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World news: Elton John, UN resolution, Nepalese trans first
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2017-10-10

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The Elton John AIDS Foundation ( EJAF ) announced new funding initiatives to increase advocacy and service delivery for people living with and at-risk for HIV and hepatitis C, a press release noted. In the United States, EJAF will be launching a new funding initiative to address HIV in Black gay men and transgender individuals, building on our years of experience and support in fighting AIDS in these communities. In Eastern Europe, EJAF will launch the Key Populations Fund for Eastern Europe and Central Asia ( EECA KP Fund ), focused on prevention and treatment of HIV and hepatitis C for individuals most vulnerable to the HIV epidemic in the region: people who use drugs, sex workers, and gay and bisexual men in the region.

The United States voted against a United Nations resolution condemning the use of the death penalty as punishment for consensual same-sex relations, The Advocate noted. The U.S. was one of 13 countries voting against the U.N. Human Rights Council resolution, which passed with the support of 27 countries; seven countries abstained. A State Department spokesperson released a statement to The Advocate saying, "The United States voted against this resolution because of broader concerns with the resolution's approach in condemning the death penalty in all circumstances and calling for its abolition."

Nepal has just approved its first known wedding involving a transgender person, according to PinkNews. The Asian country has issued a marriage certificate to Monika Shahi Nath, 40, which formally recognizes her union with 22-year-old Ramesh Nath Yogi. The couple wed in May, with Nath finding unexpected acceptance with her new in-laws.

New cases of HIV among gay and bisexual British men have been slashed by 21 percent in just a year, The Washington Blade noted, citing UK outlets. It is the first time such cases in this high-risk group have decreased since the deadly epidemic started to make headway in the 1980s. Experts say it stems from quicker testing, fast treatment and PrEP, a drug that can prevent those exposed to HIV from becoming infected.

An Australian church has donated $1 million to battle against same-sex marriage, PinkNews reported, citing BuzzFeed. Archbishop of Sydney Glenn Davies of the Anglican Diocese of Sydney confirmed the donation while addressing Archbishop of Sydney Glenn Davies. "The Standing Committee has also enthusiastically backed our participation in the Coalition For Marriage and has taken the bold step of drawing down $1 million from the Diocesan Endowment to promote the 'No' case," he said.

In Vancouver, there is controversy about the new police department's LGBT liaison—because he's straight, DailyXtra.com noted. Constable Dale Quiring is the person in the position that Chief Adam Palmer announced in the police department's annual report for 2016. Asked what training in particular qualifies Quiring to represent the LGBT community to the police department, spokesperson Jason Doucette said Quiring's taken courses on case management, leadership, negotiating, effective presentations, source handling and mental health for first responders that demonstrate his "skills to learn, listen, research, lead, collect and manage various pieces of important information, and maintain confidentiality."

In Botswana, a man has won a momentous victory for transgender rights in the African country, PinkNews reported. The trans man has been legally recognized by the Botswana High Court as male after a 10-year-long legal battle. In his judgment, Justice Godfrey Nthomiwa said the government had violated the plaintiff's rights to dignity, privacy, freedom of expression and equality.

The Scottish Episcopal church has responded to de facto sanctions imposed on it by the global Anglican communion over its decision to allow same-sex marriages, saying "love means love," The Guardian reported. Anglican primates meeting in Canterbury agreed the Scottish church should be barred from representational bodies and excluded from decisions on policy for three years after it voted in favor of permitting same-sex marriages in church earlier this summer. Responding to the move, Mark Strange—the bishop of Moray, Ross and Caithness, and primus of the Scottish Episcopal church—said, "I will do all I can to rebuild relationships, but that will be done from the position our church has now reached in accordance with its synodical processes and in the belief that love means love."

In Canada, a policeman who led a sting targeting gay men now stands accused of an inappropriate relationship with a female student, Torontoist reported. Late last year, Constable Kevin Ward and his colleague showed a Guardian reporter "a pit in Marie Curtis Park that is used for sexual behavior," and detailed "Project Marie," a weeks-long police operation into indecent behaviour and public sex that racked up charges against 72 people. Much quieter was the more recent revelation that—during the period of Project Marie and beyond—Ward had allegedly maintained an "inappropriate relationship" with a subordinate member of a student group, as Metro Toronto first reported.

In South Africa, more than 200 members from the LGBTIQ community took to the streets of Dobsonville, in Soweto, to create awareness and to call for an end to hate and violence toward gay people, SABC News reported. The Soweto Gay Pride is a unique event that moves around to different sections of the township and highlights a variety of issues, including the crime of corrective rape. Corrective rape is a hate crime in which the rapist attacks victims ( primarily lesbians ) because of their perceived sexual orientation.

A Scottish hairdresser allegedly deliberately infected at least four men with HIV after meeting them on gay dating app Grindr—before sending them mocking messages, The New York Post noted. Daryll Rowe, 26, from Edinburgh, Scotland, is accused of embarking on a "cynical campaign" to infect as many men as he could with the virus. Rowe was diagnosed with HIV in Edinburgh in April 2015.

Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to take to the streets of Copenhagen in 2021 when the city hosts WorldPride, the world's largest LGBTQ event, Conference & Meetings World ( C-MW.net ) noted. International association InterPride selected Copenhagen as host city during its Annual General Meeting in Indianapolis. The organization Happy Copenhagen offered the winning bid, which enjoyed strong support from local and national governments in Denmark and Sweden.

Egyptian authorities reportedly arrested 22 people over a span of three days as part of a crackdown on gays after a rainbow flag was raised at a Mashrou' Leila concert, The Huffington Post reported, citing Reuters. At least 33 people have been arrested since Sept. 23—a day after a group of people were seen raising the flag, a rare public show of support for LGBT rights in the conservative Muslim country.

The daughter of martial artist/actor Jackie Chan has come out as a lesbian, PinkNews noted. Etta Ng—the daughter of Chan and former Hong Kong beauty queen Elaine Ng—took to Instagram to tell the world that she is gay, posing in front of a rainbow-colored background. The 17-year-old wrote: "In case no one got the memo, I'm gay." The news was followed by the hashtags "#lgbtqai, #lgbt, #lesbian, and #androgynous."

RuPaul's Drag Race star Violet Chachki has claimed she was ejected from a Paris gay club after staff deemed her too feminine, Attitude noted. The U.S. drag queen ( real name Jason Dardo ) was in the French capital for Fashion Week when attended a party at Le Depot, which operates as a nightclub and a sex club. Dardo—who was wearing a T-shirt, make-up and leather beret at the time of the alleged incident—claims he was forcibly removed from the venue after trying to access the sex club zones, which carry a strict "men-only" policy.


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