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September 1, 2014

The Zimbabwean president made the comment while visiting China but left without a single yuan in aid or soft loans

Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe has said he prefers aid from China because Beijing did not force Africa to 'embrace homosexuality' like the West.

'Whereas Europe and America, when they give little funding assistance to countries they always attach conditions,' he told a Chinese TV interviewer. 'And that is our objection.'

He continued, ‘We know they are negative because the approach of China is quite different from their own approach. As I said, they want to use aid to control. China uses aid to promote the African personality.’

August 30, 2014

A transgender refugee who tried and failed to gain asylum in several countries, has described New Zealand as a ‘paradise’ where her gender identity is accepted

A transgender woman has spoken about her happiness at finally being allowed to live in a country where her female identity is accepted.

Eliana Rubashkyn, 26, from Bogota, Colombia, was granted asylum in New Zealand, where her certificate of identification has her gender stated as ‘female’.

She has described New Zealand as a ‘paradise’.

Rubashkyn has spoken about the ordeals suffered as a refugee seeking entry into countries such as France, Norway and Finland. She was consistently rejected because of regulations on gender reassignment surgery.

August 27, 2014

Australia’s Shop Distributive and Allied Employees Union will be investigated by the Human Rights Commission over allegations that its leaders systematically exclude LGBTI people from leadership positions

Australia’s biggest union will be investigated over allegations of systematic discrimination against its gay and lesbian members attaining leadership positions after allegations were made at a Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption.

A witness at the Royal Commission recently accused the leadership of the Shop Distributive and Allied Employees Union (SDA) of refusing to allow openly gay or lesbian people to become union shop stewards and openly gay Australian Human Rights Commissioner Tim Wilson has agreed to open an investigation into the union.

August 27, 2014

Berlin’s first openly gay mayor Klaus Wowereit has announced that he will quit in December after more than 13 years leading the city’s government

Berlin’s first openly gay mayor has announced that he will resign in December of this year, ending a 13 year stint in the city’s top job.

Klaus Wowereit’s reputation has taken a beating recently over a project to build a new airport for the German capital.

The Willy Brandt airport was scheduled to open in 2010. However construction costs on the project blew out to double and it is still not clear when the airport will be ready to open.

August 25, 2014

A new bill in California aims to ensure future birth certificates reflect the fact that modern families don’t always have one mother and one father

Following lawmakers in California ruling earlier this summer that same-sex couples have the right to marry, steps are now being taken to simplify the way in which same-sex parents complete the birth certificates of their children.

At present, birth certificates in the US state have space for a ‘mother/parent’ name and a ‘father/parent’ name, forcing same-sex couples to add their names to these two fields regardless of their gender identity. A new bill will allow them the option of stating their relationship to the child: ‘father’, ‘mother’ or, simply, ‘parent’.

August 22, 2014

US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Chicago has set oral arguments for August 26

The next big legal stage in the fight for marriage equality in the US has been set.

On Tuesday (26 August), the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Chicago will hear oral arguments in gay marriage cases from Wisconsin and Indiana.

The Seventh Circuit's jurisdiction also includes Illinois where same-sex marriage is already legal.

The circuit courts are the final stop before the US Supreme Court which may or may not choose to hear any of the cases recently decided.

August 21, 2014

Xavier Bettel, the third openly gay leader of a country, has announced that his architect civil partner Gauthier Destenay has proposed to him and he said yes

Luxembourg’s Prime Minister Xavier Bettel has announced he will soon take advantage of his country’s legalization of same-sex marriage after his civil partner Gauthier Destenay proposed to him.

Bettel and Destenay have been in a civil partnership since March of 2010 and same-sex marriage was legalized in Luxembourg in June of this year under his watch as leader of the government.

However it is only now that the couple are looking to make use of the law.

‘He asked me, and I said yes,’ the 41-year-old prime minister told a reporter from the LA Times.

