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October 30, 2014

Sean Lien says comments overheated

Taipei mayoral hopeful Sean Lien has enraged LGBTI activists by deleting a pro-gay Facebook post.

The night before Taiwan Pride, Chinese Nationalist Party candidate Lien finally broke his silence on LGBTI rights.

He said he supported the gay marriage bill currently and that if he was elected he would 'protect gay rights and make Taipei a more gender-friendly environment.'

'I hope the central government will place the relevant bills on the legislative agenda for deliberation soon in order to guarantee the rights of our gay friends,' he wrote.

October 29, 2014

Sam Ganafa was arrested for 'unnatural offenses' last year

A Ugandan court has dismissed criminal charges against prominent LGBTI rights activist Samuel Ganafa.

The executive director of LGBTI rights group Spectrum Uganda Initiatives and three colleagues were arrested in November last year for 'unnatural offenses,' which is punishable by up to life in jail.

The court dismissed the charges on 8 October, nearly a year after his arrest.

October 28, 2014

Havas Worldwide Kazakhstan says there is no way it can pay the 34 million tenge ($186,000, €146,000) and plans to appeal

A Kazakhstan advertizing agency is being fined an astromonical amount for creating a poster featuring two men kissing.

Havas Worldwide Kazakhstan says there is no way it can pay the 34 million tenge ($186,000, €146,000) and plans to appeal.

The agency has also been ordered to issue an apology in the national media.

Dariya Khamitzhanova, Havas' general director, told Kapital.kz the ruling was 'nonsense'.

'Not one of the 34 plaintiffs appeared in court,' she said. 'The whole hearing was marred by procedural violations'.

October 27, 2014

The German is barred from leaving the country after he stormed a military camp where the suspect is held

The German fiancé of a transgender allegedly slain by a US Marine fainted yesterday after he was stopped from boarding a flight home from the Philippines.

Marc Suselbeck has been charged with 'undesirability' and is not allowed to leave the country.

He reportedly lost consciousness at Manila international airport and was taken to hospital.

October 27, 2014

Ivan Okhlobystin also thinks Ebola victims will come back as zombies

Latvia has banned a Russian actor from entering the country after he said gay people should be 'burned alive'.

Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics said Ivan Okhlobystin, the controversial former priest, would not be allowed to give a one-man show about religion in Riga on 7 November.

He said he would not be allowed to enter the country because of what the foreign minister referred to as hate speech.

Rinkevics later added the entry ban was based on the actor's offensive statements about the LGBTI community.

October 27, 2014

The bill was passed in a landslide vote earlier this month

The United Nations human rights office has urged Kyrgyzstan to scrap a draft law that punishes the spreading of 'gay propaganda' with up to a year in jail.

The Kyrgyz parliament passed the Russian-style bill in a landslide vote at its first reading earlier this month.

October 25, 2014

Two people were reportedly injured as masked attackers stormed the cafe, and threw rocks and bottles at party attendees

A mob attacked attendees celebrating the second anniversary of the LGBTI Support Centre at the Damar cafe in the Old Bazaar area of Skopje, the capital of the East European country, on Friday.

Media reports say some 20 to 30 people in masks and hoods entered the cafe, and threw rocks and bottles at the people inside. Two were wounded, according to an AFP report. Details of their injuries were not reported.

October 24, 2014

The country's opposition leader has been prosecuted four times under the law

Human Rights Watch (HRW) has called for an end to the prosecution of Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim under the country's anti-gay law.

Next week, the country's top court will hear Anwar’s appeal of his March conviction for violating the colonial sodomy law, which criminalizes same-sex relations.

The prosecution is cross-appealing Anwar’s five-year jail term, which could result in a sentence of up to 20 years.

October 23, 2014

Korea University council is the first student body to ban discrimination against LGBTI people

The student council of Korea University in Seoul has revised its rules to ban discrimination against LGBTI people after several homophobic incidents on campus.

It is the first student body of a South Korean university to do so.

