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World news: Athlete comes out; torturers jailed; German law
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2015-10-20

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Tom Bosworth—a race walker who is considered one of Great Britain's great hopes for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio—revealed publicly that he is gay and has been in a loving relationship for the past four years, LGBTQ Nation reported. Bosworth says this news won't shock anyone who knows him, but he hopes his announcement will help more athletes feel comfortable enough to reveal their sexuality. Bosworth, 25, revealed that when he was younger there had been some negative feedback.

A group of people who physically tortured gay men in Russia has been jailed, according to an Advocate.com item that cites Gay Star News. Russian police arrested members of Occupy Pedophilia—a Neo-Nazi vigilante group known for luring gay teens and young men through dating ads with the intent of abusing them. Nine members have been found guilty of torture, death, threats, and inflicting "moderate damage to health" to at least 19 people. The Sinarsky District Court Kamensk-Ural has sentenced six members to prison for three to six years, while three others received suspended sentences.

The German government has granted same-sex couples more rights—but still refused to legalize same-sex marriage, Gay Star News noted. In the second and third readings, held in the Bundestag, the coalition government of Merkel's Christian Democratic Union ( CDU ) and the Social Democrats ( SPD ) passed the so-called law for the adjustment of rights of life partners that had been debated for more than a year. The law grants same-sex couples equal rights concerning more than 20 other laws, including rental law and the code of civil procedure; however, most of the changes brought on by the decision are editorial changes, aiming to prevent discrimination in legislative texts.

One of the first priests to openly defy the Church of England's ban on gay clergy marrying has been elected to its ruling General Synod—and traditionalists have protested the development, The Telegraph reported. The Rev. Andrew Foreshew-Cain announced his election to the Church of England's parliament with a message on Twitter declaring "No Surrender" in the campaign for a more accepting stance on homosexuality. However, some traditionalist evangelicals called for the vote to be sacked because of his decision to marry his partner despite a Church-imposed bar on clerics entering same-sex marriages.

In Argentina, a trans-rights campaigner was stabbed to death after two people allegedly attacked her, according to Gay Star News. The body of Diana Sacayan was found in her apartment in Buenos Aires, stabbed numerous times in the chest and back. She was a high-ranking member in the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex group and leader of the Anti-Discrimination Liberation Movement.

Stephen Port, of London, has been accused of killing four men he allegedly met on various gay dating apps over a period of 15 months, LGBTQ Nation reported. The 40-year-old's alleged victims include 23-year-old Anthony Patrick Walgate, whose body was found in June 2014; 22-year-old Gabriel Kovari, whose body was dumped near a cemetery in August 2014; 21-year-old Daniel Whitworth, whose body was discovered near the same cemetery as Kovari's a month later; and 25-year-old Jack Taylor who was found murdered in September 2015. After getting together, Port reportedly offered the victims large amounts of GHB—a narcotic sedative that often results in loss of consciousness.

In London, two Metropolitan Police officers are currently facing allegations of gross misconduct over their treatment of their gay colleague who is a civilian member of staff, Gay Star News noted. The civilian worker, identified in the media only as Witness A, told a Scotland Yard disciplinary hearing that PCs Nicholas Vanner and Asid Butt have bullied and taunted him over a period of "six months to a year." The alleged victim said he was the subject of pranks and was once even threatened with a penknife.

Canada has a new prime minister, and he has a familiar last name. Justin Trudeau, 43—the eldest son of Pierre Trudeau ( 1919—2000 ), former Prime Minister of Canada ( 1968—79; 1980—84 ), and Margaret Trudeau—became Canada's new prime minister after his Liberal Party won a majority of Parliament's 338 seats, The Washington Post noted. It's been said that Trudeau's win will ease tensions with the United States. According to Liberal.ca, the party is a staunch supporter of what it calls "LGBTQ2 rights."

