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May 25, 2015

City's only gay lawmaker proposed the motion

Hong Kong's parliament could debate same-sex unions by the end of the year.

The city's first openly gay lawmaker Ray Chan said Sunday (24 May) that he had proposed a motion to discuss the legalization of same-sex civil partnerships earlier this year.

'In January this year, I submitted a motion to the Legislative Council urging the government to conclude a civil union law, and legislate to protect the rights of same-sex couples who enter a relationship,' he wrote on Facebook.

'The earliest it will be debated is later this year.'

May 22, 2015

Haters using police admin to stop Pride parade

Hate-filled Christians are camping outside police stations for weeks to block LGBTI events in Korea.

Now the country’s largest LGBTI celebration, Korea Queer Culture Festival and its parade, is under threat.

The Christians are using an administrative loophole to stop it.

Police will grant permission to hold rallies and events on a first-come, first served basis after applications are submitted one month in advance.

May 22, 2015

Censors say the song promotes same-sex marriage and therefore contravenes the city's anti-gay law

Singapore has banned the song We're All Different, Yet The Same by gay icon Jolin Tsai.

The song is based on the true story of a lesbian couple who have been together for more than 30 years. But when one was hospitalized due to old age and required emergency surgery, her partner was unable to give consent because she was not her legal spouse or family member.

In the accompanying video, Tsai marries actress Ruby Lin and the two share a kiss.

May 18, 2015

A beautiful city that is embracing its past and creating its own future

In the heart of Belgium you will find the city of Mons. Crowned as the European Capital of Culture for 2015, if you ever needed a nudge to visit this part of the world then this is it.

May 18, 2015

Another is found burnt and mutilated near a bus stop

Four transgender women have been murdered within weeks of each other in Pakistan.

Three transgender women were shot dead in a drive-by on the night of  8 May.

The two motorcycle riders opened fire on a group transgender women who were standing on the corner of a busy street in Rawalpindi.

Billi and Shah Zaib died at the scene and Saima Shahzadi died the next morning in hospital. Four others, including two transgender women, were injured.

May 17, 2015

Deva Özenen could become the country's first transgender MP in the election next month

The Turkish parliament could soon be home to the country’s first transgender MP.

Deva Özenen, the candidate for the recently founded progressive nationalist party, could be making history if she wins the election on 7 June; she is running as one of four LGBTI candidates standing for election in the whole of Turkey.

Her goal is to fight the growing discrimination the Turkish LGBTI community face amidst the country’s growing conservatism and wants to give her voice to the growing equal rights movement.

May 15, 2015

Rankings were announced today for Hong Kong's first LGBT Workplace Inclusion Index – with some employees highlighted for specific honors

Community Business, a not-for-profit organization focusing on diversity and inclusion in the corporate world, has today revealed the results of its inaugural Hong Kong LGBT Workplace Inclusion Index.

Earlier this year, companies were invited to make submissions for the Index, which follows the success of similar indexes in the US, UK and Australia.

However, compared with those countries, LGBT diversity and inclusion remains a more controversial subject in Hong Kong and wider Chinese society.

May 12, 2015

Groundbreaking video is first time Arabic-speaking public figures have backed IDAHOT

Lebanese celebrities have stepped forward to make a powerful video for International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT).

In the video, a world first organized by the Proud Lebanon group, 14 prominent Lebanese personalities say everyone is born ‘free and equal’.

They argue against anti-gay legislation, saying: ‘We should all work together to change these unjust laws and replace them with laws that protect all citizens.’

May 7, 2015

Bill has been two years in the making

The Cypriot Cabinet Wednesday (6 April) approved a long-awaited civil partnership bill that would allow gay couples to register their relationships and grant them all marriage rights except joint adoption.

The legislation will now be sent to parliament, where it will be discussed and put to a vote.

Interior Minister Socrates Hasikos, who helped prepare the bill, said Cyprus was ready for same-sex unions.

May 4, 2015

Says being gay is 'not a big deal'

Actress Swastika Mukherjee has said she is certain that Indian audiences will be able to accept her lesbian role in new Bengali romantic comedy Family Album.

Mukherjee plays Maitreyee, an advertising agent under pressure to marry from her middle-class family. But Maitreyee has no interest in dating until she meets bohemian photographer Atrika, played by Paoli Dam.

'My character has a special person in her life. Every human being can have a special person in her life. In my case she is a woman. That is not a big deal,' she told the Press Trust of India.

May 4, 2015

In new clip, Kardashian family matriarch reacts to ex-husband's transition

Kris Jenner did not have a comment for Diane Sawyer to share during the recent highly-rated TV interview in which her ex-husband, Bruce Jenner, shared with the world that he is a transgender woman.

But Mrs. Jenner, queen of the Kardashian family showbiz empire, is not remaining silent.

She will share her thoughts, along with the rest of her family, on a special two-part episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians to air on 17 and 18 of May.

May 1, 2015

Every Friday we sit down with Gaydio and discuss the stories of the week

One of the things that I look forward to each week is my Friday morning catchup with Chris and Emma – the breakfast team on Gaydio, the UK's only LGBTI radio station.

My challenge each week is to choose three stories that might be of particular interest to Gaydio readers. At Gay Star News our journalists around the world are writing hundreds of articles each week, so being forced to select just three is never an easy task.

Here are the three stories that have caught my eye this week:

April 30, 2015

'I was there making this pilgrimage for the thousands of gay Muslims who were too scared to go to Saudi Arabia'

Gay Muslim filmmaker Parvez Sharma risked death by filming his pilgrimage to Mecca for his new documentary.

