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World news: Olympic resolution, 'LGBTQ Poland' book, Canada's apology
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times.
2017-11-20

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All 193 United Nations member-states adopted the Olympic Truce Resolution maintaining language protecting against discrimination based on sexual orientation, a press release noted. The resolution—which passed by consensus—included the contested reference to non-discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation in the Olympic Charter. OutRight Action International Executive Director Jessica Stern said, "While Egypt and Russia tried to export and sanction discrimination against lesbian, gay, and bisexual Olympians, they failed. States decided to send a clear message that there is no place for discrimination at the Olympics. We're thankful for civil society and for the mobilization that took place to ensure that reference to Principle 6 stayed in the Truce. Today, we were victorious."

In the forthcoming book OUT: LGBTQ Poland, Warsaw-based photographer Maciek Nabrdalik—whose work has been exhibited worldwide and published in The New York Times, L'Expresso, Stern, Smithsonian, and Newsweek, among other publications—features dozens of interviews and formal portraits of writers, artists and everyday people working in a variety of occupations from across Poland, a press release noted. The portraits are inspired by regular passport photographs, which usually stand as proof of identity and citizenship. Now, the portraits are shaded to indicate the comfort levels of the subjects with revealing their sexuality to the public.

The Canadian government will formally apologize for historic discrimination committed against LGBT+ Canadians, PinkNews reported. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the government's plan for the end of this month on Twitter. Trudeau wrote: "On November 28, the Government will offer a formal apology to LGBTQ2 Canadians in the House—for the persecution & injustices they have suffered, and to advance together on the path to equality & inclusion." The apology will be given to the hundreds of LGBT+ Canadians who were discharged from the military or fired from the civil service.

The first Chechen man to come out as gay has apologized on television in the restive Russian region and now claims he was set up, The Moscow Times reported. Televised apologies by Chechens who criticize the republic's leader Ramzan Kadyrov are a regular occurrence in the Muslim-majority northern Caucasus republic. Human Right Watch reported last year that several Chechens who went against the authorities were later forced to publicly apologize to the Chechen leadership.

Turkish officials banned a festival of German-language gay films due to be held in the capital of Ankara, citing terrorism concerns, BBC News noted. Organizers Pink Life QueerFest Four had planned to screen four films Nov. 16-17, and have said the decision "deprives us of our constitutional rights." Homosexuality is not illegal in Turkey, but activists say homophobia remains widespread. However, other media outlets ( such as CNN ) have reported that Ankara has banned all LGBT-related public events.

In an UK case, a court found a gay man guilty of deliberately infecting sex partners with HIV, LGBTQ Nation reported. The British court determined the guilt of Daryll Rowe, a 26-year-old hairdresser from Edinburgh, Scotland, after victims claimed Rowe had infected them with HIV on purpose. Police reports show that Rowe had infected five men, and had attempted to infect five more. Throughout his trial, Rowe denied having HIV until a video from 2015 emerged showing him engaging in urine therapy to treat HIV.

On Nov. 20 in Toronto, Trans Workforce hosted a fair that connected 20 companies such as Apple, TIFF, TD Bank, Indigo/Chapters, 519 and the City of Toronto with job-seekers from the trans and gender non-conforming communities, NOW Toronto reported. The event was held at the TIFF Bell Lightbox and coincided with the Transgender Day of Remembrance. Activist Biko Beauttah ( the organizer ) said she spent three years trying to get the job fair off the ground, "literally pounding the pavement, cold-calling and knocking on doors."

London's Old Vic Theatre has received 20 allegations of inappropriate behavior by Kevin Spacey during his 11-year run as artistic director, Deadline noted. The theater released the results of its investigation, run by law firm Lewis Silkin, after launching an anonymous hotline last month to allow staff and actors to speak out on the issue. It found that 16 staff and four others came forward with a number of allegations against Spacey between 1995 and 2013.

The Gay Times editor who was fired for posting offensive tweets said he is "appalled" by his past actions, Mix96.co.uk noted. The magazine confirmed it had sacked Josh Rivers with "immediate effect" after past anti-Semitic and racist posts were found on social media. Rivers has since spoken about his sacking admitting he is "appalled" at what was found by Buzzfeed in an investigation looking at his tweets from 2011. Rivers, who is of mixed-race British-American, was the UK's first BAME ( a UK term meaning "Black, Asian and minority ethnic" ) editor of the magazine founded in 1984.

In India, a recent Pride event sparked hopes that Section 377 might actually be repealed following a Supreme Court ruling in August, PinkNews noted. In a landmark ruling, India's Supreme Court has confirmed an individual's right to privacy—including sexual orientation—under the country's constitution. The Aug. 24 ruling offers new hope for the LGBTQ+ community in India, still living under the homophobic legacy of the British Empire that criminalized same-sex relationships. A formal judgement on the law, known as Section 377, is still pending, and LGBT-rights advocates hope the court will repeal it.

Former Wimbledon champion Jana Novotna ( who several websites has cited as being lesbian ) has died from cancer at 49, The Guardian reported. At her peak in the 1990s, the Czech player was featured in one of the most enduring images in the long history of Wimbledon after famously being consoled by the Duchess of Kent after losing the 1993 final to Steffi Graf. ( Novotna later won in 1998. )

In a recent pro-tennis match, Swiss player Roger Federer missed an easy forehand—because he was distracted by the butt of U.S. competitor Jack Sock, Queerty noted. As Federer was about to put away the shot, Sock turned around and shook his rear at Federer, distracting the legendary player. Federer later said, "It was a big distraction, I'll tell you that, because it was very big."

Drake is spending most of November in Australia and New Zealand running through a bunch of stops on his Boy Meets World Tour—and it appears as though he was involved in a tense standoff with a male fan who was groping females at a nightclub that he was performing at after one of his shows in Sydney, according to Complex. "If you don't stop touching girls," Drake said to the man, "I will come out there and f—k you up."


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