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May 17, 2015

US National Security Advisor warns of the United States taking further action over 'unconscionable' comments

The United States have slammed Gambia’s president for his unconscionable comments on gay men in his country.

According to the Human Rights Campain, Yahya Jammeh said he would slit the throats of men wanting to marry men in a public speech; a speech he gave last year also drew criticism from rights groups when the president called homosexuals ‘ungodly’ and ‘vermin’.

Susan Rice, the US National Security Advisor, did not quote Jammeh but called his comments part of an ‘alarming deterioration of the broader human rights situation’ in Gambia.

May 16, 2015

#IDAHOT

Londoners, Ugandans and Gambians came together this week to protest against Yayha Jammeh who has threatened to slit the throats of gay people.

As the world marks International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia tomorrow (17 May), activists have made clear how horrific it is to be LGBTI in certain countries.

May 13, 2015

'And no white person can do anything about it'

The Gambia's notoriously anti-gay President Yahya Jammeh has threatened to slit the throats of gay men in the small West African nation and said there was nothing the West could do to stop him.

The dictator, who seized power in a bloody coup in 1994, made the inflammatory comments last week during a stop on a nationwide agricultural tour.

VICE News obtained a translation of Jammeh's speech, which was about fostering a healthy atmosphere for the country's youth.

May 11, 2015

As IDAHOT approaches, Ugandan gay rights activist Tony Kitara reflects on the past, present and future of homophobia in his country

I am a gay man from an endemic homophobic nation - Uganda.

In order to 'fit' in society, I had to conceal my sexuality from a very young age. There's a lot of stigma in the general population, often characterised by familial rejection, violence, blackmail, mental torture, physical torture. Therefore, I work for the social justice and liberation of the LGBTI community in my country.

May 11, 2015

The Embarrassing Bodies star on his life in travel – from horseback riding in Costa Rica to a gay cruise aboard the Queen Mary 2 plus his traumatic experience inside an African jail at age 19...

Where's the most random destination you've visited?
I've spent a lot of time in east Africa – it's incredible. You cross over the border from Kenya into Uganda and they're completely different countries; even the soil's a different color.

How did you feel as a gay traveler in those countries – did you feel safe?

May 2, 2015

The High Court has ordered the government to officially recognize the National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission after the group was rejected five times

It's an unexpected and landmark victory for LGBT Kenyans.

The High Court has ordered a government agency that regulates non-governmental organizations to recognize and register a human rights group seeking to protect the rights of gay people in the country.

April 20, 2015

If made legal, any group that 'engages in activity contrary to the people of Uganda' will be outlawed

The lives of Uganda's LGBTI people and their allies could be about to get that much harder if a proposed bill is made legal.

The suggested law would effectively make it illegal for LGBTI people to freely associate and to help others in the community.

It would allow lawmakers to ban any group or charity that is critical of the government or that 'engages in activity...which is contrary to the dignity of the people of Uganda'.

Published last week, it is expected to be debated in parliament soon.

March 31, 2015

LGBTIs fleeing Uganda attacked and forced into sex work in world’s third largest refugee camp

Ugandan LGBTI asylum seekers are being stoned and poisoned in the world’s third largest refugee camp.

That’s the revelation in a new video about life in Kakuma camp in northern Kenya.

It has seen an influx of refugees fleeing Ugandan LGBTI hate and anti-gay legislation.

But life in the camp is often dangerous.

Jaw Desman fled his home after being exposed in the Ugandan press as a homosexual and having neighbors ‘storm’ his home.

March 20, 2015

Money not well spent

Uganda has spent over 600 million shillings on PR trying to deal with the backlash over the anti-gay law.

In an attempt to clear the country's image after legalizing the Anti-Homosexuality Act, they spent 614 million Ugandan shillings ($208,000, €195,000).

Aston Kajara, the State Minister for Finance in charge of privatization, said Uganda needed some good publicity in the US congressional caucus after the president's visit.

'When the president [Yoweri Museveni] came back he told us that even at the hotel they had booked for him had to be changed.

March 17, 2015

LGBTI activist says the cause is deforestation, not homosexuality

A prominent Muslim cleric has blamed the prolonged drought in Uganda on moral decay, such as homosexuality.

Speaking Monday (16 March) at Kibuli Mosque in the Kadhi district of Kampala, Sheikh Siliman Kasule Ndirangwa told the faithful they must repent for their sins if the country was to see rain.

'Rain belongs to God,' he said. 'So as believers, we pray that God releases rain. But we have also to repent our sins.' 

March 15, 2015

His American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) group was named to the Human Rights Watch (HRW) 'Hall of Shame' in 2013 for 'endangering the lives and dignity of LGBT people' around the world

Republican Jeb Bush, who is being watched closely by gay rights activists as he continues to publicly oppose marriage equality while saying that his view is evolving, is said to have surprised some observers with the appointment of prominent anti-gay activist Jordan Sekulow to his Right to Rise PAC (political action committee).

Sekulow is an attorney, radio show host and the right-wing Executive Director of the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ).

March 11, 2015

Country’s leading gay rights activist, Frank Mugisha, reveals his strategy

LGBTI people in Uganda live with the threat of even more draconian legislation hanging over them. But there is hope.

Under a proposed new law, which is yet to be debated in parliament, even someone sending a text message mentioning homosexuality could be criminalized. Landlords would be punished for renting homes or offices to gay people – effectively making all gay people homeless.

But it is not only the haters who can strategize.

March 9, 2015

Music legends collaborate for Comic Relief

Gay singer Sam Smith is the artist behind 2015's official Red Nose Day single, it was revealed today (9 March).

Taking on the mantle from such groups like the Spice Girls, Girls Aloud and One Direction, he has joined forces with Oscar winner John Legend to record the charity track.

