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Content about Diplomatic Relations

February 13, 2015

State media attacks the openly gay chair of a human rights report on the hermit kingdom

North Korea has gone on another homophobic rant against the openly gay chair of a 2013 report condemning Pyongyang’s human rights record.

The Korean Central News Agency last month published an editorial demanding the US retract and apologize for the UN Commission Of Inquiry.

It claimed that a North Korean defector gave false testimony and the report 'is now being ridiculed and censured by the international community.'

January 27, 2015

First time a pontiff meets with a transgender person

Pope Francis held a private meeting with a transgender man after he wrote to the pontiff about the rejection he experienced by the Catholic church after transitioning. 

Diego Neria Lejárraga and his fiancée Saturday (24 January) were received at the Vatican, in what marked the first meeting between a pontiff and a transgender person.

Last year, Neria sent Francis a letter, in which he described how the church he attended in Plasencia, Spain had rejected him after he underwent sex-reassignment surgery. One priest even called him 'the devil’s daughter.'

January 10, 2015

During a TED Talk in Dublin, Irish drag queen tells the audience why she is jealous of the way straight people can hold hands so freely in public

‘I am 45 years old and I have never once held hands with a lover in public,’ announces Panti Bliss.

Irish drag queen Panti was speaking at a TED event in Dublin, Ireland. Her speech was entitled ‘All the little things’, and explores ‘the little, everyday things that can have a huge impact on the wellbeing of gay people.’

Panti looks at the subject of holding hands in public to discuss the way LGBTI people can feel about themselves and how society treats them.

January 7, 2015

'Devout Christian' says he is unapologetic

Atlanta fire chief Kelvin Cochran has been ousted for self-publishing a book in which he equates homosexuality to pederasty and bestiality.

He was fired yesterday (6 January) on return to work after a 30-day suspension without pay.

Cochran distributed his faith-based book titled Who Told You That You Were Naked? to his subordinates without of the city's permission.

In it, he identifies himself as a 'devout Christian man' and lists gay sex as one of several 'vile, vulgar and inappropriate ways which defile their body-temple and dishonor God.'

December 6, 2014

Auckland lawyer Matthew Muir was sworn in as the first openly gay judge to sit on New Zealand’s High Court bench on Friday

One of the lawyers behind the campaign to legalize homosexuality in New Zealand in 1986 has seen his career come full circle as he was just appointed to sit on the bench of the High Court of New Zealand.

Auckland lawyer Matthew Muir was one of a group of lawyers who advised the authors of the Homosexual Law Reform Bill which legalized sex between men in New Zealand in 1986 after decades of activism by the LGBTI community.

December 5, 2014

Suicidal 23-year-old woman faces deportation to Uganda

At the age of 10, a tomboy-ish Ugandan girl was escorted by her grandmother to a witch doctor to 'cure' her of being a lesbian.

With razors, they sliced deep on her joints to force the 'demons' in her blood out. She would then be forced to sleep in a 'house of spirits'. This went on once a week, twice a week, sometimes daily for a year.

This is what happeneed to Judith Twikirize, now 23 and living in the UK. She faces deportation back to Uganda on Monday (8 December).

November 30, 2014

The minister of Foreign Affairs has said there’s no chance of any dialogue between Gambia and any other countries about LGBTI rights 

The Gambian minister for Foreign Affairs has declared he will have nothing to do with ‘ungodly’ gays who are ‘detrimental to human existence.’

These comments were made by Bala Garba Jahumpa on live national television last night (29 November).

In his speech, he spoke about his refusal to enter into dialogue about LGBTI rights with any nations. Even if it means Gambia will lose aid.

November 24, 2014

He was lured on a 'date' by a man, taken to a police station and held there as the authorities ruined his life

A Cameroon man is facing jail after police forcibly outed him as gay to his friends and family.

The 22-year-old, identified as A.H, was lured on an alleged 'date' by a Facebook friend who he had been talking to for around three months online.

