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March 21, 2015

Russia has called for a vote on Tuesday on its proposal to stop the UN from extending benefits to staff members who are in same-sex marriages

Last July United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced that the organization would recognize and allow its staffers, who are in same-sex marriages, to receive equal benefits as those in opposite-sex marriages.

March 20, 2015

As long as it can choose priests 'even on the basis of sexual orientation'

The Philippines church has stated its support for an anti-gay discrimination bill, as long as it does not infringe on its 'exclusive right' to choose priests – 'even on the basis of sexual orientation.'

Earlier this month, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) clarified its stance on LGBTI issues as Congress is set to approve the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Bill.

March 13, 2015

If a business wants to discriminate against LGBT people then it must advertise the fact in advance, says a Democratic member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives

An attempt to pass a law in Oklahoma that would allow businesses to refuse certain services to LGBT people has stalled, and it could be partly due to an amendment introduced by an opponent to the bill.

Earlier this year, Republican state Rep. Chuck Strohm introduced his ‘Oklahoma Religious Freedom Act’ (HB1371).

If passed, this would allow businesses to deny services to customers if they felt that such services were ‘against the person’s religious beliefs’.

February 24, 2015

Randy Berry will advocate for LGBTI rights globally

The US State Department Monday (23 February) named Randy Berry as its first LGBTI rights envoy.

The openly gay diplomat is currently the US consul general in Amsterdam and has served in Bangladesh, Egypt, Uganda, and South Africa.

Secretary of State John Kerry said he 'could not be more proud' to announce Berry as the first-ever special envoy for the human rights of LGBTI persons.

February 21, 2015

'The rogue actions of Travis County judges do not withstand the scrutiny of law'

Texas wants its highest court to void the marriage license of the southern state's only legally married same-sex couple.

Yesterday, 20 February, state Attorney General Ken Paxton announced he filed a petition with the Texas Supreme Court.

February 18, 2015

But marriage licenses will not be issued to gay couples yet

A Texas judge Tuesday (17 February) ruled the state's ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional.

Travis county probate judge Guy Herman made the ruling as part of an estate dispute, in which an Austin woman sought to have her eight-year lesbian relationship recognized as a a common-law marriage.

Travis county clerk Dana DeBeauvoir commended Herman's order as 'a great step toward marriage equality,' but added that the judge had not instructed her to begin to issuing marriage licenses to gay couples.

February 17, 2015

An estimated 30 million Chinese people are in the closet

A Valentine's Day ad campaign is urging the estimated 30 million closeted Chinese people to come out.

The ads, which appeared on social media Friday (13 February), show gay couples relaxing at home.

The text beside the photos reads: 'Love is not a choice. We did not choose to be homosexual. We just are. Happily, the world is big enough for all of us.'

David Li, one of the lead organizers of the China LGBT Awareness Campaign, said he hoped the ads would generate a public conversation about LGBTI issues in China and encourage people to come out.

February 12, 2015

Measure is passed despite opposition from lawmakers who fear the bill will pave the way for gay marriage

A bill banning discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity has hurdled the committee level at the Philippine House of Representatives.

The committee on women and gender equality Tuesday (10 February) voted 10 to 2 in favor of the bill authored by Dinagat Islands Rep Kaka Bag-ao.

'This is not only a triumph for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community, but for all Filipinos,' she said in a statement.

February 11, 2015

'Having hit a critical mass of states that have recognized same-sex marriage — it doesn’t make sense for us to now have this patchwork system'

US President Barack Obama is weighing in on the confusing state of gay marriage in Alabama where some of the state's probate judges are refusing licenses to same-sex couples.

The judges are caught between a federal ruling that went into effect this week which struck down Alabama's gay marriage ban and an order by the state's anti-gay supreme court chief justice not to issue licenses.

February 6, 2015

New post will be filled by an openly gay Foreign Service officer

US Secretary of State John Kerry will announce the appointment later this month of a special envoy to advocate for LGBTI rights overseas.

The move pre-empts a bill introduced last week in boths houses of the Senate that would make promoting LGBTI rights a priority of US foreign policy.

February 5, 2015

Amendment to gun legislation challenges the state's ban on gay marriage

Nebraska may have just accidentally recognized gay marriage despite a state ban on same-sex unions.

The Nebraska Legislature yesterday (4 February) voted 38 to 0 in favor of an amendment to a bill that would waive the 180-day residency period for military spouses who want to apply for gun permits.

Sen Paul Schumacher of Columbus proposed the amendment, which applies to 'anyone receiving the federal benefits of a military spouse.'

