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January 25, 2015

Same-sex marriage is now legal in the state – and couples who wish to jointly adopt will have to get hitched if they want to both be parents

The Virginia Senate committee rejected a proposal on Friday to extend adoption rights to the partners of unmarried gay partners.

Same-sex marriage is now legal in Virginia. However, not all same-sex couples wish to marry.

January 23, 2015

Cory Jobe is the (handsome) new face of tourism in the Midwestern state

The state of Illinois has a new director of tourism – the openly gay Springfield city council member Cory Jobe.

Jobe was formally the Deputy Chief of Staff for the state under both the late Judy Baar Topinka and Leslie Munger.

Jobe will juggle his commitments until May 31 before commencing his new job full-time in June, Governor Bruce Rauner announced earlier this week.

The 41-year-old politician was previously elected Ward 6 alderman in April 2011, with 95% of the total votes cast.

January 22, 2015

Republican members of the Colorado State Senate have used their political weight to kill a bill to clean up the state’s civil unions law in the wake of the legalization of same-sex marriage in the state simply to be obstructive

A group of influential Republican Colorado state senators have used their numbers on the Senate State Affairs Committee to block a law to clarify the state’s civil unions law even though the bill would have prevented gay bigamy.

Colorado passed a bill creating civil unions for same-sex couples in 2013 but the striking down of its ban on same-sex marriage by the courts has created legal complications for same-sex couples who end their relationships in that they will have to divorce twice if they married after entering into a civil union.

January 22, 2015

'It was a 20-minute ceremony with no witnesses and it cost £4'

Dominic Hannigan has become the first member of the Irish parliament to enter into a gay marriage.

The Labour MP for Meath East yesterday (21 January) announced he wed his partner of more than two decades, Chris, in London on New Year’s Eve.

'It was a 20-minute ceremony with no witnesses and it cost £4 ($6, €5.20),' he told the Irish Star.

Gay marriage is not yet legal in Ireland but a referendum on the issue will be held in May.

January 21, 2015

Todd and Jeff Delmay were among plaintiffs in case challenging Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage

It's been a heady month for Florida newlyweds Todd and Jeff Delmay who became the second same-sex couple in their state to legally marry.

Tonight, they are in Washington DC to attend President Barack Obama's State of the Union Address before members of the US Senate and House of Representatives.

They have been invited by Democratic Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

'We are over the moon with excitement,' Todd Delmay said in a statement from Equality Florida.

January 20, 2015

The Australian Capital Territory Government has announced that Labor Legislative Assembly member Yvette Berry will be given an LGBTI Equality portfolio – joining the state of Victoria as Australian jurisdictions to have a government Minister for Equality

Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Labor lawmaker Yvette Berry has become only the second person in the history of Australian politics to be given a ministerial portfolio that covers LGBTI Equality.

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr made the announcement earlier today as part of an expected cabinet reshuffle, handing Berry ministerial responsibility for the areas of Housing, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, Community Services, Multicultural Affairs, Women, and Social Inclusion and Equality.

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 19, 2015

Newly appointed member of the House of Lords Michael Cashman: 'Unless we set ourselves a goal, we cannot hope to achieve it.’

Lord Michael Cashman has said, if Labour is elected in the next UK government, the party will set itself a goal to achieve decriminalization of homosexuality worldwide by 2020.

Speaking at the Gay Star Travel Expo on Saturday (17 January), the newly-appointed member of the House of Lords said he is determined to help end inequality for LGBTI people.

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

Ian McKellen is also named as a patron of the Peter Tatchell Foundation

Celebrities such as gay host Paul O'Grady and Absolutely Fabulous' Joanna Lumley have been named as patrons of a gay and human rights founsation.

The two British names have been joined by nine others from politics, TV, film and music to become patrons of the Peter Tatchell Foundation.

Helena Kennedy QC, Green Party's Caroline Lucas, Lords Waheed All and Michael Cashman as well as Baroness Barker have become patrons.

January 15, 2015

Bharatiya Janata Party takes a stance on homosexuality for the first time

India's ruling political party has come out in support of decriminalizing gay sex, the first time the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has taken a stance on the issue.

Shaina NC, BJP spokesperson for Mumbai, said Tuesday (13 January) that while homosexuality may be seen as unnatural, it was not unacceptable.

'We are for decriminalizing homosexuality. That is the progressive way forward,' she said told NDTV.

In December last year, the Supreme Court reinstated Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which punishes gay sex with up to life imprisonment.

January 14, 2015

Makes it legal for business owners to deny service to LGBTI people under 'religious and moral convictions'

The US state of Virginia is today (14 January), considering a law that allows all companies to deny service to LGBTI people under the guise of religious or moral conviction.

