Protest at Chick-fil-A opening in Canada over LGBTQ issues

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ABOVE: Protesters at Toronto’s Chick-fil-A Sept. 6. Photo via Meagan Fitzpatrick, Twitter.

TORONTO (AP) | Dozens of protesters crowded a downtown Toronto sidewalk Friday to voice their opposition to the opening of the first franchised Chick-fil-A restaurant in Canada over the chain owner’s record on LGBTQ issues.

The protesters said the company has funded anti-LGBTQ initiatives while company chairman and CEO Dan Cathy has voiced his opposition to same-sex marriage.

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G7 countries to increase Global Fund contributions

By : Michael K. Lavers of The Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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ABOVE: Germany and several other G-7 countries have pledged to increase their contributions to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

Germany, Italy and Canada have announced they will increase their contributions to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the G-7 summit in Biarritz, France, announced her country has pledged to increase its contribution to the Global Fund by €1 billion ($1.1 billion) — or 17.5 percent — over the next three years. Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte also announced his country will increase its contribution by €161 million ($178.9 million) — or 15 percent — during the same period.

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Japanese same-sex couples sue for equal marital rights

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TOKYO (AP) | Thirteen gay couples filed Japan’s first lawsuit challenging the country’s rejection of same-sex marriage Feb. 14, arguing the denial violates their constitutional right to equality.

Six couples holding banners saying “Marriage For All Japan” walked into Tokyo District Court to file their cases against the government, with similar cases filed by three couples in Osaka, one couple in Nagoya and three couples in Sapporo.

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Former landscaper pleads guilty to 8 murders in Canada

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TORONTO (AP) | A former landscaper accused of sexually assaulting, killing and dismembering men he met in Toronto’s Gay Village district over seven years pleaded guilty Jan. 29 to eight counts of first-degree murder.

Bruce McArthur, wearing a black sweater, stood up and softly said “guilty” as each charge was read.

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Alleged Canadian serial killer won’t stand trial until 2020

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TORONTO (AP) | A Canadian man facing murder charges in the deaths of eight men with ties to Toronto’s gay village won’t stand trial until January 2020.

Bruce McArthur said little in a brief court appearance Nov. 30 and avoided looking at the family members of his alleged victims.

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Case of Canadian serial killer to go directly to trial

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TORONTO (AP) | An alleged serial killer who faces trial in the deaths of eight men with ties to Toronto’s gay community has waived his right to a preliminary hearing.

A judge has ordered Bruce McArthur to stand trial on eight counts of first-degree murder.

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US officials take part in global LGBTI rights conference

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan on Monday participated in a global LGBTI rights conference that took place in the Canadian city of Vancouver.

Sullivan in video remarks at the 2018 Equal Rights Coalition Global Conference on LGBTI Human Rights and Inclusive Development said the U.S. “looks forward to exploring in concrete terms what we can do together to address criminalization of LGBTI status or conduct and the serious levels of violence and discrimination targeting LGBTI persons.”

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More remains found near home used by Canadian serial killer

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OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) | More human remains have been discovered in the Toronto ravine behind a home that alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur used as storage for his landscaping business.

Detective Sgt. Hank Idsinga told reporters July 5 that the remains were found with the help of K-9 units and have been sent to forensic authorities.

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Canada apologizes to victims of anti-LGBT government laws, policies

By : MICHAEL K. LAVERS of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday apologized to those who suffered persecution and discrimination under the country’s anti-LGBT laws and policies.

Trudeau — who spoke in the Canadian House of Commons — formally apologized to Canadians who were convicted of “gross indecency” before the country decriminalized consensual same-sex sexual relations in 1969. He also announced the introduction of a bill that would expunge the criminal records of those who were prosecuted under the law.

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Justin Trudeau to formally apologize for ‘gross indecency’ convictions

By : MICHAEL K. LAVERS of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Sunday announced his government will formally apologize to those who were convicted of “gross indecency” before the country decriminalized consensual same-sex sexual relations.

He wrote on his Facebook page that his government on Nov. 28 “will offer a formal apology to LGBTQ2 Canadians in the House (of Commons) — for the persecution & injustices they have suffered, and to advance together on the path to equality & inclusion.” The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reported Trudeau will also formally apologize to Canadians who were fired from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the country’s military and civil service because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

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Canadian group resettles LGBT refugees from Chechnya

By : Helen Parshall of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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ABOVE: Rainbow Railroad Executive Director Kimahli Powell. His organization has resettled nearly 50 LGBT Chechens. (Photo courtesy of Kimahli Powell)

Kimahli Powell hopes that with international eyes on the crisis of LGBT people fleeing Chechnya, a light can be shed on the plight of LGBT refugees around the world.

Powell is the executive director of Rainbow Railroad, an organization based in Canada that works to help “LGBT people who have faced physical violence or face an imminent threat of violence, imprisonment or death” find safety.

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Chelsea Manning says she was denied entry to Canada

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OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) – Chelsea Manning said Sept. 25 she was denied entry into Canada because of her criminal record in the United States.

Manning was convicted in 2013 of leaking a trove of classified documents. She was released after serving seven years of a 35-year sentence, which was commuted by President Barack Obama in his final days in office.

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