism, during its 36th Annual Global Convention that will take place April 24-27 in New York City, a press release noted. For 20 years, Neary focused on developing cultural, heritage and LGBTQ+ tourism through his role as Associate Vice President of Cultural Tourism for the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau. Hanns Ebensten, the award's namesake, is largely considered the father of LGBTQ+ travel, having organized the first gay group tour in 1973.

A Norwegian comedian's video in which he dances to a Frozen song with his young son has gone viral, noted. In the video, Orjan Buroe and his 4-year-old child, Dexter, both sport Disney princess costumes as Elsa, the frosty queen in the 2013 animated musical. The pair staged a choreographed dance to "Let It Go," the popular tune sung by Idina Menzel and written by Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez.

In Melbourne, Australia, openly gay sports photographer Matt Johnson said he was shaken when a fan yelled a gay slur at him at a recent pro soccer game, Outsports reported. Johnson, 25, was covering the A-League soccer match ( the nation's top soccer league ) between Melbourne Victory and Newcastle Jets in Melbourne on Jan. 12. As the match ended, a fan shouted out to Johnson, "Hey gay boy … hey gay boy. Did you enjoy the game?" Later, Johnson urged LGBT people and allies to call out this type of behavior whenever they hear it.

Chinese model Zuo Ye—who was involved in Dolce & Gabbana's controversial advertising campaign—has claimed that the Italian brand had ruined her career, The Daily Mail noted. The luxury fashion house was forced to cancel a high-profile runway show in Shanghai and apologize after a trio of promotional videos called "Eating with Chopsticks" and derogatory remarks allegedly made by designer Stefano Gabbana were widely condemned as racist last November. Ye—who was filmed struggling to eat a pizza, pasta and a cannoli with a pair of chopsticks in the videos—said she had questioned the director at the shoot during "the silly and embarrassing act."

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