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September 17, 2014

They were always there for each other. But were they there for you?

Friends is 20 years old. And it is still as popular as ever. On one TV channel, somewhere in the world, people are probably going commando, drinking coffee and asking 'How you doing?'

But while the hugely successful NBC sitcom is loved by many all over the world, it has its critics - especially LGBTI critics.

One video editor, Tijana Mamula, watched all 10 seasons of Friends to compile all of the gay jokes into one 50 minute video. And, to an extent, it does show how much homophobia and transphobia is in the show.

September 16, 2014

Italian restaurant appeared to be putting itself out as an alternative to the Big Gay Ice Cream shop from across the road in the West Village, New York

A New York restaurant has decided to go down the rocky road of saying they serve 'straight' ice cream.

Italian venue Gallo Nero, which is located in New York's West Village neighborhood, put up the sign over the weekend as a direct response to the Big Gay Ice Cream shop from across the road.

And when the gay shop heard about the sign, they tweeted a photo of it.

'If you pass by @galloneronyc maybe you could pop in & let em know what you think of this advertising campaign,' they said.

September 15, 2014

More than 100,000 people have signed a petition calling for the agency to denounce 'gay cures'

A Chinese man suing a 'gay cure' clinic has secured a meeting with the World Health Organization (WHO) after more than 100,000 people signed a petition calling for WHO Director-General Margaret Chan to denounce 'gay cures.'

The WHO agreed to meet 30-year-old Xiao Zhen, a pseudonym, in China.

At the time of writing more than 108,000 members of LGBTI rights group All Out had signed the petition.

September 15, 2014

The national movement leader says young people in colored pants who hang out at malls should be tested

A Kazakh politician has said LGBTI people can be easily identified by blood testing for 'degeneracy.'

Dauren Babamuratov, leader of the Bolashak national movement, made the comments last week at a press conference calling for laws banning LGBTI people from spreading 'propaganda,' taking public office and serving in the military.

September 15, 2014

Andrew Scott, who also stars in Sherlock, has insisted the film is about 'humanity'

Gay British actor Andrew Scott has insisted Pride is 'not a gay film'

The Sherlock actor stars in the 2014 British drama film, based on the true story of how gay activists helped during the 1980s miners strike. It has already become one of the most loved releases of the year.

But Scott insists there is more to the film than just having gay characters and a gay storyline.

'It’s not a gay film, it’s about humanity,' he told the Huffington Post.

September 15, 2014

Officials are surprised by the backlash to the country's now-overturned anti-gay law

Ugandan tourism officials have said the African country still welcomes gay tourists despite repeated attempts to pass an anti-gay law.

The Ugandan Tourism Board (UTB) recently met with the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA) to try to restore the country's reputation among both gay and straight tourists.

September 12, 2014

Both LGBTI and non-LGBTI actors report hearing homophobia on set and think that the entertainment industry still has a problem casting gay actors in straight roles

The results of a study have been published that find that many actors still believe Hollywood is rife with homophobia.

The research was undertaken by respected LGBT think thank, the Williams Institute at UCLA, and was funded by leading actor’s union, SAG-AFTRA [Screen Actors Guild‐American Federation of Television and Radio Artists]. Ken Howard, the union’s president, described the study as ‘unprecedented’.

September 12, 2014

Lawyer says being a male hairdresser or drinking a 'woman's drink' can be used as evidence of homosexuality in court

A Cameroonian human rights lawyer has described how courts in the African country use gender stereotypes to convict suspected gay people.

Michel Togue told the ThinkProgress blog that he had defended dozens of people charged with gay sex but very few were actually caught in the act.

Cameroon punishes gay sex with up to five years in jail and a fine, and according to human rights groups arrests more gay people than any other country.

September 12, 2014

Fellow comic reflects on her friend's sendoff which she says 'put the fun back in funeral'

Margret Cho was among the guests at Joan Rivers' funeral in New York City last Sunday (7 September) and she says it was unlike any sendoff she had ever attended.

