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World news: Gay-panic defense, being 'Bi+,' Taiwan marriage case
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2017-03-28

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South Australia is now the only jurisdiction that allows the gay-panic defense to be used after Queensland amended its criminal law and abolished the concept, ABC.net .au reported. The defense means a murder charge can be downgraded to manslaughter if a killer successfully argues s/he committed the crime because s/he was provoked by a same-sex advance. It was recently used in the murder trial of Michael Joseph Lindsay, who argued he bashed and stabbed Andrew Negre to death in 2011 after Negre made sexual advances toward him.

In the United Kingdom, LGBT students have voted to replace the word bisexual with 'Bi+' and redefined bisexuality to be inclusive of people who aren't sexually attracted to both men and women, PinkNews noted. The news comes from the National Union of Students' LGBT Conference, which took place earlier in March. The motion explains that "if a person experiences any form of attraction to more than one gender identity, they fall under the Bi+ umbrella." Interestingly, the new definition of 'Bi+' includes people who are not sexually attracted to both men and women—for instance, people who are attracted to women as well as non-binary people.

A panel of judges on Taiwan's Supreme Court began hearing deliberations in a landmark case that could see the island become the first nation in Asia to allow same-sex marriage, Time reported. The case—which stems from the rejection of a gay activist's attempt to marry his partner in 2013—has been helped along by municipal authorities in Taipei seeking clarity over other gay-marriage requests, the BBC reported. Tsai Ing-wen, Taiwan's president, has expressed support for marriage equality in the past, and the country's parliament approved the first draft of a bill to legalize same-sex marriage in December.

Dr. Rizi Timane—a Nigerian native, transman, minister, social worker and outspoken advocate for the LGBT community—has released a music video hoping to reach world leaders about the blight of immigrants and sexual minorities around the world, GayRVA.com reported. The music video ( "Love Is All We Need" ), which has already garnered more than 1 million views on YouTube, tells a story about love and features various cultures and sexualities.

The French president has been urged to push Indonesia on LGBT+ rights as he is set to arrive there this week, PinkNews reported. Francois Hollande has been urged by the Human Rights Watch ( HRW ) to emphasize that respecting human rights is part of having a strong relationship with France. The HRW says Indonesian President Joko Widodo has failed to deliver on support for human rights.

Germany's cabinet has approved a bill to overturn the convictions of thousands of gay men who were prosecuted after World War II, The Guardian reported. Gay men convicted between 1949 and 1969 who are still alive are expected to be given financial compensation for the suffering they endured under the legislation, known as Paragraph 175, which forbade sexual relations between men. The law was first introduced in the 19th century; it was made stricter in 1935 during the Nazi era and subsequently kept on the statute books by West Germany, whose authorities avidly implemented it.

An 18-year-old gay rodeo cowboy from rural Australia has a message for the hate he has received for participating in his sport: "The gay cowboy will never be silenced," The Huffington Post noted. Josh Goyne, a bullrider from Australia's Central Coast, has been vilified in online rodeo forums from people trying to stop him from competing in rodeos—and the hate has included death threats. "Today I was asked if I thought it was good that gays died of AIDS, and then the guy said he wished it was 1850 so he could shoot me for being a fag," Goyne said in a video he posted to Facebook last month. "Kudos to you mate," Goyne replied. "You're a real prick and I hope everything that comes to you is karma."

The UK LGBT organization Stonewall auctioned off a holiday to a country where gay sex is illegal, according to PinkNews. Both males and females who engage in gay sex can also be imprisoned for up to 10 years in the Caribbean island of St Lucia. The spokesperson told PinkNews "This was a generous gift from one of our key supporters, Out Of Office, who specialise in LGBT-friendly holiday experiences"—but failed to answer whether it thought it was hypocritical and dangerous to auction off a holiday to a place which imprisons gay men and women.

An award-winning former BBC producer appeared in court after being accused of possessing a gallon-and-a-half of a drug used in the gay "chemsex" scene, The Daily Mail reported. Alexander Parkin, 42, appeared at Westminster Magistrates' Court to face one count of possession of a Class C drug with intent to supply gamma-butyrolactone ( GBL ), which induces feelings of well-being and intensifies sexual arousal; it is also used as an alloy cleaner and solvent.

In Wales, Valleys radio station BRfm was found to be in breach of Ofcom regulations after a presenter made derogatory comments about gay and bisexual people on the air, The South Wales Argus reported. The comments were made during the "Dai Haywood Rock & Roll" weekly program on Oct. 25, 2016. BRfm expressed its "deepest apologies" to its listeners and that Haywood, a volunteer, had apologized "sincerely" for his remarks.


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