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Content about LGBT rights by country or territory

May 17, 2015

President Obama says America will continue to support the advancement of LGBTI rights under his watch while John Kerry has used the event to celebrate the appointment of the US’ first ever Special Envoy for LGBTI rights

The White House has released an official statement on behalf of President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama on the eve of the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT) in another sign that he continues to see the promotion of equality for LGBTI people both at home and abroad as a significant part of the legacy of his administration.

‘Michelle and I join our fellow Americans and others around the world in commemorating the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia tomorrow, May 17,’ President Obama says in the statement.

May 11, 2015

As IDAHOT approaches, Ugandan gay rights activist Tony Kitara reflects on the past, present and future of homophobia in his country

I am a gay man from an endemic homophobic nation - Uganda.

In order to 'fit' in society, I had to conceal my sexuality from a very young age. There's a lot of stigma in the general population, often characterised by familial rejection, violence, blackmail, mental torture, physical torture. Therefore, I work for the social justice and liberation of the LGBTI community in my country.

April 21, 2015

Survey finds 60% of respondents in their twenties back same-sex unions

South Koreans have become more tolerant of homosexuality and more supportive of gay marriage, according to annual surveys conducted over the last four years.

The number of respondents showed no reservations about homosexuality increased from 15.8% in 2010 to 23.7% in 2014. In the same period, those who supported the legalization of gay marriage rose from 16.9% to 28.5%.

The Asan Institute for Policy Studies interpreted this change in attitude as the conservative country 'consolidating its democratic and liberal values.'

April 10, 2015

Pop stars, entrepreneurs, film makers, TV celebrities and a current prisoner

From India to Japan and everywhere in between, the LGBTI movement in Asia is gathering pace.

So meet 21 of its greatest heroes.

They’ve written books, made films, founded organizations, fought in the courts and taken on the most challenging work.

Most of all they’ve stood up for their fellow LGBTIs – and often been rewarded only with harassment, persecution and even imprisonment.

But now they are being recognized. They are all nominated for the second Asia LGBT Milestone Awards (ALMAs).

March 20, 2015

Historic city's first LGBTI group talks to Gay Star News about Asia's young LGBTI movement

Macau tops the world in terms of GDP but on many social issues the city is still very backward, says Anthony Lam, the co-founder of the city's first LGBTI group.

The director-general of Rainbow of Macau said that he views the progress of LGBTI rights as an index of how internationalized the former Portuguese colony actually is.

Right now, the fight for LGBTI rights centers around the Domestic Violence Bill, and is one of the reasons why Rainbow was founded two years ago.

March 19, 2015

Immigration rules in both countries bar 'undesirable' persons from entering

A prominent gay rights activist Wednesday (18 March) challenged laws barring LGBTI people from entering Belize and Trinidad and Tabago at the region's top court.

Maurice Tomlinson argued that obscure immigration rules barring entry to LGBTI people violated his freedom of movement rights, enshrined in a key Caribbean Community treaty.

The Jamaican testified before the Trinidad-based Caribbean Court of Justice via video link so as not to break the country's immigration laws.

March 15, 2015

His American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) group was named to the Human Rights Watch (HRW) 'Hall of Shame' in 2013 for 'endangering the lives and dignity of LGBT people' around the world

Republican Jeb Bush, who is being watched closely by gay rights activists as he continues to publicly oppose marriage equality while saying that his view is evolving, is said to have surprised some observers with the appointment of prominent anti-gay activist Jordan Sekulow to his Right to Rise PAC (political action committee).

Sekulow is an attorney, radio show host and the right-wing Executive Director of the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ).

March 2, 2015

Our Business Editor, David Hudson, explains what you can expect from the new Gay Star News business section

One of the reasons why we’ve decided to launch a dedicated Business Section is because the corporate world’s attitude towards LGBTI issues has changed tremendously and rapidly in the last 20 years.

At first, some forward-thinking companies began to wake up to the spending power of LGBTI communities – latching on to the so-called ‘Dorothy Dollar’ and ‘Pink Pound’.

