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WORLD Chinese writer, Nigeria suit, anti-trans attack, archbishop's statement
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times.
2018-11-27

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A Chinese author has been sentenced to 10 years in jail for writing and selling homoerotic novels, prompting backlash and comparisons to lighter sentences for more serious crimes committed in the country, like sexual assault, NewNowNext.com noted. The author, surname Liu, but commonly known by her internet pseudonym Tianyi, was arrested last year after the success of her book Occupy, and was found guilty Oct. 31 of this year by a Wuhu county court. Authorities were alerted after the book Gongzhan, translated as Occupy, went viral last year, The Guardian noted.

In Nigeria, a federal high court in Abuja has dismissed a suit seeking the registration of a non-governmental organization for LGBTs—the Lesbian Equality and Empowerment Initiatives—by the Corporate Affairs Commission ( CAC ), AllAfrica.com reported. Justice Nnamdi Dimgba upheld the decision of the CAC not to register the group, saying it was in compliance with Section 30 ( 1 )( c ) of the Companies and Allied Matters Act. Organization counsel Mike Enahoro-Eba said he will appeal against the decision of the high court at the Court of Appeal in Abuja.

A gang of dozens of men attacked two transgender women in Bekasi, West Java, on Nov. 19, Gay Star News noted. The men chased the two waria—an Indonesian trans female identity—stripped their clothes and attacked them with a metal rod, the Jakarta Post reported. Gay sex is not illegal in Indonesia; however, since early 2016, "government-driven moral panic" over LGBTI Indonesians has swept the nation, according to rights groups.

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has said that God is gender-neutral, PinkNews noted. During a lecture at St Martin-in-the-Fields church in London's Trafalgar Square, the archbishop responded to an attendee who asked about God as a father by saying that "God is not male or female," according to The Times. Welby—who said last year that boys wearing dresses to school was "not a problem"—explained that "all human language about God is inadequate and, to some degree, metaphorical."

In England, a school may face legal action after Christian parents complained to governors about a Pride event it put on for students, BBC.com reported. London's Heavers Farm Primary School "victimized parents" who complained about its "aggressive LGBT agenda," the group Christian Concern claimed. The school said it would not "shy away" from teaching children about important issues such as LGBT rights.

Judgment was reserved in a renewed legal challenge to the ban on same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland, The Belfast Telegraph reported. Two couples are attempting to overturn a previous ruling that the prohibition does not breach their human rights. However, Attorney General John Larkin QC argued they lack standing to bring the case because they were not victims of an unlawful act. The Court of Appeal is expected to decide early next year.

A gay man is suing the Hong Kong government for denying him public housing—because he is married to another man, the South China Morning Post reported. In a judicial review application filed to the High Court, Nick Infinger argued the Housing Authority's decision was unconstitutional under the Hong Kong Bill of Rights and the Basic Law, the city's mini-constitution. Infinger married his husband in Canada in January, and applied for public housing under the category of "ordinary family" in March. Hong Kong does not recognize same-sex marriage.

A Scottish hairdresser who police said deliberately tried to infect 10 men with HIV has been jailed for at least 12 years, according to a Washington Blade item that cited The Scotsman. Daryll Rowe, 27, became the first man in the country to be found guilty of intentionally setting out to spread the virus after meeting men on Grindr. At Rowe's sentencing, Brighton Crown Court Judge Christine Henson referred to his crimes as a "determined hateful campaign of sly violence."

The Canadian federal government announced it will invest nearly half a million dollars in improving the safety of the country's LGBTQ community in the wake of the killings of eight men with ties to Toronto's gay village, CTVNews.ca reported. Finance Minister Bill Morneau said the government will provide $450,000 to Pride Toronto to lead an initiative that aims to improve the relationship between the LGBTQ community and the criminal justice system. Morneau, who is also the MP for Toronto Centre, did not specifically name Bruce McArthur—who faces eight counts of first-degree murder—but said the funding comes as "violent murders" have been uncovered in the city.

A new opera featuring the anti-gay comments of senior Democratic Unionist Party ( DUP ) politicians is premiering in Belfast, Northern Ireland, according to The Independent. The lyrics for Abomination: The DUP in Concert are composed entirely of verbatim views expressed from controversial senior party figures like Iris Robinson and Ian Paisley Jr. For example, there will be comments made by the DUP's Maurice Mills, who blamed Hurricane Katrina on a gay pride festival, and Paisley, who once said he was "pretty repulsed by gay and lesbianism."

