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March 31, 2015

Kids are no longer restricted to playing games featuring the 'traditional' family set-up, thanks to these new toys showing families in all genders, colors and sizes

Not all families are the same.

So why, when visiting a toy store, are the shelves filled with rows upon rows of a generic family set-up: one dad, one mom, a boy and a girl?

One couple became so frustrated with the status quo that they’ve taken the matter into their own hands, creating a new set of toys designed with diversity in mind.

When looking for presents for his friend’s children, Ez Karpf and his wife struggled to find a multiracial doll set that resembled the family they knew.

March 28, 2015

Says one survivor: 'They blanketed their abusive practices under the guise of Christianity'

Thousands of youth have been abused and hundreds have died while in residential programs that claim to help 'troubled' youth, including those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.

The Los Angeles LGBT Center announced at a news conference Friday that it has joined forces with Survivors of Institutional Abuse (SIA) to launch a national campaign to regulate these programs on a federal level.

March 19, 2015

Mel Spencer joins the GSN team to lead on coverage of all aspects of family and parenting.

The editorial team at Gay Star News continues to grow with the appointment of Mel Spencer as the new editor for the family and parenting section.

Launched in May 2014, the family and parenting section of Gay Star News has quickly grown to produce some of the most widely read articles and updates.

'I'm thrilled to be part of such a dynamic team of journalists' said Spencer.

March 17, 2015

A 14-year-old helps debunk myths around being transgender: 'Gender is who you are, like your soul.'

It's the question every out teen dreads: 'Are you sure you're actually transgender?'

At best, it solicits an eye-roll and a well-rehearsed answer; at worst, further months of self-doubt and stress.

March 13, 2015

Decision to vaccinate gay and bi men to protect them delayed

A decision to start a vaccination program to stop gay and bi men getting anal cancer has been delayed by UK health officials.

The reason? Because it may not be ‘cost effective’.

All girls aged 12 to 13 already get the vaccines which stop them getting the human papillomavirus (HPV) and developing genital warts and cervical cancer.

The idea was to extend that to all boys of the same age. But that decision has been put off until 2017.

March 10, 2015

Elly Barnes, CEO of Educate & Celebrate, talks about her experience educating primary school children and introduces a short film showing the Educate & Celebrate 'PRIDE in Primary Education' resources being used

Children are not born racist, sexist or homophobic; this is a fact I say in every training session and staff meeting!

Young people learn negative behaviours very early on from outside influences, therefore it is our job as educators to ensure that all these discriminatory views are challenged and eradicated.

We need to create a safe space for everyone in our school community to ensure LGBT+ students, teachers at school are not bullied or discriminated against.

March 4, 2015

Teachers are told to listen to the worries and anxieties of LGBTI students

The Japanese education ministry has issued a document to schools and the education board requiring educational institutions give attention and support to LGBTI students.

Local media reports that LGBTI students are often abused and bullied on Japanese campuses, while experts and scholars are recommending schools carry out effective responses earlier to prevent suicide.

But current measures are limited to laws on 'homosexual disorder.'

March 3, 2015

Young and looking for work? While the UK’s main political parties continue to argue over the growth in apprenticeship places, employers from a range of sectors will feature at the show at London’s Business Design Centre

The annual Diversity Apprenticeships Careers Show returns to London this Friday (6 March).

Aimed at those still in school or at the very beginning of their career, the show will host exhibitors who recognize the importance of diversity and inclusiveness in the workplace.

March 2, 2015

Lord Browne of Madingley writes of his hopes and ambitions in teaming up The Glass Closet and Gay Star Business

Welcome to Gay Star Business and welcome to the new platform for glasscloset.org.

When I wrote The Glass Closet I hoped it would become more than a book. I expected it to become a movement to advocate and support LGBTI workplace equality around the globe.

February 23, 2015

Italians respond in the best possible way

Islamic State militants have threatened to take over Rome and throw gay people from the 'Leaning Tower of Pizza.'

The militant group made the threat Saturday (21 February) on Twitter, seemingly unaware of the glaring spelling mistake – or the fact that the tower is 200 miles outside of the Italian capital.

'#We_Are_Coming_O_Rome, we will conquer & establish the justice of #shariah. We will use your leaning tower of pizza to throw off homosexual,' the tweet reads.

'#We_Are_Coming_O_Rome with slaughter,' said a second.

February 20, 2015

'I hope she can feel safe at school without fear of being bullied'

California Rep Mike Honda has said he is the 'proud grandpa' of an eight-year-old transgender granddaughter.

The Democrat Wednesday (18 February) tweeted his support along with a photo of himself with his arm around a smiling child with shoulder-length hair.

'As the proud grandpa of a transgender grandchild, I hope she can feel safe at school without fear of being bullied,' he wrote.

February 13, 2015

The head rabbi of Melbourne's Yeshivah Center has told an inquiry into the handling of child abuse complaints by institutions that be believes it’s possible that pedophiles could be cured through counseling and spiritual guidance and that ‘the same thing could happen to someone who was gay’

A leading Orthodox Jewish religious leader in Australia has told a public inquiry into child abuse in institutions that he believes that gay people can change their orientation if they undergo therapy and are given spiritual guidance.

