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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 26, 2014

And he didn't even need to unwrap it

The rainbow could be seen as a representing two main concepts: the gay rights movement and a 'blessing' from God.

So one lesbian politician thought of the perfect gift to give to Pope Francis: a rainbow scarf.

Austrian Green MP Ulrike Lunacek, the gay Vice President of the European Parliament, gave the leader of the Catholic Church his early Christmas present yesterday (25 November).

'Today I handed Pope Francis a rainbow scarf for gays, lesbians, and for peace,' Lunacek proudly said.

November 25, 2014

Faith-based book equates homosexuality to 'pederasty' and 'bestiality'

Atlanta fire chief Kelvin Cochran has been suspended for a month without pay for distributing a self-published anti-gay book to his subordinates.

In the book Who Told You That You Were Naked, he identified himself as a 'devout Christian man' whose first priority as Atlanta Fire Department (AFD) chief was 'to cultivate its culture to the glory of God.'

One passage equates homosexuality to 'pederasty' and 'bestiality' and another describes gay sex as one of several 'vile, vulgar and inappropriate ways which defile their body-temple and dishonor God.'

November 25, 2014

New research shows homosexuality helps humans bond

Scientists have found a possible reason why homosexuality exists and does not die out with evolution.

Same sex desire helps us bond with people of the same gender.

Those who argue that homosexuality is a choice often argue that traits which stop us breeding successfully are eventually filtered out by evolution.

Dr Diana Fleischman, of the University of Portsmouth, and her colleagues have released their answer to that question today (25 November).

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 24, 2014

Don't talk dirty to me

A London university has banned a rapper and youth speaker who has called homosexuality a 'disease'.

Imran ibn Mansur, 24, was today banned from appearing at the University of East London.

The Islamic Society invited the young preacher to speak at an event planned for this week. But when the university was made aware, they said they could not have a person who believes being gay is 'obscene, filthy and shameless'.

November 22, 2014

Luis Pabon writes about his attitude towards his sexuality and the gay community saying: ‘it has outlived its usefulness’

A gay journalist has written an article detailing all negative aspects of being gay, entitled ‘Why I no longer want to be gay.’

Luis Pabon wrote the online piece for ThoughtCatalog.com on November 17.

Pabon describes the experiences and people he has met which has drawn him to the conclusion that he doesn’t want to be gay.

November 21, 2014

City government is mulling an anti-gay hate law

The Seoul Municipal Government (SMG) yesterday (20 November) was forced to postpone a hearing on gay rights after 200 Christian protesters stormed city hall.

The hearing was called to gather opinions for the drafting of a Charter of Human Rights for Citizens in Seoul.

However, experts are divided on whether the law should include a ban on discrimination against LGBTI people.

November 21, 2014

Be gay, but no PDA

Does two men or two women kissing in public make you uncomfortable? If it does, you're not alone.

While gay rights might be sweeping across the western world, public displays of affection between two people of the same gender still gives people the ick.

A report published by the American Sociological Review suggests while Americans are happy for gay people to have rights, they are less happy to have that gayness shoved down their throats - figuratively speaking.

November 20, 2014

State Islamic ban on cross-dressing was scrapped two weeks ago

A social sciences professor at a leading Malaysian university has said rape and 'environmental toxins' are among the factors that turn men transgender.

Dr Haslinda Abdullah from Universiti Putra Malaysia near Kuala Lumpur Haslinda made the comments at a forum on 'gender identity disorder,' which was held two weeks after a court scrapped a state ban on transgender Muslim women wearing female clothes.

November 20, 2014

Lawmakers want the anti-gay law back as soon as possible

Uganda's new anti-gay bill could be voted on in parliament before Christmas, lawmakers have said.

Lawmakers have drafted the Prohibition of Promotion of Unnatural Sexual Practices Bill intended to replace the Anti-Homosexuality Act that was struck down by the Constitutional Court in August.

Kawempe South MP Latif Ssebalgala has said a committee has finished a draft of the bill, and will be presented to the public before parliament retires in 11 sitting days. Other politicians have however said this could be unlikely.

November 19, 2014

African country has arrested 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

Olly Pike, and his balloon sidekick, Pop, take a look at the diverse nature of modern families in their latest YouTube video

There are not many educational materials out there for young children that acknowledge the existence of same-sex families, which is why this latest video in the ‘Pop'n'Olly’ series is all the more welcome.

Olly Pike is a UK-based performer and presenter. He also featured in the CBBC series, Trapped, and has appeared in several West End shows.

November 18, 2014

For many in the Middle East, Turkey is a safe haven for LGBTI people. But the gay and trans population still faces great hatred and real danger

Turkey is a country conflicted when it comes to its LGBTI population.

On one hand, Turkey is the first country in the Muslim world to hold a Pride march. Now, 11 years on, 2014 Istanbul Pride is widely lauded. It surpassed last year’s LGBTQI pride attendance that drew nearly 100,000 revelers and onlookers.

