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April 24, 2014

Last year, the conservative TV personality had said marriage equality was winning because 'the compelling argument is on the side of homosexuals'

Fox News personality Bill O'Reilly credits 'threats and demonization' for helping to put gay marriage 'over the top' in the US.

O'Reilly said in his Fox News Channel show this week that there is 'no more robust debate' over gay marriage and that a 'big shift' has taken place 'because of the threats.'

O'Reilly made the comments in the context of a discussion about former Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich losing his job after it was learned that he had donated $1,000 to the anti-gay marriage Proposition 8 campaign in 2008.

April 24, 2014

Police have arrested five members of a group of Haredi ultra-Orthodox Jews who beat up 22-year-old gay black New Yorker Taj Paterson during a vigilante patrol of their neighborhood

Police have arrested and charged five ultra-Orthodox Haredi Jews over the December beating of a gay black fashion student they caught walking in their neighborhood at 4.30am in the morning.

Aharon Hollender, 28, Abraham Winkler, 39, Mayer Herskovic, 21, Pinchas Braver, 19, and Joseph Fried, 25, were charged with gang assault and other counts on Wednesday.

They were part of a group of close to 20 religious Jews that attacked 22-year-old Taj Patterson while he was returning home to Fort Green after a night out partying.

April 24, 2014

The owner of Brooklyn bar Lulu’s is taking his landlord to court over a condition in his lease that bars him from operating it as a gay bar

Lulu’s bar owner John McGillion wants to change his clientele to keep up with changing demographics in Greenpoint, Brooklyn to cater to a growing gay and lesbian presence in the area.

But a clause in his lease agreement stipulates he cannot operate as a gay bar.

McGillion’s lease includes a ‘use of premises’ clause that stipulates the bar ‘shall not be used for adult entertainment and shall not be operated as a gay or lesbian bar and/or restaurant.’

April 23, 2014

India’s Chief Justice has decided he will hear an appeal to the Supreme Court’s decision reinstating the country’s ban on gay sex in what will be the last chance to reverse that verdict before a new government takes power

Chief Justice P Sathasivam has decided to hear a final appeal of the Indian Supreme Court’s decision to reinstate the country’s Section 377 colonial era sodomy law – giving new hope that homosexuality will again become legal in the South Asian country.

The judicial appeal was sought by the Naz Foundation earlier this week but it was unknown whether Sathasivam would accept the case which seeks to contradict the rulings of more junior Supreme Court justices.

April 23, 2014

New book reveals he did not have his first relationship with a man until his late 30s

A new book reveals that the trial judge in the case that overturned California's Proposition 8 had undergone ex-gay conversion therapy in his younger years.

Judge Vaughn Walker, who came out publicly after striking down California's gay marriage ban, fought back tears during the 2010 trial when a witness testified about his painful memories of participating in such therapy as a teen.

Walker tells author Jo Becker that because he had not yet had sex with a man when he underwent therapy for what he thought to be an 'affliction.'

April 21, 2014

Madurai’s Home Guards are training their first six transgender recruits in a first for India and the state of Tamil Nadu

Six transgender Indian women, or hijras as they are traditionally known in Hindi, have become the first of their kind to be accepted as cadets in India’s Home Guards – a paramilitary force that assists the police.

The six were accepted into the Home Guards in the city of Madurai in Tamil Nadu state on the southern tip of India as part of a pilot program to better integrate LGBTI people into the Indian mainstream.

April 21, 2014

India’s Naz Foundation is appealing to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of India over the criminalization of homosexuality - hoping a recent court ruling that recognized transgender people as a third legal gender will make their case stronger

India’s Supreme Court may rule on the legality of gay sex after HIV non-government organization the Naz Foundation applied this morning for the Chief Justice of the court to review the matter.

The Naz Foundation’s lawyers hope that the Chief Justice will take into account the recent Indian Supreme Court ruling that created a legal third gender status for transgender Indians.

April 20, 2014

'The bill will create more problems than it will solve by telling some Louisianians that their belief system is not full equal'

The legislature in Louisiana is considering making the Bible the state's official book.

On 10 April, a committee in the southern US state's House of Representatives passed the bill 8 to 5.

According to National Public Radio the legislation, which is ready for consideration by the full House, was supported by both Democrats and Republicans.

April 17, 2014

Charles Cooper is helping to plan wedding, says his views on gay marriage continue to 'evolve'

Attorney Charles Cooper led the legal fight to have California's same-sex marriage ban Proposition  8 upheld by the courts.

He ultimately lost that fight in the US Supreme Court and now, ironically, finds himself helping to plan the wedding of his lesbian stepdaughter.

Cooper had argued to the nation's highest court that gay unions could undermine marriages between a man and a woman.

April 17, 2014

Sydney man Paul Armstrong pleaded guilty to killing Felipe Flores 23 years ago after his blood was found under the victim’s fingernails but says he did it because Flores told him he had AIDS after they had sex

An Australian man who had previously been found guilty of male rape in 1992 has been found guilty of killing of a gay man the year before.

Sydney man Paul Armstrong had been found guilty of murdering Felipe Flores in 1991 by the Supreme Court of New South Wales in 2010 after DNA evidence revealed blood found under Flores’ fingernails belonged to him.

However an appeals court overturned the conviction and ordered a retrial.

April 16, 2014

Timothy Black stayed his ruling striking down state's marriage ban to prevent 'premature celebration and confusion'

The federal judge in Ohio who struck down the state's ban on gay marriage this week has ordered that the marriages of the four same-sex couples involved in the case as plaintiffs be recognized immediately.

Judge Timothy Black is making those couples an exception to the stay he issued on his ruling pending appeal.

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.