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August 3, 2014

The Universities Grants Commission in India has created a separate category to include trans students in applications for scholarships and fellowships 

The University Grants Commission (UGC) in India has officially recognized trans people, creating a separate category for them in applications for scholarships and fellowships.

This means applicants filling out university forms will not be restricted to only choosing ‘male’ or ‘female’ gender identities.

August 1, 2014

Hospitals in the country look likely to perform surrogacy services from 2015 – but under strict rules and regulations that prohibit gay couples from applying

Vietnam’s Ministry of Health has announced plans for a small number of Vietnamese hospitals to perform surrogacy services – but for married heterosexual couples only. The policy echoes a recent clampdown by the Indian Government on its country’s surrogacy services – outlawing surrogacy for same-sex couples from India or abroad.

July 18, 2014

Top female sprinter banned from competing in Commonwealth Games. Raises issue of intersex competitive sport ban

One of India’s top sprinters has been banned from competing in the Commonwealth Games because she has too many male hormones.

While Dutee Chand’s gender identity is not in question, she has too much male testosterone in her body to make it fair for her to compete against other women, sports bosses have claimed.

June 6, 2014

The Senegalese Government has forced the closure of all LGBTI themed exhibitions at the Dak’Art 2014 biennale after a gallery was attacked by Islamists

The Senegalese Government has forced the closure of an LGBTI themed exhibition that was being held as part of the Dak’Art 2014 Biennale of Contemporary African Art after the gallery that was housing it was attacked by Muslim extremists.

‘Precarious Imaging: Visibility and Media Surrounding African Queerness’ opened at Dakar’s Raw Material Company on 11 May but after only one day the building was attacked and vandalized.

June 2, 2014

The first ever count of India’s transgender population has found nearly 500,000 who were prepared to say they were transgender in filling out census papers – though activists say the real number may be far higher

490,000 people listed themselves as ‘third gender’ or transgender in India’s most recent census – the first time the Indian Government has sought to ask how many people identify as such.

55,000 of those were under six and were thus recorded by their parents as being transgender.

66% of the people who chose the third gender box lived in rural areas – close to the 69% of the Indian population in rural areas.

May 16, 2014

LGBTI rights activists warn under the new government, homosexuality could stay illegal for another five years and the persecution of the community can only increase

Gay sex in India could be banned for another five years now a homophobic political party has gained power in the national election.

The opposition Hindu nationalist BJP party is on course for a landslide victory, as suggested by early results.

Although final results are not expected until later, the scale of the predicted victory is on course for a landslide victory. More than 500 million people voted in the election.

Narendra Modi, the leader of the BJP, tweeted: ‘India has won. Good times ahead.’

May 8, 2014

A campaign using transgender women to remind motorists to use seat belts has become an online hit in India with nearly 2 million people viewing the video online

A seat belt safety campaign in India has become an online hit after it enlisted the help of India’s transgender community to remind people to buckle up while driving.

Almost 2 million people have watched the campaign video on YouTube and other platforms in which the transgender women, known traditionally in India as Hijras, step out into stopped traffic to remind drivers to use their seat belts.

Despite being marginalized Hijras have traditionally been believed to confer blessings and are often asked to bless births and other auspicious events.

April 30, 2014

In support of LGBTI equality around the world, the UN’s Free & Equal campaign releases a new music video to encourage change in India

‘It is a new look. It’s a new attitude. You might wonder where the old way of living has gone. But who is worried about who like what, as long as in the world of love two people want to be with each other.’

With some words of encouragement the matriarch of an Indian family welcomed home a gay member of the family and his partner.

April 23, 2014

A gay Muslim man from India has successfully sought asylum in Australia after a tribunal reversed an Australian Department of Immigration decision that had found he was not a victim of persecution

A gay Muslim man fleeing an arranged marriage and homophobic relatives in India has been found to be a genuine refugee and granted asylum by Australia’s Refugee Review Tribunal.

The tribunal is an appeals body that can overturn decisions about a person’s eligibility to claim asylum by the Australian Government’s Department of Immigration.

The Department of Immigration accepted that the unnamed man was gay in July of 2012 but suggested he could avoid persecution by simply moving from his home city of Hyderabad and relocating to another city.

