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April 16, 2014

A powerful in-state conservative Christian lobby sent a letter to all legislators arguing the law's repeal would place teenagers at risk

The Louisiana House of Representatives turned down a bill that would have removed the southern US state's anti-sodomy law.

Last week a committee passed the legislation in a 9-6 vote, but on 15 April the proposal was easily defeated in the full House 27-67; 11 representatives did not vote.

In 2003, the Supreme Court ruled in the criminal case Lawrence v. Texas that all anti-sodomy laws in the US are unconstitutional.

April 15, 2014

Words like ‘homo’ and ‘maricones’ are now frowned on but even ‘gay’ and ‘homophobia’ have been debated by some

As the country becomes more accepting of the civil rights of its lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer Americans, it is also beginning to reexamine its language used to demean us.

In last month’s New York Time’s article The Decline of the ‘H’ Word Jeremy Peters wrote that while the word ‘homosexual’ for the most part is ‘inoffensive,’ ‘outdated,’ and perhaps ‘innocuous,’ the word nonetheless is viewed by many in our LGBTI community as a pejorative term.

April 15, 2014

The Indian Supreme Court has instructed the Indian Government to create a legal third gender category to recognize transgender people and also that they should be classed as a marginalized group to receive affirmative action in jobs and education

India’s highest court has ruled that transgender individuals should be allowed to designate themselves in a third gender category other than male or female in a historic legal ruling today.

Indian culture has traditionally recognized transgender individuals as ‘hijras’ and many have traditionally viewed themselves as a third gender separate to male or female.

April 14, 2014

It is 10th consecutive ruling by a federal judge invalidating state bans since US Supreme Court ruling on Doma last June

A federal judge in Ohio officially issued a ruling today declaring Ohio's ban on gay marriage unconstitutional.

Judge Timothy Black gave advance notice last week of his intentions in order to give the state time to prepare its appeal. He also placed a stay on his ruling pending appeals meaning same-sex marriages cannot yet begin in the state.

Still, it marks the 10th consecutive ruling invalidating such a ban since the US Supreme Court gutted key provisions of the Defense of Marriage Act last June.

April 13, 2014

The Law Society of British Columbia debated but eventually voted down a motion that would have barred graduates of the new law school from practising law in the province because of the school's ban on gay sex

Trinity Western University, a private Christian university in British Columbia, Canada is on its way to admitting its first batch of students in September 2016 despite having a policy against students and staff in same-sex relationships.

On Friday, the Law Society of British Columbia's directors voted 20-6 in favor despite many of them using words like 'abhorrent,' 'discriminatory,' 'hateful,' 'anachronistic' and 'fundamentally wrong' to describe the evangelical Christian university's anti-gay policy that all students and staff must sign and help enforce.

April 12, 2014

'Loving teaches that the Fourteenth Amendment protects the fundamental right to marry, even if the way in which it is practiced would have surprised the Framers or made them feel uncomfortable'

The attorney general of Virginia submitted a brief supporting a judge's decision the state's ban on gay marriage unconstitutional.

In papers filed with the 4th US Circuit Court of Appeals, Attorney General Mark Herring maintained blocking gay marriage mirrored the prohibition against interracial marriage.

April 11, 2014

'...America’s abolitionists recalled the timeless insight that “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.” The wisdom of these words applies as much today as then'

The National Organization for Marriage is comparing the fight against marriage equality to the battle against slavery.

The group, that was co-founded by Maggie Gallagher, has a new fundraising campaign called 'Keep the Republic & Marriage.'

April 11, 2014

Upcoming political party has stunned the LGBTI community, who the Supreme Court made illegal last year, by fighting for equality

An Indian political party that describes itself ‘for the people’ has promised to legalize homosexuality if they win the upcoming election.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP, translated as Common People Party), have revealed their Mumbai manifesto and in it speak out on LGBTI rights.

Known as the ‘anti-corruption’ party, the AAP are hoping the 814 million Indians who are eligible to vote will give them their support in the run up to the most hotly contested election in recent memory.

