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WORLD Ugandan raid, pope's statement, Turkish university, Peruvian movie
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2019-11-18

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A Ugandan court charged 67 people with causing a nuisance after they were arrested in a gay-friendly bar, in a move condemned by activists as the latest "homophobic" attack, Reuters reported. The 67—who were among 127 arrested at Ram Bar, in the capital, Kampala, on Nov. 10—could face up to one year in jail if found guilty. The Uganda police denied the raid targeted LGBT+ people and said they were enforcing the Tobacco Control Act, which outlaws smoking with a shisha water pipe.

Pope Francis said that politicians who rage against gay people, travelers ( formerly called gypsies ) and Jews remind him of Hitler, Openly News noted. "It is not coincidental that at times there is a resurgence of symbols typical of Nazism," Francis said in an address to participants of an international conference on criminal law. In recent weeks, the pontiff has also denounced a resurgence of anti-Semitism in Europe.

Eighteen Turkish students and a lecturer went on trial for taking part in a banned LGBTI Pride event at Ankara's Middle East Technical University, France24.com reported. The defendants face up to three years in prison if convicted of "unlawful assembly and protest" and "refusing to disperse" in a trial deemed "farcical" by rights groups; one of the 18 students also faces up to two years for insulting a police officer with hand gestures. Homosexuality has been legal throughout modern Turkey's history, but LGBTI individuals face regular harassment and abuse.

Alvaro Delgado-Aparicio wasn't sure for a long time how Peruvians would embrace his film, Retablo—which tells the story of a teenage boy in a small town who discovers that his beloved father is secretly gay, TheWrap.com reported. But to his very pleasant surprise, he found out that upon release it drew sellout crowds across the country. Retablo has been shown around the world over the last couple of years, starting with a premiere at the 2017 Festival de Cine De Lima and later going on a festival tour that included stops in Berlin and New York; now, it is Peru's pick for the 2020 Best International Film Oscar.

The Board of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria approved funding decisions for ambitious investments over the next three-year period to significantly increase impact against HIV, TB and malaria and to build resilient and sustainable systems for health, a press release noted. Among other things, the board approved a decision that translates pledges made at the Replenishment Conference into funding for country allocations for the 2020-22 period, as well as certain catalytic investments that can further enhance impact in priority areas. The board also approved a decision to advance the development of wambo.org—an online tool that gives in-country procurement teams the power to search, compare and purchase quality-assured products used by health programs.

Openly gay Olympic skier Gus Kenworthy is considering a move away from the United States for the 2022 Olympics in Beijing, contemplating joining Great Britain for the next winter games instead, Yahoo! Sports noted. Kenworthy—who won the silver medal in the slopestyle at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, and finished 12th in the event in PyeongChang in 2018 while battling injuries—is a dual citizen with the United Kingdom. His mother is a British national, and he was born there before moving to Colorado.

Gay swimmer Mark Tewksbury—who won Canada's first gold medal for the 100-meter backstroke at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona—said training with Debbie Muir ( at a time when a man employing a woman coach was rare ) forced him to be "open-minded" and to "innovate," helping him to shave time off his record, CNBC.com noted. Tewksbury said another important part of the process with Muir was getting the time and room to be himself as he fought back to the top of his sport.

Armenia's parliament has rejected consideration of a bill seeking to expressly outlaw same-sex marriages in the Caucasus nation, RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty reported. A majority of lawmakers dismissed consideration of a draft law proposed by the opposition Prosperous Armenia Party ( BHK ), saying it was redundant given that the country's constitution already defines marriage as a union between "a woman and a man." Lawmakers also rejected a proposal by legislator Gevork Petrosian to add a provision in the Family Code banning adoption by same-sex couples.

In Indonesia, the Medan State Administrative Court ( PTUN ) rejected a lawsuit against the rector of North Sumatra University ( USU ) filed by students working with the Suara USU student website who had been fired from the editorial board for publishing a short story touching on LBGTQ issues, The Jakarta Post reported. Presiding Judge Budiman Rodding said the short story—titled "Semua Menolak Kehadiran Diriku di Dekatnya" ( "Everyone Refuses My Presence Near Her" ) and published by Suara USU on March 12—had caused controversy for containing pornography and LGBT content. Budiman said that, based on those considerations, the rector's decision to fire the Suara USU editorial board was justifiable.

