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January 26, 2015

Lee Hsien Loong explains why he always wears pink

Singapore's prime minister Saturday (24 January) dodges a personal invitation to the city's largest LGBTI rally during a online Q&A.

Lee Hsien Loong fielded questions from the public on his personal Facebook page from the social network's Singapore offices.

During the 45-minute session, the premier managed to answer just 27 of nearly 1,500 questions, which ranged in topic from cats to gay rights.

Of the few he managed to answer, Lee decided to respond a question from LGBTI activist Lim Jialiang about his penchant for pink.

January 25, 2015

'I believe that marriage is between a man and a woman. My faith teaches me that, my Christian faith teaches me that'

Bobby Jindal, the governor of Louisiana, wants to see the US Constitution amended if the Supreme Court strikes down marriage equality bans.

The Republican was a guest on the Sunday news show This Week.

January 25, 2015

The general, who is married to a woman, says he knows of others senior military who are similarly fearful of discussing their sexuality

A senior general in the British Army has revealed to a newspaper that he is gay and is deciding whether to publicly out himself. The man in question is married to a woman and has children.

January 24, 2015

In 1996, California's Supreme Court banned state judges from associating with groups that discriminate due to sexual orientation

California's Supreme Court voted to ban state judges from affiliating with the Boy Scouts of America.

As reported by the Associated Press, the seven judge court unanimously approved the decision on 23 January.

The justices are following a 2014 February recommendation by its ethics advisory committee.

In 1996, the state's highest court ruled judges could not belong to groups that discriminate due to sexual orientation.

January 24, 2015

Attorney General plans to appeal but marriages could begin Monday since judge did not place a stay on decision

A federal judge on Friday (23 January) struck down Alabama's ban on same-sex marriage.

U.S. District Judge Callie V.S. Granade did not place a stay on the ruling which could mean couples can begin applying for marriage licenses on Monday. But the state's Attorney General Luther Strange plans to appeal the ruling and request a stay.

Granade wrote in her 10-page ruling: 'If anything, Alabama’s prohibition of same-sex marriage detracts from its goal of promoting optimal environments for children.'

January 24, 2015

The lawmaker is taking aim at the state's decision to legalize gay marriage, and is seeking to allow parents to obtain reparative therapy for their children and for businesses to refuse service to LGBTs

Oklahoma State Represenative Sally Kern, who is known for her consistent stance against same-sex marriage, has introduced a series of bills that targets same-sex marriage and LGBTs.

The Republican lawmaker, who made the headlines when she said the 'homosexual agenda' is a bigger threat to America than terrorism, is now taking aim at the state's decision to legalize gay marriage last year.

January 23, 2015

US president is interviewed by three YouTube stars

US President Barack Obama has said he hoped the Supreme Court would make the 'right decision' on gay marriage when it rules on the issue in spring.

The president yesterday (22 January) gave interviews to three YouTube stars in an attempt to reach a younger audience.

Obama told comedian GloZell Green that he was hopeful the high court would recognize there was 'no good reason' to ban gay marriage.

January 23, 2015

Prominent LGBTI rights activist could face jail time

Singaporean LGBTI rights activist and blogger Alex Au has been found guilty for a post critical of the city's anti-gay law.

The High Court yesterday (22 January) ruled that the article published in October 2013 posed 'a real threat of undermining public confidence in the administration of justice in Singapore.'

'I therefore find the respondent guilty of scandalizing contempt in respect of that article,' Justice Belinda Ang wrote in her judgement.

January 22, 2015

Three LGBT business leaders, in Davos for the World Economic Forum, have taken part in a live, online discussion about LGBT workplace issues and the importance of senior-ranking role models

In a live discussion this afternoon from Davos, Switzerland, hosted by CNN’s Richard Quest, three senior business figures have voiced their thoughts on LGBT issues in the workplace, and offered an insight into their own personal journeys in the business world.

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 21, 2015

In 2014 June, seven same-sex couples challenged the state's ban and its refusal to honor gay marriages from other states

A US judge put the brakes on a suit against North Dakota's prohibition against same-sex marriage.

According to local radio station KFGO, District Chief Judge Ralph Erickson issued his order on Tuesday (20 January).

January 21, 2015

Irish public will vote in May

The wording of the same-sex marriage referendum in Ireland is now agreed on, it was announced today (21 January).

The Irish public will vote on same-sex marriage in May, the first country in the world to put the issue to a public vote.

They will be asked whether they agree or disagree with the following: 'Marriage may be contracted in accordance with law by two persons without distinction as to their sex'.

The government will also enact legislative changes allowing same-sex partners to adopt children.

January 21, 2015

Recent murder of a transgender woman is blamed on state and police apathy

Transgender activists in the Indian city of Hyderabad have called for a panel similar to the Human Rights Commission, citing a rise in anti-trans violence in Telangana state.

The Telangana Hijra Transgender Samithi (THTS) collective made the demand on Monday (19 January) after the murder of one of their sisters.

Pavallika, 25, was found dead on a construction site in the early hours of Saturday (17 January) morning.

