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March 31, 2014

As Amnesty appeals to people to make it part of their wedding celebrations, we share some of the inspiring work they are doing for LGBTI rights around the world

This year Uganda signed off on a draconian and degrading anti-gay bill which was later echoed in Nigeria, two men accused of homosexuality were put on trial in Zambia and in Russia homophobia flared and festered against a backdrop of the Winter Olympics.

At Amnesty we believe love is a human right. We are campaigning and fundraising hard to help improve the rights of LGBTI people all across the world from Uganda to Ukraine.

March 14, 2014

Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) voted Thursday in support of targeted sanctions against Nigeria and Uganda over their treatment of LGBTI people after they passed harsh new laws eroding the rights of gay people

The European Parliament has voted in support of sanctions against Nigeria and Uganda over the passage of draconian new anti-gay laws.

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan signed the Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition Bill into law in January which makes being anyway involved in a same-sex marriage an actual crime punishable by serious jail time and also bans any advocacy in support of LGBTI rights or support for gay people.

March 8, 2014

Human rights groups have called the campaign against the former deputy prime minister politically motivated

A Malaysian court on Friday overturned an earlier acquittal and sentenced opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim to five years in jail on sodomy charges, ending his hopes of contesting a local by-election this month.

In 2008, Anwar was charged for having sex with a male aide. He was acquitted in 2012 by a High Court citing a lack of evidence. The government later appealed the court’s ruling.

March 3, 2014

Stanley Ntagali, the Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, has accused the Anglican Church of being 'spiritually blind' on the issue of homosexuality

Uganda is threatening to break away from the Church of England over gay rights.

Stanley Ntagali, the Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, has said the head of the Anglican Church has become ‘spiritually blind’ on homosexuality.

Addressing Christians at St Andrew’s Church in Bukoto, he said he had received a letter from Ugandan-born Archbishop of York John Sentamu.

In the letter co-signed by Archbishop of Canterbury, they said the Church of England was ‘concerned’ about the African country’s homophobia.

February 27, 2014

Social media giant was told by gay activists that ceasing operations in Uganda could be a death sentence for young LGBTI teens

Facebook has slammed reports that claimed the social media giant will be pulling out of Uganda over the anti-gay law.

Several African news reports printed a statement from the social media giant's chief operating officer.

‘When we launched Facebook, we thought it as a platform to advance people’s rights and liberties of self expression in all form. We were equally shocked to learn that Uganda as a country had gone ahead to sign the Anti Homosexuality bill into a law,’ Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operations officer, quoted as saying.

February 24, 2014

Cher said no, and the world listened. From ballet demonstrations to national commercials, from tweets to open letters, here are the 14 ways the world came together for the Russian LGBTI community

Did you pour your Stoli vodka down a drain, or stop eating McDonald’s during the Winter Olympics?

In recent months Russia has been at the center of a civil rights firestorm, between president Putin signing anti-gay laws to politicians threatening LGBTI Olympic athletes and spectators.

Even though the Sochi Winter Olympics wrapped up this weekend, the reactions to Russia's anti-gay laws are still being seen, heard and felt around the world.

February 24, 2014

‘Instead of standing on the side of freedom, justice and equal rights for its people, today, regrettably, Ugandan President Museveni took Uganda a step backward by signing into law legislation criminalizing homosexuality'

The United States has condemned President Yoweri Museveni for taking a step backward by signing the anti-gay bill into law today (24 February).

It is one of the most draconic legislations in the world, toughening up present laws to include life imprisonment for ‘repeat offenders’ of homosexuality.

It will also be illegal to ‘promote’ homosexuality, and those who fail to report homosexuals to the police will also risk arrest or jail.

February 20, 2014

Conservative life peer caused controversy last year when he said the same-sex marriage bill in England and Wales would lead to lesbian queens and fathers marrying sons

A former Tory chairman is worried about transsexual Muslim airline pilots taking jobs away from non-transsexual Muslims.

Norman Tebbit, 82, has attacked the ‘insane dictum’ that states senior ranks of the services should be ‘representative of the community it serves’.

Writing on his Daily Telegraph blog, the former Conservative cabinet minister said: ‘Try putting that into practice elsewhere.