A Sinner in Mecca had its world premiere Wednesday night (28 April) at the Hot Docs festival in Toronto.

Security has been beefed up for the three sold-out screenings as Sharam has already received hate mail and death threats and the film was denounced by the Iranian state media as a 'Western conspiracy' to legitimize the 'despicable sin of homosexuality.'

April 30, 2015

It's time to take action to help people struggling to survive amidst the devastation of the earthquake

With the immense devastation of the 25 April Nepal earthquake now becoming apparent, disaster response and aid organizations from around the world are rapidly trying to find the most effective ways to help.

Disasters such as this obviously impact the entire country and everyone within it, but minorities and people already marginalised are at risk of being completely overlooked amidst the chaos.

Particularly vulnerable at this time are the people within the LGBTI community of Nepal.

April 29, 2015

The region’s first LGBTI Workplace Inclusion Index is revealed next month, and organizers have today announced shortlists of award finalists

The inaugural Hong Kong LGBT Workplace Inclusion Index is to be announced in mid-May, following the success of similar workplace LGBTI indexes in the US, UK and Australia.

As well as ranking ten companies that have demonstrated best practice when it comes to diversity and inclusion, the index will include four associated awards for individuals and organizations that have gone the extra mile.

April 28, 2015

Says business never asked sexual orientation of customer who ordered pride T-shirts, so was not discriminatory

A Kentucky judge Monday (27 April) upheld the right of a printer to refuse business from LGBTI groups and individuals – the first decision of its kind.

Citing freedom of speech and religion, Fayette County Circuit Judge James Ishmael overturned a decision by Lexington's Human Rights Commission, which last year ruled that Hands On Originals had violated a city law that bans discrimination based on sexual orientation.

April 27, 2015

Saturday's massive earthquake has killed at least 3,900 people and injured 6,500

In times of terror, Nepalese LGBTI activists and others around the world are rallying to help people stay alive.

Saturday's massive earthquake has killed at least 3,900 people and injured 6,500.

The US, UK, Australia, China, India, Israel, Japan and Pakistan have all provided aid to the country.

But Nepal says they need more, with shortages of water, food, electricity and medicine.

April 20, 2015

'Foreigners are fond of pets'

Photos of a Thai man holding hands with his foreign boyfriend have gone viral.

Noparuj Kaendi and Thorsten Mid were snapped on the Bangkok Sky Train during the Songkran festival, which brings thousands of gay men from around region to the city.

The photos were met with a torrent of abuse after they were uploaded on the Facebook page of Philippine news BV Patrol on Saturday (18 April) morning.

At the time of writing, the post had nearly 17,000 likes and more than 12,000 shares.

'Foreigners are fond of pets,' wrote one commenter.

April 20, 2015

Health official supports change in the law

Vietnam's ministry of health is finalizing draft amendments to the civil code that will likely acknowledge transgender people for the first time.

Nguyen Huy Quang, head of the ministry's legal department, said they were still collecting opinions on the issue but he personally preferred to 'address the fact and solve it.'

'This is the right to live with their true gender,' he told a news conference on 14 April.

Legislators will discuss the proposed changes next month.

April 17, 2015

Authorities in Vietnam are concerned about the surging popularity of extremely graphic Chinese erotic novels among younger people, with many of the most popular novels having gay themes

Vietnam’s Ministry of Information and Communication is concerned about the popularity of ‘oversentimental sex fiction of Chinese origin’ among young Vietnamese people and is trying to stop the pulp novels’ sale and publication in the country.

Vietnamese publishers typically acquire the publishing rights to the novels and then run them through translation software before manually editing them so that they read properly in Vietnamese.

April 16, 2015

Winners include Jolin Tsai and IBM 

Transgender activist Nisha Ayub was named Hero of the Year at the second Asia LGBT Milestone Awards & Diversity Leadership Forum (ALMA) on Wednesday (15 April) night in Bangkok.

The Malaysian, who was thrown into prison for being trans, won a landmark case to overturn an Islamic anti-cross-dressing law in the Muslim-majority country.

Entrepreneur of The Year went to Geng Le, a former policeman who made headlines the world over when his gay dating app Blued received US$30 million in mainstream capital investment.

April 13, 2015

Homophobic attacks have increased since parliament registered an anti-gay law

An LGBTI organization was targeted in an attempted arson attack earlier this month in Kyrgyzstan.

CCTV cameras caught two unknown persons throwing three bottles of explosives into the yard of Labrys' headquarters in Bishek around 10.30pm on 3 April.

Two bottles caused an open fire but the office building remained untouched.

'The nature of the attack shows that the attackers were planning arson,' the group said.

April 10, 2015

Find out what it takes to be shortlisted for an Asia LGBT Milestone Award

Business is at the heart of securing positive change for LGBTI people in Asia.

They sponsor pride parades and festivals, try to support their gay and trans staff, and even change hearts and minds.

Here are the 11 organizations shortlisted for the second Asia LGBT Milestone Awards (ALMAs).

100 judges are now choosing the final winners who will be announced at a ceremony in Bangkok on 14 April with tickets available here.

April 10, 2015

China is changing for the better for the gay community, but trans people are still marginalized. Tingting Shen of Asia Catalyst reveals more

In a rapidly changing China, the gay community is becoming more visible, recognized, and accepted by the general public. The transgender community, however, remains extremely marginalized and face extreme stigma and discrimination.

Transgender people are neglected by policy makers, abused by State and non-State actors, and are unable to fulfill a range of rights, including on privacy, legal identity and personal autonomy.