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December 16, 2014

And they fail miserably

The 'gay cure' group behind the debunked billboard in Richmond, Virginia has attempted to defend themselves, and have of course failed miserably.

The erected billboard showed what it claimed was a photo of identical twins, one gay and one straight, to prove 'nobody is born gay'.

It was paid for by Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays (PFOX).

But then, the stock-photo model in the poster came forward, saying he doesn't actually have a twin sibling and he is openly - and proudly - gay.

December 16, 2014

'We found 20 teenagers there that were practically having sex on the stage'

A notoriously homophobic lawmaker raided a gay club in St Petersburg on Saturday night after complaints from parents that their underage children were 'trapped' in the venue.

Vitaly Milonov stormed a fetish party at Central Station club with a film crew from a local news site, the Moscow Times reported.

December 16, 2014

Kathryn Knott, Philip Williams and Kevin Harrigan will be tried as a group for on aggravated assault, criminal conspiracy and other charges

Two men and the daughter of a local sheriff were ordered to stand trial Tuesday (16 December) in connection with the September beating of a gay couple in Philadelphia.

Kevin Harrigan, 26, Philip Williams, 24, and Kathryn Knott, 24, are to be tried for aggravated assault, criminal conspiracy and other charges.

The trio cannot be charged with a hate crime, however, because sexual orientation is not covered in the stat of Pennsylvania's current hate crime law.

December 13, 2014

36 elementary schools in the UK will teach their students about gay and lesbian rights and stamp out anti-gay language

36 UK schools have vowed to stamp out homophobia in schools, by signing up to a scheme to teach their pupils about LGBTI values.

The group of elementary schools in and around Birmingham, UK have pledged to stamp out homophobic bullying with a new range of teaching materials called CHIPS - Challenging Homophobia in Primary Schools.

The CHIPS programme is used in 36 elementary schools and was created by Andrew Moffat, who authored a series of books used as resources to teach children about the LGBTI community.

December 12, 2014

Marchers denounce the EU's withdrawal of aid over the country's anti-gay law

Thousands of Gambians on Tuesday (9 December) marched through the capital Banjul denouncing the EU for withdrawing foreign aid over the country's new anti-gay law.

President Yahya Jammeh joined protesters, who held placards and banners reading, ‘Homosexuality is inhuman,’ ‘Even cows don’t do it!’ and ‘Homosexuality is forbidden in Islam.’

The European Union withdrew millions of euros in aid after the west African country passed a law to punish 'aggravated homosexuality' with life imprisonment in September.

December 12, 2014

And it might just surprise you

Listening to a gay person talking about how they want to get married is the best way of getting a former homophobe to change their minds, a new study has found.

Researchers from Columbia University and the University of California has found a gay person is far more effective than straight person in shifting voters' views towards supporting marriage equality.

December 12, 2014

It is adorable and amazing

It's hard to capture a perfect kiss. Most of the time on camera the actors look uncomfortable, or there's no chemistry, or it just feels unnatural.

For New York Times Magazine, 18 of the year's biggest stars coupled up to participate in nine short films about trying to capture that single kiss.

While a masked Benedict Cumberbatch kisses a big-haired Reese Witherspoon and Timothy Spall wins an arm wrestling match by pecking David Oyelowo on the lips, we have a favorite.

December 12, 2014

Nigerian pastor explains why Jesus loves gays but African Christians do not

To win the struggle to change men and women’s hearts and minds, one must consider what the Bible calls strongholds – ideologies, views or thinking that have been held on to for a long time.

When that thinking is wrong, the challenge is great.

Many African strongholds include the view that homosexuality is paganistic and paganism is bad. The second is that gay white men want to pollute black children (see the justifications for Uganda's anti-gay laws).

December 11, 2014

Another one has come back to the fold

Another 'ex-gay' leader has come out as gay and proved once again that 'cures' do not exist and are detrimental to a person's health.

Christian Schizzel, who spent seven years as the poster boy for the young generation of 'ex-gays', has said he was manipulated and 'molded' by his religious peers.

But now he is out, repenting his past and apologizing if he has influenced anyone to believe that it is possible to 'cure' your sexuality.

December 11, 2014

Andrew Barr says he will campaign to marry his partner of 15 years

Andrew Barr today became the first gay government leader after he was sworn in as chief minister of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT).

He won yesterday's leadership ballot unopposed after the incumbent leader quit last week and said he would use his position to advocate for gay marriage.

During his emotional acceptance speech at the ACT legislative assembly, the Labor politician turned to his partner in the gallery and said, 'Anthony, I love you.

'I look forward to the day when we can legally marry in this country.'

December 11, 2014

You will not believe what happened in conservative Korea

A Korean middle school student's response to a survey on homosexuality has gone viral in the conservative country after their former teacher posted it online last week.

The principal heard a rumor that two students were in a lesbian relationship and created a survey to find out who they were and punish them.

Students were assured their answers were anonymous and their honesty would help create a 'safe and healthy school environment.'

December 11, 2014

'Identical twins. One is gay, one is not. Nobody is born gay.'

Thousands of cars will drive past a billboard on a busy interstate highway in Virginia that claims, 'Nobody is born gay.'

The sign was erected on I-95 in Richmond by the 'ex-gay' group Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays (PFOX).

'Identical twins,' it reads. 'One is gay, one is not. Nobody is born gay.'

PFOX was referring to a 2000 study of twins that found 80% of gay men had a straight twin, which the group said proved there was no gay gene. However, the main author of the study disagrees with this interpretation of his research.

