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WORLD Another bakery case, Austrian marriage, Mapplethorpe situation
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2018-10-16

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Britain's highest court ruled that a Northern Irish bakery's refusal to make a cake bearing a pro-gay slogan was not discriminatory in a ruling condemned by the customer, a gay-rights activist, but hailed by the province's main conservative party, OpenlyNews.com reported. Ashers Baking in Belfast was found guilty of discrimination in 2015 for refusing to make a cake for a customer iced with the words "Support Gay Marriage" because of the owners' Christian beliefs—and the bakery appealed twice after losing in local courts. "The objection was to being required to promote the message on the cake," said Brenda Hale, president of the Supreme Court, adding that the conclusion would not in any way diminish the need to protect gay people and people who support same-sex marriage.

Two women have married in Austria's first same-sex marriage, months after the country's Constitutional Court ruled to legalize it, a Seattle Times item noted. Same-sex couples in Austria, a predominantly Roman Catholic nation, have been allowed to enter civil partnerships since 2010. ll will be able to marry starting Jan. 1, 2019.

Censorship controversy continues to surround a new Robert Mapplethorpe photography exhibition at the Serralves Museum in Portugal, Freemuse.org noted. Since its Sept. 20 opening, the artistic director has resigned, the board of directors has denied interfering with the exhibition—and now a collector has withdrawn 700 works on loan to the museum. It's still unclear why the show opened with 20 photos less than the 179 photos initially announced, according to Publico, and exhibition includes an area off-limits to children, which warns of "the provocative and possibly shocking nature of the sexual imagery in some of the works"—contrary to a previous statement that said there wouldn't be a separate room for Mapplethorpe's sexually explicit photos.

Australia Prime Minister Scott Morrison has promised discrimination law amendments to make clear no student at a private or religious school should be expelled on the basis of their sexuality, The Guardian reported. Meanwhile, the Greens have sought to capitalize on community backlash against religious schools' right to discriminate by calling on major party leaders to legislate to protect gay teachers and other staff of religious schools.

Mexican news outlet Vallarta Independiente has reported that more than a dozen cases of naked men tied to posts with the letter "R" shaved into their head have occurred in Puerto Vallarta, according to Instinct Magazine. Police received calls that men were found naked with bruises on their buttocks and tied to lamp posts.

Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Catholic U.S. Cardinal Donald Wuerl, who was named in a grand-jury investigation that detailed incidents of child sex abuse, UPI.com reported. Wuerl, who'd served as a bishop in Pittsburgh, came under fire when he was named in the Aug. 14 grand-jury report that accused Catholic leaders of covering up past cases of abuse. Francis said Wuerl has "nobility" and said he would continue leading the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., on an interim basis until a permanent replacement is named.

Tension ahead of the Brazilian elections has been linked to a string of violent attacks, including one case being treated as political murder, according to local media, BBC.com reported. A woman also had a swastika carved into her flesh by supporters of far-right presidential candidate, Jair Bolsonaro. Bolsonaro has dismissed the violent attacks as isolated.

In related news, singer Dua Lipa and other musicians have spoken out against Bolsonaro, who is with the Social Liberal Party, PinkNews noted. Bolsonaro, who is a frontrunner in the presidential race, has made several homophobic comments—including that he would rather have a dead son over a gay one. Dua Lipa retweeted an opinion piece for the New York Times on Bolsonaro's comments, adding the hashtag #EleNÃŁo, a popular slogan used against the candidate that roughly translates from Portuguese to "not him." Diplo, Nicole Scherzinger and Shangela also tweeted the Ele NÃŁo hashtag.

The Human Ken Doll, Rodrigo Alves, 35, had problems after being arrested in Berlin for failing to provide police with a valid passport when asked, The Daily Mail reported. Alves later said, "'All the paperwork for filming [a TV show for the PRO7 German TV network] was fine, but I was arrested because I was accidentally carrying my old expired passport and not my new one." Alves was recently booted from Britain's Celebrity Big Brother house following a serious and inappropriate incident.

New details have emerged in the death of openly gay singer Timmy Matley, Queerty noted. Matley, 36, was one of the original members of the Overtones, a popular doo-wop band from the United Kingdom. He died in April after suffering "multiple traumatic injuries" when he fell a balcony while under the influence of crystal meth, according to a newly released coroner's report. In addition to Matley, the band consists of four other members—Mark Franks, Lachie Chapman, Mike Crawshaw, Darren Everest and Matley; both Franks and Chapman are openly gay.

The Human Rights Campaign ( HRC ) announced a partnership with Good Aging Yells during Work with Pride—one of the Asia-Pacific region's largest forums on LGBTQ-inclusive businesses—to promote LGBTQ inclusion across workplaces in Japan, according to an HRC blog. For the second consecutive year, HRC joined corporate partners here to discuss the barriers facing LGBTQ employees and new ways to equip Japanese businesses and multinationals to cultivate more LGBTQ-inclusive workplaces across the country.

Malaysia's new government said it will abolish the death penalty for all crimes and halt all pending executions—a rare move against capital punishment in Asia that human rights groups hailed as a major advance, CBS News reported. More than 1,200 people are on death row in Malaysia, which mandates hanging as punishment for crimes including murder, drug trafficking, treason, kidnapping and acts of terror.

Britain's Viacom's Channel 5 is remaking the long-running U.S. entertainment show Hollywood Game Night, which Jane Lynch hosts, Deadline noted. The show features two contestants who are transported from their everyday lives into a night of fun as they step beyond the velvet rope and rub shoulders with some of their favorite stars and compete for the chance to win up to $25,000. In the United Kingdom, the show will feature two teams of celebrity guests playing games that test pop culture knowledge, acting skills, and nerves.


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