International News

Colombians stage kiss-a-thon in support of LGBT rights

 

Dozens of same-sex couples kissed simultaneously outside an upscale shopping mall in Colombia’s capital, in the latest demonstration calling for LGBT rights in the South American country.

The “kiss-a-thon” was held just days after two gay men in their early 20s were harassed at the Andino Shopping Mall in Bogotá.

The incident was caught on video by bystanders and shared widely on social media, sparking a wave of support for the young gay couple.

On April 17, hundreds of activists waving rainbow flags gathered around one of the mall’s entrances and shouted chants in support of gay rights.

 

Court lifts ban on LGBT Pride events in Turkey’s capital city

 

Kaos GL, a Turkish LGBTI rights group, on April 20, successfully appealed a ban on Pride events in the capital city of Ankara at the 12th administrative court on. The court lifted the ban.

Internationally known independent journalist and LGBTQ-activist Lyra McKee, 29, was shot to death on April 19 in Northern Ireland. The Belfast lesbian was reportedly covering a riot in Londonderry when she was murdered in what Irish officials are calling a “terrorist act.”

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.

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