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January 23, 2015

Netizens worry about the safety of the two men

Two North Korean soldiers have been spotted sharing a gay kiss on South Korean CCTV.

The images were widely shared on Korean media this week leading netizens to worry for the safety of the two men.

'I'm pretty sure they'll be killed if they're caught,' one Reddit user wrote.

'My immediate thought was how basically three generations of their children will suffer if they get caught somehow,' another said.

January 23, 2015

Prominent LGBTI rights activist could face jail time

Singaporean LGBTI rights activist and blogger Alex Au has been found guilty for a post critical of the city's anti-gay law.

The High Court yesterday (22 January) ruled that the article published in October 2013 posed 'a real threat of undermining public confidence in the administration of justice in Singapore.'

'I therefore find the respondent guilty of scandalizing contempt in respect of that article,' Justice Belinda Ang wrote in her judgement.

January 21, 2015

Parliamentarians voted 72 to 4

The Republic of Macedonia has voted to ban same-sex marriage and civil unions.

Parliament has approved a constitutional amendment defining marriage as a 'life union solely of one woman and one man' in the south eastern European country.

The amendment also makes it extremely difficult for it to be overturned in the future, making clear that any changes to the law in marriage, family or civil unions must be adopted by a two-thirds majority in parliament.

The amendment was passed by a majority of 72-4.

January 19, 2015

Claims he was blackmailed and forced to pay out 100,000 francs in order to keep his secrecy

A priest was arrested in Cameroon for being gay last Friday (16 January).

The Cameroon Foundation for AIDS has said the religious leader, as well as a young man, was detained for homosexuality in Yaounde at around 10pm by police.

'I was going to the market when I met this young man, he was going in the same direction as men, and we started to chat when a police team arrived,' the priest said, who has not been named.

January 16, 2015

New constitution will ensure protection for all sexual identities

Thailand's new constitution will recognize a 'third gender' for the first time, a move that has been welcomed by the country's large LGBTI community.

A panel hand-picked by the military government began work on the new constitution this week after the previous one was scrapped following a coup in May.

Panel spokesperson Kamnoon Sittisamarn yesterday (15 January) said the charter would ensure protection for all sexual identities and equal treatment under the law.

January 14, 2015

One-stop travel shop takes place at London's Heaven nightclub this Saturday (17 Jan)

The Gay Star Travel Expo returns to London's Heaven nightclub next week, on January 17 – and just one of the special guests at this one-stop travel shop will be Atlantic Pride.

The gay cruise line offers an intimate holiday with only 540 passengers, promising a friendly and relaxed atmosphere aboard its luxury ship, The Voyager.

January 13, 2015

'I'm actually the only one in the world who can make these jokes. The rest are in labor camps'

Margaret Cho is defending herself on social media against critics who found her running gag as a North Korean journalist at Sunday's Golden Globe Awards to be racist.

Cho took to social media to say to her critics: 'Oh I think they don't understand I'm of mixed North and South Korean descent. I'm actually the only one in the world who can make these jokes. The rest are in labor camps. Sorry - you imprison my people - you get made fun of by me. ‪#‎freespeech‬'

January 9, 2015

GSN's one-stop travel shop takes place at London's Heaven nightclub on Jan 17

The Gay Star Travel Expo returns to London's Heaven nightclub next week, on January 17 – and just one of the special guests at this one-stop travel shop will be the fabulous Sun Resorts.

One of the premiere Mauritian hotel groups, Sun Resorts owns six opulent hotel complexes on the paradise isle: Le Touessrok, Long Beach, Sugar Beach, La Pirogue, Ambre - All Inclusive Resort and Kanuhura.

January 6, 2015

But 60% say refusing to hire an LGBTI person is discriminatory

Almost 70% of Hong Kong people believe society should tolerate anti-gay views, according to a new survey.

The results released yesterday (5 January) also showed that 57% of respondents said schools should not have to teach that homosexuality and heterosexuality are both 'beautiful.'

Hong Kong Polytechnic University interviewed 611 adults in November for the survey, which was commissioned by the anti-gay Family School Sexual Orientation Discrimination Ordinance Concern Group.

December 25, 2014

Looming new threat for Uganda’s LGBTIs

A new anti-gay bill will be top of the agenda in Uganda’s churches this Christmas as politicians return home to celebrate the holidays.

But it won’t just be a time for friends and families for members of the Ugandan parliament. They will also be starting an election campaign.

The party primaries to choose the next leader of Uganda are early next year and campaigning is already under way even though the final vote is not until 2016.

December 23, 2014

Dozen men crash a private party armed with logs, iron bars and beer bottles

Thirty-five members of an LGBTI group Friday (19 December) were injured in an attack on a party in Zimbabwe.

A dozen unidentified men Friday (19 December) crashed an end-of-year party thrown by the Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe (GALZ) at a private venue in the capital Harare.

All LGBTI events in Zimbabwe are held in private because homosexuality is criminalized in the south African country.

'Three vehicles forced their way into the venue of the party demanding to join the event,' the group said in a statement.

December 23, 2014

They could face up to life in prison under a new anti-gay law

Gambian authorities have arrested three men for gay sex, state television reported yesterday.

The men, whose faces were covered, were detained following a security operation and confessed they are gay, according to the broadcast. Their nationalities were not named.

‘We go around in search of suspected individuals and in the course of the investigations we arrested the men and they have confessed that they have engaged in these inhuman acts,’ the report said.

December 23, 2014

'Local media has contributed largely to violence against LGBTI Ugandans'

Ugandan's LGBTI community yesterday (22 December) launched a free gay magazine in response to the notoriously anti-gay local media.

Bombastic magazine – 'a compilation of stories, testimonies and opinions by LGBTI Ugandans' – is the symbol of the Reclaiming the Media Campaign launched by the Kuchu Times online platform for LGBTI issues in Africa.

December 18, 2014

'The school should not acquiesce to the discriminatory suppression of student group activities'

A Taiwanese university's decision to tear down a poster for a lecture by a gay speaker because it was 'afraid everyone would turn homosexual after listening' has sparked online debate in the country.

The openly gay director of the Alliance to End the Death Penalty, Miao Po-ya, last night (17 November) gave a lecture at Fu Jen Catholic University in Taipei entitled My Coming Out Experience.

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.