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WORLD Rabbis clash, fatal attack, pro-transgender motion
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2018-09-25

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In the United Kingdom, a leading Orthodox rabbi has reportedly said that Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis' unprecedented and progressive LGBT+ guide for religious schools will "draw sinners into our camp," PinkNews noted. Earlier this month, Mrivis released "The Wellbeing of LGBT+ Pupils: A Guide for Orthodox Jewish Schools," a document created with the help of Jewish LGBT+ group KeshetUK that encouraged authorities to accept queer students. However, Jerusalem-based Rabbi Moshe Sternbuch has reportedly condemned the document as "blasphemy."

The civil society in Athens is mourning the death of well-known LGBTQI activist and HIV-positive human-rights advocate Zak Kostopoulos, 33, who was attacked in the city's center after allegedly attempting to rob a jewelry store, NeoKosmos.com reported. The store owner was arrested for deadly heavy body damage, and a second man seen in a video kicking Kostopoulos before the hanging is still wanted. The store owner's version of events is highly disputed, as some reports say that the store was a pawn shop. LGBTQI activist Gregoris Vallianatos posted on Facebook that the victim was actually looking for shelter in the store, as he had been sitting at a nearby cafe when a brawl erupted.

Liverpool, England, recently passed a motion saying that transgender women are no different from cisgender women, Gay Star News noted. Led by Mayor Joe Anderson, the motion passed unanimously Sept. 19. LGBTI-rights organization Stonewall told the BBC that this decision "sends a very powerful and very welcome message of acceptance."

A Brazilian football club has condemned its own supporters after they chanted death threats at opposing fans, PinkNews reported. During a 0-0 draw between Atlético Mineiro and Cruzeiro, Mineiro supporters sang, "Cruzeiro fans, be careful, Bolsonaro will kill the queers." Their chant referred to Jair Bolsonaro, a far-right, anti-LGBT politician who has said he would prefer to have a dead son over a gay one—and is the frontrunner to become Brazil's next president.

LGBTI groups in Senegal said an increase in arrests for alleged homosexuality is a government crackdown on the LGBTI community, Gay Star News noted. The latest arrests of two men and two women in the capital, Dakar, prompted the comments. Police arrested the four after people in their neighborhood circulated videos of them engaged in sexual acts. Anti-gay president, Macky Sall—who has vowed to never legalize homosexuality in the western African country—is up for re-election in 2019.

Amnesty International has stated that, since 2010, there have been almost 300 violent LGBT-related deaths in Honduras—a country with just more than 9 million people, DailyXtra.com noted. More than half of those killed were gay men and almost a third were transgender people. Death reports from Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch make Honduras among the seven most dangerous countries to be LGBT as well the world's most treacherous place to be an environmental-rights defender.

A drug that cuts the chances of contracting HIV during sex should be made available on the National Health Service in England to anyone at risk, three MPs have told the BBC's Victoria Derbyshire program, BBC.com noted. Tory MPs Crispin Blunt and Nigel Evans, and Labour's Stephen Doughty said the PrEP drug had been proven to be cost-effective during continuing trials. The High Court recently ruled that the patent for the current Prep drug used by the NHS should end, meaning much cheaper versions could soon be available.

The Australian Taxation Office has introduced a 3-percent inclusion benchmark to encourage its lgbt employees to feel confident in bringing "their whole selves to work,'" The Australian reported. A question asking employees if they identified as LGBT was included in the Australian Public Service Commission's annual survey for the first time last year, The Courier Mail noted. The ATO said LGBT visibility had increased within the organisation by half a percent since the question was introduced.

Queen Elizabeth II's cousin Lord Ivar Mountbatten got married in the first royal same-sex wedding—but neither she nor any of her close relatives attended the event, LGBTQ Nation noted. The queen's third cousin came out two years ago, and is now the first member of the extended royal family to marry someone of the same sex. He married James Coyle at a mansion in the county in Devon; 60 people attended the wedding.

The Vietnam version of The Bachelor Vietnam became really dramatic when two of the female contestants decided to reject the idea of competing for the eligible guy and instead go home together, TheWrap noted. Bachelor Nguyen Quoc Trung was unexpectedly left holding the rose when contestants Minh Thu and Truc Nhu turned their attentions away from him—and onto each other, according to Asian news site Next Shark.

Skier Gus Kenworthy announced on Instagram that he was on the cusp of adding "model" to his resume—only to be cut from a Philipp Plein show at the last minute, Page Six noted. "I was supposed to walk a Milan Fashion Week runway yesterday. Two hours before the show started they cut me from it. Sooo basically I just flew 4,000 miles to eat pizza," he captioned a picture of himself eating a slice. At the show, which was a tribute to Michael Jackson, Chris Brown performed while Winnie Harlow and Cardi B's sister, Hennessy Carolina, walked the runway along with her girlfriend, Michelle Diaz.

Australian singer-songwriter Sam Sparro, known best for his 2008 single "Black and Gold," married his partner Zion Lennox in Joshua Tree, California, Towleroad.com noted. Lennox posted a photo to Instagram that was captioned: "So excited to be marrying the love of my life tomorrow @samsparro." British singer-songwriter MNEK attended the wedding and posted a photo: "CONGRATS TO THE HAPPY COUPLEEEEEEE @samsparro @knightsofzion"

A lesbian film banned in Kenya has sold out all its planned sessions after a court temporarily suspended the ban, Gay Star News noted. Rafiki became the first Kenyan film to screen at the Cannes Film Festival and hoped to compete for next year's Best Foreign Language Oscar—but Kenya banned the film because of its "homosexual theme." Recently, a court ruled the Rafiki could be screened in Kenya for seven days, thus making it eligible for the Oscars.

Blondie will be playing two nights in Cuba next March as part of a four-day cultural exchange program—and fans can travel as well, Page Six reported. The iconic rock group announced they will play two concerts during their March 14-18 visit in Havana, which will also feature Cuban musicians Alain Perez, David Torrens and Sintesis. Pricing for the trip, which includes a hotel reservation, ranges from $2,700 to $5,600 each.

Italian fashion house Versace could announce its sale to U.S.-based fashion group Michael Kors this week, with a deal potentially valuing the Milan-based brand at about $2 billion, USA Today noted. The Versace family owns 80 percent of the company, according to reports, and would stay on board as part of the deal; Blackstone, a U.S. private-equity group, owns 20 percent and would fully exit.

Filmatique has launched FLMTQ Talents—an online film festival that aims to discover and distribute works from daring new filmmakers around the globe, according to a press release. In its inaugural year, the curators of art-house distribution platform Filmatique will screen 10 selected features and 20 shorts in a month-long showcase of bold and diverse voices of contemporary world cinema ( applies to first and second films only ). Selected projects will receive one year of digital distribution on Filmatique; visit Filmatique.com/talents/.


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