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World news: India's pride, Romanian court, Prince Harry/Rihanna
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2016-12-06

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Thousands of people took to the streets of New Delhi to celebrate India's LGBT community on Nov. 27, The Wall Street Journal reported. LGBTA marched at the annual Delhi Queer Pride Parade, shouting slogans and holding placards amid growing calls to decriminalize gay sex in the country. Section 377 of the Indian penal code—a colonial-era law that was reinstated by India's top court in 2013—bans "carnal intercourse against the order of nature." In February, the country's Supreme Court moved to reconsider the anti-sodomy law, referring the matter to a five-member bench.

Romania's constitutional court says it will consult with a European court regarding the case of a same-sex U.S.-Romanian couple who want their union to be legally recognized in Romania, according to a South Florida Gay News item. Court president Valer Dorneanu said Tuesday he was seeking information from the European Court of Justice to see how other EU countries where same-sex marriages are not legally recognized handled similar cases. The court set the next hearing for March 30.

Prince Harry joined singer-actress Rihanna on World AIDS Day, People reported. In Rihanna's native Barbados, they turned the spotlight on the fight against AIDS by undergoing an HIV finger-prick test "to show how easy it is to be tested for HIV," Kensington Palace announced. The pair also gave a brief interview discussing the importance of the test.

Months after al Qaeda-linked militants hacked Bangladesh's most prominent gay activist to death, the South Asian country's LGBTQ community remains in hiding, while more than a dozen LGBTQ people have fled abroad, NBC News reported. Bangladesh's LGBT community was already marginalized, with gay sex being illegal, punishable by a maximum of life in prison. On April 25, Xulhaz Mannan, the founder and publisher of LGBT publication Roopbaan, and gay actor Mahbub Rabbi Tonoy were hacked to death at Mannan's home in Dhaka.

A municipality in Sweden is to put all 5,700 of its workers through a course on issues affecting LGBTQ people, TheLocal.se reported. The move will put Kalskrona municipality in southeast Sweden at the forefront of the battle to end discrimination against sexual minorities in public services. The project, which will cost around 10,000 Swedish kronor ( $1,100 ), is part of Kalskrona's ambition to be an "open city."

A rise in HIV cases among young gay men as well as people older than 60 in China has raised the question of whether the disease is spreading undetected among people who do not consider themselves at risk, Financial Times reported. Figures from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention released ahead of World Aids Day on Thursday, show 96,000 new HIV cases in the first nine months of this year, putting China on track to exceed the 115,000 new cases recorded in 2015. Trends among the new cases indicate government efforts to manage HIV may be missing the mark.

London's Scotland Yard has adopted measures to increase knowledge of chemsex crime in the gay community after the police watchdog launched an investigation into "missed opportunities" to catch the serial killer Stephen Port, The Guardian noted. In the wake of Port's conviction, frontline officers were undergoing special training to deal with rape and sex crimes against males. Port, 41, was given a life sentence without parole for the murders of four gay men.

A German spy was just busted for allegedly trying to help Islamic militants plan a terrorist attack on the country's intelligence agency—and it turns out he is a former gay adult film actor who secretly converted to Islam about two years ago, Queerty noted. According to the Washington Post, the man—whose name has not been released, and whos' also married to a woman and has four kids—was first spotted by German intelligence officials in a chat room for extremists. The Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Germany's domestic spy agency, is now facing a lot of criticism for letting the man slip through the cracks; however, officials there say they had no way of knowing.

In Canada, an 18-year-old Gatineau man has been charged with mischief and uttering death threats after a man was photographed wearing a shirt with a blatantly anti-gay message at Saunders Farm in Ottawa, CBC.ca reported. Staff at the farm were alerted after a man was spotted on Oct. 29 wearing a T-shirt bearing the message, "If you are gay, don't approch [sic] me I'll kill you." On Nov. 2 the man who was wearing the T-shirt did an interview with CBC apologizing for the message and admitting it was inappropriate. Ottawa police investigated and charged the man, who is scheduled to appear in court on Dec. 12.

A Tortonto MPP and city councillor called on police to immediately drop the charges laid against 72 people accused of engaging in sexual activity in an Etobicoke park, according to CBC.ca. Toronto police officers filed 89 charges—only one of which is criminal in nature—against 72 people during Project Marie, a six-week operation that used plainclothes officers to find people soliciting sexual encounters in Marie Curtis Park; approximately 95 percent of those charged are men. MPP Cheri DiNovo wrote an open letter to Ontario Attorney General Yasir Naqvi, asking for the charges to be dismissed.

Jamaican superstar sprinter Usain Bolt recently spoke about LGBT rights in his native country, according to The Daily Beast. On the subject of LGBT rights—or the lack thereof—in his native country, Bolt says that he personally has no problem with the LGBT community. "For me, I have no issue, you know what I mean? Over the years I've worked with a lot of these [gay] people, but in Jamaica, it's the rule and the law," the Olympic champion said. "I don't deal with politics, but I work with a lot of people, and I have a few friends [that are gay] and stuff like that, so it's not a big issue for me, and I try not to get involved in it. I let the politicians deal with that."

Out musician Frank Ocean will make his first U.K. festival appearance when he headlines London's Lovebox in 2017, Billboard noted. The enigmatic R&B star will top the lineup on July 14 at Victoria Park in what organizers are calling a "London exclusive." Ocean, who last performed in the U.K. in 2014, has yet to announce any official tour dates for 2017, and he's not performed his Billboard 200 chart-topping album Blonde in a live setting.


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