January 30, 2015

Legislation creates a special LGBTI envoy in the State Department

US lawmakers in both of houses of congress yesterday (29 January) introduced a bill to promote and protect LGBTI rights globally.

The International Human Rights Defense Act would create a special envoy in the State Department to coordinate efforts to prevent and respond to discrimination and violence against LGBTI people worldwide.

January 24, 2015

Conviction of Children-404’s Lena Klimova proves hideous law is alive and well

Lena Klimova, the founder of LGBTI kids’ support group Children-404 in Russia, is the latest victim of the country’s controversial ‘anti-gay propaganda law’.

The social worker has been fined 50,000 rubles ($780, €700) by the Russian courts for creating the online community group in March 2013.

The website encourages young people to share experiences of how it feels to grow up as an LGBTI person. It’s said Klimova, who was previously acquitted of the same charge, did not have access to legal counsel before her conviction.

January 15, 2015

Licenses were issues to same-sex couples during brief legal window in March

A federal judge ruled on Thursday (15 January) that Michigan must recognize the same-sex marriages of more than 300 couples who got married in the state last March.

US District Court Judge Mark Goldsmith (pictured) wrote in his opinion: 'Delaying judicial resolution of these issues would serve no useful purpose. To the contrary, such delay would compound the harms these Plaintiffs suffer each day that their marital status remains unrecognized.'

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.

January 1, 2015

Circuit Judge Timothy Shea ruled Wednesday that Orange County won’t be breaking the law if it issues marriage licenses to same-sex couples when Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage is lifted 6 January

A second Florida county will be able to start issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples next Tuesday after a judge clarified an earlier ruling.

The Florida Association of Court Clerks and Comptrollers had previously stated that it believed that only Washington County would be legally able to issue marriage licenses to gay couples starting 6 January when the state’s ban on same-sex marriage is lifted.

However Circuit Court Judge Timothy Shea ruled yesterday that Orange County could legally do so as of next Tuesday as well.

December 29, 2014

LGBT campaigners fear the bill will allow service providers to legally discriminate against gay customers

Conservative politicians in Indiana are currently putting the final preparations to a bill that they hope will allow small businesses to exercise ‘religious liberties’.

Critics of the bill say that it would, in effect, allow business owners to refuse providing services to LGBT people on the grounds of their religious belief.

Social Conservatives in the State have been working on the bill since a federal judge’s decision in June to allow same-sex marriages to go ahead in the State – a decision later backed by the Supreme Court.

December 29, 2014

The US Department of Education has issued a directive to federally funded schools explaining that transgender students must be allowed into the class of their preferred gender in single-sex educational settings

The US Department of Education has expanded guidelines that protect transgender people in schools under federal laws covering sex discrimination, sending out an official ‘significant guidance document’ to clarify that transgender students must be allowed to attend single-sex classes of their preferred gender.

The Department of Education announced that it had decided that sex discrimination laws covered transgender students in April and the new document gives further advice to schools that receive federal funding on how they should approach the issue.

December 24, 2014

While state Attorney General Dustin McDaniel supports marriage equality, he will defend the prohibition

Arkansas is appealing a federal judge's finding against the US state's marriage equality ban.

December 23, 2014

A law firm memo has thrown Florida county clerks into disarray over the planned legalization of gay marriage in the state

As previously reported, same-sex marriages are due to begin in Florida on 6 January. However, a legal memo has now prompted confusion among county clerks.

Earlier this month, the US Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals announced that it was declining to extend a stay on same-sex marriages in the Sunshine State.

Then, on Friday, the Supreme Court backed this decision, ruling that a stay on same-sex marriages would come to an end on 5 January.

December 20, 2014

US Supreme Court denies the Florida Attorney General's request for the court to keep same-sex marriage ban

Florida is on its way to becoming the 36th state in the US to allow same-sex marriage after the US Supreme Court on Friday the US Supreme Court cleared the way for weddings in the state to start next month.

The Supreme Court ruled 7-2, the Miami Herald reported.

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

Recriminalization of homosexuality leads to an increase in anti-gay violence

More than 500 LGBTI activists yesterday attended a hearing in New Delhi on the consequences of India's recriminalization of gay sex.

The Supreme Court reinstated Section 377 of the penal code on 11 December 2013, which organizers India HIV/AIDS Alliance (Alliance India) said has led to an increase in anti-gay violence, stigma and discrimination and adversely affected the uptake of HIV services.

December 12, 2014

Despite multiple legal setbacks, the state's governor and attorney general work to keep the ban in place

Same-sex marriage in Kansas has turned even more complicated.

While the state's governor and attorney general use every legal tactic to keep the ban in place, the state has issued gender neutral marriage certificates.