LGBTI global news 24-7

July 23, 2014

The iconic Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence (think militant gay rights activists in flawless makeup) made their mark this year in a nation with many LGBT rights challenges

Last month, a delegation of The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence from San Francisco, Paris and Berlin pinched into their stilettos and sauntered onto Chinese soil for the very first time in the Sisterhood’s history.

July 23, 2014

Emily Rios: 'This is why I love the character because I deal with the same type of things with my own family'

It was already public knowledge that the character Emily Rios plays on the FX drama The Bridge is a lesbian.

But it was not until this week that the 25-year-old actress has acknowledged that she is also a lesbian off screen.

Rios plays a young reporter in the series that follows two police detectives - one Mexican, one American - who have joined together to investigate a serial killer menacing both the US and Mexico along the Texas-Chihuahua border.

July 23, 2014

An Egyptian cleric has accused extreme Islamists and terrorists of having gay anal sex together while fighting in the name of Allah

Militant Islamists and terrorists are waging ‘anal jihad’ by having gay anal sex with each other, an Egyptian cleric has claimed.

There is even a ‘fatwa’ or religious edict allowing it, says Mazhar Shahin.

But others have claimed Shahin may be simply trying to discredit the Muslim Brotherhood, who were kicked out of power last year in Egypt and who he fiercely opposes.

A video picked up by progressive online news show The Young Turks shows Shahin describing ‘anal jihad’ on Egyptian channel al-Tahrir.

July 23, 2014

Two lesbian couples are challenging the country's laws on joint child support benefits

Austria’s High Court has been asked to decide whether two parents in a same-sex relationship should both receive childcare benefits.

The case has been raised by two separate lesbian couples: one based in Upper Austria and the other in Tyrol. In the latter case, the couple’s claim was rejected by the Tyrolean Regional Health Insurance, who stated that the right to shared childcare was limited to heterosexual partners, "connected together by the bond of biological parenthood, foster care, or adoptive parenting."

July 23, 2014

Says her wife will be part of 'top secret' story arc on political drama

Portia de Rossi has landed a role on the hit political drama Scandal.

The news was broken not by ABC or by a publicist but by the famous wife of the actress.

Ellen DeGeneres tweeted to her nearly 30 million followers: 'So annoying when people brag on twitter & that’s why I’m not tweeting that Portia just signed on to do a top secret arc on Scandal. Oops.'

The show's writers later confirmed the news with their own tweet saying: 'We are so excited to have Portia de Rossi joining us this coming season.'

July 23, 2014

Members of the LGBTI inclusive Rough Trade Gaming Community have held a gay pride parade online in Final Fantasy XVI: A Realm Reborn to celebrate marriage equality coming to the game’s fictional world of Eorzea

In what must be a first for Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) gaming, players in Final Fantasy XVI have held an LGBTI Pixel Pride March.

Members of the LGBTI inclusive Rough Trade Gaming Community dressed their characters in the colors of the gay pride flag and marched in color formations through the virtual world of Eorzea on 19 July.

The event was held to celebrate the June announcement that players will be able to have same-sex relationships and marry characters of the same-sex in the reboot of the game Final Fantasy XVI: A Realm Reborn.

July 23, 2014

British born porn performer Bruno Knight was arrested at LAX on 16 June after border protection officers found he was carrying half a pound of crystal methamphetamine inside him

British born porn star Bruno Knight has been arrested for trying to traffic half a pound of crystal methamphetamine from the US to the UK.

Knight, who’s real name is Philip Gizzie, had attempted to board a Virgin Atlantic flight at LAX airport in California which was departing for the UK but was stopped by Border Protection officers who had been tipped off by the Drug Enforcement Administration.

July 23, 2014

Last year, Matinée Group’s Circuit Party saw 71,000 people join the fun from around the world. Will 2014 be the year to top it all?

Music lovers from over 50 countries have one big thing in common: A lust for Barcelona's annual Circuit Party by Matinée Group.

