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World news: OutGames, Cuban award, gay Brazilian mayor marries
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2017-03-14

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World OutGames Miami 2017—a multi-sport, human rights and cultural event to be held May 26-June 4—has announced Amini Fonua, Surat-Shaan Knan and Debbie Wasserman Schultz as plenary speakers for its Global Conference on Human Rights, a press conference noted. The three-day conference ( May 26-29 ) will feature as many as 25 notable activists, thought leaders and community figures addressing more than 35 topics that promote inclusivity in sports, health & wellness and global social justice. For a full list of participating speakers and workshops, visit OutGames.org/human_rights/conference.

Rev. Troy Perry will be the first U.S. resident to receive Cuba's The National Center for Sex Education ( Centro Nacional de Educacion Sexual, or CENESEX ) Award, a press release noted. He will receive it at the 10th Cuban Gala Against Homophobia, to be held in the Karl Marx Theater in Havana on May 12. Also, on May 13, the documentary Call me Troy will be shown at Cuban Pavilion after the National March against Transphobia and Homophobia. The entire conference will take place May 8-13. Mariela Castro—the daughter of Cuban President Raul Castro and Vilma Espin—is president of CENESEX.

Edgar de Souza, the mayor of the small Brazilian city of Lins, finally tied the knot in front of 300 friends and family, CNN reported. "It's the first time in Brazil that a mayor has starred in his own same-sex marriage," de Souza said with a laugh. "We want to give visibility to gay marriage and encourage others to take advantage of their rights." The mayor wed his longtime male partner, Alexsandro Luciano Trindade. Same-sex marriage has been legal in Brazil since 2013.

Bianca Jagger, human-rights advocate Peter Tatchell and representatives from the Campaign Against Arms Trade delivered more than 159,000 Care2 petition signatures to Prime Minister Theresa May in London demanding an end to UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the condemnation of the ongoing imprisonment of blogger Raif Badawi, according to a Care2 press release. Tatchell said: "The Care2 petition's vast number of signatures reflects a groundswell of opinion against Britain's collusion with a Saudi regime, which is committing war crimes in Yemen and imprisoning dissidents like Raif Badawi. We urge Theresa May to end UK arms sales to the regime and to publicly call for the release of Raif and all political prisoners."

Two men have been sent to prison in Tunisia because they were perceived to be gay, PinkNews reported. The men, Achref, 20, and Sabri, 21, were sentenced to eight months in prison. L'Express, a French newspaper, reports that the men were told by the police officer that he suspected they were gay. According to the report, the police officer called gay people a "curse" on the country.

The Israeli Air Force celebrated Family Day on its official Facebook page with photos of military members and their families, including a gay air force officer and his husband, LGBTQ Nation reported. One of the couples was a smiling Capt. Adir Gabbai and his partner, Dean. They met while in the air force, and the post came with the description, "For them, the air force family will always be 'the place where I met my family.'"

The mayor of Svetogorsk, a small city in Russia, has declared his town a "gay-free zone" and prevented two LGBTQ activists from entering, LGBTQ Nation noted. Mayor Sergey Davydov said that the activists were expelled from the city because they did not have permits to enter the town. Another four activists, this time with permits, were also expelled from the city, reported Meduza, because they walked around the city instead of going directly to the border.

Retired NBA star Amar'e Stoudemire apologized for recent remarks taken to be anti-gay, The L.A. Times noted. "I want to apologize for my offensive comments against the LGBT community," Stoudemire said in a statement released by his current team, Hapoel Jerusalem in the Israeli Premier League. "These remarks were taken from a larger interview where a reporter was asking me hypothetical questions, and all my answers had a comedic undertone." In a recent interview with Israeli website Walla Sport, Stoudemire was asked how he would deal with an openly gay teammate. He answered, "I'm going to shower across the street, make sure my change of clothes are around the corner. And I'm going to drive—take a different route to the gym." In 2012, the NBA fined Stoudemire was fined $50,000 for using an anti-gay slur in a tweet.

Iceland will be the first country in the world to make employers prove they're paying all their workers equally, regardless of gender, sexuality, ethnicity or nationality, according to NewNowNext.com . The Icelandic government announced that it would be introducing legislation to parliament this month requiring all employers with more than 25 employees to obtain certification showing they're giving equal pay for equal work.

The IGLTA Foundation recently selected the recipients for its fifth annual Building Bridges Scholarships, who will receive an all-expenses-paid trip and conference registration for the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association's Annual Global Convention in St. Petersburg, Florida, on May 4-6, a press release noted. The recipients are Michael Gladwin of South Africa and John Sakakini of Washington, D.C. See IGLTA.org/convention.

Malaysia has become the second country to censor Beauty and the Beast after its director revealed the film contains an "exclusively gay moment," PinkNews reported. The live-action Disney remake is the first major Disney film to feature an unambiguously gay character, with Gaston's sidekick LeFou shown dancing with a man near the end of the film. And after Russia banned anyone under 16 from seeing the film about a woman falling in love with the beast because of a gay moment, Malaysia suspended its release date indefinitely.

The late George Michael's boyfriend, Fadi Fawaz, has received an apology from the star's family, PinkNews noted. Press reports had said the family tried to ban him from the burial amid an acrimonious grieving process. Fawaz had previously said he knew nothing about the funeral, after the family excluded him from all discussions.


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