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  WINDY CITY TIMES

WORLD Taiwan marriages, Indian prince, gay Mexican candidate
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2019-04-23

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A total of 157 same-sex couples in Taiwan plan to register to get married at household registration offices on May 24—the day that the Constitutional Court set for same-sex marriages to be legalized, Central News Agency noted. The Taiwan Alliance to Promote Civil Partnership Rights ( TAPCPR ) originally posted the news on Facebook. To mark the historic day, TAPCPR—a local LGBTI-rights organization—is also organizing a traditional wedding banquet outside the presidential office in Taipei on May 25.

Just half a year after decriminalizing same-sex relations in a landmark ruling, India's Supreme Court rejected a petition to enshrine civil rights to LGBTI people, Gay Star News reported. A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said it was "not inclined to entertain this petition." In September 2018, the Supreme Court dismantled Section 377 of India's Penal Code.

On a recent excursion to India, travelers on a tour with Miami Beach-based Source Events engaged in a private reception with Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil, a press release noted. At the reception, the 21 members of the tour were able to interact in an informal setting with the Prince, who was joined by his husband, Duke DeAndre Richardson. During that time, they learned about the challenges faced by India's LGBTQ population, as well as the work of the Lakshya Trust—the foundation established by the prince to advocate for, and improve the lives of, the marginalized communities of LGBTQ people and those infected with HIV in India.

Joel Cortes is the first openly LGBT candidate for the state legislature in Mexico, and he is running in Tijuana's 11th congressional district. Among the items on his platform ( per his website, JoelCortesMx.com ) are crime, clean/sustainable beaches, animal-protection regulations and the reduction of teen pregnancy.

A printing press in St. Petersburg will rehire a transgender woman and pay her two years' worth of lost income in Russia's first known court case to acknowledge workplace discrimination against a transgender woman, The Moscow Times reported. Anastasia Vasilyeva was fired from the printing press after 10 years of employment after changing her identification papers from male to female in July 2017. A district court ruled that Vasilyeva was fired unlawfully and ordered her to be compensated 10,000 rubles ( $154 ) in moral damages and 1.85 million rubles ( $28,500 ) in lost wages.

Pope Francis had some positive words about LGBTQ people when he met British comedian Stephen K. Amos, LGBTQ Nation noted. "As a gay man, I don't feel accepted," Amos told the pontiff, who responded, "Giving more importance to the adjective rather than the noun, this is not good. We are all human beings and have dignity. It does not matter who you are or how you live your life, you do not lose your dignity. There are people that prefer to select or discard people because of the adjective—these people don't have a human heart."

The Guardian revealed that British police were paid 150,000 pounds to provide training to officers in Brunei who may now be involved in imposing anti-gay laws, PinkNews noted. The College of Policing provided 235 days of training between 2012 and 2016 to officers in Brunei, where gay sex can be punished with death by stoning. The College of Policing Deputy Chief Constable Bernie O'Reilly told The Guardian that in light of "recent legislative changes in Brunei," the force will not be continuing training in the country.

The European Parliament strongly condemned Brunei for introducing "retrograde" Islamic laws that punish gay sex and adultery with death by stoning, Reuters reported. The Muslim-majority sultanate has drawn global condemnation from the United Nations, governments and a host of celebrities for introducing the latest stage of Sharia laws April 3. Along with stoning for sodomy, the statutes impose the death penalty on rapists and punish thieves with amputation.

LGBT+ Pride events can now be held in Ankara, the capital city of Turkey, as a court has lifted a ban that previously prohibited such celebrations, PinkNews reported. The news was announced April 19, explaining that it was Turkish LGBT+-rights group Kaos GL that managed to get it appealed. The organization had previously attempted to do the same in November of last year but proved unsuccessful.

Malaysian LGBT-rights activist Numan Afifi was called up by authorities over a speech made at the United Nations Human Rights Council ( UNHCR ) in Geneva in March, TheStar.com noted. In a statement on Facebook on Tuesday ( April 16 ), Numan said the police asked him to give a statement at Bukit Aman on April 26 to assist in investigation over a speech that was made at the UNHRC Universial Periodical Review ( UPR ). However, Numan said he was unsure whether the police investigation was directed specifically at his speech, or if it involved the other nine NGOs who also spoke at the UPR.

Spain's socialist PSOE party has vowed to outlaw prostitution in a series of measures designed to appeal to female voters ahead of the general election on April 28, The Guardian noted. With polls suggesting women make up as much as half of the 40 percent of undecided voters, the party—led by the prime minister, Pedro Sanchez—has published a female-friendly manifesto.

A Washington Blade contributor has asked for asylum in the United States based on the persecution that he said he suffered in his native Cuba because he is a journalist, The Blade reported. Yariel Valdes Gonzalez legally entered the States on March 27 through the Calexico West Port of Entry between Calexico, California, and Mexicali, Mexico. Valdes Gonzalez is currently in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement at the Tallahatchee County Correctional Facility, a privately-run prison in Tutwiler, Mississippi.

A prestigious comedy award named after Barry Humphries will no longer use his name following the comedian's transphobic comments, Gay Star News noted. Humphries—best known for his character Dame Edna Everage—has repeatedly come under fire for transphobia. The Melbourne International Comedy Festival said it would rename its chief award for best show.

In Ireland, a retired nurse threw a glass at a gay man after he insulted her for being straight—knocking a bystander unconscious, Gay Star News noted. Paula Flood engaged in an altercation with a man in The George bar, which is located in Dublin. However, the glass hit a woman ( called an "unintended target" ) on the back of her head.

Choreographer Peter Martins—who resigned from the New York City Ballet, which he was also director of, amid allegations of sexual harassment and physical abuse—has been spotted working in Russia, Page Six noted. Sources said that Martins was recently at the Mariinsky Ballet in St. Petersburg, where he is overseeing the famed theater's various productions of Balanchine.

Josh Rimer, host and producer of an interstitial program on Canada's OUTtv and Joey Amato, publisher of Pride Journeys, have joined forces to create a multimedia platform geared towards affluent LGBT travelers aged 34-60, a press release noted. They will appear together for the first time since announcing the joint venture at The International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association's annual global convention in New York on April 23-27.


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