The bill, which was introduced last month by Republican Delegate Bob Marshall, would make it legal for business owners to refuse service on the basis of religious opposition to gay marriage and ‘homosexual behavior.’

This would mean teachers could refuse to have gay students in their classes and movie theaters ban people they perceive to be gay.

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.

January 8, 2015

'If he’s a Democrat, he’s gay.  If he’s a Republican, he’s in the closet'

Gay comic Mario Cantone is full of opinions this week.

One day he says Bruce Jenner is morphing into a 'lumberjack lesbian' and now he's calling out Republican Congressman Aaron Schock as gay because of his buff body.

January 8, 2015

'Congress must repeal DOMA and ensure that all married, same-sex couples are treated equally under federal law'

The US Supreme Court may have gutted the Defense of Marriage Act in 2013 but they didn't kill it.

Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein is leading an effort to completely repeal the anti-gay law which was enacted in 1996.

This week, Feinstein introduced the Respect For Marriage Act which would ensure that all legally-married, same-sex couples are treated equally under federal law.

January 5, 2015

Governor Butch Otter says that children are best raised by opposite-sex couples, and that’s why same-sex marriage should again be made illegal in the state

Same-sex marriage was made legal in Idaho last October. Since that time, dozens of gay couples have tied the knot.

However, Republican Governor Butch Otter and Attorney General Lawrence Wasden – both staunch opponents of gay marriage – refuse to give up the fight.

Last week, they both filed petitions to the Supreme Court, asking it to overrule the decision made in October by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

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.

January 4, 2015

LGBTI activists want Foley, who voted against marriage equality, 'to meet with same-sex couples and their children so he can hear for himself why marriage equality matters'

Marriage equality advocates in Australia are urging potential New South Wales Labor leader Luke Foley to meet with same-sex couples and their children to challenge his anti-gay views.

Foley, a committed Catholic who is preparing to be elected unopposed as leader of New South Wales Labor on 5 January, has previously voted against marriage equality, claiming this view is based on his upbringing by a single mother. 

January 2, 2015

The Irish Taoisceach has vowed to campaign strongly for marriage equality – while some in his government now warn that complacency could result in a victory for the ‘no’ campaign

The Irish Taoisceach (the equivalent of Prime Minister) has been speaking about the forthcoming referendum in Ireland on same-sex marriage – due to take place in May.

Fine Gael’s Enda Kenny, who has previously been viewed as conservative, told journalists in a briefing that he would be happy to ‘campaign strongly’ for a 'yes' vote in the referendum, and has confirmed that he will take part in a live debate on the issue ahead of the vote.

January 1, 2015

After 6 years in the Knesset, Meretz party MK Nitzan Horowitz has announced he does not intend to stand again – meaning there may no longer be an openly LGBTI person in the Israeli parliament once again

Meretz party lawmaker Nitzan Horowitz, only the second openly gay member of the Israeli Knesset, has announced his plans to retire from politics after 6 years as an MK.

Horowitz announced his departure on Facebook yesterday, writing that it had been an ‘easy decision’ for him to make.

‘After deep deliberation I have decided not to compete to be in the next Knesset for Meretz,’ Horowitz wrote.

December 30, 2014

The plans, which never reached fruition, came about following meetings with anti-obscenity campaigner, Mary Whitehouse

It has been revealed that former British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, briefly considered banning sex toys in the UK in the mid-1980s.

The revelation comes following the annual release of documents from the UK’s National Archive. They say that the change was considered after moral crusaders lobbied the Prime Minister, including Mary Whitehouse, whom Thatcher met on two occasions.

In September 1986, the then Home Secretary, Leon Brittan, wrote to Prime Minister Thatcher saying that there was a ‘strong case’ for banning sex toys under obscenity laws.

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 26, 2014

Judge says the politician is entitled to privacy as his private life was not widely known and he never intended to publicly reveal his sexual orientaton

A court in Paris on Wednesday ordered French gossip magazine Closer to pay €20,000 (US$24,400)  in damages for 'invasion of privacy' for outing the far-right National Front party's Vice-President Florian Philippot as gay.

The magazine was also ordered to publish the court's verdict on its front page and pay Philippot €3,500 for his legal fees.

Earlier this month, the magazine published four pages of photographs taken in Vienna showing Philippot and an unnamed man whose face was blurred out and alledged to be his boyfriend.

December 19, 2014

AG Eric Holder has announced that federal prosecutors will take the position going forward that sex discrimination provisions in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 include protections against discrimination based on gender identity

US Attorney General Holder announced yesterday that the Department of Justice will take the position that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 covering sex discrimination extends to claims of discrimination based on an individual’s gender identity, including transgender status when prosecuting government job discrimination cases.