April 11, 2014

Only Alaska, Georgia, Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota have state bans on same-sex marriage that are not being challenged in the courts as Americans wait to see if the Supreme Court will finally decide the issue for the nation

Only Alaska, Georgia, Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota still have state bans on same-sex marriage that are yet to be challenged in court and that number will soon dwindle to four after a South Dakota couple announced they will take legal action against their state.

Across the rest of America and Puerto Rico there are currently 65 lawsuits in progress against bans on same-sex couples marrying – including 44 in federal courts, meaning the issue could soon come before the US Supreme Court again.

April 11, 2014

The Philippines Supreme Court has ruled that the government can provide condoms and other forms of contraception to the public for free following years of opposition by the Catholic Church

The fight against HIV and overpopulation in the Philippines has just been given an important new weapon as the country’s Supreme Court has ruled the government can provide free condoms and other kinds of contraception after a tooth-and-nail battle with the Catholic Church.

April 10, 2014

Three-judge panel will decide whether to uphold ruling that declared ban unconstitutional

A federal court in Colorado heard oral arguments in a case appealing a judge's decision that declared Utah's ban on gay marriage unconstitutional.

The US Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit heard arguments for more than an hour on Thursday (10 April).

They will decide whether to uphold a ruling in a case brought by three Utah couples.

Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes, who is defending the law, walked across the aisle in the courtroom at one point to meet the three couples seeking to have their marriages recognized by their state.

April 9, 2014

How well do you know this Northern European country sandwiched between Germany, Sweden and Norway? Home to the world’s best restaurant and cycling paths, we discuss why Denmark is topping the travel charts

Vibrant Denmark has everything your heart could desire for a Scandinavian city break.

Gastronomy? Denmark has some of the region’s most mouth-watering eateries.

Adventure? From countryside horseback rides to city tours on bicycles, Denmark has coast to coast covered. And we didn’t even get started on the amusement parks.

2014 is definitely the year of Denmark. Copenhagen has been named the European Green Capital, and the green capital city will also be in the global spotlight as the host of this year’s Eurovision Song Contest from 6 to 10 May.

April 7, 2014

Case stemmed from photographers who refused to shoot a same-sex wedding based on religious beliefs

The US Supreme Court announced Monday (7 April) that it will not hear an appeal to a widely-publicized New Mexico involving a photography business that refused to take photos for a same-wedding.

The court, which passed on the case without comment, had been asked to consider the case of Elaine and Jonathan Huguenin had found guilty of violating their state's anti-discrimination law.

April 6, 2014

Well known gay supporters including filmmaker Onir have withdrawn their support of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) for failing include its support of decriminalizing same-sex relations

The 17-month-old Aam Admi Party (AAP) was widely expected to state its support for the decriminalization of Section 377 in its much-awaited manifesto which was finally released last week.

The party’s failure to do so in the party's 26-page manifesto has led to several prominent gay activists expressing their disappointment and anger.

April 5, 2014

Brendan Eich's abrupt departure from Mozilla has stirred debate in the international media about how far corporate leaders are allowed to go in expressing their political views

Prominent gay blogger and author Andrew Sullivan has hit out at members of the LGBT community for bullying Brendan Eich into quitting his chief executive officer job at Mozilla just two weeks into the role.

Eich, who is also the co-founder of Mozilla, announced his resignation on Thursday following a backlash over his appointment due to his previous financial support for California’s Prop 8 campaign. The referendum, which passed in 2008, banned same-sex couples from getting married until it was overturned by the Supreme Court in June 2013.

April 4, 2014

A US District Court judged has ruled that a gay man’s workplace discrimination case can move forward using laws protecting people from sex discrimination in the absence of specific legislation covering sexual orientation

US District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly has ruled that federal laws prohibiting sex discrimination in the workplace also cover sexual identity in a gay man’s workplace discrimination case against the US Library of Congress.

Peter TerVeer decided to sue the library after he says he was the subject of a campaign of harassment after his boss, John Mech, found out that he was gay.

TerVeer claims Mech had created a hostile work environment him in which he imposed his ‘religion and sexual stereotypes’ on him.

April 3, 2014

In what is being called the last chance to legalize the lives of over 40 million people, Supreme Court will hear activists' plea after they recriminalized homosexuality last year

India’s Supreme Court has agreed to reconsider the law criminalizing homosexuality today (3 April).

