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WORLD Eswatini ruling, Toronto deaths, Greece, blood donations
by Andrew Davis
2022-05-15

This article shared 859 times since Sun May 15, 2022
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The High Court in Eswatini (formerly Swaziland) rejected an appeal for legal recognition by the local LGBTQ+-rights group Eswatini Sexual & Gender Minorities, citing "laws … prevailing in the kingdom" that criminalize same-sex activity, according to Erasing 76 Crimes. In its ruling, the court stated that LGBTQ people "have a right to life, liberty, privacy or dignity. They have a right not to be discriminated against or be subjected to inhumane and degrading treatment." However, the court supported the decision by the Registrar of Companies to refuse to register the Matsapha-based group because same-sex relations are considered illegal in the country because, in the court's words, LGBTQ citizens' rights are "subject to the laws as prevailing in the kingdom and which have not been challenged anywhere."

Police are searching for clues after the body of a man they say was a member of Toronto's LGBTQ community was found inside a barrel in a canal about 100 miles north of the city last month, according to CBC.ca. Mojtaba Shabani, 37—who also went by "Erik" and "Moji"—was found in the Bradford canal on April 15, South Simcoe police said. Shabani moved to Canada from Iran in 2010. Police say he was believed to have lived in and frequented the Keele Street and Finch Avenue area as well as the area of Church and Wellesley, also known as the Village.

Also in Toronto, journalist Gerald Hannon—a key figure in the early days of Canada's LGBTQ+-rights movement—has died at age 77, CBC.ca noted. According to his website, Hannon had been battling Parkinson's disease, complicated by pseudobulbar affect—a neurological condition that causes outbursts of uncontrolled or inappropriate laughing or crying. Hannon worked as a writer and photographer for the monthly magazine The Body Politic—one of Canada's first significant gay publications—as he documented the gay liberation movement of the late 1960s to mid-1980s.

Greece has banned conversion therapy—a widely criticized method of attempting to change one's sexual or gender identity—for minors, per Greek Reporter. The bill, which passed in parliament, will impose hefty fines and even prison terms on psychologists and other mental health professionals who conduct conversion therapy on LGBTQ+ minors without their explicit consent. Additionally, advertising any kind of conversion therapy is forbidden under the law. In January, Greece lifted a ban on gay and bisexual men donating blood in the country.

Speaking of donating blood, some gay and bi Canadians are still barred from doing so, The Toronto Star reported. For example, Aaron Crowe said because his partner of six years is HIV-positive, he can't give blood because Canadian Blood Services (CBS) continues to bar individuals from donating if they've had sex with a person who is HIV-positive in the last 12 months. The new blood donor policy is set to take effect by Sept. 30.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government said it plans to introduce a system that recognizes partnerships involving sexual minorities from November as it unveiled a new draft proposal, The Japan Times reported. In order to enact the policy in November, a draft amendment to the existing ordinance on human rights that includes references to the partnership system will be submitted to the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly in June. Japan does not legally recognize marriage between members of the LGBTQ+ community, but many prefectural and local governments issue legally non-binding certifications recognizing sexual-minority couples.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) announced that a 19-year-old resident of Windsor, Ontario, Canada was charged with allegedly joining a violent neo-Nazi group that has been designated a terrorist group, the Los Angeles Blade reported. Seth Bertrand, 19, was charged with participating in or contributing to, directly or indirectly, any activity of a terrorist group; he had filed an online application to join a listed terrorist entity, the Atomwaffen Division (also known as National Socialist Order), a Neo-Nazi group and offered his skills and commitment to do things for this listed terrorist entity. According to court documents filed by the RCMP, Bertrand committed various hate-motivated offenses in the Windsor area between Feb. 12 and May 20, 2021, including throwing a brake rotor through the windows of Trans Wellness Ontario as well as tagging the walls with obscene transphobic slurs and a swastika.