As Catholic bishops met to debate possible changes in the church's approach to issues such as divorce and homosexuality, one contingent has come out firmly in defense of tradition: the Africans, The Wall Street Journal reported. At a synod in Rome with more than 250 bishops from around the world, Cardinal Robert Sarah of Guinea told the synod that the modern family faced "two unexpected threats, almost like two apocalyptic beasts, located on opposite poles: on the one hand, the idolatry of Western freedom; on the other, Islamic fundamentalism. What Nazi-fascism and communism were in the 20th century, Western homosexual and abortion ideologies and Islamic fanaticism are today."

An elderly gay couple from Australia was ordered to take down a rainbow gay pride flag from their home after officials from the organization that owns their apartment threatened legal action, according to SouthFloridaGayNews.com . Murray Sheldrick, 78, and partner James Bellia, 72, said they received a "nasty" email from the Melbourne Inner City Management Property Owners Corporation. The letter states the couple breached the corporation's rules by "displaying advertising material on their balcony." The couple reportedly has been together for 50 years and has lived in the apartment for 11 years.

The Missionaries of Charity have sought de-recognition of 13 of its 16 orphanages across India from the government over, in part, gay parents, The Huffington Post reported. The Missionaries of Charity, founded by Mother Teresa, have reportedly sought de-recognition from the Central Adoption Resource Authority on account of "ideological differences"—mainly due to the fact that the new guidelines notified by the Ministry of Women & Child Development allow single, separated or divorced individuals to adopt children. Also of concern to the organization is that gay or lesbian individuals might adopt children from their orphanages.

A wedding between a man and a transgender woman has confused residents of a village in Indonesia, in what has been described as the first such public ceremony in the Muslim-majority country, Gay Star News reported. Photos of the wedding—which took place in Cluntang village, Boyolali regency, Central Java—have gone viral on Facebook. Bride Ratu Airin Karla and husband Dumani sat on a stage to welcome guests, who were shocked when they discovered that the feast of "thanksgiving" was actually a wedding ceremony. Indonesia does not allow transgender people to legally change their gender, or gay people to marry.

The Toronto Transit Commission ( TTC ) has pulled ads for a gay hook-up website saying the service promotes illegal activity including sex in public places, The Toronto Sun reported. The ads for Squirt.org, which feature shirtless men hugging, aren't the issue, TTC spokesman Brad Ross said. It's the website the ads promote that the transit agency officials say encourage sexual activity in public. Attila Szatmari, the digital business director for Squirt.org parent company Pink Triangle Press, said he is disappointed by the TTC's decision to pull the ad.

In Canada, three male nurses are planning to take their polyamorous relationship to the next level by having children together, the UK Metro reported. Shayne Curran, Adam Grant and Sebatian Tran from Halifax, Nova Scotia, have been living together as a threesome, or "throuple," since 2012. Curran and Grant were previously married before meeting Sebastian in a nightclub and, last year, divorced so Tran would feel properly involved in the arrangement.

In the United Kingdom, a new LGBT support group has been set up in Mid Ulster after reports teenagers have suffered bullying in school because of their sexuality, The Tyrone Times reported. The revelations emerged at the inaugural meeting of Mid Ulster Green Party, when the students involved said they had not only been targeted by other students, but that teachers in some cases had failed to intervene.

At Oxford University, a lesbian student far-left activist has resigned her roles after admitting to failing to obtain full consent before having sex with someone as well as groping others while drunk, Gay Star News reported. Annie Teriba, a third-year student at Wadham college, was the editor of No Heterox**—a zine for queer and trans individuals as well as people of color. On her Facebook profile, she said she had sex with someone at the NUS Black student's conference in May, but was later told by the other person the sex was not fully consensual.

British gay-porn star Blue Blake has died at age 52, Gay Star News noted. A Met Police spokesperson confirmed that authorities are not investigating and are not ruling the death at this time as suspicious. Blake starred, written, directed and produced many pornographic movies in his life and, in 2005, was inducted into the GayVN Legend Porn Hall of Fame.

In Britain, Stephen Fry has quit as the host of the show QI, Gay Star News noted. The gay comedian, author and broadcaster is leaving the show after 180 episodes. However, his successor will be another member of the LGBT community: Sandi Toksvig. Toksvig recently left Radio 4's The News Quiz to set up the Women's Equality Party. QI ( Quite Interesting ) is a British television quiz show.


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