April 22, 2014

We meet Hiro Mizuhara, a young leading light of Singapore’s emerging LGBTI community, and learn what life and the scene is really like on the island were gay sex is still against the law

Not all advice you get from locals is sound. Picking me up from Singapore’s airport, Hiro Mizuhara had told me not to believe the weather forecast predicting thunder – it hadn’t rained for months he pointed out.

The next day I was in the middle of the stunning Gardens By The Bay when the storm started. The downpour delivered three months worth of rain in a few hours, while I sheltered in the gardens’ enormous greenhouses.

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 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 11, 2014

A 29-year-old was found guilty of murdering his 24-year-old wife before putting her into an incinerator

A gay British Indian banker was found guilty of murdering his wife and incinerating her body today (11 April).

Jasvir Ram Ginday, 29, was convicted of murdering Varkha Rani, 24, at their home last September.

Back in 2008, Ginday confidentially told a friend he was attracted to men but could not tell his family as his mother disapproved of homosexuality.

Four years later, he was engaged to Rani and married her in a lavish ceremony with hundreds of guests in India.

She moved to the UK to be with him in August after being granted a visa.

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 29, 2014

Jasvir Ginday told a court hearing that he panicked when his wife threatened to out him to his family

A UK man has told a court panic and fear led him to killing his wife after she discovered he was gay because he did not want anyone to know about his sexuality.

The story was revealed earlier this month when Jasvir Ginday, 29, was accused of strangling and killing his wife Varkha Rani, 24, at their home on 12 September 2013.

March 26, 2014

Transphobic health workers mock their patients and even put their lives at risk through their negligence, report says

Transphobia is so endemic in India’s heathcare system that one train accident victim died because officials couldn’t decide whether to admit them to a male or female ward.

That’s just one story from a new report examining the corrosive mix of ignorance and transphobic attitudes leaving India’s trans population unsupported and at risk of developing serious illness.

It impacts not just the trans community but also – because disease is not limited by gender – on the wider non-trans community.

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 21, 2014

‘They are so desperate for votes they are even asking people they think are unnatural,’ say LGBTI activists

An Indian political party that wants gay sex to stay illegal has found a surprising place to advertise for supporters – Grindr.

For the past four days, Indians have been checking the gay hookup app to see the Bharatiya Janata Party’s advertisements.

It shows prime-ministerial candidate Narendra Modi’s picture, together with the party’s lotus symbol, calling on gay people to vote BJP.

March 5, 2014

A new film will take a snapshot of the gay world through the eyes of 20-somethings in the hope of changing hearts and minds

National treasure and all-round nice bloke, Sir Ian ‘X-Men’ McKellen, was recently quoted as saying: ‘I’ve never met a gay person who regretted coming out.’

Nine out of 10 cats need the confidence of a safe environment in order to feel ready with those first steps out of the closet.

But how can anyone even begin to feel great about themselves when Uganda, Nigeria, India, Russia and various states within the US of A are passing legislation that makes it illegal to live a full LGBTI life?

January 30, 2014

Prize winning Indian author Vikram Seth has published a poem protesting India’s Supreme Court’s reinstatement of the colonial era Section 377 ban on gay sex just days after a review panel refused to reverse the court’s decision

WH Smith Literary Award winning author Vikram Seth has published a poem in reaction to the Indian Supreme Court’s recriminalization of homosexuality in his homeland.

January 28, 2014

India's Supreme Court rejected the notion it had committed a 'grave error of judgement' when it recriminalized homosexuality

India’s Supreme Court has rejected an appeal urging a review on the recent judgement banning gay sex.

The central government urged the Supreme Court to ‘avoid grave miscarriage of justice to thousands of LGBT people’.

They suggested there were a number of ‘grave errors of law in the judgement’, and failed to consider the colonial-era law violates the right to health of men who have sex with men.

But the judges dismissed the petitions signed by the government and rights activists, saying the judgement will stay and India will continue to ban gay sex.

January 18, 2014

Five of the biggest names in LGBTI advocacy have come to the Gay Star Beach Party to discuss how to improve gay rights around the globe

Globally renowned activists came to London to discuss LGBTI rights today (18 January).

Dozens witnessed the debate held at the Gay Star Beach Party and LGBTI Travel Show in Heaven club.

The hot topics were on the subject of international aid, the correlation between gay rights in the West and homophobia in other countries, and the evangelism of the past.

Speaking at the Gay Star Beach Party, the panelists were: