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March 31, 2015

South Asian country says vote against partner benefits for gay staff was based on 'sovereignty issues'

The US ambassador to India has expressed disappointment in the south Asian country for voting against LGBTI rights at the UN.

Richard Verma made the comment last week in New Delhi.

'We were disappointed... by India's support this week for the attempt to strip benefits from UN staff in same-sex relationships,' he said.

'We will continue to support the rights of LGBT individuals in India, in international institutions, and around the world.'

February 13, 2015

Sepideh Jodeyri translated famous graphic novel 'Blue Is The Warmest Color' into Persian

An Iranian poet could face 100 lashes or even death for 'supporting homosexuality.'

Sepideh Jodeyri translated Julie Maroh’s prize-winning graphic novel Blue Is The Warmest Color, about the romance between two French gay women, into Persian.

Now the poet claims she is being targeted by a smear campaign, led by hardline Iranian news websites trying to discredit her.

February 13, 2015

Sepideh Jodeyri translated famous graphic novel 'Blue Is The Warmest Color' into Persian

An Iranian poet could face 100 lashes or even death for 'supporting homosexuality.'

Sepideh Jodeyri translated Julie Maroh’s prize-winning graphic novel Blue Is The Warmest Color, about the romance between two French gay women, into Persian.

Now the poet claims she is being targeted by a smear campaign, led by hardline Iranian news websites trying to discredit her.

December 4, 2014

We speak to brand owner and designer Hoss Salimian about his dapper brand

Known for his zesty colour palette and eccentric prints (from flowers to fish to cars), Iran-born businessman and designer Hoss Salimian launched his affordable luxury brand Claudio Lugli in the early 90s.

September 24, 2014

Specialist cyber police claim the man has confessed to ‘unethical relations with several lads’ and using Facebook to find gay sex

Iran’s police have accused a man of using Facebook to find gay men for sex.

Specialist cyber police claim they discovered a Facebook user was posting a mobile phone number online asking other men to call him to have ‘immoral relations’.

The semi-official Fars New Agency quoted the head of East Azerbaijan Cyberspace Police Chief, Mohammad Ghasemlou, as saying: ‘The Cyber Police force worked with the judicial authorities to identify the suspect, using special detective techniques.

August 13, 2014

Two men are believed to have been put to death for 'consensual sodomy'. One source indicates the two men were put to death in order to ‘promote community safety’

Two gay men were hanged in Iran this week, according to reports.

Abdulla Ghavami Chahzanjiru and Salman Ghanbari Chahzanjiri were killed on 6 August, according to at least one report, for ‘consensual sodomy’.

Other reports are not specific about the ‘crime’ committed by these two men, but describe them as ‘immoral villains’.

One source indicates the two men were put to death in order to ‘promote community safety’ and to ‘reduce the suffering of the victims’.

August 13, 2014

Two men are believed to have been put to death for 'consensual sodomy'. One source indicates the two men were put to death in order to ‘promote community safety’

Two gay men were hanged in Iran this week, according to reports.

Abdulla Ghavami Chahzanjiru and Salman Ghanbari Chahzanjiri were killed on 6 August, according to at least one report, for ‘consensual sodomy’.

Other reports are not specific about the ‘crime’ committed by these two men, but describe them as ‘immoral villains’.

One source indicates the two men were put to death in order to ‘promote community safety’ and to ‘reduce the suffering of the victims’.

August 11, 2014

The research department of the Iranian Parliament has found that four out of five young adults in the Islamic republic are sexually active and 17% with people of the same sex

An Iranian Government report has found that sex before marriage is widespread among young Iranians despite the country’s hardline approach to public displays of affection and Islamic code.

The Iranian Parliament surveyed 142,000 young adults and found that 80% of the women reported having had boyfriends.

They also found 17% of the young adults had had a same-sex relationship despite the country imposing the death penalty for homosexual acts.

July 2, 2014

Iranian comedy series Haft Sang is a near scene-for-scene remake of US series Modern Family but its makers have written out all the gay characters or made them straight

Iranian audiences are loving LGBTI inclusive US comedy series Modern Family without even knowing it.

It turns out that the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting TV channel has been ripping off the show scene-for-scene minus gay dads Mitch and Cam.

In Haft Sang, an unauthorized remake of the show, their parts have either been written out or given a heterosexual makeover as Iranian TV tries to translate the appeal of the ABC hit show within the strict religious guidelines of an Iranian theocratic state.

June 12, 2014

A new report reveals the extent of youth homosexuality, straight sex outside marriage and sex work in Iran – and has an interesting ‘solution’

Iran has admitted it actually does have gay people – and gay sex is widespread among its youth.

An 82-page report which has just come to light draws on figures compiled by the Iranian Ministry of Education in 2007 and 2008.

They show 17.5% of male and female high school students across Iran admit to ‘being homosexual’. That’s 24,889 of a survey of 141,552 young men and women even though homosexuality can be punished by death in the country.

February 19, 2014

Googoosh has become one of the most prominent Irianians to speak out against homophobia in the conservative country

One of the most famous women in Iran has released a video in support of the country's LGBT community, sparking uproar and backlash.

As GSN previously reported, Googoosh has released Behesht (Paradise) with a music video showing how lesbian couples can be shunned by Iranian society.

February 19, 2014

Googoosh has become one of the most prominent Irianians to speak out against homophobia in the conservative country

One of the most famous women in Iran has released a video in support of the country's LGBT community, sparking uproar and backlash.

