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WORLD Japanese case, Jamaica event canceled, Putin's law
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2019-09-24

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A Japanese court awarded damages to a woman who broke up with her same-sex partner because of infidelity—recognizing their common-law partnership despite same-sex marriage not being legal in the country, Kyodo News reported. After acquiring a marriage certificate in the United States in 2014, the couple held a wedding ceremony in Japan the following year. Soon afterward, the defendant revealed her desire to raise a child with the plaintiff and was artificially inseminated after finding a sperm donor—with whom the defendant had an affair, leading to the original couple splitting. The defendant subsequently gave birth, while the sperm donor went on to have gender reassignment surgery, and is now recognized as a woman.

In Jamaica, the organizers of Montego Bay Pride canceled plans for what would have been their fifth annual celebration because local officials made it too risky—and the organizers also plan to sue, 76Crimes.com noted. In a press release, the organization said, in part, "The planning committee of Montego Bay Pride has made the difficult and painful decision [to cancel the event] because two of our democratically elected officials, [M]ayor Homer Davis and councilor Charles Sinclair, don't feel that we belong in Jamaica and have gone so far as to ban us from using a public space. ... Shame on the mayor and councilor Sinclair, who have brought international shame on Montego Bay and Jamaica."

Former British Prime Minister David Cameron said that Vladimir Putin imposed a "gay propaganda" law in Russia because he wanted to boost the country's birth rates, PinkNews noted. In his memoir For The Record, Cameron recalled an exchange with Putin, who imposed a divisive law in 2013 banning the "promotion of non-traditional sexual relations" towards minors. According to The Moscow Times, he wrote: "[Putin] said that Russia's problem was a declining population, and he needed men to marry women and have lots of children."

On Sept. 24, President Trump used his remarks at the 2019 United Nations General Assembly to promote his so-called "global campaign" to decriminalize being LGBTQ—an effort that was created under the Obama administration, a GLAAD press release noted. GLAAD's Zeke Stokes posted, "Actions speak louder than words @realDonaldTrump and @RichardGrenell. Here's the real record: 125 attacks in policy and rhetoric since he took office." The organization also said that Trump has been silent on important international issues involving the LGBTQ community, including the anti-LGBTQ attacks on Chechnya and his refusal to condemn Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro for his anti-LGBTQ rhetoric.

An Australian gay man said he and his brother were 'hunted down' and brutally beaten by a group of teenagers, Metro Weekly reported. The 21-year-old was visiting family in Australia's Gold Coast in Queensland when he said he and his 16-year-old brother were attacked because of his sexuality. The victim, identified as "Joshua," told the Gold Coast Bulletin that he and his brother were on a bus when a group of teenagers started yelling homophobic slurs, including "fucking fa—-ts" and "gay c—ts." Then, later that afternoon, Joshua said the same teenagers plus others—about 10 in all—attacked him and his brother in the food court of a Westfield mall.

Four young Mauritians approached the Supreme Court of Mauritius for leave to seek constitutional redress by the declaration that Section 250 of the Mauritian Criminal Code Act of 1838 ( which bans sodomy, as amended ) violates their fundamental rights and freedom and is unconstitutional, The Rustin Times reported. Lead plaintiff Najeeb Ahmad Fokeerbux said, "LGBT people in Mauritius are your friends, family, and neighbours and deserve the same rights to have loving, caring relationships as everyone else. It's time to get rid of this colonial-era law, and we ask all Mauritians to support our effort." The plaintiffs—who come from Hindu, Christian and Muslim backgrounds—are all members of the Young Queer Alliance.

Almost two dozen people, including Stonewall co-founder Simon Fanshawe, have signed an open letter stating that the British charity undermines "women's sex-based rights," PinkNews reported. The letter, published in The Sunday Times, said the signatories are considering forming a "new organisation" that would oppose Gender Recognition Act reform to make it easier for trans people to have their gender legally affirmed. The letter was signed by Fanshawe, journalist Julie Bindel and former LGBT Labour officer Miranda Yardley, among other anti-trans campaigners.

A Ghanaian ( whose name has been withheld ) who was attacked in Ghana in 2015 on suspicion of being gay has succeeded in securing asylum in the United States, Ghanaweb.com reported. Two law students of New York Law School's Asylum Clinic secured the asylum for the Ghanaian, who was code-named M.A for security reasons. In May 2015, M.A. was brutally assaulted by a Ghanaian vigilante group known as Safety Empire in a local suburb of Nima, for befriending a gay man, based on the perception that M.A. might be gay himself.

Gay Australian former bobsledder and rugby player Simon Dunn thanked his followers for their responses to a very personal revelation, one that almost anyone who uses social media can relate to: the pressure to present a happy face, even when life is hard. Dunn said that earlier this year, he found himself financially broke and living in a spare room in his mother's Australian country home, anxious about the "monumental task" of rebuilding his life. In another social media post, Dunn discussed his "real self" and his personal struggles with anxiety, despite his social media persona as a confident athlete.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is asking for forgiveness in the middle of his re-election campaign after a photo of him wearing brownface was made public, CBS News reported. However, the leader of the New Democratic Party slammed the prime minister for the 2001 image, calling it "troubling" and "insulting." The picture, published in a Time magazine article online, appears in a 2001 yearbook from a private school where Trudeau used to teach; Trudeau also admitted he wore brownface as a high school student to imitate singer Harry Belafonte at a talent show.

British singer Marc Almond shared his thoughts on the different labels people use for gender and sexuality, saying he's opposed to descriptions beyond LGBT, OutInPerth.com noted. The Soft Cell singer took to Twitter to share his thoughts but quickly deleted his posts when fans disagreed with his views and called him out on using labels ( saying he's "a bloke, male, someone who likes to explore a feminine side depending on how I feel, or what kind of show I'm doing" ) while arguing against using labels. "I draw the line after LGBT as well. I won't add all those extra things. I find it ridiculous and alienating NOT inclusive," added Almond, who then complained about unisex restrooms.


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