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  WINDY CITY TIMES

WORLD Trans woman murdered, gay-sex laws, trans mayor
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2019-06-04

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A transgender woman was murdered and decapitated during the weekend of International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia ( IDAHOBIT ) in the Mexican state of Veracruz, according to Gay Star News. According to reports, Jesusa Fidel Ventura Reyes ( also known as Chucha ) was savagely murdered after being reported missing 24 hours earlier. Transgender activist Jazz Bustamante posted about Reyes' death on Facebook, saying Reyes' death is a "clear message" of the increasing "hatred [toward] our population."

A series of archaic laws criminalizing certain gay-sex acts were struck down as unconstitutional by a Hong Kong judge because they only targeted men and were discriminatory, Hong Kong Free Press reported. The ruling is the latest legal victory for Hong Kong's gay community, who have struggled to persuade the pro-Beijing authorities in the international financial hub to allow gay marriage or civil unions. The colonial-era laws remained on the books even after Hong Kong decriminalized homosexuality in 1991.

Italy has elected its first-ever transgender mayor, Gay Star News reported. Gianmarco Negri, 40, won the election in a Tromello, a town of 3,700 people. Negri is not the first trans politician to be elected in Italy, however. Vladimir Luxuria was the first openly trans member of Parliament in Europe, when she was elected in 2006; she lost her seat two years later in 2008.

Europe's smallest country, San Marino, has voted to outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation, PinkNews reported. The microstate—with just 33,400 citizens—held a public vote June 2 on whether to update its discrimination protections. More than 71 percent of voters supported the update.

France is seeing a rise in reported attacks and other abuse targeting members of the LGBT community, a Minneapolis Star-Tribune item noted. The French Interior Ministry said in a statement that it registered 1,378 infractions based on sexual orientation last year—a rise of 34 percent from the previous year. French rights group SOS Homophobia said it has registered a rise in reports of anti-LGBT acts for the past three years, and says physical violence is notably increasing.

Elton John criticized Russian film distributors for deleting gay-sex scenes from his biopic Rocketman, adding that it was a "sad reflection of the divided world we still live in," CNN.com noted. The local film distributor, Central Partnership company, cut the scenes to "comply with Russian legislation," it told state news agency TASS. According to high-profile Russian film critic Anton Dolin—who has seen both the edited and unedited versions—"all scenes of kisses, sex and oral sex between men were cut out."

Ontario Premier Doug Ford said he will not march in Toronto's Pride parade on June 23 because police are barred from participating while wearing their uniform, CBC.ca reported. This is the second consecutive year the Progressive Conservative leader will skip the annual event. Toronto police have been barred from marching in uniform since 2017 amid a strained relationship with the LGBTQ community.

In Brazil, a 22-year-old man who spent one month in a coma after a violent assault has remained in a near-vegetative state, Gay Star News noted. In Moreno last December, Jefferson Anderson Feijo da Cruz's friends found him in an undressed state, bloody, unconscious and even choking on his blood. His family claimed the motives for the attack were robbery and, possibly, homophobia.

Ethiopian church groups have called on the government to block a planned visit to the country by a U.S.-based company that organizes tours for gay people, BBC.com reported. The groups were particularly angry that the itinerary published by the Toto Tours company includes religious sites. The owner of Toto Tours told the BBC the company had received threats and hate messages on social media.

Since coming out as her country's first openly gay athlete, India sprinter Dutee Chand said she's gotten far more supporters than detractors, News India Times noted. "Almost 90 percent of the people who wrote to me on Facebook have been supportive," Chand said. Among those supporting her is U.S. talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres, who tweeted, "She's the 100m record holder and the first openly gay sportsperson in India. I guess she knows a thing or two about being first. I'm so proud of her."

Gold Finger, a Japanese women-only event, has been accused of denying entry to transgender women, PinkNews noted. Gold Finger bills itself as "Japan's hottest, biggest and longest-running fantasy club event since 1991"—but in recent weeks its slogan has gained a controversial footnote: "women ( cisgender ) only." Elin McCready, a U.S. trans woman living in Tokyo, said she was barred from entering—and, since then, trans women and allies have launched a boycott of Gold Finger. In response, McCready and her wife have started their own all-inclusive night, WAIFU.

While visiting Tokyo, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte told a crowd he "used to be gay" before he "cured" himself, CNN.com noted. After accusing his political opponent and vocal critic Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV of being gay, Duterte said he could sense he himself was also "a bit gay" while married to his ex-wife, Elizabeth Zimmerman. ( Their marriage was annulled in 2000. ) Duterte went on to say that he was "cured" after meeting current partner Honeylet Avancena.

Australia Attorney-General Christian Porter said one of the re-elected Morrison Government's first acts will be introducing "religious freedom" legislation to Parliament, QNews reported. The Morrison government announced in December it would enact a dedicated Religious Discrimination Act.

George Michael's boyfriend Fadi Fawaz and the singer's ex-partner Kenny Goss will not receive any of his multimillion-dollar fortune, according to PinkNews. Michael allegedly left the majority of his estate to his sisters, Yioda and Melanie, and he has left a horse racing stud farm to his father, Kyriacos Panayiotou. Fawaz is reportedly refusing to leave a huge house owned by Michael in Regent's Park that the couple lived in together, despite repeated requests to vacate the property.

An accused neo-Nazi running for president in Argentina said he would expel the Israeli ambassador, Canadian Jewish News reported. Alejandro Biondini—a veteran far-right ultranationalist leader—is the presidential candidate for the Patriotic Front Party. Biondini launched his presidential campaign for the Oct. 27 presidential elections in front of the Italian civil organization the Unione e Benevolenza in the center of Buenos Aires.

The name of the new gay bar on one of Britain's most beloved TV soap operas has been revealed, Gay Star News noted. EastEnders, set in London's East End, is the first soap to have a gay bar amongst its permanent sets. The new bar based in Walford, East London is named The Prince Albert.


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