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January 19, 2015

It was announced last week that England’s first ‘gay school', aimed primarily at LGBT pupils, is due to be launched in Manchester. Elly Barnes, CEO and Founder of Educate & Celebrate, explains why she would instead prefer to see all schools adopt LGBT-friendly practices

How do children learn about difference? They learn from their experiences and by who surrounds them.

Through our teacher training and resource program we recognize that those students in multi-cultural areas have a much greater understanding of difference as they are surrounded by people of different cultures, faiths, disabilities, genders, sexual orientations and gender identities.

Creating visibility around these differences increases understanding, acceptance and ‘usualizes’ diversity as a whole in our communities.

January 10, 2015

'Sometimes we just go with what is tradition. We don't second-guess it, we don't doubt it'

A former Florida A&M University band member was sentenced to over six years in prison for being the 'ringleader' in the 2011 hazing death of the band's drum major, Robert Champion.

On 9 January, Orange Circuit Judge Renee Roche announced the decision against Dante Martin.

In 2014 October, a jury took about an hour to find Martin guilty of Champion's (pictured) death.

December 23, 2014

Mayor Vincent Gray signs bill into law - New Jersey and California have similar bans in place

Washington DC on Monday (22 December) followed California and New Jersey in banning conversion therapy for LGBTI youth.

Mayor Vincent Gray (pictured) signed the the Conversion Therapy for Minors Prohibition Amendment Act into law that was passed earlier this month by the city council.

These therapies are aimed at changing the sexual orientation, gender identity, or expression of an LGBTI person.

December 17, 2014

‘It has for sure provided us extra energy to continue our campaign for rights'

An investigation by a Nepalese govenment agency has refuted allegations of corruption at the country's largest LGBTI group.

The Social Welfare Council (SWC) has released a report that rebutted charges of corruption and irregularities leveled against the Blue Diamond Society (BDS) and founder Sunil Pant.

The allegations were made two years ago and resulted in the group losing its license as well as funding gaps and the demoralization of  its 750 full-time staff who were not paid for more than seven months.

December 13, 2014

36 elementary schools in the UK will teach their students about gay and lesbian rights and stamp out anti-gay language

36 UK schools have vowed to stamp out homophobia in schools, by signing up to a scheme to teach their pupils about LGBTI values.

The group of elementary schools in and around Birmingham, UK have pledged to stamp out homophobic bullying with a new range of teaching materials called CHIPS - Challenging Homophobia in Primary Schools.

The CHIPS programme is used in 36 elementary schools and was created by Andrew Moffat, who authored a series of books used as resources to teach children about the LGBTI community.

December 10, 2014

Activists are 'concerned' after a report finds only 33 anti-trans attacks in 2013

One in five hate crimes committed in the US last year were motivated by anti-gay bias, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

The agency's annual hate crime report released on Monday (8 December) found that 20.8% of the 5,928 reported single bias hate crimes were based on sexual orientation, second only to race at 48.5%.

Of these, 60.6 percent were classified as anti-gay male bias.

Gender identity was also added to the list of bias categories for the first time this year.

December 10, 2014

Activists call on the international community to pressure Mayor Park into passing his scrapped human rights charter

The occupation of Seoul city hall by LGBTI activists enters day five as the mayor remains silent on a human rights charter he indefinitely postponed last week.

Today is World Aids Day and was the scheduled date for the enactment of the charter, which includes provisions banning discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

A coalition of 20 LGBTI groups started the sit-in on Saturday 'out of rage' that Mayor Park Won-soon nullified the charter after anti-gay protests, despite a citizens committee passing the measure.

December 8, 2014

Mayor indefintely postpones the anti-gay hate law after a Christian backlash

About 70 LGBTI activists staged a sit-in at Seoul city hall to protest the mayor's indefinite delay of a human rights charter banning anti-gay discrimination.

A coalition of 20 LGBTI groups Saturday (6 December) occupied the lobby of the Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) holding a banner reading, 'To sexual minorities, human rights mean life.'

They said Mayor Park Won-soon had not responded to repeated requests for a meeting and demanded he proclaim the charter, which was supposed to be enacted on Human Rights Day on 10 December.

December 7, 2014

Throughout much of his childhood, Matthew McVarish was repeatedly sexually abused by an uncle. He's now on a mission to walk through 32 European capital cities to help end the silence that persists around child sexual abuse

When Matthew McVarish was first taken to see the film Forrest Gump, at the age of 11, little did he know that – years later – it would prove to be the inspiration for his current endeavor.

The Scotsman is nearing the end of his ‘Road to Change’: an 20-month mission to walk 10,000 miles across Europe, visiting the capital cities of 29 countries in an effort to raise awareness around child sex abuse and to break down the stigma victims feel in talking about their experiences.

December 6, 2014

Ronin Shimizu's family had reported the bullying to school officials multiple times

His friends say Ronin Shimizu was passionate about cheerleading.

But being the only male on the cheer squad at Folsom Middle School in folsom, California, led to ongoing bullying and being called gay.

This week, the 12 year old killed himself.

December 4, 2014

A new app that phone users can download and use to report hate crimes is among several plans that have been announced by City Hall following a rise in homophobic hate offenses

As GSN reported last month, there has been a sharp increase in homophobic attacks in London in the past 12 months, with Scotland Yard reporting 1,073 violent homophobic offences between January and October alone (compared to 1,007 for the whole of 2013).

December 3, 2014

Victim's mother and others believe he was murdered because he was gay and his killer wasn’t sure if he wanted to be

The killing of Michael Brown by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, has dominated the news in recent weeks.

Meanwhile, another shooting death on the other side of the state, in Kansas City, has gotten scant attention beyond the local news.

