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March 3, 2015

Protestors from around the world gathered outside Royal Courts of Justice to fight for LGBTI rights activist Aderonke Apata, and Gay Star News was there

A judge has adjourned court following an intense hearing of the highly publicized case of Aderonke Apata, a Nigerian lesbian fighting for asylum in the UK.

The 47-year-old gay rights advocate and award-winner came to Britain from Nigeria in 2004 seeking asylum on religious grounds.

Coming from a Christian family, she married a Muslim man in what she says was a sham arrangement to cover up her long-term relationship with a woman.

March 3, 2015

Russia is furious that United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon ordered that all UN employees in legally recognized relationships should have equal partner benefits regardless of where they are working

The Russian Government has warned it may intervene at the United Nations to stop gay and lesbian employees of the UN receiving equal partner benefits regardless of the laws of the country they are working in.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon issued an administrative order in June last year so that all UN employees who were in relationships that had been legally recognized by a member state could receive equal benefits no matter where they were working.

February 27, 2015

The club's management are being investigated after an anti-LGBTI group sent complaints about them to the local prosecutor's office

A lesbian nightclub in Russia is under investigation after a picture of its owner kissing another woman went viral.

Last month, the owner of the club, only identified as Kseniya, and her partner were sat in front of St Petersburg lawmaker Vitaly Milonov on an Aeroflot flight from Moscow.

Milonov, an outspoken critic of gay rights, was instrumental in the creation of Russia's infamous anti-gay propaganda law. 

February 25, 2015

Our laws as they stand are having an unjust and disproportionate impact on those of religious faith', says Northern Ireland Bishop

The Catholic Church has spoken out in favour of a proposed equality clause that would permit anti-gay discrimination.

In December, DUP minister Paul Given introduced his Freedom of Conscience Bill to the Northern Ireland legislative assembly, which would allow people with strongly held religious views to deny access to goods, facilities and services on the grounds of sexual orientation. 

February 24, 2015

Parliamentary committee votes overwhelmingly in favor of same-sex marriage

A Swiss legislative panel has voted overwhelmingly in favor of gay marriage.

The legal affairs committee last week recommended that the National Council adopt a parliamentary initiative called Marriage for All.

The vote was 12 in favor, two opposed, with one abstention.

The initiative, which was submitted by the Green Liberal Party, calls on the legislature to open up marriage to gay couples, and registered partnerships to straight couples.

Registered partnerships for gay couples have been recognized since January 2007.

February 20, 2015

'I hope she can feel safe at school without fear of being bullied'

California Rep Mike Honda has said he is the 'proud grandpa' of an eight-year-old transgender granddaughter.

The Democrat Wednesday (18 February) tweeted his support along with a photo of himself with his arm around a smiling child with shoulder-length hair.

'As the proud grandpa of a transgender grandchild, I hope she can feel safe at school without fear of being bullied,' he wrote.

February 20, 2015

Did you know churches blessed gay marriages in the 'Dark Ages'? Discover and more

1. The world's oldest porn, which dates back over 3,000 years, features both male/male, female/female and male/female couples.

February 18, 2015

Former Alabama state rep has a record of fighting against LGBTI rights

Apple has fired an Alabama lobbyist with a record of fighting against LGBTI rights while a state representative.

Jay Love appeared on the Alabama Ethics Commission list of lobbyists for 2015 as a representative of Apple, whose openly gay CEO, Tim Cook, also hails from the yellowhammer state.

This prompted questions about how the seemingly contradictory relationship would work?

The answer is it doesn't.

Apple spokesperson Kristin Huguet confirmed yesterday that Love had been fired.

February 16, 2015

Religious authorities say no one is born gay and denying people 'conversion' therapy is an 'ethical violation'

No one is born gay and denying people 'conversion' therapy is an 'ethical violation.'

That is according to a flyer distributed by Malaysian religious authorities on Valentine's Day.

The leaflet, titled 10 myths about homosexuality, also claimed that gay people were not seriously disadvantaged by discrimination as they had higher levels of education.

