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February 20, 2015

Both countries have severe anti-gay laws

Several prominent LGBTI members of Congress have urged US President Barack Obama to drop Brunei and Malaysia from a major trade deal if they do not repeal their severe anti-gay laws.

In a letter dated 18 February, five of the six co-chairs of the LGBT Equality Caucus praised the president's gay rights record but sought clarification on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which his administration is trying to fast-track through Congress.

'We urge you to bring consistency to the administration’s foreign and trade policy,' the letter reads.

February 11, 2015

Well-known event promoter was lured into the attack by the man he loved

A well-known event promoter was brutally beaten by a mob in Ghana over the weekend for being gay.

Kinto Rothmans was lured into the ambush by a man named Salim, whom he had told he loved.

During the attack, Rothmans was forced to confess his desire to 'chop' (have sex with) Salim in a video, which has since gone viral in the west African country along with a photo of him dripping in blood.

Rothmans is the CEO of Get Familiar GH, which organizes the popular Friday Friends club night in the capital Accra.

February 9, 2015

Police kill a teenager in the riot

Two students at an all-boys high school were arrested in Ghana after their classmates tried to lynch them for sodomy.

Police were called to St Paul’s Senior High School in Danu Friday night (6 February) after students started rioting over two boys they caught having sex. One first-year student was killed in the incident.

Local media reported that the mob turned on their teachers who they accused of protecting the boys and preventing them from 'delivering instant justice.'

February 6, 2015

Defectors reveal what life is like for LGBTI people in the hermit kingdom

Are there gay people in North Korea?

That was the question posed to four defectors on the NK News website, perhaps prompted by a CCTV photo released last month of two male soldiers kissing upward of the DMZ.

All four unidentified defectors confirmed that LGBTI people do indeed exist in the hermit kingdom, but only one had actually met any.

February 5, 2015

The London-based singer shares her travel stories with Gay Star News

Born in Zambia, Rozalla Miller began pursuing a musical career when she moved to Zimbabwe as a teenager.

It was 1991 when Rozalla stormed the world's music charts with her massive hit 'Everybody's Free'.

'Everybody's Free' has become a dance anthem, remixed and re-released on a regular basis across the decades.

Now living in London, Rozalla continues to make music and continues to tour and perform around the world.

We caught up with her recently to share some feel-good travel stories. 

February 5, 2015

We caught up with Rohan Heath from Urban Cookie Collective to share some travel stories.

Even if you weren't born in the 90s you will still be familiar with the track 'The Key The Secret' from UK Eurodance specialists Urban Cookie Collective.

Released in 1993, 'The Key The Secret' has been a staple dance-floor filler around the world for decades, and the Urban Cookie Collective continue to tour and perform around the world.

We recently caught up with Rohan Heath, the man behind the music of Urban Cookie Collective, and unlocked his travel stories.

February 4, 2015

Los Angeles Confidential magazine's event is intended to honor its cover star

John Legend has pulled out of pre-Grammy party amid a Hollwood boycott of a hotel owned by the anti-gay Sultan of Brunei.

Los Angeles Confidential magazine had planned the first major entertainment industry party at the Beverly Hills Hotel in honor of its cover star.

However, a representative for the R&B singer said he would no longer be attending.

January 28, 2015

Top court bars five other states from intervening

Malaysia's Federal Court Monday (26 January) allowed Negeri Sembilan state to challenge the Court of Appeal's ruling against its Islamic cross-dressing ban.

However, the five-judge panel said it would only rule on whether the Shariah enactment contravened the constitution and would not hear arguments about whether religious law can be repealed by a civil court.

Muslim-majority Malaysia has a dual-justice system that separates secular and Sharia law. The latter only applies to Muslims and is a state matter.

January 19, 2015

Claims he was blackmailed and forced to pay out 100,000 francs in order to keep his secrecy

A priest was arrested in Cameroon for being gay last Friday (16 January).

The Cameroon Foundation for AIDS has said the religious leader, as well as a young man, was detained for homosexuality in Yaounde at around 10pm by police.

'I was going to the market when I met this young man, he was going in the same direction as men, and we started to chat when a police team arrived,' the priest said, who has not been named.

January 14, 2015

One-stop travel shop takes place at London's Heaven nightclub this Saturday (17 Jan)

The Gay Star Travel Expo returns to London's Heaven nightclub next week, on January 17 – and just one of the special guests at this one-stop travel shop will be Atlantic Pride.

The gay cruise line offers an intimate holiday with only 540 passengers, promising a friendly and relaxed atmosphere aboard its luxury ship, The Voyager.

December 23, 2014

Dozen men crash a private party armed with logs, iron bars and beer bottles

Thirty-five members of an LGBTI group Friday (19 December) were injured in an attack on a party in Zimbabwe.

A dozen unidentified men Friday (19 December) crashed an end-of-year party thrown by the Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe (GALZ) at a private venue in the capital Harare.

All LGBTI events in Zimbabwe are held in private because homosexuality is criminalized in the south African country.

'Three vehicles forced their way into the venue of the party demanding to join the event,' the group said in a statement.

December 23, 2014

They could face up to life in prison under a new anti-gay law

Gambian authorities have arrested three men for gay sex, state television reported yesterday.

The men, whose faces were covered, were detained following a security operation and confessed they are gay, according to the broadcast. Their nationalities were not named.

‘We go around in search of suspected individuals and in the course of the investigations we arrested the men and they have confessed that they have engaged in these inhuman acts,’ the report said.

