French town uncouples with its Polish twin over LGBTQ rights

By : Wire Report
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WARSAW, Poland (AP) | A Polish mayor deplored the decision Feb. 17 by a sister town in France to suspend 25-year official ties with her town because it declared itself an area “free of LGBT ideology.”

The mayor of the south-eastern town of Tuchow, Magdalena Marszalek, blamed the rare decision by the French community it had been twinned with, Saint-Jean-de-Braye, on campaigning ahead of local elections there.

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Elton John escorted from stage in New Zealand due to pneumonia

By : John Paul King of the washington blade, courtesy of the national LGBT media association
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(Above image from Instagram)

A week after winning an Oscar for writing Best Original Song, “I’m Gonna Love Me Again” from “Rocketman” with longtime writing partner Bernie Taupin, Sir Elton John was forced to call an early end to a concert in New Zealand after losing his voice.

The legendary pop star and LGBTQ icon is in the midst of his three-year “Farewell Yellow Brick Road” tour and was visibly emotional as he was led offstage at a concert in Auckland, Australia Feb. 16 after he had already performed for nearly two hours.

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Transgender woman poised to make Argentine soccer history

By : Wire Report
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ABOVE: Maria Gomez, photo via Instagram.

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) | Dozens of trophies, balls and cups sit on two worn, wooden shelves in the small home in a Buenos Aires suburb of Mara Gomez, who is poised to become the first transgender woman to play professional soccer in Argentina.

Tall and athletic, Gomez looks at the mementos from her arduous journey in soccer and life, and smiles. “When I started I was so bad. I’d kick the ball at the goal and it would go anywhere.”

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Transgender Hondurans with HIV face uncertain future

By : Michael K. Lavers of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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ABOVE: An LGBTI advocacy group in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, honors Roxsana Hernandez. Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras | Roxsana Hernandez was a transgender woman with HIV from Comayagua, a city that is roughly 50 miles northwest of the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa.

Hernández on May 9, 2018, asked for asylum in the U.S. at the San Ysidro Port of Entry in San Diego after she joined a migrant caravan that left Honduras a few months earlier. Hernández died at a New Mexico hospital 16 days later while in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody.

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Canadian PM Trudeau raises gay rights with Senegal leader

By : Wire Report
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Above: Justin Trudeau (Photo by Michael C. Lavers)

DAKAR, Senegal (AP) | Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau raised Senegal’s criminalization of homosexuality during his visit to the West African nation Feb. 12, but Senegal’s leader told journalists afterward that “we’re comfortable with our laws.”

The exchange between Trudeau and Senegalese President Macky Sall highlighted the impasse the United States, Canada and other Western nations have had in persuading Senegal and most African countries not to jail gays and lesbians.

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Man charged with murder of N Ireland journalist Lyra McKee

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LONDON (AP) | Police in Northern Ireland charged a 52-year-old man on Wednesday with murdering Lyra McKee, a journalist shot dead during a riot involving Irish Republican Army dissidents last year.

The killing of McKee caused widespread shock in a region still scarred by decades of violence known as the Troubles, in which more than 3,500 people died.

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Couple weds in Northern Ireland’s first same-sex marriage

By : Wire Report
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LONDON (AP) | Two women tied the knot Feb. 11 in Northern Ireland’s first same-sex wedding, after the region became the last part of the United Kingdom to legalize marriage equality.

Care worker Robyn Peoples, 26, and waitress Sharni Edwards, 27 married at a ceremony in Carrickfergus, near Belfast. The couple said they had not intended to be the first to wed, but were thrilled to become symbols of change in Northern Ireland.

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Madonna lashes out after London Palladium cuts off concert for going past curfew

By : John Paul King OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Madonna performs, screenshot via YouTube.

Madonna is making news again for a disruption of her current “Madame X” tour, but it’s not because she cancelled another show.

Variety reports that the 61-year-old “Queen of Pop” has been venting her anger at the London Palladium after the venue cut short her concert for running over an 11 p.m. curfew on Wednesday night.

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Longtime UK morning host comes out as gay

By : John Paul King OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Phillip Schofield, photo via Schofield’s Facebook page.

A beloved UK television host has come out as gay, prompting the LGBT equality charity Stonewall to call his revelation a “massive moment” both for him and for society.

Phillip Schofield, a co-presenter of ITV’s “This Morning” who has been married for almost 27 years, on Friday posted a lengthy message on the program’s Twitter account in which he said, “With the strength and support of my wife and my daughters, I have been coming to terms with the fact I am gay.”

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Olympic qualification a hurdle for out Tongan swimmer

By : Kevin Majoros OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Amini Fonua, photo courtesy Fonua.

An elite athlete who represents his or her country on the international stage generally receives living expenses and medical insurance funded from a variety of sources.

The athlete may also receive paid travel and accommodation for competitions, high quality racing gear, training equipment, coaching, post-workout recovery treatment and nutritional supplementation.

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Swiss voters approve outlawing anti-gay discrimination

By : Wire Report
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ABOVE: The Parliament Building in Bern, Switzerland. (Photo from Wikimedia Commons)

BERLIN (AP) | Swiss voters approved by a wide margin Feb. 9 a measure that will make it illegal to discriminate against people because of their sexual orientation.

Switzerland’s parliament in late 2018 approved expanding the country’s existing anti-discrimination law to make it illegal to publicly denigrate, discriminate or stir up hatred based on a person’s sexual orientation.

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Study is halted as HIV vaccine fails test in South Africa

By : Wire Report
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The latest attempt at an HIV vaccine has failed, as researchers announced Feb. 3 they have stopped giving the experimental shots in a major study.

The study had enrolled more than 5,400 people since 2016 in South Africa, a country with one of the world’s highest HIV rates. Last month, monitors checked how the study was going and found 129 HIV infections had occurred among the vaccine recipients compared with 123 among those given a dummy shot, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

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