Earlier this year, a placard welcoming new LGBTI students was torn down by unidentified individuals. A similar incident occured at Ewha Womans University, sparking concerns about homophobia on campuses.

October 22, 2014

They had been accused of being a gay couple 'posing' as a husband and wife

Charges against a gay man and a trans woman in Uganda accused of sexual activity going against ‘the order of nature’ have been dismissed.

Kim Mukisa, 24, a businessman who reportedly identifies as gay, and Jackson Mukasa, 19, his alleged trans partner, had faced a potential life sentence in jail.

They were charged under Section 145 of the Penal Code that bans consensual same-sex relations, according to Sexual Minorities Uganda.

October 22, 2014

US District Judge Perez Gimenez writes that same-sex marriages raise the question of a constitutional right to polygamous and incestuous marriages

A federal judge has upheld the ban against same-sex marriage in the US territory of Puerto Rico.

US District Judge Perez Gimenez stated in his ruling that same-sex marriage threatens 'the fundamental unit of the political order'  and also suggested it raises the question of a constitutional right to polygamous and incestuous marriages.

He made the ruling in a lawsuit filed by Ada Conde Vidal and Ivonne Álvarez Veleza.

October 22, 2014

The umbrella is also an icon of the city's democracy movement

Hong Kong pride has taken the humble umbrella as this year's symbol in solidarity with the city's democratic movement.

Organizers said the sharing of the symbol was 'a beautiful coincidence' as they had ordered 500 rainbow umbrellas in early August, more than a month before Occupy Central began.

'We support civil society, and we hope it can support us in return, too,' pride spokeswoman Wei Siu-lik said.

'Mutual support is very important to Hongkongers now. We hope the rainbow umbrella will remind people to support us.'

October 22, 2014

Representatives of the Government of Sri Lanka have admitted to the United Nations Human Rights Committee that LGBTI people are protected under its constitution – though they maintain their country’s anti-sodomy law is not discriminatory

The Sri Lankan Government of President Mahinda Rajapaksa has admitted for the first time this month that its constitution protects people from discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Representatives of the government made the admission to the United Nations Human Rights Committee after being questioned on the issue.

October 21, 2014

The Ukranian boyband performs shirtless and in stilettos

An anti-gay youth group has stopped boyband Kazaky performing in Kyrgyzstan in order to defend 'traditional values.'

About 300 members of Kalys blocked the entrance to Guns'n'Roses nightclub in Bishkek, where the Ukrainian four-piece Kazaky were due to perform.

None of the current members are gay but they perform shirtless and in stilettos.

The club's management said they had no choice but to cancel the concert.

'We incurred heavy losses over the cancelation,' organizer Danil Mishin told the Kloop news portal.

October 21, 2014

UK's Africa minister too sick to attend, but was going to refuse to speak to Yoweri Museveni anyway

The UK government is buying dinner for the anti-gay Uganda president Yoweri Museveni but have promised they have no plans to actually speak to him whatsoever this evening (21 October).

For the past two days, the Uganda president has been a high-profile speaker at the business forum The Global African Investment Summit in London.

To top it off, he is scheduled to appear at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office ministerial dinner and drinks reception at Lancaster House tonight.

October 20, 2014

He slammed a government proposal to protect the rights of cohabiting gay couples

An unidentified man delivered an anti-gay rant after Saturday afternoon Mass at a cathedral in Hong Kong.

He also handed out sample letters that he encouraged people to send to the Equal Opportunities Commission to protest proposed revisions to the anti-discrimination law.

A note printed on top of the letter said it was also posted online 'for people to copy and paste' and reminds people to change some of the wording to reduce the risk of the EOC treating cloned letters the opinion of a single group.

October 17, 2014

The company's director says she will file a complaint with the UN Human Rights Committee

A Kazakh court has upheld a fine imposed an advertising agency over a contraversial gay club poster.

The poster shows Kazakh composer Kurmangazy Sagyrbayuly kissing Russian poet Alexander Pushkin.

