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November 25, 2014

Unlock the ancient, enigmatic glamour of the Turkish metropolis with our guide

Pushed and pulled by the eastern and western worlds for centuries, absorbing influences and attitudes from both Europe and the Middle East, Turkey is astoundingly resilient.

And Istanbul, with 14 million people, has been the cosmopolitan centre of the region since it was founded as Constantinople in 330 AD. The Bosphorus Strait, a shipping lane that links the Black Sea and the Marmara Sea dividing Istanbul in two, is one of the boundaries between Europe and Asia.

January 26, 2015

Same-sex couples were preparing to apply for marriage licenses on 26 January

A US federal judge issued a hold on the ruling that found Alabama's gay marriage prohibition unconstitutional.

On the night before same-sex couples were going to apply for marriage certificates in the southern state, District Judge Callie V.S. Granade placed a stay on last week's judgment that the state's marriage laws violate the Due Process Clause and Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution.

January 26, 2015

Lee Hsien Loong explains why he always wears pink

Singapore's prime minister Saturday (24 January) dodges a personal invitation to the city's largest LGBTI rally during a online Q&A.

Lee Hsien Loong fielded questions from the public on his personal Facebook page from the social network's Singapore offices.

During the 45-minute session, the premier managed to answer just 27 of nearly 1,500 questions, which ranged in topic from cats to gay rights.

Of the few he managed to answer, Lee decided to respond a question from LGBTI activist Lim Jialiang about his penchant for pink.

January 25, 2015

'I believe that marriage is between a man and a woman. My faith teaches me that, my Christian faith teaches me that'

Bobby Jindal, the governor of Louisiana, wants to see the US Constitution amended if the Supreme Court strikes down marriage equality bans.

The Republican was a guest on the Sunday news show This Week.

January 24, 2015

In 1996, California's Supreme Court banned state judges from associating with groups that discriminate due to sexual orientation

California's Supreme Court voted to ban state judges from affiliating with the Boy Scouts of America.

As reported by the Associated Press, the seven judge court unanimously approved the decision on 23 January.

The justices are following a 2014 February recommendation by its ethics advisory committee.

In 1996, the state's highest court ruled judges could not belong to groups that discriminate due to sexual orientation.

January 24, 2015

Attorney General plans to appeal but marriages could begin Monday since judge did not place a stay on decision

A federal judge on Friday (23 January) struck down Alabama's ban on same-sex marriage.

U.S. District Judge Callie V.S. Granade did not place a stay on the ruling which could mean couples can begin applying for marriage licenses on Monday. But the state's Attorney General Luther Strange plans to appeal the ruling and request a stay.

Granade wrote in her 10-page ruling: 'If anything, Alabama’s prohibition of same-sex marriage detracts from its goal of promoting optimal environments for children.'

January 23, 2015

US president is interviewed by three YouTube stars

US President Barack Obama has said he hoped the Supreme Court would make the 'right decision' on gay marriage when it rules on the issue in spring.

The president yesterday (22 January) gave interviews to three YouTube stars in an attempt to reach a younger audience.

Obama told comedian GloZell Green that he was hopeful the high court would recognize there was 'no good reason' to ban gay marriage.

January 21, 2015

President Obama calls gay marriage a 'civil right'

US president Barack Obama made history today (21 January) by saying the words 'lesbian,' 'bisexual' and 'transgender' for the first in a state of the union address.

The president said that he pushed for LGBTI rights because 'as Americans, we respect human dignity.'

'That’s why we defend free speech, and advocate for political prisoners, and condemn the persecution of women, or religious minorities, or people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender,' he said.

January 21, 2015

In 2014 June, seven same-sex couples challenged the state's ban and its refusal to honor gay marriages from other states

A US judge put the brakes on a suit against North Dakota's prohibition against same-sex marriage.

According to local radio station KFGO, District Chief Judge Ralph Erickson issued his order on Tuesday (20 January).

January 21, 2015

Recent murder of a transgender woman is blamed on state and police apathy

Transgender activists in the Indian city of Hyderabad have called for a panel similar to the Human Rights Commission, citing a rise in anti-trans violence in Telangana state.

The Telangana Hijra Transgender Samithi (THTS) collective made the demand on Monday (19 January) after the murder of one of their sisters.

Pavallika, 25, was found dead on a construction site in the early hours of Saturday (17 January) morning.

January 20, 2015

Supreme Court rules in favor of two non-operative transgender women

Transgender Israelis are no longer required to undergo sex reassignment surgery (SRS) to change the gender designation on their ID cards.

The change comes after the Supreme Court ordered the ministry of interior to legally change the gender of two transgender citizens from male to female, Haaretz newspaper reported.

A petition was filed at the court by a lawyer and an ex-soldier who started transitioning during her compulsory military service.

January 18, 2015

Finally married! After being turned away three times and having their ceremony last Saturday cancelled due to a complaint that they 'suffer from madness'

Victor Manuel Aguirrre and Fernando Urias have become the first same-sex couple get married in the Mexican city of Mexicali, near the border with California, on Saturday after local officials ended an 18-month fight that led to a Mexican Supreme Court order to permit the wedding.

The lawyer for the couple had filed a complaint on Friday against Mexicali officials after authorities again blocked the marriage despite the high court ruling.

Only the capital Mexico City and the northern state of Coahuila permit same-sex unions.

