August, 2015 / Author:


Pride Winnipeg urges Canadian LGBT community to vote Oct 19

Pride Winnipeg has launched an online campaign urging Canada’s LGBT community to vote in the October 19 federal election.

“The reason that we started the awareness campaign was to live more within our mission, which is to provide up-to-date, important and relevant information to the LGBTTQ community,” Pride Winnipeg spokesperson Jeff Myall tells Daily Xtra.

“We just want to make sure that LGBTTQ individuals are well informed when they go out to vote,” he says.

“Although Pride Winnipeg is a non-partisan organization, we have a duty to present federal election information relevant to the LGBTTQ community and encourage all eligible voters to perform their civic duty,” the organization says in a Sept 22, 2015, press release announcing its #OUTtoVote campaign.

Read the full article at Daily Xtra.

Gender politics take centre stage in flawed, but compelling, Edward II

In a play about 14th century high-stakes political jostling, you don’t necessarily expect gender politics to be at the forefront.

That they are is perhaps why Theatre by the River’s adaptation of Christopher Marlowe’s Edward II is so compelling — in spite of some flaws.

Marlowe’s 1593 play is adapted here by local writer Kendra Jones. She’s brought to the forefront some themes present in Marlowe’s original, particularly around homosexuality and intolerance.

Marlowe’s original play certainly didn’t shy away from the notion that Edward II, the English king from 1307 until his death in 1327 (played here by Kevin Klassen), was engaged in a homosexual relationship with his favourite, Gaveston (Karl Thordarson).

Read the full article at CBC.


Canada must do more to protect LGBT people abroad

More than 20 Canadian civil society organizations have penned a call to action to the federal government, outlining how to improve the lives of LGBT people around the world.

The report was released during the LGBT issues debate at Toronto’s Buddies in Bad Times Theatre on Sept 24, 2015, hosted by the Dignity Initiative.

“Dignity Initiative is a collaborative project that grew out of WorldPride last year,” says project lead Doug Kerr. “One of the things that came up again and again at the conference was, ‘What should Canada do related to foreign policy issues, related to refugee issues?’”

Canada needs a national conversation about how Canadians and their government could better support global struggles for human rights for LGBT people, Kerr says. The policy paper’s authors include a working group of more than 30 people and organizations, and the paper has been endorsed to date by an additional 124 civil society groups.

Read the full article at Daily Xtra.

MPP Cheri DiNovo introduces new bill for Ontario LGBT families

Ontario NDP MPP Cheri DiNovo announced a new bill that would change Ontario’s laws around parental recognition, making it more accessible for LGBT families. Unveiled at a Queen’s Park press conference on Oct 1, 2015, the new bill will address how existing laws differ greatly for gay and lesbian couples and trans individuals and families of more than two parents, in comparison to cisgender, heterosexual couples.

“Parenting is not about genetic material. It is about love and responsibility,” DiNovo said.

Ontario’s Children’s Law Reform Act is gender specific and only creates a presumption for a man married to or co-habitating with a woman. For gay and lesbian couples, this means a second parent adoption or declaration of parentage is needed for both individuals to be recognized as parents, which can take several months after a child is born. Additionally, birth registration forms do not take gender identity into consideration, nor do they make room for families with more than two parents.

Read the full article at Daily Xtra.

Ottawa candidates debate LGBT issues

Three Ottawa candidates took part in a debate on LGBT issues — Paul Dewar, NDP incumbent for Ottawa Centre, Liberal candidate Catherine McKenna and Green Party candidate Tom Milroy were present at the National Gallery on Sept 25, 2015.

Since Damian Konstantinakos, the Conservative candidate for Ottawa Centre, chose not to attend, he was represented by an empty chair. One World Film Festival organized the debate in partnership with the Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity, the AIDS Committee of Ottawa, Ten Oaks Project, *kind and Gender Mosaic. The following is an edited version of the debate.

Read the full article at Daily Xtra.


Russian LGBT youth relaunch Children-404 hours after court ban

Access to a popular Russian website for LGBT youth has been banned on the country’s largest social media network by a district court, which ordered its access cut off for violating the country’s anti-gay-propaganda law.

The ruling, issued Sept 21, 2015, by the Barnaul district court in Siberia, ordered the social media network VKontakte to block Children-404 for users in the Russian Federation. The decision comes in response to claims by Russia’s media watchdog, Roskomnadzor, that the group’s content broke the law.

“Blocking the group is a continuation of Putin’s politics to strengthen control by pushing an increasingly conservative agenda,” says Justin Romanov, a gay youth who relied on the page for support before fleeing to Toronto in 2014, where he was granted refugee status. “Right now the lives and health of Russian LGBT are in big danger.”

Read the full article at Daily Xtra.

Vatican fires priest after he comes out as gay

The Vatican dismissed a priest from his post in a Holy See office on Saturday after he told a newspaper he was gay and urged the Catholic Church to change its stance on homosexuality.

Monsignor Krzystof Charamsa was removed from his position at the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican’s doctrinal arm where he had worked since 2003, a statement said.

Charamsa, 43, and a Polish theologian, announced he was gay and had a partner in a long interview with Italy’s Corriere della Sera newspaper on Saturday.

He later held a news conference with his partner, a Spanish man, and gay activists at a Rome restaurant. They had planned a demonstration in front of the Vatican but changed the venue several hours before it was due to have started.

Read the full article at CBC.

Kim Davis met with Pope Francis last week, her lawyer claims

A Kentucky clerk who went to jail for defying a federal court’s orders to issue same-sex marriage licenses says she met briefly with the pope during his historic visit to the United States and he told her to stay strong.

The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, didn’t deny the encounter took place but said Wednesday in Rome he had no comment on the topic.

Rowan County clerk Kim Davis and her husband met privately with Pope Francis last Thursday afternoon at the Vatican Embassy in Washington, D.C., for less than 15 minutes, said her lawyer, Mat Staver.

“It was really very humbling to even think that he would want to meet me or know me,” Davis said in an interview with ABC.

Read the full article at CBC.

Pope Francis met gay couple at Vatican em Pope Francis had a private meeting with a gay couple last week in Washington.

A former student of his, Yayo Grassi, told the BBC the Pope agreed to meet him to “give him a hug”.

Mr Grassi and his boyfriend Iwan were received at the Vatican Embassy where they discussed his business but did not discuss gay issues.

Earlier this week it emerged that the pontiff met Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who refused to issue marriage licences to gay couples.

That news was greeted with anger by many liberals and gay campaigners in the US.

Mr Grassi said he asked Pope Francis for an audience when he found out he was coming to the US and the pontiff agreed, saying he wanted to give him a hug.

During their meeting, they caught up on each other’s lives and Pope Francis asked him about his business, a catering company in Washington.

“Just two friends meeting after a long time,” said Mr Grassi. “We didn’t talk about gay issues or anything like that.” 

Read the full article at BBC.

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