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US: Govt. contractors could refuse LGBT+ workers under new religious exemption

Image: time.com

US businesses with federal government contracts would be allowed not to hire LGBT+ candidates on religious grounds, under a proposed rule announced on Wednesday by the US Department of Labor.

The policy change would state that government contractors, including universities, hospitals and corporations, can claim religious exemptions in employment decisions, if they can produce evidence of “religious purpose” in their organisation.

The policy, overseen by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) which sets anti-discrimination rules for businesses working with the government, would weaken an LGBT+ nondiscrimination order by former US President Barack Obama. Continue Reading »

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UK: Gay men at risk without access to HIV prevention pill

 Image: npr.org

Delays in rolling out an HIV prevention pill in Britain are putting gay men’s lives at risk, with thousands buying it online without medical supervision, HIV campaigners said on Wednesday.

Britain is lagging behind the United States and Kenya, where the highly-effective drug is more widely available, as health authorities only give the pills to gay and bisexual men taking part in a three-year clinical trial, which ends in 2020. Continue Reading »

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Semenya says she never felt supported by other women

Caster Semenya – Image: New Zealand Herald

(Reuters) – Double Olympic champion, Caster Semenya, who has been locked in a battle over her testosterone levels with athletics authorities, said on Wednesday that she has not felt supported by other women in sport.

The South African athlete will not be able to defend her 800-metres title at the world championships in September, after the Swiss Federal Tribunal reversed a ruling that temporarily lifted testosterone regulations imposed on her.

“Since I have been in sport I have never really felt very supported, I’ve never felt recognised mostly by women,” said Semenya during a women’s conference in Johannesburg, where she was the headline speaker. Continue Reading »

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Film Review: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Frances Winston reviews this latest epic from Director, Quentin Tarantino

Directed by: Quentin Tarantino – Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Emile Hirsch, Margaret Qualley, Timothy Olyphant, Austin Butler, Dakota Fanning, Bruce Dern, Al Pacino, Kurt Russell, Luke Perry

Unless you’ve been living under a rock (or completely avoiding all entertainment press) it can’t have escaped your notice that there’s been a little bit of controversy about this movie – namely that the female lead, Margot Robbie, seemingly has extremely little dialogue. Continue Reading »

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Australia: Folau case set for trial in early 2020

Israel Folau – Image: therugbychannel.it

(Reuters) – Israel Folau’s unfair dismissal case against Rugby Australia and the New South Wales Waratahs will head to trial in February, 2020, if no settlement is reached beforehand.

Fundamentalist Christian, Folau, is fighting the termination of his four-year contract in May, after he posted a meme on social media that said hell awaited ‘drunks, homosexuals, adulterers’ and other groups.

The lawyer for the former Australia fullback faced the Federal Circuit Court in Melbourne on Tuesday for a directions hearing, where chief judge, Will Alstergren, encouraged the parties to settle their dispute through mediation on December 13. Continue Reading »

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Everyman Theatre Cork: Last Chance For ‘The Odd Couple”

The Odd Couple (Female Version)

DATE AND TIME | UNTIL SAT 17 AUG, 7.30PM

PRICE | €33 | CONCESSION €30 | STUDENTS €9 | OPENING WEEK €26

The Everyman’s production of Neil Simon’s The Odd Couple, is a perfect summer night out, and it must finish this Saturday, August 17.  Since it opened in July, audiences have been delighting in the quick witted, laugh a minute, humour. This production is a fresh look at a familiar set-up, and TV shows like Friends owe a huge debt to Simon’s comic genius. Continue Reading »

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Event Review: Dublin Comic Con

Image: dublincomiccon.com

Frances Winston reviews this now biannual event, which sees some big stars in attendance

Dublin Comic Con

The Convention Centre Dublin:  9th, 10th and 11th August

From humble beginnings with a small event in Swords in 2013, Dublin Comic Con has now become a biannual event that welcomes tens of thousands, and sees some of the biggest stars on the con scene show up to meet fans.

It was a couple of years since I had attended this, simply because the dates always clashed with something else, and even in that short period of time it has grown hugely. Continue Reading »