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  WINDY CITY TIMES

WORLD Cuban president, trans athlete, Trinidad and Tobago, Dua Lipa
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2018-09-19

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Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel has backed same-sex marriage, BBC.com reported. The Cuban leader, who took over from Raul Castro in April, said he was in favor of recognizing "marriage between people without any restrictions." In an interview with TV Telesur, he said doing so was "part of eliminating any type of discrimination in society." Cuba is in the process of updating its constitution, which had defined marriage as between "a man and a woman."

Hannah Mouncey—a transgender woman who had hoped to play in the Australian Football League's professional women's competition—has withdrawn her nomination from the draft, and is accusing the league of blocking her from competing, NewNowNext.com noted. Mouncey, who was a member of the men's Australian handball team before transitioning, was hoping to enter the 2019 AFLW draft after being rejected from the 2018 AFLW draft that took place earlier this year.

Trinidad and Tobago's government is challenging the High Court's April ruling decriminalizing gay sex, Gay Star News reported. On Sept. 20, the case will once more find its way to the courts, with activists fighting the government to keep their lives safe and legal. The government is presenting the case to the Privy Council in the United Kingdom—marking the first time the council will hear an LGBTI decriminalization case.

British pop star Dua Lipa cried at a recent performance in Shanghai after Chinese police forcibly removed LGBTQ fans from the venue for carrying pride flags, NewNowNext.com noted. In a video clip from the concert, the tearful singer told the audience that she wants to create a safe space for her fans to have fun: "I want us all to dance, I want us all to sing, I want us to just have a really good time. We're not here for much longer, just a few more songs, but I would like us for these last few songs to just really, really enjoy ourselves—how about that?"

Romania's top court says a referendum can go ahead to effectively block marriage equality coming to the country, Gay Star News reported. Conservatives and religious groups want the country's constitution changed to only recognize marriage between men and women. It currently recognizes marriage as being between "spouses."

Members of Serbia's LGBT+ community have said that the country's prime minister, who is openly gay, is not welcome at their annual Gay Pride parade because of a lack of progress on LGBT+ issues, PinkNews reported. Ana Brnabic became prime minister of Serbia last year—and became both the first woman and the first openly gay person to hold the position. Some of those activists have now launched a new campaign, called "Say No," with the goal being to prevent politicians from attending pride marches.

Australian actor/singer Keiynan Lonsdale took to social media to speak out against body-shaming, according to NewNowNext.com . In part, he captioned a photo of himself nude, "Dance naked, lose followers, gain leaders. - ***P.s. why is it deemed wrong to not wear clothes? We've been taught poorly, & groomed to hold shame for ourselves, our human bodies." The 26-year-old openly queer entertainer then went on to disclose that even though he's not all that confident in his body, he'll continue to share more of it.

Grindr's security issues are once again in the spotlight as a third-party app pinpointed users' exact location, Gay Star News noted. Despite constant reassurances from the app about the difficulties of exploiting their location technology, the latest security breach revealed how malicious parties can locate users. Discovered by blog Queer Europe, it used a third-party app called F*ckr, which hacks into the company's private API and uses a technique called trilateration, giving the precise location of its users.

A gay pop singer from Germany is believed to be dead after jumping off a cruise ship while off the coast of Newfoundland, Queerty noted. Daniel Kublbock, 33, was a pop singer and reality star who rose to fame after coming in third Pop Idol—a spinoff of American Idol—and later competed on Big Brother and Let's Dance. Canadian Coast Guard airplanes and helicopters conducted an intensive search for Kublbock but were unable to locate him.

Rwanda freed Victoire Ingabire—an opposition leader who has served six years of a 15-year jail term—after President Paul Kagame exercised his power to grant a pardon, Reuters noted. Ingabire, who leads the unregistered FDU-Inkingi opposition party, was freed along with other prisoners, including singer Kizito Mihigo, jailed in 2015 for plotting to kill Kagame.

Pyotr Verzilov—an anti-Putin activist and producer of the political punk band Pussy Riot—was hospitalized in Moscow with suspicious symptoms, Bloomberg.com noted. ( However, citing Pussy Riot members as sources, Meduza reported that Verzilov is in critical condition at Moscow's Bakhrushin City Clinical Hospital due to a possible poisoning. ) In July, he and a group of women, all dressed in police uniforms, rushed onto the field during the soccer World Cup final in Moscow, before being dragged off.

Welsh actor Iwan Rheon ( Vicious; Game of Thrones ) has condemned his hometown's local council for refusing to fly the rainbow flag in occasion of LGBT+ events, PinkNews noted. Rheon was asked by a fan on Twitter what he made of the Carmarthen council decision. "I think it's terrible. Shame on them. We should celebrate each other and everyone should be represented," Rheon replied, adding a rainbow flag emoji at the end of the tweet.

South Korea's first openly gay singer, Holland, has launched a new crowdfunding initiative for his upcoming mini-album, DigitalMusicNews.com noted. The crowdfunding project, in partnership with MyMusicTaste, is looking to raise $50,000 to produce a new album and an accompanying music video. The project will end Oct. 21.


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