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January 21, 2015

President Obama calls gay marriage a 'civil right'

US president Barack Obama made history today (21 January) by saying the words 'lesbian,' 'bisexual' and 'transgender' for the first in a state of the union address.

The president said that he pushed for LGBTI rights because 'as Americans, we respect human dignity.'

'That’s why we defend free speech, and advocate for political prisoners, and condemn the persecution of women, or religious minorities, or people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender,' he said.

January 14, 2015

Makes it legal for business owners to deny service to LGBTI people under 'religious and moral convictions'

The US state of Virginia is today (14 January), considering a law that allows all companies to deny service to LGBTI people under the guise of religious or moral conviction.

The bill, which was introduced last month by Republican Delegate Bob Marshall, would make it legal for business owners to refuse service on the basis of religious opposition to gay marriage and ‘homosexual behavior.’

This would mean teachers could refuse to have gay students in their classes and movie theaters ban people they perceive to be gay.

January 13, 2015

Exodus International past leader says he is 'gay with bisexual tendencies'

Former 'ex-gay' poster boy Randy Thomas has come out as gay.

In a blog post published yesterday (12 January), the former executive vice-president of the now defunct Exodus International disclosed that he was 'gay with some level of bisexual tendencies.'

'The truth is, that my primary sexual attraction is toward men,' he wrote.

'It is also true that to date the love of my life has been a woman. I was attracted to her in every way. Many people won’t believe me but what I just shared is true.'

January 8, 2015

They suggest he could be more consistent

Gay rights leaders in some of the world's most homophobic countries have written a letter to President Obama.

They are calling on him to be more consistent with dealing with the governments that are passing anti-LGBTI laws.

The letter, signed by people like Kenya's Eric Gitari and The Gambia's Pasamba Jow, suggest the way he dealt with Ugandan politicians should be the same as the way he deals with lawmakers from countries that do not receive the same media attention such as Nigeria or Kyrgyzstan.

January 6, 2015

Ahead of the referendum in Ireland on same-sex marriage, pamphlets have been circulated demanding kids be protected from ‘unholy’ noises. The internet has responded in its own inimitable fashion

With a referendum due in Ireland in May on the issue of same-sex marriage, campaigning between opposing factions is intensifying.

Although early opinion polls estimated that 70% of the country supported equal marriage, in the last fortnight, several Government politicians have said that the vote could me much closer than previously anticipated, and that LGBT campaigners cannot afford to be complacent.

January 3, 2015

Idaho Governor and Attorney General say marriage is a state's-rights issue and that the state has been consistent in legalizing only hetrosexual marriage

A ruling by the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals in October legalized same-sex marriage in Idaho after rejecting Idaho Governor CL 'Butch' Otter's argument to uphold the ban. He argued Idaho residents have the right to define marriage as between a man and a woman.

On Friday Otter filed an appeal with the US Supreme Court making good on his promise to take the fight against gay marriage to the highest court.

Attorney General Lawrence Wasden has also filed a separate petition to the US Supreme Court.

December 19, 2014

Trailblazing activists reach out to queer community in Southeastern Europe

It has been called the most anti-gay country in Europe – after last year's European Social Survey (ESS) indicated that over 53% of people there opposed homosexuality.

However, a gay rights group in Albania has broken boundaries by opening the first LGBTI shelter in the country.

The project, founded by queer gay rights groups Alenaca LGBT and ProLGBT, will help queer victims of violence, domestic abuse and homelessness.

December 18, 2014

Butch Otter believes Idaho case is 'best vehicle' for same-sex marriage issue to be decided for the nation

Idaho Governor Butch Otter wants his state's gay marriage case to be decided by the nation's highest court.

On Wednesday (17 December), lawyers for the governor filed what is known as a friend-of-the-court brief with the US Supreme Court.

In it, they ask that the court - which is considering hearing several gay marriages cases this term - hear a case out of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals which includes Idaho.

December 13, 2014

In his decision, Garcia said allowing same-sex couples to marry as the case is appealed 'would only be temporary, with confusion and doubt to follow'

While a judge ruled the Texas ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, he's unwilling to lift a stay while the case faces appeal.

This past February, US District Judge Orlando Garcia found the southern's state's prohibition went against the US Constitution's protection of equal treatment under the law.

December 12, 2014

Take Me To Church has been streamed more than 87 million times

A protest song against Russia's 'gay propaganda' laws is Spotify's most streamed single in 2014.

Take Me To Church by Irish singer Hozier has had more than 87 million streams to date on the music platform.

Also nominated for Song of the Year at the Grammys, the gay rights anthem has also logged more than 40 million views for the video version on YouTube.

The video shows a young gay couple fleeing an angry mob in Russia.

December 9, 2014

First ruling was vacated on a legal technicality

Broward county judge Dale Cohen yesterday overturned Florida's ban on gay marriage for a second time after he vacated his first ruling on a legal technicality.

Cohen first ruled the ban unconstitutional on 4 August in a lawsuit filed by Heather Brassner, who entered a civil union with her now estranged partner in Vermont in 2002 but sought a divorce in Florida.

December 1, 2014

India’s LGBTI community have shown they are not prepared to just disappear quietly since the country’s colonial era sodomy law was reinstated by the Supreme Court, with hundreds marching yesterday in the capital, New Delhi

Hundreds of LGBTI Indians and their allies took to the streets of New Delhi on Sunday – the first time the capital city has seen a gay pride march since the 1861 colonial era Section 377 anti-sodomy law was reinstated.

Reports estimate that between 400 and 700 marched in the city of 22 million people, waving garlands of multi-colored balloons and rainbow flags, chanting ‘freedom!’ and ‘I’m gay, that’s OK!’

