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January 29, 2015

Bill gives civil partners nearly all the rights of married couples

Lawmakers in socially conservative Chile have given final approval to gay civil unions after more than four years of legislative wrangling.

The senate yesterday (January) passed the Civil Union Accord bill by a 25 to 6 vote margin with three abstentions, a week after the lower house approved the measure.

The bill now heads back to President Michelle Bachelet to sign into law.

January 28, 2015

Roy Moore questions jurisdiction of court that struck down marriage ban

The chief justice of Alabama's Supreme Court claims a federal judge who struck down the state's same-sex marriage ban last week did not have the power to do so.

Roy Moore has sent a letter to Atlanta Governor Robert Bentley which stated: 'As you know, nothing in the United States Constitution grants the federal government the authority to redefine the institution of marriage.'

He also vowed to 'stop judicial tyranny and any unlawful opinions issued without constitutional authority.'

January 28, 2015

The Russia-style bill was deemed 'no longer relevant'

Ukraine's parliament has thrown out the Russian-style 'gay propaganda' bill.

The law is no longer on the agenda for the Ukraine's current session for the Verkhovna Rada, meaning it will not return for debate.

In 2012, the parliament voted unanimously for a bill that would bring its law in line with Russia's homophobic policies.

Religious groups also collected tens of thousands of signatures calling on lawmakers to ensure children do not grow up seeing same-sex relationships as 'normal'.

January 26, 2015

Lee Hsien Loong explains why he always wears pink

Singapore's prime minister Saturday (24 January) dodges a personal invitation to the city's largest LGBTI rally during a online Q&A.

Lee Hsien Loong fielded questions from the public on his personal Facebook page from the social network's Singapore offices.

During the 45-minute session, the premier managed to answer just 27 of nearly 1,500 questions, which ranged in topic from cats to gay rights.

Of the few he managed to answer, Lee decided to respond a question from LGBTI activist Lim Jialiang about his penchant for pink.

January 23, 2015

US president is interviewed by three YouTube stars

US President Barack Obama has said he hoped the Supreme Court would make the 'right decision' on gay marriage when it rules on the issue in spring.

The president yesterday (22 January) gave interviews to three YouTube stars in an attempt to reach a younger audience.

Obama told comedian GloZell Green that he was hopeful the high court would recognize there was 'no good reason' to ban gay marriage.

January 23, 2015

The country’s House of Representatives have passed a law allowing gay people to register their partnerships

Chile is poised to become the next South American country to recognize same-sex unions after its House of Representatives approved a ‘civil union’ bill this week.

A significant majority passed the bill on Tuesday, with 86 legislators voting in its favor and 23 against (with two abstentions).

The bill has the backing of the Government, with President Michelle Bachelet [pictured] saying that she believes civil unions are a stepping-stone towards full same-sex marriage rights.

January 23, 2015

Prominent LGBTI rights activist could face jail time

Singaporean LGBTI rights activist and blogger Alex Au has been found guilty for a post critical of the city's anti-gay law.

The High Court yesterday (22 January) ruled that the article published in October 2013 posed 'a real threat of undermining public confidence in the administration of justice in Singapore.'

'I therefore find the respondent guilty of scandalizing contempt in respect of that article,' Justice Belinda Ang wrote in her judgement.

January 22, 2015

President Michelle Bachelet says she will sign the bill into law

Chilean lawmakers have approved a bill that would legalize gay civil unions in the south American country.

The Chamber of Deputies passed the measure by a vote of 86 to 23, with two abstentions.

'This is a law that does not discriminate and it gives protection to all couples and families in the country,' government spokesperson Alvaro Elizalde said.

The Senate last October approved the legislation first introduced by former President Sebastián Piñera in 2011.

January 16, 2015

High court has agreed to hear same-sex marriage cases from four states

The US Supreme Court on Friday (16 January) agreed to take on same-sex marriage cases from four states in order to rule on gay marriage nationwide.

The high court will hear cases out of Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee. In each of those cases, federal judges had struck down marriage bans but those decisions were revered by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit.

Last October, the justices passed on reviewing five other marriage cases which had pro-marriage decisions from federal appellate courts.

January 15, 2015

A 24-year-old woman fighting for gay rights in a place where it is illegal to be gay will receive the award

Queen Elizabeth II is to give an award to a young gay woman for her activism work.

Donnya Piggott, a 24-year-old from Barbados, was chosen among hundreds as one of the 60 inspiring people inducted into inaugural Queen's Young Leaders Programme.

The founder of Barbados Gays and Lesbians Against Discrimination (BGLAD)  will fly to London in June where she will be given a medal by the monarch of the Commonwealth.

January 14, 2015

A referendum for equal marriage rights will be held in May this year

Ireland gay groups have warned that while polls are positive the country will soon get same-sex marriage, they could be deceptive.

Recent surveys have shown a majority of Irish citizens in every age group, in every region of the country, across every social class and across every political party believe gay and lesbian couples should be able to get married.

In May this year, there will be a referendum allowing people to vote for equal marriage rights.

January 13, 2015

He also thinks you can 'cure' AIDS with herbs and bananas, so we're probably fine

Gambia President Yahya Jammeh has claimed the world is doomed because of gay people.

