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August 16, 2012

Five years ago, the media in Vietnam regular reported on the social evil of homosexuality, now the government are looking into legalizing same-sex marriage, Gay Star News talk to the man who made it happen

Earlier this month the news that Vietnam might become the first country in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage made headlines around the world. The news appeared to come out of nowhere, as no-one expected the socially conservative one-party state to be so progressive.

In an interview with Gay Star News Le Quang Binh, the director of the first LGBT rights organization in Vietnam, reveals the five year story behind this month’s headlines.

August 13, 2012

Police, education and health services failing Britain’s lesbian, gay and bisexual ethnic minorities

Britain’s 400,000 black and minority ethnic people who are also lesbian, gay or bisexual are not having their needs met by public services.

That’s the main finding of a report by leading gay campaign organization Stonewall and the Runnymede Trust – released today (13 August).

Although based on just 50 in-depth interviews, it reveals a consistent picture that black or Asian people are assumed to be straight – and that results in poorer-quality public services, from healthcare to policing.

August 10, 2012

GSN chats to Igualdad Peru director Luis Antonio Capurro, who believes we need to respect a straight person’s opinion if we want them to respect ours

As a member of the LGBT community, are you actively hetero-friendly?

Sure, we live in a predominantly straight world that we’re trying to make as gay-friendly as possible.

However, the process is not always friendly, and unfortunately has been known to include violence and even death.

But in the fight for our rights, do you forget that in some cases you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar?

Igualdad Peru’s director Luis Antonio Capurro reminds us that heterosexuals are not the enemy (at least not all of them).

August 9, 2012

Madonna has announced on her Facebook page that pink wristbands will be given out during her concert in St Petersburg to support LGBT rights in Russia

Pink wristbands will be available during Madonna’s concert in St Petersburg today (9 August), to show support for the city’s persecuted LGBT community.

August 9, 2012

People around the world inspired to hold their own 24-hour fast in support of protest for gay equality in the US state of Michigan

A 100-day hunger strike for gay rights has spread far beyond the US state of Michigan, inspiring activists around the world to stage their own protest fast in support.

Leaders from the Community Centers Network (CCN), which is made up of eight lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender groups in Michigan, are refusing food for 24-hour shifts, living on display in the front windows of Affirmations, the state’s largest LGBT community center on 9 Mile Road, in the heart of downtown Ferndale.

August 8, 2012

Letter calls on queen of pop to express herself over homophobia and anti-gay laws in Russia during her MDNA tour

Russian campaigners have written a letter to Madonna, urging her to stand up for gay rights and freedom of expression during her concert in St Petersburg tomorrow (9 August).

The Alliance of Straights for LGBT Equality group are calling on the Material Girl to 'break the wall of misunderstanding and intolerance' when she brings her MDNA tour to Russia's second largest city.

August 7, 2012

The leader of US national campaign group Freedom to Marry told GSN the story of how the fight for marriage equality had begun in the US, where it will be going in the year to come, and why we will win in the end

US civil rights lawyer Evan Wolfson spoke to a packed room at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, on Tuesday night about the progression of the struggle for LGBT marriage rights in the United States, and the lessons that struggle has for other countries around the world.

August 5, 2012

Vietnam’s first pride march has seen around a hundred people on bikes and motorbikes ride in convoy through the capital and was left alone by authorities despite not having permission to go ahead

Around a hundred people have taken part in Vietnam’s first pride march on Sunday morning, taking the form of a convoy of brightly decorated bicycles and motorbikes in the capital city of Hanoi.

The convoy set off from the city’s National Stadium and finished 6 miles later at a downtown park.

The parade route was changed at the last minute to avoid it clashing with anti-China demonstrations in the city that were protesting over disputed territories claimed by both countries in the South China Sea.

August 3, 2012

Gay activist Nikolai Alekseev says protests against Russia’s largest social network, VKontakte, will change little while much of the country remains homophobic

Russian social network VKontakte has sparked fury after it banned a user from stating he was in a gay relationship.

A male user known only as Oleg allegedly wrote to the network's administrators for help after being unable to select the ‘boyfriend’ option under his relationship status.

However, Oleg was outraged after the website refused to help him change his status.

While the website’s response have sparked anger from many in Russia’s LGBT community, gay rights activist Nikolai Alekseev says protests against the decision will have little impact.

August 1, 2012

Gay Star News speaks to the organizer of Vietnam’s first ever LGBT Pride, 25-year old Tam Nguyen

After moving back to her home country after six years studying and working in Singapore, 25-year-old Tam Nguyen is organizing the first ever LGBT Pride celebration in Vietnam.

Gay Star News talks to her about her Swedish inspiration and why Vietnam is the only country in Asia considering legalizing gay marriage.

How did you become involved in organizing Viet Pride?

July 31, 2012

Michigan LGBT groups campaign against state's anti-gay laws by holding hunger strike in 24-hour shifts on live webcam

LGBT groups in the US have begun a 100-day hunger strike to protest state laws which the campaigners claim are anti-gay.

Leaders from the Community Centers Network (CCN), which is made up of eight lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender groups in Michigan, are refusing food for 24-hour shifts, living on display in the front windows of Affirmations, the state’s largest LGBT community center on 9 Mile Road, in the heart of downtown Ferndale.

July 29, 2012

Eight gay-rights groups in Michigan join forces to educate 'straight allies about the extreme anti-equality government in this state'

Leaders from gay rights groups in Michigan will embark on a 100-day hunger strike.

Starting tomorrow 30 July, leaders from eight different gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender rights groups will go without food for 24 hours as part of their Hungry4Equality campaign.

Hungry4Equality is designed to raise awareness of specific issues facing the LGBT community, according to David Garcia, executive director of LGBT group Affirmations in Ferndale.