Once he went to meet the other man, A.H was taken to the police station in the Ekounou district of Yaounde where he was arrested on accusations of sexual harassment.

November 11, 2014

Milan Rozsa, who made headlines in February when he climbed into the grounds of the Russian embassy in Budapest to protest Russia’s treatment of LGBTIs, has died after stepping in front of a train in an apparent suicide

One of the leading figures in Hungary’s LGBTI equality movement has died in an apparent suicide aged just 26-years-old.

Milan Rozsa rose to prominence as one of the most outspoken young activists on the Hungarian left in just four years of activism - taking prominent roles in not just campaigns to win equality for LGBTI people but also protests against attempts to tax internet usage in Hungary and a plan for Russia to finance a nuclear power plant in the country.

November 9, 2014

Uganda pastor Martin Ssempa is notorious for the viral video in which he claims gays ‘eat the poo-poo’

An online petition wants an honorary degree given to a homophobic pastor revoked.

The petition is calling for support and wants the honorary degree given to Ugandan pastor Martin Ssempa from Cairn University revoked because of his anti-gay views.

Cairn University, in Langhorne, Pennsylvania, awarded the honorary doctorate to Ssempa in 2006 for his work with people with AIDS.

November 6, 2014

Christian owners say they will not apologize for doing 'what God would want us to do'

A Belfast bakery that refused to make a pro-gay marriage cake on religious grounds will face court over allegations of discrimination.

LGBTI rights activist Gareth Lee ordered a cake from Christian-run Ashers Baking Company in May for an International National Day Against Homophobia party held by QueerSpace Belfast.

November 4, 2014

'We must confront homosexuality the same way we confront terrorism'

Egypt's Religious Endowments Minister has accused Zionists of 'promoting' homosexuality and atheism in the Muslim country.

Mohamed Mokhtar Gomaa blamed the spread of atheism on 'the colonialist Zionist force which sponsors and supports atheists and atheism, and finances homosexuals and homosexuality.'

'We must confront atheism, nihilism, homosexuality and moral depravity the same way we confront extremism and terrorism,' he said.

October 10, 2014

Neil Peng says Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou has a 'special relationship' with his closest aide

A Taiwanese court on Wednesday found Taipei mayoral candidate Neil Peng not guilty of defamation for his repeated calls for President Ma Ying-jeou to admit his 'special relationship' with his closest aide.

Ma's aide, National Security Council Secretary-General King Pu-tsung, filed the claim and said he would appeal the ruling.

The author also called King a 'fool,' 'bitch,' 'prostitute' and 'scum.'

October 9, 2014

Christopher Bailey, CEO and Chief Creative Officer at Burberry, and ‘straight ally’ Sir Richard Branson at Virgin, top this year’s rankings

For the second year running, UK-based executive-level networking group OUTstanding has compiled a list of the world's Top 100 LGBTI business leaders.

The OUTstanding top 50 first appeared last year, but this year’s list has been extended to a top 100. A corresponding top 20 ranking of straight allies has also been revealed.

October 6, 2014

Legislator says a public hearing on gay marriage will be held later this month

A coalition of more than 120 civic groups protested yesterday outside the Taiwanese parliament in Taipei demanding the legalization of gay marriage.

Organizers, the Marriage Equality Revolution Front, estimated 20,000 people participated in the ‘rainbow siege’ outside the Legislative Yuan but media reports put the number at 2,000-4,000.

Activists attached 112 padlocks with each legislator's name on them to the parliament gates.

October 2, 2014

Former leader of the anti-gay British National Party was forced to leave for causing 'disunity by deliberately fabricating a state of crisis'

Nick Griffin was forceably expelled from the British National Party, it was announced last night.

The former leader of the far-right political party and ex-MEP, who believes gay marriage 'kills' children and two men kissing is 'creepy', was told to leave for 'trying to cause disunity'.

