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WORLD Tel Aviv stabbing, Gay Star News ends, LGBT issues in Poland
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2019-08-06

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Police arrested a third suspect in a stabbing in Tel Aviv that left an LGBT teen from the Arab town of Tamra seriously wounded, The Times of Israel reported. The two main suspects—who presented themselves to police after four days on the run—are the 16-year-old victim's brothers. The brothers have, however, denied any connection to the attack, which took place outside the Beit Dror shelter for LGBT youth in central Tel Aviv.

Gay Star News, on July 30, stated on its website that it had to close, effective immediately, because of financial hardship. The website stated, "We entered 2019 with every reason to be confident we were going to have a strong year. But as the year progressed, decisions have been delayed and projects people had committed to do with us have fallen flat." Founders Tris Reid-Smith and Scott Nunn, who also thanked readers, added, "Brands [that] are wishing to 'do' LGBTI work are increasingly doing so in a tokenistic way." Gay Star News had been in existence for eight years.

The Warsaw District court ruled a right-wing magazine in Poland must stop distributing now infamous "LGBT-Free Zone" stickers, Advocate.com noted. Groups like Human Rights Watch heralded the decision as a "welcome relief" as the country continues to battle increasingly hostile anti-LGBTQ rhetoric. Gazeta Polska earlier this month generated outrage with a decision to distribute stickers in its pages that read "Strefa Wolna od LGBT," or "Free Zone from LGBT," and showed a rainbow design with a black X across it.

Poland's Catholic Church has doubled down on the anti-gay rhetoric that has become the nationalist ruling party's dominant theme in recent weeks, drawing criticism from liberal politicians who compared an archbishop's remarks to incitement to genocide, Reuters reported. In a sermon given to mark the 75th anniversary of the Warsaw uprising by Polish resistance fighters against Nazi occupation, Archbishop of Krakow Marek Jedraszewski described Poland as under siege from a "rainbow plague" of LGBT-rights campaigners he compared to Poland's former Communist rulers.

Rammstein guitarists Richard Kruspe and Paul Landers made a statement onstage at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium, kissing in defiance of Russia's anti-LGBT laws, Loudwire noted. Rammstein posted a photo of the kiss with the caption "Russia, we love you!" In 2013, Russian president Vladimir Putin passed the "gay propaganda" law, which is meant to protect children from being exposed to homosexuality as a "normal" lifestyle; foreign violators can potentially be arrested and detained for up to 15 days before being deported.

Ride-hailing operator Uber announced it has launched in the Netherlands a new function that allows LGBT users to report if they have suffered discrimination, France24.com noted. The "report button" made its debut during the Gay Pride festival in Amsterdam, which attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. The Netherlands is the first country where the app's new function is available but it could be rolled out in other countries as well, a company spokesman said.

In Germany, smoke rose over central Hamburg after a fire broke out at the German port city's Pride Parade, DW.com noted. The blaze engulfed the "Queer Refugees Support" float; the truck's power generator reportedly went up in flames. Firefighters swiftly brought the fire under control and, about an hour later, the parade was allowed to continue.

Advertisements by Coca-Cola around a music festival in Hungary that promote gay acceptance have prompted a boycott call from a senior member of the conservative ruling party, Reuters reported. The posters—in tandem with the week-long "Love Revolution" event starting Aug. 7 in Budapest—show gay people and same-sex couples smiling with slogans like "zero sugar, zero prejudice." That has irked some supporters of Viktor Orban's nationalist Fidesz party, which supports a ban of same-sex marriage.

Approximately one-third of Canadians aren't convinced same-sex couples should be allowed to marry, according to a new poll released days ahead of Vancouver's massive Pride celebration, CTV News reported. Sixty-four percent of respondents in the latest Research Co. survey agreed that same-sex marriage "should continue" in Canada, where the practice has been legally recognized nationwide since 2005. That's compared to 15 percent who said gay couples should only be allowed to form civil unions, and 10 percent who argued they shouldn't have "any kind of legal recognition."

The U.S. Embassy in Germany hosted a group of LGBTI-rights activists from around the world as part of a Trump administration initiative that reportedly encourages countries to decriminalize consensual same-sex sexual relations, The Washington Blade noted. Harvey Milk Foundation President Stuart Milk; Caine Youngman, of Lesbians, Gays and Bisexuals of Botswana ( LeGaBiBo ); Hadi Damien of Beirut Pride in Lebanon; and Hourvash Pourkian of International Women in Power in Germany were among the activists who participated in a July 26 panel that took place at the embassy in Berlin.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stopped in for a beer at the Fountainhead Pub in Vancouver's West End, in what may have been the first time a sitting premier has visited a gay bar, CityNews1130.com reported. Trudeau spent about 15 minutes talking to people, shaking hands and taking photos. He had been known for his longtime support of the LGBTQ community.

Gay figure-skating power couple Eric Radford and Luis Fenero tied the knot July 11 in a Spanish wedding, PinkNews noted. Fenero was born in Spain and represented the country as a skater, and so the couple decided to hold their wedding there. Canadian figure skater Radford, who is a two-time world champion and Olympic medallist, also proposed two years ago in northern Spain near the wedding venue.

In England, Strictly Come Dancing has announced RuPaul's Drag Rage judge Michelle Visage as the latest contestant for its 2019 series, PinkNews noted. The judge, actor and former Seduction singer has long been rumored to appear on the series. Strictly will mark Visage's second foray into British reality television, following her stint on Celebrity Big Brother in February 2015. "Getting to do Strictly in my favorite place on Earth is an actual dream," she said.

Embattled Oscar-winning actor Kevin Spacey stunned museum patrons in Rome with a bizarre reading of Italian poet Gabriele Tinti's poem, "The Boxer," Variety noted. ( The actor's team apparently alerted media that there would be a seemingly impromptu reading and promised certain outlets sit-down interviews with Spacey that didn't materialize. ) The actor's career fell apart in 2017 after he was accused by more than a dozen people of sexual assault. He did get a legal break in July, however, when prosecutors dropped a criminal case in which Spacey was accused of sexually assaulting an 18-year-old busboy in Nantucket.


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