August 20, 2014

Mariela Castro, a member of Cuba’s National Assembly and daughter of President Raul Castro, cast a ‘no’ vote in protest over a new labor code that protects sexual minorities but not transgender people or people with HIV from discrimination

Outspoken Cuban LGBTI rights advocate Mariela Castro has cast a historic ‘no’ vote in Cuba’s National Assembly which experts believe is the first time a dissenting vote has been recorded in the chamber since the Cuban Revolution of 1959.

Mariela, who is the daughter of Cuban President Raul Castro and the niece of revolutionary leader Fidel Castro, cast the vote in December of last year in protest at a new labor code that protects sexual minorities but not transgender people or people with HIV from workplace discrimination.

August 13, 2014

A pink LGBTI pride sequined ‘B’ in giant letters forming the word ‘Brisbane’ will greet Russian President Vladimir Putin when he touches down in the city for the G20 summit in November this year

The state government of Queensland, Australia wants to send a message about LGBTI tolerance and diversity to Russian President Vladimir Putin when he arrives in the state capital of Brisbane for this year’s G20 summit.

Earlier today Queensland Premier Campbell Newman, a prominent supporter of same-sex marriage in the Liberal-National Coalition, told a press conference in Brisbane that the city’s name would be spelled out in three metre tall (around 10 foot) letters during the G20, with the B reserved for a message about the importance of diversity.

August 6, 2014

Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Ohio will rule on cases in Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky and Tennessee

A three-judge panel of the US Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati heard oral arguments Wednesday (6 August) in six cases challenges gay marriage bans in four different states.

The judges will be deciding whether to uphold rulings by various federal judges in lower courts who ruled that the marriage bans in Michigan, Tennessee, Kentucky and Ohio are unconstitutional.

The Court heard the Michigan case first, followed by two Ohio cases, then two Kentucky cases, and finally the Tennessee case.

Rulings are not expected for a few more weeks.

July 30, 2014

With other elected officials out of the state for the day, lesbian House Speaker Toni Atkins takes the reigns

California's Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins got to make some history Wednesday (30 July).

With the state's governor, lieutenant governor and state Senate president pro tem all out of the state for part of the day, Atkins briefly became the first openly gay person to be acting governor.

July 30, 2014

Court to hear six challenges to laws banning marriage equality in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee next week

The fight for marriage equality in the US will have a historic day next week (6 August) when a federal appeals court will hear oral arguments in six different cases from four states.

Judges for the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, located in Ohio, is considering challenges to gay marriage bans in Kentucky (two cases), Michigan, Ohio (two cases), and Tennessee.

It will mark the fourth argument heard by a federal circuit court since the US Supreme Court’s decision last summer which struck down key provisions of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

July 10, 2014

US Supreme Court Samuel A. Alito, Jr. offers no comment in his denial of Clerk Theresa Santai-Gaffney's appeal

A Pennsylvania county clerk will not get a chance to defend the state's same-sex ban to the Supreme Court.

According to SCOTUSblog, on 9 July Supreme Court Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr. denied, without comment, Theresa Santai-Gaffney's appeal of a lower court's ruling.

The judge's rejection seems to be the clerk's final legal option.

July 7, 2014

Do you dream of Turkey's cool buildings, amazing beaches and hot oil wrestling? The country voted as the world’s most popular destination by TripAdvisor readers is changing its visa entry rules starting 1 January 2015

This year Turkey’s largest city and cultural heart Istanbul was voted as the top travel destination in the world by TripAdvisor users.

The reasons are hardly surprising.

Turkey is just one of those places that has everything.

Amazing food bazaars, stunning architecture like the Hagia Sophia, natural attractions like beaches and mud baths…

July 5, 2014

 UK Trans woman Avery Edison was held in a men’s prison in Canada in February, and is now filing a complaint to stop it from happening again

A UK trans woman who was held in a men’s prison in Canada is filing two human rights complaints.

Avery Edison, a 26-year-old trans woman from London, UK, was detained in February this year when she was travelling to Canada.

July 1, 2014

Makes surprise announcement during White House Pride reception

At a White House reception celebrating LGBTI pride, US President Barack Obama surprised attendees when he announced plans to sign an executive order protecting all federal workers from gender identity discrimination.

This is in addition to the executive order he plans to sign to protect employees of federal contractors from anti-LGBTI discrimination.

