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February 23, 2015

The annual event took place over the weekend

Lapland's LGBTI community took to the streets over the weekend for the region's annual Pride celebrations. 

Arctic Pride, which takes place in Lapland's commercial centre, Rovaniemi, was set up to provide a safe place for sexual and gender minorities to meet in one of Europe's most northern cities, which lies just six miles from the Arctic Circle. 

February 23, 2015

Italians respond in the best possible way

Islamic State militants have threatened to take over Rome and throw gay people from the 'Leaning Tower of Pizza.'

The militant group made the threat Saturday (21 February) on Twitter, seemingly unaware of the glaring spelling mistake – or the fact that the tower is 200 miles outside of the Italian capital.

'#We_Are_Coming_O_Rome, we will conquer & establish the justice of #shariah. We will use your leaning tower of pizza to throw off homosexual,' the tweet reads.

'#We_Are_Coming_O_Rome with slaughter,' said a second.

February 20, 2015

Both countries have severe anti-gay laws

Several prominent LGBTI members of Congress have urged US President Barack Obama to drop Brunei and Malaysia from a major trade deal if they do not repeal their severe anti-gay laws.

In a letter dated 18 February, five of the six co-chairs of the LGBT Equality Caucus praised the president's gay rights record but sought clarification on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which his administration is trying to fast-track through Congress.

'We urge you to bring consistency to the administration’s foreign and trade policy,' the letter reads.

February 13, 2015

Inspired by Nicki Minaj and a fan of Dolly Parton, this is one twerker who is looking for travel companions.

February 13, 2015

Local authorities in Munich refused refugees asylum because 'Uganda's government does enough to protect gays'

German local authorities refused two gay refugees asylum because they consider Uganda a safe place to live for LGBTI people.

Kyabangi and Sekulima (their last names have been omitted for their safety) fled Uganda because they were threatened and fell victim to homophobic attacks.

They met in a detention centre in Munich in 2011 and became close friends, and are now fighting together to stay safe.

February 13, 2015

State media attacks the openly gay chair of a human rights report on the hermit kingdom

North Korea has gone on another homophobic rant against the openly gay chair of a 2013 report condemning Pyongyang’s human rights record.

The Korean Central News Agency last month published an editorial demanding the US retract and apologize for the UN Commission Of Inquiry.

It claimed that a North Korean defector gave false testimony and the report 'is now being ridiculed and censured by the international community.'

February 11, 2015

Well-known event promoter was lured into the attack by the man he loved

A well-known event promoter was brutally beaten by a mob in Ghana over the weekend for being gay.

Kinto Rothmans was lured into the ambush by a man named Salim, whom he had told he loved.

During the attack, Rothmans was forced to confess his desire to 'chop' (have sex with) Salim in a video, which has since gone viral in the west African country along with a photo of him dripping in blood.

Rothmans is the CEO of Get Familiar GH, which organizes the popular Friday Friends club night in the capital Accra.

February 9, 2015

Police kill a teenager in the riot

Two students at an all-boys high school were arrested in Ghana after their classmates tried to lynch them for sodomy.

Police were called to St Paul’s Senior High School in Danu Friday night (6 February) after students started rioting over two boys they caught having sex. One first-year student was killed in the incident.

Local media reported that the mob turned on their teachers who they accused of protecting the boys and preventing them from 'delivering instant justice.'

February 9, 2015

Fraudster persuades four men to join his 'gold trading' scheme

Hong Kong police have arrested a man for using gay dating apps to cheat four men out of a more than HK$5 million ($644,853) over the last year.

The 21-year-old unemployed man, surnamed Kwong, was detained overnight Friday (6 February) for 'obtaining property by deception.'

The man found his victims on gay dating apps. After gaining their trust, he persuaded them enter a joint venture with him buying and reselling gold, which he claimed would make 10% profit.

February 9, 2015

Unity Party and ruling coalition MP Veiko Spolitis is pushing for Latvia to recognize the relationship rights of unwed couples both gay and straight for the first time

Latvia may become the next Eastern European state to formally recognize the relationships of unmarried couples in a proposal that would see gay and lesbian couples recognized for the first time in the country’s history

Currently gays and lesbians are protected from discrimination in the workplace in Latvia and homosexuality has been legal since it regained independence from the Soviet Union in 1992.