In another speech condemning homosexuality, he has said the US and other countries that support LGBTI people are leading to the 'collapse' of modern society as we know it.

'Let me make it very clear that if they think that they can be homosexuals and want to impose homosexuality on the globe, they are doomed,' Jammeh told soldiers in the capital of Banjul, according to independent news website Gambia Affairs.

January 10, 2015

Not known when three judge panel of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans will issue ruling

Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday heard oral arguments on marriage bans in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas.

It dd so on the same day the US Supreme Court met in private conference to discuss which, if any, gay marriage cases to take on this term.

The oral arguments lasted for three hours and took place in New Orleans and before the same court that struck down racial segregation laws in the 1960s in the Deep South.

January 10, 2015

Justices met privately Friday to discuss cases including marriage equality cases out of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals

The US Supreme Court met in conference on Friday (9 January) to discuss upcoming cases but made no announcement about whether or not it will hear any challenges to gay marriage cases in five states.

The high court is considering hearing cases filed in Tennessee, Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, and Louisiana.

The justices declined to take on any same-sex marriage cases last year in which defendants appealed circuit court of appeals rulings upholding the striking down of marriage bans.

January 8, 2015

Staff are warned to 'exercise discretion' when using social media

The Archdiocese of Miami has threatened to fire employees who openly show support for gay marriage, on the same day the first same-sex marriage licenses were issued in Florida.

The Archbishop of Miami, Thomas Wenski, Tuesday (6 January) sent a letter to staff warning them that they could be sacked for unCatholic behavior – even outside of work and on social media.

January 8, 2015

Activists say recognition on travel documents will help tackle discrimination

Nepal yesterday (7 January) announced plans to add a third gender category to passports, following a 2007 Supreme Court ruling recognizing third gender.

'We have changed the passport regulations and will add a third category of gender for those people who do not want to be identified as male or female,' Lok Bahadur Thapa, chief of the government’s passport department, told Reuters.

January 5, 2015

UK prime minister says he is proud of legalizing same-sex marriage

UK Prime Minister David Cameron has said he is proud of his role in legalizing gay marriage but has yet to attend one.

The Conservative leader said he had received 'lots' of invitations to same-sex weddings and was certain he would go to one soon.

December 31, 2014

20% of visitors to Buenos Aires are LGBTI, says tourism institute

Gay tourism is booming in Argentina.

The pink pound brought in a whopping $1.2b to the country's economy in 2014, according to the Tourism Ministry's National Institute for Tourism Promotion.

More than 445,000 LGBTIs descended on the country this year, says the TMNITP.

Research shows there was an especially high concentration of queer travellers in Buenos Aires.

One in five visitors to the Argentine capital were gay this year, according to data collected by the organisation.

December 29, 2014

The Eurovision winner and drag performer says he would like to try and better understand the Russian leader

Conchita Wurst – the bearded drag queen who famously won the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest earlier this year – has said that he wants to visit Russia and meet with President Vladimir Putin.

Wurst is the creation of 26-year-old, Austrian performer Thomas Neuwirth. In an interview with the German-language Kurier, Neuwirth, who is gay, said that he felt sure that he could find common ground with Putin if the two spent time together.

December 29, 2014

A scene suggesting depicting James Franco’s character and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un waking up in bed together was one of those reportedly cut from the ‘redacted’ film version released on Christmas Day

A scene in controversial movie, The Interview, which depicted North Korean leader Kim Jong-un participating in a group sex session with a male journalist and four women, was reportedly cut from the final film.

The Daily Mail says that the ‘gay-orgy’ scene was described in a leaked version of the movie’s screenplay but did not make the final filmed version.

December 25, 2014

The West African countrywill lose duty-free access to US markets

The US government has removed Gambia from a trade benefits program for abusing human rights, including a new law that imposes life imprisonment for some gay acts.

The White House did not initially give any reason why Gambia would cease being a beneficiary of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), according to the Associated Press.

December 24, 2014

Governor wants to take his gay marriage battle to the Supreme Court

A federal judge has ordered Idaho to pay more than $400,000 to the lawyers who successfully fought the state's gay marriage ban.

US Magistrate Judge Candy Dale on Friday (19 December) awarded the six lawyers a total $401,663, which is still about 10% less than what they requested.

'There is no dispute that plaintiffs are the prevailing parties and are therefore entitled to an award of reasonable attorney fees and litigation expenses,' she wrote in an order.

December 24, 2014

Justices have cases out of five states to choose from

The US Supreme Court could decide as early as 9 January whether or not it will hear any challenges to gay marriage cases in five states.

The high court will be in conference on that day and will consider hearing cases filed in Tennessee, Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, and Louisiana, according to BuzzFeed News.

December 23, 2014

They could face up to life in prison under a new anti-gay law

Gambian authorities have arrested three men for gay sex, state television reported yesterday.

The men, whose faces were covered, were detained following a security operation and confessed they are gay, according to the broadcast. Their nationalities were not named.

‘We go around in search of suspected individuals and in the course of the investigations we arrested the men and they have confessed that they have engaged in these inhuman acts,’ the report said.