November 25, 2014

Faith-based book equates homosexuality to pederasty and bestiality

Atlanta fire chief Kelvin Cochran has been suspended for a month without pay for distributing a self-published anti-gay book to his subordinates.

In the book titled Who Told You That You Were Naked?, he identifies himself as a 'devout Christian man' whose first priority as Atlanta Fire Department (AFD) chief was 'to cultivate its culture to the glory of God.'

One passage equates homosexuality to pederasty and bestiality while another describes gay sex as one of several 'vile, vulgar and inappropriate ways which defile their body-temple and dishonor God.'

November 24, 2014

He was lured on a 'date' by a man, taken to a police station and held there as the authorities ruined his life

A Cameroon man is facing jail after police forcibly outed him as gay to his friends and family.

The 22-year-old, identified as A.H, was lured on an alleged 'date' by a Facebook friend who he had been talking to for around three months online.

Once he went to meet the other man, A.H was taken to the police station in the Ekounou district of Yaounde where he was arrested on accusations of sexual harassment.

November 24, 2014

India recriminalized homosexuality last year

Up to 2,000 people yesterday (23 November) protested India's anti-gay laws at Bangalore pride, the first since the country recriminalized homosexuality in December last year.

After an hour delay, hundreds of people set off from the city railway station for the sixth Bengaluru Pride March and Karnataka Queer Habba in India's third largest city, in Karnataka state.

Unlike previous years, the parade was redirected through the conservative Malleswaram district and most marchers decided not to wear eye masks or cover their faces, despite the law.

November 8, 2014

'Because the federal District Court’s injunction will effectively disable a provision in the Kansas Constitution, I believe I have a duty to exhaust all of the state’s options for appeal'

Kansas will take its fight against marriage equality to the US Supreme Court.

Yesterday, 7 November, the 10th US Circuit Court of Appeals denied Attorney General Derek Schmidt's request to place a hold on a federal judge's ruling against the state's ban on same-sex marriage.

November 3, 2014

New justice minister says the anti-gay law was 'grossly wrong'

New Zealand's new Justice Minister Amy Adams has said she is open to discussions about wiping the criminal records of men convicted of having gay sex.

Sex between men was illegal in the country until the passing of the Homosexual Law Reform Act in 1986.

Although they do not have to declare their convictions because of the Clean Slate Act, activists say they still live with shame.

November 1, 2014

'The Kansas Supreme Court has to be allowed to move forward'

The US state of Kansas asked a federal judge to leave its marriage equality ban alone until the state's Supreme Court makes a ruling.

Lawyers from the attorney general's office made the argument yesterday, 31 October, during a hearing with District Judge Daniel Crabtree.

October 31, 2014

A 26 year veteran of the fight for LGBTI equality in Australia, Australian Marriage Equality national convener Rodney Croome has been honored as the 2015 Australian of the Year for his home state of Tasmania

Veteran spokesperson for the Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian Rights Group and national convener of Australian Marriage Equality, Rodney Croome has been named the 2015 Australian of the year for his home state of Tasmania.

Croome was honored for his 26 year involvement in the fight for LGBTI equality which has culminated in his role as national spokesperson for the campaign to legalize same-sex marriage in Australia.

October 29, 2014

Court of Appeal rejects two constitutional challenges to the country's sodomy law

Singapore's highest court today ruled the country's sodomy law which criminalizes gay sex is constitutional.

The Court of Appeal found that section 377A of the penal code did not infringe on the rights of 51-year-old artistic therapist and social volunteer Tan Eng Hong.

Tan was arrested for having in oral sex with man in a public toilet in 2010. He contested the law but the High Court dismissed his application in 2013.

October 28, 2014

Linda Wall denies the statistics of LGBTI teen suicides and believes being gay is an 'addiction akin to drugs'

A former gym teacher who had sex with an underage girl has now set up a group to fight the 'evils' of homosexuality.

Linda Wall, an ex-politician and once a candidate for the Virginia House of Representatives, is a leader in the 'ex-gay movement'.

Setting up a group called Virginia Mass Resistance, she denies the statistics of LGBTI youth suicide rates in the US and believes homosexuality is akin to being addicted to drugs.

October 28, 2014

Dozens of counter-protesters hurled tomatoes and insults at three LGBTI activists

Dozens of Russian nationalists hurled tomatoes and insults at three LGBTI activists on Sunday in the southern city of Lipetsk.

Two young women and a man were confronted at the central Cathedral Square by about 100 nationalists and conservatives as well as police officers deployed to prevent violence.

Protestor Reida Linn told LRNews that they were 'fighting homophobia, discrimination and violations of the Constitution and of the rights of LGBT people.'

She said it was not an authorized rally, which are subject to prosecution under Russian law.

October 20, 2014

About 1.7 million people called in to protest the country's anti-gay law

Indian actor Aamir Khan's hit talk show Satyamev Jayate last night tackled the taboo subject of 'alternative sexualities,' with many viewers saying the program changed their perception of LGBTI people.

Guests included transgender woman Gazal Dhaliwal and her parents, popular psychologist Deepak Kashyap and LGBTI activists.

Khan listened sympathetically as his LGBTI guests told their coming out stories. Several stressed the importance of parental relationships in shaping their lives and fighting depression and suicidial thoughts.

October 10, 2014

High court turns down state's request for a halt on marriages pending appeal

At the end of an extraordinary week on the gay marriage front, Idaho on Friday became the latest state in the US where same-sex couples can get married.

The US Supreme Court turned down the state's request for a reprieve on issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples following this week's ruling by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals declaring the state's gay marriage ban unconstitutional.

Although the state's appeal of the Ninth Circuit ruling is still ongoing, they cannot stop marriages from taking place during that process.