International News - 8/30/19

International News - 8/30/19

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Berlin memorial to gay victims of Nazis vandalized

Berlin police say a central memorial to the gay victims of the Nazis has been vandalized.

The concrete memorial in Berlin’s Tiergarten Park, near the memorial to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust, features a window into which visitors can look and view a video of a same-sex couple kissing.

Police said Aug. 19 security guards reported overnight the window had been painted over.

Police currently have no suspects and wouldn’t say whether there was surveillance video of the crime.

Nazi Germany declared homosexuality an aberration that threatened the German race and sent thousands of gays to concentration camps.

New school transgender rules fire debate in Portugal

New rules on gender identity at schools are causing a stir in Portugal, where some parents are expressing alarm that transgender children will be able to choose which bathroom they use.

A directive says transgender children can make choices that correspond with their gender identity, including choosing a bathroom, wearing girls’ or boys’ school uniforms and using whichever name they choose. They can only officially change their gender at 16.

The directive sets out administrative procedures stemming from a law passed by parliament last year that seeks to guard against the discrimination of transgender people.

But an online petition is trying to put the brakes on the school directive and opposition politicians are questioning its wisdom. Some disapproving lawmakers want the Constitutional Court to intervene.

Philippines President Duterte plans national LGBTQ convention

President Rodrigo Duterte is planning to call for a national convention for the LGBTQ community to hear concerns of community members, according to his former special assistant and now senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go.

Go, during a media interview, said Duterte thought of the convention after his meeting with transgender woman Gretchen Diez and other members of the LGBTQ community in Malacañang on Aug. 19.

The senator added the proposed convention would most likely be held after the President’s visit to China at the end of the month.

The convention, he said, would have representatives from each region where they would raise their concerns, comments and suggestions on how to further protect their rights and promote their welfare.

The President will also be present at the convention, according to Go.

Brazil’s Bolsonaro suspends funding for LGBT-plus screenplays

Brazil’s president Jair Bolsonaro posted on social media that funding for movies with LGBT-plus themes was being suspended, a decision that was published on Aug. 21 on the country’s official web site.

The newly elected conservative who once described himself as a homophobe hinted during a live stream recently that he would change the process for government-funded film projects, saying funding LGBT-plus-themed screenplays is “throwing money away.”

The decision, signed by Brazil’s minister of Citizenship Osmar Terra, suspends about 17.42 million from the government’s grant that would fund some 80 screenplays, including a fraction with LGBT-plus themes.

“It’s a surreal sensation,” said director Emerson Maranhao about having his work publicly criticized by the president, “I don’t quite believe it yet.”

“The first project he called out (during the live stream) was ours, and in such a pejorative and dishonoring way,” he told Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Maranhao’s screenplay, “Transversais,” a five-part documentary series about the life of five transgender people in northeastern Brazil, set to receive $99,532.

“He is harming 80 projects just to get to ours,” said Maranhao, adding “It’s terrifying.”

The suspension is set to last for up to 360 days, during which the government will restructure the committee responsible for allocating the fund’s resources. The committee would then review how state funds are used.

Filmmakers affected by the suspension are planning legal action to block Bolsonaro’s decision. 

Reporting via Associated Pressß

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