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WORLD HIV+ Ugandan men, employment lawsuit, Chilean rejection
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2020-04-20

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Mbarara Rise Foundation ( MRF ) issued a statement expressing concern about the safety, well-being and health of LGBTQI persons living in Uganda and, especially, for HIV-positive gay men. Founder/Executive Director Real Raymond said, in part, "To prevent the spread of COVID-19, as per in-country measures ordered in Uganda, we are instructed to remain at home in order to stay safe, which has resulted in hundreds of LGBTQI persons losing their jobs. This is a tough situation for the LGBTQI people who are HIV-positive who, in addition to limited access to medical services, have no food to eat." Raymond also said that many people have " stopped taking their daily HIV treatment due to lack of food to eat. The medications they have been prescribed are strong and cannot be taken on an empty stomach, which has led many to stop taking their medication entirely."

In the United Kingdom, an engineer won an employment tribunal case after he suffered harassment and discrimination at work while looking to start a family with his husband, PinkNews reported. Peter Allen joined aerospace component manufacturer Paradigm Precision in 2012 as a quality manager, and rose through the company over six years. He was in line to take over as general manager of the company's UK site in Burnley—but things went awry when he came out at work in 2018 and made enquiries into adoption leave.

By a vote of five to four, the Chile Constitutional Court ( TC ) rejected a request for inapplicability filed by a Chilean-Spanish lesbian couple, CNN Chile reported. The couple married in the municipality of Navàs, in Barcelona, in March 2012. When they wanted to register their marriage in Chile, the Civil Registry rejected it and registered it as a civil-union agreement. Fundacion Iguales Executive Director Alessia Injoque said, "We regret the decision of the court. If we want to protect the best interests of the child, we have to advance in the recognition and rights of all families."

Australia is set to ease rules on gay and bisexual men donating blood, health officials said—a move decried as "window dressing" by LGBT+ groups who criticized restrictions that would remain in place, Reuters reported. The proposed change—which needs to be approved by federal and state governments—would cut a 12-month waiting period on men who have had sex with men to three months, before they are eligible to donate blood. It came after the United States cut the celibacy period to three months due to rising concerns about blood supplies during the coronavirus crisis.

An LGBT+ asylum-seeker hanged himself from a tree outside a UN refugee agency in Nairobi, Kenya, after an incident, Gay Star News reported. Aneste Mweru, a Ugandan, had sought asylum in Kenya since January 2017; the Kenyan authorities recognized his refugee status in March 2019. Mweru was allegedly roughed up by police and guards working for G4S Security Services during a confrontation.

Young people spat at a same-sex couple as they walked to a supermarket in Amsterdam—despite the city being under coronavirus lockdown, Gay Star News noted. The couple, identified as Daniel and Fabio, said they had faced discrimination before and ignored it. However, this time they filmed part of the attack and will press charges.

Singer/former model Samantha Fox, who is engaged to partner Linda Olsen, has had to put her summer wedding plans following the outbreak of coronavirus, RTE.ie noted. The "Touch Me ( I Want Your Body )" singer and her Norwegian fiancee have been together for more than three years. Fox lost her partner of 12 years, Myra Stratton, four years ago to cancer of the jaw.

Lesbian two-time Grand Slam winner Amelie Mauresmo tweeted it is time to end the 2020 pro tennis season due to the coronavirus pandemic, adding "no vaccine = no tennis," Tennis365.com noted. Tennis is officially on a break until June 7 due to COVID-19, but both the ATP and WTA have admitted that the hiatus could be extended if there is no slowdown in the pandemic while Wimbledon ( which was to start June 29 ) has been cancelled.

Former Rep. Aaron Schock ( R-Illinois ) was tagged by Mauricio Kirschner in an Instagram photo showing the two in a group of friends on a beach in Mexico, Insider.com noted. The influencer Sam Stryker shared the photo on Twitter, saying the group "seem to have a very different definition of "social distancing than the rest of us" while vacationing at a resort in Cabo San Lucas. Kirschner seemed to defend the decision, saying the group had not had any outside contact with others. Schock came out as gay in March in a lengthy letter shared to his Instagram page and website.

Out athlete Gus Kenworthy ( who lives in the United States but will be aiming to represent Britain in the 2021 Olympic Games ) surfaced after a six-week absence from social media to reveal that the coronavirus pandemic has hit his family hard, according to On Top Magazine. Kenworthy said in an Instagram post that a nephew and a niece have had coronavirus symptoms and had to be hospitalized, although he did not say that they had been diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus. Kenworthy reminded followers that reaching out to family and friends during this time was crucial.

A well-known Turkmen entertainer has reportedly been arrested on charges of being gay, which is a crime in the central Asian nation of Turkmenistan, RFERL.org reported. The actor/showman, whose identity was not disclosed, was arrested along with about a dozen other people, including his partner, in late March. The former Soviet republic's Criminal Code imposes up to two years in prison for same-sex relations.

Irish singer Hozier is releasing his rendition of "The Parting Glass" as a charity single, The Irish Post noted. On a variety show, Hozier spoke of how the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children ( ISPCC ) had reported three times as many calls to its Childline helpline since the coronavirus lockdown began; he then performed his hit "Take Me to Church" as well as "Shrike" and "Glass." The latter is now available on all platforms to buy, with all the proceeds going to ISPCC and Childline.

The 2020 Tour de France has been rescheduled for Aug. 29-Sept. 20, Cycling News noted. The news followed a video conference between the UCI and representatives of race organizers, teams and riders in which it was also confirmed that all racing has been suspended until at least July 1 due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Tour was originally scheduled to take place June 27-July 19—dates that became untenable when French president Emmanuel Macron extended the current ban on public gatherings until mid-July.


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