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Content about LGBT social movements

January 28, 2015

Hint: because they are Republican

A recent Pew Center survey has found that 7% of LGBTI Americans are opposed to gay marriage.

While 58% of respondents said gay marriage should be the top priority for LGBTI people right now, 39% said the issue was taking too much focus away from other issues important to them.

The strongest opposition to gay marriage within the LGBTI community came from Republicans – with one in five opposed to same-sex marriage. In contrast, 96% of Democrats supported marriage equality.

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 19, 2015

Newly appointed member of the House of Lords Michael Cashman: 'Unless we set ourselves a goal, we cannot hope to achieve it.’

Lord Michael Cashman has said, if Labour is elected in the next UK government, the party will set itself a goal to achieve decriminalization of homosexuality worldwide by 2020.

Speaking at the Gay Star Travel Expo on Saturday (17 January), the newly-appointed member of the House of Lords said he is determined to help end inequality for LGBTI people.

January 19, 2015

Gay activists fear it willl give governments an excuse to censor LGBTI themes or characters

Russia will ban films that 'defile its culture' or 'threatens national unity'.

The government has proposed that films 'defiling the national culture, posing a threat to national unity and undermining the foundations of the constitutional order' will not be given public screenings.

While intended to be enforced on 1 January, they are currently undergoing a review process.

January 19, 2015

Queer travel event featured packed political debates and killer performances from La Voix and London Gay Big Band

The Gay Star Travel Expo returned to London's Heaven nightclub for the second time last Saturday – and the one-stop-travel-shop proved a huge success, with LGBTI travellers filling the venue throughout the day.

The event featured two packed afternoon debates, the first featuring political figures Lord Cashman, Baroness Barker and Crispin Blunt.

January 17, 2015

Missed the debate at the Gay Star Travel Expo? Find out what the biggest gay political names in the UK said about huge issues

The UK’s first big political debate of 2015 was on gay rights as the three big parties faced off during the Gay Star Travel Expo today (17 January).

Labour’s Lord Michael Cashman, Liberal Democrat’s Baroness Liz Barker and Conservative’s Crispin Blunt MP answered a variety of questions from the engaged and curious British public.

It was chaired by Gay Star News editor Tris Reid-Smith.

They were asked, in overview, what is Britain’s role in global LGBTI rights.

January 16, 2015

Ex-Southern Baptist president delivers an anti-gay sermon at the legislature

A baptist minister invited to give a devotional at the opening of the Georgia House of Representatives on Wednesday (14 January) took the opportunity to rant against gay rights, which he called 'erotic liberty.'

Bryant Wright, pastor of Johnson Ferry Baptist Church and former president of the Southern Baptist convention, reminded legislators that their role was to protect citizens against the 'evil,' in this case gay marriage.

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 13, 2015

Ban Ki-moon says such laws breed intolerance even if not enforced

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon 'staunchly opposes' India's anti-gay law, which he said breeds intolerance in the world's largest democracy.

He made the comments yesterday (12 January) at while addressing the Indian Council of World Affairs in New Delhi.

'We are all different from one another, but we all have the same human rights,' he said.

'I am proud to stand for the equality of all people, including those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender. I staunchly oppose the criminalization of homosexuality.

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

'Straight-washing'?: Gay rights banner was removed from the American version of the DVD cover

Pride director Matthew Warchus has said he does not mind the removal of gay content from the US DVD cover of the film.

His Golden Globe-nominated film is about a group of London gay and lesbian activists in Margaret Thatcher's Britain who champion a group of striking miners.

On the back image of the DVD sleeve, 'London-based group of gay and lesbian activists' on the blurb was changed to 'London-based activists'. The gay rights banner was also removed.

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 25, 2014

Promotional material dubbed a ‘betrayal’ of gay film’s central message

It’s one of the most political gay films ever made in Britain. But you wouldn’t know that if you are in the US.

Instead distributors in the States have hidden the fact Pride has a gay theme at all.

