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December 16, 2014

Over two thirds of Irish people support same-sex marriage

Ireland has set a month for a referendum on marriage equality.

Groups both for and against same-sex marriage will rally as they prepare for the public vote in early May 2015. No specific date has been announced as of yet.

The issue was discussed today by Ministers at their final meeting before Christmas.

It comes as Scottish gay couples are finally able to get married today, following England and Wales earlier this year. There are currently no plans for Northern Ireland to pass same-sex marriage.

December 15, 2014

The UK government have been accused of being 'blind' to the needs of the trans community

Trans people are furious at the UK government's new electoral registration system, forcing them to provide a previous name in order to be eligible to vote.

The new online voter registration system means that trans individuals cannot register to vote unless they provide false information or they out themselves publicly with no guarantee their data will be protected under the Gender Recognition Act 2004.

Rolled out in October of this year, the new system was implemented over concerns individuals not entitled to vote might register with the intention of doing so.

December 14, 2014

Lambda Legal and South Carolina Equality sued after the state governor and attorney general declined to apply the Fourth Circuit decision

Lawyers who successfully fought for marriage rights in South Carolina are asking a federal judge to have the state pay their legal fees.

Papers were filed with District Judge Richard Mark Gergel, the jurist who ruled the southern US state's ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional.

December 10, 2014

'I'm running for parliament to represent disabled and transgender people'

Emily Brothers yesterday (9 December) came out as one of the first transgender politicians to run for the UK parliament.

The Labour candidate for Sutton and Cheam lost her sight to glaucoma as a child and is a long-time disability rights campaigner.

'I have today spoken publicly about my transgender background and hope that in some way this helps contribute to better understanding of diversity,' she wrote on her website.

Party leader Ed Miliband said he was 'so proud to have Emily Brothers as a Labour candidate.'

December 7, 2014

A coalition of Chilean lawmakers from the Christian Democrats, Socialist Party, Party for Democracy and Amplitude political movement will introduce a bill to legalize same-sex marriage in the hope that the government will support the reform

There are hopes that Chile may become the 21st country to legalize same-sex marriage this month as a cross party group of lawmakers have pledged to introduce a bill on the issue before the end of next week.

The MPs, from the Christian Democrats, Socialist Party, Party for Democracy and Amplitude movement, say they expect the bill to go to the Congress on Wednesday or Thursday and hope that the Government of Michelle Bachelet will back the reform.

December 5, 2014

Law professor says 'you cannot make a human wrong a human right'

Civil rights activists yesterday (4 December) protested a speech by an anti-gay law professor at a Human Rights Day seminar hosted by the EU Delegation to Singapore.

Several activists held a rainbow flag and placards reading 'LGBT rights are human rights' while Thio Li-ann delivered her speech.

Jean Chong, co-founder of LGBTI advocacy group Sayoni, told GSN that the silent protest 'was to address the elephant in the room and civil society’s disagreement to the EU’s insistence on inviting Thio in spite of her views on LGBTQ people.'

December 4, 2014

'Was good for demographics'

A senior member of Latvia's ruling party has been forced to resign after she praised the Nazis for exterminating LGBTI people.

Inga Priede made the comments on Monday (1 December) night during a Twitter exchange with her Unity colleagues about gay marriage, which she said left the country 'in shock.'

'Thank God! The Germans shot them in their time. Was good for demographics,' she tweeted.

The backlash was immediate and she stepped down from Unity's board the next day.

December 3, 2014

Enda Kenny, Ireland’s Taoiseach and leader of the Fine Gael party, reportedly visited Pantibar for a pre-Christmas drink with his party’s LGBT group

Ireland’s Taoiseach – the country's equivalent to a Prime Minister – has been photographed enjoying a drink in a gay bar.

The photo was taken and posted on social media by gay rights activist Rory O’Neill, better known by his drag name, Panti Bliss.

December 2, 2014

Florida bans same-sex marriage and does not recognize gay marriage certificates from other states

A gay married couple has sued Florida's motor vehicle agency for revoking their licenses for taking each others' names, in the latest challenge to the state's ban of gay marriage.

Daniel and Scott Wall-Desousa became one of the first gay couples in Florida to legally take each others’ surnames.

November 28, 2014

'The time is here to recognize the marriages as valid and lawful just like any other marriage'

The American Civil Liberties Union is changing its marriage equality suit against Kansas, claiming now the US state is not honoring same-sex marriage certificates.

According to Lawrence Journal-World, the civil rights organization made the revision on 26 November.

The amended complaint is an attempt to get the state to recognize same-sex marriages for health benefits, state income taxes, and changes in driver's licenses.

November 27, 2014

Organizer is charged with publishing lewd content in a public space

LGBTI activists have slammed Cypriot police for seizing a transgender photographer's exhibition after receiving a single complaint.

The exhibition Correction by Greek activist Paola Revenioti was shown at Nicosia municipal market to mark the Transgender Day of Remembrance.

The photos were confiscated on Friday (21 November) following a single complaint about their content, which included nude men.

Organizers Accept-LGBT Cyprus said the photos were covered during the market's normal operating hours.

November 27, 2014

Prompted by pressure from conservative groups, the referendum could set back the cause of LGBT rights in the predominantly Roman Catholic country

Slovakian President Andrej Kiska has announced that the country will hold a referendum on same-sex marriage in early 2015.

