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January 20, 2015

'Expect dead bodies if you continue to provocate', the politician warns

A Lithuanian politician has warned a gay group that it is 'playing with fire' and its activities could lead to a massacre similar to what happened in Paris.

Algirdas Vaclovas Patackas, previously of the Way of Courage political party, told the leader of gay rights group LGL to expect 'dead bodies' if they continue to 'provocate'.

He was referring to the tragic killings in France earlier this month, where 12 people in the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo were killed by extremists.

January 19, 2015

New South Wales politician loses battle with cancer

Paul O'Grady, Australia's first openly gay state MP, died yesterday (18 January) in Sydney after a three-year battle with cancer. He was 57 years old.

The Labor politician was a member of the New South Wales Legislative Council from 1988 to 1996. He became the first parliamentarian in the state to publicly come out in 1990.

O'Grady went on to champion LGBTI issues in parliament and invited all MPs to march with him at Sydney Mardi Gras in 1992.

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

Labour, Lib Dem and Conservative politicians will face off on the issue of Britain's role in global gay rights on Saturday

The UK will have its first big political debate of 2015 at the Gay Star Travel Expo tomorrow (17 January), just a few months before May's General Election.

Labour's Lord Cashman, Liberal Democrat's Baroness Barker and Conservative's Crispin Blunt MP will face off on the topic of Britain's role in global LGBTI rights.

The politicians will also be there at Heaven in Charing Cross, central London, at 12pm to answer questions from the public.

January 14, 2015

One-stop travel shop takes place at London's Heaven nightclub this Saturday (17 Jan)

The Gay Star Travel Expo returns to London's Heaven nightclub this Saturday (17 Jan) for the second year – and the schedule for the day can now be revealed:

12pm - 1pm: Political debate featuring Lord Cashman, Crispin Blunt MP and Baroness Barker, titled Global LGBTI rights: What is Britain's Role?

January 12, 2015

'In order to cleanse society'

A leading Kyrgyz politician has called for the public execution of LGBTI people 'in order to cleanse society.'

MP Narynbek Maldobaev made the comments in a 26-minute film about the central Asian country by Vocativ.

One resident of the capital Bishek said local people did not want 'Western ideas about gays and lesbians' and the lawmaker went as far as to say they should all be exterminated.

'If it were up to me, I would round them up, the despicable criminals. I'd bring them to a public square and there I would publicly punish them,' he said.

January 12, 2015

Free Question Time-style panel asks what is Britain's role in global LGBTI rights: London's Heaven nightclub this Saturday (17 January)

A trio of Britain's biggest names in gay politics are to debate global LGBTI rights at the Gay Star Travel Expo this Saturday (17 January).

And you can join the discussion and even fire your own questions at them – for free.

The event at Heaven in Charing Cross, central London, is titled Global LGBTI rights: What is Britain's Role? It will help set the agenda on the issue ahead of the 2015 general election.

December 29, 2014

Green Party of Germany MP Volker Beck says the embassies of Western countries in places like Egypt should play an active role in assisting LGBTI people flee state sanctioned persecution

German Greens MP Volker Beck has told the Deutsche Welle news agency that Western diplomatic missions should play more of a role in assisting sexual minorities who are facing persecution in reaction to the arrest and prosecution of a large group of gay men in Egypt.

December 22, 2014

The British political party’s candidate for Cardiff South was responding to a questions about whether some gay people prefer sex with animals

It seems that rarely a week goes past without a member of UKIP – the UK Independence Party – making an outrageous statement or verbal gaffe.

So much so that this week the political party’s chairman, Steve Crowther, urged members not to join Facebook or Twitter as the risk of saying something that they may regret was too great.

December 18, 2014

Some of Australia’s leading politicians, including Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s sister Christine Forster, have offered to have lunch with donors to a campaign to raise $50,000 for Australian Marriage Equality

Leading Australian political figures are offering to get up close and personal with members of the public as part of a campaign to raise $50,000 for the campaign to legalize same-sex marriage in Australia.

The fundraising campaign is being run by the group Australian Marriage Equality and has already raised $33,000 of a goal of $50,000 through crowdfunding website Pozible.

December 13, 2014

Magazine editor defends the controversial move, which has sparked outrage across the political spectrum, saying it's in the public's interest

French tabloid Closer on Friday ran photographs of Florian Philippot, vice president of far right group Front National (FN), and his alleged boyfriend, an unnamed TV journalist, on a trip to Vienna last week.

A photograph of the pair – with the unnamed man's face has been blurred out – is seen on the front page next to the headline 'Yes to love for everyone' (Oui a l'amour pour tous), a play on words with the anti-same-sex marriage movement’s slogan 'Demo for all' (Le Manif pour tous).

December 7, 2014

Following a landslide victory by the Labor Party, the new Victorian state government has appointed Australia’s first ever Minister for LGBTI Equality in Martin Foley

Albert Park MP Martin Foley has become the first government minister at a state or federal level in Australia to be given an LGBTI Equality portfolio as the new Victorian Labor state government moves quickly to fulfill one of its election promises to the LGBTI community.

Incoming Premier Daniel Andrews promised that he would allow same-sex couples to adopt if he won government, alongside creating the equality portfolio and a government ministerial advisory committee which would identify issues of inequality in Victorian state law.

December 5, 2014

Law professor says 'you cannot make a human wrong a human right'

Civil rights activists yesterday (4 December) protested a speech by an anti-gay law professor at a Human Rights Day seminar hosted by the EU Delegation to Singapore.

Several activists held a rainbow flag and placards reading 'LGBT rights are human rights' while Thio Li-ann delivered her speech.

