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WORLD Surrogacy law, World Cup, message to Trump & Putin
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times

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The Israeli Parliament ( The Knesset ) approved an amendment to the Israeli Law on Surrogacy, but kept a portion that stipulates same-sex couples are not be eligible for surrogacy services provided by the Israeli healthcare system. Knesset Member Amir Ohana—who is openly gay, and is raising two children who were born through surrogacy in the United States—attended the conference to speak on the subject. Until now, surrogacy services in Israel were provided only to heterosexual couples who cannot have children due to medical issues; the new amendment will expand the eligibility to single women as well. However, the service will remain unavailable to same-sex couples.

LGBT activists found a colorful way around Russia's strict anti-LGBT laws while the nation hosted the World Cup, The New York Daily News noted. With each wearing different brightly colored jerseys, six activists behind the "Hidden Flag" project formed a rainbow flag of soccer jerseys and took to the streets of Russia. The project came from FELGTB, Spain's largest LGBT rights group, to protest Russian laws against "gay propaganda," which include a ban on the rainbow flag.

Russian punk band Pussy Riot claimed responsibility for a protest that briefly interrupted the FIFA World Cup Final in Moscow on July 15, saying they staged the disruption as a protest against Vladimir Putin's political arrests at protests, according to TheWrap. Early in the second half of the match, four people dressed as police officers ran onto the pitch ( field ), with one high-fiving a French midfielder before being tackled by security and carried off the field. The band said the protesters were dressed as officers in light of arrests made at political protests in Russia and to demand fair elections.

The Russian LGBT Sport Federation hosted a conference in Moscow designed to further discussion in both Russia and the sport of soccer about LGBTQ inclusion, Outsports noted. Titled "Football—A Homophobia Free Game," the international conference takes place at The Goethe Institut in Moscow. The institute stepped forward to offer its space after a local Holiday Inn and Radisson Inn rejected having the event there.

Just ahead of the July 16 Trump-Putin summit, the Human Rights Campaign ( HRC ) projected an enormous message on the Presidential Palace in Helsinki demanding that Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin immediately end the ongoing anti-LGBTQ crimes against humanity occurring in the Russian republic of Chechnya, a press release noted. Earlier in the day on July 15, HRC Global Director Ty Cobb spoke at a rally in Helsinki, Finland, to crowds gathered in protest of the Trump-Pence and Putin regimes' attacks on LGBTQ people.

Belarusian authorities have refused asylum to a transgender woman from Uzbekistan and who says she will face torture and abuse if she goes back, RFE/RL noted. The 26-year-old woman, Karina, said she was informed July 13 about the authorities' decision not to provide her with asylum, citing the lack of proof showing that she may face torture and violence back in Uzbekistan. Same-sex relations are criminalized and punishable by up to three years in prison in Uzbekistan.

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has signed multi-year framework agreements with suppliers of HIV medication that will save $324 million by the end of 2021 and secure the supply of lifesaving drugs for more than 4 million people, a press release stated. The framework agreements—engaging 14 pharmaceutical companies—aim to build an enlarged base of suppliers and deliver cost competitiveness and supply security. Projected contracts for antiretroviral drugs total $1.2 billion over the coming four years.

On Sunday, July 22, MPact Global Action for Gay Men's Health and Rights will host the "Out With It" Pre-Meeting at the KIT Royal Tropical Institute ahead of the 2018 International AIDS Conference in Amsterdam, a press release noted. Nearly 500 leaders and experts will gather for this day-long, youth-led, community-centered event to develop innovative solutions for the sexual health and rights of young gay and bisexual men. The format of the pre-meeting will be guided by proposals from successful Innovation Teams. The program book is at

Thousands of LGBT+ people and allies, including a number of prominent trans women, have signed a letter chastising Pride in London over a transphobic protest and demanding a change in the board, PinkNews noted. The open letter condemned the "horrific exclusionary behaviour" at the Pride event in the capital, when a group of transphobic lesbians protestors hijacked the front of the march and were able to lead much of the parade. Pride in London was widely criticized by the LGBT+ community over the incident, with Stonewall's CEO Ruth Hunt saying organizers had "a duty to act and protect trans people."

Australian Lindy Yvonne Williams is on trial for murdering her former boyfriend, George Gerbic, after confronting him about his bisexuality, LGBTQ Nation noted. Williams pled guilty to interfering with a corpse. She admitted she wrapped Gerbic's headless torso in a tarp, drove it 50 miles away, dumped it beside the road and lit it on fire—but has said she didn't murder him. It took police almost a year to identify the remains.

Belgian tennis player Alison Van Uytvanck kissed her girlfriend at Wimbledon this weekend, and it was aired on the BBC, according to LGBTQ Nation. Van Uytvanck, 24, came out earlier this year in a TV interview after she won the Hungarian Ladies Open in Budapest. She also said that she is in a relationship with professional tennis player Greet Minnen. At Wimbledon, Van Uytvanck was ousted in the fourth round, losing to Russian player Daria Kasatkina.

British trip-hop act Massive Attack canceled its set at the Mad Cool festival in Madrid because a concurrent set by Franz Ferdinand was too loud, Page Six noted. After explaining that it had tried to accommodate the group, the statement added, "From Mad Cool, we sincerely apologize to all attendees for the inconvenience and possible heartbreak this may have caused." Mad Cool released another statement later, explaining ( via Google Translate ), "The band and the festival are aware of the great disappointment caused by the cancellation of the concert."

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