LGBTI global news 24-7

Content about Health Minister

March 25, 2015

To curb the spread of HIV

Maharashtra's health minister has come under fire for saying LGBTI people need 'psychological treatment.'

Deepak Sawant made the comment Monday (23 March) in response to an opposition lawmaker's question about the state government's plan to curb HIV transmission in the LGBTI community.

‘There is a need for psychological treatment and counselling of the community. We would work with NGOs working in the sector,’ he told the state legislative assembly.

February 13, 2015

The 67-year-old former politician has used the opportunity to speak out for same-sex marriage

Ireland's former equality minister Pat Carey has come out as gay.

The Fianna Fáil minister has said current Health Minister Leo Varadkar, who came out last month, inspired him to do the same.

'My only regret is that I didn’t have the courage or confidence to [come out while I was in politics],' he told the Irish Times.

'When I look back it’s an awful pity I didn’t feel able to do that. Nobody stopped me, but I wasn’t sure how it would be received.

January 22, 2015

'It was a 20-minute ceremony with no witnesses and it cost £4'

Dominic Hannigan has become the first member of the Irish parliament to enter into a gay marriage.

The Labour MP for Meath East yesterday (21 January) announced he wed his partner of more than two decades, Chris, in London on New Year’s Eve.

'It was a 20-minute ceremony with no witnesses and it cost £4 ($6, €5.20),' he told the Irish Star.

Gay marriage is not yet legal in Ireland but a referendum on the issue will be held in May.

January 18, 2015

Leo Varadkar, the Irish Minister for Health, announced on a radio show this morning he is gay and wants to be an equal citizen in his own country

‘I want to be an equal citizen in my own country,’ said Irish Minister for Health Leo Varadkar on the radio this morning (18 January).

Varadkar was speaking to Miriam O’Callaghan on RTÉ Radio one this morning when he publicly announced he is gay.

He said he wanted to be honest ahead of the Irish referendum on gay marriage.

‘I am a gay man, it’s not a secret but it’s not something that everybody would know,’ he said.

‘I have always put the career and job and politics first. I am a very private person.

January 9, 2015

Gay rights activists have applauded the decision

A health minister in Zimbabwe has said men who have sex with men in prison should be protected from HIV and AIDS.

Dr Owen Mugurungi, the HIV and TB Director in the Ministry of Health, said it would be ‘disastrous’ to ignore homosexuality was ‘rife in prisons’.

He said:  'We might want to deny that men have sex with men but we know that in prison that this thing does happen.’

This has been received well by the LGBTI community in the country who have applauded the minister.

December 8, 2014

The Catholic Bishops of Northern Ireland say they can no longer support the agency now that it’s ‘legally obliged’ to allow same-sex couples to adopt

The Catholic Church has announced that it is ending its relationship with an adoption service in Northern Ireland following changes in legislation that mean the service must accept applications from unmarried and same-sex couples as potential adoptive parents.

The agency in question is The Family Care Society NI. The agency was originally founded by the Church and has offices in Belfast.

October 29, 2014

Religious politicians say the 'morally depraved' law will 'destroy the family'

A bill that would allow LGBTI people to have children through surrogates passed its first reading in the Israeli parliament late Monday as more gay couples travel abroad to use foreign surrogates.

The bill to amend the Surrogacy Law 1996 passed by 55 votes to 15. Three members of the Knesset abstained.

September 18, 2014

Norman Fowler apologizes for the law that banned the 'promotion' of homosexuality in schools

A long-serving member of Margaret Thatcher’s cabinet has apologized for the controversial Section 28 which banned the 'promotion' of homosexuality in schools.

Former health minister Lord Norman Fowler told the Evening Standard, ‘We have come a long way. It [Section 28] was a great mistake and I think it’s now recognized as a great mistake and I would apologize for it. It was totally misjudged.’

The law was repealed in 2003.

February 26, 2014

Despite the new anti-gay law that states you must report homosexuals to the police, the health minister has promised doctors and nurses will be able to keep patient confidentiality

Uganda’s health minister has said gay people will still have access to healthcare despite the introduction of the new anti-gay law.

