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March 2, 2015

The President and Founder of Witeck Communications reflects on a key moment in corporate America’s evolution regarding the public endorsement of LGBT issues

One evening in 1998, when the CEO of American Airlines telephoned, I could feel my temperature rising.

My anxiety didn’t stem from his title or the surprise nature of the call. Rather, it stemmed from an ongoing battle with conservative groups over the company’s right to serve LGBT customers.

But let me back up a few years.

In 1994, I began to consult closely with marketing colleagues at American Airlines to launch an innovative effort to help grow the company’s loyal and frequent lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) customers.

March 2, 2015

Letters are posted ahead of the country's annual legislative sessions

The father of a gay man has written to 1,000 Chinese lawmakers calling for the legalization of gay marriage.

Lin Xianzhi, 61, said he hoped that his proposal would help secure equal rights for gay couples, including medical care, inheritance and property.

His son, Xiaotao, came out as gay in 2011 and has been with his partner for three years.

'There are no differences between them and a heterosexual husband and wife,' Lin said. 'But my child can't get married, that's not fair.'

February 28, 2015

Vice sends their cameras to Journey Into Manhood, a gay conversion program, where men pay more than US$600 to attend a weekend retreat to be 'cured' of their same-sex attractions

US-based Vice, known for its guerrilla-style and constroversial documentaries, has released a three-part documentary investigating gay conversion therapy – a practice that has been denounced by medical communities and partially banned by several states including California and New Jersey.

For the documentary, Vice sent their cameras to Journey Into Manhood, a gay conversion program, where men pay more than US$600 to attend a weekend retreat where they participate in exercises and activities to 'cure' themselves of their attraction to other men.

February 27, 2015

Complainant says he is not against homosexuality but wants to test the limits of the country's anti-gay law

India's largest online shopping site has been sued for 'abetting gay sex and exhibiting obscene products.'

Snapdeal.com sells vibrators and lubrication, which a Supreme Court advocate said broke laws banning gay sex and public obscenity.

Suhas Joshi said he filed the complaint not because he was against homosexuality, but to test the limits of the country's anti-gay law.

February 27, 2015

Regulator is investigating whether the smooch violates broadcast policy

The first lesbian kiss on South Korean TV aired on Wednesday (February 25) night, and it was epic.

Two two female students on drama Seonam Girls High School Investigators shared a passionate kiss in the library – but then broke up out of fear of being judged.

But not everyone was happy with having the display of same-sex affection broadcast into their homes.

The Korea Communications Standards Commission (KCSC) said Friday (27 February) it had received complaints and were looking in the matter.

February 26, 2015

Rural South Carolina college issues statement to be added to official manual

It's officially not okay to be gay at Erskine College in South Carolina.

Two male volleyball players came out publicly last year and although they have been accepted by teammates, the school has taken the step of issuing a new official statement of human sexuality that is against homosexuality.

February 26, 2015

'Can they marry one of the same sex and one of the opposite sex?'

Alabama's Chief Justice has suggested that bisexual and transgender people want to marry two different partners. 

In an interview with Associated Press on Monday, Moore claimed that if the Supreme Court vote to legalize gay marriage nationwide, it will open up the door for bisexual and transgender people to marry two different partners, one male and one female. 

'You're taking any definition of a family away,' said Moore. 

February 26, 2015

Now working for World Bank as a Senior Country Officer for Maghreb, Houdart reflects on coming out at work and the journey that business has undertaken in respect to LGBTI workplace equality

In 2001, when I was 23 years old, I started my career at the World Bank in Washington, D.C.

At the time I was in the process of coming out to my parents and friends. My father warned me that being gay would irrevocably hurt my career prospects, which fed my existing insecurities.

I was terrified that my colleagues and clients, who came from diverse cultural backgrounds and were often deeply religious, would discover the truth and take a dim view of me.

February 25, 2015

The author and educator has seen tremendous changes in society and the workplace since he was fired for being gay in 1974

In the 40 years that I have been educating others, including corporate senior officers around the globe, on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) issues, I have witnessed dramatic changes in the workplace.

In the early days of my work, individual audience members would linger after the presentation to whisper to me that they were gay, or that their child was, and they would ask if they might stay in touch with me.

February 25, 2015

Freelance Writer - Journalism

"Sometimes if you don’t think you can change the environment, it’s easier just to change jobs"

Starting in the 1990s, programs such as MTV’s “The Real World” and NBC’s “Will and Grace” helped portray gay men in a non-threatening light, and normalized the reality of being gay for millions. At the same time, however, shows like these, and those that have followed, portrayed gay men as frivolous, irresponsible and more likely to party hard than work. Yes, we make the masses laugh, but at our own expense.

February 25, 2015

'No matter who you love, you will receive the same rights and protections as everyone else'

The Obama administration has redefined the term 'spouse' to include married gay couples.

The plans, which have been published today by The Department of Labour in a new 52-page document, will grant gay couples the Federal right to job-protected leave from their place of work, so they can take care of a sick partner, child or parent under the 1993 Family and Medical Leave act (FMLA).

February 25, 2015

A language teacher in Nigeria, Tobe reflects on life as a gay man in a country that penalizes its LGBT community

My name is Tobe and I’m a gay man in my mid-twenties living in Nigeria, a country that recently passed a law condemning people who show same-sex attraction to up to 14 years in jail.

There are no words to describe what it’s like being gay in an environment such as this. You just have to live it to understand.

The greatest torture is not having the possibility of a 14-year jail sentence hanging over your head. Nor is it the daily prejudice you have to endure silently.