The victim was a 22-year-old gay, black man named Dionte Greene.

Greene was shot in the face while sitting in the front seat of his car, the engine still running, on the morning of Halloween.

November 29, 2014

Openly gay referee Nigel Owens welcomes the banning of those who targeted him ‘I'd tell them to think twice about saying things’

An openly gay UK rugby referee has had the last laugh after two people who were caught shouting homophobic abuse at him were banned from attending matches.

Welsh Nigel Owens, 43, is the first openly gay referee to work at the highest level, and was subjected to anti-gay abuse hurled from the crowd at an England against New Zealand rugby match.

The match took place at Twickenham stadium, in southwest London, on 8 November and supporters alerted officials to the taunts being directed towards Owens.

November 27, 2014

The finalists in the inaugural Great Rainbow Bake-off Competition have been chosen

The competition was launched by Educate & Celebrate, a UK-based organisation that helps to make schools LGBT-friendly.

The contest was open during the UK’s anti-bullying week (17-21 November), and was run with support from Gay Star News.

Organisers asked schools and pupils to send in pictures of home-baked rainbow cakes during the course of this week. The initiative received messages of support from comedienne Jo Brand, presenter of The Great British Bake-off: An Extra Slice, and famous chef and writer, Allegra McEvedy.

November 26, 2014

There have been 300 violent homophobic attacks in London alone from January to October this year alone

Recorded instances of violent homophobic crimes have risen in the UK this year, according to new figures.

Hundreds of assaults on gay and lesbian people have been reported to police in 2014, including more than 300 in London alone.

Gay rights charities believe LGBTI people feel more encouraged to speak out if they have been victims of hate crime.

Some of the UK's biggest police forces reported the following to Press Association:

November 25, 2014

Survey finds transgender people are treated the worst

More than one-third of LGBTI Nepalis have reported discrimination or abuse in three or more public settings, according to a recent study.

The Los Angeles-based Williams Institute and the local Blue Diamond Society (BDS) surveyed 1,500 people from 32 of Nepal’s 75 districts, including individuals from 150 caste and ethnic groups.

November 18, 2014

Nineteen-year-old beat and kidnapped a gay man he met on a dating app

A Texan teenager yesterday (17 November) was sentenced to 183 months in prison for kidnapping and viciously assaulting a gay man because of his sexual orientation.

Prosecutors dropped a hate crime charge against Brice Johnson, 19, after he pleaded guilty in June.

November 14, 2014

Senior official says culture is no excuse for denying human rights

The US has urged India end to discrimination against LGBTI people and said culture is no excuse for denying human rights.

Sarah Sewall, under-secretary for civilian security, democracy and human rights at the US state department, made the comments yesterday (13 November) while delivering a lecture on human rights in New Delhi.

November 13, 2014

Less than 5 per cent seek help from formal institutions

More than half of all LGBTI people in Taiwan have suffered abuse at the hands of a partner, according to a new survey.

The Modern Women's Foundation surveyed 529 LGBTI people aged 15 to 50 between 13 and 27 October and released the results yesterday (12 November).

The survey found that the most common form of abuse was control (51.2 per cent), followed by stalking (49.4 per cent) and attacks or self-harm (24.8 per cent).

November 12, 2014

'I just want people to finally see me the way I see myself'

The BBC will be airing a film about a transgender teen on a children's TV channel next week.

The film will star Leo, a 13-year-old guy, will tell the story of his life interchanged in a sequence of moving diary sequences.

Called 'My Life: My Name Is Leo', he will explain the bullying he's encounted from people who could not accept who he is.

The film is set across seven months, following Leo and his family as he undergoes hormone therapy, meet other trans kids and eagerly waiting for a new passport that confirms his real identity to the world.

November 12, 2014

Georgian police are investigating the murder of a 25-year-old transgender woman in the capital Tblisi, and her apartment was torched after her death, but it remains to be seen whether they treat it as a hate crime

Georgian LGBTI rights advocates have urged Georgian authorities to investigate the murder of a young transgender woman as a hate crime and have urged the media to report sensitively on the killing.

The 25-year-old woman was found locked inside her burning apartment. It is believed the fire was lit in an attempt to destroy evidence related to the killing.

November 11, 2014

Ahead of the UK”s Anti-Bullying Week, teacher Allie George says that even kids who normally recognize homophobia can still sometimes use inappropriate language

Mark* has just handed me his English coursework: a compelling speech on homophobia, and how he cannot fathom such attitudes of bigotry and hatred in 2014.

Now, Mark is sat sheepishly in front of me, having been kept behind for yelling, “Oi, f*****t” at his friend.

‘It’s just a thing they say to each other,’ he says by way of defense. He’s not homophobic. It’s ‘banter’. Like swearing, ‘it’s okay when it’s at a mate.’

November 10, 2014

Nearly 9 in 10 teachers say homophobic bullying happens in their schools

Nearly nine in 10 secondary school teachers in Scotland say homophobic bullying happens in their school.

The shocking YouGov survey, commissioned by Stonewall Scotland, also revealed a third of teachers hear homophobic language from other staff.

Many assume they are not allowed to talk about LGBTI issues with students, with only 16% saying they have had specific training to tackle homophobic bullying. 

November 7, 2014

A 33-year-old woman is fighting for her life in hospital

A Ohio trans woman is to be discharged today after surviving a near death experience earlier this week.

On Monday, 33-year-old Candice Milligan was attacked in broad daylight in downtown Toledo by at least three men.

The men reportedly called her anti-gay trans slurs, punched her, kicked her and stole her cell phone. The assailants then fled the scene.

She was hospitalized in critical condition at Mercy St Vincent Medical Center.

Doctors performed at least two surgeries to save her life, including one to drain blood from her brain.