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December 18, 2014

'The school should not acquiesce to the discriminatory suppression of student group activities'

A Taiwanese university's decision to tear down a poster for a lecture by a gay speaker because it was 'afraid everyone would turn homosexual after listening' has sparked online debate in the country.

The openly gay director of the Alliance to End the Death Penalty, Miao Po-ya, last night (17 November) gave a lecture at Fu Jen Catholic University in Taipei entitled My Coming Out Experience.

December 16, 2014

'We found 20 teenagers there that were practically having sex on the stage'

A notoriously homophobic lawmaker raided a gay club in St Petersburg on Saturday night after complaints from parents that their underage children were 'trapped' in the venue.

Vitaly Milonov stormed a fetish party at Central Station club with a film crew from a local news site, the Moscow Times reported.

December 16, 2014

A Melbourne gay couple have married in their city’s United Kingdom consulate, making them the first same-sex couple in the world to be legally married under Scottish law

Scottish citizen Douglas Pretsell has become the first of his countrymen to legally marry another man as Scotland’s marriage equality law comes into effect today.

Pretsell married Australian man Peter Gloster at the British consulate in Melbourne at 11.01am today at the exact moment when Scotland’s equal marriage legislation came into effect.

The couple had already entered into a civil partnership which allowed them to take advantage of the new law today.

December 13, 2014

It pays to do your research when considering a fertility clinic and surrogacy agency; finding out about the experiences of those who have already undertaken the surrogacy journey is a good place to start

Thinking about surrogacy but have no idea where to begin when it comes to choosing an agency that will help you achieve your dreams of parenthood?

Choosing a country where surrogacy is legal and gay individuals or same-sex couples are welcome as prospective parents is always advisable.

December 13, 2014

36 elementary schools in the UK will teach their students about gay and lesbian rights and stamp out anti-gay language

36 UK schools have vowed to stamp out homophobia in schools, by signing up to a scheme to teach their pupils about LGBTI values.

The group of elementary schools in and around Birmingham, UK have pledged to stamp out homophobic bullying with a new range of teaching materials called CHIPS - Challenging Homophobia in Primary Schools.

The CHIPS programme is used in 36 elementary schools and was created by Andrew Moffat, who authored a series of books used as resources to teach children about the LGBTI community.

December 12, 2014

It is adorable and amazing

It's hard to capture a perfect kiss. Most of the time on camera the actors look uncomfortable, or there's no chemistry, or it just feels unnatural.

For New York Times Magazine, 18 of the year's biggest stars coupled up to participate in nine short films about trying to capture that single kiss.

While a masked Benedict Cumberbatch kisses a big-haired Reese Witherspoon and Timothy Spall wins an arm wrestling match by pecking David Oyelowo on the lips, we have a favorite.

December 10, 2014

Activists are 'concerned' after a report finds only 33 anti-trans attacks in 2013

One in five hate crimes committed in the US last year were motivated by anti-gay bias, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

The agency's annual hate crime report released on Monday (8 December) found that 20.8% of the 5,928 reported single bias hate crimes were based on sexual orientation, second only to race at 48.5%.

Of these, 60.6 percent were classified as anti-gay male bias.

Gender identity was also added to the list of bias categories for the first time this year.

December 10, 2014

Teams with Colby Peters to parody just how close two 'heterosexual' pals can but still not be gay

There's nothing gay about caressing your hot buddy as you show him how to shoot pool, right?

Or having pillow fights wearing just your speedo or feeding each other ice cream or doing shirtless sit-ups and pull-ups together, right?

It's just a bromance.

Nothing really gay about it - not that there's anything wrong with that.

Fitness model Bryan Hawn - a veteran of video parodies - enlists Colby Peters to participate in a series of physical activities that call for them to be scantily clad and basically all over each other.

December 10, 2014

Activists call on the international community to pressure Mayor Park into passing his scrapped human rights charter

The occupation of Seoul city hall by LGBTI activists enters day five as the mayor remains silent on a human rights charter he indefinitely postponed last week.