The Naz Foundation, a HIV and LGBTI rights charity, filed a curative petition calling on the Supreme Court to ‘correct’ its verdict from last year.

In December 2013, the Supreme Court recriminalized homosexuality – overturning the landmark 2009 Delhi High Court ruling that said the colonial era law banning homosexuality was discriminatory and should not be a crime.

April 1, 2014

Activists are calling on India's Supreme Court to 'correct' the verdict that led to the ‘worst event to happen in gay rights in recent memory'

India’s government is facing a fresh new legal challenge on its gay sex ban.

Naz Foundation, a HIV and LGBTI rights charity, filed a curative petition in the Supreme Court calling on it to ‘correct’ its verdict.

In December 2013, the Supreme Court overturned the landmark 2009 Delhi High Court ruling that said the colonial era law banning homosexuality was discriminatory and should not be a crime.

As parliament has refused to try and amend the ruling themselves, a curative petition is the last option as the final appeal in the legal process.

March 31, 2014

'...If the definition of marriage is no longer based on procreation and the ability to procreate naturally, then what is the purpose in prohibiting marriage between persons of close kinship'

An attorney for court clerks from Virginia filed the first brief in the appeal of a judge's ruling that found the state's ban on gay marriage unconstitutional.

David B. Oakley, representing clerks from Norfolk and Prince William County, submitted his arguments, on 28 March, to the 4th US Circuit Court of Appeals. The clerks are appealing the mid-February opinion of Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen.

March 25, 2014

The Aam Aadmi Party will put the legalization of homosexuality at the top of its election manifesto as it seeks to win its first seats in the Indian Parliament and break into national politics

India’s fledgling Aam Aadmi Party is betting that championing the rights of women and minorities and fighting against corruption will be winning issues for voters as the party seeks to elect its first lawmakers in the nation’s parliament.

Aam Aadmi was established only 18 months ago but won 28 of the 70 seats in the Delhi Legislative Assembly in 2013 – making them the second largest party in the National Capital Territory of Delhi (the Indian equivalent of Washington DC) and allowing them to form a minority government with the Indian National Congress Party.

March 25, 2014

Break up your holiday with an adventure down some rapids, or plan an entire vacation around the most fun river bends in the world from Arizona to Nepal

No prior experience necessary: White water rafting is as doable for parents with young kids as it is for daredevil adventure seekers, you just need to find the right tide.

Depending on your desired level of difficulty you can choose a multi-person raft to navigate some choppier waters, or opt for a cruising kayak ideal for taking in the scenery.

March 24, 2014

Jesse Tyler Ferguson, George Takei, Meredith Baxter and others thrilled with recent court rulings

The Human Rights Campaign gala in Los Angeles took place over the weekend just hours after hundreds of same-sex couples had gotten married in Michigan.

A federal judge had overturned the state's gay marriage ban on Friday (21 March) leading to an immediate rush of marriages.

Even though the marriages were halted mid-day by an appeals court, that did not dampen the enthusiasm of celebrities as they arrived at the gala and chatted with Gay Star News about the latest legal victory.

March 24, 2014

HRC honoree Paris Barclay jokes that during Roberts' nomination hearing 'you did not see one, single picture of (him) in that wig. But I have them.'

When Paris Barclay accepted the Visibility Award over the weekend at the Human Rights Campaign gala in Los Angeles, he shared with the sold out crowd a high school memory that US Supreme Court Justice John Roberts would probably want forgotten.

It seems the two were classmates at an all boys high school long before their paths went in separate directions. Roberts ended up heading the highest court in the US and Barclay an Emmy winning director who is the first black and first gay president of the Directors Guild of America.

March 24, 2014

National Organization for Marriage co-founder Maggie Gallagher has conceded that same-sex marriage will come to all 50 US states

The co-founder of the leading group opposing same-sex marriage in the United States has conceded that her side has lost the fight and that gay couples will soon be able to marry all over the country.

Maggie Gallagher told the Huffington Post that she believed that a majority of Supreme Court judges would find any state ban on same-sex marriage that was brought before it to be unconstitutional.

Gallagher said she knew the end was near after a majority of the Supreme Court ruled against the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).