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June 26, 2015

Issuing same-sex marriage certificates attracts LGBT people and results in HIV infections, according to LDP politician

A Japanese city assembly member has said his city's move to support sexual minorities would turn it into 'the center of HIV infections'.

'Some residents might worry that many LGBT people would be attracted to the city and the city could become the center of HIV infections,' said Shigeta Okochi, a politician from the ruling party in Takarazuka, Hyogo Prefecture.

June 23, 2015

He was also arrested and held for 10 days

A gay activist in Russia was fined for holding a LGBTI rights protest yesterday (22 June).

Nikolai Alekseev, who has just been sent to prison for 10 days, will now be fined by the court 20,000 rubles ($370, €330) for the organisation of a brief protest outside the mayor's office in Moscow.

On 30 May, Alekseev rode a quad bike with two others while carrying a rainbow flag and orange smoke flare down the main Tverskaya Street.

Around 30 homophobic thugs hurled eggs and threw rocks and bottles at them, but the activists were undeterred.

June 18, 2015

The global coffee chain joins the likes of ASDA, the TUC and Prudential as a gold sponsor

Pride in London has announced that global coffee store chain Starbucks has come on board as a ‘gold sponsor’.

This year’s event officially runs from 21-28 June 2015.

Starbucks joins the likes of ASDA, the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Prudential, SAB Miller and Thomson Reuters.

The event’s headline sponsors, for a second year running, are Barclays and The Mayor of London. Gay Star News is one of the event's media partners.

June 16, 2015

Pete Buttigieg leads city best known as the home of Notre Dame University

The youngest mayor in the history of South Bend, Indiana, has written a newspaper column in which he comes out publicly as a gay man.

'Putting something this personal on the pages of a newspaper does not come easy. We Midwesterners are instinctively private to begin with, and I’m not used to viewing this as anyone else’s business,' Pete Buttigieg wrote in as essay published  in The South Bend Tribune.

June 16, 2015

'We hope this campaign will give people pause, and make them reconsider preconceived notions about Houston and Texas'

Earlier this year, the city of Houston – the fourth largest in the US – launched a fantastic new campaign, dedicated to bringing LGBTI tourism to the destination.

The colourful ad imagery was met with huge approval (sparking renewed interest in the informative MyGayHouston.com website), and offers a fresh take on Texas – perceived by many to be one of the more homophobic states in the US.

June 10, 2015

The Mayor of West Hollywood officiated at a mass wedding event for gay couples who had won a competition run on Chinese social media

Seven same-sex couples from China flew to Los Angeles earlier this week to enjoy something that they can only dream about at home: a marriage ceremony.

The weddings took place yesterday at 9am at the City Council Chambers in the local public library and were officiated by the Mayor of WeHo, Lindsey P. Horvath.

The couples had entered and won a ‘We Do’ competition run by gay social app Blued, in conjunction with Taobao – the Chinese equivalent of eBay. The prize was an all-expenses paid trip to Los Angeles to take part in the event.

June 9, 2015

Pink Week knocks it out the park once again – amid resistance over gay marriage in a Central European country of immaculate beauty

Slovenia, a country which is putting up a great fight to keep its new same-sex marriage law and to avoid the Church led anti-gay referendum, recently bathed Ljubljana Castle in pink light and celebrated LGBTI people and their achievements with a gorgeous, several-hour long party as part of Slovenian Pink Week.

June 2, 2015

Says former New York City Mayor: 'I’m in favor of gay marriage. I see it as an issue of equality'

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani does not believe it's possible to win the Republican Party nomination for president and be in favor of gay rights.

Giuliani was asked by Fox News this week if he is considering jumping in to the already crowded field of Republican hopefuls.

Giuliani said he would not be running and explained why.

'I believe I can’t get nominated because of my views on gay marriage, I’m in favor gay rights, I’m in favor of gay marriage. I see it as an issue of equality.'

And that's not all.

June 2, 2015

This is believed to be the first time a LGBTI activist has been jailed for a longer than a day in Russia

At least three gay men were jailed for attempting to hold a Pride parade in Russia.

Nikolai Alekseev, Yevgeny Gerasimov, and Vadim Gruzdev were sentenced to 10 days in police cells following a brief protest outside the mayor's office in Moscow on Saturday.

At the weekend, Alekseev rode a quad bike and carried a rainbow flag and orange smoke flare down the main Tverskaya Street.

Around 30 homophobic thugs hurled eggs and threw rocks and bottles at them, but the activists were undeterred.

Police detained around a dozen people.

May 29, 2015

Independent candidate Rabina Khan hopes to reopen The Joiners' Arms if she is elected

A Muslim mayoral candidate has said, if she is elected to mayor in a London borough, she wants to reopen the Joiners' Arms.

Rabina Khan, currently a councillor for Shadwell in east London, is an independent candidate for the Tower Hamlets mayor.

She says if she is elected on 11 June, she will as the UK's first female Muslim mayor want to reopen the closed LGBTI venue.

Khan has said the Joiners' Arms, which closed its doors suddenly in January, should become a hub to provide advice for young people struggling with their sexual or gender identity.

May 23, 2015

In New Orleans, we believe religious liberty and freedoms should be protected and discrimination prohibited, and we have passed our own laws to reflect that principle'

Mitch Landrieu, the mayor of New Orleans, wants LGBTI residents, and visitors, to know the Big Easy continues to be a city that believes in diversity.

On 21 May, the Democrat signed an executive order describing New Orleans as 'an accepting, inviting city that thrives on its diversity and welcomes people from all walks of life with open arms.'

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.