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January 29, 2015

'Arachnaphobia, yes. Transphobia, no'

Australian feminist pioneer Germaine Greer stunned members of Cambridge University's student union on Monday (26 January) evening with a vitriolic anti-trans rant.

The renowned academic said she did not think there was such a thing as transphobia and sex reassignment surgery was 'unethical.'

'Women are 51% of the world’s population and [now I’ve been told] I’ve got to worry about transphobia,' she said.

'I didn’t know there was such a thing. Arachnaphobia, yes. Transphobia, no.'

January 28, 2015

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also known as the Mormons, has called for legislation protecting LGBTI people from discrimination in housing and employment across the United States so long as ‘religious rights’ are not compromised

The leadership of the US Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints made its most accommodating statement on LGBTI issues to date on Tuesday this week in a televised press conference and online statements published on the church’s official website.

However in the same breath the Mormons accused LGBTI activists of seeking to take away the same freedom of expression for religious people that they had fought so hard to win for themselves.

January 28, 2015

Got an apology and £500 payment in return

A UK bank has accused a woman of fraud just because she is trans.

The Financial Ombudsman Service has warned the biggest banks in the UK to ensure they properly handle sensitive situations.

For example, the dispute resolution body confused a female customer's gender reassignment with fraud blocking her credit card.

A few days before the account was suspended, the woman Ms B gave the bank a ring. Confirming her identity, she was told her address couldn't be changed.

January 24, 2015

Radical group uses document to ‘clarify’ sick rules, to be imposed in areas of Iraq and Syria

The Islamic State has released a list of punishments to be enforced in the areas of Iraq and Syria under its control – and the punishment for gay sex is death.

Those who have committed blasphemy or adultery, or are found spying for 'non-believers’, will also be sentenced to death, according to the terrifying document which has now become widely available.

Other punishments include amputation for stealing, and 80 lashes for slandering or drinking alcohol.

January 22, 2015

Lesbian couple finds 'lesos,' 'sluts' and 'poofta' spray-painted in their home

A lesbian couple from Australia were the targets of a hate crime justs days after they were forced out of their home by severe flooding.

Lavinia Pike Tuesday (20 January) found their house in Sandford, Tasmania vandalized with anti-gay graffiti when she returned to feed their pets.

Pike, who suffers from chronic asthma and an acquired brain injury, said she was stunned to find hate speech such as 'lesos,' 'sluts' and 'poofta' spray-painted throughout the home she shares with her partner Kelly Kluga and daughter Bella Kenworthy, 13.

January 21, 2015

Majority of trans inmates want separate prisons to avoid sexual harassment

Vietnam may house LGBTI prisoners in separate jails to protect them from sexual harassment.

The plan was proposed to the ministry of public security by the Social, Economic and Environmental Institute, which has studied gender-related issues for years.

A 2014 report found that the majority of transgender inmates wanted separate jails to avoid the risk of sexual harassment. LGBTI prisoners are at greatest risk of sexual harassment.

The institute cited statistics from California, which showed 67% of LGBTI inmates have suffered sexual harassment.

January 20, 2015

Parodied a LGBTI campaign by the University of Bristol

UK university students are believed to have put up a poaster claiming that trans people rape women every nine minutes.

Posted at the University of Bristol, the sexist and transphobic poster was put up near the Wills Memorial Building toilets.

It is attributed to ‘MENZ+ Society’, a group that does not exist at the University of Bristol.

'Women, if a man tries to enter a womens' bathroom please take these simple steps:' it reads.

'1. Kindly ignore the fact that men including transgender males rape women every nine minutes.

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 14, 2015

Attack by McCleish Christmas Benham went viral after being captured on YouTube by fellow traveler

A Tennessee man who physically attacked a male bystander at Dallas Fort-Worth Airport and hurled anti-gay slurs at him has been fined just $474 for the incident.

McCleish Christmas Benham did not face jail time or hate crime charges for the October attack.

Benham, 28, did not show up for his court date so he was convicted on charges of public intoxication and simple assault - both misdemeanors that are each punishable by a maximum $500 fine.

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 12, 2015

Gay rights activist: 'This would be a disaster, a government-mandated torture chamber for children.'

An Indian state is planning on setting up 'rehabs' for LGBTI youth to be 'cured'.

Ramesh Tawadkar, Goa's Sports and Youth Affairs Minister, said gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex teenagers need to be 'helped' – like young people who have committed crimes or are addicted to drugs.

Speaking to reporters at the launch of the Goa State Youth Policy 2015, he reportedly said: 'We will make them normal. We will have a center for them. Like Alcholic Anonymous centers.'

