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Content about Asia

March 31, 2015

Shibuya will issue certificates recognizing gay unions as 'equal to marriage'

Shibuya ward in Tokyo has become the first locale in Japan to recognize gay couples, a major step forward for LGBTI rights in the conservative country.

The district assembly Tuesday (31 March) voted overwhelmingly in favor of issuing certificates recognizing same-sex unions as 'equivalent to marriage' and granting them housing and hospital visitation rights.

March 31, 2015

South Asian country says vote against partner benefits for gay staff was based on 'sovereignty issues'

The US ambassador to India has expressed disappointment in the south Asian country for voting against LGBTI rights at the UN.

Richard Verma made the comment last week in New Delhi.

'We were disappointed... by India's support this week for the attempt to strip benefits from UN staff in same-sex relationships,' he said.

'We will continue to support the rights of LGBT individuals in India, in international institutions, and around the world.'

March 25, 2015

The event will take place as part of the Asia LGBT Milestone Awards and will feature speakers from BP and IBM – as well as a former Chinese policeman, Geng Le, who has created a multi-million dollar gay dating app empire

The Asia LGBT Milestone Awards (ALMA Awards 2015) will return for its second annual outing in mid-April.

Organizers have today announced that the event will include an international business forum to discuss issues around social diversity and inclusion concerning LGBTI minorities.

The headline topic for discussion will be: What you can do – today’s key challenges to achieving greater diversity in the workplace.

March 23, 2015

From hot air balooning to ziplining, enjoy these breathtaking vistas from above

Once you’ve scoured the markets in Asia, floated in its warm, salty seas and traipsed through its ancient ruins, you’ll no doubt be looking for a more…elevated experience. 

March 23, 2015

From hot air balooning to ziplining, enjoy these breathtaking vistas from above

Once you’ve scoured the markets in Asia, floated in its warm, salty seas and traipsed through its ancient ruins, you’ll no doubt be looking for a more…elevated experience. 

March 23, 2015

Visakesa Chandrasekaram explores gay relationships with ground-breaking movie Frangipani

The criminal law of Sri Lanka prohibits anyone from engaging in 'gross indecency', however exactly what constitutes gross indecency is not defined.

In 2013, Equal Ground (an LGBTI advocacy group in Sri Lanka), produced a report for submission to the Human Rights Committee in Geneva.

March 20, 2015

Historic city's first LGBTI group talks to Gay Star News about Asia's young LGBTI movement

Macau tops the world in terms of GDP but on many social issues the city is still very backward, says Anthony Lam, the co-founder of the city's first LGBTI group.

The director-general of Rainbow of Macau said that he views the progress of LGBTI rights as an index of how internationalized the former Portuguese colony actually is.

Right now, the fight for LGBTI rights centers around the Domestic Violence Bill, and is one of the reasons why Rainbow was founded two years ago.

March 19, 2015

From China and Malaysia to Thailand and Indonesia – travel an entire continent in 2 minutes

Earlier this year we delved into the back catalogue of trailblazing travel photographer Weerapong Chaipuck, whose gorgeous shots of Asia in a near-perpetual state of sunrise/sunset immediately had us plotting our 2015 movements across the globe.

March 19, 2015

From China and Malaysia to Thailand and Indonesia – travel an entire continent in 2 minutes

Earlier this year we delved into the back catalogue of trailblazing travel photographer Weerapong Chaipuck, whose gorgeous shots of Asia in a near-perpetual state of sunrise/sunset immediately had us plotting our 2015 movements across the globe.

March 19, 2015

Lebanese LGBTIs and refugees from Syria, Iraq and Jordan plan IDAHOT celebration

They work in a country where homosexuality is illegal, the economy is on its knees and a war on the borders has sparked an enormous refugee crisis.

But the LGBTI community of Lebanon is embracing gay refugees and determined to celebrate International Day Against Homophobia and Transpobia (IDAHOT).

March 14, 2015

Here is the full list of places that we have been recently.

Travel Reports

March 11, 2015

Gifts include cash, gold, a diamond ring, diamond earrings and a Toyota

A former national softball player has made headlines in Thailand after she proposed to her girlfriend with a two million baht ($61,000) dowry.

On the morning of 8 March, Chanut went to her girlfriend's house in their home province of Chonburi bearing gifts for her future in-laws.

They included 400,000 baht in cash, 333.5 grams of gold, a diamond ring, a pair of diamond earrings and a Toyota car.

March 10, 2015

'How can I stay in Korea with the man I love? Where are my rights?'

A British expat took on the mayor of Seoul last Friday (6 March) over rights for gay couples.

It was a bold move by Simon Hunter-Williams in a country where homosexuality remains taboo.

'How can I stay in Korea with the man I love? Where are my rights please?' he asked.

'I also fell in love with a Korean like many people. The only difficulty is the person I fell in love with is a man.'

