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WORLD Marriage in Mexico, European report, arrests in journalist's murder
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2020-02-18

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The Congress in the Mexican state of Sonora is now getting pressure from federal legislators to approve a measure allowing for same-sex marriages, Fronteras reported. More than six months have passed since that measure was introduced in the state Congress, and since then it has been sitting in committee, which caught the eye of the Mexican Congress' Permanent Committee. It recently sent letters to states like Sonora, whose laws run afoul of a 2015 Mexican Supreme Court ruling that found that same-sex marriage prohibitions are unconstitutional.

A report has found that even as Europe's LGBTI community enjoys a high point in legally enshrined human rights, its members face growing threats posed by political hate speech and violence, NBC News reported. The annual review by the European arm of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association found that the picture for sexual and gender minorities remains "complex," particularly because Europe's reputation as a beacon for equality is a "surface impression that does not tell a complete or accurate story."

Four men were arrested in Northern Ireland over the murder of lesbian journalist Lyra McKee, whose killing last year sparked outrage and calls for talks by rival political factions, CNN.comnoted. They were arrested under the Terrorism Act—legislation used because the New IRA dissident Republican group admitted responsibility for McKee's killing, the police said. McKee, 29, was shot dead in April 2019 amid rioting in the Creggan area of Belfast.

A group of six boys, aged 12 through 14, broke the nose and cheekbone of gay Irish author Gavin McCrea, 42, attacking him during his walk in a Dublin park Feb. 1, LGBTQ Nation reported. The boys shouted slurs, threw stones, knocked McCrea down from behind, and then kicked and punched him in the face while he was down. McCrea had passed the Dropping Well pub when the attackers began shouting homophobic slurs at him; they later attacked him.

Russia President Vladimir Putin said to a pool of reporters that he will not allow same-sex adoption or support marriage equality "as long as [he's] president"—currently set to be at least to 2024, LGBTQ Nation reported. Putin's devout Orthodox Christianity faith is what's credited for influencing him to make decisions such as this. The comments were made at a press conference regarding a state-approved commission that will consider potential changes to the Russian constitution.

Wendell Rodricks—an author who was one of India's leading fashion desginers and LGBTQ-rights activists—passed away at age 59, OutlookIndia.comreported. Rodricks, also known as the son of Goa, was honored with the Padmashri in 2014, and was accorded the Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts Et Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture in 2015. As a designer, he has been credited with reviving the Kunbi saree, worn by the indigenous Kunbi tribal women of Goa.

The number of new HIV diagnoses among gay and bisexual men in the United Kingdom has dropped 71 percent since 2012, according to the Department of Health and Social Care, LGBTQ Nation noted. The department says pre-exposure prophylactics ( PrEP ) is the main reason. U.K. HIV advocates say that PrEP and regular testing have both contributed to the decrease, and that the U.K. must now focus on making PrEP even more widely available and reaching older straight men and people over the age of 50.

A British man who discovered he tested HIV+ while undergoing treatment for appendicitis has said he never feared the disease, as he thought HIV is a "young person's illness," Queerty stated. The Daily Mail reportrf that the patient, identified only as "Ashley," said he never used condoms because he only had sex with older women. Ashley had gone to the hospital with a case of shingles and symptoms of appendicitis; doctors there performed a perfunctory blood test, which revealed his HIV diagnosis.

The untimely death of NBA legend Kobe Bryant has led to a campaign against homophobia in Brazilian soccer, HuffPost reported. Bryant wore the number 24 for the Los Angeles Lakers basketball team; the number 24 represents the deer in an illegal but popular Brazilian numbers game—and the deer has long been associated in Brazil with homosexuality. Now the Bahia club and football magazine Corner have started campaigns to end the stigma against homosexuality, with its players wearing the number 24 shirt to send a message there is no shame, and encouraging other clubs to do the same.

British Vogue Editor-in-Chief Edward Enninful decided to celebrate the success of the September issue—the fastest-selling issue in the history of British Vogue, and which had Meghan Markle as guest editor—by releasing a previously unseen clip featuring himself and Markle discussing the issue and taking the honorees Laverne Cox, Jane Fonda and Yara Shahidi by surprise with unexpected phone calls from the dutchess, Page Six noted. "Just know that we are so, so proud that you're on the cover with everything you represent," Markle told Cox, a transgender actress. "You're a true force for change."

Sir Elton John tearfully cut short a concert in New Zealand after falling ill with walking pneumonia, Variety noted. The singer, who is continuing his multi-year farewell tour, lost his voice midway through his set at Auckland's Mount Smart Stadium. Despite its ominous name, walking pneumonia is a relatively mild form of the illness that is generally caused by a lung infection caused by bacteria or viruses that is similar to a serious cold.

Raphael Coleman—who starred in 2005's Nanny McPhee alongside Emma Thompson and Colin Firth—has died at age 25, People.com noted. The young actor, who turned to activism after studying zoology at the University of Manchester, died after he collapsed suddenly during a run, The Mirror reported. His mother and stepfather both confirmed the news on social media.


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