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WORLD Israel medical group, India's ban, Chechnya detention
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2019-01-15

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Members who perform conversion therapy could now be expelled from the Israel Medical Association ( IMA )—which represents 90 percent of the country's doctors—if a complaint is filed to its ethics committee, Haaretz reported. "The treatments to change one's sexual orientation have been found to be ineffective and could cause mental damage, such as anxiety, depression and suicidal tendencies," the IMA said in a position paper on the practice. Conversion therapy is used in many countries, except Malta, Ecuador and just over a dozen U.S. states that have outlawed it, according to the ILGA, a network of LGBT+ rights groups.

India's Supreme Court struck down the country's gay-sex ban in September of last year—but queer people will still not be welcome in the armed forces, according to NewNowNext.com . "The LGBT issues, in the army these are not acceptable," Army Chief General Bipin Rawat said. "We will still be dealing with them under various sections of the Army Act." Homosexuality is still a punishable offense under the laws of the Indian military, Times Now reported.

Activists have said that several people have been recently detained in Russia's Chechnya region on suspicion of being gay, in a throwback to an earlier crackdown, NBC News reported. The reports come a year and a half after pro-LGBT activists said more than 100 gay men in Chechnya were arrested and subjected to torture, with some of them being killed. Human Rights Campaign ( HRC ) Global Director Ty Cobb said, in a statement, "We have repeatedly called on the Trump-Pence White House to speak out and help bring an end to this persecution, but instead the White House has largely ignored the actions of the Russian-backed regime in Chechnya. Human rights violators in Chechnya must be held accountable and be brought to justice. Lives are hanging in the balance."

Willingness to consider using pre-exposure prophylaxis ( PrEP ) increased between 2011 and 2017 among gay and bisexual men in Australia—while concerns about using it decreased, according to research published in AIDS and Behavior, AIDSMap.com reported. Repeated, national, online, cross-sectional surveys of Australian gay and bisexual men were conducted in 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2017, and total of 4,567 gay and bisexual men who were HIV-negative or unsure of their HIV status took part in the surveys. In April 2018, the Australian Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee recommended that the government should subsidize PrEP and allow any doctor to prescribe it to individuals with a medium or high risk of HIV.

The Republic of Ireland is set to allow all lesbian parents to be on their children's birth certificates, PinkNews reported, citing The Irish Examiner. The country's government has approved a bill that will enable both mothers—rather than just the person who gave birth to the child—to be registered as a parent on official documentation. The Civil Registration Bill 2019 will allow all lesbian couples who have had donor-assisted babies to register or re-register as their children's parents, if it passes through parliament.

Lithuania's top court has ruled that foreign spouses of gay citizens must be granted residence permits, Gay Star News reported. The Constitutional Court ruled that denying residency permits to the spouses of gay Lithuanian citizens who had married abroad was discriminatory. The landmark ruling comes despite same-sex unions not being legally recognized in the Baltic state.

Transgender Malaysian millionaire Safiey Ilias, 24, has revealed she feels pressured by the government to reverse her transition, Newshub.co.nz reported. Ilia was invited by mufti ( religious law official ) Datuk Seri Zulkifli Mohamad to have tea, but turned it down in fear it would become another of many attempts by religious leaders to "change [her] to become a man," according to her social-media posts. She made her fortune in the cosmetics industry, often posting pictures of her skin-care line on her Instagram, which has more than 1 million followers.

Newly installed right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro targeted Brazil's indigenous groups, descendants of slaves and the LGBT community with executive orders in the first hours of his administration, The Salt Lake Tribune noted. One order removed the concerns of the LGBT community from consideration by the new human-rights ministry. He has strongly criticized what he calls "gender-based ideology," saying it is a threat to Brazil's Christian values.

Hundreds of Dutch Protestant pastors and church officials as well as party leader and a senator of Christian party SGP signed a manifesto against LGBTQ people, NLTimes.nl. The manifesto argues that marriage is meant to only be a covenant between one man and one woman, and that good Christians should always reject homosexuality. The manifesto is a Dutch translation of the so-called Nashville declaration, which was drawn up in the United States in 2017. Incidentally, the 14 paragraph-long statement is only signed by men.

In Canada, the Ottawa Catholic School Board has quietly removed a popular book from the shelves of its elementary school libraries after parents complained about its LGBT content, CBC.ca reported. Drama, an award-winning 2012 graphic novel by Raina Telgemeier, is about a student who wants to be part of her middle-school theater production; there's also a side story about two boys who are attracted to one another, and who share an on-stage kiss. However, Drama has been banned from entire school districts in Texas.

An Australian rental van company has had one of its vans banned by the ad watchdog because of transphobic and sexist messaging, PinkNews noted. The banned message, which appeared across the front of one of the vans owned by Wicked Campers, said: "You're not a woman until humans come out of your vagina and trample on your dreams." A complaint to the Advertising Standards Bureau described the branding as "offensive, degrading and just not right."

Two gay men in New Zealand were told to "go back to the gas chamber where you belong" in an unprovoked verbal assault, PinkNews reported. Max Tweedie wrote on Facebook in December that he and his friend were accosted by a woman who came up to them at a popular cafe in Auckland's Herne Bay suburb and "told us that we needed to get wives." The woman, who Tweedie said "came up to our table specifically to hurl homophobic abuse at us," allegedly added that the men "were disgusting and that we were putting everyone off their lunch."

Bollywood hunk Hrithik Roshan has topped a list of the World's Most Handsome actors of 2018, according to FreePressJournal.in. It was a fan page of Hrithik on Twitter that announced the news via its official account. The actor surpassed many top Hollywood celebs, including Robert Pattinson, Tom Hiddleston, Henry Cavill, Chris Evans, Noah Mills and David Boreanaz.

Organizers of Ceremonia—an one-day festival on April 6, in Toluca, Mexico—have revealed the event's line-up, Consequence of Sound noted. The newly unveiled lineup will feature Massive Attack and Aphex Twin, along with Kaytranada, Modeselektor, DJ Koze, Jon Hopkins, Yaeji, Pussy Riot, Khruangbin, The Blaze, Pabllo Vittar and Serpentwithfeet. See www.ticketmaster.com .mx/Ceremonia-boletos/artist/2017754.


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