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World news: Chinese trans win, rape in India, Tim Cook
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2017-01-10

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A transgender man won his case for unfair dismissal at a court in China, BBC News reported. "Mr. C," who was born female, was working at a health centre in Guiyang last year when he was fired. The court said he had been illegally dismissed, but said there was not enough evidence to rule he had been fired due to discrimination against transgender people. The plaintiff told AFP news agency that he was "quite happy" with the outcome.

In India, a Delhi man was reportedly drugged, kidnapped and brutally raped—but couldn't report the crimes because of the country's statutes, according to MensXP.com . Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code defines rape as "sexual intercourse with a woman against her will," and doesn't include men. Also, Section 377 criminalizes homosexuality, deeming even consensual sex between men unnatural.

Apple CEO Tim Cook declined an invitation to appear at the Oireachtas finance committee to discuss the EU's ruling that the company owes Ireland more than13 billion euros in back taxes, Irish Times noted. In a reply received by the committee, Apple executive Claire Thwaites wrote on Cook's behalf to say that he had been advised not to appear. Sinn Fein finance spokesman Pearse Doherty expressed disappointment and anger at the decision by Apple.

The Taiwanese government proposed a ban so-called "gay conversion" therapy—the practice of attempting to make an LGBTI person straight, QNews.com .au reported. The Ministry of Health and Welfare has published a draft regulation that would list the harmful "conversion" therapy as a prohibited treatment. The ban could come into effect as early as March, after a 60-day public consultation on the draft.

In Israel, Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit told the High Court that he will reduce the naturalization requirements for the partners of gay Israelis to match that of straight spouses, The Times of Israel noted. The opposite-sex partners of Israelis undergo a four-year process to gain citizenship, while gay people currently have a seven-year path to naturalization.

Yahoo7 News reported that a New Zealand man was thrown from a bridge and left for dead in a "gay hate crime" after rejecting the advances of a married straight man on New Year's Eve, the victim's husband claimed. Maioha Tokotaua, 33, found his husband's "mangled" body lying unconscious under a train bridge in the Queensland town of Gladstone. Joth Wilson, 25, was found with broken bones, burns, a brain hemorrhage and a severed spinal cord, and is unlikely to walk again; he remained on life support. Tokotaua initially thought it was a suicide attempt until he noticed his husband's wallet and hat were missing.

The owner of LGBT nightclubs Heaven and G-A-Y has apologized after suggesting that people from Somalia are responsible for rising crime in London, PinkNews reported. Club owner Jeremy Joseph made the comments on a Facebook post after a string of attacks in the capital. In apologizing, Joseph said, "The fact that some of these gangs are Somali is irrelevant and I should never have highlighted that fact, even in the heat of the moment which it was."

Speaking of London bars, Kazbar, which opened doors in 1995, has been forced to close because of rent increases, PinkNews noted. The bar's rent was due to be hiked up from 86,000 to 150,000 British pounds. Last summer, the infamous Royal Vauxhall Tavern was threatened with closure by developers who planned to knock the landmark down and build a strip club chain in its place.

Former U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, appearing on the Family Research Council's Washington Watch radio program, denounced the State Department for forcing foreign-government ministers to march in gay-pride parades, LGBTQ Nation reported. In part, she said, "The U.S. government is telling another government, 'You have to have gay pride parades?' That's unbelievable! 'You won't get your PEPFAR money, you won't get your USAID money, unless you follow our radical social agenda?'" PEPFAR is a US-initiative that gives money to combat HIV/AIDS around the world; USAID funds are used for poverty and disaster relief.

The new mayor of Rio de Janiero, Marcelo Crivella, has unleashed some interesting theories, LGBTQ Nation noted. Crivella, of Brazil's Republican Party, has said Catholics "preach demonic doctrines," and that Hinduism and African religions shelter "unclean spirits." He has also said that failed abortions result in gay babies, according to NewNowNext. Brazil is currently facing an epidemic of violent crime against LGBTQ people, with a member of the community killed almost every day in the country, according to Grupo Gay da Bahia.

A Saudi television channel apologized after a reality show in the strict Islamic kingdom featured a scene that critics denounced as "pornographic," Middle East Eye noted. Online users posted a purported clip from the Bedaya TV program that appeared to show men dancing. One stood closely behind another, held the man's hips, and appeared to mimic a sexual act. Bedaya apologized on Twitter, saying mistakes can happen during live broadcasting.

In India, censor board chief Pahlaj Nihalani has let Bollywood actor Ranveer Singh's butt-naked shot in the movie Befikre stay, but has deleted kissing scenes featuring gay and lesbian couples in the film, Mid-Day.com reported. The kissing scenes in question are from the Befikre song "Labon Ka Karobaar," a track that celebrates diversity. The official video of the song, which was released online, shows at least two gay couples kissing.

NBC News has chosen six LGBTQ events worth traveling for this year. They include the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras Festival ( Feb. 17-March 5 ), WorldPride Madrid ( June 23-July 2 ), World OutGames ( in Miami on May 26-June 4 ), Queer British Art ( Apri 5-Oct. 1 ), Outfest ( in Los Angeles July 6-16 ) and the Milkshake Festival ( in Amsterdam July 29-30 ).

