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September 30, 2014

To celebrate Animal Month at GSN, we’re looking at the natural habitats of the world’s cutest, scariest and rarest animals.

Safari may mean ‘we go’ in Swahili, but Africa is not the only continent where safaris are a major tourist attraction.

From the frozen tundra of Antarctica to remote islands off South America, nature lovers and adventure travelers are making the long journey to come face-to-face with nature’s most wondrous animals.

And what could be better than seeing animals in their natural habitat?

We traverse all seven continents for animal sanctuaries and adventure tours that bring you within touching (and sometimes biting) distance of your favorite animals.

September 30, 2014

Rainbow Families Hong Kong was set up by LGBTI parents seeking to connect and network with one another. Two of the parents involved talked to GSN about the group and expat life in the city

Hong Kong is one of the world’s most unique – and densely-populated – cities. Between 1842 and 1997, it was operated under British colonial rule, but is now an autonomous region of China.

Generally, residents have enjoyed a more liberal standard of living when compared to elsewhere in China. The region has acted as a magnet for big business and corporate-employed expats – including LGBTI people.

Reflecting trends elsewhere, same-sex parents are becoming more commonplace.

September 28, 2014

The semi-autonomous region of Aceh province has passed a law to punish gay and lesbian sex by 100 lashes in public

Lawmakers in the Indonesian province of Aceh have passed a law Saturday that punishes gay sex with 100 lashes in public and subjects non-Muslims to the province's strict interpretation of Islamic Sharia law.

According to media reports, the Aceh Islamic Criminal Code explicitly outlaws anal sex between men and 'the rubbing of body parts between women for stimulation,' making homosexuality technically illegal for the first time in Aceh.

September 26, 2014

The company was found guilty of 'advertising goods and services banned in Kazakhstan'

A Kazakh ad agency has been fined for creating a poster for a gay club that sparked outrage last month.

A court in Almaty found Havas Worldwide Kazakhstan guilty of 'advertising goods and services banned in Kazakhstan.'

The court on Wednesday ordered director Daria Khamitzhanova pay a $700 fine and her company a $1,000 fine.

The case was filed by Almaty youth authorities.

The ad, created for the Studio 69 club in the largest city Almaty, shows Kazakh composer Kurmangazy Sagyrbayuly kissing Russian poet Alexander Pushkin.

September 22, 2014

Their transgender classmate was fined for breaking the school's dress code

A group of boys at São Cristóvão do Colégio Pedro II high school in Rio de Janeiro wore skirts to class after a transgender student was fined for breaking the school's dress code.

Seventeen-year-old Maria Munez, born Mario Munez, recently came out as transgender by wearing a skirt to school but was fined for not wearing trousers.

School authorities said their code of ethics did not allow 'male' students to wear female uniforms.

She complied but her classmates did not.

September 19, 2014

Numbers were down but there were no anti-gay protests

Hundreds of people marched through the Israeli capital yesterday night for Jerusalem Pride despite two delays due to the war in Gaza.

Different media reports said 500-2,000 people took part in the 13th edition of the event, although numbers were down on previous years when several thousand people attended.

September 18, 2014

Whoever you are, whomever you love, you will forever be fabulous in W Hong Kong’s eyes!

What makes a hotel fabulous?

A sexy bellhop? Michelin-star meals? A take-home moisturizer you will never be able to buy back home?

W Hotel Hong Kong is redefining what it means to have a fabulous hotel stay with its DARE TO BE FABULOUS package for couples.

‘W Hong Kong has always been supportive to all communities. This time, we’ll be taking our support even further with the DARE TO BE FABULOUS room package. Everything from rooms, food, romantic surprises and even spa treatments will be covered.’

September 15, 2014

The national movement leader says young people in colored pants who hang out at malls should be tested

A Kazakh politician has said LGBTI people can be easily identified by blood testing for 'degeneracy.'