It is the ‘go-to’ country for LGBTI Muslims fleeing other Islamic countries for their safety.

The country’s Supreme Court acknowledged in July that calling LGBTI citizens ‘perverts’ is hate speech.

November 17, 2014

Are you born that way?

A study has taken a 'giant leap forward' in proving there is a genetic link to homosexuality.

The large study, which looked at gay brothers, has added to the view that genes influence a man's chances of being gay, but there's isn't enough concrete results to prove it yet.

Researchers looked at almost 800 gay male siblings. Dr Alan Sanders of the NorthShore University HealthSystem Research Institute in Evanston, Illinois, says his work 'is not proof but it's a pretty good indication' of genes on the X chromosome influencing sexual orientation.

November 15, 2014

Rep. Patricia Todd wants to name her bill 'Tim Cook Economic Development Act' which will ban workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation for state employees

Alabama's first openly gay lawmaker Rep. Patricia Todd has announced the 'Tim Cook Economic Development Act', a bill which will ban workplace discrimination against gay and lesbian state employees.

Cook, who came out publicly last month, is the first CEO of a Fortune 500 company to do so.

November 14, 2014

Bisexual rapper has no regrets calling gay celebrity blogger 'messy faggot'

Azealia Banks has claimed 'faggot' is a good way to describe gay people as they are 'way more misogynistic than straight men'.

The '212' bisexual rapper got in trouble last year after calling gay celebrity blogger Perez Hilton 'messy faggot'.

But Banks doesn't regret using the word, saying she thinks the anti-gay slur is an insult for misogynists.

Speaking to The Guardian: 'I don't regret doing it, but I'll never do it again, because I don't care enough about the person to have the battle again and defend my use of the word faggot.

November 14, 2014

'It has been a long and arduous journey towards recognition and we are relieved that the court has protected our rights'

A gay and lesbian group has won the right to exist in a country where it is illegal to be gay today (14 November).

Botswana's High Court ruled in the landmark legal case the government had acted unconstitutionally when they blocked the group, Legabibo (Lesbians, Gays, and Bisexuals of Botswana), from registering.

'Lesbians, gays and bisexuals have long strived to be able to form an organisation which can support them and be their voice on matters that affect them,' the group's Caine Youngman told reporters.

November 14, 2014

Researchers have poured over numerous surveys and they have found acceptance of homosexuality has grown exponentially in the last two decades

The world has become a far more acceptable to be gay.

In a new study, findings suggest acceptance of homosexuality has risen in 90% of countries surveyed over the last 20 years.

Social researchers at NORC at the University of Chicago and the LGBT think-tang Williams Institute at UCLA said acceptance has grown by an average of 0.9% annually by nation.

'This study shows a clear trend toward increasing acceptance across the globe,' Andrew Park, director of International Programs at the Williams Institute, said.

November 14, 2014

Senior official says culture is no excuse for denying human rights

The US has urged India end to discrimination against LGBTI people and said culture is no excuse for denying human rights.

Sarah Sewall, under-secretary for civilian security, democracy and human rights at the US state department, made the comments yesterday (13 November) while delivering a lecture on human rights in New Delhi.

November 13, 2014

Study finds only 1 per cent are out to their fathers

Seven out of 10 young gay men in Korea hide their sexuality from their parents, a new study has found.

Seoul National University human ecology major Jo Nam-seok surveyed 103 gay men in their 20s and presented her findings on Tuesday (23 November).

Her study found that 68.9 percent of respondents had not come out to their parents for fear of disapproval, especially from their fathers.

Only 1 per cent said their father knew their sexual orientation, compared with 19.4 per cent of mothers.

November 13, 2014

Edwin Sesange, gay rights activist, gives the whole picture of what is going on in his country

The Anti-Homosexuality Act is dead. Out of the ashes comes the Prohibition of Promotion of Unnatural Sexual Practices Bill. If this is passed, it will be one of the most evil and draconian anti-LGBTI laws in the world.

It seems lawmakers have learned their lessons when it came to drafting a bill, forcing us to jump a lot more hurdles.

November 13, 2014

Is popular LGBTI-themed book The Princes and the Treasure set to make its cinematic debut?

Is Disney really making an animated feature film about two gay princes that fall in love?

Sorry, but no.

The false story is circulating this week, raising the hopes of many that everyone's favorite children's filmmakers will show gay characters on screen.

The 'report', which has so far been shared 60,000 times on Facebook, claimed it would be adapted from Jeffrey A. Miles' children's book The Princes and the Treasure.

November 11, 2014

Pacific nation bans gay sex and marriage

The 'queen of the Cook Islands' has said it is 'unfair' to criminalize gay people because of who they love.

The paramount chief of the Takitumu tribe, Marie Pa Ariki, made the comments last week in New Zealand at Hui Takataapui, an annual gathering of indigenous people from the Pacific nations.

'[Gay] people are knowledgeable and contribute to society and to home life,' she told GayNZ.com.

'They are human like everyone else... we are all whanau.'