International News: November 2015
Italian Legislatures Debate Civil Unions, Adoption Laws
Italy has finally begun debate on a bill that allow gay and lesbian couples to enter into civil unions. It is anticipated that the bill, which has support of Premier Matteo Renzi, will be debated for months, as the issue is a contentious one. Included in the law would be partial pension rights, automatic inheritance and would enable same-sex partners to adopt each other’s children, if the child only has one legal parent.
Italy remains the only major country in Western Europe that does not have legal protections for cohabiting same-sex couples, or same-sex marriage.
British Athlete Comes Out on National Television
Tom Bosworth, Britain’s No. 1 Race Walker, is an Olympic hopeful and the holder of three British records in the sport, has announced that he is gay on BBC Two’s Victoria Derbyshire show.
He is the first British track and field athlete to come out and said he did so in the hope it would make it easier for other athletes in his position.
Electroshock Therapy Used in Conversion Therapies
A new documentary exposes the practice of controversial “conversion” methods that promise to “cure” gay and lesbian people in China. Produced by U.K. television network Channel 4, “Unreported World,” follows John, 22, and other members of China’s largest LGBT rights group, the Beijing LGBT Center, as they take viewers behind the scenes for a close-up look at a few of the horrifying techniques – including electroshock therapy – used in clinics across the country.
Less than a year ago, a Chinese psychological clinic was ordered to pay 3,500 yuan ($560) to a gay man for administrating such treatments, the Huffington Post reported. The court ruled that such “conversion” treatments were illegal.
Priest Fired After Coming Out
The Vatican fired priest Krzysztof Charamsa after he publicly announced that he is gay. Charmasa (pictured above with his boyfriend, Eduard), a 43-year-old monsignor had been at the Vatican’s Congregation of the Doctrine of Faith since 2003 and came out after getting hate mail for publicly criticizing an anti-gay Polish priest, the Associated Press reported. The Vatican claims it didn’t fire Charamsa for being gay – which in itself isn’t a sin – but for making his announcement immediately before international bishops were set to meet as part of a synod to discuss outreach to gay Catholics, Reuters reports.
Amnesty Demands Action on Trans Killings
Amnesty International has demanded action to address the shockingly high transgender murder rate in South America, after a renowned activist was stabbed to death in her Buenos Aires home. The charity issued a strongly worded message to the Argentinian government demanding that better steps be taken to document and investigate trans killings.
Diana Sacayán is the third transgender woman to have been murdered in Argentina in the last month. Marcela Chocobar and Coty Olmos were also murdered, and were heavily involved in transgender equality activism and causes.
By Rachel Roth