Today is World Aids Day and was the scheduled date for the enactment of the charter, which includes provisions banning discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

A coalition of 20 LGBTI groups started the sit-in on Saturday 'out of rage' that Mayor Park Won-soon nullified the charter after anti-gay protests, despite a citizens committee passing the measure.

December 9, 2014

Bill allows the refusal of goods and services on religious grounds

A Northern Ireland legislator is seeking to add a 'conscience clause' to equality laws after a Christian bakery was sued for refusing to make a gay marriage cake.

Paul Givan yesterday (8 December) introduced his Freedom of Conscience Bill to the legislative assembly that would allow those with strongly held religious beliefs to deny access to goods, facilities and services on the grounds of sexual orientation.

'The dilemma facing people of faith is the choice of violating their sincerely held beliefs or going out of business,' he told the legislature.

December 8, 2014

Mayor indefintely postpones the anti-gay hate law after a Christian backlash

About 70 LGBTI activists staged a sit-in at Seoul city hall to protest the mayor's indefinite delay of a human rights charter banning anti-gay discrimination.

A coalition of 20 LGBTI groups Saturday (6 December) occupied the lobby of the Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) holding a banner reading, 'To sexual minorities, human rights mean life.'

They said Mayor Park Won-soon had not responded to repeated requests for a meeting and demanded he proclaim the charter, which was supposed to be enacted on Human Rights Day on 10 December.

December 6, 2014

Ronin Shimizu's family had reported the bullying to school officials multiple times

His friends say Ronin Shimizu was passionate about cheerleading.

But being the only male on the cheer squad at Folsom Middle School in folsom, California, led to ongoing bullying and being called gay.

This week, the 12 year old killed himself.

December 6, 2014

Two protestors threatened to chop off the head off Reverend Jackie Carter and put it on a stake

Threatening voicemail messages, rocks thrown at her door and a gruesome message from someone who wanted to behead her. These are all the things Reverend Jackie Carter has had to deal with since she has started performing gay marriages.

Carter is a minister at First Metropolitan Community Church in Wichita, Kansas where gay marriage has been legal for less than a month.

December 5, 2014

Survey finds 21% of respondents know someone who is LGBTI

Four out of five people in China agree that LGBTI people should have equal rights in terms of job opportunities and 83% believe workplace cultures should welcome all regardless of sexual orientation, according to a survey released today.

YouGov, WorkForLGBT and Shanghai LGBT Professionals' first annual national research study on the LGBT social climate in China was conducted from 21 November 26 November with a qualified sample size of 2,400 respondents across tier 1 through tier 3 cities and across nationally representative profiles.

December 5, 2014

Law professor says 'you cannot make a human wrong a human right'

Civil rights activists yesterday (4 December) protested a speech by an anti-gay law professor at a Human Rights Day seminar hosted by the EU Delegation to Singapore.

Several activists held a rainbow flag and placards reading 'LGBT rights are human rights' while Thio Li-ann delivered her speech.

Jean Chong, co-founder of LGBTI advocacy group Sayoni, told GSN that the silent protest 'was to address the elephant in the room and civil society’s disagreement to the EU’s insistence on inviting Thio in spite of her views on LGBTQ people.'

December 4, 2014

Catholic church launches a 16-page pastoral statement against gay marriage

The Irish church has said the legalization of gay marriage would be a 'grave injustice' in a 16-page pastoral statement it is distributing ahead of a referendum on the issue early next year.

The pamphlet, titled The Meaning of Marriage, was launched yesterday (3 December) at the Irish Catholic Bishops Conference in Maynooth, and is currently being distributed to more than 1,300 parishes across the country.

The statement said that 'to redefine the nature of marriage would be to undermine it as the fundamental building block of our society.'

