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World news: Montreal mayor, HIV-test machine, interfaith wedding
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2017-08-23

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Just a few days after Canada Montreal Pride 2017 made a statement calling a Montreal police intervention "excessive," police chief Philippe Pichet said sorry to the LGBTQ community, The Montreal Gazette reported. The public apology addressed the violent raids on gay bars that took place in the city from the 1960s to the 1990s. Several of the city's LGBTQ representatives were invited to city hall for the apology, including Montreal Pride president and founder, Eric Pineault. Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre was also present, and followed up on his promise to "reconcile and apologize" to the city's LGBTQ community.

A doctor said that a vending machine for HIV tests being piloted in Britain aims to help in the fight to end the epidemic by encouraging more people to find out whether they have contracted the virus as a first step to seek treatment, NBC News reported. Installed at a gay sauna in the southern seaside city of Brighton, the first-of-its-kind machine distributes free fingerprick self-testing kits that can be collected anonymously and used at home, providing results within minutes. "( The aim ) is to... encourage people who haven't tested so far to test," said doctor Gillian Dean, an HIV specialist at the Martin Fisher Foundation ( MFF ), the charity behind the project.

A Hindu woman and her Jewish partner have married in Britain in what is believed to be the country's first interfaith lesbian wedding, Business Standard reported. Kalavati Mistry and Miriam Jefferson, who is from Texas, met more than 20 years ago on a training course in the United States. The couple, who both work for an interfaith organization, married at the Chutney Ivy restaurant in Leicester, England.

Northern Ireland's refusal to recognize same-sex marriage does not violate the rights of couples affected, the Belfast High Court ruled, according to a Reuters item. The case was brought by three same-sex couples, backed by campaigners who are trying to pressure the region's largest party, the socially conservative Democratic Unionist Party ( DUP ), to reverse its veto on same-sex marriage. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that bans same-sex marriage.

Leading journalist Liz MacKean, who was behind a groundbreaking documentary revealing anti-gay groups in Russia, has died, according to PinkNews. MacKean, who started her career at the BBC before going to Channel 4, died at 52 after suffering a stroke. Channel 4's harrowing 2014 documentary, Hunted, followed the Russian gangs that hunt gay men for sport.

Aderonke Apata has finally won the right to stay in the United Kingdom, more than a decade after fleeing persecution in Nigeria, according to a NewNowNext.com item. The British government had previously accused Apata, 50, of lying about her sexuality to gain asylum. Homosexuality is punishable in Nigeria by up to 14 years in prison. In northern Nigeria, controlled by Boko Haram, gays and lesbians face violence and even execution.

An LGBT-rights activist from the Libyan city of Benghazi has received asylum in Germany, The Washington Blade exclusively reported. The activist, who asked the Blade not to publish his name, said from Berlin that he arrived in Germany in May. The activist said he applied for asylum less than two weeks ago with the help of Amnesty International. The activist added those who seek asylum in Germany typically wait up to a year to hear whether the government has approved their request.

A man who survived the bombing at an Ariane Grande concert in Manchester earlier this year was caught up in the more recent terror attack in Barcelona, PinkNews reported. Chris Pawley was at the concert in Manchester where 22 people were killed—and the 30-year-old was visiting Barcelona for the Circuit Festival with his partner, Corey Lorde. He later added on Facebook: "Just to let everyone know me and Corey are ok, gettin a lot of messages."

Ryan Atkin, 32, has become the first openly gay professional match official in English football ( soccer ) after publicly coming out during an interview with Sky Sports, according to Bleacher Report. Atkin said during the interview he feels his sexuality is a relevant matter socially: "Being gay doesn't matter in the context of refereeing a football match. But if I am speaking about equality and diversity, then I am going to mention that I am gay because it is relevant."

An Australian politician caused quite a stir when he let loose with a string of homophobic slurs, NewNowNext.com noted. At a community services meeting, Hamilton City Councilor Garry Mallett reportedly commented on the fact that a report was printed on pink paper, allegedly asking, "What's with the homo color in our agenda?" Later, Mallett was unapologetic, saying anyone offended by his remarks should get over themselves. He claimed not to remember making the remarks but insisted if he did it was simply a "light-hearted jest."

A gay man in Sydney, Australia, named Ivan Flinn was being beaten by a group of straight men shouting homophobic slurs when a trio of drag queens named Ivy Leaguee, Coco Jumbo and Vybe saved him, according to LGBTQ Nation. "Those boys s—t themselves, they weren't ready for some drag queens on top of them," Leaguee said. Flinn started a GoFundMe campaign ( at www.gofundme.com/drag-queens-who-saved-my-life ) to raise $1,000 Australian ( about $800 U.S. ) to replace the drag queens' wigs, nails and heels.

A Romanian Orthodox bishop resigned after a tape surfaced of him allegedly having sex with a 17-year-old student, according to Gay Star News. An alleged blurry video of Corneliu Barladeanu, the bishop of Husi, and a mystery man circulated widely online last month. It is unclear if the original version of the video was less grainy. The 51-year-old bishop denied all involvement in the sex act and has made no comment, but church leaders issued a statement after a two-day Holy Synod, saying he resigned "for the peace and good of the church."

Diana shared the agony of her marriage split in a secret tape of a 1996 call with George Michael, News.com .au reported, citing The Sun. She told the pop superstar the breakup was "grim" and the royal family was "not very loving." The phone chat was recorded during her divorce battle with Prince Charles but has only now emerged. As well as complaining about her divorce battle with Prince Charles, she joined Michael in taking about Sir Elton John.

A book publisher in Russia stands accused of deleting a gay storyline from a popular series of sci-fi novels, according to NewNowNext.com . V. E. Schwab's best-selling Shades of Magic books have been translated into nearly a dozen languages. But the author was shocked to discover that the Russian edition had been censored—specifically, a passage detailing a same-sex romance was removed. Published by Tor Books in the United States, Shades of Magic follows a magician, Kell, who travels between four parallel versions of London.

London gay pub Molly Moggs has closed for the second time this year, after attempts to preserve the beloved spot in its current form failed, Attitude magazine noted. The pub on Old Compton Street, famed for its drag shows, shut its doors for good Aug. 20 before being relaunched as an LGBT+ cocktail bar by new owners the Marmalade Pub Company. Molly Moggs originally closed with immediate effect after the sale, before being reopened in June. Despite calls to keep the venue open in its current state, the site will be reopened under the name The Compton Cross later this year.

A K-Pop star has come out as asexual recently during an Instagram Live stream, Gay Star News reported. Hansol ( real name: Kim Han-sol ) is a member of K-Pop group ToppDogg. He has previously been vocal against homophobic hate online. Currently, ToppDogg is on hiatus.; the group released its last album in November 2016.


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