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  WINDY CITY TIMES

WORLD Canadian school law, Mexico City parade, Indian rape statute
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2019-07-10

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The United Conservative government of new Alberta Premier Jason Kenney—promoted by some on the Canadian right as a model for the nation—has passed legislation that gay rights activists say will roll back protections for gay-straight alliances and other school-related organizations, The Washington Post reported. The education law, which passed after a combative 40-hour debate, eliminates a requirement that schools form clubs "immediately" when asked by students, and drops an explicit ban on notifying their parents. In 2015, Alberta's Progressive Conservative government required school officials to approve the clubs in every school, public or private, where a student requested one.

Mexico City held its 41st anniversary LGBT Pride Parade—officially known as Marcha del Orgullo Lesbico, Gay, Bisexual, Transgenero, Travesti, Transexual e Intersexualon—on June 29, The Dallas Voice noted. Conservative estimates put the crowd size at 1 million people; parade participants filled all eight lanes of the Avenida Paseo de la Reforma, stretching all along the two-mile route to the Zocalo. The event had special meeting, marking not only the 50th anniversary of New York City's Stonewall Riots, but because of "El Baile de Los 41" ( "The Dance of the 41" ), in which the police arrested 41 gay men that were all well dressed and in drag at a private party in Mexico City in 1901.

In India, the Central Government informed the Delhi High Court that it is opposed to making the law pertaining to rape gender-neutral, BarAndBench.com noted. Defending the gender-specific rape law, the Center stated that the decision was taken in view of the fact that victims of sexual harassment in the country are predominantly women.

The two Tory contenders to be Britain's next prime minister said that the same-sex marriage and abortion bans in Northern Ireland will remain in place regardless of who wins, Gay Star News noted. Both Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt said that only the Northern Ireland Assembly—the country's legislature—can roll back the bans. A 2019 poll conducted by YouGov revealed that 70 percent of UK residents agreed that same-sex marriage should be legalized in Northern Ireland ( up from 65 percent in 2018 ), including 55 percent of those living in Northern Ireland.

Botswana's government will appeal a high court ruling that decriminalized homosexuality, potentially resuscitating a law that punished gay sex by up to seven years in prison, Reuters reported. Last month's landmark court ruling—praised by international organizations and activists—meant Botswana joined a handful of African countries that have legalized same-sex relationships.

Activists in Georgia say they managed to hold a small gay pride parade in the capital, Tbilisi, on July 8, according to RFERL.org . Pride co-leader Giorgi Tabagari tweeted, "Tbilisi Pride has finally happened. Smaller in numbers but we managed to get out safely. History in making!" Reports suggest the planned route of the march was leaked online, raising security concerns among members of Georgia's LGBT community.

Gay-rights activist Mounir Baatour wants to become president of Tunisia—and is putting the fight for LGBT rights at the center of his election campaign, DW.com reported. A lawyer by profession, Baatour said he already has the 100,000 signatures required to get on the ballot—but his chances of winning are slim. A survey conducted by the polling institute Arab Barometer shows that only 7 percent of Tunisians condone homosexuality. Baatour said he wants to change perceptions by running for the presidency.

Belgians Alison van Uytvanck and Greet Minnen are the first same-sex couple to compete in doubles together at Wimbledon, according to Gay Star News. 'We [would like to] see more people coming forward and saying "It's OK," van Uytvanck told media after their win on at Wimbledon on July 3. Very few male tennis players have come out, including Brian Vahaly, who revealed his sexuality in 2017—10 years after retiring from the professional game. Former Wimbledon men's single champion Novak Djokovic said a top male player coming out would be a "courageous move."

Grindr for Equality issued a statement to the gay-dating app being banned in Lebanon. In part, the organization said ( at www.grindr.com/g4e/lebanonstatement/ ) that "Grindr provides an invaluable platform for gay, bi, and trans people to connect. Here, users find community, friendship, love and commonalities with other people who share their experiences, cutting through the social isolation that can be suffocating. Grindr for Equality, Grindr's program for LGBTQ social justice, has played an important role in addressing the growing HIV epidemic in Lebanon, connecting users with testing, treatment, and Arabic language sexual health resources."

An 11,000-year-old carving of a couple making love, a gender-fluid depiction of a Babylonian deity dating from 1800 BC, and busts of the Roman emperor Hadrian and his lover Antinous will be featured in new LGBTQ-themed guided tours at the British Museum, The Guardian noted. Stonewall's chief executive, Ruth Hunt, said: "For something as establishment as the British Museum to get behind this is is incredibly powerful. This project has helped spark an important conversation about how attitudes have changed and how much work there is still left to do."

In England, the Graces—the world's first gay cricket team—is finding acceptance, a CNN.com article stated. Graces Cricket Club is playing in a competitive league for the first time in just more than a decade, having lost every one of its games in the Middlesex Sunday League Division One 10 years ago. Graces' team is made up of cricketers from all over the globe, with players from England, India, Australia and Sri Lanka. Although predominantly known as being an LGBT cricket club, Graces also welcomes straight players.

Mexico fans were asked to stop a controversial, anti-gay goalkeeper chant for the July 7 CONCACAF Gold Cup final against the United States at Chicago's Soldier Field, ESPN.com noted. There was a FIFA warning of the prospect of games being suspended during the next World Cup qualifying cycle if it continues. El Tri fans shout an anti-gay slur as the opposition goalkeeper runs up to take his goal kick—and the federation has been fined on multiple occasions because of it, with the practice being replicated by fans in other Latin American countries, including Brazil in the Copa America. Mexico won 1-0.

Plans for Germany's first-ever drag-queen talent show received considerable pushback from the LGBTQ community after it was revealed that supermodel Heidi Klum will be the main host, Deutsche Welle reported. TV channel ProSieben announced that a drag-queen competition show called "Queen of Drags" will premiere at the end of the year. Besides Klum, the judges on the show are slated to be Austrian Eurovision winner/drag star Conchita Wurst and Tokio Hotel lead singer Bill Kaulitz. However, more than 20,000 people had signed a petition calling for Klum to be removed from the show and "to replace her with a queer person."


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