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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.

January 13, 2015

He also thinks you can 'cure' AIDS with herbs and bananas, so we're probably fine

Gambia President Yahya Jammeh has claimed the world is doomed because of gay people.

In another speech condemning homosexuality, he has said the US and other countries that support LGBTI people are leading to the 'collapse' of modern society as we know it.

'Let me make it very clear that if they think that they can be homosexuals and want to impose homosexuality on the globe, they are doomed,' Jammeh told soldiers in the capital of Banjul, according to independent news website Gambia Affairs.

January 11, 2015

Talon Windwalker blogs as 1Dad1Kid. After adopting his son in 2008, the two have spent the past four years travelling the world, but recently decided to settle in Romania, where Windwalker believes they will enjoy a better quality of life. He spoke to GSN about their travels and the decision to relocate

On his blog, Talon Windwalker describes himself as a ‘single parent, author, writer, former hospice chaplain, Zen monk, ultra runner, snowshoer, endurance cyclist, certified endurance running coach, scuba instructor, photographer, and lover of travelling, languages, and cultures.’

Windwalker, who is gay, was 39 and living in Denver, Colorado, when he adopted his son; referred to on his blog as ‘Tigger’.

That was in February 2008, and Tigger – who has a learning disability – was aged six.

January 9, 2015

Gay rights activists have applauded the decision

A health minister in Zimbabwe has said men who have sex with men in prison should be protected from HIV and AIDS.

Dr Owen Mugurungi, the HIV and TB Director in the Ministry of Health, said it would be ‘disastrous’ to ignore homosexuality was ‘rife in prisons’.

He said:  'We might want to deny that men have sex with men but we know that in prison that this thing does happen.’

This has been received well by the LGBTI community in the country who have applauded the minister.

January 7, 2015

Over 900 people have called for the honor to be removed

The politician awarded a MBE despite his homophobic views has said he welcomes the 'scrutiny' from celebrities such as Ellen Page.

Maurice Mills, a Northern Irish councillor, has said it is a 'silly' idea that his honor be removed and then repeated his claim that God punishes the world for homosexuality.

Mills has blamed the spread of AIDS in Africa on gay people engaging in the 'filthy practice of sodomy' and also blamed Hurricane Katrina on Southern Decadence, the annual LGBTI pride festival held in New Orleans.

January 6, 2015

Preacher claims economy is improving because of the president's homophobia

A Zimbabwean self-proclaimed 'prophet' has spoken out in support of President Mugabe and his wishes to imprison gays for life.

United Family International Church founder Prophet Emmanuel Makandiwa commended the president for 'principled' while facing EU economic sanctions that he believes was imposed over the country's persecution of LGBTI people.

Mugabe has previously said gay people are ‘worse than pigs, dogs and birds’ and has also threatened to behead them.

December 25, 2014

Looming new threat for Uganda’s LGBTIs

A new anti-gay bill will be top of the agenda in Uganda’s churches this Christmas as politicians return home to celebrate the holidays.

But it won’t just be a time for friends and families for members of the Ugandan parliament. They will also be starting an election campaign.

The party primaries to choose the next leader of Uganda are early next year and campaigning is already under way even though the final vote is not until 2016.

December 25, 2014

The West African countrywill lose duty-free access to US markets

The US government has removed Gambia from a trade benefits program for abusing human rights, including a new law that imposes life imprisonment for some gay acts.

The White House did not initially give any reason why Gambia would cease being a beneficiary of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), according to the Associated Press.

December 24, 2014

German site throws the book at Yoweri Museveni

A German dating site has given a book on homosexuality in animals to the notoriously anti-gay Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni for Christmas.

Biological Exuberance – Animal Homosexuality and Natural Diversity was written by the Canadian biologist Bruce Bagemihl and documents homosexual behavior in more than 450 animal species.

Gleichklang.de sent a copy to both the presidential office in the capital Kampala and the Ugandan embassy in Berlin.

December 23, 2014

Dozen men crash a private party armed with logs, iron bars and beer bottles

Thirty-five members of an LGBTI group Friday (19 December) were injured in an attack on a party in Zimbabwe.

A dozen unidentified men Friday (19 December) crashed an end-of-year party thrown by the Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe (GALZ) at a private venue in the capital Harare.

All LGBTI events in Zimbabwe are held in private because homosexuality is criminalized in the south African country.

'Three vehicles forced their way into the venue of the party demanding to join the event,' the group said in a statement.

December 23, 2014

They could face up to life in prison under a new anti-gay law

Gambian authorities have arrested three men for gay sex, state television reported yesterday.

The men, whose faces were covered, were detained following a security operation and confessed they are gay, according to the broadcast. Their nationalities were not named.

‘We go around in search of suspected individuals and in the course of the investigations we arrested the men and they have confessed that they have engaged in these inhuman acts,’ the report said.

December 23, 2014

'Local media has contributed largely to violence against LGBTI Ugandans'

Ugandan's LGBTI community yesterday (22 December) launched a free gay magazine in response to the notoriously anti-gay local media.

Bombastic magazine – 'a compilation of stories, testimonies and opinions by LGBTI Ugandans' – is the symbol of the Reclaiming the Media Campaign launched by the Kuchu Times online platform for LGBTI issues in Africa.

December 23, 2014

'Local media has contributed largely to violence against LGBTI Ugandans'

Ugandan's LGBTI community yesterday (22 December) launched a free gay magazine in response to the notoriously anti-gay local media.

Bombastic magazine – 'a compilation of stories, testimonies and opinions by LGBTI Ugandans' – is the symbol of the Reclaiming the Media Campaign launched by the Kuchu Times online platform for LGBTI issues in Africa.

December 19, 2014

In the most tumultuous two months of his life, Greg Guelda split from his partner, adopted his daughter, and then found out he’d become HIV positive

In early 2007, Greg Guelda thought that he had everything; relative financial security, health, a loving partner and a child on the way.

A successful entrepreneur, Guelda, now aged 46, had long dreamed of being a father and had began the process of adopting a baby from Guatemala. He’d been with his same-sex partner for two and a half years.

December 19, 2014

Poachers kill one elephant every 15 minutes

Two of the largest animals that walk on land – elephants and rhinos – are in crisis. Their very existence in the latter part of the 21st century is in doubt.

In the past three years alone, more than 100,000 elephants have been killed. That’s an average of one dead elephant every 15 minutes due to poaching. This figure is in addition to unprecedented habitat loss due to increased human development. In the last century alone, elephants have completely disappeared from three countries in Africa.

December 12, 2014

Nigerian pastor explains why Jesus loves gays but African Christians do not

To win the struggle to change men and women’s hearts and minds, one must consider what the Bible calls strongholds – ideologies, views or thinking that have been held on to for a long time.

When that thinking is wrong, the challenge is great.

Many African strongholds include the view that homosexuality is paganistic and paganism is bad. The second is that gay white men want to pollute black children (see the justifications for Uganda's anti-gay laws).