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WORLD Israeli activist, PrEP and anxiety, Irish curriculum, Tom of Finland
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2020-01-07

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LGBTQ activist and founder of the Bar Noar Tel Aviv LGBT youth center Shaul Ganon will receive hundreds of thousands of shekel in compensation from the state after charges that he was part of the motive for a shooting at the Bar Noar in 2009, The Jerusalem Post reported. Ganon was arrested in June 2013 on suspicion of sexually assaulting a minor—believed to be the motive for the murders at the youth center. The activist filed suit against the state on claims of slander and negligence by Israeli police. Youth counselor Nir Katz, 26, and Liz Triboshi, 16, were murdered and 11 people were wounded in the 2009 attack on the LGBT youth center; a decade later, the case still hasn't been closed and the murderer remains unknown.

A new study published in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome shows that pre-exposure prophylaxis ( PrEP )—the HIV prevention strategy that when used as prescribed makes it virtually impossible to contract HIV—reduces HIV anxiety among gay and bisexual men, HIVPlusMag.com reported. The data pulled from the "Following Lives Undergoing Change" study—a national, online and open observational study observing drug use ( both legal and illegal ) among gay and bisexual men in Australia. Currently, the only FDA-approved PrEP treatments are the Gilead-manufactured drugs Truvada and Descovy.

A review of Ireland's sex-education program called for LGBTQ+ relationships to be taught as part of a new curriculum, The Irish Post noted. Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh announced that The National Council for Curriculum and Assessment ( NCCA ) completed its review of Relationships and Sexuality Education ( RSE ) following an 18-month study, and judged that a number of aspects of the curriculum should be re-examined. The NCCA went to members of the public for their review and discovered that a number of primary school parents expressed a wish for sex education to be more inclusive regarding LGBTQ+ relationships, according to the Irish Examiner.

The iconic queer works of Tom of Finland will go on display in London this year as part of a new exhbition celebrating 100 years since the birth of artist Touko Laaksonen, Attitude noted. The House of Illustration in King's Cross, London, will host the first major solo art show dedicated to the late Finnish artist in March, according to The Art Newspaper. The exhibition, which will feature around 40 works covering the 1960s-'80s, will also include previously unseen works from the Tom of Finland Foundation in Los Angeles.

The Court of Appeal denied the Belize Government's appeal of a 2016 ruling decriminalizing adult consensual same-sex relations, Human Dignity Trust related. The three-judge bench reaffirmed the decision of the Chief Justice in 2016 that Section 53 of the Belize Criminal Code—which criminalized "carnal intercourse against the order of nature" and disproportionately discriminated against the LGBTQ community in Belize—contravened the constitutional rights to dignity, equality before the law, privacy, freedom of expression and non-discrimination on the grounds of sex, and was therefore void. The court further found that sexual expression is part of the Constitutional right to freedom of expression.

In Britain, a Norwich man suffered a fractured ankle after he and his girlfriend confronted a group of homophobes, Gay Times noted. Alexander Paton and his girlfriend, Grace McCourt, had been walking with friends on the Prince of Wales Road when the incident occurred. A group started making "foul, homophobic comments" toward their friends, so McCourt and Alexander went to intervene, she told the Eastern Daily Press.

Florida state Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith claimed that while walking the hallowed grounds of Saint Peter's Square, he was stopped by Vatican officials for holding hands with his husband, Jerick Mediavilla, Orlando Weekly reported. The two were pulled aside, according to a Facebook post by Smith, and warned that their hand-holding could be punished with a fine "or worse." Homosexuality is not illegal, technically; however, the city-state still primarily follows the same penal code in place during the 1929 split, which banned homosexuality. That same old code sets the legal age of sexual consent at 12.

After being called out and questioned publicly about its omission of a scene with two male character's kissing in the hit show Schitt's Creek, the UK television station 4Music has responded on Twitter, Out.com noted. "To all our Schitt's Creek fans: sorry the show you saw at the weekend wasn't as we planned, this was 100% human error," the network tweeted. "We do often edit shows for different time slots and David's kiss with Jake was inadvertently lost from the episode we played. this will be sorted for future broadcasts of this episode." Co-star Dan Levy, who is openly gay, accepted the apology.

Foreign teachers of Indonesian private schools have been forced to take tests to determine their sexual orientations and attitudes toward LGBTQ rights, LGBTQ Nation reported. The tests come from a 2015 federal law forbidding the country's 168 international schools from hiring anyone with "an indication of abnormal sexual behavior or orientation," according to The New York Times. It's just the most recent development in the ongoing nationwide crackdown against LGBTQ citizens in the Muslim-majority country. While same-sex sexual relationships aren't explicitly illegal in the country's criminal code, in 2020 the country's parliament will reportedly consider a revision to make it so.