COMPILED BY ANDREW DAVIS

A transgender man won his case for unfair dismissal at a court in China, BBC News reported. "Mr. C," who was born female, was working at a health centre in Guiyang last year when he was fired. The court said he had been illegally dismissed, but said there was not enough evidence to rule he had been fired due to discrimination against transgender people. The plaintiff told AFP news agency that he was "quite happy" with the outcome.

In India, a Delhi man was reportedly drugged, kidnapped and brutally raped—but couldn't report the crimes because of the country's statutes, according to MensXP.com . Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code defines rape as "sexual intercourse with a woman against her will," and doesn't include men. Also, Section 377 criminalizes homosexuality, deeming even consensual sex between men unnatural.

Apple CEO Tim Cook declined an invitation to appear at the Oireachtas finance committee to discuss the EU's ruling that the company owes Ireland more than13 billion euros in back taxes, Irish Times noted. In a reply received by the committee, Apple executive Claire Thwaites wrote on Cook's behalf to say that he had been advised not to appear. Sinn Fein finance spokesman Pearse Doherty expressed disappointment and anger at the decision by Apple.

The Taiwanese government proposed a ban so-called "gay conversion" therapy—the practice of attempting to make an LGBTI person straight, QNews.com .au reported. The Ministry of Health and Welfare has published a draft regulation that would list the harmful "conversion" therapy as a prohibited treatment. The ban could come into effect as early as March, after a 60-day public consultation on the draft.

In Israel, Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit told the High Court that he will reduce the naturalization requirements for the partners of gay Israelis to match that of straight spouses, The Times of Israel noted. The opposite-sex partners of Israelis undergo a four-year process to gain citizenship, while gay people currently have a seven-year path to naturalization.

Yahoo7 News reported that a New Zealand man was thrown from a bridge and left for dead in a "gay hate crime" after rejecting the advances of a married straight man on New Year's Eve, the victim's husband claimed. Maioha Tokotaua, 33, found his husband's "mangled" body lying unconscious under a train bridge in the Queensland town of Gladstone. Joth Wilson, 25, was found with broken bones, burns, a brain hemorrhage and a severed spinal cord, and is unlikely to walk again; he remained on life support. Tokotaua initially thought it was a suicide attempt until he noticed his husband's wallet and hat were missing.

The owner of LGBT nightclubs Heaven and G-A-Y has apologized after suggesting that people from Somalia are responsible for rising crime in London, PinkNews reported. Club owner Jeremy Joseph made the comments on a Facebook post after a string of attacks in the capital. In apologizing, Joseph said, "The fact that some of these gangs are Somali is irrelevant and I should never have highlighted that fact, even in the heat of the moment which it was."

Speaking of London bars, Kazbar, which opened doors in 1995, has been forced to close because of rent increases, PinkNews noted. The bar's rent was due to be hiked up from 86,000 to 150,000 British pounds. Last summer, the infamous Royal Vauxhall Tavern was threatened with closure by developers who planned to knock the landmark down and build a strip club chain in its place.

Former U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, appearing on the Family Research Council's Washington Watch radio program, denounced the State Department for forcing foreign-government ministers to march in gay-pride parades, LGBTQ Nation reported. In part, she said, "The U.S. government is telling another government, 'You have to have gay pride parades?' That's unbelievable! 'You won't get your PEPFAR money, you won't get your USAID money, unless you follow our radical social agenda?'" PEPFAR is a US-initiative that gives money to combat HIV/AIDS around the world; USAID funds are used for poverty and disaster relief.

The new mayor of Rio de Janiero, Marcelo Crivella, has unleashed some interesting theories, LGBTQ Nation noted. Crivella, of Brazil's Republican Party, has said Catholics "preach demonic doctrines," and that Hinduism and African religions shelter "unclean spirits." He has also said that failed abortions result in gay babies, according to NewNowNext. Brazil is currently facing an epidemic of violent crime against LGBTQ people, with a member of the community killed almost every day in the country, according to Grupo Gay da Bahia.

A Saudi television channel apologized after a reality show in the strict Islamic kingdom featured a scene that critics denounced as "pornographic," Middle East Eye noted. Online users posted a purported clip from the Bedaya TV program that appeared to show men dancing. One stood closely behind another, held the man's hips, and appeared to mimic a sexual act. Bedaya apologized on Twitter, saying mistakes can happen during live broadcasting.

In India, censor board chief Pahlaj Nihalani has let Bollywood actor Ranveer Singh's butt-naked shot in the movie Befikre stay, but has deleted kissing scenes featuring gay and lesbian couples in the film, Mid-Day.com reported. The kissing scenes in question are from the Befikre song "Labon Ka Karobaar," a track that celebrates diversity. The official video of the song, which was released online, shows at least two gay couples kissing.

NBC News has chosen six LGBTQ events worth traveling for this year. They include the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras Festival ( Feb. 17-March 5 ), WorldPride Madrid ( June 23-July 2 ), World OutGames ( in Miami on May 26-June 4 ), Queer British Art ( Apri 5-Oct. 1 ), Outfest ( in Los Angeles July 6-16 ) and the Milkshake Festival ( in Amsterdam July 29-30 ).


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