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April 23, 2015

Extends marital leave to gay employees

Gamania has become the first listed company in Taiwan to recognize same-sex marriage by extending marital leave to gay employees.

The computer game developer Wednesday (22 April) announced that the policy had taken effect on 1 April.

Gay employees can now apply for eight days of paid marital leave by presenting their wedding invitations, marriage certificate or other evidence.

April 23, 2015

Pope Francis reportedly met with openly gay French diplomat Laurent Stefanini over the weekend to tell him that he could not accept his appointment to become an ambassador to the Vatican City

France’s openly gay pick to become its next ambassador to the Holy See has met with Pope Francis only to be told he is unacceptable for the job, according to new reports.

Laurent Stefanini met with Pope Francis for a 15 minute audience over the weekend, according to the Le Canard Enchâiné newspaper, and was told that France’s legalization of same-sex marriage in 2013 was part of the reason he could not accept him into the Vatican’s diplomatic community.

April 20, 2015

If made legal, any group that 'engages in activity contrary to the people of Uganda' will be outlawed

The lives of Uganda's LGBTI people and their allies could be about to get that much harder if a proposed bill is made legal.

The suggested law would effectively make it illegal for LGBTI people to freely associate and to help others in the community.

It would allow lawmakers to ban any group or charity that is critical of the government or that 'engages in activity...which is contrary to the dignity of the people of Uganda'.

Published last week, it is expected to be debated in parliament soon.

April 16, 2015

The French Government says it will not back down on its choice of senior diplomat and openly gay man Laurent Stefanini as its next ambassador to the Holy See but officially the Vatican is giving him the silent treatment

Vatican City is continuing to refuse the appointment of an openly gay man as the French ambassador to the world’s smallest country.

Vatican City, home of the Holy See and headquarters of the global Catholic Church, is only 44 hectares (110 acres), and with a population of 842 is the smallest internationally recognized independent state in the world by both area and population.

April 13, 2015

Homophobic attacks have increased since parliament registered an anti-gay law

An LGBTI organization was targeted in an attempted arson attack earlier this month in Kyrgyzstan.

CCTV cameras caught two unknown persons throwing three bottles of explosives into the yard of Labrys' headquarters in Bishek around 10.30pm on 3 April.

Two bottles caused an open fire but the office building remained untouched.

'The nature of the attack shows that the attackers were planning arson,' the group said.

April 7, 2015

The Holy See is to receive its first ever openly gay ambassador in the form of France’s Laurent Stefanini and not everybody’s sure they’re too thrilled about that

The smallest country in Europe and its only remaining absolute monarchy is about to get its first ever openly gay ambassador from another country.

Vatican City, home of the Holy See and headquarters of the global Catholic Church, is only 44 hectares (110 acres), and with a population of 842 is the smallest internationally recognized independent state in the world by both area and population.

April 3, 2015

Proceeds go to a gay marriage advocacy group

Taiwanese pop diva and gay icon A-mei has launched two 'rainbow products' to raise money for gay rights ahead of her April concert marathon in Taipei.

One of the products is a rainbow towel printed with the word 'Utopia,' and the other is a hand fan.

Some 12,000 fans, each priced at NT$100 (US$3.20), will be sold and all proceeds will be donated to the Taiwan Alliance to Promote Civil Partnership Rights, according to her label EMI.

The towels are priced at NT$500 (US$16) and NT$10 (US$0.32) will be donated for every one sold.

March 31, 2015

South Asian country says vote against partner benefits for gay staff was based on 'sovereignty issues'

The US ambassador to India has expressed disappointment in the south Asian country for voting against LGBTI rights at the UN.

Richard Verma made the comment last week in New Delhi.

'We were disappointed... by India's support this week for the attempt to strip benefits from UN staff in same-sex relationships,' he said.

'We will continue to support the rights of LGBT individuals in India, in international institutions, and around the world.'