January 20, 2015

Supreme Court rules in favor of two non-operative transgender women

Transgender Israelis are no longer required to undergo sex reassignment surgery (SRS) to change the gender designation on their ID cards.

The change comes after the Supreme Court ordered the ministry of interior to legally change the gender of two transgender citizens from male to female, Haaretz newspaper reported.

A petition was filed at the court by a lawyer and an ex-soldier who started transitioning during her compulsory military service.

January 19, 2015

Head of UK banking says professionals have a 'personal duty to come out' 

The chief executive of HSBC UK has said that being gay helped him climb the career ladder at the world's second largest bank.

António Simões took the helm of the bank's UK division in 2012 and last week he topped the Out at Work list of the most influential LGBTI people in business.

Praising the City's tolerance, he joked that being gay was less likely to have held him back than being a '39-year-old, short, bald, Portuguese.'

January 18, 2015

Finally married! After being turned away three times and having their ceremony last Saturday cancelled due to a complaint that they 'suffer from madness'

Victor Manuel Aguirrre and Fernando Urias have become the first same-sex couple get married in the Mexican city of Mexicali, near the border with California, on Saturday after local officials ended an 18-month fight that led to a Mexican Supreme Court order to permit the wedding.

The lawyer for the couple had filed a complaint on Friday against Mexicali officials after authorities again blocked the marriage despite the high court ruling.

Only the capital Mexico City and the northern state of Coahuila permit same-sex unions.

January 18, 2015

'The Supreme Court of the United States, 15 times over the last 120 years, has said that marriage is a fundamental right'

Ted Olson, one of the lawyers who argued against California's Prop 8, went toe-to-toe with anti-gay marriage advocate Tony Perkins on today's (18 January) Fox News Sunday show.

The two were invited to discuss the Supreme Court's announcement that in April it will hear four marriage equality cases.

January 17, 2015

'...The history of the Supreme Court is a history of case after case after case holding that marriage is a fundamental right —that it protects individual freedom...'

David Boies, the attorney who argued against Proposition 8 in front of the US Supreme Court, thinks the country's highest court is ready to make a definitive legal answer on marriage equality.

January 16, 2015

A Colorado Christian is claiming that he was discriminated against because of his beliefs because a baker wouldn’t decorate a cake with a homophobic message for him in what appears to be a tit-for-tat complaint

A Colorado baker has been slapped with a religious discrimination complaint for refusing to decorate one of their cakes with a homophobic message for a customer.

Azucar Bakery in Denver is known for being a business that is welcoming of LGBTI people and has made wedding cakes for same-sex couples in the past but also make cakes with religious themes so staff were not suspicious when a customer came in to ask if they would make a cake in the shape of a Bible for him.

January 16, 2015

Says it is 'only fair to have the same rights as everybody else, then it’s a wonderful world'

Ellen DeGeneres was appearing before TV critics in Pasadena Friday when news broke that that US Supreme Court was taking on four gay marriage cases this term.

'It’s about time,' DeGeneres said from a stage in Pasadena where she was talking up the NBC sitcom One Big Happy during the TV Critics Association Winter Press Tour.

DeGeneres, who married actress Portia de Rossi in 2008 added: 'The thing that changed the civil rights movement was when white people got involved and started marching. We need everyone on our side.

January 16, 2015

Execs from Google, Sky, Barclays, Tesco, Burberry and more make the cut

Britain’s top 50 LGBTI business people have been named in a new list out today.

Executives from household names like Barclays, IBM, EY all make the grade. And in poll position is Antonio Simoes, chief executive at HSBC UK.

All of them have helped increase visibility of LGBTI people in the workplace.

Appropriate list judges were all openly gay or lesbian.

January 16, 2015

High court has agreed to hear same-sex marriage cases from four states

The US Supreme Court on Friday (16 January) agreed to take on same-sex marriage cases from four states in order to rule on gay marriage nationwide.

The high court will hear cases out of Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee. In each of those cases, federal judges had struck down marriage bans but those decisions were revered by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit.

Last October, the justices passed on reviewing five other marriage cases which had pro-marriage decisions from federal appellate courts.

January 15, 2015

Licenses were issues to same-sex couples during brief legal window in March

A federal judge ruled on Thursday (15 January) that Michigan must recognize the same-sex marriages of more than 300 couples who got married in the state last March.

US District Court Judge Mark Goldsmith (pictured) wrote in his opinion: 'Delaying judicial resolution of these issues would serve no useful purpose. To the contrary, such delay would compound the harms these Plaintiffs suffer each day that their marital status remains unrecognized.'

January 15, 2015

Bharatiya Janata Party takes a stance on homosexuality for the first time

India's ruling political party has come out in support of decriminalizing gay sex, the first time the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has taken a stance on the issue.

Shaina NC, BJP spokesperson for Mumbai, said Tuesday (13 January) that while homosexuality may be seen as unnatural, it was not unacceptable.

'We are for decriminalizing homosexuality. That is the progressive way forward,' she said told NDTV.

In December last year, the Supreme Court reinstated Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which punishes gay sex with up to life imprisonment.