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World news: Gay teen's death, conversion therapy, Cher in Sydney
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times

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Sixteen-year-old Brazilian teenager Gabryel Magalhaes, known as Gabryel Selenator on social media, was beaten to death by his own father after he reportedly found out he was gay, Hornet reported, citing News Rondonia. Magalhaes was a huge Selena Gomez fan, and many of the singer's fans have taken to social media to express their sadness over the teenage boy's tragic passing.

LGBT-rights activists in Malaysia are outraged by a plan by the government to operate a conversion therapy clinic that would "cure" transgender women, according to . The program would be offered in the new year, after authorities in the Muslim-majority country conducted a survey of Malaysia's trans population. Transgender people in Malaysia routinely face arbitrary arrest, physical and sexual assault, extortion, discrimination and other abuses.

It's looking like superstar singer-actress Cher will headline Sydney's 40th gay and lesbian Mardi Gras in March, The Sydney Morning Herald noted. Sources close to the event have told Fairfax Media the 71-year-old gay icon is almost locked in to perform at the world-renowned gay pride festival. Organizers typically seek out big overseas acts on major anniversaries—the 30th Mardi Gras was headlined by Cyndi Lauper—and this year's will take on extra significance given the historic legalization of same-sex marriage just weeks ago.

A bishop has compared gay people to murderers in response to comments from Ghana's president that the decriminalization of homosexuality is "bound to happen" eventually, PinkNews reported. Ghana President Nana Akufo-Addo, in December, said that the country is bound to eventually decriminalize homosexuality—but only after popular support grows. However, speaking with the Accra-based Joy FM, Metropolitan Archbishop of Accra Charles Palmer-Buckle said the 1992 constitution explicitly criminalizes homosexuality, adding that gay people need God's love, "just like the murderer and heterosexual."

In Ireland, Fine Gael's first openly gay politician, Jerry Buttimer, has wed his partner of 10 years, The Irish Sun reported. The Cork senator, who announced he was gay in 2012, tied the knot with Conchobar O'Leary in a civil ceremony at the Triskel Arts Centre. The ceremony was attended by family, friends, neighbors and political colleagues such as Taoiseach ( Prime Minister ) Leo Varadkar and his partner, Matthew Barrett.

A Singapore court rejected a gay Singaporean doctor's bid to adopt his biological child—because he was born by a surrogate mother in the United States through a procedure not available for unmarried couples in the island state, a Huffington Post item noted. The man, in a same-sex relationship, paid $200,000 for a woman to carry his child through in-vitro fertilization in the United States after he had learned he was unlikely to be able to adopt a child in Singapore as a gay man.

A Swiss politician is facing criticism after blaming the high suicide rate among gay people on incontinence, reported. During a debate on funding for sex ed, Zurich city council member Daniel Regli lashed out at Lust und Frust ( "Pleasure and Pain" ), a site that the city's education department supports. Regli complained the site promoted promiscuity and homosexuality, adding that "homosexuals with multiple partners take their lives between the ages of 30 and 40 … because their anal muscle is not holding up as it should." His outburst prompted chaos in City Hall until Mayor Corine Mauch, an out lesbian, finally called for order.

Aussiebum, an Australian underwear brand popular with gay men, has been criticized for an insensitive ad campaign, noted. In the ad, posted earlier this week on social media, four Aussiebum models pose in front of a truck with a bumper sticker clearly reading "F-ck off we're full"—a slogan closely identified with anti-immigration sentiment in Australia. Approached for comment by Gay Star News, Aussiebum founder Sean Ashby explained that the image was shot about three years ago at a caravan park for tents and camper vehicles in Broome, West Australia. The image has since been removed from Aussiebum's social media pages.

KA Lip Care released a commercial for its lip balm in Thailand that plays on the "boy love" dramas popular in Asian countries, LGBTQ Nation noted. The genre generally features two teenage boys slowly realizing their love for each other. In the ad, one student confronts another for breaking his sister's heart—but when the reason why the boy declined the sister's advances, the ad takes a whole new spin.

South Korean girl group Loona has released a new video featuring an overt lesbian love story, noted. "'Heart Attack' does not interpret the feelings of being in love in a serious way, but with Chuu's own adorable emoticon-like ways," reads an official description of the K-pop bop. "The music video has references to historical and fictional figures such as the artist René Magritte, Hans Christian Andersen's short story The Little Match Girl, and John Appleby's novel Aphrodite Means Death."

In Australia, a man posed as a doctor at two hospitals in order to impress male staff members in a bid to land a boyfriend—and is facing jail time, according to LGBTQ Nation. Nicholas Brett Delaney, 25, stole a lanyard from a staff area and began passing himself off as Dr. Nick Delaney at two different hospitals: Lady Cilento Children's Hospital and Ronald McDonald House in South Brisbane. Magistrate Stuart Shearer declined to sentence him until an attorney represents him.

A retired vicar who married a Romanian male model has been left homeless and nearly broke, reported. The Rev. Philip Clements, 79, split up from Florin Marin, 24, days after giving him a flat in Bucharest so he would have security after his death. Clements met Marin on a dating site and sold his home in Sandwich, Kent, to buy the flat. Marin has, meanwhile, declared that he has found love in Spanish businessman Jeronimo Jesus de Vega, according to the International Business Times.

Sydney, one of the world's first major cities to welcome the new year, did so with a massive New Year's Eve fireworks display at Sydney Harbour Bridge, according to . Attended by an estimated 1.5 million people, the show featured a section with rainbow-colored fireworks and matching waterfall effect in honor of Australian parliament passing marriage equality in December.

Bollywood actor John Abraham was talked about when he flaunted his body in the film Dostana—and a shirtless pic from the movie is being used to promote a Mexican gay cruise, according to International Business Times. The name of the cruise is "Wet and Wild Gay," and someone shared the image on Twitter, wondering if Abraham is aware of the usage. Fans have posted various reactions to the photo's use, but the cruise seems to have benefited from utilizing the photo of Abraham's chiseled body.

In India, transgender models walked the runway at "Under the Rainbow," a unique fashion show also featuring drag queens and people with disabilities, noted. The models included Miss Trans Queen India, two transgender staff members from The Lalit Group staff, Indian drag queens and DJ Kitty Glitter, who was crowned Sydney's Favourite Drag Queen in 2006. Differently-abled DJ Varun Khullar mixed the music for the show. The site, Kitty Su, has earlier hosted popular international drag artists such as Alaska 5000, Violet Chachki, Derrick Barry and Kitty Glitter.

Top race-car driver Lewis Hamilton allegedly criticized his young nephew for wearing a princess costume on Christmas Day, according to . The four-time World Championship-winning Formula One driver posted a video on Instagram declaring, "I'm so sad right now—look at my nephew." The camera then cuts to the smiling child playing by the Christmas tree, wearing a pink dress and waving a wand. Hamilton has apologized, according to CNN, saying the Instagram video was a "lapse of judgment."

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