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October 30, 2014

Sean Lien says comments overheated

Taipei mayoral hopeful Sean Lien has enraged LGBTI activists by deleting a pro-gay Facebook post.

The night before Taiwan Pride, Chinese Nationalist Party candidate Lien finally broke his silence on LGBTI rights.

He said he supported the gay marriage bill currently and that if he was elected he would 'protect gay rights and make Taipei a more gender-friendly environment.'

'I hope the central government will place the relevant bills on the legislative agenda for deliberation soon in order to guarantee the rights of our gay friends,' he wrote.

October 30, 2014

Twenty models from six Asian cities feature in the awareness drive

Taiwanese diva and gay icon A-mei is the face and body of a nude gay awareness campaign for ELEMENT magazine.

She will also appear on the cover of the Singapore-based LGBTI bi-monthly, the only cover shoot she is doing this year. 

A-mei said, 'Love needs to be respected regardless of who you are, who I am.

'I hope by taking part in this campaign, more people will be aware, understand and recognize the LGBT community.'

October 28, 2014

Linda Wall denies the statistics of LGBTI teen suicides and believes being gay is an 'addiction akin to drugs'

A former gym teacher who had sex with an underage girl has now set up a group to fight the 'evils' of homosexuality.

Linda Wall, an ex-politician and once a candidate for the Virginia House of Representatives, is a leader in the 'ex-gay movement'.

Setting up a group called Virginia Mass Resistance, she denies the statistics of LGBTI youth suicide rates in the US and believes homosexuality is akin to being addicted to drugs.

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 27, 2014

Former US president praises speed of LGBTI movement but warns against complacency

Former US President Bill Clinton last night urged LGBTI activists to continue fighting for equality following recent victories for gay marriage advocates.

'I’ve never seen a civil rights movement, at least in our country, move as far and as fast as your movement, ever,' he said at the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) annual dinner in Washington DC.

Since the beginning of October, the number of states that allow gay marriage has shot from 19 to 32, as well as the district of Columbia.

October 22, 2014

A Catholic high school in New York has reversed its decision for a fact-based drama about a lesbian couple, starring Ellen Page and Julianne Moore, to shoot scenes on its premises

A Catholic boy’s school that had previously granted permission for a film shoot to take place within its walls has now reversed its decision – allegedly after finding out that the film featured Ellen Page and Julianne Moore as a lesbian couple.

Director Peter Sollett’s film, Freeheld, is currently filming in New York State, and will also star Steve Carrell.

The civil rights drama is based on a 2007 documentary of the same name, and has been adapted by Philadelphia screenwriter Ron Nyswaner.

October 21, 2014

UK's Africa minister too sick to attend, but was going to refuse to speak to Yoweri Museveni anyway

The UK government is buying dinner for the anti-gay Uganda president Yoweri Museveni but have promised they have no plans to actually speak to him whatsoever this evening (21 October).

For the past two days, the Uganda president has been a high-profile speaker at the business forum The Global African Investment Summit in London.

To top it off, he is scheduled to appear at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office ministerial dinner and drinks reception at Lancaster House tonight.

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.

October 20, 2014

City government says his words were misinterpreted by foreign media

Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon has backtracked on comments he made in support of gay marriage to foreign media after a backlash in his home country.

Park told the San Francisco Examiner earlier this month that he hoped Korea would be the first country in Asia to allow gay marriage, making him the first mainstream Korean politician to come out in support of same-sex unions.

He added that gay rights faced strong from the church.

October 18, 2014

Matt Stolhandske, a member of a pro-marriage equality Christian group, is appealing to the LGBTI community to help pay the fine two Portland-based Christian bakery owners received for refusing to make a wedding cake for a lesbian couple

In 2013 Melissa and Aaron Klein, who own a bakery in Portland, Oregon, refused to make a cake for a lesbian couple’s wedding.

They now face a fine in excess of US$150,000 after the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries found ‘substantial evidence’ that they had discriminated against the lesbian couple.

October 18, 2014

'Personally I would have been very worried and saddened if there hadn't been these ... animated discussions ... or if everyone had been in agreement or silent in a false and acquiescent peace'

Catholic bishops failed to pass paragraphs supporting a more tolerant attitude toward gays.

Senior church officials were in Rome for the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the Family. The softer stance toward LGBTI Catholics could not gain the required two-thirds majority to pass.

October 14, 2014

'We all know actors who are [gay] who don't want to talk about it or bring it up, or who deny it'

Although more and more make actors are coming out publicly as gay, none so far have been stars whose names go above the title of a major movie.

Benedict Cumberbatch, who plays a gay man in his latest film, thinks he knows why.

'I think if you’re going to sell yourself as a leading man in Hollywood to say "I’m gay," sadly, is still a huge obstacle,' he tells Out magazine.

October 11, 2014

Opera singer Tamar Iveri was let go by Opera Australia and La Monnaie opera company of Brussels after a homophobic post appeared on her Facebook account

Georgian opera star Tamar Iveri, who described Pride as for the 'fecal masses', has cancelled her apology performance to the LGBTI community planned for today (11 October).

Earlier this year, the singer was dropped from a performance at Opera Australia after a homophobic rant appeared on her official Facebook page.

The rant praised Georgians for spitting at a LGBTI Pride parade and compared gay rights advances to cancer.

