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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.

July 1, 2014

This two-day luxury cruise sets sail in August, the same month as Viet Pride, and is hailed as the first gay cruise to tour the stunning waters and rock formations of the UNESCO World Heritage Site

A weekend luxury gay cruise is set to be ‘the first’ in Vietnam’s beautiful Halong Bay.

The Halong Gay Party Cruise program will include dining in candle-lit limestone caves, kayaking and swimming around Halong Bay’s islands and karaoke parties, all on a smaller boat with 17 air-conditioned cabins for a more intimate cruising experience.

June 28, 2014

A record number of 26,000 people turned up at Singapore's sixth Pink Dot rally on Saturday night to celebrate the 'freedom to love', according to organizers

Singapore’s Speakers Corner – a government designated protest zone and where the rally has been held since 2009 – turned a sea of glittering pink with a bright outline of a heart within the dot formation, at about 8pm.

June 22, 2014

With shows opening in Australia next month, singer now claims 'very religious' husband who has a 'tough attitude' towards gays is responsible for posting the anti-gay rant last year

A Georgia-born opera singer is under fire for an anti-gay rant in which she referred to gay people as 'fecal masses', and welcomed violent attacks against a pride parade.

Tamar Iveri, who is currently in Sydney for rehearsals for Opera Australia’s Otello, has denied responsibility for a viciously anti-gay letter which made the news headlines in Australia on Friday.

June 20, 2014

Nothing against Hawaii, the Maldives or Thailand, but the Pacific island of Boracay stole our hearts with its pristine beaches, green mango smoothies and lively locals. Mahal Kita Philippines!

The Philippines is a fascinating country.

Consisting of over 7,000 islands, this is a part of the world that you can spend months exploring.

However if you only have limited time and you’re wanting a bit of a beach holiday, then you are going to end up at Boracay.

Boracay is one of the best beaches in Asia, and when you are looking at beach holidays in the Philippines then Boracay is probably the easiest one to get to - normally about a one hour flight from the capital Manila.

June 20, 2014

Nothing against Hawaii, the Maldives or Thailand, but the Pacific island of Boracay stole our hearts with its pristine beaches, green mango smoothies and lively locals. Mahal Kita Philippines!

The Philippines is a fascinating country.

Consisting of over 7,000 islands, this is a part of the world that you can spend months exploring.

However if you only have limited time and you’re wanting a bit of a beach holiday, then you are going to end up at Boracay.

Boracay is one of the best beaches in Asia, and when you are looking at beach holidays in the Philippines then Boracay is probably the easiest one to get to - normally about a one hour flight from the capital Manila.

June 18, 2014

Years after setting up two friends in Melbourne, Gareth Johnson reaps the benefits of his cupidity exploring the Philippine capital one adventure at a time

I normally don’t attempt any sort of matchmaking.

However a couple of years ago I was visiting my home town of Melbourne briefly.

One morning I caught up for coffee with Deanna, a friend from London who had just moved back to Melbourne, and then for lunch I caught up with my college friend Silba who had just moved back to Melbourne after working in Hong Kong for a number of years.

June 14, 2014

More than 100 members of Congress have signed a letter urging the US to force Brunei to abandon its draconian laws that call for amputation for thieves, and the stoning of gays and adulterers – or not be allowed to participate in a 12-country trade pact talk

One hundred and nineteen members of the House of Representatives signed a letter urging Secretary of State John Kerry and US Trade Representative Michael Froman to shun Brunei in talks on a Pacific free trade zone agreement unless it addresses its recently introduced Islamic laws that  threatens the human rights of groups including women and LGBTIs.

June 14, 2014

Stefanie Sun, a Mandarin popstar popular across East Asia and Southeast Asia, says she supports the 'Freedom to Love' and calls on fans to attend Singapore's pro-LGBT Pink Dot rally

Singapore-born, Taiwan-based singer-songwriter Stefanie Sun has declared her support for Pink Dot 2014, Singapore's annual LGBTI rally which attracted a record turnout of 21,000 people last year.

In a 20-second video posted on YouTube and shared on Facebook and other social media platforms, Sun said in Mandarin, 'Being able to find true love, is one of life's happiest things.'

June 14, 2014

Stefanie Sun, a Mandarin popstar popular across East Asia and Southeast Asia, says she supports the 'Freedom to Love' and calls on fans to attend Singapore's pro-LGBT Pink Dot rally

Singapore-born, Taiwan-based singer-songwriter Stefanie Sun has declared her support for Pink Dot 2014, Singapore's annual LGBTI rally which attracted a record turnout of 21,000 people last year.

In a 20-second video posted on YouTube and shared on Facebook and other social media platforms, Sun said in Mandarin, 'Being able to find true love, is one of life's happiest things.'

June 13, 2014

Decision hilariously mocked by satirists claiming Singaporean officials now think homosexuality can be spread through sound

Singapore’s media censors have banned LGBTI rights champion and top Asian diva A-Mei from singing her Rainbow hit at a festival.

The Taiwanese singer is famous across Asia and Australia and is massively popular with Mandarin speakers and LGBTI people.

But she was reportedly puzzled when officials unexpectedly banned her from performing Rainbow at the 2014 Spring Wave Music And Art Festival, held in Singapore’s stunning Gardens by the Bay on 7 June.

June 7, 2014

'These self-proclaimed experts inflicted grave damage upon our clients...'

An ex-gay therapy group from the US state New Jersey might have to write a check to redo the damage caused to former clients.

New Jersey Superior Court Judge Peter F. Bariso Jr. pronounced on 6 June that Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing (JONAH) is potentially liable for three times the costs plaintiffs needed to reverse the effects of conversion therapy.