International News: November 8, 2019

Police arrest 2 people for beating man they thought was gay

Serbian police said they have arrested two people for beating up a man because they thought he was gay.

Police said Nov. 2 the two are suspected of hitting the 39-year-old man on the head after calling him gay in a restaurant in central Belgrade.

Ilija Vucevic said he was attacked Nov. 1 because he was carrying a pink dog transporter bag that the attackers viewed as proof he was homosexual. Vucevic said he lost three teeth in the attack and suffered cuts and bruises.

He has written on Facebook that “despite not being a homosexual, tonight I am proud to ‘be’ one of them.”

Members of Serbia’s LGBT community often face harassment and violence. The country has pledged to boost LGBT rights as it seeks membership in the European Union.

Colombia’s capital city of Bogota elects first female mayor

Colombia’s capital city elected its first female mayor Oct. 27 in what is being hailed as an important advancement for both women and LGBT rights.

Claudia Lopez won the race for mayor of Bogota on a platform promising to combat corruption and advance equal rights for minority communities.

The Alianza Verde candidate captured over 1.1 million votes, or about 35 percent of the vote, defeating runner-up Carlos Galan by 2.7 percentage points.

With her victory, Lopez also becomes the first openly lesbian mayor of a capital city in Latin America.

“This is the day of the woman,” she said to a jubilant crowd. “We knew that only by uniting could we win. We did that. We united, we won and we made history!”

She vowed to continue uniting Colombians across the political spectrum and work to improve daily life issues like public transportation.

Many in the LGBT community praised Lopez’s victory as an important step forward in a country where gay and lesbians still confront harassment.

Conservative former President Alvaro Uribe acknowledged his party’s setback, stating on Twitter that “I recognize the defeat with humility.’’

Popular LGBT club in Slovenia capital attacked, no injuries

Police in Slovenia said unknown assailants have attacked a popular LGBT club in Slovenia’s capital Ljubljana.

Police said they are treating the incident as a hate crime. Slovenia’s Prime Minister Marjan Sarec and LGBT rights groups have condemned the attack.

The Tiffany Club said the attack took place around 4 p.m. Nov. 1, after closing time. They said attackers stormed the building where the club is located, smashing the entrance door and the windows and prompting those still there to barricade themselves in the club interior.

The attackers threatened the staff and visitors and fled the scene once police arrived. No one was injured.

The club is located in a former army barracks that has been turned into an alternative culture venue.

Tate Modern aims to take ‘personal’ look at Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol’s portraits of New York drag queens and trans women are going on display at London’s Tate Modern in a show that aims to find new angles on the iconic American artist.

Tate Modern director Frances Morris said Oct. 27 the exhibition will take “a more human and personal look” at Warhol, who died in 1987. The gallery said the exhibition highlights his private beliefs and background as a “shy, gay man from a religious, migrant, low-income household.”

The exhibition includes many of Warhol’s best-known images, including Coke bottles, soup cans and celebrities including Marylin Monroe, Dolly Parton and Debbie Harry.

It also features 25 paintings from the less well-known 1970s series “Ladies and Gentlemen,” featuring drag and transgender performers.

The exhibition runs from March 12 to Sept. 6, 2020. 

Reporting via Associated Press

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