February 12, 2014

International human rights group Human Rights Watch has called on the Malaysian Government to stop trying to have Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim prosecuted over claims he has had sex with men and to end its colonial era ban on gay sex

Human Rights Watch have called on the Malaysian Government to end its attempts to have Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim jailed over claims he has had sex with men in what is widely viewed as an effort to keep the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition in power.

BN have ruled Malaysia since 1974 and Ibrahim is a former BN MP turned vocal critic of the government who has been trying to unseat the Malaysian Government since 1998.

January 30, 2014

Prize winning Indian author Vikram Seth has published a poem protesting India’s Supreme Court’s reinstatement of the colonial era Section 377 ban on gay sex just days after a review panel refused to reverse the court’s decision

WH Smith Literary Award winning author Vikram Seth has published a poem in reaction to the Indian Supreme Court’s recriminalization of homosexuality in his homeland.

January 17, 2014

Report claims President Yoweri Museveni refuses to back the law previously called the ‘Kill the gays bill’ and has attacked parliament’s Speaker Kadaga for passing it

Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni has attacked parliament for passing the Anti-Homosexuality Bill and said gays are ‘abnormal’ but could be saved.

The bill, previously known as the ‘Kill the Gays Bill’ but with the death penalty now removed, was pushed through in a shock move in December.

Now Museveni has joined the critics of Speaker Rebecca Kadaga who was instrumental in forcing it through – even though some claimed not enough members of parliament (MPs) were present to make a quorum.

January 9, 2014

Former Irish president says that gay priests in the Catholic Church are ‘not so much the elephant in the room but a herd of elephants’ in criticizing the church’s approach to homosexuality

Ex-Irish president Mary McAleese has criticized the Catholic Church for being in denial about gay people for decades and called for disgraced Scottish cardinal Keith O’Brien to come out as gay and tell his life story.

McAleese told the Royal Society of Edinburgh that there were so many gay priests in the church the issue was ‘not so much the elephant in the room but a herd of elephants.’

January 6, 2014

The Indian Supreme Court has refused to sack four Indian Government ministers for criticizing its recriminalization of homosexuality in the South Asian nation but has criticized them for criticizing it

The Indian Supreme Court has refused to sack four Indian Government lawmakers from their ministries for criticizing its decision to recriminalize homosexuality in India.

December 29, 2013

Anti-gay African leader Yahya Jammeh launches fresh attacks on homosexuality and warns Gambians not to expose children to ‘alien cultures’ in annual broadcast

Yahya Jammeh, president of the Gambia, used his annual Christmas message to renew his attacks against homosexuality calling it an ‘evil and strange social cancer’.

He encouraged Gambians to reflect on the ‘pristine values’ and teachings of Christianity at this time of year, having previously warned the UN General Assembly that gay people are a threat to human existence.

December 19, 2013

Israel’s first elected gay Member of the Knesset, Nitzan Horowitz, has accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of using Iran’s persecution of homosexuals to attack it on the world stage while doing nothing to advance gay rights at home

Merertz party Member of the Knesset (MK) Nitan Horowitz has accused Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of using gay rights to attack Iran but says there has been no progress on LGBTI rights under his leadership.

‘In almost every major speech he’s given overseas in the last few years, he has used the LGTB community in Israel as a means to attack Iran,’ Horowitz, Israel’s first openly gay lawmaker, said yesterday according to Haaretz.

December 19, 2013

The Senate and House of Representatives have agreed on a bill banning same-sex marriage, LGBTI gatherings and will even jail allies of gay people

Nigeria's parliament has approved the 'Jail All The Gays' bill, and could be signed by President Goodluck Jonathan at any moment. 

The Senate in Abuja unanimously adopted the report of its conference committee on banning gay marriage last night (18 December). 

After two years, the Senate and House of Representatives have reached an agreement to the wording of the legislation of the Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Bill.

And if the bill becomes law, it will ban same-sex marriage and outlaw anyone from forming organizations supporting gay rights.

December 18, 2013

The controversial penal code 377 was reinstated in India last week and protestors worldwide came out in force to show their disapproval on Sunday

It is a week since India's Supreme Court reinstated section 377 of the penal code.

