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December 17, 2014

NGO completely relies on government funding

The Malaysian government has abruptly pulled funding of a transgender group amid a national uproar after a court found a state cross-dressing ban unconstitutional.

The Women, Family and Community Development Ministry informed Pusat Bantuan Khidmat Sosial (PBKS) it would not renew funding for 2015 earlier this month.

The ministry has given the group RM700,000 ($199,880) a year for the last seven years, directly from 2007 to 2013 and last year through the Malaysian AIDS Council. 

December 11, 2014

Edwin Sesange, gay rights activist, is pleading with the world to help send messages of hope to persecuted LGBTIs

Gay Ugandans are being promised a gift this Christmas, and it is definitely worse than coal.

Rebecca Kadaga, the Speaker of Ugandan parliament, has promised once again to wrap up a legislation so horrific that it'll give the population of what is essentially a license to persecute, discriminate, torture, engage in mob violence and worse of all kill LGBTIs with impunity.

With the Anti-Homosexuality Act dead, lawmakers are hoping to pass the Prohibition of Promotion of Unnatural Sexual Practices Bill before the end of this year.

December 9, 2014

She has a matter of days before she could go back to the country where her family and teachers sent her to witch doctors to 'cure' her

A Ugandan woman has a matter of days to prove she is a lesbian and was tortured over her sexuality.

Judith Twikirize, 23, was told she would be forced to return home to Uganda, flying home yesterday evening (8 December), after the UK government ruled she was lying over her sexuality.

Due to the case being fast-tracked, after she had claimed asylum on 29 September, the young woman could not compile the necessary evidence in time.

December 5, 2014

Law professor says 'you cannot make a human wrong a human right'

Civil rights activists yesterday (4 December) protested a speech by an anti-gay law professor at a Human Rights Day seminar hosted by the EU Delegation to Singapore.

Several activists held a rainbow flag and placards reading 'LGBT rights are human rights' while Thio Li-ann delivered her speech.

Jean Chong, co-founder of LGBTI advocacy group Sayoni, told GSN that the silent protest 'was to address the elephant in the room and civil society’s disagreement to the EU’s insistence on inviting Thio in spite of her views on LGBTQ people.'

December 5, 2014

LGBTI activist responds to President Yoweri Museveni's assertion that the country is a better holiday destination than Spain

Ever imagined being branded a criminal for being gay in your own motherland? Well, if you think this sounds like a joke, then think no further.

December 4, 2014

Department's book on modern marriage says diverse gender identities and same-sex love deserve equal respect and treatment

Taiwan's interior ministry has said gay marriage is 'an inborn right everyone can pursue, despite it being illegal in the country.

After two years of compilation, the department published a book entitled Modern Citizen Marriage on Tuesday (2 December) to 'promote new thinking and practices for compatriots planning weddings.'

The book includes a passage on gay marriage that reads:

'Apart from marriage between a man and woman, diverse gender concepts and gay love should also, in modernity, receive equal respect and treatment.

December 3, 2014

Politicians realize today's voters take seriously how gay-friendly they are

Queer politics was never really visible in Taiwan until September last year when the Marriage Equality Bill was incorporated into parliament’s agenda. This year, the political atmosphere has been even more intensified and heightened by the LGBTI rights movement.

People of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities are eagerly calling for an LGBTI-friendly government, although not everyone, including LGBTI rights advocates and activists, regards this as a queering of politics.

December 3, 2014

'NGOs and whites come deceiving you that circumcision and condom use are the best ways to protect yourself'

Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni has said people living with HIV 'have betrayed their families' and advised youths to completely abstain from pre-marital sex as the way to prevent infection.

The notoriously anti-gay leader made the comments on Monday (1 December) to a group of youths at a World Aids Day event in Kabarole District, the Daily Monitor reported.

November 30, 2014

The minister of Foreign Affairs has said there’s no chance of any dialogue between Gambia and any other countries about LGBTI rights 

The Gambian minister for Foreign Affairs has declared he will have nothing to do with ‘ungodly’ gays who are ‘detrimental to human existence.’

These comments were made by Bala Garba Jahumpa on live national television last night (29 November).

In his speech, he spoke about his refusal to enter into dialogue about LGBTI rights with any nations. Even if it means Gambia will lose aid.

November 28, 2014

Activists say the country's anti-gay laws are scaring tourists away

Uganda's president accused tourism authorities of not marketing the country properly and said the east African nation was a better holiday destination than Spain.

President Yoweri Museveni said the Tourism Promotion Board should be renamed the 'tourism suppression board' as it touted 'only some chimpanzees and so on,' in an opinion piece published in the New Vision newspaper on Wednesday (26 November).

'The biggest problem with tourism is poor promotion,' he said.

November 28, 2014

Archbishop of Trinidad and Tobago Joseph Harris has spoken out against religious parents who desert their gay children as he helped open a new Catholic shelter for children that will not discriminate against gay and lesbian kids

The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Trinidad and Tobago Joseph Harris helped launch a new shelter for at-risk children on Wednesday – one of four operated in the Caribbean nation by the Holy Faith Sisters religious charity.

According to the Credo Center’s administrators, the shelter will welcome children regardless of their sexual orientation and the same policy exists for all the Holy Faith Sister’s children’s shelters in Trinidad and Tobago.

November 27, 2014

Organizer is charged with publishing lewd content in a public space

LGBTI activists have slammed Cypriot police for seizing a transgender photographer's exhibition after receiving a single complaint.

The exhibition Correction by Greek activist Paola Revenioti was shown at Nicosia municipal market to mark the Transgender Day of Remembrance.

