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World news: Arrests in Egypt, trans man denied, German couple marry
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times

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Seven people were arrested in Egypt for raising a rainbow-pride flag at a concert in Cairo by Lebanese band Mashrou' Leila, whose lead singer ( Hamed Sinno ) is gay, LGBTQ Nation reported. They were detained for "promoting sexual deviancy"—one of the several laws authorities use to go after LGBTQ people, despite homosexuality not being explicitly criminalized under Egyptian law. Solidarity With Egypt LGBTQ+ reported in November 2016 that it had recorded 114 criminal investigations involving 274 LGBTQ individuals since 2013.

A German court denied a request by a transgender man to be registered as the father of a boy he conceived in 2013, according to . The Federal Court of Justice ( BGH ) ruled that whomever gives birth is considered a child's mother, claiming "the roles of father and mother are not interchangeable." Oscar Muller legally transitioned in 2011, the same year the Federal Constitutional Court ruled it was possible to change legal gender without surgery. In 2012, Muller became pregnant via artificial insemination, using sperm from a donor who forfeited his parental rights.

Also in Germany, two men have become the first gay couple to marry—on the day same-sex marriage became legal there ( Oct. 1 ), reported. Karl Kreile and Bodo Mende, a couple for 38 years, exchanged their vows at the town hall in Schoneberg, Berlin. Registry offices in several German cities were opening, unusually, that day to allow couples to wed on the first day it was legally possible.

Hong Kong's court of appeal has ruled that a British lesbian who moved to the territory with her partner should be granted a dependent visa, reported. The visa—usually given to the husbands and wives of foreigners working in Hong Kong—was denied because she was not considered a spouse. Same-sex marriage is banned in the territory, although discrimination based on sexual orientation is illegal.

Twenty people ( 12 women and eight men ) were arrested on Tanzania's semi-autonomous archipelago Zanzibar for alleged homosexuality, reported. "They are implicated in homosexuality. We arrested them and are busy interrogating them. The police cannot turn a blind eye to this practice," said regional police commander Hassan Ali Nasri on state television. Gay male sex is punishable by anything from 30 years to life imprisonment under Tanzanian law, but there is no such ban on lesbian relations.

Indonesian lawmakers have approved a proposed law that would outlaw "LGBT behaviors" on television, PinkNews noted. The Jakarta Post reports that a proposed ban has been tacked to a broadcasting bill currently being discussed by the country's Parliament. Reporting on LGBT rights issues would also be hampered, as would documentaries about anyone who happens to be gay.

In Canada, Alberta's education minister, David Eggen, plans to change the law to prevent conservative leadership candidate Jason Kenney from outing gay children, reported. Eggen says the province has been working for years on gay-straight alliances in schools and he says he won't let that process be undermined. Kenney has faced criticism for saying it's best in some cases to tell parents their kids have joined a gay-straight alliance.

A gay man was beaten, electrocuted and detained for nine days in the former Soviet republic of Azerbaijan, Gay Star News reported. The man, only identified as Xeyal, said authorities are randomly arresting and torturing LGBTI people in the country's capital, Baku. He told Buzzfeed, "We were captives in our home country." The number of people captured is unclear but Samad Ismayilov, president of Minority Azerbaijan, estimates up to 100.

The head of the Scottish Episcopal Church ( SEC ) is to confront his critics in Canterbury when he meets fellow primates of the Anglican Communion for the first time since his church backed same-sex marriage, according to The Guardian. Mark Strange is bishop of Moray, Ross and Caithness and primate of the SEC; he and his fellow bishops and archbishops have been called to a five-day meeting by the archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby. The archbishop spoke of the tensions that could develop, saying that the leaders of the Anglican Communion provinces would not only pray together but "weep together."

Squatters living in what were the former headquarters for the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras have reportedly covered the walls in anarchic graffiti, .au reported. It appears the group moved in to the rundown warehouse located in Sydney after it was abandoned eight years ago, but were forced to leave as the building was set to be demolished. The graffiti included statements such as "F*"k marriage. We want revenge."

Ben Stokes—an English cricket player arrested after video footage emerged that allegedly showed him in a violent brawl—has claimed he was defending two gay friends from homophobic abuse, Attitude noted. Stokes was arrested on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm; however, broadcaster Piers Morgan claimed that Stokes—who suffered a minor finger fracture on his right hand during the incident—became embroiled in the fight after intervening to help two gay men.

The IGLTA Foundation is offering scholarships to attend the 35th Annual Global Convention of the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association ( IGLTA ) in Toronto on May 9-12, 2018, a press release noted. Now in its sixth year, the Building Bridges Scholarship Program was created to support the next generation of LGBT tourism professionals. The program will cover travel to Toronto as well as accommodations and conference registration for the four-day event. To apply online before the Dec. 1, 2017, deadline, visit

The late British singer George Michael's video for "Freedom '90" is one of the most iconic music clips of all time—and now behind-the-scenes footage and outtakes from the clip have been released for the first time, according to Out in Perth. Before he passed away on Christmas Day last year, Michael had been working on the re-release of the album and had created a documentary about making the record. The newly released footage is part of the promotion for the delayed project.

U.S. rap artist Macklemore performed a gay anthem at a rugby league final in Sydney, thanks to the sport's bosses rejecting pressure from opponents of same-sex marriage as Australia votes on liberalizing its marriage laws, Reuters noted. Macklemore performed "Same Love" to more than 80,000 fans, as the North Queensland Cowboys took on the Melbourne Storm in the National Rugby League Grand Final. Fans respectfully waved electric candles as rainbow colored smoke rose above the stage during the performance.

Teen fashion designer Matt Sarafa debuted his new line, "ROLEPLAY," during Paris Fashion Week at the Hotel d'Evreux, a press release noted. At 19, Sarafa is one of the youngest designers to ever show at Paris Fashion Week. He is already known as an accomplished young designer and entrepreneur for creating his clothing line "Hot Me$$" as well as his jewelry and clothing line "FAKE." See .

The InterPride World Conference is coming to Indianapolis Oct. 5-8—and an organizer said the reason it's coming here is because Indiana passed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act in 2015, reported. "This whole process on bidding for the conference really was born after RFRA was passed a couple of years ago," said Chris Handberg, executive director of IndyPride, a gay advocacy organization. Members of the organization are dedicated volunteers who organize and work to put on Pride events all over the world, according to the group's website.

Hugh Grant is returning to British television ( for his first TV role in two decades ) and playing gay in the new three-part period piece, A Very English Scandal, noted. Grant is portraying British Liberal political party leader Jeremy Thorpe, who, in 1979, was tried and acquitted of the murder of his former lover, Norman Scott ( Ben Whishaw ). The limited series was written by Russell T. Davies ( Queer as Folk, Cucumber ) and is helmed by Stephen Frears, who also directed Florence Foster Jenkins and The Queen.

Judge Robert Rinder, who competed on the British show Strictly Come Dancing, has said it shouldn't have same-sex couples because it would "politicize" the series, noted. "Would it be a big step forward for the LGBTQI community if there were same-sex couples on 'Strictly?' Do me a favor!" he told the Radio Times. "Some things ain't politics, and 'Strictly' is one of them." The criminal barrister-turned-daytime TV personality—who married his partner, Seth Cummings, in 2013—danced with Ukrainian professional Oksana Platero on the show last year.

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