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WORLD Trans Day of Visibility, Hong Kong judge, Ugandan police, Elton John
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2020-04-06

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On the International Trans Day of Visibility ( March 31 ), Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David issued a message. "Transgender and non-binary people face significant cultural, legal and economic challenges, but continue to bravely share their stories, boldly claim their seats at the table and tirelessly push equality forward. The transgender and non-binary community's pride, power and resilience should be a lesson to us all," said David. "As we celebrate International Transgender Day of Visibility, we must never forget those who still feel invisible even in their own communities and who may live every day with fear of discrimination or violence, and we must resolve to fight for a world where every transgender and non-binary person is respected and protected."

Hong Kong's LGBTQ+ community urged the territory's new top judge to work with them as they campaign for the recognition of same-sex marriage and to stop widespread discrimination, Reuters noted. Hong Kong's chief executive chose Justice Andrew Cheung Kui-nung to be the next chief justice of the court of final appeal—but Cheung has previously ruled against transgender and same-sex couples in several legal challenges.

Ugandan police said 23 people living at a shelter serving LGBTQ people in Kampala are guilty of "a negligent act likely to spread infection of disease," as well as "disobedience of lawful orders," Human Rights Watch noted. Police were presumably enforcing presidential directives to combat the spread of COVID-19, including one prohibiting public gatherings of more than 10 people. The homeless youth were indoors at a shelter in Nsangi, near Kampala, run by the nongovernmental organization Children of the Sun Foundation.

Sir Elton John announced that his Elton John AIDS Foundation has launched a $1 million COVID-19 emergency fund to protect individuals with HIV, Page Six noted. "For almost 30 years my foundation has prioritized the most vulnerable people to HIV, to end the AIDS epidemic and we're committed to this during the COVID-19 crisis too," John said in a video posted on Twitter. Recently, John hosted a coronavirus relief concert called "Fox Presents the iHeart Living Room Concert for America," and the event raised more than $10 million for the fight against the coronavirus.

Keir Starmer—who recently won 56.2 percent of votes to beat Rebecca Long-Bailey and Lisa Nandy in the UK's Labour Party's leadership election—said that LGBT+ rights are a crucial part of Labour politics, PinkNews reported. The new Labour leader wrote an essay for PinkNews back in February, explaining how LGBT+ rights would be at the core of his party. In the essay, he underlined his support for reforms to the Gender Recognition Act, which he said must be overhauled to better support the trans community. Nearly 785,000 party members and affiliated members voted in the election, according to official figures, with Starmer securing even more votes than Jeremy Corbyn ( whom he succeeds ) did in 2015.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban's government proposed a ban on transgender people correcting their legal gender, LGBTQ Nation reported. The measure, part of a larger measure, requires that the civil registry note only a person's "sex at birth," which it says is "biological sex based on primary sex characteristics and chromosomes." If passed, all legal documents in the country would only list a person's sex assigned at birth.

The number of people identifying as lesbian, gay or bisexual ( LGB ) in the United Kingdom has increased by more than a third in four years, The Guardian reported. Data taken from the annual population survey ( APS ), which collects information on self-perceived sexual identity from people aged 16 and over, found that the number had increased from 1.6 percent in 2014 to 2.2 percent in 2018. People between 16 and 24 were the most likely to identify as LGB, at 4.4 percent.

LGBT+ advocates in Ghana urged Twitter to reinstate their account after the social media giant suspended it, Gay Star News noted. Twitter suspended the @lgbtrightsghana account without warning. Alex Donkor, of LGBT+ Rights Ghana, did not know why Twitter suspended the account.

The last Chick-fil-A restaurant in the United Kingdom definitively closed its doors this past month, LGBTQ Nation noted. Last year, a Chick-fil-A restaurant opened at the Oracle shopping center in Reading, England—leading to protests in October because of the fast food chain's years of donations to anti-LGBTQ causes. Because of the protests, Oracle said that it would not renew Chick-fil-A's lease after its initial six-month period was up; on March 20, the restaurant closed for good.

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, 55, was admitted to the hospital for tests 10 days after contracting the coronavirus ( and has since been moved to intensive care ), CNBC reported. A Downing Street spokesperson said it's a "precautionary step" since the prime minister continues to have persistent symptoms of the virus. The news of Johnson's hospitalization followed a rare television address to the nation by Queen Elizabeth, who urged citizens to confront the pandemic with resolve and unity.

The global conference SYNC 2020 will be held virtually June 23-25, a press release noted. ( It replaces the in-person conference that was slated for December. ) SYNC 2020 will virtually convene thousands of people in the United States and around the world to sync on HIV, HCV, STI and LGBTQ health education, training, advocacy and research. Among other things, there will be a virtual poster hall and networking lounge as well as live chat groups. See SYNC2020.org .

An initiative, spearheaded by luxury resale site Vestiaire Collective, is a charity sale featuring items donated by a line-up of stylish A-listers including Rachel Weisz, Thandie Newton, Claire Waight Keller, Bella Freud and Charlotte Tilbury, Vogue.com noted. All proceeds, including Vestiaire Collective's commission, will be going to charities working on the frontlines of coronavirus relief such as The World Health Organization, France/Paris Hospitals Foundation and Madrid's La Paz Hospital. See https://us.vestiairecollective.com/journal/coronavirus-notre-vente-de-bienfaisance-global-us/.

The Championships 2020 at Wimbledon has been canceled due to public health concerns linked to the coronavirus epidemic, CNBC.com reported. The Grand Slam tennis tournament was scheduled to be held from Monday, June 29 through Sunday, July 12; the 134th tournament will now be held June 28-July 11, 2021. The French Open—typically the second Grand Slam out of four played during the season, and slated to start May 24—was postponed in March until Sept. 20.

Ghostlight Records will release the original London cast recording of The Prince of Egypt, the new musical based on the DreamWorks Animation film, on digital and streaming formats April 3 with a physical CD later this year, Playbill noted. The screen-to-stage musical adaptation opened Feb. 25, a few weeks before the temporary closure of London theaters, at the Dominion Theatre in the West End.


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