South Sudanese model Aweng Mayel Chuol and fiancee Alexus defied the Africa's tradition-bound views on LGBTQ individuals to announce their marriage glowingly on social media, The Charleston Chronicle noted. Chuol, a high-end fashion model, posted pictures of the wedded couple on Instagram. "Married my best friend today. I am GEEKED," she wrote on Twitter. Same-sex unions are generally frowned upon in African nations, with South Africa currently being the only country on the continent that legally recognizes those marriages.

The Chinese scientist who created the world's first gene-edited babies has been jailed for three years for his illegal experiments, Newsweek noted. He Jiankui was also fined three million yuan ( $430,000 ) for his work, which he announced at the International Human Genome Editing Summit in Hong Kong in November 2018. At the summit, He told attendees how he had modified embryos so they would be more resistant to HIV; his work led to the birth of twin girls Lulu and Nana.

In London, drag queen Bianca Del Rio publicly shamed a West End audience member who filmed a large part of a musical on her phone, Sky News noted. Del Rio tweeted, "Dear blonde b**** with glasses, Thanks for distracting the ENTIRE CAST and SEVERAL PEOPLE AROUND YOU as you filmed during all of ACT ONE with your phone in your hand," adding, "This is not a concert, theme park or even a cruise ship ... it's THE THEATRE! RESPECT IT ! @JamieMusical." The former RuPaul's Drag Race winner, also known as Roy Haylock, is currently performing as Hugo/Loco Chanelle in Everybody's Talking About Jamie, at the Apollo Theatre.

In Australia, the LGBTQ community wants to create the largest human rainbow ever, according to LGBTQ Nation. The world-record attempt will take place March 7 at the ChillOut festival in Daylesford, Victoria. The event bills itself as "Australia's number one Queer Country Pride festival." The current world record is held by the Polytechnic University of the Philippines, which got 30,356 people together on Sept. 18, 2004. The Australia organizers also are attempting to break a second World Record on March 8, hopefully hosting the longest line of dancing drag queens.

Macanao Torres, a Spanish gay adult performer who worked with numerous studios over the years, died by suicide at his home in Murcia, Spain, at age 35, Queerty noted. The Spanish-language site Shangay reported that Torres, whose real name was Pedro Oliver, jumped off the roof of his apartment building. Torres left the porn business in 2016, saying he'd been diagnosed with a rare form of lymphoma and that doctors expected him to live for only 10 more years.

Australian tennis legend Margaret Court—who won 24 Grand Slam titles, and is now a Pentecostal Christian pastor—has not let up on her homophobia, according to Outsports. During a sermon, Court took pointed shots at the LGBTQ community, in particular transgender athletes and trans youth. These and other beliefs, such as characterizing being gay as a "choice," come amid her demands for Tennis Australia to celebrate her achievement in a manner similar to how Rod Laver was lauded at the 2019 Open; it was a celebration of the 50th anniversary of his second sweep of the Grand Slams in 1969.

All 20 of the BAFTA best actor and best supporting actor nominees are white—with Margot Robbie and Scarlett Johansson even afforded two nominations apiece—sparking a #BAFTAsSoWhite hashtag, Deadline noted. In fact, across BAFTA's 160+ total nominees, there are fewer than five Black nominees and only a handful of Asian nominees. However, Parasite, Pain And Glory and The Farewell did score nominations in other categories, and three of the five actors in the Rising Star category are not white.

A verbatim theater piece exploring the history of the LGBTQ rights movement is returning for a UK tour in 2020, following a successful tour in 2019 and run at the Duchess Theatre in the West End, Broadway World noted. Riot Act embarks on a tour coinciding with LGBT History Month, and will open at Liverpool's Epstein Theatre Feb. 5 before touring to venues across the United Kingdom. Written and performed by Alexis Gregory, Riot Act takes audiences on a journey through six decades of queer history.

GayTravel.com announced the winners of The 2019 Gay Travel Awards, a press release noted. Some of the winners include Disney Cruise Line ( Cruise Line, naturally ), HE Travel ( Tour Operator ), The St. Regis Mexico City ( Luxury Hotel ), Sri Lanka's Kahanda Kanda ( Hidden Gem ), Southwest Airlines ( Airline ) and Banff & Lake Louise, Canada ( Destination ) A complete list of this year's categories and winners is on the Gaytravel.com blog.


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