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World news: Mexico and marriage, N. Ireland petition, Oscar Wilde
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2016-09-27

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Pope Francis has praised anti-gay marriage activists in Mexico for defending "family and life," PinkNews reported. Mexico has recently seen a wave of large-scale protests opposing same-sex marriage heavily backed by Catholic groups, after President Enrique Pena Nieto pushed to bring about same-sex marriage countrywide. Tens of thousands of people were bused in to large anti-gay marriage protests across the country, continuing a wave of opposition of the move.

Also in Mexico, a day before that large anti-gay marriage march, marriage activists released the names of four priests they claim are in gay relationships, outing them to the whole country, the UK Telegraph reported. "Everyone deserves the right to be in the closet," said Cristian Galarza, an organizer for the National Pride Front, an LGBT-rights group. "But when you come out and condemn homosexuality, condemn gay marriage, and try to influence a secular state, you've lost the right to the closet."

More than 20,000 people have signed a petition calling for same-sex marriage to be legalized in Northern Ireland, The Belfast Telegraph noted. It is also protesting against the use of the Petition of Concern by the Democratic Unionist Party ( DUP )—essentially, a veto—to stop a majority vote by members of the Legislative Assembly in favor of same-sex marriage being passed. Activist Peter Tatchell said, "By ignoring the majority will and blocking the right of LGBT couples to marry, the DUP is subverting democracy."

The homes of Oscar Wilde, Benjamin Britten and Anne Lister, a woman considered the "first modern lesbian," are being relisted as part of a gay history project undertaken by Historic England, The Guardian reported. The heritage organization has also announced that the grave of Amelia Edwards, a Victorian novelist and Egyptologist, is to be given listed status for the first time. The listings are the result of a project called Pride of Place. Duncan Wilson, chief executive of Historic England, said buildings and places were witnesses to events that shaped society, but lesbian and gay stories had often been neglected.

In Australia, the New South Wales ( NSW ) Police Force has admitted its officers may have made serious mistakes while re-examining potential gay-hate murders among a list of 30 unsolved deaths, SBS reported. An SBS investigation has uncovered a failure by police to check even basic details for some of the men, resulting in an erroneous assessment being provided to NSW State Coroner Michael Barnes. For example, in a crucial review of the 30 unsolved cases, police dispensed with the 1986 death of a "William Rudney" in four lines, beginning: "There are no coronial records of a death of a person of this name." However, it was because the man's name was actually William Rooney.

Also in Australia, a man accused of pouring hydrochloric acid into a gay sex-club lube dispenser in Sydney has appeared in court, PinkNews noted. Hengky Irawan hid behind a yellow envelope as he arrived at Parramatta Local Court. He is charged with administering poison intended to injure or cause distress or pain, as well as entering a building with intent to commit an indictable offence and malicious damage.

President Ian Khama of Botswana said he had ordered the arrest and deportation of U.S. pastor Steven Anderson, who was banned from neighboring South Africa over his anti-gay views, The Huffington Post reported. Anderson, of the Faithful Word Baptist Church in Arizona, notoriously welcomed the gunning down in June of 50 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida by saying "there's 50 less pedophiles in this world."

Also in Botswana, five wild lionesses in the Moremi Game Reserve have grown big manes, and now they're even starting to act like males. Science Alert reported. According to recent observations, at least one of these maned lionesses has been roaring frequently, and she's been trying to mate with the other females. She's even killed two lion cubs—a behavior that's usually reserved to males. A team of biologists has been following these five lionesses since 2014, and have now published the first scientific paper documenting the development of manes and male behavior in wild females.

In the United Kingdom, campaigners hoping to save a pub that has served the gay community for more than 60 years have applied for it to be given protected status, The Standard reported. The Queen's Head in Chelsea, whose regulars have included Stephen Fry and "Naked Civil Servant" Quentin Crisp, closed recently because of "astronomical" rent increases. A pub has stood on the Tryon Street site, near King's Road, for 176 years but campaigners fear it will now be turned into flats or reopen as a "bland, corporate, faceless" venue. Holly Johnson from Frankie Goes To Hollywood is among those backing calls for the pub to be reopened as a gay-friendly venue under the same name.

The first same-sex wedding has taken place at Psarou Beach on the Greek island of Mykonos, The Greek Reporter noted. Some 50 friends and family of the French grooms witnessed the ceremony as the couple said "I do's" and cheered as the couple sealed the deal with a kiss. Mykonos Live TV captured the ceremony.

A leading boxing promoter has claimed Tyson Fury will never fight again after facing a series of professional and personal problems, PinkNews reported. "Fury will be stripped of his titles and, after a legal battle, he'll say: 'No more, I'm done,'" promoter Eddie Hearn claimed. His comments came after the homophobic boxer pulled out of a fight with longtime rival Wladimir Klitschko after being declared medically unfit to take part.

ESPN FC reported that nearly three quarters of British football fans have heard anti-gay abuse at a match during the last five years, according to new research from the UK's LGBT-rights charity Stonewall. The online study, which was carried out by ICM last month, was commissioned by Stonewall as part of its "Rainbow Laces" campaign to tackle anti-gay, bisexual and transgender attitudes in sport. The research found several encouraging trends but also found that 18- to 24-year-olds are twice as likely as the overall group to say they would be embarrassed if their favorite player came out as gay ( 22 percent, compared to 12 percent ) and twice as likely to describe anti-LGBT language as "banter."


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