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World: Marriage in Mexico; hate-crime survey; gay diver retires
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2016-02-02

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The Mexican Supreme Court unanimously struck down the state of Jalisco's same-sex marriage ban, according to The Washington Blade. The justices, in their 11-0 ruling, said the portion of the Jalisco Civil Code that defines marriage as between a man and a woman amounts to discrimination based on sexual orientation under the Mexican constitution. "For us, it is a very good step forward," said Leonardo Espinosa, president of LGBT group Cohesion de Diversidades para la Sustentabilidad. The ruling will formally take effect once it is published.

In the United Kingdom, research has found that one in six people have witnessed at least one hate crime based on sexual orientation in the past year, PinkNews reported. The research was released by the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, and was released on Holocaust Memorial Day ( Jan. 27 ). A majority of those who witnessed a hate crime ( 69 percent ) said they regret not having challenged it.

A center for 125 LGBT asylum seekers is set to open in Berlin, Germany, in March, Reuters reported. There are an estimated 3,500 LGBT asylum-seekers in Berlin—with many experiencing abuse in shelters where they are staying with other people seeking asylum, according to Schwulenberatung, a Berlin-based gay rights organization that will run the center. Between August and December 2015, there were 95 cases of violence against LGBT people, mainly in accommodation for refugees and asylum seekers, according to the Lesbian and Gay Federation in Germany.

Gay Australian diver Matthew Mitcham, 27, has announced his retirement from the sport, according to NewNowNext.com . Mitcham won gold for Australia in the 2008 Beijing Olympics with the single highest diving score in Olympics history. On Instagram, he posted, "I have decided to finally retire after a looooooooong but very rewarding diving career. So much gratitude to my long suffering partner Lachlan, Chava, NSWIS, DA, family, friends and all you friends I haven't had the pleasure of meeting yet!"

A BBC profile looks at a Bangladesh woman who faced criminal charges ( accused of abduction ) for wanting to spend her life with another woman, according to a BBC article. In January 2013, Sanjida, a 20-year-old Bengali Muslim woman, journeyed from her village to a small town to continue her studies—and eventually fell in love with 16-year-old Puja. Three months later, the couple exchanged garlands of flowers and married—but Sanjida was later arrested and Puja was returned to her family. That love story ended in failure, but Sanjida has fallen in love again with another young woman, Arifa.

India's Supreme Court has agreed to hear a petition on legalizing gay sex, Gay Star News reported. The members of the highest court in India has chosen to reconsider the judgment they issued in December 2013 that recriminalized homosexuality in India—and it is the final appeal for the Supreme Court on this issue.

A Dutch court convicted former Amsterdam politician Delano Felter for comments he made in 2010 against gay people, NL Times reported. He was fined one thousand euros by the court, which conditionally suspended half the amount for two years. The court found his comments "unnecessarily offensive," and that it incited discrimination against a group of people. Felter was the leader of the Republikeinse Moderne Partij, or Modern Republican Party, when he made the remarks on camera as part of a political debate.

Zimbabwean Nigel Kahari was sentenced to 14 years in prison for stabbing Moroccan diplomat Fatmi Noureddine to death in 2014, IOL.co.za noted. Kahari, 21, said he believed the diplomat had had sex with him while he was asleep, as he woke up naked next to him. The criminal then went into a rage and "overkill" when he stabbed the diplomat 42 times with a kitchen knife.

The gay president of an Italian soccer club has called for Serie A players and officials to declare their homosexuality, as the furor over Napoli coach Maurizio Sarri's gay slurs continued, according to TheLocal.it. Sarri made headlines when he called Inter Milan coach Roberto Mancini a "poof" during a heated dispute after his side's quarterfinal defeat to the Nerazzurri. Alessandro Cecchi Paone, the president of the Positano team, called Sarri's slur "offensive and homophobic," adding that gay players, coaches or officials could make a bigger impact by coming out themselves.

A Malaysian student who is both gay and atheist has sought refugee status in Canada after a local news site published a poll saying that he "can run, but he can't hide," according to The Malay Mail Online. Canadian news site CBC News reported Hazim Ismail, a student at the University of Winnipeg, as saying that a reporter from Malaysia had asked him to reveal the names of the people in Malaysia who had opened up about their homosexuality to him privately. Ismail has said, "People have just been, 'You have to repent, you will not be safe.' There was a poll about me: 'What is going to happen to Hazim?' And one of the options was, 'You can run but you can't hide.'"

New Taipei City is now registering same-sex couples, according to Gay Star News. The Department of Civil Affairs announced on Wednesday that gay residents of Taiwan's most populous city could register their relationships at any of the municipality's 18 household registration offices. The announcement came on the same day a similar policy was unveiled in Tainan. Taiwan does not recognize gay marriage; a marriage bill did pass its first reading in parliament in 2013, but has since been stalled by a small but vocal Christian minority.

Italian designer Stefano Gabbana ( of Dolce & Gabbana ) recently posted photos of handbags and t-shirts adorned with childlike drawings of family groups of two men or two women with children of various ages, according to NewNowNext.com . Last year, the duo got in hot water for railing against same-sex parents and surrogacy. "The only family is the traditional one. No chemical offsprings and rented uterus," the designers told Italy's Panorama magazine in March 2015. Of the recent posts, Gabbana wrote, "People change and change their ideas."


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