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March 4, 2015

Marriage equality foe Chief Justice Ray Moore recused himself from vote

The Alabama Supreme Court ordered a halt to same-sex marriages on Tuesday (3 March) in a 7-2 vote.

The decision comes despite a recent federal ruling striking down the state's gay marriage ban - a ruling the US Supreme Court declined to grant a stay on.

Chief Justice Ray Moore, an outspoken opponent of gay marriage, recused himself from the vote.

March 4, 2015

Malaysian national wants to legally change gender so she can get married

Immigration officers in Indonesia have arrested a Malaysian transgender woman who applied for a female passport with fake documents.

Reggeana Fiziana, 38, had sex reassignment surgery in Thailand and want the passport to legally marry her boyfriend, a man from a Arab country who is currently studying in Malaysia.

Transgender people cannot legally change their gender in either Malaysia or Indonesia, and neither country recognizes gay marriage.

March 3, 2015

Will it become the first Central European country with marriage equality?

Slovenia could become the first Central European country with marriage equality following a vote tonight (3 March).

Parliamentarians will vote on the same-sex marriage bill, with a vote planned for around 7pm local time. If passed, it will be sent to President Borut Pahor to be signed into law. 

Suggested by the opposition party United Left (ZL), the sponsors of the bill said Slovenia's constitution calls for all members of society to be provided with equal rights, and the bill will extend those to rights to all groups.

February 21, 2015

'We are a nation under laws'

Robert Bentley, the governor of Alabama, vows to follow the federal courts when it comes to marriage equality.

'We are a nation under laws,' the southern state's chief executive said to Politico. 'We may not always agree with them, but we obey them.'

February 21, 2015

'The rogue actions of Travis County judges do not withstand the scrutiny of law'

Texas wants its highest court to void the marriage license of the southern state's only legally married same-sex couple.

Yesterday, 20 February, state Attorney General Ken Paxton announced he filed a petition with the Texas Supreme Court.

February 20, 2015

Both countries have severe anti-gay laws

Several prominent LGBTI members of Congress have urged US President Barack Obama to drop Brunei and Malaysia from a major trade deal if they do not repeal their severe anti-gay laws.

In a letter dated 18 February, five of the six co-chairs of the LGBT Equality Caucus praised the president's gay rights record but sought clarification on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which his administration is trying to fast-track through Congress.

'We urge you to bring consistency to the administration’s foreign and trade policy,' the letter reads.

February 16, 2015

'This power over marriage which came from God under our organic law is not to be redefined by the United States Supreme Court or any federal court'

Roy Moore, Alabama's Supreme Court chief justice, is certain any judge issuing same-sex marriage certificates is breaking the law.

February 11, 2015

Four government bodies reject the first LGBTI group to apply for incorporation

The first South Korean LGBTI group to apply for incorporation has said they were rejected by four government agencies because of anti-gay discrimination.

Beyond the Rainbow Foundation approached the Seoul Municipal Government, National Human Rights Commission and the ministry of justice between January 2014 to January 2015 but were rejected by them all.

February 6, 2015

Anti-LGBTI activists have held a rally in Bishkek where they claimed gay people were linked to pedophiles as lawmakers prepare to debate the controversial piece of legislation again

A controversial bill that would ban ‘homosexual propaganda’ will be debated by the Kyrgyzstan parliament before the end of the month in the latest step in the former Soviet Central Asian nation to pass a similar law to the one passed by Russia in 2013.

The Kyrgyz bill would see people imprisoned for up to a year for disseminating ‘propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations,’ including journalists who cover LGBTI issues in a positive light.

February 5, 2015

State television suspends the offending show for 'technical reasons'

The producers of a popular drama seres in Angola have publicly apologized for an episode aired late last month showing two men kissing.

The kiss aired right after the main evening news broadcast in the deeply Catholic country and sparked outrage on social media.

'We offer our sincere apologies to those who felt offended,' the company said yesterday (4 February) in comments run by Angop state news agency.

Semba Comunicacao also promised to make 'corrections in the presentation of sensitive content.'

February 4, 2015

Los Angeles Confidential magazine's event is intended to honor its cover star

John Legend has pulled out of pre-Grammy party amid a Hollwood boycott of a hotel owned by the anti-gay Sultan of Brunei.

Los Angeles Confidential magazine had planned the first major entertainment industry party at the Beverly Hills Hotel in honor of its cover star.

However, a representative for the R&B singer said he would no longer be attending.

January 30, 2015

Slovaks will go to the polls on 7 February in a referendum called by family groups on same-sex marriage and gay adoption but there are hopes that not enough people will bother to vote for it to be considered valid

Slovaks will vote in a referendum on Saturday 7 February that is designed to show lawmakers how they feel about recognizing same-sex relationships and adoption by gay couples in the EU member state.

The referendum was brought on after a coalition of chruch groups and ‘family values’ groups managed to convince 400,000 people to sign a petition in favor of the referendum – 50,000 more than was needed to force a popular vote on the issue.

Slovaks will be asked three questions in the referendum:

January 30, 2015

Top court breaks a long-standing agreement between the two countries

France's highest appeals court Wednesday (28 January) allowed a gay man to marry his Moroccan partner, despite the North African kingdom's refusal to recognize same-sex marriage.

France legalized gay marriage in 2013. However, a 1981 agreement said marriages between French and Moroccan nationals were subject to the laws of their respective countries.

Dominique and Mohammed first took the case to court after a city hall in France had refused to wed them, citing the 1981 convention.

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 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 of 'scandalizing contempt' for a post critical of the city's anti-gay law.

The High Court ruled Thursday (22 January) 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.