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May 22, 2015

Seattle's openly gay mayor said the city has 'no place for bigotry or harassment'

Seattle Police Department has teamed up with a local social justice organization to address anti-LGBTI bias and hate crimes.

Seattle’s openly gay mayor, Ed Murray, and Seattle PD’s Chief of Police, Kathleen O’Toole, yesterday announced the launch of SPD Safe Place, a new campaign in partnership with Social Outreach Seattle.

Developed by Jim Ritter, Seattle PD’s LGBTI Liaison Officer, who worked with Social Outreach Seattle to improve the relationship between the police and the LGBTI community.

‘Seattle welcomes all people,’ Murray said.

May 18, 2015

Gay politician wants to take over from Boris Johnson

Gay tycoon Ivan Massow has launched his campaign to be London mayor in probably the most unusual way yet.

The entrepeneur, who wants to be London's next Conservative mayor, has released his campaign video.

It features Massow as a cartoon, giving a 'warts-and-all' approach to telling Londoners about himself.

'I’m gay, I’m an ex-alcoholic. I’m dyslexic. I’m adopted. I’m an activist. I’m a businessman. I’m a disrupter. I’m a do-er. I’m not your typical politician politician,' he says.

May 18, 2015

A beautiful city that is embracing its past and creating its own future

In the heart of Belgium you will find the city of Mons. Crowned as the European Capital of Culture for 2015, if you ever needed a nudge to visit this part of the world then this is it.

May 18, 2015

Politicians oppose it as LGBTI activists are encouraging people to attend

Only 2.5% of Latvians support EuroPride happening in Riga.

The European LGBTI rights festival is taking place across 15-21 June in the centre of the capital, but fears are rising over safety and the possibility of violence.

Riga won the right to hold EuroPride after Barcelona, Milan and Manchester.

Riga's Vice Mayor Andris Ameriks has also insisted the event should not happen, even though there is nothing the City Council can do to stop it.

He described it as a 'pretentious demonstration of oneself, which does not promote understanding.'

March 31, 2015

Shibuya will issue certificates recognizing gay unions as 'equal to marriage'

Shibuya ward in Tokyo has become the first locale in Japan to recognize gay couples, a major step forward for LGBTI rights in the conservative country.

The district assembly Tuesday (31 March) voted overwhelmingly in favor of issuing certificates recognizing same-sex unions as 'equivalent to marriage' and granting them housing and hospital visitation rights.

March 30, 2015

‘On behalf of Apple, I’m standing up to oppose this new wave of legislation — wherever it emerges … This is about how we treat each other as human beings.’

Apple CEO, Tim Cook, has written an op-ed column for the Washington Post  explaining why he regards so-called ‘religious freedom’ laws, and their ability to allow businesses to discriminate, as dangerous.

Cook is speaking out just days after one such law was passed in Indiana.

March 30, 2015

State Democrats and LGBTI groups want law fixed before more damage is done to state's economy and image

If Indiana Governor Mike Pence thought giving a defiant TV interview over the weekend would head off mounting criticism of his recent signing of a 'religious freedom' bill, he was very wrong.

On Monday, backlash against SB101 - which gives private businesses and organizations the right to discriminate against LGBTI people and others due to religious beliefs - picked up even more momentum.

March 28, 2015

Businesses including Apple, Yelp, Gen Con and Salesforce have expressed their objection to the new law with some threatening to pull out of the state

San Francisco has become the first major city to boycott Indiana over its new laws that will discriminate against LGBTI people.

Mayor Ed Lee (D) said on Thursday that he objects to Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act that allows businesses in the state to cite religious beliefs as a legal defense for businesses to refuse service to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals.

March 10, 2015

'How can I stay in Korea with the man I love? Where are my rights?'

A British expat took on the mayor of Seoul last Friday (6 March) over rights for gay couples.

It was a bold move by Simon Hunter-Williams in a country where homosexuality remains taboo.

'How can I stay in Korea with the man I love? Where are my rights please?' he asked.

'I also fell in love with a Korean like many people. The only difficulty is the person I fell in love with is a man.'

March 10, 2015

She is 'going to be running to the tape' until end of her third and final term

Houston Mayor Annise Parker can't run for a fourth term next year due to term limits but she is making clear that she intends to make the most of her time left in office.

'I'm going to be running to the tape as mayor. Cities are 24-7 operations and I have a lot left to do,' Parker told Gay Star News during a chat at the recent Family Equality Council dinner in Los Angeles where Parker was an honoree.

March 10, 2015

Figure might surprise you

Tourism in New Orleans hit a record high last year, since the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 at least – and for the first time, the city has tracked the percentage of LGBTI visitors: just over 4 per cent.

Some 9.52 million people flocked to the city for some traditional Southern hospitality last year, spending $6.81 billion.

March 2, 2015

Star-studded dinner in LA hosted by Sandra Berhnard also drew Patti LuPpone, Andrew Rannells and Sarah Paulson

The Family Equality Council's awards dinner in Los Angeles raised $618,430 over the weekend and drew a slew of celebrities to the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

The organization, which has long worked for LGBTI families to have legal equality, honored the TV shows Modern Family and Glee were for outstanding efforts in portraying LGBTI relationships and families.

