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  WINDY CITY TIMES

WORLD Cuba cancels marches, 'gay panic' defense, lesbian UK politician
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2019-05-07

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The organizer of Cuba's annual International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia marches on Monday announced they have been cancelled, The Washington Blade reported. The marches were to have taken place in Havana on May 11 and the city of Camaguey on May 17. The National Center for Sexual Education—directed by Mariela Castro, the daughter of former Cuban President Raul Castro—said the "current uncertainty the country is experiencing" prompted the decision.

The charges of a man who allegedly killed a LGBTI icon have been dropped to manslaughter after claiming the "gay panic" defense, Gay Star News reported. Last year, Romario Brown allegedly stabbed gay fashion designer Dexter Pottinger 25 times. In April 2019, he pled guilty to manslaughter—claiming he acted in self-defense because Pottinger allegedly came to him "naked and aroused." Brown alleged that he did not know Pottinger was gay. The Caribbean nation of Jamaica has been described as one of the most homophobic places in the world.

In the United Kingdom, The Democratic Unionist Party's ( DUP's ) first openly gay candidate has been elected to Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council, TheJournal.ie reported. Alison Bennington received 856 first preference votes and was elected after the sixth count in the Northern Ireland local elections. The DUP has openly spoken out against same-sex marriage but claims it is not anti-LGBT+.

Several trans women has realized their collective dream and will open their own hotel in Kerala, India, Gay Star News reported. Aditi Achuth, Saya Mathew, Preethi Alexander, Pranav, Ragaranjini and Meenakshi received $14,320 in local government funding ( as well as financial backing from a charity ) to set up the hotel. Kerala is one of the most progressive states in India when it comes to trans issues. In 2017, the state government assigned 23 roles to trans people on the new Kochi Metro Rail service. In the same year, it also launched a housing scheme for the trans community.

Two Sicilian women have photobombed Italy's anti-LGBT and far-right interior minister, Matteo Salvini, with a same-sex kiss, The Guardian reported. During an election rally in Caltanissetta, Gaia Parisi and Matilde Rizzo approached Salvini, leader of the League party and deputy prime minister, for a selfie. However, while Salvini was preparing to smile for the photo, the trap was set by the pair, who kissed in front of the camera. Salvini recently endorsed the anti-LGBT, anti-feminist and anti-abortion World Congress of Families, held in Verona in March.

The U.S. women's soccer national team head coach, Jill Ellis, has named the 23 players who will represent the United States in France this summer, a U.S. Soccer press release noted. Some of the players include Megan Rapinoe, Alex Morgan, Carli Lloyd, Becky Sauerbrunn, Morgan Brian and Abby Dahlkemper. The roster will not become official until it is submitted to FIFA on May 24, which is the deadline for all teams to submit their final squads.

Lesbian Hong Kong businesswoman Gigi Chao is leading a new bid for marriage equality in the city, Gay Star News reported. Chao, along with lawyer Azan Marwah and other activists, will officially launch the group Hong Kong Marriage Equality next month. Hong Kong does not recognize same-sex marriages.

The Turner Prize, one of the art world's most prestigious awards, has dropped a company led by an anti-gay-rights campaigner as its lead sponsor—just days after the partnership was announced, CNN.com reported. Turner Contemporary revealed Stagecoach, a British bus company, as its main partner; however, there was immediate backlash over the past actions and comments of its chairman, Brian Souter. Souter, a Scottish millionaire, funded an unsuccessful campaign in 2000 to preserve Britain's infamous Section 28—a law that barred the "promotion" of homosexuality by local authorities, and banned schools from teaching the "acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship."

The 29th annual Inside Out Toronto LGBT Film Festival ( Inside Out ) has revealed its full feature and short film lineup, a press release noted. Inside Out will open the Elton John biopic Rocketman, starring Taron Egerton, and close the festival with the Canadian premiere of the Sundance film Late Night, starring Emma Thompson and Mindy Kaling. Also, tThis year's Centerpiece Gala will be the Canadian premiere of Netflix's upcoming series Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City, starring Ellen Page and Laura Linney. This year's festival—featuring 40 movies, representing 32 countries—will take place May 23-June 2.

U.S. Christian extremist Steven Anderson, best known for his hateful diatribes and calls for violence against LGBTQ people, has been denied entry into 26 European countries this week, LGBTQ Nation noted. The Arizona pastor has already been banned from Jamaica, South Africa, the United Kingdom and Canada; he was arrested and deported while in Botswana in 2016. Anderson planned a trip to the Netherlands to do some "soul winning" according to the Netherlands Times. However, after activists pointed out Anderson's history, State Secretary Mark Harbers of Justice and Security banned Anderson from entering Dutch boundaries and the entire Shengen Area—encompassing more than two dozen countries.

Police moved on two anti-trans lesbians who protested at the front of the Swansea Pride parade in Wales, Gay Star News noted. The two women took to the front of the parade holding signs that read "Transactivism erases lesbians." Swansea Pride released a statement condemning the protest.

The International LGBTQ+ Travel Association's board of directors named Hilton Vice President for Global Diversity and Inclusion Jon Munoz as its new board chair during its recent meeting in New York City, a press release noted. Munoz leads Hilton's diversity-management strategies focused on culture, talent and marketplace. Munoz is joined on the board's executive committee by Vice Chair Don Skeoch, chief marketing officer, Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board; Treasurer Felipe Cardenas, co-founder/CEO, Colombian LGBTQ+ Chamber of Commerce; and Secretary Shiho Ikeuchi, president/CEO, Pink Soleil.

Channel 5 dating show Blind Date sent bisexual men Jordan Shannon and Jesse Drew on a holiday to St. Lucia—a country where it is illegal for them to have sex, PinkNews reported. The dating show, hosted by gay TV host Paul O'Grady, was criticized over the blunder following an episode on May 5, which was the show's first episode to feature out bisexual contestants. Men can face up to ten years in prison under the country's penal code for having gay sex, and politicians in the country have rebuffed efforts to repeal the law.

CNN.com has revealed a list of its recommended LGBT-friendly hotels. They include Chicago's Kimpton Hotel Allegro; Toronto's Thompson Toronto; Tel Aviv's Brown Hotels; Buenos Aires' Claridge Hotel; many hotels in San Francisco; any West Hollywood spot; and New Orleans' Bourbon Orleans Hotel, among others.

Most of the penguins at the Oceanworld Aquarium Dingle in Ireland are in same-sex couples, LGBTQ Nation noted, citing The Irish Mirror. Animal manager Louise Overy sai that, while other zoos are proud to have one same-sex penguin couple, they have four among their population of 14 penguins.

An Australian DJ popular on the Asian club circuit was found dead after suffering massive bleeding from an injury at a resort complex on the Indonesian island of Bali, Page Six noted. Adam Neat's official social media pages carried a statement confirming his death, saying he died while trying to help a friend who suffered multiple fractures.


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