An Australian court sentenced a man to 12 years behind bars over the murder of a gay American in Sydney three decades ago, in a case that highlighted a series of homophobic attacks from that era, CBS News noted. Scott Phillip White, 51, had pled guilty to murdering U.S. mathematician Scott Johnson, whose body was found at the base of a cliff in the city's north in December 1988. At the time of Johnson's death, gangs roamed Sydney searching for gay men to attack and were known to rob or assault men at "gay beats," or meet-up points. Police later reclassified 27 deaths between the 1970s and 2000 as homophobic hate crimes.

To mark the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia

(IDAHOT) in Albania this month, the joint European Union and Council of Europe (CoE) will support local human-rights organizations under this year's slogan "We are a family!," according to a CoE press release. There have been and will be various awareness-raising initiatives/events engaging LGBTQI communities and supporters and using films, performances, online campaigns, photo exhibitions, panels, podcasts and even flash mobs.

Ryan Channing, the ex-boyfriend of retired Olympic swimmer Ian Thorpe, died in Bali at age 32, Page Six noted. Jake Channing confirmed the sad news of his "beautiful big brother's" death in a social-media tribute, adding that Ryan's death was not COVID-related. (In a recent Instagram post, Channing shared a hospital snap, writing, "Covid got me GEWD.") Thorpe was "saddened" to hear news of Channing's tragic death, his rep, James Erskine, told The Post. Channing and Thorpe—who were in an on-again, off-again relationship for three years—even considered having a baby via surrogacy.

Truth Wins Out (TWO) released TWO Espanol to counter the "ex-gay" conversion industry in Spanish-speaking countries and the United States, a press release announced. "We are prepared to counter 'ex-gay' propaganda wherever it surfaces," said Truth Wins Out Executive Director Wayne Besen. "This is a global fight and one we intend to win. Truth Wins Out made significant progress putting these hate groups out of business in the United States and we intend to replicate our success abroad." See TruthWinsOut.org .

U.S. First Lady Jill Biden spent part of Mother's Day making an unannounced trip to Uzhhorod, Ukraine, a small city in the far southwestern corner of Ukraine—a country that for the last 11 weeks has been under invasion by Russia, CNN noted. At a converted school that now serves as temporary housing for displaced citizens, Biden met with Ukraine First Lady Olena Zelenska, who has not been seen in public since the start of the war on Feb. 24. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also made a surprise visit to Irpin, Ukraine; he also traveled to Kyiv, where he presided over the raising of the Canadian flag at the country's embassy and announced its reopening, and met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Later, Zelensky welcomed to Kyiv a GOP congressional delegation led by U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

The Story Won't Die, from award-winning filmmaker David Henry Gerson, will be released theatrically in Los Angeles on June 10 and New York City on June 17, per a media release. (There will also be a worldwide VOD release on June 21, timed to World Refugee Day.) The 83-minute movie is a look at a young generation of Syrian artists who use their work to protest and process what is currently the world's largest and longest ongoing displacement of people since World War II.

The BAFTA TV Awards recently took place at London's Royal Festival Hall, per The Hollywood Reporter. Killing Eve star Jodie Comer expectedly claimed her second leading actress BAFTA, this time for the pandemic-themed Help. Help won two awards, as did Jimmy McGovern's prison series Time, which saw Sean Bean win best leading actor. Among the chief upsets was It's A Sin, Russell T. Davies' acclaimed series about the AIDS epidemic; it went in with six nominations but won nothing. In a highly politicized ceremony, many of the speeches saw winners throw their support behind public service broadcasters, particularly Channel 4, which the U.K. government is currently and controversially planning to privatize.

A series of ads for the new Adidas sports bra was banned from the United Kingdom for showing images of women's bare breasts, The New York Post noted. The ad campaign—which was launched in February—features the bare flesh of dozens of women in various skin colors and sizes to promote the sports bra's 43-size range, according to the BBC. According to the UK-based Advertising Standards Authority, the advertisement received 24 complaints saying that it was "explicit" and "distasteful."

Ncuti Gatwa (Sex Education) is to take command of the TARDIS, having been named the new Doctor in the BBC's Doctor Who, per The Hollywood Reporter. He replaces the outgoing Timelord Jodie Whittaker, who unveiled she was leaving last year. Gatwa becomes the first Black actor to play the iconic figure.


This article shared 859 times since Sun May 15, 2022
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