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October 2, 2013

Other details of actor's accidental overdose death revealed in coroner's report

Cory Monteith's death from a mixture of alcohol and heroin has officially been ruled an accident, according to a coroner's report released today (2 October).

The 31-year-old actor, who played gay-friendly teen Finn Hudson on the TV series Glee, died last July of 'intravenous heroin use in combination with ingestion of alcohol.'

The British Columbia Ministry of Justice has deemed Monteith's death accidental. Its coroner's report reveals that the actor had an ethyl alcohol limit of 0.13 percent which is consistent with a 'moderate level of intoxication.'

September 1, 2013

Communist state mulls allowing same-sex marriages but still keeps trans women out of beauty contests on the basis of a technicality

Vietnam’s Ministry of Health has been urging the government to allow same-sex marriages and the call was recently reiterated by the Ministry of Justice.

However, while the LGBTQ community in the country may look forward to marrying same-sex partners legally in the future, transgender women are still not allowed to take part in beauty pageants, thanks to an old decree.

The contradiction has come to light once more with the popular Vietnam’s Next Top Model 2013 contest weeding out transgender participants.

August 30, 2013

What exactly is happening in Thailand and Vietnam on law reform to recognize gay and lesbian relationships? Doug Sanders reports from Bangkok and Hanoi

While the focus has been on gay marriage in the West, same-sex partnership rights have also been on the move in South East Asia. We examine progress in Thailand and Vietnam, where the legislation could be debated this year.

Thailand

In the fall of 2012, the issue of legal recognition for same-sex relationships was taken up by the Committee on Legal Affairs, Justice and Human Rights of the House of Representatives, the lower house in the Thai Parliament.

August 1, 2013

The 51-year-old cabinet maker will get compensation for being unfairly fired after cruel taunts at work

A cabinet maker, who claimed he was subjected to cruel homophobic taunts at a renowned bespoke furniture-making factory, was unfairly dismissed from his job, a tribunal ruled today (1 August).

However, the British employment tribunal panel found Mark Crowther had not suffered discrimination by sexual orientation and also threw out his claim for harassment.

July 30, 2013

Vietnam’s Ministry of Justice has followed on the heels of the country’s Ministry of Health in backing plans to eventually legalize same-sex marriage in the Marxist-Leninist single party state

Vietnam’s Ministry of Justice has backed plans for the eventual legalization of same-sex marriage in the one party socialist state – submitting a draft of an amended Law on Marriage and Family to the government.

The Justice Ministry wants an end to Clause 5 Article 10 in Vietnam’s Law on Family and Marriage which explicitly bans same-sex marriage and has suggest equalizing the age at which people can get married regardless of sex in preparation for greater change.

May 1, 2013

Lebanese human rights advocates protest demanding Dekwaneh’s mayor be brought to justice for illegal arrest of gay club goers who were stripped naked and photographed, physically and verbally abused

LGBT rights advocates protested in front of the Lebanese Ministry of Justice in Beirut, after gay club goers were victims of abuse and illegal detention.

The rally shows growing confidence and anger in the country’s LGBT population. It is the first time people have come out in such a high-profile way specifically to fight for gay rights and have been prepared to challenge a government department and criticize the use of religion to justify homophobic oppression.

April 26, 2013

The founder of Mongolia's first LGBT rights organization, Mongolian LGBT Centre, talks to Gay Star News

Otgonbaatar Tsedendemberel, executive director of Mongolia LGBT Centre talks to Gay Star News about the struggle to get the organization established, achievements and plans for the first ever Mongolian Pride this year.

When did Mongolian LGBT Centre open? How did it come about? 

In 2007, the mandate to register non-governmental organizations (NGOs) belonged to the Ministry of Justice and Home Affairs (MoJHA). At the time, MoJHA refused to register LGBT Centre, given the name of the organization was not recognized.

April 16, 2013

Deputy health minister to say gay people have the same rights to love, be loved and marry during a speech today

Vietnam's deputy health minister is expected to recommend that gay marriage be legalized during a speech reviewing marriage and family law today.

Nguyen Viet Tien will deliver the speech in Hanoi today, Thanh Nien News reports. He will say that gay people have the same rights as everyone else to love, be loved and marry.

