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World news: Brazil ruling; gay prime minister; Taiwan film's honor
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2017-09-26

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Brazilian activists and celebrities have condemned a court ruling that approves a "cure" for gay people, BBC.com reported. Waldemar de Carvalho, a federal judge in the capital of Brasilia, backed psychologist and evangelical Christian Rozangela Justino, who had her license revoked for offering so-called "conversion therapy." Critics have called the ruling regressive and medically unsound. Thousands of people marched the streets of Sao Paulo on Sept. 22 to protest the ruling.

Once seen as Ireland's Justin Trudeau, the progressive credentials of Prime Minister Leo Varadkar are now in doubt, according to a CBC.ca article. Varadkar's first wobble as leader came when he named his cabinet in June; of the 34 ministers he chose for it, only seven were women—compared with Trudeau's evenly gender-balanced cabinet. Also, Varadkar's position on subjects such as abortion is unclear. When Varadkar took office in June, he became both the first gay and first mixed-race person to lead the country.

Taiwan has selected documentary Small Talk as its contender in the Academy Awards foreign-language film category, Variety reported. Directed by Huang Hui-Chen, the film has been described as "a meditative exploration" into Huang and her lesbian mother's past as a priestess and absentee parent. The film won the Teddy Award in Berlin earlier this year for best documentary.

The prime minister of Serbia has become the first head of government in a Balkan country to take part in a gay pride march, BBC.com reported. Ana Brnabic is the first LGBT person, as well as the first woman, to lead Serbia. Seven years ago, more than 100 people, mostly police, were injured when a group of anti-gay protesters attacked the rally in Belgrade. Pride parades were revived in 2014 amid huge security, including special forces and armoured cars.

A gay Ghanaian man, Sadat Ibrahim, has told U.S. immigration official that he fears he will be killed if he is deported back to Ghana, according to News Ghana. Ibrahim—who arrived in the Staets at the San Ysidro U.S. border checkpoint between San Diego, California, and Tijuana, Mexico—said he fled home after he was ambushed and attacked by an anti-gay group in 2015. Ibrahim has been transferred to a facility in southern Texas, where his case has gained attention from immigration activists and advocacy groups in the local community.

A new study from Vancouver's BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS shows that nearly 50 percent of gay and bisexual men in Vancouver are smokers, and that more than 30 percent smoke daily, Daily Xtra noted. That's out of step in British Columbia, which has the lowest smoking rate among Canadian provinces at 14 percent. Also concerning is that men living with HIV were even more likely to smoke, and even less likely to successfully quit.

More than 200 people turned out for Pride in Montenegro, PinkNews reported. Attendees called for the eradication of violence against LGBTQ+ people and an increase in rights in the country. The Balkan country is known for having highly conservative attitudes toward the LGBTQ community, with one survey finding that 71 percent of people there consider homosexuality to be a disease, while 58 percent believe it to be "very dangerous for society."

Tunisia said that it would take steps to end forced anal examinations of men suspected of being gay or bisexual, LGBTQ Nation noted. Human Rights Minister Mehdi Ben Gharbia announced this week that the practice of forcible anal examinations will be banned. "These exams can no longer be imposed by force, physical or moral, or without the consent of the person concerned," he said. In Tunisia, homosexuality is a crime punishable by up to three years in jail.

Sir Elton John has spoken about his ex-wife as he urged people in Australia to vote for equal marriage, according to PinkNews. Before coming out as gay, the musician had a turbulent and short-lived marriage to sound engineer Renate Blauel, whom he married in Australia in 1984; they split in 1988. On Instagram, John posted, "Many years ago, I chose Australia for my wedding to a wonderful woman for whom I have so much love and admiration.I wanted more than anything to be a good husband, but I denied who I really was, which caused my wife sadness, and caused me huge guilt and regret."

The daughter of anti-gay marriage politician Tony Abbott has appeared in an ad for the campaign supporting equal marriage, PinkNews reporetd. As Australia holds a public vote on same-sex marriage, right-wing former Prime Minister Tony Abbott has become a prominent voice against equality. In the ad, Frances Abbott pays an emotional tribute to her lesbian aunt ( and father's sister ) Christine Forster, saying, "You can't help who you fall in love with. Love just happens sometimes and it's unexpected and that's kind of what's the awesome thing about it."

Chelsea Manning has been banned from entering Canada, according to PinkNews. The transgender whistleblower was released from prison in May of this year, after Barack Obama commuted her sentence as one of his last acts as president. Manning posted a copy of a letter she received, which stated that she was barred from entering Canada because the crime for which she was convicted is equivalent to treason—a crime that results in a sentence of more than 10 years.

In an effort to bring much-needed aid and relief to those affected by recent natural disasters in Mexico and Puerto Rico, out U.S. artist Tully Satre offering three works for sale—with 100 percent of proceeds going to Cruz Roja Mexicana ( Mexican Red Cross ) and United for Puerto Rico, according to a public email. He can be reached at tully@tullysatre.com; also, see TullySatre.com .

During Milan Fashion Week, Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, Claudia Schiffer, Carla Bruni and Helena Christensen had an epic supermodel reunion at Donatella Versace's spring 2018 show, Vogue.com noted. As the article stated, "With second-generation stars like Kaia Gerber capturing the public's attention and a growing push away from the social media—centric ethos that has dominated casting the last few years, the public seems hungry for models who are reminiscent of the '90s."

Colombian superstars Shakira and Maluma top the list of nominees for the third annual Latin American Music Awards, Billboard reported. Shakira leads with nine nominations, including the categories artist of the year, favorite female artist-pop/rock and album of the year ( with El Dorado ). Maluma follows Shak with eight nominations, and Daddy Yankee, Enrique Iglesias, Luis Fonsi, Nicky Jam, Prince Royce and Romeo Santos earned five each. The event will broadcast live from the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California, on Thursday, Oct. 26.

Decades after playing the villainous and homophobic Adam Carrington on the '80s soap opera Dynasty, Gordon Thomson has come out as gay for the first time, Gay Star News noted. "It's very nice to be as candid as I have been, believe me," Thomson, 72, told the Daily Beast. The Canadian actor is primarily known for his role as Carrington, but he appeared on several other daytime soaps, including The Young and the Restless and Passions. As for the Dynasty reboot, he said, "I have had a look at the new Dynasty and I am appalled. What the fuck is the CW doing? It's utter shit."


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