From 6 to 17 August this year, Barcelona is set to sizzle with what is being called the world’s biggest gay and lesbian festival (outside of Gay Pride celebrations), as last year’s celebrations attracted over 70,000 party people from around the globe.

July 23, 2014

42 of 53 countries competing in the Commonwealth Games make gay sex illegal but they’ve just seen a gay kiss at the opening ceremony

Glasgow has defied Commonwealth gay hate by getting John Barrowman to kiss a man in the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games.

A shocking 42 of the 53 countries competing in the games, the world’s third biggest multi-sports tournament, criminalize homosexuality.

Some, including Uganda, Nigeria, Brunei and Jamaica, are famous as some of the world’s most homophobic countries.

They are in sharp contrast to Scotland, the games’ host, where same-sex marriage is legal.

July 23, 2014

Says Sam of Tony Dungy: 'Thank God he wasn't St. Louis Rams' coach'

Former NFL coach Tony Dungy has suffered severe backlash this week after saying that he would not have drafted openly gay player Michael Sam because it would have been a distraction.

Sam, who began training camp this week, had this to say about Dungy's controversial remarks: 'Thank God he wasn't St. Louis Rams' coach.

'But I have a great respect for Coach Dungy, and like everyone in America, everyone is entitled to their own opinions.'

July 23, 2014

Award winning openly gay actor Nathan Lane has told a TV critics meeting that he thinks the idea that only gay actors should take on gay roles is ‘madness’

Birdcage and The Producers actor Nathan Lane has hit out at the notion that straight actors shouldn’t be allowed to take on gay roles, praising Mark Ruffalo’s performance in The Normal Heart as an example where a heterosexual actor has shined in a gay role.

Lane made the comments at a meeting of TV critics on Tuesday, noting that he wouldn’t have been able to take on some of his iconic roles if he wasn’t allowed to play straight characters as a gay man.

July 23, 2014

New show will star Glee actor Grant Gustin as the superfast superhero in the spin-off of Arrow

New CW superhero show The Flash will feature two gay characters in its first season.

The spin-off of Arrow, which will star former Glee star Grant Gustin as the superfast superhero, is expected to have plenty to keep LGBT audiences interested.

Greg Berlanti, the gay writer who is producing The Flash along with Andrew Krisberg, revealed DC Comics character David Singh will be a part of the series.

In the comics, Singh is the supervisor of The Flash’s alter ego Barry Allen in the Central City crime lab.

July 23, 2014

Bert Farias, founder of Holy Fire Ministries, has begged gay people to not get angry with him for saying they are possessed by demons that smell worse than pigs

We have heard plenty of theories for homosexuality, but this one might be the most ridiculous yet.

Bert Farias, a pastor and founder of Holy Fire Ministries, has said the reason why people are homosexual is because they are possessed by fart demons.

He claims that once a person chooses to be gay, it opens them up to engaging in ‘unclean demonic practices’.

And then once that happens, they are possessed by foul-smelling demons that even pigs will not tolerate.

July 23, 2014

'Obama politicizes deaths of AIDS researchers on Malaysian plane. We know how to stop AIDS: persuade men not to have sex with men'

President Barack Obama is being accused of using the Malaysia Airlines flight that crashed in Ukraine last week to further a ‘radical gay agenda’.

The American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer ranted in a predictable manner after the president paid tribute to the loss of dozens of HIV and AIDS researchers.

Obama said the US will ‘continue to stand for the basic principle that people have a right to live as they choose’.

Fischer was not happy.

July 23, 2014

Group says ruling tells wider society that the idea of protecting the rights of LGBT people is something 'foreign', and, therefore unnecessary and even harmful

A Russian LGBT organization has been told by a St Petersburg court it must be registered as a 'foreign agent', a label that implies it is a spy operation.

Coming Out, a group helping LGBTI Russians, was told it was engaging in political activities on behalf of foreign countries.

Judge Naidyonova claimed the group is violating rights of ‘persons with traditional sexual orientation’ by distributing pamphlets that assert being gay is normal.

July 23, 2014

A 24-year-old could have faced the death penalty for merely posting on the social networking site

A Saudi Arabian gay man is to be jailed and lashed 450 times for trying to meet other gay men on Twitter.