As GSN previously reported, Googoosh has released Behesht (Paradise) with a music video showing how lesbian couples can be shunned by Iranian society.

January 19, 2014

Five of the biggest names in advocacy have come to the Gay Star Beach Party to discuss the ethics of LGBTI travel

Globally renowned LGBTI leaders have spoken out on Nigeria, travel and the problem of boycotting homophobic countries today (19 January).

Attended by an intelligent, opinionated audience, the debate was held at the LGBTI Travel Show in London organized by Gay Star News.

The panelists were:

November 6, 2013

Omar Kuddus asks if LGBTI activism has become dominated by ‘fashions’ and whether a focus on Russia is distracting from the wider struggle for rights

Whilst the world’s and media’s attention is focused on the plight of Russian LGBTIs, we must not forget homosexuality is illegal in 76 countries.

With the Winter Olympics Sochi in 2014 and Russia’s anti-gay propaganda laws firmly in place, not a day goes by without some news about the conditions Russian homosexuals face under the heinous anti-gay propaganda laws.

October 19, 2013

Gay rights groups say all detainees frogmarched from a private birthday party near Iraq border last week have been released on bail

Nearly two dozen people arrested by elite Iranian security forces from a private birthday party near the Iraq border last week and charged with homosexuality and Satanism have been released on bail, gay rights groups said.

The Iranian Lesbian and Transgender Network said the detainees arrested in Kermanshah, a village in Iran near the border with Iraq, have all been reportedly released on bail.

October 19, 2013

Gay rights groups say all detainees frogmarched from a private birthday party near Iraq border last week have been released on bail

Nearly two dozen people arrested by elite Iranian security forces from a private birthday party near the Iraq border last week and charged with homosexuality and Satanism have been released on bail, gay rights groups said.

The Iranian Lesbian and Transgender Network said the detainees arrested in Kermanshah, a village in Iran near the border with Iraq, have all been reportedly released on bail.

October 11, 2013

Revolutionary guards have reportedly arrested at least 17 homosexuals and ‘devil-worshippers’ who were dancing at a birthday party held in a hall close to the Iraqi border

Nearly 20 people have been arrested in Iran under suspicion of being gay.

According to British newspaper The Guardian, revolutionary guards revealed Thursday via their official website they detained a ‘network of homosexuals and satanists’.

The arrest took place in a hall in Kermanshah where a dance party of 80 people was taking place for a birthday.

October 11, 2013

Revolutionary guards have reportedly arrested at least 17 homosexuals and ‘devil-worshippers’ who were dancing at a birthday party held in a hall close to the Iraqi border

Nearly 20 people have been arrested in Iran under suspicion of being gay.

According to British newspaper The Guardian, revolutionary guards revealed Thursday via their official website they detained a ‘network of homosexuals and satanists’.

The arrest took place in a hall in Kermanshah where a dance party of 80 people was taking place for a birthday.

September 29, 2013

Three Iranians and an online Persian magazine honored for their contribution to the cause of Iran’s invisible LGBT community

New and projected as moderate Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s telephone conversation with American President Barack Obama Friday made news worldwide, being the first contact between the top leaderships of the two countries after the 1979 Islamic revolution in Iran.

September 6, 2013

Sunday 8 September will see protests for LGBT equality in cities all over the world

Gay, trans and straight people have been urged to snog each others faces of to raise awareness of LGBT rights abuses all around the world.

The International Day of Solidarity for LGBT Equality on Sunday (8 September) will highlight abuses via kissing sessions, marches, speeches and other actions.

Organizers said: ‘The time has come, where we send a message to countries like Russia, Uganda, Iran and every anti-LGBT nation, that all humans are created equal and deserve freedom. We must take a stand.’

August 12, 2013

Some gay Iranians are taking advantage of Iran’s ban on gays in the military to avoid compulsory military service according to reports despite the country treating homosexual acts as a capital offense

Al-Monitor is reporting that gay Iranians are outing themselves to military officials to receive an exemption from serving for two years in the country’s military.

All Iranian males are expected to spend two years in the military either instead of or after their university education – however homosexuals are exempt as the country treats the issue as a psychological disorder and lists it among medical exemptions.

July 5, 2013

We are still turning LGBT asylum seekers away from safe havens to face persecution and death, says Stuart Hanson

The UK is one of the toughest places to claim asylum in Europe, according to the most recent United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) figures.

Approximately 75% of all asylum seekers were initially not recognized by the UK Border Agency as having protection needs and were refused asylum. In countries like Finland and Switzerland over 70% of asylum seekers were granted protection.

This is a 45% difference and suggests Britain is not the soft touch that is constantly broadcast in the tabloids and media.

June 14, 2013

LGBT Iranians comment on today's election but with real power held by a religious and military elite and no candidates interested in easing the persecution they face, they say it can only get worse, not better

As the controversial Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, heads out of office, Iranians are at the polls today (14 June) to vote for a new president.

But what will this election mean for LGBT Iranians? Are any of the candidates likely to improve the situation for gays and lesbians in Iran, who face systematic persecution? Is there an end in sight to Iran’s hard-line anti-LGBT policies?

June 14, 2013

LGBT Iranians comment on today's election but with real power held by a religious and military elite and no candidates interested in easing the persecution they face, they say it can only get worse, not better

As the controversial Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, heads out of office, Iranians are at the polls today (14 June) to vote for a new president.

But what will this election mean for LGBT Iranians? Are any of the candidates likely to improve the situation for gays and lesbians in Iran, who face systematic persecution? Is there an end in sight to Iran’s hard-line anti-LGBT policies?