International News

A gay man from Oshawa, Ontario in Canada claimed that he was fired from his job in retail chain Marshalls because they “didn’t like” him and were looking for a reason to let him go.

Michael Gale said that the company — which has stores across the United States and Canada — is “supposed to be really friendly to the LGBTQ community and it wasn’t.”

He has since filed a complaint to the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario about his treatment.

A group of international lawyers researching the criminalization of homosexuality has met with the Vatican secretary of state and urged the Holy See to publicly oppose such laws and “conversion” therapies for gays.

The Vatican said Cardinal Pietro Parolin promised the delegation members he would relay their research to Pope Francis.

Being gay can still get you killed in many places around the world. News reports on Brunei’s latest decision to implement Sharia law against gays and lesbians made the nation seem like an outlier.

Homosexuality was already punishable in Brunei by a jail term of up to 10 years. Under the new laws, those found guilty of gay sex can be publicly whipped or stoned to death.

Brunei is not alone. Eight countries have similar Sharia laws against homosexuality. In those eight countries, the laws include the death penalty for being gay or lesbian. Worldwide, 76 countries have laws against sexual activity by LGBT people. That is nearly half of the world’s 195 countries.

George Clooney calls for boycott of hotels over anti-gay law

George Clooney is calling for a boycott of nine hotels in the United States and Europe with ties to the sultan of Brunei, which next month will implement Islamic criminal laws to punish gay sex by stoning offenders to death.

The Hollywood actor wrote March 28 in Deadline Hollywood: “Are we really going to help fund the murder of innocent citizens?”

Australian man contracts HIV despite taking PrEP drug

An Australian man has been diagnosed with HIV despite taking a pre-exposure prophylaxis medication known as PrEP.

Steven Spencer, 27, from Sydney tested positive for HIV in December, despite diligently using PrEP “on demand” before and after sexual encounters in line with the advice of doctors.

He is believed to be the seventh person globally to be diagnosed with HIV while adhering to a PrEP regimen.

Group concerned over arrest of Egyptian transgender woman

An international rights group is voicing concern over the safety and well-being of an Egyptian transgender woman arrested during a police raid on her home in Cairo.

Amnesty International said that Malak el-Kashef was arrested March 6 and her whereabouts are unknown.

 March 8 marks International Women’s Day (IWD). It’s a day to recognize the achievement of women and the ongoing struggle for equality around the world.

The history of IWD is rooted in women’s fight for political, social and economic justice over more than a century. In some countries, like the United States and throughout the U.K, and Europe International Women’s Day is a day of protest. But it is also a day to celebrate the accomplishments of women and promote gender equality — IWD is more than just a social media hashtag.

British Airways joins wave of airlines introducing “non-binary” gender options 

British Airways is the latest international airline to announce it will offer a non-binary gender option when booking tickets for passengers who identify outside of male or female.

The British carrier’s announcement follows similar moves from major U.S. airlines, as well as Air New Zealand, which recently said it was looking to introduce more gender options.

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