All 27 remaining European Union leaders signed off Britain's Brexit agreement with mixed emotions at a special summit on Nov. 25, CNN.com reported. Less than an hour after members gathered in Brussels, European Council President Donald Tusk tweeted that they had endorsed the "Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration on the future EU-UK relations." The agreement is a small victory for British Prime Minister Theresa May, who must now persuade lawmakers in the UK Parliament to vote for her deal.

Princess Diana shook the British monarchy to its core, and a book claims she even partied at a gay bar in London with a group of friends that included Freddie Mercury, AOL.com noted. The Power of Positive Drinking claims Diana and Queen's frontman had a wild night out on the town. The book's author is 80's British TV star/model Cleo Rocos, who was part of the group that ventured out to the gay nightclub.

India's first and only openly gay prince, Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil, has said marriage equality isn't a top priority for him—because there are other goals to achieve first, a NewNowNext.com item mentioned. "My first and foremost [objective] is to get acceptance from society—the social rights," Gohil said. The prince wants to first fight against things like stigma, discrimination and violence aimed at the LGBTQ community. Gohil has also recently been appointed as a gay representative and resource person under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to educate other governing bodies about section 377 of the penal code—a colonial-era law that was recently overturned that criminalized same-sex relations with a punishment of 10 years to life in prison.

A gay rugby player threatened with removal to Kenya—where he fears he would face persecution because of his sexuality—has spoken of his relief after being given a reprieve, The Guardian reported. Kenneth Macharia—a member of Bristol Bisons, an LGBTQA rugby club—said he would have had to hide his sexuality had he been flown back to Kenya. Macharia arrived in the United Kingdom in 2009 on a student visa; in May 2016 he claimed asylum, arguing that he had a well-founded fear of persecution in Kenya because of his sexual orientation.

Several hundred people have participated in Montenegro's sixth annual Gay-Pride parade in the capital, Podgorica, RFERL.org reported. The Nov. 17 incident-free event was held under the slogan "We are not kissing the chains," in reference to a well-known Montenegrin poem. Montenegro—a former Yugoslav republic of 620,000 people and NATO's newest member—is working to improve human rights as it seeks membership in the European Union.

Recently, openly lesbian tennis player Luksika Kumkhum won the WTA Mumbai Open for her biggest win to date, Outsports noted. She beat Russia's Irina Khromacheva, 1-6, 6-2, 6-3, and is now ranked 80th in the world. Kumkhum, 25, made it to third round of this year's Australian Open—her best showing in a Grand Slam event.

The group that regulates authority for therapeutic goods in Australia has delayed a decision on whether to permanently ban poppers ( amyl nitrite ), Gay Star News noted. The Therapeutic Goods Adminstration ( TGA ) announced a proposal to temporarily ban the sale, use or possession of poppers in September. It recommended to move nitrite inhalants onto Schedule 9 of the Poisons Standard —the same grouping that includes heroin.

British singer Sam Smith shared a video on Instagram of himself dressed top to bottom in black spandex, red high heels and ruffle skirt, dancing to Miami Sound Machine's 1985 classic hit "Conga," according to The Miami Herald. The caption: "Tonight Matthew...I'm gonna be @gloriaestefan." Then, Estefan—in London promoting her musical life story, On Your Feet—reposted Smith's video to her own account and wrote him directly: "What an incredible welcome to London! Love you @samsmith."

A festival that Nicki Minaj was supposed to headline in China recently may have been a scam, Page Six reported. The rapper reportedly traveled to Shanghai to perform a 90-minute set at the Djakarta Warehouse Project China festival—only to learn the event was fraudulent, according to Shanghaiist.

In a new poll from The Hollywood Reporter, people were asked if they support the portrayal of a gay James Bond, Out.com noted. The results showed that 52 percent either strongly or somewhat opposed the idea, while 28 percent either strongly or somewhat supported it. In addition, it showed that 48 percent opposed a female Bond, 29 percent were opposed to a Black Bond and 26 people were opposed to a U.S. Bond.


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