July 25, 2012

Demands for audit of Pride London finances to prevent repeat of this year's cash crisis which led to heavily scaled back event

Give gay pride back to the people, was the message shouted loud and clear at a debate on how to save the future of London’s troubled LGBT festival.

Around 200 people packed into Heaven nightclub in the UK capital’s center tonight (25 July) to take part in a discussion on this year’s event, which was heavily scaled back at the last minute.

Passions were high as a panel of experts who have been involved in London pride faced questions from the public over why the parade on 7 July was reduced to a walking march with no floats and a Soho street party cancelled.

July 19, 2012

Over 11 million people have viewed the car advert originally designed for Detroit Gay Pride

When General Motors created a Chevrolet Volt advert for the gay market, they could never have guessed it would go viral.

The advert was created for Between The Lines, a newspaper for gays and lesbians in Michigan, to celebrate the Detroit Gay Pride held in June.

It shows a tagline of a Volt car saying to two larger cars: ‘Mom, Dad, I’m electric’.

Underneath the rainbow line, the text says: ‘So whatever revs your engine, we support you 100%.

‘Happy Motor City Pride from the entire Chevrolet family.’

July 18, 2012

The hills will be alive with the sound of LGBT travellers as Austria’s picturesque town of Velden hosts the international Pink Lake festival this August

Thousands of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender travelers and their friends will be painting an Austrian lake pink this summer in a unique four-day summer holiday event.

Pink Lake, which is supported by Gay Star News this year, is a long weekend of costume balls and boat parties on the stunning Lake Woerthersee, nestled between Slovakia and Italy.

We asked Jeff Wahl, one of the organizers, to tell us all about it.

July 16, 2012

Australia’s largest LGBT community health organization has developed a new education program that aims to reduce the impact of mental distress in the LGBT community by helping people improve their understanding of mental health.

Beginning later this month, ACON’s Peace of Mind program is a series of free workshops being delivered in Sydney and throughout the state of New South Wales (NSW) which will help LGBT people identify when their family and friends are experiencing mental distress and how they can offer support.

The program has been developed by ACON (formerly the AIDS Council of NSW), in partnership with Australia’s Mental Health Coordinating Council (MHCC) and in collaboration with the Australian National LGBTI Health Alliance and Gay and Lesbian Health Victoria.

July 12, 2012

Award winning gay actor Simon Callow is to host an episode of TV series UK360, focusing on the Britain's LGBT communities

Critically acclaimed gay actor Simon Callow will host an LGBT special of TV show UK360, on the Community Channel next Monday (16 July).

July 9, 2012

GSN explores the outer borough of Queens for street meat, outdoor art and the gay rights struggle that came before Stonewall

New York is arguably one of the most popular cities in the world. Just try to count how many songs and libations are named after Manhattan.

However, New York City is technically made up of four other boroughs that are equally amazing as Manhattan: Queens, Brooklyn, The Bronx and Staten Island.

Last month, hundreds of thousands of people around the world celebrated pride day, a global event celebrating the 1969 Stonewall riots of New York that ignited the state-side gay rights movement.

July 8, 2012

Latino and LGBT familiy intitiave announced at National Council of La Raza annual conference

Twenty-two Hispanic organizations announced a new LGBT family initiative called Familia es Familia.

In a press release from the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), the bilingual program is described as an attempt 'at strengthening Latino voices to build support within the Latino community for acceptance of LGBT family members.'

July 6, 2012

We should get over our disappointment about World Pride in London, enjoy the day and remember what prides are really about says Thomas Anderson

Hundreds of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender pride events take place around the world every year. From small groups of people in a community hall to those on the scale of a big music festival with hundreds of thousands of people attending, each one has something in common. They promote equality rights, increase visibility of the LGBT community, build a stronger community, and celebrate sexual diversity and gender variance.

July 5, 2012

GSN meets the team behind London Friend - the UK’s oldest LGBT charity

Small and compact Matthew Halliday and big and bearish Monty Moncrieff are a study in contrasts in many ways, but both are equally passionate about the work of LGBT charity London Friend, which in 2012 celebrates its 40th anniversary.

July 5, 2012

US organization Out and Equal is holding a global gay workplace summit in London. We catch up with its founder, Selisse Berry

Global workplace rights are increasingly on the LGBT agenda and are now being taken seriously in some of the world’s most powerful board meetings.

As Britain hosts World Pride this year, in London, Out and Equal, a San Francisco based organization has flown over it’s top campaigners and decision makers for a summit with business leaders on global lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender workplace equality.

July 4, 2012

As we mark the 30th anniversary of the death of Terry Higgins, the first person killed by AIDS in the UK, Will Harris says it was also the moment the gay community united and started to fight back

On the day I was born, London free-sheet Capital Gay ran a front page article under the headline ‘US disease hits London’. It announced that four gay men, one of them Terry Higgins, had died of a mysterious new illness, rumors of which had been circulating since the previous year.

Terry, who died on 4 July 1982, aged 37, had become the first person in the UK to be publicly identified as dying with what was then referred to as GRID (gay-related immune deficiency) but what we now know as AIDS.

June 29, 2012

Activists in Havana puckered up for LGBT rights, delivering a petition to the island's government demanding more respect

Gay activists in Cuba held a kiss-in protest to demand more rights for LGBT people ahead of the island's second pride festival.

The demonstration at the Ramón Fonst sports arena saw 50 campaigners hold banners calling for more respect from the Communist government.

LGBT group Project Rainbow, organizers of the Kiss-in for Diversity and Equality, said in a statement: 'With this public and affectionate action we invite you to make the LGBT community in Cuba visible. We are part of the nation.'