A chaplain at a Bath, England, private school created by the founder of the Methodist church has stepped down after suggesting that gay people should stay single, The Guardian reported. The Rev. David Hull ( chair of the Methodist Evangelicals Together group ) said there had been "unhelpful tensions" at Kingswood school since he made the remarks, and he had decided to leave. Hull's comments came in July after the Methodist church conference, its governing body, passed a motion supporting the idea in principle of allowing ministers to conduct same-sex weddings on their premises.

In Barbados, the Mia Mottley-administration had not yet responded to a challenge lodged by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights ( IACHR ) against the country's buggery and indecency laws, leaving local activist Alexa Hoffmann disappointed and planning her next move, Barbados Today reported. Hoffmann said that members of the LGBTQ community were still criminalized by the country's laws for consensual acts conducted in the privacy of their own homes while causing no harm to others. The IACHR's petition has been followed by the announcement by the Eastern Caribbean Alliance for Diversity and Equality ( ECADE ) regarding its intention to launch legal challenges to anti-gay laws in Barbados and four other Eastern Caribbean countries.

Gavriel Krausz—an Orthodox rabbi and religious judge who enforces community religious law in Manchester, England—directed Orthodox Jewish parents to give up their lives rather than comply with a U.K. government law directing schools to teach about same-sex relationships, LGBTQ Nation reported. Earlier this year, the U.K. government declared that, by September 2020, all government-funded schools must include lessons in "relationship, sex, and heath education classes" acknowledging the existence and equality of same-sex relationships and LGBTQ people. In a flier circulated to parents of children in Orthodox Jewish schools, Krausz wrote, "One is obliged to give up one's life rather than comply as our ancestors did throughout the generations."

The reverend who heckled British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn and was exposed as homophobic, racist, Islamophobic and anti-Semitic was suspended by the Church of Scotland, PinkNews noted. A tweet from the religious bloc confirmed that reverend Richard Cameron—who referred to homosexuality as a "perversion"—has been kicked out of the Kirk.

A promotional video published by Saudi Arabia's state security agency categorizes feminism, homosexuality and atheism as extremist ideas—even as the conservative Muslim kingdom seeks to promote tolerance and attract foreigners, OpenlyNews.com noted. The animated clip posted on Twitter by a verified account of the State Security Presidency said that "all forms of extremism and perversion are unacceptable."

The International LGBTQ+ Travel Association has opened registration for its 37th Annual Global Convention, set for May 6-9, 2020, at UNAHOTELS Expo Fiera Milano, in Milan, a press release noted. This marks the first time in IGLTA's history that its premier event will be held in Italy. IGLTA convention registration includes all educational programming, networking lunches, opening and closing evening receptions, and a media networking event that unites attendees with global media outlets and influencers working in the LGBTQ+ travel space. Visit IGLTAConvention.org or email convention@iglta.org .

A new advertisement for Sprite celebrating Marcha de Orgullo, Bueno Aires Pride, has gone viral in Argentina with the hashtag #NoEstasSolx ( You Are Not Alone ), PinkNews noted. LGBT+ families are the focus of this video, which has already compiled more than 3 million views on Twitter alone. Set to the song "You'll Never Walk Alone," from the musical Carousel, the ad shows relatives supporting their LGBT+ loved ones as they help them get ready for Pride.

In Australia, fans walked out in droves just two songs into Janet Jackson's headlining performance at an RnB Fridays event, MSN.com noted. Furious concertgoers accused the 53-year-old singer of lip syncing during her performance in Brisbane, and they slammed the Black Eyed Peas for starting their set 30 minutes late. However, a News.com .au reviewer stated while she may have been a somewhat mismatched booking ( as the event focused on hits during the '00s ), Jackson soon had the Sydney crowd on her side as she crammed 19 hit singles into her hour-long set, including "R&B Junkie."

Michelle Visage held back tears as she spoke about being embraced by the LGBT+ community before dancing to Madonna's "Vogue" on the British show Strictly Come Dancing, PinkNews noted. Before performing to "Vogue" in Blackpool on Nov. 16, the RuPaul's Drag Race judge opened up about her insecurities and her relationship with the LGBT+ community. In part, she said, "It's less about the song and more about what Voguing has meant to me as a teenager who kind of had no place in New York City and was taken in by the gay community." Visage also thanked her family, including her daughter Lillie—who came out a few years ago.


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