October 7, 2014

Similar to Russia's own anti-gay laws, the European Union has described Kyrgyzstan's new gay propaganda bill as one of the most sweeping homophobic draft laws in the world

A Central Asian country has taken just four minutes to agree on an anti-gay bill that makes Russia look tame.

A key education committee in Kyrgyzstan, which used to be in the Soviet block and is still influenced by Russian politics, has approved the language of their 'gay propaganda' legislation.

On Thursday, the bill will receive its first reading. If the lawmakers approve it, then it will be signed into law by the president.

Now it has emerged that it has taken just four minutes for the committee to decide to approve the bill.

October 7, 2014

The gay icon is a long-standing supporter of LGBTI rights

Taiwanese diva A-mei voiced her support for gay marriage on Sunday at a concert in the southern city of Kaohsiung.

At the appropriately named Rainbow Bay Festival, she came onstage wearing a sticker saying 'legalize gay marriage' on her arm.

Before singing gay anthem Rainbow, A-mei said, 'Today in Taipei there is an extremely meaningful activity, gay marriage equality.

'Although I'm in Kaohsiung, on stage I hope to use this song to support.'

October 4, 2014

The former world champion, who appeared in Mark Wahlberg's No Mercy music video in 1995 as himself, is said to be a 'surprising' but 'perfect' person to emerge as a gay rights advocate in conservative Poland

'I am an ally of LGBT people, because I want to live in a country where my gay friends are not discriminated against,' declared Dariusz Michalczewski, a world-famous pugilist, in a photo to support a prominent gay rights group, Shoulder to Shoulder on Equality — LGBT and Friends in Poland.

October 1, 2014

Homophobia is not a crime in the country even though it has the highest LGBTI murder rate in the world

At least 216 LGBTI people have been murdered this year in Brazil where homophobia is not a crime.

The data was collected by the Gay Group of Bahia from January to 29 September and is based on police records and news reports as there are no official statistics.

The region with the most cases was the Northeast (43%) and the city with more cases per capita was Cuiabá, with 0.03 homicides per 1,000 inhabitants.

Gay men are the most affected (59%), followed by transvestites (35%) and lesbians (4%).

October 1, 2014

Hulk star refuses to keep supporting a Brazilian presidential candidate Marina Silva over her views on LGBTI rights

Hollywood actor Mark Ruffalo has announced he has withdrawn support for Brazilian presidential candidate Marina Silva over her views on gay marriage.

On his Tumblr account, the Avengers star said he could not in good conscience support someone with such views on LGBTI rights - even if they do have a good approach to environmental isues.

Ruffalo had previously posted a video backing Silva, who is running on the Brazilian Socialist Party ticket.

September 30, 2014

Tens of thousands of people denounced his comments on social media

A minor character in the Brazilian presidential race overshadowed a nationally televised debate on Sunday night after saying gay people needed psychological care far away from the general population.

Levy Fidelix drew no reaction from the other candidates but tens of thousands of people took to social media to denounce his comments as homophobic and hateful.

The Brazilian Labor Renewal Party founder said, 'Those people who have those problems should receive psychological help. And very far away from us, because here it is not acceptable.'

September 29, 2014

We travel through time and the United States in honor of LGBT History Month, looking at where gay rights history was made

During October, we celebrate LGBT History Month in the US.

While the first celebration of LGBT History Month took place in 1994, the struggle for social, political and economic equality had been brewing for decades before.

Well into a new century, we look at the huge wins and massive losses we’ve seen in the legal and social battles to achieve true equality for LGBTI individuals not just in the US, but the world over.

We’ve been inspired by rebellious drag queens to stand up and speak out.

September 29, 2014

16 people were hospitalized after being gassed and police tried to force venues to shut the event down but that didn't stop them

Thugs stormed their events and released gas. Police and politicians tried to shut them down. But the LGBTI people of St Petersburg have shown they won't be silenced.

For 10 days, the LGBTI rights organization Coming Out St Petersburg has attempted - and succeeded - in holding an arts festival.

They faced repeat attacks from thugs, leaving 16 people hospitalized on opening night. They also allege the police pressured every single venue to cancel their events in an attempt to ruin the week.

September 26, 2014

Activists scored the three candidates on their gay marriage stance, policies and recognition of LGBTI issues

LGBTI rights groups said yesterday all three Taipei mayoral candidates lack concrete policies on gay rights.

The candidates were scored on gay marriage stance, policies and recognition of LGBTI issues, on a scale ranging from three to minus three points.

Independent candidate Neil Peng received the highest score with 1.5 points, followed by independent candidate Ko Wen-je with minus one.

Chinese Nationalist Party candidate Sean Lien came last with minus three points.

Neil Peng is the only candidate who openly supports gay marriage.

September 23, 2014

Whether you’re flying solo, with your partner or rainbow family, the Gay European Tourism Association offers some advice to keep safe and have fun on your European adventure

The Gay European Tourism Association (GETA) has launched an information campaign to educate LGBTI travelers touring Europe.

GETA's new website explains the ‘difference in legal and social attitudes to homosexuality across Western, Central and Eastern Europe,’ so LGBTI travelers are aware of how homosexuality is treated throughout European countries.

September 23, 2014

Read the list of eight celebrities who ‘shocked the world’ with their sexuality – including Radcliffe, who is actually straight

A leading Arabic broadcaster has ‘named and shamed’ eight international celebrities for their ‘homosexuality’ – and got it wrong.

The Middle East Broadcasting Center (MBC) delivers news and entertainment to 150 million Arabic speakers around the world.