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WORLD Russian trans woman's win, Pride marches, museum CEO resigns
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2020-06-29

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In Russia, a transgender woman won a landmark decision for trans rights and recognition after being fired from her job—but is now living in fear after her personal information was made public by Russian media, according to an Out.com item that cites the publication Meduza. The woman won her historic lawsuit in April 2019, but a final resolution of the case was put on hold while her former employer appealed. The court finally rejected that appeal in June 2020, paving the way for her to receive more than 1.85 million rubles ( approximately $26,500 ) in compensation, although she said it's not about the money.

In London, Pride revelers didn't let the coronavirus pandemic stop them from celebrating this year's event, instead taking to the streets in smaller crowd bubbles or moving the party online, iNews reported. Demonstrators still turned out to hold a Black Trans Lives Matter march. Crowds met around Hyde Park Corner ahead of the protest, many of whom were wearing face masks and carrying placards that read things such as "silence is violence." Human-rights activist Peter Tatchell and former Gay Liberation Front members also marched in central London. The activists—some of whom are in their 70s and 80s—marched the route usually taken by the Pride In London parade to call for political action to end deportations of LGBT asylum-seekers.

LGBTQ+-rights activists marched through Berlin in a smaller version of one of the largest pride festivals in the world on June 27, DW.com reported. The German capital's annual pride parade and festival— known as Christopher Street Day ( CSD Berlin ), and slated to take place July 25—routinely draws more than a million people but was canceled this year due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Berlin police expected more than 1,000 people to attend the demonstration, but later estimated that about 3,500 people took part.

Taiwan hosted one of the few pride marches around the world on June 28 as the island's LGBTQ community and its supporters took to the streets, WION noted. Taiwan usually holds its main pride march in October; however, many in the island's LGBTQ community felt it was important to hit the streets in June when so many others around the world could not. Many of those attending held placards with the names of major global cities that have been unable to celebrate Pride Month this June because of the coronavirus.

John Young—the president and CEO of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights—resigned following allegations of sexual harassment and racism at the Winnipeg institution, as well as complaints that staff were forced to censor LGBT content, CBC reported. The resignation came after five women told CBC they had been sexually harassed by a male colleague, and felt the museum's human resources department had dismissed their complaints. CBC also reported the museum forced staff at times to censor displays about LGBT history for certain guests including religious school groups.

President Trump recently met with the anti-LGBTQ president of Poland at the White House, The Washington Blade reported. Two senior administration officials who briefed reporters on Tuesday said NATO and economic ties between Poland and the United States were among the topics that Trump and Andrzej Duda planned to discuss. Duda is the first head of state the White House has hosted since the coronavirus pandemic began. Trump described Duda as a "friend" before they met in the Oval Office. The meeting took place ahead of Poland's June 28 presidential election.

Also regarding Poland, approximately 100 individuals took part in an "Equality Run," condemning anti-LGBT bias, VOANews.com noted. The run took place as a number of anti-government protests from groups including LGBT rights protesters and feminists took place in Warsaw. The runners, some decked out in the rainbow flag of the LGBT community, ran five kilometers along the banks of the Vistula river.

In the United Kingdom, former Tory equalities chief Justine Greening—the first-ever openly lesbian cabinet minister—has launched a campaign to ensure LGBT+ venues can reopen after lockdown, PinkNews noted. Greening, who came out during Pride in London 2016, announced the campaign, "Together Tomorrow," in a letter to current Conservative equalities chief Liz Truss. Her two demands of the government are that they ask councils to identify the LGBT+ spaces and venues in their local areas; and create extra protections for these, with an aim to ensure there's not a net loss of venues from year to year.

When police ordered a local mayor in southern Spain to take down a rainbow flag put up to celebrate gay pride because it was illegal, more than 300 households in the village rallied to the cause and flew their own flags, Reuters reported. By the time gay pride celebrations took place in Spain on June 28, the Andalusian village of Villanueva de Algaidas featured flags hanging from balconies, windows and even a bar in solidarity. Juan Civico, the mayor of the village, only found out it was illegal for authorities to fly the flag after three residents complained about the one he had put up.

Junia Joplin—the lead pastor at Lorne Park Baptist Church in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada—came out to her congregation as transgender, CBC.ca reported. "God has a way of guiding you … to the moment where you can't do anything but speak your big, risky truth, no matter how much trouble it gets you in," Joplin told her congregation in a virtual announcement. Joplin grew up in rural North Carolina with her parents, two sisters, a brother, and the Baptist Church. She preached at the church for the first time when she was just 11.

Two Egyptian lawyers are suing Noor Hesham Selim—the transgender son of film star Hesham Selim—for an Instagram post that supported Egyptian LGBT+-rights activist Sara Hegazy, who died by suicide in June at age 30, PinkNews reported. The lawyers accuse Selim, 26, of "promoting homosexuality" with his post about Sarah Hegazy, who fled the country after being jailed and tortured for waving a Pride flag at a pop concert.

Subramanian Swamy, the leader of India's ruling BJP party, said homosexuality is "a genetic flaw like having six fingers," according to PinkNews. Swamy first made the comments in 2016 but retweeted them June 26 as the country celebrated the historic repeal of Section 377, a regressive colonial-era law that criminalized homosexual sex. Same-sex relations became legal in India in September 2018, and the LGBTQ+ community in the country has blossomed the wake of the ruling. LGBTQ+ acceptance is growing, particularly in urban areas, but the country's more traditional, rural areas have been slow to follow.

In the United Kingdom, Graham Linehan was permanently banned from Twitter for repeatedly violating the social-media platform's rules against hateful conduct, PinkNews noted. The anti-trans campaigner and former comedy writer lost his verification after he accused an LGBT+ group of "grooming." It was later reinstated, but Twitter took permanent action after he continued tweeting offensive content, writing "Men aren't women tho" in response to a Women's Institute post wishing a happy Pride to all of its transgender members.

Embrace of the Serpent director Ciro Guerra vehemently denied the sexual harassment and assault allegations made against him, Deadline noted. Seven women are claiming the Colombian Oscar-nominated filmmaker harassed them and an eighth is asserting that Guerra raped her, according to an article published on June 24 in the online magazine Volcanicas.


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