Rabbi Zvi Telsner made the comment in response to questions at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Australia, which is currently examining how Jewish schools in Melbourne and Sydney responded to reports of child abuse since the 1980s.

February 3, 2015

Compulsory lessons will include profiles on Oscar Wilde and inclusive sex and relationships education

Labour will make teaching LGBTI issues in UK schools compulsory if they win May's General Election.

Tristram Hunt MP, Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary, has announced plans to ensure homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying is tackled if the party forms the next government.

Under the plan, unveiled today (4 Feburary) at Little Ilford School in London, it will ensure all teachers are trained to tackle bullying of LGBTI kids and make age-appropriate sex and relationships compulsory in all schools that receive state funding.

January 24, 2015

The married men, one of whom is a pastor, were seeking a faith-based school in which to enroll their son and daughter

A non-denomination private school in Tennessee has declined to accept two children who are being raised by a married same-sex couple.

Brian Copeland and Greg Bullard [pictured], who married in California in 2013, have been searching for a school in which to enroll their children – a son of pre-kindergarten age and a daughter, who is eight months old, reports USA Today.

January 22, 2015

Proposed Manchester school would help support bullied and outcast LGBTIA kids

A campaign is being launched against plans to build the UK's first 'gay school' in Manchester.

LGBT Youth North West, based in the city centre, wish to take around 40 full time and 20 part-time LGBTI pupils and their allies.

It is hoped the school will help bullied and outcast kids that need additional support. It is currently in the 'consultation' stages of the planning.

January 19, 2015

It was announced last week that England’s first ‘gay school', aimed primarily at LGBT pupils, is due to be launched in Manchester. Elly Barnes, CEO and Founder of Educate & Celebrate, explains why she would instead prefer to see all schools adopt LGBT-friendly practices

How do children learn about difference? They learn from their experiences and by who surrounds them.

Through our teacher training and resource program we recognize that those students in multi-cultural areas have a much greater understanding of difference as they are surrounded by people of different cultures, faiths, disabilities, genders, sexual orientations and gender identities.

Creating visibility around these differences increases understanding, acceptance and ‘usualizes’ diversity as a whole in our communities.

January 9, 2015

He also suggests too many 'hunks' on TV are making being gay seem 'attractive'

Taylor Swift is turning kids gay, a pastor has claimed.

Larry Tomczak is now suggesting children are learning 'homosexuality is a beautiful way of life' because of the many pro-gay messages on television.

He suggests people like Ellen DeGeneres are exploiting the 'Shake It Off' singer into forcing girls into embracing an 'immoral', 'unnatural' and 'shameful' lifestyle.

January 1, 2015

He tweets: 'If Tyler Clemente's roommate could be prosecuted—and he was—then the parents of can & should be'

Author and activist Dan Savage is furious with the parents of an Ohio transgender teen who committed suicide this week.

Leelah Alcorn, 17, died Sunday after being struck by a truck in Union Township, Ohio. She had left behind a lengthy suicide note on her Tumblr account.

December 26, 2014

Pictures of teachers hugging loved ones is being sent to officials in order to have them fired for 'immoral behavior'

A music teacher who worked with disabled children in St Petersburg was fired for being gay this month, the latest in a long line of educators who have become victims of Russia's 'gay propaganda' law.

Anastasia (not her real name) was called into the principal's office on 8 December. She was told that pictures of her hugging her girlfriend had been forwarded to the school and a demand she be fired for 'immoral behavior'.

The pictures and demand was also sent to local government officials.

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 7, 2014

Throughout much of his childhood, Matthew McVarish was repeatedly sexually abused by an uncle. He's now on a mission to walk through 32 European capital cities to help end the silence that persists around child sexual abuse

When Matthew McVarish was first taken to see the film Forrest Gump, at the age of 11, little did he know that – years later – it would prove to be the inspiration for his current endeavor.

The Scotsman is nearing the end of his ‘Road to Change’: an 20-month mission to walk 10,000 miles across Europe, visiting the capital cities of 29 countries in an effort to raise awareness around child sex abuse and to break down the stigma victims feel in talking about their experiences.

November 28, 2014

Archbishop of Trinidad and Tobago Joseph Harris has spoken out against religious parents who desert their gay children as he helped open a new Catholic shelter for children that will not discriminate against gay and lesbian kids

The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Trinidad and Tobago Joseph Harris helped launch a new shelter for at-risk children on Wednesday – one of four operated in the Caribbean nation by the Holy Faith Sisters religious charity.

According to the Credo Center’s administrators, the shelter will welcome children regardless of their sexual orientation and the same policy exists for all the Holy Faith Sister’s children’s shelters in Trinidad and Tobago.

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

Interview process also forces applicants to reveal their HIV status or if they've had a 'transsexual operation'

A Christian university in South Korea has told gay people they are not welcome to apply for jobs on their campus.

'Drinking, smoking and homosexuality are not allowed,' the ad for an English language teacher job posted by Korea Nazarene University reads.

The full job application also includes a 'self health check list'. Questions include 'Are OR were you HIV (AIDS) positive?' and 'Have you had transsexual operation? [sic]'.

University officials claim LGBTI people do not meet the 'requirements' needed to be a teacher at the school.