February 6, 2015

Defectors reveal what life is like for LGBTI people in the hermit kingdom

Are there gay people in North Korea?

That was the question posed to four defectors on the NK News website, perhaps prompted by a CCTV photo released last month of two male soldiers kissing upward of the DMZ.

All four unidentified defectors confirmed that LGBTI people do indeed exist in the hermit kingdom, but only one had actually met any.

February 5, 2015

The London-based singer shares her travel stories with Gay Star News

Born in Zambia, Rozalla Miller began pursuing a musical career when she moved to Zimbabwe as a teenager.

It was 1991 when Rozalla stormed the world's music charts with her massive hit 'Everybody's Free'.

'Everybody's Free' has become a dance anthem, remixed and re-released on a regular basis across the decades.

Now living in London, Rozalla continues to make music and continues to tour and perform around the world.

We caught up with her recently to share some feel-good travel stories. 

February 5, 2015

We caught up with Rohan Heath from Urban Cookie Collective to share some travel stories.

Even if you weren't born in the 90s you will still be familiar with the track 'The Key The Secret' from UK Eurodance specialists Urban Cookie Collective.

Released in 1993, 'The Key The Secret' has been a staple dance-floor filler around the world for decades, and the Urban Cookie Collective continue to tour and perform around the world.

We recently caught up with Rohan Heath, the man behind the music of Urban Cookie Collective, and unlocked his travel stories.

February 4, 2015

Caribbean country to spotlight LGBTI tourism

Activists and officials have teamed up to mastermind a new LGBTI publicity drive in the Dominican Republic.

A meeting took place on Monday between members of the Dominican Ministry of Tourism and members of the advocacy group Center for Integrated Training and Research to discuss the new campaign.

February 4, 2015

Los Angeles Confidential magazine's event is intended to honor its cover star

John Legend has pulled out of pre-Grammy party amid a Hollwood boycott of a hotel owned by the anti-gay Sultan of Brunei.

Los Angeles Confidential magazine had planned the first major entertainment industry party at the Beverly Hills Hotel in honor of its cover star.

However, a representative for the R&B singer said he would no longer be attending.

February 2, 2015

On the road with the RuPaul's Drag Race alumni, from Texas to Puerto Rico

Born and raised in Puerto Rico, entertainer Alexis Mateo's big break came in 2011 as a cast member of season three of RuPaul's Drag Race. One of the final three competitors in that season, Alexis also returned to Drag Race for the All Stars season in 2012.

Now living in Florida, Alexis is constantly on the road performing across the United States and around the world. We recently caught up with the hard-working drag queen to hear her traveller's tales...

January 30, 2015

Top court breaks a long-standing agreement between the two countries

France's highest appeals court Wednesday (28 January) allowed a gay man to marry his Moroccan partner, despite the North African kingdom's refusal to recognize same-sex marriage.

France legalized gay marriage in 2013. However, a 1981 agreement said marriages between French and Moroccan nationals were subject to the laws of their respective countries.

Dominique and Mohammed first took the case to court after a city hall in France had refused to wed them, citing the 1981 convention.

January 28, 2015

Top court bars five other states from intervening

Malaysia's Federal Court Monday (26 January) allowed Negeri Sembilan state to challenge the Court of Appeal's ruling against its Islamic cross-dressing ban.

However, the five-judge panel said it would only rule on whether the Shariah enactment contravened the constitution and would not hear arguments about whether religious law can be repealed by a civil court.

Muslim-majority Malaysia has a dual-justice system that separates secular and Sharia law. The latter only applies to Muslims and is a state matter.

January 26, 2015

Lee Hsien Loong explains why he always wears pink

Singapore's prime minister Saturday (24 January) dodges a personal invitation to the city's largest LGBTI rally during a online Q&A.

Lee Hsien Loong fielded questions from the public on his personal Facebook page from the social network's Singapore offices.

During the 45-minute session, the premier managed to answer just 27 of nearly 1,500 questions, which ranged in topic from cats to gay rights.

Of the few he managed to answer, Lee decided to respond a question from LGBTI activist Lim Jialiang about his penchant for pink.

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.