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WORLD Irish PM, landmark Canadian ruling, Brazilian murder suspects
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2019-03-20

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The openly gay prime minister of Ireland had breakfast with Mike Pence—and he made some pointed comments about accepting others, LGBTQ Nation reported. Prime Minister Leo Varadkar and partner Matthew Barrett had a breakfast in honor of St Patrick's Day at Pence's residence at the Naval Observatory. Varadkar ( whose father was born in India and immigrated to Ireland ) told journalists at the event, in part, "I stand here as the leader of my country—flawed and human, but judged by my political actions, not by my sexual orientation, my skin tone, gender, or religious beliefs. ... We are, after all, all God's children."

In a landmark ruling, a Canadian court has ruled in favor of a teenager who wants to undergo gender-affirmation treatment, Gay Star News noted, citing The Star Vancouver. The boy's father had objected to hormone therapy, arguing the 14-year-old was not mature enough to make the decision. The British Columbia Supreme Court ruling will impact the province's family law, as parents will need to respect their child's chosen gender, pronouns and name. Trans rights lawyer Adrienne Smith told The Star that misgendering could now constitute emotional abuse.

Brazilian authorities arrested two former policemen in connection with the murder of bisexual Rio de Janeiro councilwoman Marielle Franco, The Washington Post reported. Investigators say Ronnie Lessa and Elcio Vieira de Queiroz, on March 14, 2018, shot Franco and her driver, Anderson Gomes, from their car. Lessa, a retired military policeman, allegedly fired 13 shots at the car in which Franco and Gomes were sitting, along with Fernanda Chaves, Franco's former assistant who survived the shooting; De Queiroz allegedly drove the car with Lessa in it.

The shooter responsible for the massacre of at least 49 people worshipping at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, believed in a policy called the Great Replacement—a belief popularized by French gay academic Renaud Camus, an LGBTQ Nation article stated. While Camus has written a number of books, both fiction and political, he is best known for his belief that immigrants are a threat to white people—a theory that he has promoted as "Le Grand Remplacement." However, Camus has condemned the shootings as "appalling," saying that he's a believer in non-violence. Interestingly, in 2015, Camus was convicted of hate speech for classifying Muslims intent on conquering French territory as "hooligans."

Police hauled the organizer of a youth festival in Russia in for questioning as she received online death threats, Gay Star News noted. Yulia Tsvetkova put together the Colour of Saffron festival in the far eastern town of Komsomolsk-on-Amur. Local authorities cancelled the event over concerns one of the plays in the festival promoted an "LGBTI agenda." However, Tsvetkova told a local media source the festival featured no LGBTI content.

Botswana's High Court postponed its ruling on a case challenging the criminalization of gay sex, which is being scrutinized by campaigners hoping the law could be overturned, Reuters reported. Judge Abednico Tafa told the courtroom in Botswana's capital, Gaborone, that a decision would be handed down on June 11 after a one-day hearing. Gesego Lekgowe—attorney for Letsweletse Motshidiemang, named in court as bringing the case—argued the government should do away with the law in light of a changed society where homosexuality was more widely accepted.

Taiwan's legislature voted to send a draft bill that would limit the use of the words "marriage" and "spouse" to heterosexual couples to a second reading, where the bill will be reviewed together with another one that would legalize same-sex marriage, FocusTaiwan.tw reported. Entitled "The Enforcement Act of Referendum No. 12," the bill was proposed by Kuomintang lawmaker Lai Shyh-bao. The New Power Party attempted to block the bill by proposing sending it back to the Procedure Committee, but failed to secure enough votes.

A transgender woman has received an out-of-court settlement and an apology from a pub in Dublin city center in Ireland after she was refused service because of her gender identity, PinkNews reported. Sonia Kolasinka went to Madigan's bar after a political meeting in Dublin last August, but when she arrived, the doorman told her it was a booking-only night. Kolasinka told the doorman that the organizers of the political meeting must have booked a space, as she could see them in there. She walked in, but was followed by the security guard, who told her she had to leave.

Australia has once again banned openly gay alt-right poster boy Milo Yiannopoulos in the wake of the Christchurch, New Zealand, terror attack, Gay Star News noted. Earlier this month the Department of Home Affairs originally banned Yiannopoulos based on character grounds. He was coming to Australia complete a speaking tour—but the government denied his visa based on a belief Yiannopoulos may "incite discord in the Australian community or in a segment of that community."

Dr. Mags Portman—a pioneering figure in the fight against HIV—died of mesothelioma in Febuary at age 44, Advocate.com noted. Portman was a major player in the fight to bring pre-exposure prophylaxis ( PrEP ) to the United Kingdom. In 2014, she began work as an HIV consultant at the Royal London Hospital, whose revolutionary PROUD study showed that daily dosage of the drug Truvada, when used as PrEP, was effective in preventing HIV infection in gay and bi men.

Within the 53rd edition of the ITB international travel trade show in Berlin, the International LGBTQ+ Travel Association ( IGLTA ) and Queer Destinations ( QD ) signed a letter of intent with Miguel Torruco Marques, Mexico's secretary of tourism, in which they express their mutual interest to join efforts for the promotion of tourism in Mexico within the LGBTQ+ community segment, a QD press release noted.

Toronto's Veld Music Festival will take place Aug. 3-4—and Cardi B, Tiesto and Skrillex will be among the performers, Billboard.com noted. Rounding out the weekend lineup will be sets from Alesso, Kygo, Kodak Black, Canadian natives Loud Luxury and Zeds Dead, and more.

Police allegedly searched concertgoers for rainbow Pride flags before allowing them to enter Red Hot Chili Peppers concert outside the Pyramids of Giza, Cairo, PinkNews noted. The police officers also confiscated a child's crayons, according to Twitter user Ahmed Mohieldin, to stop them "drawing the rainbow flag."


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