Obama's action is taking place as the US House of Representatives continues to stall the Employment Non-Discrimination Act already passed by the US Senate.

July 1, 2014

The Kremlin has claimed no meeting is happening because they have not received an official invitation

Vladimir Putin has refused to confirm a meeting with Elton John, with the Kremlin claiming they have not received an official invitation.

The openly gay star defied protests and performed two concerts in the country last year amid the storm over the country’s law banning the promotion of homosexuality.

In recent interviews, the Rocket Man singer has said he has asked for a meeting with Putin to discuss the homophobic law.

June 25, 2014

President Yahya Jammeh has threatened to behead LGBTI people and has has branded homosexuals as vermin that should be squashed like mosquitos

The Gambia has revealed a new bill to ban all homosexuals and charities from the country.

Secretary General and Minister for Presidential Affairs Momodou Sabally has said a bill has been submitted to parliament saying it will ‘strengthen’ Gambian culture.

He said it was important to ward off attempts to promote homosexuality, drug abuse and other crimes.

‘Gambia will not import any western culture into the country in exchange for foreign aid,’ Sabally said.

June 25, 2014

On a visit to Vienna, the Russian president said he will look at the homophobic legislation and 'improve' it in the future

Vladimir Putin has said he will look at the homophobic laws in Russia and ‘improve’ them in the future.

The Russian president was in Vienna to meet with Austrian President Heinz Fischer to make a deal on a pipeline that will reportedly pump half of Russia’s gas supply to Europe from 2016.

At a press conference, he was forced to answer questions on human rights abuses in Russia.

‘There are stereotypes that exist regarding Russia, including on issues of sexual minorities, to a large extent…[are] a fictional idea,’ he said.

June 16, 2014

A public petition will not delay a vote on same-sex marriage and adoption after it didn't get enough signatures

A Luxembourg group has failed to find enough homophobes to block same-sex marriage and adoption.

The tiny European nation is expected to become the next nation to take the next step in marriage equality, with a vote expected to take place this week.

A public petition demanding the introduction of the bill will not be extended, president of the Chamber of Deputies Mars Di Bartolomeo has said.

Anti-gay groups could not find enough people to sign the petition that would have heavily delayed the bill becoming law.

June 15, 2014

'In contrast to the solid, nuanced briefings we created on the ground, the news available to the public was flooded with foggy speculation and simplifications'

In an op-ed for the New York Times, WikiLeaks whistle-blower Chelsea Manning alleges the media is not reporting the complexities of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

June 13, 2014

'You do have many people in Wisconsin basically taking the law into their own hands and there can be legal repercussions for that'

The attorney general for Wisconsin warns clerks, who issued marriage certificates to LGBTI couples, that they could be brought up on charges.

Late last week, US District Court Judge Barbara Crabb struck down the midwestern state's same-sex marriage ban.

On 9 June, Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen sought a stay on the ruling to block clerks from releasing licenses to gay couples. Judge Crabb denied the request.

June 10, 2014

'Love is love, family is family, and discriminating against anyone’s love, against anyone’s family, is just plain wrong'

There may be uncertainty in Wisconsin right now over who can get married in which county but one of the state's senators is celebrating the legal ruling that struck down the gay marriage ban.

Tammy Baldwin, the first openly lesbian member of the US Senate, issued a statement Monday (9 June) saying: 'Love is love, family is family, and discriminating against anyone’s love, against anyone’s family, is just plain wrong.'

May 31, 2014

Two Zambian men accused of having gay sex were arrested over a year ago, and this is not the first time a court hearing to decide their fate has been postponed

Two Zambian men, accused of having gay sex, have had their court hearing postponed.

A court in the small town of Kapiri Mposhi, north of the capital of Lusaka, Zambia, was due to give a verdict yesterday (30 May).

However, due to delays the hearing has been postponed to a later, unconfirmed date.

It has been over a year since the two young men were initially arrested.

James Mwape and Philip Mubiana, both 22, were arrested in April 2013, charged with of having sex ‘against the order of nature’ under Section 155 of Zambia’s Penal Code.