January 1, 2015

Matt Bomer, Laverne Cox, Raven-Symonè and Adam Lambert among those sharing messages on social media

Ellen DeGeneres has kicked off the new year by taking to Twitter and making a bold prediction: 'Happy 2015! If 2014 was the year of the selfie, 2015 is gonna be the year of baby goats on Instagram. I’m calling it early.'

DeGeneres, who caused Twitter to crash on Oscar night with her all-star selfie, was among the LGBTI celebrities who posted messages on social media on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.

Here is a sampling compiled by Gay Star News:

December 29, 2014

Money will win over morality

The moral case for supporting LGBTI rights isn’t persuading global policymakers.

We have proved discrimination and abuse against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people is a violation of human rights. But around 80 countries still criminalize homosexuality and most others don’t give LGBTI people equality or protection.

The moral argument alone won’t win. It’s time we spoke to world leaders in a language they understand.

December 25, 2014

'To the individual who scrawled the word ‘’faggots’’ into our door: We regret to inform you that you completely failed to use glitter paint and/or sequins...'

During 2014, we’ve seen a great deal of homophobic incidents shared on the internet.

And some of the most inspiring moments come from when victims of homophobia find the perfect way to respond to them.

In this case, we see a gay couple find the classiest, and perhaps the most festive way, to put a homophobe in their place.

The couple reached their door to find the word ‘faggots’ scrawled underneath their Christmas wreath.

They responded like this:

December 18, 2014

The first lady of Irish drag Panti Bliss, also known as Rory O'Neil, on her life in travel – from camping with cowboys at the Grand Canyon to interrogation by a 'giant man-child' on the Mongolian border...

Do you typically take lots of luggage when you go away for all of your fabulous outfits?
Being a travelling drag queen means you are packing for two people and one of those people likes big hair, big dresses, big jewellery, shoes the size of boats, and enough makeup to warrant it's own pack mule. Thankfully a teenage addiction to Tetris has equipped me with excellent packing skills.

Have you ever experienced homophobia abroad?
Thankfully nothing very serious, but I've been called a faggot in a few different languages!

December 18, 2014

The new smoke-free alternative to cigarettes

Are there times when you can’t or don’t want to smoke traditional cigarettes or e-cigarettes?

You may spend long periods of time in non-smoking environments, such as the office, long-haul flights, concerts, gigs or restaurants.

An innovative and revolutionary smoking alternative has launched in the UK to give you a smokeless satisfaction without all the bad stuff (i.e. tobacco, tar, smell). With more than 5,000 customers in less than three months we see how Nicoccino is catching on!

December 17, 2014

R&B artist punched a fan in the face, and reportedly said he was not up for 'gay shit'

R&B artist Chris Brown will not face jail time after pleading guilty to an assault where he punched a fan and allegedly called him a 'faggot'.

A Washington DC superior court has ruled Brown, as well as his bodyguard Christopher Hollosy, will not serve any time behind bars for the assault in October 2013.

On 16 December, judge Patricia Wynn sentenced Hollosy to 90 days in jail - suspending the sentence unless he violated his one-year probation.

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

Donnie Romero is an acolyte of the Arizona preacher who wants all gay people killed for 'an AIDS-free Christmas'

A Texas pastor told Stedfast Baptist Church in Fort Worth last Sunday that he loved the part of the Bible that says God wants gay people to be 'put to death.'

Donnie Romero said if he ever got 'soft on sin,' he hoped that his children would tell him to 'get up there and rip on these queers because it's only getting worse and worse.'

'I'm not going to let any of these dirty faggots inside my church,' he said.

'They are all pedophiles... They're always trying to rape and hurt other people. They're relentless. They are relentless.

December 11, 2014

'I bow my head and apologize for the anxiety I have caused'

The mayor of Seoul will meet the LGBTI protesters who occupied city hall for five consecutive days over his scrapping of a human rights charter.

A coalition of 20 groups started the sit-in on Saturday demanding an apology and face-to-face meeting with Mayor Park Won-soon.

Park agreed to the meeting yesterday on Human Rights Day, the date the charter was supposed to be enacted.

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 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

'Fag free zone,' 'White power,' 'Fags die, God laughs'

A gay couple has reported a homophobic vandal attack on their house and car in Alaska, several weeks after the state legalized same-sex marriage.

Adam Jacobson found frozen soup inside their mailbox, egg shells on their porch and three half-empty pickle jars strewn about their backyard after arriving at their home in Anchorage early Saturday morning (6 December).

He dismissed the food as a prank until his husband found on their car a collage of anti-gay signs and drawings containing homophobic, racist and religious language as well as a Nazi swastika.

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.