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WORLD Deportation, Kenya delay, lesbian prime minister
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2019-02-27

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A gay man is facing deportation from the United Kingdom back to Malaysia, where consensual same-sex activity is punishable by up to 14 years in prison, NewNowNext.com noted. The government does not believe Yew Fook Sam, also known as Sam, is gay because he has never had a boyfriend. The 67-year-old said he doesn't have a boyfriend because he only came out two years ago, after finding acceptance at St Bride's Church, where he is part of an LGBTQ worship group called Open Table.

Citing a large case load, Kenya's High Court has delayed a ruling on a colonial-era law criminalizing homosexuality, according to NewNowNext.com . Current law makes consensual same-sex sexual activity, referred to as "carnal knowledge … against the order of nature" in the penal code, punishable by up to 14 years in prison. The government said Kenya arrested 534 people for same-sex relationships between 2013 and 2017, according to NBC.

The same-sex partner of Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic has given birth in what is believed to be a first for a world leader, The Independent reported. Brnabic's office announced the delivery and said that both the baby boy, reportedly named Igor, and mother Milica Djurdjic are "doing fine." Serbia has not yet recognized same-sex marriage and the head of the country's orthodox church has compared homosexuality to incest; also, same-sex couples are also barred from adopting children.

Leading gay Christians have accused the Anglican Church of hypocrisy following its decision to ban same-sex spouses from attending the church's 2020 global conference, IOL News reported. Canon Jeremy Pemberton—who, in 2014, became the first Church of England priest to wed his same-sex partner—said the move to exclude LGBT+ spouses "panders to the views of the most extremely conservative" members of the Anglican Church. The Lambeth Conference, due to take place in Canterbury, England, is held once every 10 years.

A report released by the British parliament said that British overseas territories should be forced to legalize same-sex marriage, OpenlyNews.com noted. Five of the 14 Overseas Territories ( OTs )—including the Caribbean islands of Anguilla and the British Virgin Islands—deny marriage rights to same-sex couples. Same-sex marriage is legal in the United Kingdom, with the exception of Northern Ireland.

In Mexico, the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation ( SCJN ) declared invalid Articles 140 and 148 of the Civil Code of Nuevo Leon, which prevented equal marriage, Politico.mx reported. During his campaign, state Gov. Jaime Rodriguez, known as "El Bronco," rejected equal marriage as well as same-sex adoption—so the decision of the Supreme Court would mean a setback for the leader.

Fabrice Houdart—human-rights officer at the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights ( OHCHR ) in New York—will receive the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association's ( IGLTA's ) Pioneer Award at its annual global convention in April, a press release stated. This IGLTA honor is bestowed upon an individual, business or organization whose innovative spirit and actions have led the way in moving LGBTQ+ travel forward. Houdart works on Free & Equal, an unprecedented United Nations campaign for LGBTQ+ equality, and lives in New York City with his twin sons.

Pakistan has opened a public school exclusively for transgender students—believed to be one of the first of its kind in the country, PinkNews reported. Around 20 students will attend the school, which was established by the government-run literacy department in the Lodhran district, in the Punjab province. Last year, the Pakistani government hired its first transgender employee.

In Israel, a Likud member who secured a realistic spot on the party's Knesset list this week condemned the gay pride parades held every year, YNet News noted. Shlomo Karhi, who secured the 27th spot reserved for the Negev region, called the pride parades "inappropriate," and said they serve to "legitimize something that is contrary to the natural family unit." Chen Arieli, chair of the Association for LGBTQ Equality in Israel, said that Karhi had already shamed his party and made a fool of himself before even entering the Knesset.

Some viewers of the Oscars were not happy actor Rami Malek described the late British musician Freddie Mercury as a "gay man" in his Oscars acceptance speech, Gay Star News noted. Many people took to Twitter to express their disappointment with the apparent bisexual erasure. Others also pointed out that Malek failed to mention Mercury's HIV status, and that this movie was "aimed at" Queen's straight fans. With his win, Malek became the first Egyptian-American actor to take home the Best Actor prize.

In Northern Ireland, gay-rights protesters held a noisy demonstration outside a Belfast Presbyterian church showing a film about a pop singer who reportedly converted into heterosexuality, The Belfast Telegraph noted. The film—Once Gay: Matthew And Friends—tells the story of X Factor Malta contestant Matthew Grech, who Core Issues Trust leader Mike Davidson has claimed "left homosexuality as part of his Christian testimony."

Journalist Jorge Ramos and his Univision crew were briefly "arbitrarily detained" at the Miraflores Palace in Caracas following an interview with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, Variety noted, citng the Univision News Twitter account. ( Maduro reportedly did not like the questions he was asked. ) Univision also said the team's technical equipment was taken away.

Ariana Grande is to play in Manchester for the first time since 2017 when she headlines Manchester Pride in August, Gay Star News noted. Twenty-two people died in a suicide attack outside Grande's show at Manchester Arena in May 2017. Joining Grande are pop band Years & Years.

Burberry apologized for displaying a hoodie that featured a noose around the neck during London Fashion Week, Fortune.com reported. In an unusual move, Liz Kennedy—the model who wore the controversial item on the runway—led the charge against it afterward, saying her backstage objections to the accessory were ignored. The retailer has since removed the item from its collection.


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