December 10, 2014

Activists are 'concerned' after a report finds only 33 anti-trans attacks in 2013

One in five hate crimes committed in the US last year were motivated by anti-gay bias, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

The agency's annual hate crime report released on Monday (8 December) found that 20.8% of the 5,928 reported single bias hate crimes were based on sexual orientation, second only to race at 48.5%.

Of these, 60.6 percent were classified as anti-gay male bias.

Gender identity was also added to the list of bias categories for the first time this year.

December 10, 2014

Teams with Colby Peters to parody just how close two 'heterosexual' pals can but still not be gay

There's nothing gay about caressing your hot buddy as you show him how to shoot pool, right?

Or having pillow fights wearing just your speedo or feeding each other ice cream or doing shirtless sit-ups and pull-ups together, right?

It's just a bromance.

Nothing really gay about it - not that there's anything wrong with that.

Fitness model Bryan Hawn - a veteran of video parodies - enlists Colby Peters to participate in a series of physical activities that call for them to be scantily clad and basically all over each other.

December 10, 2014

Activists call on the international community to pressure Mayor Park into passing his scrapped human rights charter

The occupation of Seoul city hall by LGBTI activists enters day five as the mayor remains silent on a human rights charter he indefinitely postponed last week.

Today is World Aids Day and was the scheduled date for the enactment of the charter, which includes provisions banning discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

A coalition of 20 LGBTI groups started the sit-in on Saturday 'out of rage' that Mayor Park Won-soon nullified the charter after anti-gay protests, despite a citizens committee passing the measure.

December 9, 2014

Also says same-sex marriage has 'not crossed our minds'

Pope Francis says the Catholic Church must help parents faced with the 'somewhat unusual situation' of having gay children

He wants the parents to stand by those children but as far as those children growing up and being able to marry someone of the same sex, the Pope says that's not something church leaders have even discussed.

December 9, 2014

Bill allows the refusal of goods and services on religious grounds

A Northern Ireland legislator is seeking to add a 'conscience clause' to equality laws after a Christian bakery was sued for refusing to make a gay marriage cake.

Paul Givan yesterday (8 December) introduced his Freedom of Conscience Bill to the legislative assembly that would allow those with strongly held religious beliefs to deny access to goods, facilities and services on the grounds of sexual orientation.

'The dilemma facing people of faith is the choice of violating their sincerely held beliefs or going out of business,' he told the legislature.

December 9, 2014

Charity says 'genitally expressed' same-sex relationships are unacceptable

The Salvation Army is trying to rebrand itself as a gay-friendly charity ahead of its annual Christmas fundraising campaign.

The Christian homeless charity said accusations of anti-gay discrimination were a 'myth' despite reports to the contrary.

'For years, Facebook posts, forwarded emails and rumors have been leading some people to believe that the Salvation Army does not serve members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community,' it said in a statement.

'These accusations simply aren't true.'

December 8, 2014

Fijian Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has used the 16th Attorney General’s conference to call for the rights of LGBTI people and other minorities to be respected in the Pacific island nation

Fijian Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has called for people to respect the rights of minorities, in line with his country’s Constitution – one of only two in the world that enshrines the rights of LGBTI people.

Sayed-Khaiyum made the comments at the close of the 16th Attorney General of Fiji conference, saying that Fijian law was clear when it came to issues of discrimination.

December 8, 2014

Mayor indefintely postpones the anti-gay hate law after a Christian backlash

About 70 LGBTI activists staged a sit-in at Seoul city hall to protest the mayor's indefinite delay of a human rights charter banning anti-gay discrimination.

A coalition of 20 LGBTI groups Saturday (6 December) occupied the lobby of the Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) holding a banner reading, 'To sexual minorities, human rights mean life.'

They said Mayor Park Won-soon had not responded to repeated requests for a meeting and demanded he proclaim the charter, which was supposed to be enacted on Human Rights Day on 10 December.

December 8, 2014

New rules imply that any host city will have to prove they do not actively discriminate against gay people

The Olympics has taken a huge step forward in protecting gay rights.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) approved Proposal 14 of the Olympic Agenda 2020 to include non-discrimination with regard to sexual orientation in Principle 6 at a vote in Monaco today (8 December).

Principle 6 originally read: 'Any form of discrimination with regard to a country or a person on grounds of race, religion, politics, gender or otherwise is incompatible with belonging to the Olympic Movement.'

December 7, 2014

One customer wanted to check he isn’t going to a gay bar for his Christmas party and the response he receives is brilliant

What is one guaranteed way to get your Christmas staff party cancelled? Send a homophobic email to the venue.

Alex Proud, London-based restaurant owner, knows the perfect way to respond to homophobic emails from customers.

On his Twitter account, Proud tweeted screenshots of an exchange with a customer who wanted to know if his restaurant in Camden was a gay bar.

‘We have our Christmas staff party booked for next Friday at Proud,’ read the email.

December 6, 2014

Ronin Shimizu's family had reported the bullying to school officials multiple times

His friends say Ronin Shimizu was passionate about cheerleading.

But being the only male on the cheer squad at Folsom Middle School in folsom, California, led to ongoing bullying and being called gay.

This week, the 12 year old killed himself.

December 6, 2014

Auckland lawyer Matthew Muir was sworn in as the first openly gay judge to sit on New Zealand’s High Court bench on Friday

One of the lawyers behind the campaign to legalize homosexuality in New Zealand in 1986 has seen his career come full circle as he was just appointed to sit on the bench of the High Court of New Zealand.

Auckland lawyer Matthew Muir was one of a group of lawyers who advised the authors of the Homosexual Law Reform Bill which legalized sex between men in New Zealand in 1986 after decades of activism by the LGBTI community.