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February 28, 2015

Convened by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the meeting is the first of its kind to bring together LGBTI activists, government and private sector representatives from over 30 countries

Some 200 participants from over 30 countries gathered for the three-day Regional Dialogue on LGBTI Human Rights and Health in Asia-Pacific at the United Nations Conference Centre in Bangkok that concluded yesterday.

Speakers included Oyungerel Tsedevdamba, Member of Parliament of Mongolia; Louise Wall, Member of Parliament of New Zealand; Tarana Halim, Member of Parliament of Bangladesh; law and human rights experts; community organization workers; as well as private sector representatives.

February 26, 2015

Two men pushed the students to the ground then kneed and kicked them

A young lesbian couple were left bleeding and unconscious after a homophobic attack in Ireland.

Roisin Prendergast, 20, and Ciara Murphy, 17, were walking to a food outlet in Limerick at 2am on 9 February when two men started 'firing homophobic slurs' at the couple.

February 24, 2015

The CEO and Founder of Diversity Role Models explains why she set up the charity

Two-thirds of LGBT youth have suffered bullying at school, and they are six times more likely to commit suicide.

It's a reality that Suran Dickson encountered as a school teacher in New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Fed up with witnessing harassment and hearing stories of teens taking their own lives, she set up the charity Diversity Role Models.

The organization brings role models of diverse backgrounds into schools. They help normalize difference, and show young people that there is a way forward for everyone.

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 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 17, 2015

'Section 377 is discriminatory in its application and unreasonable in its intent'

The chairman of the Law Commission of India has slammed the country's anti-gay as discriminatory and psychologically damaging.

Justice A P Shah made the comments yesterday in New Delhi at the launch of a book about LGBTI legal issues in the southeast Asian country.

'Section 377 is discriminatory in its application, unreasonable in its intent, deprives a group of its personal autonomy and violates individual privacy and human dignity,' he said.

February 16, 2015

Apple CEO says the president's new cyber privacy rules could put gay people at risk

Tim Cook Friday (13 February) challenged US President Barack Obama on gay rights at a cyberprivacy summit at Stanford University.

Obama signed an executive order at the White House summit to encourage information sharing between the private sector and the government in order to prevent future cyber attacks like the Sony hacks.

However, the openly gay CEO of Apple challenged the president in an impassioned speech, in which he said privacy was often a matter of 'life and death' for LGBTI people.

February 13, 2015

First time a US court rules homosexuality is not a disease or disorder

A New Jersey judge has ruled misrepresenting homosexuality as a disorder in marketing conversion therapy services is consumer fraud.

The ruling marks the first time a US court has found that homosexuality is not a disease or a disorder and that it is fraudulent for conversion therapists to make such a claim.

Hudson County superior court judge Peter Bariso Jr said Tuesday (10 February) such claims violated the state's Consumer Fraud Act.

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.'

February 11, 2015

'Kids need supportive environments so they can figure out and be as true to themselves as they can be'

LGBTI people have better self esteem and less depression as young adults if they are open about their sexual orientation or gender identity, a study has revealed.

Researchers have claimed if you are going to hide your identity to the world, it is far more likely to lead to abuse and depression.

Stephen Russell, the study's lead author, says kids need 'supportive environments so they can figure out and be as true to themselves as they can be'.

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.

February 9, 2015

Bulgarian law does not consider homophobic motives as hate crime - they are acts of hooliganism 

Bulgaria’s efforts to investigate and prosecute hate crime are deemed a failure in a report Amnesty International published today (9 February).

According to the report, the lack of adequate investigation and prosecution created a climate of discrimination, fear and ultimately violence. Some victims of hate crime do not dare to report their experiences to the police because they fear further discrimination.

February 9, 2015

New survey reveals how many teachers feel unable to come out and stay safe

A shocking number of LGBTI teachers have suffered homophobia, biphobia or transphobia at school.

Union NASUWT has found more than half of its members in attendance were discriminated against based on their sexual orientation or gender identity during their teaching career.

Nearly a quarter said they felt they needed to stay closeted, with only a third saying they felt they could be out and safe at school.

February 4, 2015

Also calls it a 'crime against God'

An Italian archbishop has attacked a law banning anti-gay speech, describing it as a 'crime against humanity'.

Luigi Negri, the archbishop of Ferrara-Comacchio, has taken issue with a law the country has enacted to protect LGBTI people from hate crime.

He has also blamed the country's economic crisis on abortions, claiming that it has 'stopped more than six milllion Italians coming into the world'. Italy actually has the fourth lowest abortion rate in Europe, with just over 100,000 in 2012.

February 4, 2015

School pupils will be challenged to create cakes that celebrate the theme of ‘LGBT History’ at the live final of a flavorsome competition to help combat homophobia, biphobia and transphobia

Pupils from London and beyond are busy preparing for the grand final of the Great Rainbow Bake Off.

The nationwide competition was launched for school children last year during the UK’s annual anti-bullying week.

Students were invited to bake a rainbow-themed cake or cupcakes and to send photos of the resulting treats to competition organizers, Educate & Celebrate.

February 4, 2015

It is not the post-racial era we dreamed of

Black History Month (which kicked off on 1 February) became a national annual observance in 1926. The goal of the month is to honor and celebrate the achievements of African-Americans.

If Dr Carter Woodson, the Father of Black History, were alive today, he would be proud of the tenacity of the African American community. It speaks volumes about our survival here on this American soil, after centuries of slavery, decades of lynching and years of racial profiling.

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.

February 2, 2015

York City FC will host a Football v Homophobia match

York City FC is giving out dozens of free tickets to LGBTI fans to fight against homophobia in the soccer.

The northern English city club is giving out 100 tickets for their second Football v Homophobia match on 14 February as part of the Month of Action.

Lou Englefield, director of Pride Sports, said York City FC’s initiative to tackle homophobia and welcome LGBTI people into their club had been fantastic.

He said: ‘They have raised the profile of football within the LGBT community and shown their city that everyone has a place in the game.’

January 31, 2015

'I am a strong believer in traditional marriage and I do not construe homosexual rights as human rights'

A US lawmaker sees no connection between human rights and LGBTI equality.

On 27 January, during hearing on Nigeria, Representative Chris Smith separated gay and human rights.

'I am a strong believer in traditional marriage and I do not construe homosexual rights as human rights,' the New Jersey Republican said, according PolitickerNJ.

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 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.