Dauren Babamuratov, leader of the Bolashak national movement, made the comments last week at a press conference calling for laws banning LGBTI people from spreading 'propaganda,' taking public office and serving in the military.

September 8, 2014

Chetan Bhagat says Section 377 is a relic of India's colonial past

Bestselling Indian author Chetan Bhagat has blasted his country's anti-gay law as 'sinful' in a blog post published on the Times of India website.

He wrote, 'We make 100 million Indians criminals and go about our daily lives as if their concerns are irrelevant to us. To me, this is nothing short of a collective sin.

September 3, 2014

LGBTIs are planning to flee the country if Islamic State fighters get in. Those who can’t get out will be targeted for execution, they warn

LGBTI people in Lebanon fear they will be massacred if ISIS troops penetrate the country.

While the Islamic State fighters (also called ISIS) are currently focused on Syria and Iraq, they have already had skirmishes with Lebanese troops on the border.

And LGBTI people in Beirut, the Lebanese capital, are living in fear they will be targeted if ISIS does make a concerted attack on Lebanon.

Their eyes are now on the Bekaa Valley, a Christian-dominated area in the east of Lebanon where ISIS could break through.

August 31, 2014

A lesbian kissing scene has been cut from the first episode of popular British TV series Doctor Who’s Asian broadcasts last weekend

Thousands of Doctor Who fans in Asia missed out on the kiss between green-skinned lesbian lizard-woman Madame Vastra and her human wife in the first episode of the new eighth season of British science fiction series Doctor Who when it premiered in Asia last weekend.

August 17, 2014

The Mumbai chief of India’s ruling party, BJP, says his party is now against the misuse of section 377 and will raise the issue in Parliament

'Criminalizing the gay community by misusing section 377 of the IPC [Indian Penal Code] is not acceptable to the [ruling] BJP,' Mumbai chief Ashish Shelar told some 250 attendees at a special Independence Day event 'Acceptance Meet' On Friday. The meeting was organized by The Humsafar Trust, an NGO in Mumbai which promotes LGBTI rights, and other community organizations.

August 15, 2014

Up to 28 people could face jail or expulsion from Lebanon after two raids on hammams believed by police to be meeting spaces for gay and bisexual men

Police have raided a second bathhouse in Beirut, believing it to be popular with gay people, and arrested all the staff.
 
The raid of the Shehrazad Hammam or ‘Turkish bath’ in Burj Hammoud, a Christian suburb of Beirut, took place around noon yesterday.
 

August 14, 2014

Auckland, New Zealand has been named the host city for the 2016 Asia Pacific Outgames, with the international LGBTI sporting competition to take place during that year’s Auckland Pride Festival

There’s now double the reasons to check out New Zealand’s Auckland Pride Festival in 2016 with the Gay and Lesbian International Sports Association (GLISA) Asia Pacific announcing the city will host the 2016 Asia Pacific Outgames during the festival.

‘Having now held three very successful and financially viable events, the Asia Pacific Outgames has established itself as a leading LGBTI event in the Asia Pacific region,’ GLISA Asia Pacific president Barry Taylor said in announcing Auckland as the host city.

August 14, 2014

Chou Shu-chi and Wang Shu-yi are raising twins together but the Taiwanese Government refuses to recognize Wang as a legal guardian of her children as she was not the birth mother

Taiwanese lesbians Chou Shu-chi and Wang Shu-yi are suing the Taiwanese Government after it refused to recognize them both as legal guardians of the twins they are raising together.

The couple have been together for 15 years since meeting in college and four years ago they decided they wanted to start a family so Chou traveled to Canada to undergo an assisted reproduction procedure.

The couple were told there was a 60% chance the procedure would not work so they were blown over when they discovered they were having twins - a boy and a girl.

August 13, 2014

Two men are believed to have been put to death for 'consensual sodomy'. One source indicates the two men were put to death in order to ‘promote community safety’

Two gay men were hanged in Iran this week, according to reports.

