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WORLD Trans woman threatened, Ecuador marriage bill, equality coin
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times

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Armenia's first registered transgender woman, Lilit Martirosyan, has received death threats after making a historic speech in her country's national assembly, The Guardian reported. After speaking out against discrimination at a session of its committee on human rights, there have been anti-LGBTI protests in front of the national assembly, and verbal attacks made by some parliamentarians have included calls for her to be burned alive. In Armenia, homosexuality has been decriminalized but discrimination against LGBTI people is rampant.

Jose Miguel Vivanco, on behalf of Human Rights Watch, presented a amicus brief to the Honorable Constitutional Court of Ecuador in the case 0011-18-CN concerning same-sex marriage, according to a post from the organization. The document suggests that the Ecuadorian court should protect the rights of same-sex couples—as opposed to leaving the decision to recognize same-sex marriage in hands of the legislature. The brief is at

The Royal Canadian Mint has unveiled its new $1 "equality coin," honoring the progress of civil rights for LGBTI Canadians, Gay Star News noted. Canada Minister of Finance Bill Morneau unveiled the coin via a Facebook Live stream. The unveiling ceremony took place at The 519 Center—an LGBTI facility in the heart of Toronto's gay village. It has been created to mark 50 years since the beginning of the process of decriminalization of homosexuality in Canada. Only 3 million of the coins will be produced.

A federal politician in Australia has apologized for linking same-sex marriage with pedophilia, Gay Star News noted. Gurpal Singh, the Liberal Party candidate for the Victorian seat of Scullin, made the controversial comments at a marriage-equality debate in 2017. Australia legalized same-sex marriage in 2017 following a postal vote.

More than two dozen LGBTI activists from around the world participated in the Human Rights Campaign's annual Global Innovative Advocacy Summit that took place in D.C., The Washington Blade reported. Activists from Barbados, Mexico, Ecuador, Argentina, Ukraine, Pakistan, Malawi and other countries took part in workshops and attended events that included a reception at Spanish Ambassador to the U.S. Santiago Cabanas Ansorena's official residence. Also, Wanuri Kahiu—director of Rafiki, a Kenyan film about two women who fall in love with each other—spoke with the activists.

Prince Harry has offered his encouragement to Mermaids, a charity providing support for trans children, Gay Star News reported. The CEO of Mermaids, Susie Green, told The Telegraph that this move was done as the the Duke believes Mermaids are on the front-line of mental health work in the United Kingdom. However, Mermaids has been caught in the middle of a polarizing debate, as a number of women's-rights activists and several high-profile figures ( such as Piers Morgan ) have expressed their opposition to trans-rights groups.

Brazil's far-right president, the self-declared homophobe Jair Bolsonaro, has been accused of inciting hatred toward LGBT people after declaring the South American country should not become a "gay tourism paradise," adding, "If you want to come here and have sex with a woman, go for your life," The Guardian reported. "This is not a head of state—this is a national disgrace," said David Miranda, a leftist congressman and LGBT activist. Miranda said the president's remarks simultaneously endangered members of Brazil's LGBT community by "putting a target on their backs" and promoted the sexual exploitation of Brazilian women.

Speaking of Bolsonaro, a second company has decided to distance itself from an event honoring him, The New York Daily News noted. Bain & Company, one of the country's largest consulting firms, said it was withdrawing its sponsorship of the 2019 Person of the Year Awards Gala Dinner—days after The Financial Times did the same. In a statement, Bain said it is "focused on diversity," and it works with several LGBTQ organizations across Brazil.

Bangladesh will allow parts of the transgender community to vote under their proper gender identity, PinkNews reported. Officials have introduced hijra as a third gender option on voting forms for the first time. "From now onward, a third gender individual can be a voter with their own identity, as a hijra," said Abdul Baten, the director of national identity registration, according to The Telegraph.

The Italian Supreme Court of Cassation has ruled in favor of a gay refugee who was denied asylum in Italy, PinkNews reported. His case will now be referred to another appeals court for a final decision. If they decide that he has a legitimate claim for asylum, he will be allowed to stay in Italy. The man, who is called Bakayoko Aboubakar S, is a Muslim and from the Ivory Coast; he also was married and had two children in his home country.

The One Nation Australian senate candidate Steve Dickson has resigned after footage emerged of him groping dancers and making disparaging comments about a woman in a Washington, D.C., strip club, The Guardian reported. Dickson said he was "deeply remorseful for my disrespectful comments towards women" and his wife was standing by him. Queensland One Nation candidates previously sparked controversy, after Guardian Australia reported two had come under fire for promoting anti-gay messages and Port Arthur conspiracy theories.

Just weeks after Spotify launched in India without securing rights from Warner/Chappell Music Publishing, it is being sued by the country's oldest record label, Saregama, and will remove that company's 120,000-song catalog from its platform within 10 days, Variety reported, citing Inc42 and Music Business Worldwide. The streaming giant had approached the label for a license before its launch in the country, and based on initial negotiations, Saregama allowed Spotify to post its music; however, the two parties were not able to finalize the deal and the label asked Spotify to remove its content from the platform.

A model participating in Sao Paulo's Fashion Week died after getting sick and falling on the catwalk, USA Today noted. A statement from organizers said Tales Soares took ill while in a parade of fashion brand Ocksa. A medical team attended to him on the catwalk and Soares was later taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Gay Star News noted that Soares was an LGBTQ+-rights advocate.

Big Brother Italy host Barbara D'Urso reprimanded one of the housemates for repeatedly using a homophobic slur to refer to a fellow housemate who is openly gay, PinkNews noted. The Big Brother host first showed a clip of housemate Daniele Dal Moro twice using the Italian slur "checca" ( "sissy" ) to refer to his fellow housemate Cristian Imparato behind his back.

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