February 24, 2015

Michalak is the Global Director of Social Mission at ice cream giant, Ben & Jerry’s –  one of the world's first companies to provide same sex benefits to its LGBT staff

Ben & Jerry's, the Vermont-based ice cream company, has a long and proud history supporting LGBT rights. In 1989 it became one of the first publicly traded companies to extend benefits to same-sex partners.

Since 2001, its leadership has vocally supported the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, and it has even allowed same-sex marriage ceremonies to take place in Ben & Jerry's stores. It's fitting that one of the company's mottos is "love comes in all flavors."

February 24, 2015

Parliamentary committee votes overwhelmingly in favor of same-sex marriage

A Swiss legislative panel has voted overwhelmingly in favor of gay marriage.

The legal affairs committee last week recommended that the National Council adopt a parliamentary initiative called Marriage for All.

The vote was 12 in favor, two opposed, with one abstention.

The initiative, which was submitted by the Green Liberal Party, calls on the legislature to open up marriage to gay couples, and registered partnerships to straight couples.

Registered partnerships for gay couples have been recognized since January 2007.

February 24, 2015

Randy Berry will advocate for LGBTI rights globally

The US State Department Monday (23 February) named Randy Berry as its first LGBTI rights envoy.

The openly gay diplomat is currently the US consul general in Amsterdam and has served in Bangladesh, Egypt, Uganda, and South Africa.

Secretary of State John Kerry said he 'could not be more proud' to announce Berry as the first-ever special envoy for the human rights of LGBTI persons.

February 20, 2015

Hannah, a content manager with a publishing company, understands why coming out can be difficult for those who wish to maintain a private life

How to come out and be out at work can be a minefield whatever your situation, but I'm going to write about it from the perspective of being a single gay person in the workplace.

To give some background, when I first came out (relatively late at the age of 26), it was a painful time as it was linked to the end of a very complex friendship. It was all I could do to hold it together at that time, and as such, the last thing I wanted to do was share my pain at work.

February 20, 2015

Did you know churches blessed gay marriages in the 'Dark Ages'? Discover and more

1. The world's oldest porn, which dates back over 3,000 years, features both male/male, female/female and male/female couples.

February 18, 2015

Continent's first openly gay parliamentarian is surprised by the fuss

A South African MP made history last week by holding his boyfriend's hand at the State of the Nation Address.

Ian Ollis was photographed outside parliament Thursday (12 February) walking proudly hand-in-hand with his partner, Adriaan Roets, a lifestyle and entertainment journalist.

Ollis came out as Africa's first openly gay MP in 2009 and is a vocal supporter of LGBTI rights on the continent.

February 18, 2015

'What they seek is society telling them their sin is acceptable to God'

The notoriously anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church has said LGBTI people face 'zero' discrimination in the US.

The 'God hates fags' church made the claim in an amicus brief to a federal court hearing an appeal to the of Kansas' gay marriage ban.

'What they seek – indeed what they crave – is society telling them their sin is acceptable in the sight of God,' the church wrote.

February 17, 2015

'Section 377 is discriminatory in its application and unreasonable in its intent'

The chairman of the Law Commission of India has slammed the country's anti-gay as discriminatory and psychologically damaging.

Justice A P Shah made the comments yesterday in New Delhi at the launch of a book about LGBTI legal issues in the southeast Asian country.

'Section 377 is discriminatory in its application, unreasonable in its intent, deprives a group of its personal autonomy and violates individual privacy and human dignity,' he said.

February 17, 2015

Three in ten oppose the plan by a Tokyo ward to recognize same-sex couples

More than half of Japan supports a Tokyo ward's plan to issue partnership certificates to gay couples, according to a new survey by a major Japanese newspaper.

Three in ten (27%) opposed the idea.

The Asahi Shimbun poll also found that gay marriage supporters narrowly outnumbered opponents: 41% of respondents said gay marriage should be legalized compared to 37% who disagreed.

February 17, 2015

Scott Lively is currently on trial for crimes against humanity

Abiding Truth Ministries pastor and author of The Pink Swastika, Scott Lively, is upset that the media label him ‘anti-gay’ because of his years of actively campaigning against the rights of LGBTI people.

Lively is currently being sued in the US Federal Court by Ugandan LGBTI activists over his role in convincing Ugandans to pass strict laws further criminalizing gays and lesbians and he has praised Russian leader Vladimir Putin over his regime’s laws against so-called ‘homosexual propaganda.’

February 17, 2015

An estimated 30 million Chinese people are in the closet

A Valentine's Day ad campaign is urging the estimated 30 million closeted Chinese people to come out.

The ads, which appeared on social media Friday (13 February), show gay couples relaxing at home.

The text beside the photos reads: 'Love is not a choice. We did not choose to be homosexual. We just are. Happily, the world is big enough for all of us.'

David Li, one of the lead organizers of the China LGBT Awareness Campaign, said he hoped the ads would generate a public conversation about LGBTI issues in China and encourage people to come out.

February 16, 2015

Survey finds 56% of gay Londoners are not comfortable kissing in public

More than 100 Londoners took part in a Valentine’s Day kiss-in to mark the launch an anti-homophobia campaign.

Scores of gay couples locked lips on the steps of the Eros statue in Piccadilly Circus on Saturday (14 February) to assert their Freedom to Kiss.

Organizers Pride in London said the campaign was a response to a new survey, which found that 54% of gay Londoners do not feel comfortable kissing in public. Of those, 86% were frightened of name-calling or physical violence.