The photos were confiscated on Friday (21 November) following a single complaint about their content, which included nude men.

Organizers Accept-LGBT Cyprus said the photos were covered during the market's normal operating hours.

November 27, 2014

See more boys in skirts inside

National Taiwan University is calling for male students to wear skirts every day in the month of December to 'break the traditional gender frame.'

The Gender Workshop Society said it was launching 'Men's Skirt Month' to 'eliminate something that society had gender-kidnapped.'

The group added that they hoped transgender and cross-dressing students would 'feel surrounded by supportive friends.'

At the time of writing, 500 students had joined the event on Facebook.

November 24, 2014

Eight LGBTI people were arrested and torturted in the country this month

Gambia's president has signed into law a bill that punishes 'aggravated homosexuality' with life imprisonment.

The notoriously anti-gay President Yahya Jammeh approved the bill on October 9, according to documents uncovered last week. 

The bill targets 'serial offenders' and people living with HIV but because 'homosexuality' and 'homosexual acts' are not defined in Gambian law, human rights groups fear that LGBTI people will be persecuted arbitrarily under the new enactment.

November 13, 2014

Study finds only 1 per cent are out to their fathers

Seven out of 10 young gay men in Korea hide their sexuality from their parents, a new study has found.

Seoul National University human ecology major Jo Nam-seok surveyed 103 gay men in their 20s and presented her findings on Tuesday (23 November).

Her study found that 68.9 percent of respondents had not come out to their parents for fear of disapproval, especially from their fathers.

Only 1 per cent said their father knew their sexual orientation, compared with 19.4 per cent of mothers.

November 13, 2014

Less than 5 per cent seek help from formal institutions

More than half of all LGBTI people in Taiwan have suffered abuse at the hands of a partner, according to a new survey.

The Modern Women's Foundation surveyed 529 LGBTI people aged 15 to 50 between 13 and 27 October and released the results yesterday (12 November).

The survey found that the most common form of abuse was control (51.2 per cent), followed by stalking (49.4 per cent) and attacks or self-harm (24.8 per cent).

November 12, 2014

Religious authorities say only 15 to 20 participants rejected their advice

Malaysian religious authorities have said 1,000 'gender confused' individuals have joined government 'rehabilitation' programs since they were started in 2010.

The director-general of the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (JAKIM), Othman Mustapha, said on Monday that only 15 to 20 people had rejected the advice given at the voluntary camps, which 'are based on self-empowerment, spirituality and rehabilitation.'

November 12, 2014

More than 70 per cent of the city's LGBTI employees are not out at work

Asia's first LGBTI workplace inclusion index was launched today at a diversity conference in Hong Kong.

Community Business, a not-profit focusing on corporate responsibility, invited companies operating in the city to make submissions for the index until the end of February next year.

‘With the call for changes in legislation and a more visible LGBT community, not just in Hong Kong but across Asia, attitudes are changing,' Fern Ngai, CEO of Community Business, said in a statement.

November 11, 2014

Pacific nation bans gay sex and marriage

The 'queen of the Cook Islands' has said it is 'unfair' to criminalize gay people because of who they love.

The paramount chief of the Takitumu tribe, Marie Pa Ariki, made the comments last week in New Zealand at Hui Takataapui, an annual gathering of indigenous people from the Pacific nations.

'[Gay] people are knowledgeable and contribute to society and to home life,' she told GayNZ.com.

'They are human like everyone else... we are all whanau.'

November 11, 2014

Arrests were made in the Muslim north where gay sex is punishable with death by stoning

The Vigilante Group of Nigeria said it has arrested 25 gay men in the Muslim north in the last year and handed them over to the authorities for prosecution under Sharia law.

Leader of the Kebbi state command, Sanusi Ibrahim Geza, announced the arrests last week at a press briefing to mark the first anniversary of his group.

'Some of them were flogged while others were taken to court to face other punitive measures,' he told BBC Hausa.

November 10, 2014

Survey finds Hong Kong people hold 'generally favorable' views of LGBTI people

Six in ten Hong Kong people support legal protections for LGBTI people, according to a new report.

The paper, published by the Centre for Comparative and Public Law at the University of Hong Kong (HKU), comes two weeks after a three-month public consultation on the city's anti-discrimination laws.

November 10, 2014

Court found a state ban on cross-dressing unconstitutional

Malaysia's deputy prime minister has called for a review of last week's landmark ruling that scrapped a state Sharia enactment banning cross-dressing.

Muhyiddin Yassin said that while the government respected the Court of Appeal's decision, the Attorney-General's Chambers and Negeri Sembilan state religious department should appeal to the federal court because of its huge implications on society.

November 7, 2014

Poll finds women are more supportive than men

A poll released today found that 67.5 per cent of Taiwanese people support the legalization of gay marriage.

Pollster Online Survey polled 1,660 respondents aged 13 and above via mobile phone and email on 30 October.

It followed the previous week's Taiwan Pride parade, which drew 70,000 people on to the streets to demand marriage equality.

November 7, 2014

Edgars Rinkevics has become the most prominent openly gay politician in a former Soviet Bloc state and the first ever lawmaker in his country of Latvia to announce he is gay

Latvia’s Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics has come out as gay in one of the most public of forums, posting his announcement on Twitter and expressing his hope that his government will move to legalize civil partnerships for same-sex couples.

‘Our country has created a legal framework for all types of partnerships, I will fight for it, I know that it will immediately cause a lot of hysteria but I am #Proudtobegay,’ Rinkevics posted in Latvian to the social media website earlier today.