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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.

December 23, 2014

Mayor Vincent Gray signs bill into law - New Jersey and California have similar bans in place

Washington DC on Monday (22 December) followed California and New Jersey in banning conversion therapy for LGBTI youth.

Mayor Vincent Gray (pictured) signed the the Conversion Therapy for Minors Prohibition Amendment Act into law that was passed earlier this month by the city council.

These therapies are aimed at changing the sexual orientation, gender identity, or expression of an LGBTI person.

December 11, 2014

'I bow my head and apologize for the anxiety I have caused'

The mayor of Seoul will meet the LGBTI protesters who occupied city hall for five consecutive days over his scrapping of a human rights charter.

A coalition of 20 groups started the sit-in on Saturday demanding an apology and face-to-face meeting with Mayor Park Won-soon.

Park agreed to the meeting yesterday on Human Rights Day, the date the charter was supposed to be enacted.

December 10, 2014

Activists call on the international community to pressure Mayor Park into passing his scrapped human rights charter

The occupation of Seoul city hall by LGBTI activists enters day five as the mayor remains silent on a human rights charter he indefinitely postponed last week.

Today is World Aids Day and was the scheduled date for the enactment of the charter, which includes provisions banning discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

A coalition of 20 LGBTI groups started the sit-in on Saturday 'out of rage' that Mayor Park Won-soon nullified the charter after anti-gay protests, despite a citizens committee passing the measure.

December 9, 2014

Three transgender residents sue the city for discrimination

Transgender people in New York City will no longer be required to undergo sex reassignment surgery to change the gender on their birth certificates.

The city council yesterday (8 December) passed a bill that eliminated the 'antiquated' requirement by 39 votes to four, with three absentations.

The legislation was introduced by councilman Corey Johnson in October and is expected to be signed into law by Mayor Bill de Blasio.

December 8, 2014

Mayor indefintely postpones the anti-gay hate law after a Christian backlash

About 70 LGBTI activists staged a sit-in at Seoul city hall to protest the mayor's indefinite delay of a human rights charter banning anti-gay discrimination.

A coalition of 20 LGBTI groups Saturday (6 December) occupied the lobby of the Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) holding a banner reading, 'To sexual minorities, human rights mean life.'

They said Mayor Park Won-soon had not responded to repeated requests for a meeting and demanded he proclaim the charter, which was supposed to be enacted on Human Rights Day on 10 December.

December 4, 2014

A new app that phone users can download and use to report hate crimes is among several plans that have been announced by City Hall following a rise in homophobic hate offenses

As GSN reported last month, there has been a sharp increase in homophobic attacks in London in the past 12 months, with Scotland Yard reporting 1,073 violent homophobic offences between January and October alone (compared to 1,007 for the whole of 2013).

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

Tory candidate for Mayor of London also claims a straight man is unable to stop the London gay drug problem

Gay tycoon Ivan Massow has claimed gay men do not have a blueprint on how to behave in society.

The entrepeneur, who wants to London's next Conservative mayor, has said the UK capital's LGBTI community has a 'huge drug issue' and they need to 'grow up'.

The 47-year-old has also claimed a straight mayor would be unable to deal with the problem as it would be seen as homophobic.

November 25, 2014

Faith-based book equates homosexuality to pederasty and bestiality

Atlanta fire chief Kelvin Cochran has been suspended for a month without pay for distributing a self-published anti-gay book to his subordinates.

In the book titled Who Told You That You Were Naked?, he identifies himself as a 'devout Christian man' whose first priority as Atlanta Fire Department (AFD) chief was 'to cultivate its culture to the glory of God.'

One passage equates homosexuality to pederasty and bestiality while another describes gay sex as one of several 'vile, vulgar and inappropriate ways which defile their body-temple and dishonor God.'

November 25, 2014

Policies include more devolution, pedestrianization and a Londoner's Card

Entrepreneur and gay rights activist Ivan Massow yesterday (24 November) launched his bid to be the next mayor of London in 2016.

Massow, 47, made a name for himself, and a fortune, in the early 1990s by setting up a specialist insurance company for gay men when others were penalizing them due to AIDS.

He is a long-serving Tory member although he briefly defected to Labour in protest of Section 28, which banned the 'promotion' of homosexuality in schools.

November 21, 2014

City government is mulling an anti-gay hate law

The Seoul Municipal Government (SMG) yesterday (20 November) was forced to postpone a hearing on gay rights after 200 Christian protesters stormed city hall.

The hearing was called to gather opinions for the drafting of a Charter of Human Rights for Citizens in Seoul.

However, experts are divided on whether the law should include a ban on discrimination against LGBTI people.

November 17, 2014

City allows trans people to legally change their gender without a court order

Mexico City has approved a bill to allow transgender people to legally change their gender without a court order.

The Legislative Assembly of the Federal District passed the legislation on Thursday (13 November) by 42 votes to zero. Six lawmakers abstained.

Mayor Miguel Ángel Mancera proposed the bill on the recommendation of the assembly's Commission for Attention to Vulnerable Groups.

Jorge Zepeda Cruz, president of the commission, said in a statement that the legal changes were ‘inevitable.’