January 18, 2015

'The Supreme Court of the United States, 15 times over the last 120 years, has said that marriage is a fundamental right'

Ted Olson, one of the lawyers who argued against California's Prop 8, went toe-to-toe with anti-gay marriage advocate Tony Perkins on today's (18 January) Fox News Sunday show.

The two were invited to discuss the Supreme Court's announcement that in April it will hear four marriage equality cases.

January 17, 2015

'...The history of the Supreme Court is a history of case after case after case holding that marriage is a fundamental right —that it protects individual freedom...'

David Boies, the attorney who argued against Proposition 8 in front of the US Supreme Court, thinks the country's highest court is ready to make a definitive legal answer on marriage equality.

January 16, 2015

Says it is 'only fair to have the same rights as everybody else, then it’s a wonderful world'

Ellen DeGeneres was appearing before TV critics in Pasadena Friday when news broke that that US Supreme Court was taking on four gay marriage cases this term.

'It’s about time,' DeGeneres said from a stage in Pasadena where she was talking up the NBC sitcom One Big Happy during the TV Critics Association Winter Press Tour.

DeGeneres, who married actress Portia de Rossi in 2008 added: 'The thing that changed the civil rights movement was when white people got involved and started marching. We need everyone on our side.

January 16, 2015

High court has agreed to hear same-sex marriage cases from four states

The US Supreme Court on Friday (16 January) agreed to take on same-sex marriage cases from four states in order to rule on gay marriage nationwide.

The high court will hear cases out of Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee. In each of those cases, federal judges had struck down marriage bans but those decisions were revered by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit.

Last October, the justices passed on reviewing five other marriage cases which had pro-marriage decisions from federal appellate courts.

January 15, 2015

Licenses were issues to same-sex couples during brief legal window in March

A federal judge ruled on Thursday (15 January) that Michigan must recognize the same-sex marriages of more than 300 couples who got married in the state last March.

US District Court Judge Mark Goldsmith (pictured) wrote in his opinion: 'Delaying judicial resolution of these issues would serve no useful purpose. To the contrary, such delay would compound the harms these Plaintiffs suffer each day that their marital status remains unrecognized.'

January 15, 2015

Bharatiya Janata Party takes a stance on homosexuality for the first time

India's ruling political party has come out in support of decriminalizing gay sex, the first time the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has taken a stance on the issue.

Shaina NC, BJP spokesperson for Mumbai, said Tuesday (13 January) that while homosexuality may be seen as unnatural, it was not unacceptable.

'We are for decriminalizing homosexuality. That is the progressive way forward,' she said told NDTV.

In December last year, the Supreme Court reinstated Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which punishes gay sex with up to life imprisonment.

January 14, 2015

The decision also applies to Idaho, the Silver State's neighbor

An anti-gay marriage organization was dealt a significant blow in its battle against LGBTI couples in Nevada.

According to the Associated Press, last week the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals declined to hear a case overturning the state's ban on same-sex marriage.

Late last year, the Coalition for the Protection of Marriage petitioned the entire court to hear its appeal.

January 13, 2015

'Shirvell's conduct reasonably could have created the impression that neither he nor the department enforced the law in a fair, even-handed manner without bias'

A court has found a former Michigan state's lawyer one-man campaign against an out college student does not fall under First Amendment protection.

Last week the Michigan appeals court ruled against Andrew Shirvell. The former state assistant attorney general was fired in 2010 for harassing the student body president of the University of Michigan, who happened to be gay.

January 13, 2015

Ban Ki-moon says such laws breed intolerance even if not enforced

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon 'staunchly opposes' India's anti-gay law, which he said breeds intolerance in the world's largest democracy.

He made the comments yesterday (12 January) at while addressing the Indian Council of World Affairs in New Delhi.

'We are all different from one another, but we all have the same human rights,' he said.

'I am proud to stand for the equality of all people, including those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender. I staunchly oppose the criminalization of homosexuality.

January 13, 2015

The women, who married in November and adopted two young boys in December, are believed to the first same-sex couple to legally adopt in the state

A same-sex couple made history last month when they adopted two young boys in Oklahoma.

An attorney acting for the female couple said that she believed it to be the first such same-sex adoption to legally take place in the state.

The adoption was granted on 19 December but the couple’s attorney, Terri Craig, only spoke out about the case this week.

The couple, from Okmulgee County, have chosen to remain anonymous but are happy for their case to be publicized.

January 12, 2015

Judge Karen Schreier places stay on her ruling pending expected appeal from state

South Dakota's ban on same-sex marriage was struck down on Monday (12 January) by a federal judge who declared it unconstitutional.

But there will be no marriage ceremonies, for now, as US District Court Judge Karen Schreier placed a stay on her ruling pending an expected appeal from the state.

In her 28-page decision, Schreier ruled that 'plaintiffs have a fundamental right to marry. South Dakota law deprives them of that right solely because they are same-sex couples and without sufficient justification.'

January 12, 2015

Pair's third attempt to wed is thwarted by an anti-gay activist

A gay couple have been barred from tying the knot in the Mexican state of Baja California for a third time following a complaint the men are insane.

Hairstylists Victor Manuel Aguirre, 43, and Fernando Urias, 37 have been trying to get married since the Supreme Court ruled they could in June 2013.