December 4, 2014

A new app that phone users can download and use to report hate crimes is among several plans that have been announced by City Hall following a rise in homophobic hate offenses

As GSN reported last month, there has been a sharp increase in homophobic attacks in London in the past 12 months, with Scotland Yard reporting 1,073 violent homophobic offences between January and October alone (compared to 1,007 for the whole of 2013).

December 4, 2014

Department's book on modern marriage says diverse gender identities and same-sex love deserve equal respect and treatment

Taiwan's interior ministry has said gay marriage is 'an inborn right everyone can pursue, despite it being illegal in the country.

After two years of compilation, the department published a book entitled Modern Citizen Marriage on Tuesday (2 December) to 'promote new thinking and practices for compatriots planning weddings.'

The book includes a passage on gay marriage that reads:

'Apart from marriage between a man and woman, diverse gender concepts and gay love should also, in modernity, receive equal respect and treatment.

December 3, 2014

'Same-sex marriage is simply not possible under this government'

Greek justice minister Haralambos Athanasiou yesterday categorically said gay marriage was impossible under the current government despite criticism from the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).

'This is a country that respects traditions, respects the nature of man and [gay] marriage is simply not possible, at least under this government and this ministry,' he told Mega TV.

'I will not discuss it; I will not even consider it.'

December 2, 2014

Sex videos and humiliating 'tests' infringe on human dignity

Europe's top court has ruled gay refugees should not have to undergo 'tests' or to sacrifice their dignity to prove it.

This ruling from the European Court of Justice will apply to all EU member states, saying they all must respect human dignity.

It comes after three men, including a Ugandan, was refused asylum in the Netherlands after a Dutch court said they had not proved their sexuality.

Some countries have been condemned for asking refugees inappropriate questions, or accepting indecent pictures or film as 'evidence' for their case.

December 2, 2014

Night that began at South Carolina gay bar turns violent

Three men who met at a gay bar in South Carolina got into trouble when their evening moved on to a hot tub.

After 'kissing and touching each other' in the bubbles for a bit, a fight broke out between two of the men.

Michael Gordon, 33, and Austin Adams, 18, met 21-year-old Douglas Tench at a nightclub in Spartanburg, South Carolina, where the trio had some drinks.

Gordon was dog sitting at a house in Boiling Springs and it was there that the three men got into a hot tub.

December 1, 2014

Country is a popular destination for gay couples seeking surrogate mothers

Thailand's parliament has voted to ban commercial surrogacy in a blow to gay would-be gay parents.

A draft bill passed its first reading on Thursday after a series of scandals sparked outrage over the unregulated industry.

The bill would punish profiting from surrogacy with up to 10 years in jail and ban middlemen and agencies from 'receiving any assets or benefits.'

'We want to put an end to this idea in foreigners’ minds that Thailand is a baby factory,' lawmaker Wallop Tungkananurak told AFP.

November 30, 2014

The Unitarian Universalist Church of Spartanburg has allowed couples to marry for free under its roof for a day to celebrate the legalization of same-sex marriage in South Carolina, and the couples didn’t even need to book ahead

A Unitarian Universalist Church in Spartanburg, South Carolina, has celebrated the legalization of same-sex marriage in the state by marrying couples for free for a day.

The church opened its doors last Sunday to couples regardless of sexuality from midday to 4pm, marrying them on a first-come-first-serve basis.

Local photographers volunteered to photograph the couples’ weddings and a local bakery donated cupcakes to serve as wedding cakes for the newly weds and their families after the ceremonies.

November 29, 2014

Fr Kevin Doran, Bishop of Elphin, likens gay relationships to ‘sexual friendships’, and says that although he is in favor of inheritance and visitation rights for long-term couples, is against same-sex marriage or adoption rights

With Ireland set to hold a referendum on the issue of same-sex marriage in early 2015, an increasing number of its religious leaders are weighing in on the debate.

The latest is the recently appointed Bishop of Elphin, Fr Kevin Doran – one of the country’s most senior Roman Catholic bishops.