Pride is based on the true story of gay and lesbian activists in London supporting a Welsh community during the Miners’ Strike of the 1980s.

They were unlikely allies but their amazing friendship and unity helped change the political landscape – including for LGBTI rights.

December 23, 2014

Mayor Vincent Gray signs bill into law - New Jersey and California have similar bans in place

Washington DC on Monday (22 December) followed California and New Jersey in banning conversion therapy for LGBTI youth.

Mayor Vincent Gray (pictured) signed the the Conversion Therapy for Minors Prohibition Amendment Act into law that was passed earlier this month by the city council.

These therapies are aimed at changing the sexual orientation, gender identity, or expression of an LGBTI person.

December 19, 2014

This Liverpool mayor candidate also quotes Bible scripture to attack the UK soccer club, and gets it wrong

Liverpool football club is cursed by God for 'promoting' homosexuality, a far-right politician has claimed.

Paul Rimmer, a former UKIP candidate and current English Democrat, has claimed the soccer team is on a losing streak for supporting local Pride events.

'From the Bible, Sodomy defiles a Nation. Those who promote it will be punished & vomited out of the Land. Lev.18.23,' he posted on Facebook this week.

'In 2012 Liverpool FC sponsored the City’s Gay Pride Parade. Unless they repent they will be under a continual curse.'

December 19, 2014

Contribution will help to advance LGBTI equality in Arkansas, Mississippi and his native Alabama

Openly gay Apple CEO Tim Cook has made a 'generous' personal donation to a gay rights initiative in the American South.

His contribution will go to Human Rights Campaign (HRC) to help advance LGBTI equality in Arkansas, Mississippi and Cook's native Alabama.

The advocacy organization did not disclose the amount but said it was 'generous.'

Cook said 'I'm in,' when he first learned about the One America Project.

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 19, 2014

Remind yourself of the biggest stories of the year

Brick by brick, it feels like the wall of LGBTI rights across the world is becoming stronger.

For those who believe in equality, rights for LGBTI people is moving at a lightning speed. And for those who don't, it's becoming worse.

But because there are more places that believe gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex people deserve rights, the spotlight is on these homophobic and transphobic places like never before.

If no one cared about the community, the world would never have acted in several ways that could only have happened in 2014.

December 16, 2014

This happened in February, and the effects are still being felt today

The Sochi Winter Olympics 2014 will go down in history as the event that made gay rights not just an issue to discuss, but the center of a civil rights firestorm.

Even though it happened in February, the reverberations of the protests are still being felt as we reach the end of the year.

December 12, 2014

Marchers denounce the EU's withdrawal of aid over the country's anti-gay law

Thousands of Gambians on Tuesday (9 December) marched through the capital Banjul denouncing the EU for withdrawing foreign aid over the country's new anti-gay law.

President Yahya Jammeh joined protesters, who held placards and banners reading, ‘Homosexuality is inhuman,’ ‘Even cows don’t do it!’ and ‘Homosexuality is forbidden in Islam.’

The European Union withdrew millions of euros in aid after the west African country passed a law to punish 'aggravated homosexuality' with life imprisonment in September.

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

Trans woman and her wife want to change attitudes in Russia

A Russian gay couple who married in the fiercest way possible has reflected on their wedding and the consequences it could have the country.

Alyona Furvosa and Irina Shumilova married, both in stunning white gowns, in front of family and friends at a St Petersburg registry office last month.

The trans woman and her cisgender bride were allowed to marry through a loophole, with the city technically viewing the union as a heterosexual marriage.

December 9, 2014

Bill allows the refusal of goods and services on religious grounds

A Northern Ireland legislator is seeking to add a 'conscience clause' to equality laws after a Christian bakery was sued for refusing to make a gay marriage cake.

Paul Givan yesterday (8 December) introduced his Freedom of Conscience Bill to the legislative assembly that would allow those with strongly held religious beliefs to deny access to goods, facilities and services on the grounds of sexual orientation.

'The dilemma facing people of faith is the choice of violating their sincerely held beliefs or going out of business,' he told the legislature.