March 31, 2015

LGBTIs fleeing Uganda attacked and forced into sex work in world’s third largest refugee camp

Ugandan LGBTI asylum seekers are being stoned and poisoned in the world’s third largest refugee camp.

That’s the revelation in a new video about life in Kakuma camp in northern Kenya.

It has seen an influx of refugees fleeing Ugandan LGBTI hate and anti-gay legislation.

But life in the camp is often dangerous.

Jaw Desman fled his home after being exposed in the Ugandan press as a homosexual and having neighbors ‘storm’ his home.

March 24, 2015

Mother and girlfriend are mourning the loss of their loved one

A woman was killed in Swaziland with an axe just for being gay.

Kaylo Glover, a young lesbian from the southern town of Nhlangano, was in a bar with friends on 15 March.

A man, furious to be in the presence of lesbians, left the bar and fetched an axe from his car.

He then plunged the axe into her back. As her friends rushed her to hospital, they heard men shout 'let's finish off these dogs'.

On the way there, Glover bled to death.

She was just 26.

March 21, 2015

But no marriages are likely to take place until US Supreme Court rules on upcoming marriage equality cases

The government of Puerto Rico announced on Friday (20 March) that the US territory will no longer defend its ban on same-sex marriage in court.

Secretary of Justice César Miranda told reporters that Puerto Rico has denied rights that others enjoy. This is not correct.'

Miranda and Puerto Rico Governor Alejandro García Padilla (pictured) are requesting that the commonwealth's legislature to amend the civil code which currently states that 'no recognition will be given to marriages between persons of the same sex contracted in other jurisdictions.'

March 20, 2015

Money not well spent

Uganda has spent over 600 million shillings on PR trying to deal with the backlash over the anti-gay law.

In an attempt to clear the country's image after legalizing the Anti-Homosexuality Act, they spent 614 million Ugandan shillings ($208,000, €195,000).

Aston Kajara, the State Minister for Finance in charge of privatization, said Uganda needed some good publicity in the US congressional caucus after the president's visit.

'When the president [Yoweri Museveni] came back he told us that even at the hotel they had booked for him had to be changed.

March 20, 2015

'Transgenders have been deprived of education, employment opportunities, begging on the streets and going through gross neglect'

West Bengal state cabinet Wednesday (18 March) approved the formation of  a Transgender Development Board, the first of its kind in India.

Sashi Panja, minister-in-charge for women and child development, said Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra states had transgender boards, but they were focused on welfare, not development.

'Quite often we have seen that they (transgenders) have been deprived of education, employment opportunities, begging on the streets and going through gross neglect,' she said.

March 19, 2015

Immigration rules in both countries bar 'undesirable' persons from entering

A prominent gay rights activist Wednesday (18 March) challenged laws barring LGBTI people from entering Belize and Trinidad and Tabago at the region's top court.

Maurice Tomlinson argued that obscure immigration rules barring entry to LGBTI people violated his freedom of movement rights, enshrined in a key Caribbean Community treaty.

The Jamaican testified before the Trinidad-based Caribbean Court of Justice via video link so as not to break the country's immigration laws.

March 18, 2015

Says designers should stick to designing clothes

The editorial director of Dolce and Gabbana's magazine has resigned over controversial comments the designers made about gay parenting.

Earlier this week, the fashion duo said they opposed gay adoption, 'synthetic children' and non-traditional families. Their remarks angered celebrities such as Elton John, who is leading a boycott of the brand.

And now Giuliano Federico has left Swide.com after seven years at the magazine.

March 18, 2015

Rainbow Reykjavik is quickly making a winter-stopover in Iceland essential for the LGBTI traveller – but why should you touchdown during this unique festival?

It’s always fascinating to meet new people; it’s all the more captivating to meet underneath one of the world’s most spectacular and elusive phenomena – the Northern Lights.

