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World news: Chile election, Mugabe, UN principles, anti-gay jeweler
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2017-11-28

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Former Chilean President Sebastian Pinera and Alejandro Guillier advanced to the second round of the country's presidential election that will take place next month, The Washington Blade reported. Chileans will have to choose between the right-wing candidate with no proposals for the LGBTI community and Guillier, who has said he will continue with efforts to extend marriage rights to same-sex couples and expand protections to transgender Chileans that President Michelle Bachelet has supported.

People cheered in the streets as anti-LGBT dictator Robert Mugabe was forced to resign. According to MetroUk, They're angry at years of declining living conditions, with a GDP per capita lower than Afghanistan. However, photos shared online, including by Mugabe's sons, show a minority have been living the high life, pouring champagne on their Rolex, wearing $14,000 alligator skin Giuseppe Zanotti trainers and travelling around in silver-plated Rolls-Royces and private jets.

International human-rights experts released a supplement to the Yogyakarta Principles—a universal guide to human rights related to sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics which applies to all United Nations member states, according to a Williams Institute press release. The Yogyakarta Principles Plus 10 ( YP+10 ) include nine new principles and 112 additional state obligations that address developments in international human rights law and changes in society on issues of sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics. More information is at YogyakartaPrinciples.org/principles-en/.

In Australia, a lesbian couple were unsure whether to return their engagement rings after their jeweler posted something anti-LGBT on Facebook, Gay Star News reported. Janine Fleming and Jen McInerney—who live in the southern Australian country town of Ballarat, and got engaged in Paris—became local stars when a photo of them kissing in reaction to Australia's historic vote in favor of same-sex marriage was published on the front page of Ballarat paper, The Courier. However, their jeweler—Dan Murnane, from Meticulous Jewellery in Ballarat—responded by posting, "Disgusting! Why show it!" When contacted by The Courier for comment, Murnane denied he was anti-gay, saying, "I've got nothing against them and I didn't vote against them. I just didn't need to see on the front of the paper, I just looked and it and I thought, 'Yuck.'"

Hate crimes against LGBT people have doubled since Russia created a law banning gay "propaganda," PinkNews reported. The 2013 legislation—which prohibits "propaganda of non-traditional sexual relationships" toward minors—has been condemned by the European Court of Human Rights. The Centre for Independent Social Research analyzed 250 crimes—200 of which were murders—and concluded that homophobic attacks had surged, according to the Thomson Reuters Foundation; most victims were gay men.

First-hand accounts from people in China who have been subjected to forced "gay conversion therapy" have emerged in a new report, BBC.com noted. The country's controversial practice has long been known about, but the Human Rights Watch study offers detailed testimony of a kind rarely shared from China. The case studies detail verbal and mental abuse, forced medication and electric shock therapy taking place in Chinese hospitals.

The European Union's highest court has begun examining a case over a Romanian man's attempts to get legal residency for his U.S. husband—a closely watched hearing that will have major implications for the legal recognition of same-sex relationships across Europe, The New York Times reported. The case, legal experts say, could determine whether same-sex partners are afforded some of the same benefits and rights available to heterosexual spouses across the 28-member bloc, regardless of the countries' stance on same-sex marriage. Specifically, it would affect whether they would be allowed to live and work freely across the European Union.

Sri Lanka's government has assured human-rights experts that it plans to decriminalize homosexuality, PinkNews reported. It is currently illegal to be gay in Sri Lanka, under laws inherited from the country's colonial past. The government has previously rejected calls to change the law—although it paradoxically has taken steps to ban anti-gay discrimination in the workplace.

Leaders of Turkey's Jewish community denied complaints by a gay Israeli diplomat serving in Istanbul who said they ignore him because of his sexual orientation, The Times of Israel reported. Ishak Ibrahimzadeh, the president of the Jewish Community of Turkey, denied complaints leveled at him by Yossi Levi Sfari, Israel's consul in Istanbul, who moved there with his life partner, Ronny Goldberg. Levi Sfari said the community failed to invite him to events and does not acknowledge his presence during synagogue services.

In the UK, the Vote Leave campaign ( connected to Brexit ) allegedly had to clear thousands of pounds worth of bills run up by a gay university student, according to a Gay Star News item that cited the BBC. The Electoral Commission is reopening an investigation into whether Vote Leave breached campaign finance rules. It's alleged that Darren Grimes racked up a bill equivalent to $827,400; it was with a digital agency just days before the vote.

The vice chancellor of Cardiff University has revealed he is bisexual, saying he fears people like him are "invisible," TheTimes.co.uk ( The Times ) noted. Colin Riordan, 58, said he never intended to keep his sexuality a secret—but decided to come out after he was referred to as the "straight friend" of the university's gay community. Riordan, who has held the job for five years, also kept his sexuality private in his previous post as vice-chancellor or Essex University, but said it was not an intentional decision.

A teacher was let go by his school in Australia after bosses found out that he was gay, MetroUK reported. Craig Campbell was removed from South Coast Baptist College's list of supply teachers after telling his bosses at the Western Australia school that he had a boyfriend. The firing has prompted calls to remove private schools' legal right to discriminate against gay members of staff in the region.

Hackers have targeted ISIS by slipping pornographic images into its official communication channels, The Independent reported. Members of the Iraqi hacking group Daeshgram said they wanted to show distrust among ISIS supporters about messages from the group's leaders, according to Newsweek. In 2016 an anonymous hacker, WachulaGhost, tried to disrupt ISIS' social-media accounts by filling them with gay porn.

Theresa Tova ( president of the Toronto branch of ACTRA, the Canadian actors union ) is the industry's first union leader to acknowledge that she has been sexually assaulted—in her case, four times, Deadline reported. She doesn't say when it happened, or by whom, but she's gone public with it in a video statement to the union's members. As more Canadian actresses have come forward with accounts of being sexually harassed, assaulted and raped—ncluding at least two who have accused disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein—Tova said she is "disappointed" by how few have brought their complaints to the union until now.

British musician Stormzy, 24, has apologized for using anti-gay language on Twitter, after PinkNews site uncovered tweets stretching across three years that used words including "fa—-t," The Guardian reported. Among numerous other uses of the word, he called a gay character on the show EastEnders a "f—king f-g." He has now posted a series of repentant tweets, saying: "I said some foul and offensive things whilst tweeting years ago at a time when I was young and proudly ignorant. Very hurtful and discriminative views that I've unlearned as I've grown up and become a man."

Ex-pro soccer player Craig Bellamy said the sport is ready for a player to come out as gay, Coventry Telegraph noted. Promoting LGBT-rights charity Stonewall's Rainbow Laces campaign—running until Dec. 3—Bellamy spoke of the pride he has in his elder brother, who is gay. Asked if the pressure of being the first to come out was one of the potential barriers to doing so, Bellamy said, "Maybe that is what is putting some players off. What I wouldn't want is a player who was hiding it and felt he couldn't be himself."

CBS used crowd noise to mask the chanting of an anti-gay slur during New England Patriots kicks in Mexico on Nov. 19, Outsports noted. Other networks have taken no action during their broadcasting of these slurs. Outsports had worked with GLAAD to push the issue with CBS and the NFL.

Thousands of revelers danced on Copacabana beach to celebrate Rio de Janeiro's annual gay-pride parade despite deep funding cuts by the city, ABC News noted. Mayor Marcelo Crivella offered no city funding this year, but organizers said they were able to finance festivities with the support of private businesses and organizations. In 2016, the city funded 50 percent of the parade, which cost approximately $200,000.


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