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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.

May 31, 2014

The ACLU, Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, and the National Center for Lesbian Rights filed a challenge agaisnt the policy

The US Department of Health and Human Services is repealing a prohibition of Medicare coverage for gender confirmation surgeries.

Medicare provides healthcare for the country's elderly and disabled. In 1981, the HHS decided the program could not be used for transition-related health care.

May 28, 2014

Prime Minister advisor’s rant sparks concern across Hungary’s LGBTI community

Hungary must ‘clear the faggot-lobby’ out of its theaters, says a top director who is now the Prime Minister’s culture commissioner.

Imre Kerényi –former director of the country’s National Theater and many other arts companies who is now a politician – made the comment following a Christian Theater Festival.

But his views have been condemned in an open letter to Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, who Kerényi advises on the ‘preservation and development of Hungary’s cultural values’.

May 22, 2014

Prosecutors accused gay man of 'mocking the Prime Minister' and said he should go to prison for over a year

A Turkish court has fined a gay rights activist who used the word ‘queer’ in a tweet today (22 May).

Levent Pişkin was pronounced guilty and ordered to pay 1,500 Turkish Liras ($750, €550).

Back in July, he responded to a statement made by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan who said he was a ‘perfect Alevi’.

The PM of Turkey was responding to a particular sect of the Islam faith, Alevism, which particularly reveres the son-in-law of Muhammad – Ali.

May 13, 2014

President Yahya Jammeh has claimed that Gambians are lying about their sexuality and claiming to be persecuted in his country in order to gain entry to European countries

Gambian President Yahya Jammeh has made the extraordinary claim that Gambians are faking being gay in order to claim asylum in European countries and has threatened anyone who does so with death.

‘Some people go to the West and claim they are gays and that their lives are at risk in The Gambia in order for them to be granted a stay in Europe,’ Jammeh said on Thursday according to APA.

‘If I catch them I will kill them.’

May 9, 2014

A woman who called an openly gay Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer a ‘faggot’ over 60 times has been jailed for 60 days after she threatened to beat him up

A woman who threatened an openly gay member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) in Canada’s Northwest Territories has been sentenced to 60 days in prison.

The sentence came about after openly gay RCMP Sergeant Jeremie Landry found 34-year-old Diane Koyina passed out in the street in the First Nations community of Behchoko August in far-north Canada’s Arctic Circle.

Landry woke Koyina and was taking her to jail when she let out a torrent of abuse towards him focused on his sexuality, calling him a ‘faggot’ over 60 times and threatening him with violence.

May 5, 2014

Musab Mohammed Masmari has pleaded guilty to setting fire to Seattle gay bar Neighbours on New Year’s Eve as part of a deal with federal prosecutors

30-year-old Musab Mohammed Masmari has pleaded guilty over a New Year’s Eve arson attack on a Seattle gay bar that put the lives of 750 people at risk.

Prosecutors say Masmari entered Neighbours bar from a neighboring venue with looser security and used a one gallon can of gasoline to douse a stairway, leaving the can at the top of the stairs before lighting it.

April 25, 2014

Sri Lanka’s Economic Development Minister has ruled out allowing gay couples to marry in his majority Buddhist South Asian island nation

The Sri Lankan Government will not entertain the idea of allowing same-sex couples to marry, Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa has told a conference with media editors.

Rajapaka made the comment during a discussion about a reported increase in unregistered heterosexual marriages, particularly in rural parts of Sri Lanka, when one of the editors raised the issue of same-sex marriage.

April 20, 2014

'I think the social science is just simply not in yet on same-sex couples'

Ralph Reed, the first executive director of the Christian Coalition, thinks orphanages might offer better opportunities to children than same-sex households.

The US conservative activist was a guest on the ABC News show This Week with George Stephanopoulos.

A panel discussion dealt with the recent comments of Reverend Franklin Graham.

April 14, 2014

Gay campaigners ‘jubilant’. Civil unions could be signed into law as early as tomorrow

The island nation of Malta is set to finally legalize civil unions for gay couples this evening (14 April).

Traditionally conservative, the small European Catholic nation is one vote away from giving gay couples the right to have their unions recognized.

If the bill passes, as is widely expected, it will be signed into law as early as tomorrow.

The bill will give gay couples exactly the same legal rights as straight couples have with marriage.

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has described the change as a very important moment for Malta.

April 9, 2014

Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller has backed away from an election pledge to decriminalize homosexuality, saying stakeholders must decide the issue, and she can’t say when that will happen

Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller has again said that decriminalizing gay sex is not a priority for her government in the latest sign that she intends not to honor her 2011 election promise to do so.

Simpson-Miller told Television Jamaica, ‘We have to go to our constituents, consult our constituents and then we go with the decisions of those consultations.’

April 9, 2014

The President of South Africa has said he respects Uganda’s right to criminalize gays and lesbians despite his country having the strongest laws protecting LGBTI people on the African continent

South African President Jacob Zuma said Tuesday that he respects Uganda’s right to pass legislation severely criminalizing LGBTI people and their supporters in the latest sign that South Africa will not join with Western nations in taking formal action against the country.

‘South Africa respects the sovereign rights of other countries to adopt their own legislation,’ Zuma said in a statement in response to a question from a member of the National Assembly.