'I’ve never been to a funeral like that,' Cho said this week on Larry King Now. 'I think Joan Rivers really put the fun in funeral.

“It was also the best place to be if you were a good-looking gay man, because there was the richest gay men in the world all coming together. If I was a gay man, I would have definitely kept my Grindr turned on.'

September 12, 2014

Neil Peng has repeatedly accused the president of having a gay relationship with his closest aide

Taipei mayoral candidate Neil Peng again called on President Ma Ying-jeou to come out in an online Q&A session despite a pending libel suit against him.

The author and politician said the age of gay stigmatization was over and gay people were just like any other minority such as left-handed people.

He said, 'Today would we discriminate against left-handed people? We not only don't discriminate, we think of them as very valuable, for example [baseball player] Wei-Yin Chen.'

September 11, 2014

Demand for Stonewall’s rainbow laces passes the 100,000 mark – and laces are even on their way to the Westboro Baptist Church in the US

The UK's LGB equal rights charity Stonewall has announced that it has seen a surge in support for its Rainbow Laces campaign this year, with requests from the public for pairs of the laces passing the 100,000 mark – far exhausting the charity’s stocks of 50,000.

Launched last year, the Rainbow Laces campaign coincides with the beginning of the England soccer season. The campaign aims to highlight the issue of homophobia in soccer, and is a joint venture between Stonewall, Paddy Power and the Gay Football Supporters’ Network.

September 11, 2014

Three groups sent an open letter to 112 universities asking for corrections to discriminatory teaching materials and gender diversity courses

Three Chinese activist groups sent an open letter to 112 universities demanding better education and protection for LGBTI students in time for yesterday's national Teachers' Day celebrations.

The letter asked universities to correct disciminatory teaching materials and offer gender diversity courses, and was jointly signed by Changsha-based China Same Sex Love (CSSL), Beijing-based LGBT Rights Advocacy China and Nanjing-based anti-discrimination group Justice for All.

September 11, 2014

A group of Egyptian men who say they filmed a same-sex marriage video as a joke among friends have passed a medical examination intended to show whether they were homosexual or not

Seven Egyptian men have been given medical examinations to try to prove if they have ever had gay sex and have been given the all clear after a video from April which appeared to depict a same-sex marriage saw them arrested.

The seven were charged with ‘debauchery’ after authorities discovered a video of them on a Nile river party boat.

Homosexuality is not specifically outlawed in Egypt but ‘debauchery’ charges have often been used to harass gay men in Egypt none the less.

September 11, 2014

The Catholic school accused the 16-year-old of sexual harassment after seeing a photo of him kissing his boyfriend

Gay 16-year-old Colombian Sergio Urrego killed himself last month after persecution by his Catholic school.

His mother only recently spoke to the media about her son's suicide.

She said the ordeal started in May when a teacher at Gimnasio Castillo Campestre school in the Colombian capital Bogotá saw a photo of her son kissing his boyfriend on his phone. He confiscated it and the boys were sent to the school psychologist.

His boyfriend of a month and a half was forced to tell his parents about his sexuality and was withdrawn from the school.

September 11, 2014

Police are investigating whether the 18-year-old’s death was a homophobic hate crime

An 18-year-old, openly gay man has been found murdered in Brazil after what is believed to be a homophobic attack.

It’s been reported the body of João Antônio Donati was discovered yesterday (10 September) in a vacant lot in the Brazilian city of Inhumas, in the state of Goiás. His neck had been broken and his mouth stuffed with paper.

Eighteen-year-old João Antônio Donati was gay and working at a local bar. Police are investigating the possibility that he was murdered in a homophobic hate crime.

September 11, 2014

'I think that if you are gay, you just have to say "It’s great!"'

Stevie Nicks, now 66, is still going strong with a new album out and a huge gay following still intact after nearly 40 years of making records.

