Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
Gay refugees at an asylum center in Amsterdam have allegedly had to move because of homophobic attacks by other residents, the UK Metro reported. Fellow asylum seekers reportedly spat on them and attacked them to the point they were afraid to go outside. Five gay men—three from Syria, one from Iran and one from Iraq—moved to separate accommodations; at the beginning of next year, gay refugees will be given their own wing in a refugee center.
#MarriageEquality was the third most popular Twitter hashtag of 2015, spiking in May and June, when Ireland and the United States, respectively, legalized same-sex marriage, according to Gay Star News. #JeSuisCharlie and #PrayForParis, showing solidarity with the victims of the terrorist attacks on the French capital in January and November, were the most popular hashtags among Twitter’s 320 million global users. Caitlyn Jenner’s coming-ut tweet was also in the top 10, with the top three spots all going to boy band One Direction.
A Siberian princess buried 2,500 years ago may have been intersex or transgender, according toNewNowNext.com . The site for “Black Beauty,” as the individual has been dubbed, contained amulets for female fertility, among other things. However, a new report co-authored by the Institute of Cytology and Genetics and the Russian Academy of Sciences cites “reliable molecular genetic data” indicating the body belonged to someone with XY chromosomes—suggesting she was either gender-nonconforming or possibly intersex.
Tamara Adrian is running for Venezuelan parliament, making her the first transgender candidate running for office in Venezuela, Business Insider reported. Adrian is the first transgender person to run for a major office in any South American country ( although she’s forced to run under her birth name, Thomas ). As well as being a lawyer and professor, she is a human-rights advocate with a focus on freeing political prisoners. On top of being the first election featuring a transgender woman, it is also the first election in 17 years in which opposition parties might win.
LGBT activists in Northern Ireland are calling on a municipal official to apologize after saying gay people can be “cured” by prayer, but so far he hasn’t done so, according to Advocate.com . Thomas Kerrigan, the deputy mayor of Kerry and Strabane who’s a member of the Democratic Unionist Party, said that lack of church attendance left young people vulnerable to “being gay” as well as developing addiction to alcohol or drugs, but that if “people relied more on prayer it could cure a lot of these problems.”
The lower house of Ireland’s parliament passed a bill banning religious schools from discriminating against LGBTI teachers, Gay Star News reported. It has already passed the Senate and will now go to the president for signing. The bill amends Section 37 of the Employment Equality Act.
An international student studying psychology at the University of Winnipeg is afraid he could face persecution if he is forced to go home to Malaysia, CBC.ca reported. Hazim Ismail says he is openly gay and an atheist, and is afraid he could be targeted if he returns home. Homosexuality is a criminal offense in Malaysia, he said. And his family, who is Muslim, have disowned him and stopped paying for his education in Canada.
Hundreds of gay-rights activists danced to drum beats and held colorful balloons as they marched in a parade in New Delhi, India, celebrating what they call the diversity of gender and sexuality, The Japan Times noted. Organizers said that while the gay pride parade celebrated the gains India’s LGBT community has made in recent years, they also wanted to highlight the continuing discrimination it faces. The Delhi Queer Pride Committee also demanded the repeal of the Indian Penal Code’s Section 377, which criminalizes homosexual acts.
An Atlanta gay couple is poised to make history if their effort to overturn an ambiguous Bermuda marriage law restricting access to same-sex couples is successful, The Georgia Voice reported. Ijumo Hayward, 46, a native Bermudian and his partner Clarence Williams III, 40, have begun the legal process to obtain a Bermudian marriage license. A dual citizien, Hayward said it’s important for him to be married in the place where he grew up and calls home. Lawyer and former Bermuda Attorney General Mark Pettingill filed a notice of their intent to marry with the registrar of Bermuda on Nov. 30 and is representing the couple.
In the United Kingdom, Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron has come out strongly in favor of the recently announced review of the ban on gay and bisexual men donating blood, PinkNews reported. At present in England, Wales and Scotland, men who have sex with men are deferred from giving blood for 12 months; a permanent ban remains in place in Northern Ireland. In part, Farron said that the current ban is “scientifically and socially outdated, deeply and unjustly stigmatising, and urgently needs to change.”
Trent Zimmerman, a member of Australia’s Liberal Party, won the North Sydney by-election—becoming the first-ever elected out gay MP in the continent’s lower house, according to Gay Star News. The 47-year-old replaces former treasurer and former boss Joe Hockey, who resigned from Parliament and his MP seat that he has held for 20 years. LGBTI members of the Upper House include Labor Party’s Penny Wong, the Liberals’ Dean Smith and the Greens’ Bob Brown.
The manager of a prominent Vancouver gay nightclub admits he hired private investigators to infiltrate a crowded sex party organized by a rival and leaked their findings—including shadowy images of participants—to a local newspaper, The National Post reported. Odyssey nightclub owner Bijan Ahmadian said he made the arrangements regarding the Vancouver Arts and Leisure Society’s ( VAL’s ) parties to publicize what he says is an “inconsistent enforcement of liquor regulations and capacity laws in the city.” VAL published a lengthy riposte in the gay news website Xtra, claiming “the current media firestorm” ignited by Ahmadian “is an attack on alternative, artist-run event spaces [and] on the morality of gay men, gay culture and queer events.”
In Thailand, a gay man was apparently stabbed after his controlling boyfriend imprisoned him, PinkNews noted. Suttipong Toolrat was stabbed by his lover, Phubet Patnee, after Toolrat attempted to escape their home. Local reports claim Patnee was “extremely jealous and controlling” of his partner, often subjecting him to emotional and physical abuse.
The twins who own a “controversial” cereal cafe in London have revealed they are both gay—and called for equal marriage in their native Northern Ireland, PinkNews reported. Alan and Gary Keery own Shoreditch’s Cereal Killer Cafe, which has been the epicentre of arguments about gentrification. The eatery boasts more than 120 different kinds of cereal from around the world, along with 30 different varieties of milk and 20 different toppings. Same-sex marriage is legal in England, Scotland, Wales and the Republic of Ireland—but not in Northern Ireland.
The Austrian city of Linz has removed crossing lights put up earlier this year depicting same-sex couples holding hands, according to NewNowNext.com . The red and green signals, intended to promote tolerance throughout the country, were first introduced in the country’s capital, Vienna, to coincide with the Eurovision Song Contest in May. Due to their overwhelming popularity, the cities of Salzburg and Linz followed suit.
Reports claim that soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo is dating a Moroccan kickboxer, Gay Star News noted. Reports have alleged the Real Madrid star is regularly flying off on his private jet to Morocco after training for “cuddles” with friend Badh Hari. When asked if he was gay a few years ago, Ronaldo said, “I’m at ease with my sexuality so it’s not a problem for me.”
Russia’s edition of Maxim published an article featuring a list of gay men that they “respect” and “forgive” for their sexual orientation, according to Attn.com . Some of the people listed are British comedian Stephen Fry, Queen frontman Freddie Mercury, Irish novelist Oscar Wilde ( whom Fry portrayed in a biographical film ), Fight Club writer Chuck Palahniuk, French actor Jean Maiais and U.S actor Neil Patrick Harris.