The other honorees were Honey Maid for its progressive ads which feature same-sex couples and their children and Houston Mayor Annise Parker.

February 25, 2015

London mayor hopeful claims gay men are ‘obliged to stand on the left and throw rocks at the right’

In an interview in this month’s edition of UK gay magazine Attitude, Ivan Massow, out gay businessman and hopeful Conservative candidate for Mayor of London said:

‘Gay males don’t realize it, but when you start to dissemble, and ask them the questions that are multiple choice, they’re Tory [Conservative]. But you were obliged to stand on the left and throw rocks at the right.’

I have a few issues with that statement.

February 24, 2015

Chhattisgarh will also pay for sex reassignment surgery

In a first for India, Chhattisgarh state has set aside a 2% housing quota for its estimated 3,000 transgender residents.

The move comes nearly a year after the Supreme Court recognized transgender citizens as third gender. In its ruling, the apex court directed governments to provide transgender people with quotas in jobs, education and basic amenities in line with other minorities.

AK Saxena, additional commissioner at the Chhattisgarh housing board, said from now on transgender residents would have the quota in all government housing schemes.

February 19, 2015

Yokohama mayor says the conservative country must accept same-sex relationships 'for the sake of the economy'

The mayor of Yokohama, Japan's second largest city, has said a Tokyo ward's draft ordinance to recognize gay couples had galvanized her to introduce similar measures.

Fumiko Hayashi yesterday hailed Shibuya's plan to issue certificates recognizing gay relationships as equivalent to marriages as a 'very good move.'

February 17, 2015

Setagaya's announcement comes days after Shibuya unveiled a plan to issue certificates to same-sex couples

Tokyo’s Setagaya ward has said it may follow Shibuya’s lead and recognize gay relationships as 'equivalent to marriage,' days after its neighbor announced a vote on the issue.

Mayor Nobuto Hosaka said Sunday (15 February) at a coming-of-age ceremony for LGBTI youth that Shibuya’s move to had prompted Setagaya to examine its own policies toward gay couples.

'We will strive to create a society that values diversity and respects human rights,' he tweeted.

February 12, 2015

Mayor believes drivers will respond better to the dancing pink-clad Queens of the Road than the current 'macho' traffic enforcers

A city in the Philippines has employed 20 gay traffic wardens in an effort to stop fighting between drivers and 'macho' traffic enforcers.

The Queens of the Road were piloted in congested areas of Rosario, Cavite province on Saturday (7 February).

The all-gay squad was the brainchild of Mayor Jose Ricafrente Jr, who thinks drivers will respond well to their dance routines.

February 5, 2015

Parker is only US mayor in top 10 on worldwide list compiled by City Mayors Foundation

Houston Mayor Annise Parker has been named the top mayor in the US by the international think tank City Mayors Foundation.

Parker, a lesbian who married her longtime partner last year, was ranked seventh from 26 finalists and is the only US mayor to finish in the top 10.

February 3, 2015

Mayor says the lane shows the city's support for its LGBTI residents

Mandaue City in the Philippines has paid tribute to its LGBTI residents with a rainbow crossing – the first of its kind in Asia.

Mayor Jonas Cortes led the painting of the pedestrian lane on the morning of 23 January in the city's largest barangay, or ward.

'This is a way of showing support for gender-sensitivity programs,' he said.

February 2, 2015

A poll has revealed that although most Italians now support civil unions, many remain opposed to gay marriage or adoption – while being in favor of legalizing prostitution

A public poll carried out in Italy has found that opposition to same-sex marriage has risen in the past 12 months and that many in the country remain opposed to the idea of gay adoption, reports ANSA.

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 7, 2015

'Devout Christian' says he is unapologetic

Atlanta fire chief Kelvin Cochran has been ousted for self-publishing a book in which he equates homosexuality to pederasty and bestiality.

He was fired yesterday (6 January) on return to work after a 30-day suspension without pay.

Cochran distributed his faith-based book titled Who Told You That You Were Naked? to his subordinates without of the city's permission.

In it, he identifies himself as a 'devout Christian man' and lists gay sex as one of several 'vile, vulgar and inappropriate ways which defile their body-temple and dishonor God.'

January 5, 2015

Independent candidate is both transgender and an 'untouchable'

An independent candidate yesterday (4 January) became the first transgender mayor of an Indian city after winning election in Raigarh.

Madhu Kinnar, 35, beat the incumbent Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate by 4,537 votes in Chhattisgarh state's sixth largest city.

December 30, 2014

The two men argued that that they shouldn’t have been requested to drive the truck at the 2001 Rhode Island LGBT pride parade because they are Roman Catholics

Two firefighters from Providence, who complained after being requested to drive a fire truck at a gay pride parade, have had lawsuits thrown out by the Rhode Island Supreme Court.

The two men – Theodore Fabrizio and Stephen Deninno – said that their Roman Catholic faith meant they could not ‘support, encourage, nor condone homosexual behavior,’ and that they should have been able to decline taking part in the parade.