March 9, 2015

More women are being promoted to the boardroom level, but not enough to hit a 25% Government target set back in 2011

The UK government’s target for women to hold a quarter of FTSE 100 board directorships looks unlikely to be achieved before May’s General Election, reports the Financial Times.

The target was set in February 2011 by former trade minister Lord Davies, who had been asked by business secretary, Vince Cable, in 2010 to look at ways to boost the number of women on corporate boards.

March 6, 2015

International community begged to help stop brutality in Syria

Gay rights activists in Syria have alleged they have been told 'they're not worth saving' from ISIS.

Nour, a gay man, lives near to where Islamic extremists are throwing gay men off buildings and then, if they survive, encouraging others to stone them to death.

During an interview with CNN, Nour alleged he and others have tried to reach out to international groups but have been told they are not a 'priority'.

March 6, 2015

We bring you the stories, the insights, the experiences, and adventures to help inspire your travels.

Once the travel bug bites it is hard to deny the irresistible urge to get out and explore the world.

Here is a round up of some of the travel stories and experiences that we have shared recently.

Travel Reports

We have been traveling the world as much as possible, trying to tick off the countries and destinations that are constantly being added to our ever-growing list. Here are a few of our favorite places:

March 3, 2015

One trans woman was raped by 14 soldiers and performed sex acts for food

The first in-depth study on the treatment of LGBTI Cambodians under the Khmer Rouge has uncovered widespread sexual and emotional abuse.

All 48 interviewees for the study, which was released on Friday (27 February), reported having to hide their sexuality for fear of being killed, while many said they were subjected to forced marriage, rape and sexual abuse by Khmer Rouge soldiers and officials.

All the gay men and most of the transgender women surveyed said they had experienced sexual violence.

February 28, 2015

Convened by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the meeting is the first of its kind to bring together LGBTI activists, government and private sector representatives from over 30 countries

Some 200 participants from over 30 countries gathered for the three-day Regional Dialogue on LGBTI Human Rights and Health in Asia-Pacific at the United Nations Conference Centre in Bangkok that concluded yesterday.

Speakers included Oyungerel Tsedevdamba, Member of Parliament of Mongolia; Louise Wall, Member of Parliament of New Zealand; Tarana Halim, Member of Parliament of Bangladesh; law and human rights experts; community organization workers; as well as private sector representatives.

February 25, 2015

The Scotland-born traveller on her adopted hometown and its treasures

I've lived here since… 2011. I stayed because I love the tropical climate, and for my job as General Manager of Asia tour operators Backyard Travel.

For culture, you can't miss… the Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. Then Wat Pho, a Buddhist temple and the Old City area. There are so many parts to Thai culture, that there’s not one single place where you can really comprehend all aspects of it, but this area is a good starting point.

February 25, 2015

The Scotland-born traveller on her adopted hometown and its treasures

I've lived here since… 2011. I stayed because I love the tropical climate, and for my job as General Manager of Asia tour operators Backyard Travel.

For culture, you can't miss… the Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. Then Wat Pho, a Buddhist temple and the Old City area. There are so many parts to Thai culture, that there’s not one single place where you can really comprehend all aspects of it, but this area is a good starting point.

February 24, 2015

Chhattisgarh will also pay for sex reassignment surgery

In a first for India, Chhattisgarh state has set aside a 2% housing quota for its estimated 3,000 transgender residents.

The move comes nearly a year after the Supreme Court recognized transgender citizens as third gender. In its ruling, the apex court directed governments to provide transgender people with quotas in jobs, education and basic amenities in line with other minorities.

AK Saxena, additional commissioner at the Chhattisgarh housing board, said from now on transgender residents would have the quota in all government housing schemes.

February 19, 2015

Yokohama mayor says the conservative country must accept same-sex relationships 'for the sake of the economy'

The mayor of Yokohama, Japan's second largest city, has said a Tokyo ward's draft ordinance to recognize gay couples had galvanized her to introduce similar measures.

Fumiko Hayashi yesterday hailed Shibuya's plan to issue certificates recognizing gay relationships as equivalent to marriages as a 'very good move.'

February 16, 2015

Ordinance is first of its kind outside Metro Manila

A comprehensive anti-gay discrimination ordinance Wednesday (11 February) passed it first reading in Mandaue City without opposition. 

The diversity code was introduced by councilor Nenita Layese and is the first of its kind in the Philippines outside Metro Manila.

The ordinance would create a diversity affairs commission to implement comprehensive anti-discrimination laws as well as sexual and transgender health, welfare and inclusivity programs.

February 16, 2015

Ordinance is first of its kind outside Metro Manila

A comprehensive anti-gay discrimination ordinance Wednesday (11 February) passed it first reading in Mandaue City without opposition. 

The diversity code was introduced by councilor Nenita Layese and is the first of its kind in the Philippines outside Metro Manila.

The ordinance would create a diversity affairs commission to implement comprehensive anti-discrimination laws as well as sexual and transgender health, welfare and inclusivity programs.