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October 20, 2014

City government says his words were misinterpreted by foreign media

Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon has backtracked on comments he made in support of gay marriage to foreign media after a backlash in his home country.

Park told the San Francisco Examiner earlier this month that he hoped Korea would be the first country in Asia to allow gay marriage, making him the first mainstream Korean politician to come out in support of same-sex unions.

He added that gay rights faced strong from the church.

October 17, 2014

The company's director says she will file a complaint with the UN Human Rights Committee

A Kazakh court has upheld a fine imposed an advertising agency over a contraversial gay club poster.

The poster shows Kazakh composer Kurmangazy Sagyrbayuly kissing Russian poet Alexander Pushkin.

A court in Almaty last month found Havas Worldwide Kazakhstan guilty of 'advertising goods and services banned in Kazakhstan' and fined the company and director a total 314,000 tenge ($1,700).

The judge said, 'The court of the first instance gave the correct assessment based on available proof.'

October 17, 2014

Legislator Yu Mei-nu called the meeting before she submits her plans to legalize same-sex unions to the government

Christian groups yesterday protested a public hearing on gay marriage and adoption at the Taiwanese parliament in Taipei.

Democratic People's Party (DPP) Legislator Yu Mei-nu consulted government official, academics and civic groups on both sides of the debate at the Legislative Yuan before preliminary plans to legalize gay marriage are submitted to the Ministry of Justice.

She said the hearing was 'an equal approach to encompass everybody into the constitution.'

October 16, 2014

Police suspect Private First Class Joseph Scott Pemberton became angry when he found out the victim was transgender

Private First Class Joseph Scott Pemberton yesterday was charged with the murder of a Filipina transgender woman.

Jennifer Laude, 28, was found dead on Sunday with her head in a hotel toilet in Olongapo city. An autopsy report found she died due to strangulation and drowning.

Pemberton was the last person seen with the victim when they checked into the hotel after meeting in a nearby bar.

October 14, 2014

The video by Chinese girl group SNH48 shows two girls caressing and embracing

Korean media is speculating that a music video for Chinese girl group has been banned in the country because of several intimate scenes between two of the girls.

The MV for the song Uza shows two girls from 16-member group carressing and embracing.

The video was removed after less than three days online.

SNH48 is the Chinese sister group of the hugely popular Japanese group AKB48.

The video was shot in South Korea and directed by Hong won-ki, who is also responsible for videos by K-pop groups Girls Generation, Super Junior, F(x) and T-ara.

October 13, 2014

Park Won-soon says the constitution permits same-sex unions

The liberal mayor of Seoul, Park Won-soon, has said he hopes South Korea becomes the first Asian country to legalize gay marriage.

While on a recent trip to the US, Park told the San Francisco Examiner, 'I personally agree with the rights of homosexuals.

'But the Protestant churches are very powerful in Korea. It isn't easy for politicians. It's in the hands of activists to expand the universal concept of human rights to include homosexuals. Once they persuade the people, the politicians will follow. It's in process now.'

October 13, 2014

The woman was found with her head in a hotel toilet

A US marine has been detained in the murder of a Philippine transgender woman.

Jennifer Laude Sueselbeck, 26, was found dead on Saturday night with her head in a hotel toilet in Olongapo city.

Media reports say she checked into the hotel at 11pm with a 'male, white foreigner' and her body was discovered by a cleaner at 11.45pm.

Police said there were signs of strangulation.

October 10, 2014

Neil Peng says Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou has a 'special relationship' with his closest aide

A Taiwanese court on Wednesday found Taipei mayoral candidate Neil Peng not guilty of defamation for his repeated calls for President Ma Ying-jeou to admit his 'special relationship' with his closest aide.

Ma's aide, National Security Council Secretary-General King Pu-tsung, filed the claim and said he would appeal the ruling.

The author also called King a 'fool,' 'bitch,' 'prostitute' and 'scum.'

October 9, 2014

Quezon City mayor says he is checking if he can officiate same-sex unions

Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista has said he hopes to see gay marriage legalized in the Philippines and is checking if he can officiate them.

The popular former actor made the comments on Tuesday during his State of the City Address.

The Inquirer quoted him as saying, 'I was watching the news and there was another court in America which [legalized] same-sex marriage or what they call "equality marriage."

'I look forward to the day the Philippines or Quezon City will have an equality marriage ordinance.'

October 3, 2014

More than 30 musicians claim the company 'offended the honor and dignity' of the composer in the poster

The Kazakh advertising agency responsible for a contraversial gay club poster has been sued for the third time in six weeks.

The poster shows Kazakh composer Kurmangazy Sagyrbayuly kissing Russian poet Alexander Pushkin and sparked outrage in the Muslim country.

A judge in Almaty began initial proceedings in a case brought against Havas Worldwide Kazakhstan by 34 employees of the national conservatoire and an orchestra named after the composer.

October 2, 2014

Russia says the program bypassed laws banning adoptions from countries that recognize gay marriage

Russia has suspended a long-running student exchange program with the US after a teenager stayed in the country under the guardianship of a gay couple.

The Russian foreign ministry said in a statement that the Future Leaders Exchange Program (FLEX) had helped the couple bypass laws banning adoptions from countries that recognize gay marriage, and had not respected the 'moral and ethical principles of Russian society.'

October 1, 2014

‘The fight for democracy is a ladder to LGBT equality’

It is past 2am in Hong Kong but the fight for democracy politely goes on across the city.

Thousands of protesters sit peacefully on the streets of the Causeway Bay shopping district despite the earlier downpour. The chants of 'Leung Chun-ying, ha toi [step down]' quieten down as gay singer Anthony Wong starts to perform.

He shouts, 'We need to be in unity… it is not just Occupy Central or a student boycott anymore, it has become a citywide movement.'

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 advertising 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.