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Former US President George HW Bush apologizes after an actress accuses him of groping

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WASHINGTON — Former US President George HW Bush has apologized on Wednesday through his spokesman to an actress who accused him of groping her from his wheelchair while attending a screening which Bush said was intended as a friendly pat and a joke to put her at ease during a picture-taking session.

Heather Lind, 34, said the incident occurred four years ago at an event to promote the TV series “Turn: Washington’s Spies,” according to the Daily Mail, which saved a screenshot of a lengthy Instagram post she wrote and later deleted.

It is the latest in an outpouring of sexual harassment allegations against powerful male figures in entertainment, fashion and finance that followed the downfall of movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, who stands accused of assaulting and raping actresses.

Lind added she decided to share her story after seeing Bush Sr, 93, appear onstage at a benefit concert to raise money for victims of the hurricane-ravaged southern United States and Caribbean.

“I found it disturbing because I recognize the respect ex-presidents are given for having served,” she wrote.

“But when I got the chance to meet George H. W. Bush four years ago to promote a historical television show I was working on, he sexually assaulted me while I was posing for a similar photo.

“He didn’t shake my hand. He touched me from behind from his wheelchair with his wife Barbara Bush by his side. He told me a dirty joke,’ she added.

Later on, as pictures were being taken, Bush repeated the act, while “Barbara rolled her eyes as if to say ”not again.'”

In a statement circulated to the Daily Mail and the New York Daily News, a spokesman for Bush did not deny the allegation but said it was an ill-judged attempt at humor.

“President Bush would never — under any circumstance — intentionally cause anyone distress, and he most sincerely apologizes if his attempt at humor offended Ms. Lind,” the statement said.

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Demand for legalizing same-sex marriage

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KATHMANDU- Stakeholders concerned have demanded a law related to same-sex marriage in the context when the Nepal’s constitution and laws have accepted the concept of marital equality.

At an interaction program held with media about the issue of gender identity and sexual orientation by an organization named Yubalaya here Sunday, the demand came as a prompt need of the time by the people concerned.

The complaint of homosexuals was that they were deprived of marriage by choice in the absence of the legalization of same-sex marriage which according to them is the deprivation of fundamental rights guaranteed by the constitution.

Blue Diamond Society Program Officer Anuj Peter said though the constitution has promised to make special provisions for protection, empowerment or development of gender and sexual minorities, such vows are yet to be executed in practice.

Peter, who identifies himself as a homosexual, shares that he has been legally denied to marry a man of his choice.

Yubalaya Chair Sabin Singh highlighted the need of support from media and civil society to address the issue of gender identity and sexual minorities regarding same-sex marriage law.

The participants of the program put their queries about marital equality, broader sexual education and safe abortion.

As told by the Society, to date, 30 countries across the world have legalized same-sex marriage and endorsed a law towards that end and the Netherlands was the first country to legalize it in the end of 2000.

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