'I can’t say that I’m so glad that gay people like my music, because I have never looked at gay people as different from any other people,' Nicks says in an interview with Out Magazine posted on Tuesday (11 September).

September 11, 2014

TV evangelist, 84, also decries 'girl-on-girls' action in movies

TV evangelist Pat Robertson, who has made a series of anti-gay statements in recent years, continues to get calls for advice from parents of gay children.

Robertson, 84, heard from one of those parents on Thursday on his weekday show The 700 Club.

The woman asked how she should handle the fact that her 21-year-old daughter is in a lesbian relationship.

September 11, 2014

Bisexual dad Mike Szymanski offers a heartfelt insight into his ‘nuclear family’ life and having to explain to his parents why he’s with a man and not a woman

Californian parent Mike Szymanski has for many years had to deal with many questions about his sexuality. In a society that likes to see things in a clear-cut, binary, black and white way, bisexuality can often confuse people, or even prompt suspicion.

For example, after his parents adjusted to the fact that a young Mike was attracted to men, they then had to understand why he also wanted to date some women.

‘Well if you’re bisexual why would you choose the wrong way?’ his dad asked him once.

September 10, 2014

The computer game does not allow characters to be named 'gay' or 'queer'

The makers of The Sims 4 have said they will release a fix for a filter that prevents players naming their characters 'gay' or 'queer.'

Gamers complained they could not name or describe their Sims with the words 'gay,' 'queer,' or 'homosexual.' Doing so brings up an error message saying the character 'contains a forbidden word.'

The words 'straight' and 'heterosexual' do not elicit the same response.

September 10, 2014

A Californian vlogger welled up after reading messages that had been sent to him from LGBTI people when he asked if being gay was a choice

Like so many others, Chris Thompson of California was deeply affected and moved when Georgian teen Daniel Pierce posted a video on YouTube of his parents reacting with fury and denial when he revealed to them that he was gay.

September 10, 2014

The woman was told recipients fear homosexuality is hereditary

A Taiwanese fertility clinic refused eggs from a lesbian donor because recipients fear homosexuality is hereditary.

The 22-year-old woman surnamed Chang told the Apple Daily that her donation was immediately refused when the Stork Ladies Clinic in the northern city of Hsinchu found out she was a lesbian.

Chang registered as a donor online a month ago and was invited to have a physical examination at the clinic. A nurse then gave her a questionnaire to fill in. One of the questions was, 'Have you had any homosexual contact in the last eight years?’

September 9, 2014

Author Rupert Smith talks about the joy of becoming a dad later in life, and why he has no time for gay people who think he and his partner have been assimilated by mainstream society

British author Rupert Smith, 54, and his partner, Marcus Soanes, 49, live in London.

They’ve been together since 1992 and in a civil partnership since 2009 (‘we didn’t want to rush into anything!’). They adopted their son, a three-year-old boy, in the spring of 2013.

Smith talked to GSN about the process of becoming a dad, and why he thinks LGBTI people who bad-mouth other gay people for choosing parenthood need to ‘grow up’.

September 9, 2014

When gays, lesbians and coal miners united 30 years ago, they changed Britain forever: GSN spoke with two of the ringleaders

The UK in 1984 was a divided country. But two very different groups of people were about to come together in one of the most unlikely alliances in political history. And in doing so, they would change hearts and minds around the nation and show the global LGBTI movement anything is possible.

This is the true story of Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners – a story which has just been turned into the critically acclaimed film, Pride, out in theaters in Britain on 12 September.

September 8, 2014

The Queens Park Rangers player is the latest footballer to pledge support for Stonewall’s #RainbowLaces campaign in the UK – along with free morning newspaper, Metro

Queens Park Rangers soccer player Joey Barton is among the sportsmen to lend their vocal support to Stonewall’s Rainbow Laces (#rainbowlaces) campaign.

In an interview with the Metro newspaper, Barton – who was also a high-profile supporter of the campaign last year – again spoke out against homophobia in soccer.