They perform a unique version of Smith's song, Lay Me Down, from his multi-platinum album In The Lonely Hour.

The track is available for download today on iTunes and the single is being sold exclusively at Sainsbury’s.

March 8, 2015

The incident comes a day after a group of 'suspected' lesbians in the same community were stoned and pelted with human faeces by an angry mob

A group of homophobic residents in a slum in Ghana’s capital of Accra have put up posters of 'suspected' lesbians living in the community

The Starr newspaper reported that the homophobic residents have 'vowed to hunt down and (are) bay(ing) for the blood of all lesbians' after flooding the shanty town of Teshie with posters of what is reported to be a 'private selfie of a tattooed girl kissing her partner in the privacy of their bedroom.'

March 3, 2015

Protestors from around the world gathered outside Royal Courts of Justice to fight for LGBTI rights activist Aderonke Apata, and Gay Star News was there

A judge has adjourned court following an intense hearing of the highly publicized case of Aderonke Apata, a Nigerian lesbian fighting for asylum in the UK.

The 47-year-old gay rights advocate and award-winner came to Britain from Nigeria in 2004 seeking asylum on religious grounds.

Coming from a Christian family, she married a Muslim man in what she says was a sham arrangement to cover up her long-term relationship with a woman.

February 26, 2015

Now working for World Bank as a Senior Country Officer for Maghreb, Houdart reflects on coming out at work and the journey that business has undertaken in respect to LGBTI workplace equality

In 2001, when I was 23 years old, I started my career at the World Bank in Washington, D.C.

At the time I was in the process of coming out to my parents and friends. My father warned me that being gay would irrevocably hurt my career prospects, which fed my existing insecurities.

I was terrified that my colleagues and clients, who came from diverse cultural backgrounds and were often deeply religious, would discover the truth and take a dim view of me.

February 18, 2015

HIV strain CRF19 can progress to AIDS in less than 3 years, meaning anti-retroviral drugs may come too late to control it, but Cuban and Belgian scientists are working together to study the virus

Scientists in Cuba are dealing with an aggressive new strain of HIV that progresses so fast to AIDS that many patients do not even realize they are infected before their immune system is seriously compromised.

The strain has been named CRF19 and is a combination of HIV sub-types A, D and G.

CRF19 has been observed before in Africa but only in isolated cases and it is unknown why or how the strain is now appearing in Cuba.

February 18, 2015

Continent's first openly gay parliamentarian is surprised by the fuss

A South African MP made history last week by holding his boyfriend's hand at the State of the Nation Address.

Ian Ollis was photographed outside parliament Thursday (12 February) walking proudly hand-in-hand with his partner, Adriaan Roets, a lifestyle and entertainment journalist.

Ollis came out as Africa's first openly gay MP in 2009 and is a vocal supporter of LGBTI rights on the continent.

February 13, 2015

Local authorities in Munich refused refugees asylum because 'Uganda's government does enough to protect gays'

German local authorities refused two gay refugees asylum because they consider Uganda a safe place to live for LGBTI people.

Kyabangi and Sekulima (their last names have been omitted for their safety) fled Uganda because they were threatened and fell victim to homophobic attacks.

They met in a detention centre in Munich in 2011 and became close friends, and are now fighting together to stay safe.

February 12, 2015

Officials are concerned about the high HIV rate among gay men

Bangkok officials have urged youths to forgo sex on Valentine's Day and burn incense at a temple instead.

The appeal was made out of concern for the high HIV rate among gay men and the country's teenage pregnancy rate, which is the highest in southeast Asia.

In the capital, HIV prevalence in men who have sex with men stood at 30% in 2013, which is comparable to AIDS hotspots in Africa.

February 11, 2015

Well-known event promoter was lured into the attack by the man he loved

A well-known event promoter was brutally beaten by a mob in Ghana over the weekend for being gay.

Kinto Rothmans was lured into the ambush by a man named Salim, whom he had told he loved.

During the attack, Rothmans was forced to confess his desire to 'chop' (have sex with) Salim in a video, which has since gone viral in the west African country along with a photo of him dripping in blood.

Rothmans is the CEO of Get Familiar GH, which organizes the popular Friday Friends club night in the capital Accra.

February 9, 2015

Police kill a teenager in the riot

Two students at an all-boys high school were arrested in Ghana after their classmates tried to lynch them for sodomy.

Police were called to St Paul’s Senior High School in Danu Friday night (6 February) after students started rioting over two boys they caught having sex. One first-year student was killed in the incident.

Local media reported that the mob turned on their teachers who they accused of protecting the boys and preventing them from 'delivering instant justice.'

January 17, 2015

Missed the debate at the Gay Star Travel Expo? Find out what the most influential worldwide names in gay activism had to say

World leaders in LGBTI rights debated the biggest LGBTI issues at the Gay Star Travel Expo today (17 January).

Veteran human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell, Nigerian activist Bisi Alimi and Ugandan gay rights campaigner Edwin Sesange discussed the question: ‘Are we winning or losing the fight for LGBTI rights worldwide.

National Aids Trust CEO Deborah Gold chaired the debate.

Alimi began by questioning what ‘success’ is, saying 14% of young LGBTI people are homeless in the UK.

January 15, 2015

They hope to bring more education, awareness and visibility to LGBT travel in Africa

The International Gay and Lesbian Association (IGLTA) has signed an agreement to become an association partner for World Travel Market Africa (WTM), an exhibition for Africa’s leisure travel industry.

IGLTA is a global travel network dedicated to connecting LGBTI travellers and the business that support and welcome them.

Through the partnership with WTM Africa, they hope to bring more education, awareness and visibility to LGBT travel in Africa where homosexuality is illegal in 36 countries.