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  WINDY CITY TIMES

WORLD Bulgarian court, Australian crimes, pivotal Indian case
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2018-07-10

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A Sofia, Bulgaria, court has backed the right of a same-sex couple to live in the country, in the first such case for the EU nation that does not recognize same-sex marriage, VOA News reported. The court claim was brought up by an Australian woman who was banned from residing in Bulgaria in 2017 together with her French spouse after the couple got married in France in mid-2016, the youth LGBT organization Action said. The Sofia administrative court's ruling overturned the interior ministry's migration directorate ban, saying that upholding it would "hinder the right of the EU partner to move and reside freely in the territory of the EU."

The Guardian reported that a New South Wales police review has found that 27 gay men were likely to have lost their lives to homophobic killers during a violent period of Sydney's history. Authorities released the findings of Strike Force Parrabell, whose goal was to "do all that is possible" to heal the rift that grew between police and the LGBTIQ community in those decades. The violence reached a bloody apex in the late 1980s and early 1990s, fueled by a "moral panic" that the HIV epidemic triggered.

In Australia, a police sting on the gay dating app Grindr, in which an undercover officer posed as a 14-year-old boy, has ended with two convictions being overturned on appeal in the Supreme Court, the Brisbane Times noted. A man accused of sending lurid messages to the officer, who posed as "Mack Jones", was cleared after successfully appealing his conviction in the Supreme Court. In a ruling delivered last month, the Supreme Court set aside "Mr. W's" conviction on the basis it was "possible that at least some of the jury may have been confused" about a central question in the case, which was whether Mr. W believed "Mack" to be under 16.

The Indian supreme court has started a key hearing on homosexuality in the country—with celebrities set to speak about how an 1861 law banning gay sex has blighted their lives, PinkNews noted. The court will also hear numerous petitions arguing for same-sex relations between consenting adults to be legalized, reported The Guardian. However, this is the first time the court is set to hear from notable individuals, with planned speeches from a famous chef, a hotelier and a classical dancer.

Thailand's first-ever bill to allow civil same-sex partnerships is one step closer to becoming law, Gay Star News noted. The justice ministry is putting the finishing touches on the draft Civil Partnership Bill, which should be ready by September. A subcommittee in the ministry has been drafting the bill since earlier this year.

France's highest court was asked to examine if the state could legally continue withold the right to IVF from women in same-sex couples or single women, after a drawn-out battle for access, PinkNews reported. IVF has been available in France since the 1980s, as part of standard healthcare provision. However, at present it is exclusively available for opposite-sex couples who can prove that they are married or have cohabited with joint finances for two or more years. Single women ( or women who do not share finances with their partner ) and same-sex couples are unable to qualify for IVF.

New Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador—commonly known by his initials, AMLO—cited the LGBT community in his recent victory speech, The Washington Blade noted. Loop Obrador said, in part, "the state will represent all Mexicans … from all points of view and sexual preferences." According to Karolyna Pollorena, an LGBT activist in Mexicali, Lopez Obrador is the first president-elect in the country's history to specifically mention the LGBTI community in his victory speech.

Police have discovered more human remains near the north Toronto property where the dismembered bodies of seven men Bruce McArthur allegedly killed were found in garden planters earlier this year, CBC.ca reported. Det.-Sgt. Hank Idsinga, the lead investigator on the case, said the remains were uncovered in a forested ravine area. Police were prompted to focus on the ravine after canine units indicated in May that human body parts may be buried there.

A gay Asian man is attempting to launch a class-action lawsuit against Grindr, Gay Star News noted. Sinakhone Keodara, the CEO of Asian Entertainment Television, Inc, wants to sue the Chinese-owned company for "racial discrimination." Keodora has criticized the app for allowing users to post what he describes as humiliating and degrading comments about Asian men. In a tweet announcing his intention, Keodara says he wants to find other Asian men in each of the United States' 50 states to launch a class-action lawsuit. In 2016, Grindr sold a majority 61.5-percent shareholding to China's Beijing Kunlun Tech for $93 million.

In Kenya, a task force constituted by the attorney general in May 2017 to look into the affairs of intersex persons has launched a nationwide data collection that will record the number of people with the biological condition, The-Star.co.ke reported. Task-force chair Mbage Ng'ang'a said findings and recommendations of the report will be submitted by October. It is estimated that between 1.7 percent and 3.0 percent of the global population is intersex.

Nationalist and anti-immigrant parties in Europe's more socially liberal countries are trying to shed their old reputation for gay-bashing, The Economist reported. Partly, this is because they are genuinely less homophobic than they used to be—but the article adds that this change in mindset gives the partiea handy excuse for bashing Muslims.

Priest Maxim Melinti—of the Church of the Virgin Mary in the Moldovan village of Ghidighici—was relegated to the role of spectator by the Moldovan Orthodox Church, which banned him indefinitely from officiating services as of June 21, RFERL.org noted. The Church alleged that Melinti was "promoting and encouraging sexual minorities and contributing to the development of the LGBT movement in the Republic of Moldova." However, Melinti said he didn't commit the act; nonetheless, he said he has apologized for the situation and asked the church for forgiveness.

The Montreal Pride Festival, presented by TD in cooperation with Casino de Montréal, unveiled the free outdoor shows of its 2018 edition, to be held Aug. 9-19, according to a press release. Deborah Cox, Todrick Hall, Calum Scott, Mia Martina, Samantha Fox, Peaches, Bianca Del Rio, Ada Vox and Princess Nokia are among the performers slated to participate, joining local artists Laurence Nerbonne, Milk & Bone, Sylvie Desgroseilliers, Tamara Weber'Filion and Michel Dorion. See http://www.fiertemontrealpride.com/en/.

Quiiky Tours, the first Italian company to specialize in LGBT-themed travel, has announced a new guided tour inspired by the Oscar-winning drama Call Me By Your Name, NewNowNext.com noted. Fans of the film eager who are eager to follow in its characters footsteps will spend eight days exploring many of the film's real-life backdrops with stops in Milan, Crema, Garda Lake, Verona, Venice and Bergamo.


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