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World: Pakistan census, South African channel, shocking Brazilian crime
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2017-01-18

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Pakistan is set to include transgender people in its national census for the first time this year, according to PinkNews. The Lahore High Court ruled that the government, National Database and Registration Authority must include the trans community in the 2017 census. The ruling came after a petition was filed by trans activist Waqar Ali in November that argued the trans community had been marginalized and their rights should be recognized.

South Africa's first LGBT video-on-demand ( VOD ) channel has been launched, according to TechFinancials.co.za. PrideTV content manager Joanne Raphael Katz said, "PrideTV reverses the trend to restrict access to LGBT themes by South African and African broadcasters." Viewers can subscribe by visiting PrideTV.co.za.

In a shocking crime in Brazil, a 32-year-old supermarket manager from a town near Sao Paolo confessed to stabbing her 17-year-old son, Itaberli Lozano, to death possibly because he was gay, LGBTQ Nation reported. The mother, Tatiana Lozano Pereira, claims that Lozano used drugs and brought men home. The teen's uncle Dario Rosa denies that, and said he believes that Pereira killed her son because he was gay, adding this is the first time she accused her son of drug use. Lozano's body was found a week after the killing; it had been burned and buried in a cornfield.

While other countries in Europe are seeing a stabilization or fall in their HIV diagnosis, the one country that is significantly bucking the trend is Russia, Gay Star News noted. The country ( population 144 million ) recorded 98,177 new diagnoses of HIV in 2015—a 15-percent increase on its 2014 figures. According to aidsmap, the increase in Russia was a major factor in the Europe-wide figure for new diagnoses increasing by 8 percent at a time when countries such as France and Spain saw a dip in their figures.

Ireland has softened rules that permanently banned men who have sex with men from donating blood, PinkNews reported. The Republic of Ireland had continued to enforce rules introduced at the height of the AIDS crisis that stipulate that men who have sex with men ( MSM ) are banned for life from giving blood. Under the new rules, sexually active gay men remain banned from giving blood, but are permitted to do so if they abstain from sex for 12 months.

A "comedy sketch" encouraging sexual assault against gay men has gone viral in Nigeria, PinkNews reported. The video, created by the comedian Ogusbaba, features an effeminate gay man acted by the comedian himself. The video ends uncomfortably, with two of the men holding Ogusbaba down while the third prepares to sexually assault the man with the vegetable—all because he is gay. Nigerian pastor Rev. Jide Macaulay is among those who condemn the video because it encourages homophobia.

A UK prison has discontinued its LGBT-support group after claiming there are no lesbians in the jail, PinkNews reported. The group now refers only to GBT inmates, as a review of the jail noted there are "no women" residents there. The decision has caused an uproar, with other prisoners pointing out that if they keep "trans" in the definition, they surely recognize there could be women in the prison. The decision was taken at HMP Wakefield, in West Yorkshire, which has been nicknamed "Monster Mansion" for its high-risk inmates.

In Australia, a One Nation candidate who is also president of the "World Harmony Society" is being criticized for a social-media post in which she said homosexuality was an illness that should be medically treated, News.com .au noted. Ju Lin, who arrived in Australia in 1991, is in hot water for posting a 2015 news story about a gay British couple accused of sexually abusing their adopted children; she wrote, "Abnormal sex behaviour leads to abnormal crime. Gays should be treated as patients, they need to receive treatments."

An Italian court has ruled that the twins sons of a gay Italian couple ( who had the boys through a surrogate mother in California ) are not actually brothers, The Washington Post reported. When the couple returned to Milan with their newborns, a clerk at the registry office refused to transcribe the babies' birth certificates, barring the men from registering the boys as their legal children—resulting in the couple bringing a case to court. The babies cannot be recognized as children of the couple, nor are they to be considered brothers, even though they share the same genetic mother, who donated both eggs.

A former Miss United States and Miss Virginia beauty queen faced a Sydney, Australia, court for allegedly assaulting her boyfriend, according to News.com .au. Brittany Nicole Poteet—who has previously twice faced unrelated accusations of assault in the States—appeared in the Downing Centre local court in Sydney charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm. Poteet made news in the States when she was forced to deny claims she verbally attacked her gay flatmate and made a homophobic slur, and when she was charged with assault and battery against a former boyfriend.

A Tasmania deputy premier is to launch a book pitching the conservative case for same-sex marriage, NTNews.com reported. Faith, Love and Australia: The Conservative Case for Same-Sex marriage, by former Tony Abbott speechwriter Paul Ritchie, seeks to convince conservatives that same-sex marriage will only strengthen the institution of marriage. Fellow Deputy Premier Jeremy Rockliff—among eight Tasmanian state Liberal MPs who have voted in favor of conscience motions on same-sex marriage—conducted the book's launch, along with Ritchie.

Indian actor Karan Johar discusses his sexuality in his new biography An Unsuitable Boy, IndianExpress.com noted. Johar notes, "Everybody knows what my sexual orientation is. I don't need to scream it out. If I need to spell it out, I won't only because I live in a country where I could possibly be jailed for saying this. Which is why I Karan Johar will not say the three words that possibly everybody knows about me." Karan, in the biography, also mentions that he lost his virginity at the age of 26.

A British transgender man has been besieged with death threats after opening up about his pregnancy, PinkNews noted. Hayden Cross, from Gloucester, appeared on the cover of the Sun newspaper recently. Cross, who began transitioning to male at 17 ( and is now 20 ), has decided to have a baby after finding a sperm donor on Facebook. He said that he's gotten a lot of verbal abuse, including death threats.


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