The 24-year-old was arrested after he posted several messages on his social media account.

A member of the religious police, after being told about the tweets, posed as another gay man on Twitter.

Luring him into the sting, the authorities seized him and took his mobile phone.

July 23, 2014

'While marriage might not be my thing, if it's your thing you damned well ought to be able to have it'

Susan Sarandon spent 21 years in a relationship with fellow Oscar winner Tim Robbins and they had two children.

But they never got married.

In a new video for the Human Rights Campaign, Sarandon makes clear that she thinks same-sex couples should have the same option of getting married or not as she and Robbins did.

'While marriage might not be my thing, if it's your thing you damned well ought to be able to have it - equally and unequivocally.

July 23, 2014

From the Queen and PM to celebrities, athletes and ordinary LGBTI people, we should use the Commonwealth Games to fight for gay rights

As the Commonwealth Games start today amid much fanfare in Glasgow, Scotland, 42 of the 53 countries competing still criminalize homosexuality.

That’s not just awkward or embarrassing. It’s shameful.

The collection of former British Empire countries, under the titular leadership of Queen Elizabeth II, is supposed to be held together by friendship, democracy, human rights and the rule of law.

July 23, 2014

Gareth Varey: 'I do not know why I said it'

The personal assistant to British pop star Tulisa now says he was drunk when he alleged that Simon Cowell is gay.

Gareth Varey's comments about Cowell came up during Tulisa's recent drug trial. He had been recorded by an undercover reporter saying that he wanted to sleep with Cowell and claiming that he knew of other unnamed men who had.

July 23, 2014

Athletes will be asked if their sexuality causes problems before specialists are brought in to help them

British gay athletes are to get extra help to overcome the problems they face and win gold at the Olympics and other top contests.

It will start with top-level athletes meeting with LGBTI sports experts to find out if discrimination or keeping their sexuality secret is holding them back.

Then specialists will be brought in to solve the problems they face so they get picked to represent their country and perform their best.

July 23, 2014

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg will tell the world that the UK will bring up gay rights in every meeting and press governments around the world to change their homophobic laws

The UK government will deliver a stark warning to homophobic nations in the Commonwealth, saying it will pressure countries to change their anti-gay laws.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg will announce at the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games the UK will fight for gay rights around the world.

Out of 53 countries in the Commonwealth, 42 of them criminalize homosexuality.

In his speech at Pride House, a space set up to promote diversity at the Games, the Liberal Democrat leader will say the Commonwealth core values are ‘clear’.

July 22, 2014

Rasmus Holm and Thomas Møller Lassen have adopted a South African girl, making them the first Danish same-sex couple to adopt a child from another country since it became legal in 2010

Danish couple Rasmus Holm and Thomas Møller Lassen have adopted a nine-month-old South African girl, making them the first same-sex couple in Denmark to legally adopt a child from another country.

Same-sex couples have been allowed to adopt as couples since 2010 in Denmark. However few countries allow overseas adoptions by same-sex couples so it is not until now that the first overseas adoption by a Danish gay couple has occurred.

July 22, 2014

Australia’s state and federal health ministers have signed on to a pledge to stop new cases of HIV by 2020 at the 2014 International AIDS Conference in Melbourne this week

Australia’s state and federal health ministers have announced a new HIV reduction target for the year 2020 at the 2014 International AIDS Conference being held in Melbourne, Australia this week.

The ministers want to see an end to new cases of HIV in Australia by 2020.

July 22, 2014

Human rights groups are calling on Malaysia’s National Unity Consultative Council to stand strong in the face of criticism after it included sexuality and gender identity among protected groups in a draft new anti-discrimination bill

Malaysian human rights groups Diversity and Penang Freedom to Love are asking their country’s National Unity Consultative Council (NUCC) to stand firm via a new online petition campaign after it released a draft bill of a proposed new anti-discrimination law.

The current draft of National Harmony and Reconciliation Bill would prohibit unfair discrimination on the grounds of gender and sexuality by the government or any person.