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May 12, 2015

Groundbreaking video is first time Arabic-speaking public figures have backed IDAHOT

Lebanese celebrities have stepped forward to make a powerful video for International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT).

In the video, a world first organized by the Proud Lebanon group, 14 prominent Lebanese personalities say everyone is born ‘free and equal’.

They argue against anti-gay legislation, saying: ‘We should all work together to change these unjust laws and replace them with laws that protect all citizens.’

April 28, 2015

The hotel’s gay owners held an intimate gathering at their apartment last week for Ted Cruz, a virulent opponent of same-sex marriage

Around 100 protestors took to the street outside New York’s gay hotel, The OUT NYC, yesterday evening.

They were protesting the fact that the hotel’s owners, gay businessmen Mati Weiderpass and Ian Reisner, hosted an intimate party last week at their penthouse apartment for Republican Senator Ted Cruz and his wife.

April 21, 2015

Survey finds 60% of respondents in their twenties back same-sex unions

South Koreans have become more tolerant of homosexuality and more supportive of gay marriage, according to annual surveys conducted over the last four years.

The number of respondents showed no reservations about homosexuality increased from 15.8% in 2010 to 23.7% in 2014. In the same period, those who supported the legalization of gay marriage rose from 16.9% to 28.5%.

The Asan Institute for Policy Studies interpreted this change in attitude as the conservative country 'consolidating its democratic and liberal values.'

April 8, 2015

'The outcomes of these seminars, while being held on public grounds, can be interpreted as state-sponsored advocacy of hatred'

The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) has written to South Korean officials to express concern over two recent 'conversion therapy' seminars hosted in government buildings.

The letter dated 3 April said the failure of high-level government officials and the National Human Rights Commission of Korea (NHRCK) to denounce 'gay cures' and the groups promoting these practices contravened the country's international commitments to human rights.

April 1, 2015

US presidential hopeful says he doesn't believe in 'rights based on behavior'

Republican presidential hopeful Rand Paul has said he doesn't believe in LGBTI rights because they are based on 'lifestyle.'

'I don’t think I’ve ever used the word gay rights, because I don’t really believe in rights based on your behavior,' he said in a 2013 video interview that received little attention at the time.

By the same reasoning, the Kentucky senator should also oppose free excise of religion and freedom of speech, both of which are rights based on behaviours.

March 9, 2015

Horrific video appears on social media

An angry mob stoned a young, allegedly gay man to death in Jamaica and filmed themselves hurling rocks at his head.

The video of the murder of the alleged gay youth, believed to be aged around 19 to 21, has gone viral on social media after being posted last week.

It shows the young man dressed effeminately with long hair, appearing to be tied up in ropes or wire, laying in a pool of his own blood. A large stone is thrown at the boy's head, blood gushes out.

It's not clear whether he is still alive or conscious as the rocks break his skull.

March 3, 2015

Protestors from around the world gathered outside Royal Courts of Justice to fight for LGBTI rights activist Aderonke Apata, and Gay Star News was there

A judge has adjourned court following an intense hearing of the highly publicized case of Aderonke Apata, a Nigerian lesbian fighting for asylum in the UK.

The 47-year-old gay rights advocate and award-winner came to Britain from Nigeria in 2004 seeking asylum on religious grounds.

Coming from a Christian family, she married a Muslim man in what she says was a sham arrangement to cover up her long-term relationship with a woman.

February 24, 2015

Randy Berry will advocate for LGBTI rights globally

The US State Department Monday (23 February) named Randy Berry as its first LGBTI rights envoy.

The openly gay diplomat is currently the US consul general in Amsterdam and has served in Bangladesh, Egypt, Uganda, and South Africa.

Secretary of State John Kerry said he 'could not be more proud' to announce Berry as the first-ever special envoy for the human rights of LGBTI persons.

February 19, 2015

Research suggests attractive men are as unkind and unequal as rich people

A new study has found the better looking a man is, the more likely he is to be selfish.

Brunel University London tested a theory in evolutionary psychology that attractive people have more to gain from inequality because they tend to have higher social status.

'We found that attractive men tended to be less egalitarian and less generous. But that wasn’t the case with attractive women,' said lead investigator and senior lecturer in psychology at Brunel University London, Dr Michael Price.

February 11, 2015

Four government bodies reject the first LGBTI group to apply for incorporation

The first South Korean LGBTI group to apply for incorporation has said they were rejected by four government agencies because of anti-gay discrimination.

Beyond the Rainbow Foundation approached the Seoul Municipal Government, National Human Rights Commission and the ministry of justice between January 2014 to January 2015 but were rejected by them all.