Rainbow Reykjavik, Iceland’s annual Winter Pride Festival, hosted by tour operators Pink Iceland, kicked off its four-day tour with this unforgettable and enviable memory – and there were many more to come, from ATV (all-terrain vehicle) off-roading to a real Icelandic masquerade party!

March 17, 2015

A lawyer has gone on TV to lead the calls for the men to be arrested

Young men who have acted in gay porn films in Ghana are to be hunted down and arrested and possibly tortured, following a call from the country's media.

Most of the students who have performed in the films are now in hiding.

StarrFMonline and Breeze FM 'exposed' the 'festering underground gay porn movie industry'.

In their reports, the Ghanaian news sources directly blamed 'foreign producers preying on jobless men' at the University of Ghana.

March 17, 2015

LGBTI activist says the cause is deforestation, not homosexuality

A prominent Muslim cleric has blamed the prolonged drought in Uganda on moral decay, such as homosexuality.

Speaking Monday (16 March) at Kibuli Mosque in the Kadhi district of Kampala, Sheikh Siliman Kasule Ndirangwa told the faithful they must repent for their sins if the country was to see rain.

'Rain belongs to God,' he said. 'So as believers, we pray that God releases rain. But we have also to repent our sins.' 

March 14, 2015

Couple barred from adopting the children they co-parent because it would have 'negative impact' on them will appeal court's decision

A Taiwanese lesbian couple are fighting against a decision stopping them from adopting their children.

In the first case of its kind in the country, Neal Wang hopes to formally adopt the twins she co-parents with her partner of 15 years, Ashley Chou.

Chou gave birth to the children six years ago via artificial insemination - but under Taiwanese law, the unmarried partner of a birth mother is not allowed to adopt her children.

March 10, 2015

'How can I stay in Korea with the man I love? Where are my rights?'

A British expat took on the mayor of Seoul last Friday (6 March) over rights for gay couples.

It was a bold move by Simon Hunter-Williams in a country where homosexuality remains taboo.

'How can I stay in Korea with the man I love? Where are my rights please?' he asked.

'I also fell in love with a Korean like many people. The only difficulty is the person I fell in love with is a man.'

March 6, 2015

Leading LGBTI activist is urging the government to change
 

Zimbabwe cannot control HIV and AIDS if it continues to discriminate against LGBTI people, a leading activist has said. 

Director of Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe (GALZ) Chesterfield Samba has urged the government to revise the anti-gay laws that stop necessary discussion into urgent health issues.

‘We are saying that there must be a revision of laws that inhibit CSOs [Chief Security Officers] and the government from engaging on issues of key populations’ he said in an interview with The Zimbabwean.

March 5, 2015

But his documentary about the plight of LGBTI people in Kenya will still never be shown

George Gachara, the producer of an internationally acclaimed Kenyan LGBTI film, will not go to prison.

He is the creator behind Stories of Our Lives, the award-winning documentary on the plight of LGBTI Kenyans.

The film is banned in Kenya for 'promoting homosexuality'.

Gachara was arrested October 2014 on the grounds he was allegedly filming without a license in breach of The Film and Stage Plays Act and released on a cash bail of KES 10,000 ($110, €99).

March 5, 2015

First former communist country to do so

Slovenia has announced the legalisation of same-sex marriage, ahead of the country's growing 'Pink Week' travel concept in May.

Slovenian parliament voted in favor of gay marriage on Tuesday 3 March, making it the first former Yugoslavian/Balkan country to do so.

This is timely for Pink Week, a four-day LGBTI travel experience which welcomes travellers from around the world, and takes place for the second time this 28-31 May.

February 26, 2015

Measure is approved 'for the protection of children from harmful information'

The Senate of Kazakhstan has passed a bill banning 'propaganda of a non-traditional sexual orientation.'

The upper house of the Kazakh parliament approved the measure on 19 February 'for the protection of children from information harmful to their health and development.'

Aldan Smayil, a member of the Majilis (the lower chamber of the Kazakh parliament), proposed prohibiting 'gay propaganda' in August 2013.