The referendum will take place despite the fact that the country approved a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage in June 2014. However, it's believed that the vote could further halt advances in LGBT rights in the region.

November 26, 2014

Ceremony is Rio de Janeiro state's fifth such event since 2011

Rio de Janeiro married 160 LGBTI couples on Sunday (23 November) in what the state hailed as 'the largest collective same-sex civil wedding ceremony in the world.'

The event was the fifth mass gay wedding organized by state program Rio Without Homophobia and the state court, which have married a total 500 LGBTI couples.

'It is an affirmative action to call attention to all of the achievements and challenges in the area of civil and human rights of the LGBT community,' Cláudio Nascimento, coordinator of Rio Without Homophobia, told Agência Brasil.

November 24, 2014

Eight LGBTI people were arrested and torturted in the country this month

Gambia's president has signed into law a bill that punishes 'aggravated homosexuality' with life imprisonment.

The notoriously anti-gay President Yahya Jammeh approved the bill on October 9, according to documents uncovered last week. 

The bill targets 'serial offenders' and people living with HIV but because 'homosexuality' and 'homosexual acts' are not defined in Gambian law, human rights groups fear that LGBTI people will be persecuted arbitrarily under the new enactment.

November 21, 2014

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein has warned the government of Gambia to stop persecuting LGBTIs after it passed laws that would see homosexual ‘serial offenders’ and people with HIV jailed for the rest of their lives

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has warned Gambia that it is failing its international human rights commitments by its continued persecution of LGBTI people, citing the passage of new laws that even further criminalize sexual minorities.

Homosexuality was already punishable with up to 14 years in prison in Gambia but earlier this year the government passed a vaguely defined law punishing ‘aggravated homosexuality.’

November 19, 2014

The top gay travel destinations for 2015 revealed – including New York, Sydney and Amsterdam

We've already brought you numbers 15-6 on Out Now Business Class' (ONBC) top 20 destinations set to cause a stir in the £200b-a-year LGBTI tourism industry next year. Today we, count down the final five, with New York, Sydney and Amsterdam battling it out to be crowned destination king...

Click here for part one

November 19, 2014

African country arrests five LGBTI men and three women this month

Amnesty International has demanded Gambia stop its crackdown on homosexuality amid reports that the west African country has arrested and tortured eight LGBTI people since 7 November.

They were told they were under investigation for 'homosexuality' but have not been formally charged, despite constitutional guarantees that require people to be charged within 72 hours of arrest.

November 19, 2014

Tongzhi can mean 'comrade' or 'gay' in Chinese

The Chinese Communist Party has told its members to continue calling each other 'comrade' despite the word's second meaning - 'gay.'

The party ruled that more than half of its discipline regulations were 'outdated' and no longer applicable after a two-year review, according to the official Xinhua news agency.

Among the 487 regulations to remain is a 49-year-old diktat that members call each other 'comrade,' the egalitarian form of address preferred by Communists.

November 18, 2014

New cards list 'father's name' or 'mother's name' twice

Israel's Interior Ministry yesterday (17 November) started issuing new identity cards to the children of gay parents that recognize they have two fathers or mothers.

Previously, all ID cards listed 'mother's name' and 'father’s name,' even though the middle eastern country has recognized gay parents since 2006. On the new cards, 'father’s name' or 'mother’s name' appear twice.

The change comes after three families with gay parents petitioned the Population, Immigration and Border Authority.

November 16, 2014

Same-sex marriage is a controversial issue in predominantly Catholic France and has drawn hundreds of thousands of protesters onto the streets

In what is said to be his strongest comment on the issue, former French president Nicolas Sarkozy on Saturday called for the country's same-sex marriage laws to be scrapped.

November 14, 2014

A Florida gay couple who took each others’ surnames after they married in New York have been ordered by their state’s DMV to change their names back to what they were before they were married or their drivers licenses will be cancelled

A Florida gay couple who married out of state are in shock this week after they were sent a letter by the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) telling them they would have their drivers licenses cancelled if they did not change their legal names.

Daniel and Scott Wall-Desousa became one of the first gay married couples in Florida to legally take each others’ surnames and appeared on WFTV 9News to speak about that on 30 October.

November 12, 2014

LGBTI groups say the conservative city government is trying to weaken freedom of speech

The organizing committee of Buenos Aires pride has slammed the conservative city government for refusing to provide security during the march, which will go ahead on Saturday (15 November.)

The committee of 30 LGBTI groups signed a joint statement denouncing the government's actions as unconstitutional and an attack on freedom of speech.

November 10, 2014

Court found a state ban on cross-dressing unconstitutional

Malaysia's deputy prime minister has called for a review of last week's landmark ruling that scrapped a state Sharia enactment banning cross-dressing.

Muhyiddin Yassin said that while the government respected the Court of Appeal's decision, the Attorney-General's Chambers and Negeri Sembilan state religious department should appeal to the federal court because of its huge implications on society.

November 4, 2014

Ifeanyi Orazulike was arrested on the same day a challenge to the country's anti-gay law was dismissed

Nigerian LGBTI rights activist Ifeanyi Orazulike was arrested and detained without charge on the night of 22 October, the same day a constitutional challenge to the country's anti-gay law was dismissed.

The executive director of the International Center for Advocacy on the Rights to Health was arrested at his office in Abuja while celebrating his birthday with friends and colleagues.

He has filed a motion in Abuja High Court alleging he was arrested, detained and dehumanized without charge.