Dr Ruhakana Rugunda has suggested the law will not apply to doctors or other healthcare professionals when LGBT people go to hospitals to seek treatment.

Under the law, it will be illegal to not report gay people to the police.

Health charities have warned that the law will be catastrophic in the fight against HIV, as gay people will be unable to be fully honest with doctors.

February 15, 2014

A prominent church pastor has finally claimed responsibility for an anti-gay petition which demands the health ministry review its online brochure on sexuality for failing to warn against the 'homosexual lifestyle'

A pastor of a megachurch in Singapore, who once referred to the LGBT rights movement as the 'onslaught of the evil one', has revealed himself to be behind an anti-gay petition which was launched two weeks ago.

In a Facebook post yesterday, Lawrence Khong said he has been putting 'all (his) effort' in the past week to mobilize Christians in Singapore to demand that the health minister conducts a 'public enquiry to uncover who is responsible' for an online brochure which 'failed to warn the public of the high health risks associated with the homosexual lifestyle.'

December 19, 2013

Zambian Health Minister Joseph Kasonde has backed plans to provide condoms to male prisoners in the country’s jails to prevent the spread of HIV but critics have claimed it will lead to more gay prison sex

Zambia’s Health Minister Joseph Kasonde has said there is nothing wrong with distributing condoms in prisons and that everything should be done to stop the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections in the country’s jail system.

‘There is nothing wrong to give condoms to inmates from a medical point of view because we have to give out any preventive measure available to prevent the spread of disease,’ Kasonde said, according to Zambia Reports.

October 21, 2013

A civil union bill on the Mediterranean island is likely to pass but has raised other issues, including whether gay and bi men should be automatically excluded from donating blood

Malta has reaffirmed it will keep the ban on sexually active gay men giving blood – but the island nation is moving towards same-sex civil unions.

The Mediterranean island archipelago is currently debating a form of ‘gay marriage’ – which could be passed within weeks.

But that has led to questions about other LGBT issues, including about the ban on blood donations by gay and bisexual men.

And last week the Health Minister Godfrey Farrugia answered that question in a way that disappointed some and confused many.

October 15, 2013

High Court judge has ruled Northern Ireland's gay blood rules are 'irrational' and could overturn the lifetime ban

Northern Ireland's health minister has said he wants to ban men who have gay sex from giving blood, not gay people.

Edwin Poots has responded to the Belfast High Court who ruled he did not have the authority to impose a lifetime gay blood ban.

On Friday (11 October), the judge ruled he had breached the ministerial code by failing to take the issue to the Executive.

Speaking to BBC News, he said if he did break the ministerial code then he did it 'unwittingly'.

October 7, 2013

As gay couples flock to England to adopt, Health Minister Edwin Poots claims he wants the ban as children deserve 'stability'

Gay couples in Northern Ireland could soon be joining the rest of the UK in having the right to adopt children.

But Edwin Poots, the Health Minister, is now doing everything he can to stop that from happening.

The Court of Appeal recently ruled the ban preventing gay, lesbian and unmarried couples from adopting children was unlawful.

The only way a LGB person could adopt was if they were single.

Poots has now applied to the Supreme Court for leave to appeal against the Court of Appeal’s decision that the ban is discriminatory.

July 30, 2013

While several has recently closed, at least 80 'gay cure' clinics under the guise of drug rehabilitation centers are still continuing their 'treatments'

Gay, lesbian and bisexual people are being given electric shocks, raped and beaten to ‘cure’ their sexuality in Ecuador.

More than 80 unlicensed clinics in the South American country are reportedly using these techniques, according to Carina Vance Mafla the Health Minister.

In a news conference over the weekend, the openly gay politician said at least two people had died while undergoing ‘treatment’ this year.

‘We have lesbians who have reported what the clinics called “sex therapy”, but which consists of being raped by men,’ she said.

July 28, 2013

More young LGBT people in Ecuador escaping from anti-gay conversion therapy clinics posing as religious retreats or drug rehab centers

More LGBT people in Ecuador are going public about escaping from illegal gay conversion clinics in the region.

According to the country’s Health Minister Carina Vance, who is openly gay, Ecuador has at least 80 unlicensed alcohol and drug rehab clinics, many of which double as illegal centers for anti-gay conversion therapy.

