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  WINDY CITY TIMES

WORLD Marriage news, HIV prosecution, Cuba travel
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2018-12-12

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The president of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, on Dec. 5, reiterated her support of marriage rights for same-sex couples, The Washington Blade noted. "There's only one race in the world and that's the human race," said Margarette May Macaulay during a hearing on marriage rights for same-sex couples in the Americas that took place at the commission's headquarters in Washington, D.C. "And if there's only one race—the human race—all humans are entitled to the same rights. It is a fundamental, easy, easy thing to accept if one is a thinking human being but, of course, common sense is not so common."

A same-sex couple from Mexico made history Nov. 26 when they married in New York, The Washington Blade reported. Mexican Consul General Diego Gomez Pickering officiated the wedding of Daniel Berezowsky and Jaime Chavez Alor that took place at GÃ"mez's official residence on Manhattan's Upper East Side. Berezowsky and ChÃívez are the first same-sex couple from Mexico who were legally married outside the country to be recognized as married by the Mexican government.

In Canada, Ricardo Miranda will make history with his upcoming same-sex wedding, as he will be Alberta's first gay cabinet minister to be married, PinkNews noted. Miranda will marry his fiance, Christopher Brown, later this month. The couple will get married at the Glenbow Museum in Calgary, Alberta, just after Christmas.

Canada's justice minister is instructing federal prosecutors in the North that they should no longer prosecute anyone for not disclosing their HIV status to a sex partner where there is no risk of transmitting the virus, The Globe and Mail reported. The new rules won't transfer over to provinces—only in the territories where federal prosecutors have jurisdiction. The new marching order to Crown attorneys is aimed at making sure criminal law keeps up with scientific evidence about the virus and the conditions under which it cannot be spread.

Cuba VIP Travel—the Miami-based travel agency specializing in customized experiences of Cuba—is launching a new tour for 2019: the Havana LGBTQ Pride Celebration tour on May 16-20, a press release noted. The five-day trip will coincide with Havana's Pride Parade and will include numerous opportunities to socialize and work with renowned activists in the local LGBTQ rights movement. Prices begin from $2,275 per person, which includes four nights and five days of accommodation at the five-star Parque Central Hotel in Havana. See CubaVIPTravel.com/lgbtq-gay-pride-celebration-organizers.

The Guardian recently published a piece on how Jamaica is no longer the country that Time magazine, in 2006, called "the most homophobic place on Earth." The change has come through the dedication of activists, including the work of Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays ( J-Flag ), the country's largest LGBT-rights organization that will soon celebrate its 20th anniversary. Pride celebrations and social-media campaigning have been among the factors that led the former minister for justice and the mayor of Kingston to publicly support the group.

Grindr's director of communications has resigned, seemingly in response to the dating app's president saying he believes that marriage is between a man and a woman, PinkNews noted. Landen Rafe Zumwalt, who is gay, does not name Grindr President Scott Chen in his statement, but his blog post appears to be in response to Chen posting on Facebook that he agrees marriage should be "between a man and a woman." Chen, who is married to a woman, wrote on Facebook: "There are people who believe that marriage is a holy matrimony between a man and a woman. I agree, but that's none of our business."

Police arrested LGBTI activists detained in Belarus after they wore rainbow police uniforms, Gay Star News reported. An activist was remanded in custody without food or water for three days as he faced charges for participating in an "unauthorised mass event." Three students performed a public art piece in the capital, Minsk, called LGBTQI Police Patrol. They dressed as police officers and their mock uniforms featured rainbow epaulets to raise awareness about homophobia in Belarus.

Students members of a gay-straight alliance ( GSA ) in Botwood, Canada, say that homophobic classmates threatened to set them on fire. The students at Botwood Collegiate high school in Newfoundland spoke out about their clashes at the school with an anti-LGBT faction. Canadian broadcaster CBC reported that rainbow posters for the school's GSA have been repeatedly torn down, while others had "Straight Pride" taped over the top.

Alberta United Conservative Party leader Jason Kenney has said he regrets comments made in his earlier days about overturning a law extending hospital visitation rights to same-sex couples during the 1980s AIDS epidemic in San Francisco, CBC.ca noted. Kenney said, since then, his public record in Parliament shows he supports domestic-partner arrangements and benefits for couples regardless of sexual orientation. Kenney made the comments after a two-decade-old audio recording of him surfaced recently.

Human-rights attorney Amal Clooney sharply condemned President Trump for posing a threat to journalists around the world in her speech at the United Nations Correspondents Association Awards in New York City, Vogue.com noted. Clooney—the wife of actor George Clooney and who was being honored as the UNCA Global Citizen of the Year—said the president's harsh rhetoric about the media has helped lead to reporters being "under attack," particularly in "autocratic regimes from North Korea to the Philippines to Hungary."

Pantene Philippines has won praise for showing support of transgender people in its latest ad, which features beauty queen Kevin Balot, who calls herself "the girl named Kevin," PinkNews noted. The ad was initially released at the end of November to mark Trans Awareness Week and has has gone viral—even catching the attention of Grey's Anatomy star Ellen Pompeo, who told her 1.5 million Twitter followers she felt emotional watching the ad. The two-minute video, titled "Strength knows no gender," is structured as Balot's message to those who, like her, have been struggling with self-acceptance due to the gender they were assigned at birth.

Former top-ranked tennis player Andy Murray spoke out against the inequalities in gender when Norweigan soccer player Ada Hegerberg was asked if she knew how to twerk at a ceremony in Paris, Tennis.com noted. This question came from host DJ Martin Solveig just moments after she won the Ballon D'Or, which honors the world's best female soccer player. "Why do women have to put up with that [crap]?" Murray asked. "I've been involved in sport my whole life and the level of sexism is unreal." When lesbian Amelie Mauresmo was his coach, Murray was extremely vocal in defending her contributions to his game.

Speaking of Mauresmo, she won't be captaining France's Davis Cup team after all, because the two-time major winner is going back to coaching to help Lucas Pouille, ESPN.com reported. The winner of the Australian Open and Wimbledon in 2006, Mauresmo retired from playing in 2009. It was announced last June that the formerly top-ranked Mauresmo would succeed Yannick Noah, who is stepping down after France's 3-1 loss to Croatia in the final last month.

Over the weekend, Beyonce set the bar for over-the-top weddings unrealistically high after she performed at the pre-wedding bash of India's richest man's daughter, Isha Ambani, in Udaipur, India, iHeart Radio noted. The "Love on Top" singer's performance featured a full band, backup singers, backup dancers and even stage graphics. There were notable guests in the audience, like Hillary Clinton and Arianna Huffington.


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