December 17, 2014

NGO completely relies on government funding

The Malaysian government has abruptly pulled funding of a transgender group amid a national uproar after a court found a state cross-dressing ban unconstitutional.

The Women, Family and Community Development Ministry informed Pusat Bantuan Khidmat Sosial (PBKS) it would not renew funding for 2015 earlier this month.

The ministry has given the group RM700,000 ($199,880) a year for the last seven years, directly from 2007 to 2013 and last year through the Malaysian AIDS Council. 

December 5, 2014

Law professor says 'you cannot make a human wrong a human right'

Civil rights activists yesterday (4 December) protested a speech by an anti-gay law professor at a Human Rights Day seminar hosted by the EU Delegation to Singapore.

Several activists held a rainbow flag and placards reading 'LGBT rights are human rights' while Thio Li-ann delivered her speech.

Jean Chong, co-founder of LGBTI advocacy group Sayoni, told GSN that the silent protest 'was to address the elephant in the room and civil society’s disagreement to the EU’s insistence on inviting Thio in spite of her views on LGBTQ people.'

November 30, 2014

The minister of Foreign Affairs has said there’s no chance of any dialogue between Gambia and any other countries about LGBTI rights 

The Gambian minister for Foreign Affairs has declared he will have nothing to do with ‘ungodly’ gays who are ‘detrimental to human existence.’

These comments were made by Bala Garba Jahumpa on live national television last night (29 November).

In his speech, he spoke about his refusal to enter into dialogue about LGBTI rights with any nations. Even if it means Gambia will lose aid.

November 28, 2014

Archbishop of Trinidad and Tobago Joseph Harris has spoken out against religious parents who desert their gay children as he helped open a new Catholic shelter for children that will not discriminate against gay and lesbian kids

The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Trinidad and Tobago Joseph Harris helped launch a new shelter for at-risk children on Wednesday – one of four operated in the Caribbean nation by the Holy Faith Sisters religious charity.

According to the Credo Center’s administrators, the shelter will welcome children regardless of their sexual orientation and the same policy exists for all the Holy Faith Sister’s children’s shelters in Trinidad and Tobago.

November 24, 2014

Eight LGBTI people were arrested and torturted in the country this month

Gambia's president has signed into law a bill that punishes 'aggravated homosexuality' with life imprisonment.

The notoriously anti-gay President Yahya Jammeh approved the bill on October 9, according to documents uncovered last week. 

The bill targets 'serial offenders' and people living with HIV but because 'homosexuality' and 'homosexual acts' are not defined in Gambian law, human rights groups fear that LGBTI people will be persecuted arbitrarily under the new enactment.

November 19, 2014

African country arrests five LGBTI men and three women this month

Amnesty International has demanded Gambia stop its crackdown on homosexuality amid reports that the west African country has arrested and tortured eight LGBTI people since 7 November.

They were told they were under investigation for 'homosexuality' but have not been formally charged, despite constitutional guarantees that require people to be charged within 72 hours of arrest.

November 15, 2014

'And I feel so sorry to say such things. You're so gay it hurts my feelings.'

Actress Amanda Bynes is caught on an audiotape rambling about killing her parents and making bigoted comments about a gay friend.

According to the Daily Mail, the tape was recorded by one of the actress' roommates as they drove around Los Angeles.

After making  threats against her family, Bynes attacks the sexuality of a friend.

November 12, 2014

Religious authorities say only 15 to 20 participants rejected their advice

Malaysian religious authorities have said 1,000 'gender confused' individuals have joined government 'rehabilitation' programs since they were started in 2010.

The director-general of the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (JAKIM), Othman Mustapha, said on Monday that only 15 to 20 people had rejected the advice given at the voluntary camps, which 'are based on self-empowerment, spirituality and rehabilitation.'

November 11, 2014

Arrests were made in the Muslim north where gay sex is punishable with death by stoning

The Vigilante Group of Nigeria said it has arrested 25 gay men in the Muslim north in the last year and handed them over to the authorities for prosecution under Sharia law.

Leader of the Kebbi state command, Sanusi Ibrahim Geza, announced the arrests last week at a press briefing to mark the first anniversary of his group.

'Some of them were flogged while others were taken to court to face other punitive measures,' he told BBC Hausa.

November 7, 2014

Poll finds women are more supportive than men

A poll released today found that 67.5 per cent of Taiwanese people support the legalization of gay marriage.

Pollster Online Survey polled 1,660 respondents aged 13 and above via mobile phone and email on 30 October.

It followed the previous week's Taiwan Pride parade, which drew 70,000 people on to the streets to demand marriage equality.

November 7, 2014

Edgars Rinkevics has become the most prominent openly gay politician in a former Soviet Bloc state and the first ever lawmaker in his country of Latvia to announce he is gay

Latvia’s Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics has come out as gay in one of the most public of forums, posting his announcement on Twitter and expressing his hope that his government will move to legalize civil partnerships for same-sex couples.

‘Our country has created a legal framework for all types of partnerships, I will fight for it, I know that it will immediately cause a lot of hysteria but I am #Proudtobegay,’ Rinkevics posted in Latvian to the social media website earlier today.

November 6, 2014

Actress stands by her point that gay men do not fight for women's rights

Rose McGowan has taken to Twitter to apologize for saying that gay men are more misogynistic than straight men.

However, she said she stood by her point that the gay community did not 'pay it forward' by fighting for the human rights of others, specifically women.

The Charmed actress made the comments in a recent podcast with gay writer Bret Easton Ellis.