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World news: Theologian, Gaydar co-founder die, crocodile hunter
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2017-11-14

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Gregory Baum—who as a theological expert at the Second Vatican Council was one of the drafters of the conciliar document Nostra Aetate, the Declaration on the Relation of the Church with Non-Christian Religions, which repudiated anti-Semitism—died Oct. 18 in Montreal at 94, NCROnline.com noted. A former Augustinian priest, Baum served the church as a theologian, sociologist, professor, author, journalist and advocate for interreligious dialogue, liberation theology and more progressive sexual ethics. Baum's progressive views on contraception, celibacy, same-sex marriage and other issues prompted criticism from conservative Catholics, as did his disclosure of his first same-sex experience at age 40 in his 2016 autobiography, The Oil Has Not Run Dry.

The co-founder of groundbreaking dating site Gaydar has died in his native South Africa, BBC News reported. Henry Badenhorst, 51, died after falling from a tower block, news website Buzzfeed reported—and htis happened a decade after his co-founder and former partner, Gary Frisch, fell to his death in London. The two created Gaydar—which became the world's largest dating site for gay and bisexual men—in 1999 when a friend said he was too busy to find a partner.

A self-described straight crocodile hunter from Australia's rugged and socially conservative far north has become a gay-rights champion, NBC News reported. Warren Entsch, who's also a lawmaker, plans to introduce legislation that could make same-sex marriage a reality as soon as December. Entsch, 67, emerged as an unlikely champion for gay rights back in 2004, when he complained that the government had amended federal laws to make clear that marriage exists only between a man and a woman.

The Church of England has released a guide to help prevent gay, bisexual and transgender children being bullied in its updated guide for Anglican schools, La Croix International noted.The report, titled "Valuing All God's Children—Guidance for Church of England schools on challenging homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying," was endorsed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby. It follows similar guidelines released by the Church of England in 2014 and 2016.

The Alberta Catholic School Trustees' Association said it is concerned two aspects of legislation introduced by the NDP government to protect the privacy of students in gay-straight alliances could have "unintended consequences," The Edmonton Journal noted. In its first statement since the NDP introduced Bill 24, an act to support gay-straight alliances, the association representing Catholic school trustees across Alberta said it believes the bill could erode local school board and school official autonomy. The legislation would stop school staff from informing parents that their child had joined a gay-straight alliance without the child's consent.

A gay man's tomb in the northern Italy town of Mariano Comense has attracted attention and censure from the right, LGBTQ Nation noted. Carlo Annoni died at age 61 earlier this year—and his widower, Corrado Spanger, talked about having a colorful resting place for Annoni. The tomb, though, upset some people, with one person telling Corriere della Sera that it is in "bad taste and too glamorous." In 2012, the couple traveled to the United Kingdom to marry; in 2016, they were the first gay couple to get a civil union in their town.

Jane Fonda has given her complete support for marriage equality, PinkNews noted. In an interview with Yahoo Be, the Grace and Frankie star gave her full backing for marriage equality in Australia. In part, she said, "Many of my friends are gay women and men, married with children—and those marriages are more stable than most."

Hockey legends—and former competitors—Caroline Ouellette and Julie Chu just welcomed a baby together, The Huffington Post reported. Ouellette, 38, captained the Canadian women's hockey team to victory at the Sochi Olympics and has four Olympic gold medals; Chu, 35, is a four-time Olympian and the second-most decorated U.S. woman in the history of the Winter Games. The pair are now teammates in the Canadian Women's Hockey League.

Nigerian asylum-seekers in Canada are making so many similar claims based on sexual orientation that Legal Aid Ontario is worried some claims may be fabricated, CBC.ca reported. Jawad Kassab, who leads the refugee and immigration program at Legal Aid Ontario, said the agency has identified an "unusual" pattern in sexual-orientation claims filed by Nigerian refugee seekers this year. Kassab said he is concerned that if claims are fabricated, refugees with legitimate claims might have a harder time getting the help they need.

"YOU WILL NOT ERASE US"—a message that trans Torontonians wrote on the trans memorial in Barbara Hall Park in 2014 after it was washed off by city staff—has been erased a second time, DailyXtra.com noted. On Nov. 9, Nicki Ward ( a trans woman who is one of the stewards of the memorial ) was walking through the park when she noticed the defacement. The trans memorial was created anonymously in 2014 during a vigil for Veronica Diaz, a trans woman who had died that year; however, soon after the memorial was created, it was erased by city staff on the day Cawthra Park was rechristened Barbara Hall Park.

The New York Times reported that Germany must create a third gender category for people who do not identify as either male or female or were born with ambiguous sexual traits, the country's constitutional court ruled. In 2013, Germany became the first European country to allow parents to register newborns as neither female nor male, if the child was born with characteristics of both sexes. The new decision, by the Federal Constitutional Court, goes further, giving lawmakers until the end of 2018 to either allow the introduction of a third gender category or dispense with gender altogether in public documents.

Notorious serial killer Colin Ireland murdered five gay men in London during the 1990s—and a newly released documentary reveals the possible motives behind his killings in never before seen police interviews, PinkNews noted. The CBS documentary Voice of a Serial Killer explores the motivations behind Ireland's infamous killings. Ireland, who died in Wakefield prison in 2012, said he thought of being a serial killer as a "career" that would make him "famous."

The BBC is investigating 25 sexual-harassment cases after receiving a "spike" in complaints in the aftermath of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, according to two of the corporation's most senior executives, Deadline reported. The British public broadcaster is working through more than two dozen live sexual harassments, according to Deputy Director General Anne Bulford.

The video game Football Manager 2018 will feature openly gay players, The Independent noted. Footballers will publicly come out as gay in the new game, which was released Nov. 10. The news has had a mixed reception online, with some people praising game developer Sports Interactive for the decision, and others dismissing it as "unnecessary" or criticizing it as a negative move.


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