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World news: Gay Games, trans killings, Italian partner ruling
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2017-03-07

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The 2022 Gay Games XI host city shortlist vote by the Federation of Gay Games ( FGG ) General Assembly took place Feb. 28, one year after the bid process was announced, an organizational press release noted. The shortlisted host cities are Guadalajara, Mexico; Hong Kong; and Washington, D.C. Site inspections are the next steps in the bid process, and they're slated to take place in May. The final vote for the next Gay Games host will take place October at the FGG's Annual General Assembly meeting in Paris. The first bid phase totaled a record 17 cities, including Cape Town, South Africa; Madison, Wisconsin; and Tel Aviv, Israel. Paris 2018 Gay Games 10 will take place Aug. 4-12, 2018.

Human-rights activists have claimed that two transgender Pakistani people were packed in sacks, thrashed with sticks and tortured to death, the UK Independent reported. Police allegedly killed 35-year-old Amna, and Meeno, 26—both Pakistanis—after raiding a house in Saudi Arabia and arresting 35 transgender people. Activists in Pakistan are demanding clarification from Saudi Arabia over the deaths and the 22 people reportedly still in custody.

An Italian court has ruled for the first time that two gay partners should be legally recognized as the fathers of two surrogate children, The Telegraph noted. In a landmark ruling, the Court of Appeal in the northern city of Trento decided that both men can be officially named as the father—not just the parent who is biologically related. The children, now aged seven, were born to a surrogate mother in Canada through artificial insemination; neither they nor their fathers have been identified.

Trinidad-born, UK-based gay-rights advocate Jason Jones has mounted a legal challenge against Trinidad and Tobago, seeking to have existing laws criminalizing homosexuality declared null and void, The Daily Express reported. Speaking with reporters, Jones said Trinidad and Tobago continues to have laws outlawing same-sex relationships and preventing gay people from entering the country freely, adding that this violated basic human rights. He also said that the laws were originally British colonial laws, but Britain had removed the laws and is, this year, celebrating 50 years since decreminializing homosexuality. Jones is now reportedly in a safehouse after receiving death threats, Trinidad & Tobago Express reported.

Tanzania has backed down from its threat to publish a list of gay people who are allegedly selling sex online, PinkNews reported. Hamisi Kigwangalla, the deputy health minister of the African nation, had previously made the threat. "We cancelled the press conference. We are not going to announce the names of [LGBTs] who publicly market themselves for technical reasons," Kigwangalla later wrote on Twitter. He also said that releasing the names would be akin to "freeing a devil in a bottle."

The BBC is reporting that Russian officials could ban Disney's new live-action Beauty and the Beast under the country's anti-"gay propaganda" law, Deadline noted. According to BBC News, Vitaly Milonov, an MP of the United Russia party, is urging Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky to screen the film for compliance with the anti-gay law. The Disney film is set for a March 16 release in Russia. Deadline has not independently verified the BBC report; Disney has not yet responded to a request for comment.

Germany's Social Democrats ( SPD ), junior partners in Chancellor Angela Merkel's ruling coalition, said they would launch a new push to legalize same-sex marriage in Germany—a move Merkel's Christian Democrats opposed in the past, Reuters reported. Thomas Oppermann, who heads the SPD's parliamentary faction, told Der Spiegel magazine his party would raise the issue at the next meeting of the right-centre coalition, a move welcomed by the pro-environment Green party.

Television commentator Sylvana Simons is taking her campaign for equality in Dutch society into the country's elections, LGBTQ Nation noted. Simons—a former host for the Dutch version of MTV and a regular on nightly talk show De Wereld Draait Door— is the best-known of 20 candidates standing for a new party called Article 1; the name is a reference to the opening paragraph of the Dutch Constitution, which outlaws discrimination based on race, religion, gender or any other reason. Elections for Parliament's lower house will take place March 15.

In Spain, a controversial, bright orange bus emblazoned with a transphobic message is preparing for a nationwide tour, and has reignited fierce debate over trans rights, Mirage News reported. The side of the bus bears the message, "Boys have penises. Girls have vulvas. Don't let them fool you. If you are born a man, you are a man. If you are a woman, you will continue to be one." Madrid's City Council has taken the "appropriate measures" necessary to stop the bus from touring the city, saying the vehicle does not comply with local council publicity and traffic ordinances.

British UFC fighter Marc Diakiese, 23, wants the world to know that there's no difference between his athletic abilities and those of his gay peers—and he posed for a historic photo shoot in Gay Times to prove it, NewNowNext reported. He is now the first MMA star to pose for a gay publication. Billed as the "GT Fitty" of the magazine's March edition, Diakiese shared that he's proud to be included as a straight man because he feels it reflects his view that all sexual identities are the same.

Spain is targeting gay tourists in a bid to lure the lucrative demographic to its shores all year round, The Olive Press noted. A program of events aimed specifically at the LGBT community dominated January's International Tourism Fair in Madrid—with a new website ( fiturgaylgbt.com ) also launched. Gay travelers are responsible for 15 percent of international tourism spending, and they are also tend to travel more in the off-season.


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