Jean Chong, co-founder of LGBTI advocacy group Sayoni, told GSN that the silent protest 'was to address the elephant in the room and civil society’s disagreement to the EU’s insistence on inviting Thio in spite of her views on LGBTQ people.'

December 4, 2014

The former leader of the Liberal party, who was involved in one of the biggest political scandals of the 1970s, has died following a battle against Parkinson's Disease

Following a long battle with Parkinson’s Disease, former UK politician Jeremy Thorpe died today at the age of 85.

Thorpe became leader of the Liberal party in 1967. He was forced to resign as party leader in 1976 when details began to emerge of his relationship with a former male model and actor, Norman Scott.

Scott announced that the two men had been lovers for two years in the early 1960s, beginning their relationship in 1961 when homosexual activity was still illegal in the UK.

December 4, 2014

'Was good for demographics'

A senior member of Latvia's ruling party has been forced to resign after she praised the Nazis for exterminating LGBTI people.

Inga Priede made the comments on Monday (1 December) night during a Twitter exchange with her Unity colleagues about gay marriage, which she said left the country 'in shock.'

'Thank God! The Germans shot them in their time. Was good for demographics,' she tweeted.

The backlash was immediate and she stepped down from Unity's board the next day.

December 1, 2014

Gay rights campaigner Robert Biedron has pledged to ditch the limos and ride a bike

Poland has made history by electing the country's first openly gay mayor.

Voters in the Eastern European country, which is 90% Roman Catholic, showed their support behind LGBTI campaigner Robert Biedron.

The 38-year-old, a member of maverick MP Janusz Palikot’s ultra-liberal ‘Your Movement’, won the mayoral elections in Slupsk, northern Poland, today (1 December).

He secured 57% of the vote, beating the ruling Civic Playform candidate Zbigniew Zonwinski.

November 26, 2014

And he didn't even need to unwrap it

The rainbow could be seen as a representing two main concepts: the gay rights movement and a 'blessing' from God.

So one lesbian politician thought of the perfect gift to give to Pope Francis: a rainbow scarf.

Austrian Green MP Ulrike Lunacek, the gay Vice President of the European Parliament, gave the leader of the Catholic Church his early Christmas present yesterday (25 November).

'Today I handed Pope Francis a rainbow scarf for gays, lesbians, and for peace,' Lunacek proudly said.

November 20, 2014

Liberal MP Don Harwin says the hardships he had endured as a gay man gave him the determination to pursue a career in politics

A senior Australian politician publicly came out as gay today (20 November) in an emotional speech to New South Wales state parliament.

Liberal MP Don Harwin, 50, said the hardships he had endured as a gay man gave him the determination to pursue a career in politics during the last parliamentary session of the year.

'Life is so different for [young LGBTI people today] than it was for me,' the Sydney Morning Herald quoted him as saying.

November 20, 2014

Lawmakers want the anti-gay law back as soon as possible

Uganda's new anti-gay bill could be voted on in parliament before Christmas, lawmakers have said.

Lawmakers have drafted the Prohibition of Promotion of Unnatural Sexual Practices Bill intended to replace the Anti-Homosexuality Act that was struck down by the Constitutional Court in August.

Kawempe South MP Latif Ssebalgala has said a committee has finished a draft of the bill, and will be presented to the public before parliament retires in 11 sitting days. Other politicians have however said this could be unlikely.

November 18, 2014

Grant Robertson says he will not run again

Grant Robertson today (18 November) narrowly lost his bid to be the first gay leader of the New Zealand Labour Party by 1 per cent in the final round of voting.

Despite leading in party and caucus votes, the former deputy leader did not have the overwhelming support of the unions that winner Andrew Little had.

'I want to make clear that having put myself forward for the leadership on two occasions now that I will not do so again,' he told press after the results were announced.

November 11, 2014

Hijras cannot inherit property in the conservative Muslim country

Bangladeshi lawmakers have called for more rights for transgender women, whom the government recognized as a third gender a year ago today.

Proposals for inheritance rights and schools for hijras were made at a seminar in Dhaka on Sunday, which was part of Hijra Pride - the first LGBTI pride event in the conservative Muslim country.

November 5, 2014

Current rules ban any gay or bisexual man from giving blood if they have had sex in the last year

A Conservative member of parliament is on a mission to end 'unfair' gay blood donor rules in the UK.

Michael Fabricant, Lichfield MP, has branded the current rules 'unfair' and said it was 'simple logic' that gay and bisexual men who tested negative for diseases like HIV and Hepatitis B should be able to give blood.

The current rules state the National Blood Service are banned from accepting donations from any man who has sex with another man in the past 12 months.

November 2, 2014

David Little, the UKIP candidate for Dover, Kent, says the image is satirical, but the local MP says that the illustration has drawn complaints

A candidate standing to be a British MP for UKIP has drawn criticism after posting a cartoon image on his Facebook page that refers to London as being full of ‘cosmopolitan poofters’ and Africa as ‘Bongo Bongo Lands’.

David Little is standing in next year’s General Election in Dover, Kent for UKIP (UK Independence Party).

He posted an image on his Facebook page of a ‘UKIP Map of the world’. The original image was drawn by cartoonist Martha Richler (aka Marf) for the website politicalbetting.com

October 31, 2014

'We are still on course and in fact we are more energized that our culture, our norms, our religious norms are protected.'

Uganda lawmakers will return after a small recess determined to fast-track a new anti-gay bill next Tuesday (4 November).

Following the parliament's embarrassing defeat at the hands of the Constitutional Court in August, legislators say they are insistant that the law must be back as soon as possible.