February 12, 2015

Co-founder of Nefes committed suicide last year over persecution

One of the only LGBTI rights group operating in Azerbaijan has announced it is being forced to close today (12 February).

Nefes (which means 'Breath') has said the increased arrests and persecution has forced them to make a decision:

They cannot risk the personal safety of its members any longer, and will close.

At the beginning of 2014, former Nefes leader Isa Shakhmarli hanged himself with a rainbow flag in his apartment.

February 12, 2015

Justice says people will accept it

Americans will accept same-sex marriage in every state, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg has said.

Pointing to the sweeping change in attitudes towards gay and lesbian couples, the 81-year-old justice said the majority of the public will be happy if the Supreme Court legalizes marriage equality.

It comes as Alabama has become the 37th state to legalize same-sex marriage.

The high court is set to rule on the issue in June, and conservatives Clarence Thomas has already indicated the court intends to rule in favor of gay rights.

February 12, 2015

Shibuya could become the first local government in Japan to grant rights to same-sex couples

Tokyo’s Shibuya ward has made plans to issue certificates recognizing gay unions as 'relationships equivalent to marriage.'

The plan was outlined in a draft statute in the ward's 2015 budget, which is expected to be unveiled today (12 February) and presented to the municipal assembly in early March.

February 11, 2015

Four government bodies reject the first LGBTI group to apply for incorporation

The first South Korean LGBTI group to apply for incorporation has said they were rejected by four government agencies because of anti-gay discrimination.

Beyond the Rainbow Foundation approached the Seoul Municipal Government, National Human Rights Commission and the ministry of justice between January 2014 to January 2015 but were rejected by them all.

February 10, 2015

'Nepal will have the marriage equality law, it's just a matter of time'

Nepal should legalize gay marriage, says a committee charged with implementing a 2007 Supreme Court ruling to improve LGBTI rights in the south Asian country.

The same-sex marriage study committee, led by former secretary of the ministry of health and population Laxmi Raj Pathak, finally submitted its report yesterday (9 February), more than four years after its formation.

February 8, 2015

Gay singer has recently pledged to do more to help LGBTI rights

Sam Smith has said he will never perform in Russia over its anti-gay laws.

The gay British singer said he would boycott any concert or gig in Russia because of the country's treatment of LGBTI people.

It comes as fellow British singer Robbie Williams could get fined for performing in St Petersburg in April after he made a joke that he was '49% gay'.

February 4, 2015

Also calls it a 'crime against God'

An Italian archbishop has attacked a law banning anti-gay speech, describing it as a 'crime against humanity'.

Luigi Negri, the archbishop of Ferrara-Comacchio, has taken issue with a law the country has enacted to protect LGBTI people from hate crime.

He has also blamed the country's economic crisis on abortions, claiming that it has 'stopped more than six milllion Italians coming into the world'. Italy actually has the fourth lowest abortion rate in Europe, with just over 100,000 in 2012.

February 4, 2015

'Gay rights are still so far from where they should be. So far'

Sam Smith has pledged to do more to help LGBTI rights.

The openly gay British pop star has said he will 'do something', and urging his fans to do the same.

It is thought he was reacting to the horrific report from Syria that saw Islamic State militants throw a gay man from a building. When the gay man survived, he was stoned to death by the town.

January 30, 2015

Survey finds coming out to family remains difficult

Nearly 80% of LGBTI Vietnamese say society had changed positively toward them over the last five years, according to a new survey.

The survey released Tuesday (27 January) found that 44% of respondents had witnessed 'much' positive change from 2009 to 2013.

The most voted changes were confidence to be themselves, government recognition and LGBTI activities.

ICS Center surveyed 3,214 LGBTI Vietnamese citizens aged 16 and above in online forums between July and August 2014
.

January 29, 2015

Mayor hopes the capital's example will lead to full marriage equality

Rome yesterday (January 28) recognized gay civil unions by approving the establishment of a civil union register for same-sex couples.

The city council voted in an amendment saying that gay marriages contracted abroad are to be automatically transcribed into the newly created register.

Mayor Ignazio Marino hailed the controversial move a 'historic milestone' and thanked all the councilors who voted for the registry.

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.