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WORLD Trans Thai PM candidate, anti-LGBT attacks, intersex ruling
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2019-02-20

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Pauline Ngarmpring—who has been a CEO and sports promoter—is pursuing a bid to become Thailand's first transgender prime minister, Bendigo Advertiser reported. She says she wants her nomination to bring hope to the marginalized and to open political space for future generations of LGBT people. Elections are March 24.

A transgender woman who the United States deported back to her native El Salvador died earlier this month after she was attacked outside the country's capital, The Washington Blade reported. Salvadoran trans advocacy group Asociacion Aspidh Arcoiris Trans said that Aurora, also known as Camila, had been reported missing at the end of January—but it turned out she had been admitted to a hospital with multiple injuries. It remains unclear what happened to Camila.

In Algeria, medical student Assil Belalta, 21, was murdered in his dorm room with a homophobic message written on the wall with his blood, LGBTQ Nation reported. Citing unnamed sources, ObservAlgerie reported that he returned to his dorm room when two unknown individuals followed him in, slit his throat and took his car keys. Before the attackers left, they wrote "He is gay" in English on the wall with Belalta's blood.

The European Parliament has adopted a landmark resolution on the rights of intersex people, Organisation Intersex International ( OII ) Europe posted. "We applaud the European Parliament for issuing this outstanding resolution," said Kitty Anderson, co-chair of OII Europe. "It is clearly based on an in-depth knowledge about the human rights violations that intersex people face in within the European Union."

Brazil's supreme court was expected to rule on a pair of cases that could determine whether homophobia and transphobia should be considered criminal offense, Reuters noted. The cases—brought by Brazilian rights group ABGLT and the Popular Socialist Party—asked the Supreme Federal Tribunal ( STF ) to acknowledge the "unconstitutional delay" of Brazil's Congress in criminalizing violence against LGBT+ people. A draft law criminalizing homophobic actions was first presented to Brazil's Congress in 2001; however, despite having wide popular support, the bill was never approved by the country's Senate.

An Instagram account featuring comic strips about a gay Muslim man's struggles went dark—just days after the Indonesian government demanded that the social-media site remove it over public concerns in the largest Islamic-majority country, BenarNews.org reported. BenarNews could not determine if the person responsible for the @alpantuni account took the account offline or if Instagram responded to the government's demand. Indonesia's Ministry of Communication and Information Technology said Instagram had not responded to a Feb. 2 letter demanding that the account be blocked for causing public discomfort.

Poland had its first gay-inclusive prom, LGBTQ Nation noted, citing Towleroad. The Bednarska High School in Warsaw recently had its first Equality Prom Dance. The event was made to honor same-sex couples and LGBTQ students who are in their senior year. Seventy percent of Polish youth who identify as LGBTQ express having depression and suicidal thoughts.

Gay pastoral ministers in the Netherlands have published an open letter to Pope Francis protesting the Vatican's ban on gay priests and claiming the Gospel's credibility is imperiled by the Church's attitude on homosexuality, according to a New Ways Ministry blog post. The Working Group of Catholic Gay Pastors ( WKHP )—which represents more than 40 gay priests, deacons and lay ministers in the Netherlands—wrote the letter, dated last year and signed by chairperson Frans Bossink, public on its website just recently. This release came just ahead of the Vatican's summit on clergy sexual abuse.

Activists and service providers say that people with HIV/AIDS in Venezuela are dying because of an acute lack of available antiretroviral drugs within the country, The Washington Blade reported. Cesar Sequera—founder of Alianza Lambda de Venezuela, a Venezuelan LGBTI-advocacy group—said that he has been able to obtain antiretroviral drugs from non-governmental organizations or from donations he received from outside the country. He described the situation as "critical and alarming."

Trans sportswomen hit back at Martina Navratilova after the tennis champion said "it's insane and it's cheating" for transgender women to be allowed to compete in women's sport, OpenlyNews.com reported. Navratilova's comments are "disturbing, upsetting, and deeply transphobic," said Rachel McKinnon, who, in 2018, became the first transgender woman to win a world track cycling title. Under rules brought in by International Olympic Committee ( IOC ) in 2016, athletes transitioning from female to male can now participate without restrictions; trans male competitors must have kept their levels of testosterone below a certain level for at least 12 months. Navratilova expressed support for Caster Semenya—the two-time 800-meter Olympic women's champion—in her case against the International Association of Athletics Federations ( IAAF ), which is being heard at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Online streaming service GagaOOLala—often called Asia's LGBTI Netflix—is expanding into India, Gay Star News noted. Taiwanese LGBTI activist and GagaOOLala founder Jay Lin said the time was right for the move. He said India's landmark decriminalization of gay sex last year as well as improved mobile telephone networks dictated the move.

British cricket player Joe Root has been praised by anti-discrimination campaigners for his response to potentially homophobic comments by West Indies player Shannon Gabriel, Yahoo! News noted. Gabriel has been charged by the International Cricket Council for his altercation with Root. A mic recorded Root saying, "Don't use it as an insult." Gabriel replied, "What was that?" Root then said, "Don't use it as an insult. There is nothing wrong with being gay."


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