On the Gaydar: Dutch transgender victory, B.C. Christian law school, and more
Here's a roundup of LGBT news headlines from across Canada and around the world.
Dutch Senate approves transgender rights bill Transgender people won a victory in the Netherlands on December 17. The Dutch Senate approved a bill that will allow transgender people to change their gender on official documents without undergoing sterilization or sex-reassignment surgery. The law will take effect on July 1.
Vancouver man denied tenancy due to homophobia After 25-year-old Jonathan Pretty signed a lease to rent a suite in a Kitsilano house, his landlord informed he told him he didn't want him as a tenant anymore. The landlord, Ted Salatellis, told Global News that he was worried about what other tenants and his wife would think, and was worried about getting HIV/AIDS from Pretty.
B.C. Christian university greenlighted for law school The Federation of Law Societies of Canada has granted Trinity Western University, a private Christian university in Langley, B.C., preliminary approval for a proposed law school. Students from law schools across Canada expressed opposition due to the university's code of conduct that forbids “sexual intimacy that violates the sacredness of marriage between a man and a woman”.
Ugandan teens expelled for lesbianism Over 20 teenage students have been expelled from a Ugandan high school for allegedly being lesbians. The school claimed the girls had formed a group which was recruiting students to become lesbians.
U.S. delegation to Sochi Olympics to include gay athletes The White House announced that the U.S. delegation to the Sochi Olympics opening ceremony will include openly gay tennis champion Billie Jean King. The closing ceremony delegation will include openly gay ice hockey Olympic medalist Caitlin Cahow. Figure skater Brian Boitano, who won an Olympic gold medal in 1988 and will also be a member of the delegation, announced on December 19 that he is gay. The president, first lady, and vice-president will not attend.
Russian actor wants to burn all homosexuals Russian actor Ivan Okhlobystin, a former Orthodox priest who also announced a run for Russian presidency two years ago, was quoted as stating "I would put all the gays alive into an oven." He confirmed his comments on Twitter.
Montreal author reimbursed for trip cancellation to Russia K. David Brody, a gay Montreal author, has won a dispute with an insurance company after he cancelled a trip to Russia that he booked before the country passed its antigay legislation. Brody received a reimbursement of $1,452.90 after his claim was originally denied.
Activists counter invisibility in Russian Ikea Swedish furniture company Ikea has removed any gay content from its Russian catalogues in order to abide by Russian antigay legislation. LGBT activists reacted by creating an alternative catalogue, IQEA, featuring photos of gay people in Ikea stores. The project is promoting the book Gay Propaganda: Russian Love Stories.
Sex workers concerned about India's antigay legislation Male and transgender sex workers in India say that Section 377, which was reinstated on December 11 and outlaws homosexual relations, remains a perpetual threat to them.
Texas judge blocks lesbian mayor's gay partner benefits decision A Houston judge has issued a temporary restraining order to block a decision by Mayor Annise Parker, who is also a lesbian, to give benefits to spouses of same-sex couples who were married in other jurisdictions.
Advocate names Pope person of the year The Advocate has named Pope Francis the most influential person of 2013 for his change in stance towards LGBT people from his predecessors.
Belgian soccer launches anti-homophobia campaign Belgian sports organizations have banded together to launch an antihomophobia campaign. American athlete Robbie Rogers, who came out as the first openly gay professional soccer player in May, has also signed on to the campaign.
Taylor Kitsch plays gay in AIDS drama Canadian actor Taylor Kitsch, originally from Kelowna, B.C., underwent an intense learning curve to portray a gay man leading a double-life in Ryan Murphy's AIDS TV drama The Normal Heart.
Duck star sacked for homophobic quotes Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson has been suspended from the A&E reality TV series after he made anti-gay comments in GQ magazine. GLAAD has applauded the removal but Sarah Palin, Lousiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, and fans have all jumped to his defense.
Female penguin couple at Israeli zoo Two female penguins have formed a couple at the Zoological Center Ramat San in Israel. Penguins pair for life.