April 12, 2013

Gay couples will no longer be fined for getting married, but Ministry of Justice says this is not implicit approval of same-sex marriage

Vietnam's Ministry of Justice has reversed a plan to increase the fine for gay couples who get married, announcing that they are scrapping the fine altogether.

Last month the ministry said they would double fines for same-sex couples who marry, prompting criticism and debate.

But the deputy minister of justice Pham Quy Ty said that the absence of fines doesn't mean that the authorities are implicitly approving gay marriage.

February 22, 2013

Government steps in to stop local authority from reversing recognition of intersex person's gender

Vietnam's Ministry of Justice has ordered the local government in Binh Phuoc province to halt their decision to reverse their recognition of intersex teacher Pham Le Quynh Tram's gender.

The halt was demanded while the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Health wait for Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung's decision on the matter, Tuoitre News reports.

February 20, 2013

Human rights advocate tells Gay Star News vote is likely to be delayed, but says this is good news for building support

A vote by the National Assembly (the government) of Vietnam on legalizing same-sex marriage will likely be delayed until 2014.

After starting consultations with relevant departments last summer, same-sex marriage was due to be voted on at the 2013 National Assembly in May, but now a human rights advocate who works with the government has told Gay Star News the vote will probably be delayed for one year.

December 19, 2012

Ministry of Justice commission study to attitudes to same-sex marriage in Asia

Taiwan's Ministry of Justice will commission studies into attitudes towards same-sex marriage in Asian cultures as part of research looking into legalizing gay marriage on the island nation.

November 30, 2012

Lithuania will discuss whether to ban gender reassignment surgery, contradicting European law

Lithuania is about to reconsider an anti-trans law that will ban gender reassignment surgery.

After an identical draft amendment was submitted in 2011, and failed to be adopted, it is presumed this motion is seeking to test the new Parliament’s attitudes towards transgender issues.

Antanas Matulas, a right-wing Christian politician and on the committee for health affairs, has resubmitted a draft amendment to the Civil Code saying ‘society is not ready to accept’ transgender people.

August 11, 2012

Lebanese LGBT advocacy organization Helem held a protested demanding immediate halt to the use of the anal probe and virginal exams

Lebanese LGBT advocacy organization Helem held a protest this morning (11 August) in front of the Lebanese ministry of justice in Beirut, demanding immediate halt to the use of the anal probe and vaginal exams (used to test for virginity).

This historic protest was the biggest ever public demonstration of LGBT advocates and their supporter in the Arab world, and a very rare occasion. The only other protest happened in 2008, also in Beirut.

August 8, 2012

Campaigners call on IOC to intervene to lift Russia's ban on Pride House at 2014 Winter Olympics

Gay rights campaigners will hold a protest in London over Russia's ban on a Pride House event at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.

Activists will picket the Sochi Exhibition in Kensington Gardens tomorrow (9 August), from 10.30am, to show their anger at the Russian Ministry of Justice's refusal to allow a Pride House at the games.

Russian lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender campaigners had planned the venue to be a meeting place for gay athletes and their supporters with events including a sports competition and photo exhibition.

July 25, 2012

Minister Ha Hung Cuong says prejudice against gay people is ‘unacceptable’

A minister in Vietnam’s government has spoken about same-sex marriage for the first time.

Vietnamese LGBT rights activist calls the Minister's words a ‘bold step forward’.

Minister Ha Hung Cuong from the Ministry of Justice was asked about his personal opinion on same-sex marriage during an online debate yesterday morning (24 July).

‘This problem must be considered carefully, thoroughly in many aspects: cultural, legal, custom and ethical practices,’ said Ha Hung Cuong.

July 19, 2012

Lithuania proposed draft law reform could worsen situation for transgender people

A draft law in Lithuania could worsen the situation for transgender people.

Under pressure of the UN and Europe the Lithuanian Ministry of Justice has proposed new draft legislation where people who have undergone gender reassignment surgery are to be issued with new identity cards without a lengthy court procedure.

March 15, 2012

Russian court rules that Pride House at 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics is ‘extremist’ and could provoke ‘social-religious hatred’

A judge in Russia has backed the ban imposed by the authorities on organising a ‘gay Pride House’ for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.

Plans for the Pride House were formulated by Russian gay activists following the 2010 Games in Vancouver, which featured a very successful Pride House.

But the dreams of repeating the success of Vancouver were scuppered last year when the Russian Ministry of Justice refused the registration of the NGO set-up to organize Pride House.