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WORLD British lesbian honored, Gay Games run, Hong Kong case
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2018-07-31

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In the United Kingdom, the city of York honored "first modern lesbian" Anne Lister with a special plaque, Gay Star News noted. Unveiled in Goodramgate at the Holy Trinity Church on July 24, the plaque is the first of its kind celebrating the LGBTI community in the city. Lister was born in Halifax, West Yorkshire, in 1791; she is famous for her coded diaries that tell the story of her life as a lesbian in Victorian England.

City of West Hollywood Councilmember John Heilman plans to run the half-marathon at the upcoming Gay Games in Paris to raise funds, a press release noted. The half-marathon will take place Aug. 11; the Gay Games are Aug. 4-12. Heilman has created a page at GoFundMe.com/JohnHeilman with the aim of raising $20,000 in funds to establish a global emergency fund with OutRight Action International for LGBTIQ activists around the world.

A gay senior immigration officer will take his case to Hong Kong's top court after a lower appeals court ruled that his husband cannot enjoy the same spousal benefits offered to his opposite-sex colleagues in the government, The South China Morning Post reported. Angus Leung Chun-kwong said he was encouraged by a recent landmark Court of Final Appeal ruling in favor of a lesbian expatriate, known as QT in court, requiring the city's immigration department to grant her a spousal visa. Leung, 37, initiated a judicial review against the Civil Service Bureau in late 2015, after it refused to grant Scott Adams, whom he married in New Zealand in 2014, his spousal benefits.

Israeli LGBT+ activists criticized the government's initiative to promote the country as a gay-friendly destination abroad while denying same-sex couples surrogacy rights at home, PinkNews noted. The Israeli Foreign Ministry sponsored a booth at the annual Berlin Gay Pride parade, held July 28. The promotional effort takes place every year—but this year's timing has angered Israeli LGBT+ activists, who only last week held an unprecedented one-day strike and large-scale demonstrations across the country to protest a surrogacy law that excludes gay couples.

Speaking of Israel, LGBT organizations announced they were calling off a planned protest, fearing it would detract from the Jerusalem Pride Parade set for Aug. 2, The Times of Israel reported. "The LGBT community organizations have decided at this stage to focus our efforts of the Pride and Tolerance Parade in Jerusalem which is expected to be the largest ever held in the city and delay our protest," Aguda, Israel's umbrella organization for the LGBT community, said in a statement. Instead, members plan to drive a convoy to from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem on the day of the march, Aguda said, adding that they had police permission to do so.

A Japanese politician has come under fire for questioning whether LGBT taxpayers should receive equal welfare benefits to the rest of Japan, CNN reported. Lower House member Mio Sugita called same-sex couples "unproductive" and wondered whether it was "appropriate to spend taxpayer money from them." Also, she ( a member of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's ruling Liberal Democratic Party ) has previously denied the existence of "comfort women," and victim-blamed the leader of Japan's MeToo movement.

A Republican U.S. Congressman from South Carolina wants to make sure America's embassies around the world don't promote equality or recognize Pride month, GayRVA.com noted. Rep. Jeff Duncan of South Carolina has filed a bill that would ban U.S. embassies from flying the LGBT pride flag. During the Obama administration, many U.S. embassies around the world opted to fly the rainbow flag during June, the official month of LGBTQ Pride.

A well-known Uganda LGBT+-rights activist has said she's no longer a lesbian, according to PinkNews. Val Kalende came out as a lesbian in 2002 and has spent more than a decade advocating for LGBT+ rights in Uganda, where homosexuality is considered an offense punishable with life in prison. Appearing on a live broadcast of a public Sunday service featuring Pastor Aloysius Bugingo, Kalende said she was no longer gay and she was going to get married soon, and she talked about the difficulties she encountered for being gay.

One of Manchester's most famous gay bars, The Molly House, is for sale, Gay Star News noted. The popular bar and late night venue is in the centre of Manchester's famous Gay Village. It sits just one street behind the city's vibrant gay strip, Canal Street. It's being sold after 22 years as Brian Flockhart, the current owner, prepares to retire, according to the blog site AboutManchester.co.uk.

In a historic and festive celebration, Swaziland held its first-ever LGBT pride parade recently, CNN.com noted. Hundreds of people marched down the streets of the capital Mbabane waving rainbow flags and holding signs that read, "Turn hate into love." The small southern African country ( recently renamed the Kingdom of eSwatini by its king ) is Africa's last absolute monarchy and has a weak record on LGBT rights.

Zander Hodgson, the British model who came out as gay in a heartfelt YouTube video earlier this year, has spoken out about the pain of being bullied for his sexuality, PinkNews reported. The 27-year-old star—who has also had small acting roles in TV series Hollyoaks, Coronation Street and Shameless—told Attitude, ""I was bullied a lot at school about coming across too feminine or gay, and my voice was one of the giveaways. After leaving school and going to acting classes, I started to accept and embrace myself more but there were still battles with my inner voice."

Canadian fans of Netflix's hit Queer Eye series rejoiced at the news that the show's food and wine expert, their compatriot Antoni Porowski, will be having brunch with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and two lucky guests, PinkNews noted. Canada's ruling Liberal Party has announced that Porowski and Trudeau will host "a special brunch reception" in Montreal, the hometown of the Queer Eye star, during the city's Pride celebration, which runs Aug. 9-19. The party made available two tickets for the event via a competition on its website open to donors of the political organization.

The government has been urged to explain why Britain's Prince Andrew has met four foreign heads of state in the past six months and embarked on two full-scale government trade missions despite stepping down as the United Kingdom's special representative for trade, The Guardian noted. The Duke of York announced last July that he would relinquish the role following criticism of his association with convicted child-sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, and business connections with dictators including Colonel Gaddafi.


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