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WORLD Conversion therapy, Bermuda march, trans officer, Belgium ban
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2019-06-18

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Germany plans to ban all conversion therapies under a new law to be introduced this year by German Health Minister Jens Spahn, PinkNews noted. It's estimated there are around 1,000 attempts in Germany each year to "re-educate" LGBT+ people, the Magnus Hirschfeld Foundation stated. These include efforts by family members, coaches and therapists, prayers and even exorcisms.

Bermuda's first LGBTQ march will be held Aug. 31, The Royal Gazette reported. LGBTQ people and same-sex marriage campaigners said the Bermuda Pride event would help to reinforce that gay people are part of island society. A spokesman for OutBermuda, the main sponsor of the march, said: "OutBermuda is proud to support Bermuda Pride 2019."

A transgender former Army officer was made a member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire ( MBE ) by the Duke of Cambridge at Buckingham Palace, BBC.com reported. Capt, Hannah Graf, from Cardiff, eventually became the highest-ranking transgender woman in the British army. Graf called U.S. President Donald Trump's move to ban certain transgender people from the military "archaic."

The Red Cross has barred transgender people from donating blood in Belgium, over safety fears, LGBTQ Nation noted. Ine Tassignon, spokeswoman for the Red Cross, said in a press release, "At present there is too little evidence that blood donations from transgender people are 100% safe. Because safety is super-important for both the patient receiving it and for the blood donor, and this is currently not [guaranteed]." This blood ban is exclusive to Belgium, and doesn't change the status of blood donations elsewhere.

WARNING—GRAPHIC DETAILS: In Brazil, a mother and her lesbian partner are accused of castrating and beheading a 9-year-old child "because he wanted to be a girl," LGBTQ Nation reported. Mum Rosana Candido, 27, and Kacyla Pessoa, 28, have confessed to Brazilian police that Candido's child, Rhuan, died after extreme abuse. Candido is accused of stabbing Rhuan 12 times before beheading them while still alive, among other horrific acts. Pessoa's 9-year-old daughter, who also lived with the couple, has been taken into protective custody.

Pedro AlmodÃ"var will receive the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at this year's Venice Film Festival, Aug. 28-Sept. 7, Deadline noted. The decision was agreed by the board of the Biennale di Venezia, chaired by Paolo Baratta, which confirmed the proposal made by the festival director Alberto Barbera. In 1986, AlmodÃ"var founded production company El Deseo with brother AgustÃn. Their first project was Law of Desire—an LGBT-themed movie starring Antonio Banderas; Pedro, who's openly gay, has also been involved with such films as Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!, Bad Education, Volver, The Skin I Live In and Talk to Her.

The Pacific nation of Samoa has banned the Elton John biopic Rocketman because of its depictions of homosexuality, according to Page Six. About 97 percent of people in Samoa identify as Christian, and the society is generally considered conservative and traditional. Under Samoa's 2013 Crimes Act, sodomy is deemed an offense that is punishable by up to seven years in prison, even if both parties consent.

An Irish restaurant has been ordered to pay more than $26,000 U.S. in compensation to a gay bar manager whose bosses called him "queer" almost every day at work, PinkNews reported. The man, who has remained anonymous, brought the case before the Workplace Relations Commission ( WRC ) in the Republic of Ireland, giving numerous examples of offensive comments from his two bosses.

This year's official international ambassador to Tel Aviv's Gay Pride Parade—U.S. actor Neil Patrick Harris—says he has no interest in being a gay icon, HuffPost noted. "I'm just a guy who is married to another guy and we have kids and we live our lives I would say as 'normally' as one would. But I think normal is a very subjective term, especially in the gay community," he told The Associated Press. "I legitimately have no interest in being a representative or an ambassador for anything except my kids." Tel Aviv's Gay Pride Parade is the biggest event of its kind in the region, typically drawing 250,000 people from Israel and around the world each year.

Tens of thousands of people joined a Pride march in Warsaw as gay rights continue to become a major issue in Poland's election campaign, Reuters reported. The parade—expected to be the biggest of its kind in the city—came as the ruling conservative Law and Justice ( PiS ) party ramped up its opposition to LGBT rights, saying opposition support for LGBT issues threatens Polish culture. Rafal Trzaskowski—the mayor of Warsaw, who won an election in the capital last year against a PiS candidate—was criticized by the ruling party this year for plans to introduce a sexual-education program meant to teach students about sexual orientation, discrimination and reproductive health.

British broadcaster ITV has confirmed that out actor Russell Tovey will star in a new drama called Flesh and Blood, Gay Star News noted. Tovey will join Imelda Staunton, Francesca Annis, Stephen Rea and others in the family saga. Tovey, fresh from his outing in BBC futuristic drama Years and Years, will play one of three siblings.

NikeTown store in London introduced new plus-size and parasport mannequins—and shoppers are loving it, NBC News noted. The Oxford Street store's newly designed women's section now features curvy mannequins as well as others with different abilities to better represent a full range of athletic women's body types.


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