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World news: LGBTI Ugandans, Australian prime minister, Warwick Rowers
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2016-11-15

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Equal opportunity for LGBTI Ugandans moved one step closer to reality, 76Crimes.com noted. That progress came Nov. 10, when the country's Constitutional Court overturned a provision that had allowed the Equal Opportunities Commission to disregard complaints from people it considered "immoral or socially unacceptable." That provision potentially affected any and all marginalized groups, including sex workers, some women, people living with HIV and the disabled. But it had been included in the original law in order to stop LGBTI people from claiming protection against discrimination. The case has been pursued for the past seven years by the gay-friendly Human Rights Awareness and Promotion Forum.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull would not be welcome as an official guest of Sydney's Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras under a motion passed at the organization's annual general meeting, New Zealand's Stuff reported. In March, Turnbull became the first sitting Australian prime minister to attend the event. However, activists angered by his support of a divisive plebiscite on same-sex marriage say he should not be invited in 2017. The board still has to consider the motion, which was passed 75-63.

Saying that "there has been a 147% increase in homophobic attacks post Brexit, and it seems likely the Trump vote will amplify this globally," straight-ally project The Warwick Rowers' Sport Allies has become a registered charity, according to a press release. Also, the UK organization ( famed for its nude calendars ) is about to launch an in depth academic report on homophobia and gender inequality. There is also a Warwick Rowers video; see https://www.youtube.com/embed/UQVjHpQ7xO8.

Two Australian cowboys discuss their desire for marriage equality and what it means to them in a new video from the organization Australian Marriage Equality, according to NewNowNext. "We don't want anything more than anyone else—we just want the same," said Miki, who is partnered to Dan. Debate on the issue has ramped up in recent months following a proposed plebiscite, and Parliament's subsequent rejection of a vote.

A parliamentary hearing on homophobia in sport has been told that gay Premier League soccer players would perform better if they were to come out, BBC Sport reported. British racewalker Tom Bosworth and former NBA star John Amaechi told MPs that players would be able to focus on their sport instead of "hiding." No current Premier League players are openly gay.

In Japan, a human-rights group is urging the government to give ample consideration to sexual-minority students when compiling educational guidelines and teacher training programs, The Japan Times reported. The proposal is part of ongoing efforts to protect LGBT children from harassment and bullying at school. Given the lack of an LGBT-inclusive curriculum, students in Japan receive inaccurate and biased information about members of sexual minorities from teachers, Kanae Doi, Japan director of Human Rights Watch, said in a recent interview.

Zimbabwe has rejected calls by European countries at the United Nations Human Rights Council Working Group meeting to embrace homosexuality, but accepted 142 other recommendations that are in line with the national Constitution, AllAfrica.com reported. Spain and Canada are among nations that recommended that Zimbabwe decriminalize same-sex marriages for consenting adults. "With regards to areas that we felt we would not accept, it is issues of gays and homosexuality, which is unlawful in our country," said Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

The Northern Ireland Executive has backed legislation that will offer pardons for men previously convicted of now abolished same-sex offenses, The Belfast Newsletter reported. The Stormont Assembly is now set to pass a consent motion that will mirror measures being introduced in England and Wales. Justice Minister Claire Sugden has secured approval of fellow Executive ministers in the DUP/Sinn Fein-led administration to extend to Northern Ireland the provision for pardons in the government's Policing and Crime Bill.

Former university and semi-pro ice-hockey player Brock McGillis has come out publicly as gay in a personal essay on Yahoo Sports Canada, Outsports noted. In part, McGillis wrote, "For years I lived a life of denial, because I am gay. Hockey has always been very homophobic. I can't count the amount of times I heard phrases like: That's gay or what a homo in the dressing room over the course of my hockey career." McGillis talks also about the support he received from his family, but how his hockey family created an environment where he felt it was impossible to come out. He told Outsports the reaction to his story has already been tremendous.

An LGBT+ activist and lawyer has been arrested in Turkey alongside members of his political party, which is the only in the country to have pro-LGBT+ policies, PinkNews reported. The HDP's Istanbul provincial executor, Levent Piskin, was detained in prison. The Ozgurlukcu Hukukcular Dernegi released a statement saying: "Our member, HDP Province Co-chair and lawyer Levent Piskin, was detained after he was targeted by partisan media with an early morning police raid."

The jury has retired in the trial of alleged serial killer Stephen Port, PinkNews noted. Port, of London, was charged last year with the alleged murders of Anthony Walgate, Gabriel Kovari, Daniel Whitworth and Jack Taylor. He has pled not guilty to 29 charges which include murder, rape, sexual assault and drugging. Port allegedly used the drug GHB to poison a number of victims, after meeting them on gay hook-up apps.

Italy's Donatella Versace has claimed that gay male fashion designers design for the "women they want to be" rather than their customers, The Daily Mail reported. Speaking with The Times Magazine, the vice president and chief designer of the Versace Group said: "'I love gay people. My friends are all gay. But some of the designers, when they design for a woman, they design for the woman they want to be. They are thinking of themselves. But themselves and the woman are not the same." The designer's comments come after Us Weekly reported that pop star Lady Gaga will be playing the designer on the third series of American Crime Story, which will look into the murder of Versace's brother, Gianni.

Britain's first transgender newsreader, India Willoughby, has revealed how she considers herself lucky for being able to pass convincingly as a woman, The Daily Mail reported. Willoughby, 50—who lived as Jonathan before undergoing gender reassignment in 2015—says she's found transitioning easier because she has the "privilege" of being able to look female easily. Willoughby revealed that her moment of clarity came when she reached middle age and she realized she could no longer live a double life.

In Germany's Bremerhaven Zoo, Dotty and Zee, two male Humboldt penguins, are celebrating their 10th anniversary together, according to Nature World News. In an effort to encourage reproduction and increase the Humboldt penguin population, Bremerhaven Zoo introduced six female penguins to their colony. To the zookeeper's surprise, three out of the 10 penguin couples turned out to be gay. Humboldt penguins are monogamous, as supported by the fact that the gay penguin couples did not switch partners even for the sake of reproduction.

Japan's love hotels often refuse service to gay male couples, RocketNews24.com reported. While there may not be signs or notices explicitly prohibiting them, many love hotels have a soft policy of asking gay men to take their business elsewhere. One man who was in the love-hotel industry, called "Mr. S," said the hotels turn away male couple because "make a really big mess in love hotel rooms."


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