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World news: LGBT map, Marine Le Pen, Trump-Duterte
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times.
2017-05-02

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Britain's gay and lesbian community has been mapped for the first time by the Office for National Statistics, according to PinkNews. The results show that mostly rural Devon has a higher proportion of gay and lesbian people than the county containing Brighton and Hove. Inner London tops the chart—with 3.1 percent of its population made up of gays and lesbians—followed by Cambridgeshire, Greater Manchester, Devon and West Yorkshire.

French far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen's father said that a remembrance ceremony for the gay policeman killed recently by an attacker in Paris "exalted" the concept of same-sex marriage, Reuters reported. Jean-Marie Le Pen—the National Front ( FN ) party founder from whom his daughter has sought to distance herself because of his controversial views—criticized a speech made at the ceremony by the dead policeman's partner. Marine Le Pen is the slight underdog in the coming runoff vote for the presidency against Emmanuel Macron, the centrist candidate.

U.S. President Donald Trump, in a controversial move, has invited the leader of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, to the White House, The Washington Post noted. Thousands have been killed by police and vigilantes since Duterte took office and vowed to eradicate his country's massive drug problem—and the rising death toll has drawn criticisms from international human-rights groups. Recently, BBC News noted, Duterte reversed course on same-sex marriage, saying he now opposes it; he had previously appeared supportive of LGBTQ rights, saying in 2015 that same-sex marriage was "good."

Two bills to expand trans rights passed final readings in the New Brunswick legislature on April 26, bringing the province into line with every other Canadian province, DailyXtra.com noted. Bill 51 adds "gender identity and expression" as well as "family status" to the list of prohibited grounds for discrimination under the province's human-rights code, while Bill 37 amends the Vital Statistics Act to give New Brunswick residents the right to legally change the gender markers on their government-issued IDs without requiring gender-confirming surgery.

In Ireland, The Charities Regulator is investigating Glen, the Gay and Lesbian Network, as the NGO puts "new financial procedures" in place, The Irish Examiner reported. Glen—which aims to help shape national policy for LGBTI people in Ireland—is co-operating with the regulator following its own internal review. The internal review of the NGO is understood to have revealed various issues of a financial nature.

Human Rights Watch ( HRW ) has claimed that LGBT asylum seekers in Spain's North African enclave, Ceuta, are exposed to harassment and abuse, as posted on HRW's website. The organization added that Spanish authorities should transfer them to mainland Spain without delay as well as halt its reported de facto policy of blocking most asylum seeker transfers to the mainland.

Maria Zakharova, a Russian foreign-ministry spokesperson, stopped by Yahoo! News to talk with Katie Couric about fake news, the U.S. airstrikes in Syria, President Trump and the Russian influence on the French election, according to Towleroad. However, when Couric turned to the reports of gay men detained and tortured in Chechnya, Zakharova became annoyed and shut Couric down, explaining there was an investigation. At one point, Zakharova said to Couric, ""No. No. No. No. This is not my issue. I'm not a specialist in that," UPORXX noted.

The Church of Wales has appointed a new bishop after rejecting a gay man who applied for the role, PinkNews noted. The Very Rev. June Osborne, dean of Salisbury, will become the new bishop of Llandaff. Her appointment comes despite Dr. Jeffrey John, who is gay, receiving a majority of votes in the selection process. John claimed the Anglican church denied him a promotion to bishop of Llandaff because of his sexuality.

A British businessman who was publically outed by a newspaper has called for more gay people in business to be open about their sexuality, PinkNews reported. Lord Browne, who was revealed as gay by The Mail on Sunday in 2007, said in an interview with the BBC that it was important for gay people to have role models "at the top levels of business." The peer, formerly head of BP, had concealed his sexuality for more than 50 years.

The first major retrospective of gay British art has opened at the Tate Britain gallery in London, featuring a portrait of Oscar Wilde next to his prison cell door, Asia One reported. "Queer British Art 1861-1967" marks the 50th anniversary of the decriminalization of male homosexuality in England and looks at the century leading up to the point when the death penalty for gay sex was lifted. The visual arts exhibition is spread over eight rooms, and explores such topics as coded desires, defying conventions, and the contradictions between public and private lives.

Fabrice Houdart—human rights officer at the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights ( OHCHR ) in New York City—will be the keynote speaker for the opening reception of the 4th Global LGBTQI Human Rights Conference taking place May 26-29 in Miami, a press release noted. The gathering of human-rights activists, researchers, legal scholars and trade organizations is part of World OutGames Miami 2017. A full conference schedule and tickets are available at http://outgames.org/human_rights/conference.

The Diocese of Oslo, Norway, is under fire for hiring a communications official who has been involved with the gay-rights movement, CatholicCulture.org noted. Petter Stocke-Nicolaisen was hired as an editor for the diocesan communications department; Stocke-Nicolaisen is not Catholic. A spokesman for the diocese said that Stocke-Nicolaisen was not hired because of his beliefs but his technical competence: "We do not ask about people's sexual orientation."

In Britain, a retired vicar, aged 78, has tied the knot with his 24-year-old partner, PinkNews reported. Under current Church of England rules, clergymen are banned from performing same-sex marriages or entering them themselves. But 78-year-old Rev. Philip Clements—a retired former parish priest in Eastry, Kent—flouted the rules by getting married to his 24-year-old partner, Florin. The gay vicar revealed is planning to start a new life in his husband's native Romania and travel the world.

The BBC announced that it will air a season of programming marking the 50th anniversary of The Sexual Offences Act 1967, entitled Gay Britannia, Gay Times reported. Led by programming on BBC Two and Four, with other content across BBC radio and online, the Gay Britannia season will feature stories celebrating the LGBTQ community to mark the act that partially decriminalized same-sex acts in private between two men older than 21 in England and Wales.

London's LGBT scene has been dealt another blow with the news that Soho gay pub Molly Moggs has closed its doors for good, Attitude noted. The venue in the heart of the capital's gay scene on Old Compton Street closed immediately after being sold. The raucous pub was known for its drag, cabaret and karaoke nights.


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