He has been accused of harassing members of BNP staff, allegedly making physical threats in at least one case, and of 'bringing the party into disrepute'.

September 24, 2014

The last three marches were banned for security reasons

The head of the influential Serbian Orthodox Church has condemned the upcoming Belgrade Pride as 'shameless' and 'selfish.'

Patriarch Irinej said in a statement yesterday that the 'great majority' of people in the conservative Balkan country opposed Sunday's march.

He said, 'Organizers of such parading and their mentors from Europe refuse to draw conclusions from what previous parades caused.'

In 2010 marchers clashed with thousands of attackers. Dozens were arrested but none were convicted.

September 16, 2014

The country's UN ambassador says LGBTI rights 'go against our values'

A top Bangladeshi diplomat has said the Muslim country will oppose any recommendations on LGBTI rights at an upcoming UN conference on sexual and reproductive health and rights.

Abdul Momen, Bangladesh Permanent Representative to the UN, told the Dhaka Tribune, 'It goes against our values. Like many other countries including those Muslims and Christian, we opposed it.'

August 22, 2014

Adam Hills ranted about the 'God Hates Fags' church after they said they would picket Robin Williams' funeral

The Westboro Baptist Church has accepted comedian Adam Hills’ offer to go to Iraq.

July 26, 2014

Peter Tatchell has warned that he would name Anglican bishops he believes to be in same-sex relationships should they discipline members of the clergy who have entered into same-sex marriages

Gay rights activist Peter Tatchell says he has compiled a list of Anglican bishops he believes are in same-sex relationships and has threatened to reveal their identities publicly if they discipline homosexual clergy for marrying their partners.

Last month hospital chaplain Jeremy Pemberton had his license to preach revoked by the Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham after marrying his partner Laurence Cunningham earlier this year.

June 25, 2014

On a visit to Vienna, the Russian president said he will look at the homophobic legislation and 'improve' it in the future

Vladimir Putin has said he will look at the homophobic laws in Russia and ‘improve’ them in the future.

The Russian president was in Vienna to meet with Austrian President Heinz Fischer to make a deal on a pipeline that will reportedly pump half of Russia’s gas supply to Europe from 2016.

At a press conference, he was forced to answer questions on human rights abuses in Russia.

‘There are stereotypes that exist regarding Russia, including on issues of sexual minorities, to a large extent…[are] a fictional idea,’ he said.

June 13, 2014

'You do have many people in Wisconsin basically taking the law into their own hands and there can be legal repercussions for that'

The attorney general for Wisconsin warns clerks, who issued marriage certificates to LGBTI couples, that they could be brought up on charges.

Late last week, US District Court Judge Barbara Crabb struck down the midwestern state's same-sex marriage ban.

On 9 June, Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen sought a stay on the ruling to block clerks from releasing licenses to gay couples. Judge Crabb denied the request.

May 16, 2014

LGBTI rights activists warn under the new government, homosexuality could stay illegal for another five years and the persecution of the community can only increase

Gay sex in India could be banned for another five years now a homophobic political party has gained power in the national election.

The opposition Hindu nationalist BJP party is on course for a landslide victory, as suggested by early results.

Although final results are not expected until later, the scale of the predicted victory is on course for a landslide victory. More than 500 million people voted in the election.

Narendra Modi, the leader of the BJP, tweeted: ‘India has won. Good times ahead.’

May 15, 2014

Russian Orthodox Church is being ridiculed by social media users for opposing Eurovision Song Contest winner Conchita Wurst

Priests from the Russian Orthodox Church are being ridiculed for opposing Eurovision winner Conchita Wurst.

A Russian blogger, Rustem Adagamov, tweeted a picture of the priests in flowing robes with the message: ‘The ROC categorically opposes bearded men in dresses!’

Retweeted hundreds of times, the comment was sparked by the Church’s opposition against the Austrian drag queen singer.