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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.

December 3, 2014

The 10th Circuit appeals court has rebuffed the latest attempt by the state of Kansas to stop gay people from getting hitched

Kansas remains one of the US states where battles continue to be waged over same-sex marriage.

The US Supreme Court announced in early October that it declined to review pending same-sex marriage bans in several US states.

This paved the way for same-sex marriage in states such as Virginia and Wisconsin, among others, and sent out a clear signal to lawmakers elsewhere that should they continue to fight same-sex marriage in the courts, they would ultimately be disappointed should they get to the Supreme Court.

November 7, 2014

Decision comes two days after district judge made ruling that applied only to city of St. Louis

A federal judge on Friday (7 November) struck down Missouri's ban on gay marriage that was passed by voters in the Midwestern state 10 years ago.

US District Court Judge Ortrie D. Smith ruled that the ban is unconstitutional and that that same-sex couples can obtain marriage licenses.

The state has said it will appeal.

Smith's ruling comes two days after same-sex marriage marriage licenses began being issued in the city of St. Louis where a state judge lifted the ban.

Smith's decision applies to the entire state.

November 4, 2014

US District Judge Daniel Crabtree stays his ruling until next week so no same-sex marriages for now

On the day of mid-term elections in the US, a federal judge has ruled that the ban on same-sex marriages in Kansas is unconstitutional.

US District Judge Daniel Crabtree on Tuesday (4 November) issued a preliminary injunction against enforcement of the gay marriage ban.

But there will be no same-sex ceremonies yet because Crabtree has placed a stay on his ruling until 11 November.

The state can file and appeal to the US Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals which has already ruled against upholding similar bans in Oklahoma and Utah.

November 4, 2014

Ifeanyi Orazulike was arrested on the same day a challenge to the country's anti-gay law was dismissed

Nigerian LGBTI rights activist Ifeanyi Orazulike was arrested and detained without charge on the night of 22 October, the same day a constitutional challenge to the country's anti-gay law was dismissed.

The executive director of the International Center for Advocacy on the Rights to Health was arrested at his office in Abuja while celebrating his birthday with friends and colleagues.

He has filed a motion in Abuja High Court alleging he was arrested, detained and dehumanized without charge.

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 28, 2014

Report finds 87 per cent of the country's LGBTI people are not out

LGBTI Mongolians face social stigma and violence despite living in the first Asian country to teach LGBTI issues in schools, according to a new report.

The report was conducted by the United Nations Development Program and US Aid and is the first comprehensive review of LGBTI rights in the north Asian country.

It highlighted the lack of published records of LGBTI before the transition to democracy in 1992 and until recently, there was no word in the Mongolian language for gay or transgender.

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 22, 2014

A comprehensive report by Human Rights Watch details how Jamaica’s LGBT community faces widespread discrimination and violence

A new report by the New York-based organization Human Rights Watch paints a damning portrait of the treatment of LGBT people in Jamaica.

The Human Rights Watch report – Not Safe at Home – follows five weeks of study on the Caribbean island country from April to June last year.

October 16, 2014

New South Wales, South Australia and Tasmania have introduced bills to repeal laws forcing married transgender people to divorce before their new gender is recognized

Three Australian states today introduced bills to scrap laws that require married transgender people to divorce before their new gender is recognized.

Legislation was introduced in New South Wales by Greens legislative council member Mehreen Faruqi and Independent legislative assembly member Alex Greenwich, in South Australia by Greens legislative council member Tammy Franks, and by Greens house of assembly member Nick McKim in Tasmania.

October 14, 2014

Organizers hope the event will change perceptions of LGBTI people

Burma's first LGBTI film festival will be held next month in Rangoon to celebrate the sexual and gender diversity of the region.

The &Proud LGBT Film Festival will run from 12-14 November at the French Institute and is organized by Colors Rainbow, YG Event, Equality Myanmar and several other LGBTI groups.

Hla Myat Tun, program officer at Colors Rainbow, told the Irrawaddy magazine that he hopes to change perceptions of LGBTI people in a country where media representations are often 'insensitive.'

October 13, 2014

In a brief filed with the Firth Circuit Court of Appeals, Greg Abbott also said that – in relation to legal arguments – the fact such unions may benefit children with same-sex parents ‘doesn’t matter’

At the beginning of the month, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott said that part of the reason he was opposed to gay marriage was because he’d been married to his wife for 33 years.

Now, Abbott – a Republican who is currently running for the position of Governor of Texas – has voiced another reason why the Lone Star State should maintain its ban on gay marriage: Maintaining such a ban reduces out-of-wedlock births.

October 11, 2014

Governor Terry McAuliffe – who yesterday officiated at a gay wedding – says decision will ‘open more doors for Virginia children who need loving families’

On Monday the US Supreme Court announced that it was not going to consider appeals from lawmakers in several states who wished to uphold same-sex marriage bans.

One of the States affected by this decision was Virginia.

On the day following the Supreme Court’s decision, Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe issued an executive order directing state agencies to comply with the decision, paving the way for same-sex marriages to commence.