Abdulla Ghavami Chahzanjiru and Salman Ghanbari Chahzanjiri were killed on 6 August, according to at least one report, for ‘consensual sodomy’.

Other reports are not specific about the ‘crime’ committed by these two men, but describe them as ‘immoral villains’.

One source indicates the two men were put to death in order to ‘promote community safety’ and to ‘reduce the suffering of the victims’.

August 12, 2014

For the fifth year in a row, LGBTI Nepalese have appropriated the traditional Hindu festival of Gaijatra to demand that their government grants them the equality ordered by the country’s courts

Nepal’s LGBTI community took to the streets for the fifth year in a row on Monday to take part in the traditional Hindu festival of Gaijatra, or Festival of Cows.

Gaijatra is a traditional time when Nepalese people dress up, wearing flamboyant costumes to remember those who have died in the past year, and traditionally many people have cross-dressed for the festival.

Participants gathered for a march organized by LGBTI rights group the Blue Diamond Society at Basantapur, Kathmandu to toot horns and ring chimes in a colourful and noisy display.

August 11, 2014

The research department of the Iranian Parliament has found that four out of five young adults in the Islamic republic are sexually active and 17% with people of the same sex

An Iranian Government report has found that sex before marriage is widespread among young Iranians despite the country’s hardline approach to public displays of affection and Islamic code.

The Iranian Parliament surveyed 142,000 young adults and found that 80% of the women reported having had boyfriends.

They also found 17% of the young adults had had a same-sex relationship despite the country imposing the death penalty for homosexual acts.

July 25, 2014

Some of our greatest LGBTI citizens have sharply different approaches to conflict between Israel and Palestine

A protest rally in Boston around the Israeli-Palestinian conflict saw members of the LGBTI community at each other’s throats.

It proved we’re not a monolith when it comes to passion and politics, and demonstrated how LGBTIs are inextricably tied to world events.

‘You’re a traitor to your people,’ Malkah Feldman of Cambridge shouted in a heated exchange with a Jewish Zionist protester at a pro-Palestinian rally outside the Boston Public Library that the Boston Herald captured both in a photo and on video.

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 21, 2014

LGBTI activists in the Central Asian country of Kyrgyzstan are calling for help from the international community to fight their country’s proposed ban on so-called gay propaganda and have suggested five ways they can help

LGBTI activists in Kyrgyzstan have called on the global LGBTI community to come to their aid before they are silenced by a bill before the parliament that would go even further than Russia’s ban on so-called ‘homosexual propaganda to children’ by banning any public discussion of LGBTI issues.

July 20, 2014

'These were men and women who had dedicated their own lives to saving the lives of others and they were taken from us in a senseless act of violence,' says Obama

The AIDS research community and activists were stunned and horrified to learn that prominent AIDS expert Dr Joep Lange was among those killed aboard a Malaysian Airlines flight which was shot down over Ukraine on Thursday.

July 7, 2014

Do you dream of Turkey's cool buildings, amazing beaches and hot oil wrestling? The country voted as the world’s most popular destination by TripAdvisor readers is changing its visa entry rules starting 1 January 2015

This year Turkey’s largest city and cultural heart Istanbul was voted as the top travel destination in the world by TripAdvisor users.

The reasons are hardly surprising.

Turkey is just one of those places that has everything.

Amazing food bazaars, stunning architecture like the Hagia Sophia, natural attractions like beaches and mud baths…

July 2, 2014

Iranian comedy series Haft Sang is a near scene-for-scene remake of US series Modern Family but its makers have written out all the gay characters or made them straight

Iranian audiences are loving LGBTI inclusive US comedy series Modern Family without even knowing it.

It turns out that the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting TV channel has been ripping off the show scene-for-scene minus gay dads Mitch and Cam.

In Haft Sang, an unauthorized remake of the show, their parts have either been written out or given a heterosexual makeover as Iranian TV tries to translate the appeal of the ABC hit show within the strict religious guidelines of an Iranian theocratic state.