January 30, 2015

Legislation creates a special LGBTI envoy in the State Department

US lawmakers in both of houses of congress yesterday (29 January) introduced a bill to promote and protect LGBTI rights globally.

The International Human Rights Defense Act would create a special envoy in the State Department to coordinate efforts to prevent and respond to discrimination and violence against LGBTI people worldwide.

January 21, 2015

President Obama calls gay marriage a 'civil right'

US president Barack Obama made history today (21 January) by saying the words 'lesbian,' 'bisexual' and 'transgender' for the first in a state of the union address.

The president said that he pushed for LGBTI rights because 'as Americans, we respect human dignity.'

'That’s why we defend free speech, and advocate for political prisoners, and condemn the persecution of women, or religious minorities, or people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender,' he said.

January 14, 2015

Makes it legal for business owners to deny service to LGBTI people under 'religious and moral convictions'

The US state of Virginia is today (14 January), considering a law that allows all companies to deny service to LGBTI people under the guise of religious or moral conviction.

The bill, which was introduced last month by Republican Delegate Bob Marshall, would make it legal for business owners to refuse service on the basis of religious opposition to gay marriage and ‘homosexual behavior.’

This would mean teachers could refuse to have gay students in their classes and movie theaters ban people they perceive to be gay.

January 13, 2015

Ban Ki-moon says such laws breed intolerance even if not enforced

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon 'staunchly opposes' India's anti-gay law, which he said breeds intolerance in the world's largest democracy.

He made the comments yesterday (12 January) at while addressing the Indian Council of World Affairs in New Delhi.

'We are all different from one another, but we all have the same human rights,' he said.

'I am proud to stand for the equality of all people, including those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender. I staunchly oppose the criminalization of homosexuality.

January 8, 2015

They suggest he could be more consistent

Gay rights leaders in some of the world's most homophobic countries have written a letter to President Obama.

They are calling on him to be more consistent with dealing with the governments that are passing anti-LGBTI laws.

The letter, signed by people like Kenya's Eric Gitari and The Gambia's Pasamba Jow, suggest the way he dealt with Ugandan politicians should be the same as the way he deals with lawmakers from countries that do not receive the same media attention such as Nigeria or Kyrgyzstan.

December 19, 2014

Trailblazing activists reach out to queer community in Southeastern Europe

It has been called the most anti-gay country in Europe – after last year's European Social Survey (ESS) indicated that over 53% of people there opposed homosexuality.

However, a gay rights group in Albania has broken boundaries by opening the first LGBTI shelter in the country.

The project, founded by queer gay rights groups Alenaca LGBT and ProLGBT, will help queer victims of violence, domestic abuse and homelessness.

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 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 1, 2014

Christian groups oppose a clause banning LGBTI discrimination

The Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) yesterday announced a citywide human rights charter would be postponed indefinitely after a series of anti-gay protests.

The last six public hearings on the charter were protested by Christian groups that oppose a clause banning discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or sexual identity.

November 27, 2014

The principal of a catholic school in Ottawa, Canada, has stepped in to halt a school project from two 11-year-old pupils on the topic of gay rights.

Grade 6 students Quinn Maloney-Tavares and Polly Hamilton, who attend St. George’s Catholic School in Ottawa, were asked to complete a project on social justice and allowed to choose their own specific theme.

They chose gay rights, because, as Quinn told the Ottawa Citizen, ‘A lot of people, they don’t know they’re being rude, but they make being gay a bad thing.

‘They need to know that it’s not a bad thing.’

November 14, 2014

Senior official says culture is no excuse for denying human rights

The US has urged India end to discrimination against LGBTI people and said culture is no excuse for denying human rights.

Sarah Sewall, under-secretary for civilian security, democracy and human rights at the US state department, made the comments yesterday (13 November) while delivering a lecture on human rights in New Delhi.

October 28, 2014

Dozens of counter-protesters hurled tomatoes and insults at three LGBTI activists

Dozens of Russian nationalists hurled tomatoes and insults at three LGBTI activists on Sunday in the southern city of Lipetsk.

Two young women and a man were confronted at the central Cathedral Square by about 100 nationalists and conservatives as well as police officers deployed to prevent violence.

Protestor Reida Linn told LRNews that they were 'fighting homophobia, discrimination and violations of the Constitution and of the rights of LGBT people.'

She said it was not an authorized rally, which are subject to prosecution under Russian law.

October 27, 2014

The bill was passed in a landslide vote earlier this month

The United Nations human rights office has urged Kyrgyzstan to scrap a draft law that punishes the spreading of 'gay propaganda' with up to a year in jail.

The Kyrgyz parliament passed the Russian-style bill in a landslide vote at its first reading earlier this month.