Overnight they made 17% of the world's gay population into criminals again. And, because it punishes 'unnatural' sex, they forced even straight people to only have intercourse in the missionary position or risk a jail term.

The court's decision has been met with outrage around the world, with LGBTI equality groups and public figures gay and straight lining up to condemn it.

And on Sunday (15 December) protests took place worldwide under the name ‘Global Day of Rage.’

December 9, 2013

The Australian Government and Greens have joined forces to stop an attempt to initiate a referendum on gay marriage in Australia by a senator from the right wing Catholic Democratic Labor Party

Advocates for same-sex marriage in Australia have praised Liberal and National party senators in the Australian Government and senators from the Greens for joining forces to defeat an attempt to begin the process of having a referendum on same-sex marriage in Australia.

Democratic Labour Party senator John Madigan put forward a motion to establish an inquiry into holding a referendum on same-sex marriage earlier today.

December 2, 2013

Director Gus Van Sant, writer Dustin Lance Black and producer Bruce Cohen present hand sewn rainbow flag at closing ceremony

Even five bombs threats could not stop three of the men behind the 2008 film Milk from presenting their film at the Side by Side LGBT Festival in St. Petersburg Russia over the weekend.

Director Gus Van Sant, screenwriter Dustin Lance Black and producer Bruce Cohen flew from the US to Russia for the event in a country where speaking out in support of homosexuality is against the law.

The trio spoke about the film, which won Black an Oscar for his script and Sean Penn an Oscar for his performance as Harvey Milk, as well as the LGBTI equality movement in the US.

November 6, 2013

Carmen Carrera went from RuPaul’s Drag Race to the pages of W magazine. Is the Victoria Secret runway next for her?

It’s about time we had an Angel from the LGBTI community.

New Jersey-born Carmen Carrera, who stole hearts and snatched wigs as a contestant in season three from RuPaul’s Drag Race, has received nearly 18,000 signatures on an online petition to become the first transgender model to rock the Victoria’s Secret runway.

November 1, 2013

US Wikileaks mole is being forced to dress as a man in a men's security prison

Wikileaks mole Chelsea Manning has threatened to take the US Army to court over their refusal to let her transition.

The former Army private came out as trans publicly after it was announced she would serve a 35-year sentence for leaking more than 700,000 secret military documents while working as an intelligence analyst in Iraq.  

Manning is currently being held at the US Disciplinary Barracks, a men’s military prison.

Prison officials are also forcing Manning to dress as a man.  

November 1, 2013

Gay rights activists have accused the Moscow authorities of condoning Adolf Hitler's actions during the Holocaust by banning a peaceful protest

Russia has banned a tribute to the LGBTI victims of Nazi Germany.

On 31 October, the Moscow government refused a group to condemn Adolf Hitler’s actions and honor the 100,000 gay people arrested during World War II.

Gay rights activists have condemned the refusal as ‘surreal’ and ‘absurd’.

Around 20 participants applied to hold a peaceful event in Kudrinskaya Square in Moscow on 5 November.

October 16, 2013

An anonymous objector contacted a Kremlin flag expert in order to see whether the seven colored symbol was offensive to Russian sensibilities

Russia has ruled a Jewish rainbow flag, which bears a very similar resemblance to a gay pride flag, does not violate the country’s ‘gay propaganda’ laws.

An anonymous objector consulted the Kremlin’s top flag expert concerned the Jewish Autonomous Region’s seven-colored flag was breaking federal rules.

‘Regarding the similarity of this flag with the symbol of the gay movement, we explain that not every rainbow image is linked to sexual orientation,’ official Kremlin advisor Georgy Vilinbakhov said.

October 10, 2013

African LGBTI Out & Proud Diamond Group is calling all supporters of the Gambia LGBT community to come and fight against anti-gay laws

Gay rights groups will be holding a protest against the Gambia president who wishes to behead LGBT people in London today (10 October).

African LGBTI Out & Proud Diamond Group will be calling all supporters to the Gambian High Commission after Yahya Jammeh's vitriolic homophobic United Nations speech where he claimed 'homosexuality is one of the biggest threats to human existence.'