Others realized that the gay scene was often the first to adopt new trends – making it the idea place to launch new bespoke products.

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 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.

January 31, 2015

'I am a strong believer in traditional marriage and I do not construe homosexual rights as human rights'

A US lawmaker sees no connection between human rights and LGBTI equality.

On 27 January, during hearing on Nigeria, Representative Chris Smith separated gay and human rights.

'I am a strong believer in traditional marriage and I do not construe homosexual rights as human rights,' the New Jersey Republican said, according PolitickerNJ.

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 17, 2015

Missed the debate at the Gay Star Travel Expo? Find out what the most influential worldwide names in gay activism had to say

World leaders in LGBTI rights debated the biggest LGBTI issues at the Gay Star Travel Expo today (17 January).

Veteran human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell, Nigerian activist Bisi Alimi and Ugandan gay rights campaigner Edwin Sesange discussed the question: ‘Are we winning or losing the fight for LGBTI rights worldwide.

National Aids Trust CEO Deborah Gold chaired the debate.

Alimi began by questioning what ‘success’ is, saying 14% of young LGBTI people are homeless in the UK.

January 6, 2015

But 60% say refusing to hire an LGBTI person is discriminatory

Almost 70% of Hong Kong people believe society should tolerate anti-gay views, according to a new survey.

The results released yesterday (5 January) also showed that 57% of respondents said schools should not have to teach that homosexuality and heterosexuality are both 'beautiful.'

Hong Kong Polytechnic University interviewed 611 adults in November for the survey, which was commissioned by the anti-gay Family School Sexual Orientation Discrimination Ordinance Concern Group.

December 29, 2014

Money will win over morality

The moral case for supporting LGBTI rights isn’t persuading global policymakers.

We have proved discrimination and abuse against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people is a violation of human rights. But around 80 countries still criminalize homosexuality and most others don’t give LGBTI people equality or protection.

The moral argument alone won’t win. It’s time we spoke to world leaders in a language they understand.

December 12, 2014

Nigerian pastor explains why Jesus loves gays but African Christians do not

To win the struggle to change men and women’s hearts and minds, one must consider what the Bible calls strongholds – ideologies, views or thinking that have been held on to for a long time.

When that thinking is wrong, the challenge is great.

Many African strongholds include the view that homosexuality is paganistic and paganism is bad. The second is that gay white men want to pollute black children (see the justifications for Uganda's anti-gay laws).

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 21, 2014

City government is mulling an anti-gay hate law

The Seoul Municipal Government (SMG) yesterday (20 November) was forced to postpone a hearing on gay rights after 200 Christian protesters stormed city hall.

The hearing was called to gather opinions for the drafting of a Charter of Human Rights for Citizens in Seoul.

However, experts are divided on whether the law should include a ban on discrimination against LGBTI people.

November 13, 2014

Study finds only 1 per cent are out to their fathers

Seven out of 10 young gay men in Korea hide their sexuality from their parents, a new study has found.

Seoul National University human ecology major Jo Nam-seok surveyed 103 gay men in their 20s and presented her findings on Tuesday (23 November).

Her study found that 68.9 percent of respondents had not come out to their parents for fear of disapproval, especially from their fathers.

Only 1 per cent said their father knew their sexual orientation, compared with 19.4 per cent of mothers.

November 6, 2014

'Same-sex cohabitants' were dropped from the draft law in 2012

LGBTI activists delivered a letter to Macanese government headquarters yesterday demanding domestic violence laws include gay couples.

The city's first LGBTI rights group, Rainbow of Macau, was founded after 'same-sex cohabitants' were dropped from the draft domestic violence law in November 2012.

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 27, 2014

Opposition leader is standing trial for sodomy this week

A right-wing Malaysian newspaper has said supporting oppositon leader Anwar Ibrahim means supporting the international LGBTI rights movement ahead of his sodomy trial on Tuesday.

Anwar has been prosecuted under the country's colonial anti-gay law four times in what LGBTI groups have called a politically motivated prosecution. He is appealing his March sentence of five years in jail.

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 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.