A court in Almaty last month found Havas Worldwide Kazakhstan guilty of 'advertising goods and services banned in Kazakhstan' and fined the company and director a total 314,000 tenge ($1,700).

The judge said, 'The court of the first instance gave the correct assessment based on available proof.'

October 17, 2014

Legislator Yu Mei-nu called the meeting before she submits her plans to legalize same-sex unions to the government

Christian groups yesterday protested a public hearing on gay marriage and adoption at the Taiwanese parliament in Taipei.

Democratic People's Party (DPP) Legislator Yu Mei-nu consulted government official, academics and civic groups on both sides of the debate at the Legislative Yuan before preliminary plans to legalize gay marriage are submitted to the Ministry of Justice.

She said the hearing was 'an equal approach to encompass everybody into the constitution.'

October 16, 2014

Police suspect Private First Class Joseph Scott Pemberton became angry when he found out the victim was transgender

Private First Class Joseph Scott Pemberton yesterday was charged with the murder of a Filipina transgender woman.

Jennifer Laude, 28, was found dead on Sunday with her head in a hotel toilet in Olongapo city. An autopsy report found she died due to strangulation and drowning.

Pemberton was the last person seen with the victim when they checked into the hotel after meeting in a nearby bar.

October 15, 2014

The bill, similar to Russia’s own anti-gay law, will make it illegal to spread information about ‘non-traditional sexual relations’

Kyrgyzstan lawmakers have voted overwhelmingly in favor of a law that will punish 'gay propaganda' with up to a year in jail.

Earlier today (15 October), the bill passed its first reading with a vote of 79 to 7.

The bill, similar to Russia’s own anti-gay law, will make it illegal to spread information about ‘non-traditional sexual relations’ in the former Soviet country.

October 15, 2014

Can you see same-sex marriage from your house, Sarah Palin?

A remote Arctic town has hosted Alaska's first ever legal same-sex marriage.

In an outpost that cannot be reached by road, a loving lesbian couple have been allowed to wed three days before their ceremony could technically be held.

Kristine Hilderbrand, 30 and Sarah Ellis, 34, obtained their marriage license on Monday afternoon. As they were unable to have their friends and family fly out to them later that week, magistrate Mary Treiber waivered the three-day waiting period.

October 15, 2014

Eight Pacific countries still have anti-gay laws

The Pacific island nation of Palau has decriminalized gay sex in a revision of its penal code.

The new criminal laws came into force at the end of July but were only announced today.

At Palau’s last Universal Periodic Review at the UN Human Rights Council in 2011, France, Norway and Spain all made recommendations that the country repeal its anti-gay laws, which were accepted by the government.

This new criminal code was passed by the Palau National Congress and signed into law by President Tommy Remengesau Jr in April.

October 14, 2014

The video by Chinese girl group SNH48 shows two girls caressing and embracing

Korean media is speculating that a music video for Chinese girl group has been banned in the country because of several intimate scenes between two of the girls.

The MV for the song Uza shows two girls from 16-member group carressing and embracing.

The video was removed after less than three days online.

SNH48 is the Chinese sister group of the hugely popular Japanese group AKB48.

The video was shot in South Korea and directed by Hong won-ki, who is also responsible for videos by K-pop groups Girls Generation, Super Junior, F(x) and T-ara.

October 14, 2014

The US Embassy to the Kyrgyz Republic has warned the central government in Bishkek that it would be a backwards move for the former Soviet state to pass a Russia style ban on public discussion of LGBTI issues

The Embassy of the United States in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan has issued a strong statement against the Kyrgyz Government passing laws that would curtail freedom of speech by banning the expression of ‘positive attitude[s] to untraditional sexual relations among minors or in mass media.’

‘The US Embassy notes with deep concern the advancement in the Jogorku Kenesh (Kyrgyz parliament) of legislation that fundamentally threatens human rights, Kyrgyzstan’s democratic gains and constitutional guarantees,’ the statement reads.