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  WINDY CITY TIMES

WORLD Vancouver protest, dating apps, Budapest Pride, N. Ireland marriages
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2020-09-08

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In Canada, protesters held a beach dance party in Vancouver's West End night in a bid to disrupt an event by a Toronto preacher who has been accused of anti-LGBTQ hate speech, CBC.ca reported. David Lynn, founder of Christ's Forgiveness Ministries, had launched a cross-country speaking tour on the weekend in Victoria, where he was greeted by a large crowd of protesters. Later, Lynn was met with similar sentiments when the group Alternative Pride hosted a "Dance Against Hate" at Sunset Beach Park, where he was to perform baptisms. The outlet also reported that, amid a series of clashes between West End residents and preachers alleged to have spread anti-gay messaging, protesters say the Vancouver Police Department has failed to protect the queer community.

Pakistan has blocked popular dating apps, including Tinder and Grindr, in a bid to prevent "immoral and indecent" content—and warned that even YouTube could be next, Gay Star News noted. Pakistan is a Muslim-majority nation where homosexuality remains illegal. Critics say Pakistan has used recent digital legislation to limit free expression on the internet. Moreover, they say it has tried to block any news which criticizes the government or military along with blocking "immoral" material.

The LGBTQ community in Budapest, Hungary, faces more challenges as its Pride was disrupted by far-right extremists, OutNews Global reported. Celebrating its 25th anniversary later than planned because of the pandemic, the Budapest Pride Festival was attacked by a group of 20 extremists who descended upon the Aurora convention center—home to the Pride offices. Last year's disruption was even more intense, as the extremists forced entry, heckled organizers and even left a dead rat in the venue's bathroom.

The first same-sex religious marriages were able to be arranged in Northern Ireland starting Sept. 1, the BBC reported. The development follows legislation introduced by the Northern Ireland Office in July. There are, however, exemptions and protections for religious bodies that do not wish to conduct same-sex marriages. Couples could give their 28 days' notice of intent to have a religious service from Sept. 1, which means the first ceremonies could take place Sept. 29.

Cayman Islands Gov. Martyn Roper assented to what is now called the Civil Partnership Law, paving the way for same-sex couples to register their relationships and enter into a legally recognized union, Cayman News service reported. The law, along with 11 supporting amendment bills, will provide access to family and other related rights afforded to married couples but previously denied to members of the LGBT+ community here. Although the bill is now law, couples wanting to enter into this new partnership will have to wait until the end of September because the civil service is being given three weeks to prepare to accept and process applications.

Led by drag queens in glitter suits and high heels, approximately 2,000 demonstrators marched from Poland to Germany on Sept. 5 in a landmark joint Pride parade to symbolically bridge the two countries' deepening divide over LGBT+ rights, Reuters reported. Amid fears of a possible attack by Polish nationalists, riot police lined the streets at the start of the parade and led the marchers slowly across a blue, steel arch bridge spanning the River Oder, which marks the border between Poland and Germany.

Police in Indonesia detained 56 people in a raid of a gay party, according to LGBTQ Nation. Yusri Yunus, a spokesperson for Jakarta police, said 47 people who were arrested at the hotel party were released without charges, while nine people suspected of organizing the party will face charges under an anti-pornography law. The police also tested the nine men facing HIV-related charges and found that one of them had the virus. Civil-rights groups ( under The Civil Society Coalition for the Protection of the Rights of Vulnerable Groups ) have criticized authorities over the raid, The Jakarta Post noted.

Police in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada, said charges were filed after an investigation into what an LGBTQ advocate says was a "horrific" assault against a transgender youth that was captured on a video widely shared via social media, CBC.ca reported. Police confirmed that one youth has been charged with assault and assault with a weapon; a second youth has been charged with only assault. Police said they both have been released on "numerous conditions" awaiting a court date. The LGBTQ+ group Moose Jaw Pride is asking people to stop sharing the video—and start having conversations about privacy and respect.

Stonewall's new leader, Nancy Kelley, has set out a new vision for the United Kingdom's biggest LGBTQ charity, with priorities to work on conversion therapy, trans healthcare and, for the first time, advocating for intersex people, Forbes.com reported. Kelley said that, despite her great gratitude to the charity, it's time for a shift. She said it has provided to the most privileged in the LGBTQ community—and now the time has come to focus on disabled LGBTQ people, people of color, and those who live in poverty or are sex workers.

A Chinese LGBT activist lost her legal bid to get a university textbook corrected for describing gay people as suffering from a "common psychosexual disorder," a Yahoo! Australia item noted. So Xixi, 23, resorted to consumer protection laws in an effort to prove the Jinan University Press book contained more errors than permitted, and was therefore not suitable for sale to the public. China stopped classifying homosexuality as a mental illness in 2001.

In Canada, Dr. Lorne Warneke—a psychiatrist, University of Alberta professor and medical director at the gender clinic at the Grey Nuns Hospital until he retired in 2017—died Aug. 28 of injuries related to a fall, CBC.ca reported. Kristopher Wells ( who worked with Warneke for many years on LGBTQ health care and human rights issues in Alberta ) said of Warneke, "He was tenacious, he wouldn't take no for an answer. Lorne was a giant of a man but a very compassionate and caring soul." Warneke is survived by John Chan, his husband of 24 years, and a network of chosen family, lifelong friends and colleagues, according to an obituary published in the Edmonton Journal.

British Health Secretary Matt Hancock defended former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott about his attitude toward women and LGBT+ equality saying "he's also an expert in trade," Gay Star News reported. Hancock wore a rainbow National Health Service ( NHS ) badge—to support LGBT+ NHS workers —as he made the comment. Abbott is being considered for the post-Brexit Board of Trade.

The winner of the debut season of Canada's Drag Race has been chosen—and it's Priyanka, Out.com noted. Priyanka, who has only been doing drag for two years and was most known in Canada for doing children's television, edged Scarlett Bobo and Rita Baga in the finale. The three were asked to write their own verses to RuPaul's "U Wear It Well" and perform a supercut onstage. Priyanka won the title of Canada's Next Drag Superstar, $100,000 CAD and a year's worth of holiday stays at Hilton.


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