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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:

January 16, 2014

Members of European Parliament have called on heads of state and high courts to repeal discriminatory laws

Europe has condemned anti-gay laws in Uganda, Nigeria, India and Russia today (16 January).

Members of European Parliament (MEPs) passed a motion calling for change in the homopphobic countries.

In a discussion held in Strasbourg, MEPs directly condemned the actions of certain leaders for their discriminatory policies and demanded the European Parliament act on these matters.

January 13, 2014

Maulik Pancholy, actor from 30 Rock, uses Twitter to announce his engagement to long-term partner

Maulik Pancholy, an actor who has appeared in the sitcoms 30 Rock and Weeds, used Twitter to announce his engagement to partner Ryan Corvaia.

'It only took 9 years, but it's official,' Pancholy tweeted. 'Just got engaged at the Taj Mahal to Ryan Corvaia! Yes!'

Included in the message was a picture of the couple, standing in front of the marble mausoleum located in Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India.

It was built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal.

January 13, 2014

ELEMENT Magazine lists its nominees for its first Asia Pink Awards, celebrating the businesses and individuals at the forefront of an LGBTI revolution

The Asian LGBTI world is growing at record pace. But this development hasn’t happened by accident. It’s the result of tireless work by an army of dedicated heroes, many of them volunteers.

Now ELEMENT Magazine – dedicated to gay men in Asia – has decided to celebrate its first anniversary by recognizing some of those champions.

Its inaugural Asia Pink Awards celebrates some of the individuals and champions who are helping make the continent a better place for all LGBTI people.

January 6, 2014

Following a rally held by supporters of Section 377, pro-LGBT activists have banded together to make form an alliance in the Indian city of Chennai

Indian Christians have protested demanding the law making gay sex criminal in the country is kept – but other Christians have come out to fight for LGBTI rights.

An estimated 150 Christians rallied in support of Section 377 – which makes gay sex illegal – at Marina Beach in Chennai, south east India, on Sunday (5 January).

The law was reinstated by the country's Supreme Court on 11 December, sparking protests around the world.

January 6, 2014

The Indian Supreme Court has refused to sack four Indian Government ministers for criticizing its recriminalization of homosexuality in the South Asian nation but has criticized them for criticizing it

The Indian Supreme Court has refused to sack four Indian Government lawmakers from their ministries for criticizing its decision to recriminalize homosexuality in India.

January 6, 2014

Young LGBT Indians will gather in Mumbai this February for the 2014 Indian LGBT Youth Summit to improve their leadership skills through a series of seminars and workshops

LGBT Indians between the ages of 18 and 25 have been invited to apply to be delegates to the Indian LGBT Youth Summit being held in Mumbai this year on 15-16 February.

The summit is being organized by the Mission for Indian Gay & Lesbian Empowerment (MINGLE) and is intended to upskill young LGBT Indians in order to assist them in taking leadership roles in the community.

January 6, 2014

Young LGBT Indians will gather in Mumbai this February for the 2014 Indian LGBT Youth Summit to improve their leadership skills through a series of seminars and workshops

LGBT Indians between the ages of 18 and 25 have been invited to apply to be delegates to the Indian LGBT Youth Summit being held in Mumbai this year on 15-16 February.

The summit is being organized by the Mission for Indian Gay & Lesbian Empowerment (MINGLE) and is intended to upskill young LGBT Indians in order to assist them in taking leadership roles in the community.

January 3, 2014

If 2013 was marked by setbacks for LGBTI rights, what can we expect from 2014?

LGBTI activists in many parts of the world will look back on 2013 as one of the worst years in memory for the cause of equal rights. In countries as far apart as Uganda and India, Russia and Australia, organizations and human rights defenders have been trying to assess the damage and work out new strategies to make 2014 a year of progress rather than retreat.

Many of the worst blows came in the closing weeks of 2013. In a long-awaited decision, the Indian Supreme Court effectively re-criminalized homosexuality, overturning an earlier ruling in Delhi.

December 30, 2013

Far-right Muslim group calls for anyone who supports LGBTI people, 'homosexual terror mongers', to be jailed for life

As millions of LGBTI’s sex lives in India have become illegal, one group is calling for all of these people to be killed.

The Indian National Party, a far-right Muslim group, has printed posters and leaflets and distributed them across the country.

It calls for capital punishment for gay sex, as well as the arrests of any person who fights for LGBTI equality.

‘In the name of all mighty God,’ a translator told us the poster, which was spotted in Madurai – the third largest city in the southeastern state of Tamil Nadu, reads.