‘We are talking here about a mafia, a network that operates nationally in each of the provinces, which are violating human rights,’ said Vance.

July 18, 2013

Socialist MP and doctor Olivier Veran has called for the lifting of France’s lifetime ban on gay men donating blood, calling for people to be screened based on behavior rather than sexuality

A French Government backbencher and doctor has delivered a report supporting the end of the lifetime ban on gay men donating blood to Health Minister Marisol Touraine.

Socialist MP Olivier Veran, who is a qualified neurologist, compiled the report after Touraine indicated she might be supportive of lifting the ban if there was evidence that it would not increase the risk of HIV infected blood getting into France’s blood supply.

July 11, 2013

The Queensland government which defunded the state’s only LGBT community health organization has announced that up to 32 positions at Brisbane’s Biala STD Clinic will go

The Liberal National Party government of the Australian state of Queensland has announced further cuts to sexual health services, with up to 32 people at the Biala Clinic in the state capital to go.

The move comes a year after the Queensland Health Minister Lawrence Springborg defunded the Queensland Association for Healthy Communities (QAHC) which had been providing HIV health services to the LGBT community since 1984.

However, HIV services which were originally to be closed will remain, with 10 staff continuing to operate at Metro North health facilities.

July 4, 2013

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has appointed a new Mental Health Minister who is anti-same-sex marriage and opposed to lesbians having access to reproductive technologies but LGBT rights groups are cautiously optimistic

Australian Prime Minister has appointed Senator Jacinta Collins to be the country’s new Minister for Mental Health and Aging despite her opposition to same-sex marriage and lesbians getting access to in-vitro fertilization.

Collins was the Social Welfare Officer and Research Officer and then National Industrial Officer with the right wing Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees' Association union before entering politics and last year spoke in parliament to oppose same-sex marriage and parenting.

April 10, 2013

A three-in-one anti-retroviral pill costs only $10 and could hopefully simplify the lives of people living with AIDS

A new cheap pill introduced in South Africa could revolutionize treatment for HIV and AIDS patients.

The treatment, a three-in-one anti-retroviral called an ARV, costs only $10 (€7.65) per patient in a single dose.

Speaking to the Agence France-Presse, South African health minister Aaron Motsoaledi said: ‘Before 2010, we were buying the most expensive ARVs in the world.

‘Now we are a country where the ARVs are the cheapest in the world.’

March 25, 2013

Yael German, Israel’s new minister of health, has instructed a public committee to deliberate the removal of a ban on blood donations from gay men

In her first move as Israel's new health minister, Yael German instructed the ministry staff today (25 March) to reconsider the ban on accepting blood donations from gay men.

The form filled out by every blood donor in Israel states that men who have had sex with other men are prohibited from donating blood.

People who are HIV positive, used drugs or been exposed to mad-cow disease, among other constraints, are also prohibited from donating blood.

February 11, 2013

New South Wales health minister Jillian Skinner launches campaign which she says can eliminate HIV in the state by 2020

New South Wales health minister Jillian Skinner launched an ambitious campaign last week to end HIV infections in the Australian state - where 250 gay men catch the virus each year - by 2020.

The Ending HIV campaign focuses on three simple messages: test more, treat early and stay safe.

'It has been 30 years since the first diagnosis of HIV in this state,' said Skinner at the launch of the campaign.

January 17, 2013

British Medical Association is urging Gardasil vaccine, normally used to treat young girls for cervical cancer, should be given to gay men

Doctors have urged the UK government to allow young gay men access to the vaccine for Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). 

Leading medical professionals are urging the UK government to give gay men access to a vaccine that could prevent anal cancer.

The British Medical Association (BMA) said the Gardasil vaccine, which prevents Human papillomavirus (HPV) and will given to young schoolgirls from next September, should given to gays in sexual health clinics.

January 14, 2013

Australian Right-wing Liberal state government minister continues to stick the knife in gay health charity months after cutting its funding

Queensland health minister has delivered an unrestrained attack on the gay health group he cut funding from last year, and the previous state government, blaming them for a predicted rise in HIV infection.