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November 21, 2014

Harvey Milk the Opera in Concert gets Australian premiere at epic gay culture fest

Melbourne's gay culture extravaganza Midsumma Festival has announced a stellar line up for its January 2015 outing – including the hotly-anticipated Australian premiere of Harvey Milk the Opera in Concert.

Taking place between 18 January to 8 February, the festival will include everything from fringe theatre and film screenings to club nights and panel debates.

November 21, 2014

Be gay, but no PDA

Does two men or two women kissing in public make you uncomfortable? If it does, you're not alone.

While gay rights might be sweeping across the western world, public displays of affection between two people of the same gender still gives people the ick.

A report published by the American Sociological Review suggests while Americans are happy for gay people to have rights, they are less happy to have that gayness shoved down their throats - figuratively speaking.

November 14, 2014

'It has been a long and arduous journey towards recognition and we are relieved that the court has protected our rights'

A gay and lesbian group has won the right to exist in a country where it is illegal to be gay today (14 November).

Botswana's High Court ruled in the landmark legal case the government had acted unconstitutionally when they blocked the group, Legabibo (Lesbians, Gays, and Bisexuals of Botswana), from registering.

'Lesbians, gays and bisexuals have long strived to be able to form an organisation which can support them and be their voice on matters that affect them,' the group's Caine Youngman told reporters.

November 14, 2014

Transgender woman married her girlfriend last week

Russian lawmaker Vitaly Milonov is preparing a bill that would require brides and grooms to wear traditional attire after a transgender woman married her girlfriend in a dress last week.

Alyona Fursova and Irina Shumilova married at a St Petersburg registry last Friday both wearing white wedding dresses and carrying bouquets.

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 13, 2014

The fight to get the rainbow flag proudly flying

Russia is still suffering, trapped under strict 'gay propaganda' rules that fine the promotion of homosexuality to children.

Ilmira Shayhraznova is the latest victim of attempting to fight for gay rights.

Earlier today, as she held a rainbow flag proudly in the town square, the police apprehended her.

Taking her and two other activists to the police station, they were fined based on an 'administrative offense'.

Shayhraznova was found guilty of violating the order of holding a public event in Lipetsk, a city in southwestern Russia.

November 9, 2014

Leaders of the Occupy movement backs call for equal rights for LGBTIs, however father of 18-year-old student leader Joshua Wong and himself the leader of an anti-gay group denounces the move

While the rain likely dampened the turnout of the territory's sixth annual Hong Kong Pride Parade, more people are said to have attended this year than in the last.

An estimated 3,000 people (according to AFP) to 9,000 participants (according to organizers) marched despite the rain to demand equal rights as well as legislation outlawing discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation.

According to the police, 4,700 people attended at the peak of the march, compared with 4,500 last year.

November 6, 2014

Christian owners say they will not apologize for doing 'what God would want us to do'

A Belfast bakery that refused to make a pro-gay marriage cake on religious grounds will face court over allegations of discrimination.

LGBTI rights activist Gareth Lee ordered a cake from Christian-run Ashers Baking Company in May for an International National Day Against Homophobia party held by QueerSpace Belfast.

November 3, 2014

UK government department looking after schools clarifies 'bizarre' tweet that many took to be homophobic

The Department for Education has learned that 140 characters is perhaps not enough to clarify incorrect stories in the press.

The UK government schools body made an attempt to respond to a Sunday Times headline about the newspaper's interview with Education Secretary Nicky Morgan.

The headline read: 'Faith Schools "Must Teach Gay Rights".'

The DfE posted a Twitter message, saying it was 'nonsense to say schools must teach gay rights. We want schools to teach broad curric based on British values.'.

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 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.