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March 3, 2015

Russia is furious that United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon ordered that all UN employees in legally recognized relationships should have equal partner benefits regardless of where they are working

The Russian Government has warned it may intervene at the United Nations to stop gay and lesbian employees of the UN receiving equal partner benefits regardless of the laws of the country they are working in.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon issued an administrative order in June last year so that all UN employees who were in relationships that had been legally recognized by a member state could receive equal benefits no matter where they were working.

March 3, 2015

One trans woman was raped by 14 soldiers and performed sex acts for food

The first in-depth study of LGBTI Cambodians under the Khmer Rouge has uncovered widespread sexual and emotional abuse.

All 48 interviewees for the study, which was released on Friday (27 February), reported having to hide their sexuality for fear of being killed, while many said they were subjected to forced marriage, rape and sexual abuse by Khmer Rouge soldiers and officials.

All the gay men and most of the transgender women surveyed said they had experienced sexual violence.

March 2, 2015

The bus, celebrating diversity and the organization’s LGBTI staff network, will operate for a year on London’s streets. The initiative has been sponsored by Stagecoach

Transport for London (TfL) has today unveiled a rainbow-adorned double-decker bus to commemorate the tenth anniversary of TfL’s LGBTI staff network, OUTbound.

Emblazoned with the slogan, ‘Ride with Pride’, the initiative follows others that TfL have taken to celebrate LGBT issues, including the creation last year of a rainbow zebra crossing to mark Pride in London.

February 28, 2015

Convened by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the meeting is the first of its kind to bring together LGBTI activists, government and private sector representatives from over 30 countries

Some 200 participants from over 30 countries gathered for the three-day Regional Dialogue on LGBTI Human Rights and Health in Asia-Pacific at the United Nations Conference Centre in Bangkok that concluded yesterday.

Speakers included Oyungerel Tsedevdamba, Member of Parliament of Mongolia; Louise Wall, Member of Parliament of New Zealand; Tarana Halim, Member of Parliament of Bangladesh; law and human rights experts; community organization workers; as well as private sector representatives.

February 28, 2015

The former couple has been living apart since November

Rosie O'Donnell and Michelle Rounds are making their separation, made public just three weeks ago, a permanent one.

O'Donnell filed for divorce on Friday in Manhattan State Supreme Court from her wife of less than three years. She cited 'an irretrievably broken relationship' as the grounds.

The couple, who have a two year old daughter, have a prenuptial agreement, according to People.com.

February 27, 2015

Complainant says he is not against homosexuality but wants to test the limits of the country's anti-gay law

India's largest online shopping site has been sued for 'abetting gay sex and exhibiting obscene products.'

Snapdeal.com sells vibrators and lubrication, which a Supreme Court advocate said broke laws banning gay sex and public obscenity.

Suhas Joshi said he filed the complaint not because he was against homosexuality, but to test the limits of the country's anti-gay law.

February 26, 2015

'Can they marry one of the same sex and one of the opposite sex?'

Alabama's Chief Justice has suggested that bisexual and transgender people want to marry two different partners. 

In an interview with Associated Press on Monday, Moore claimed that if the Supreme Court vote to legalize gay marriage nationwide, it will open up the door for bisexual and transgender people to marry two different partners, one male and one female. 

'You're taking any definition of a family away,' said Moore. 

February 25, 2015

Our laws as they stand are having an unjust and disproportionate impact on those of religious faith', says Northern Ireland Bishop

The Catholic Church has spoken out in favour of a proposed equality clause that would permit anti-gay discrimination.

In December, DUP minister Paul Given introduced his Freedom of Conscience Bill to the Northern Ireland legislative assembly, which would allow people with strongly held religious views to deny access to goods, facilities and services on the grounds of sexual orientation. 

February 25, 2015

A judge has refused to grant the adoption until the Supreme Court makes a decision on same-sex marriage

The lesbian couple whose lawsuit overturned Alabama's same-sex marriage law have had an adoption petition refused by a probate judge. 

Kim McKeand and Cari Searcy, who have been together for 16 years, were responsible for filing the lawsuit that lead to U.S District Judge Callie Granade to rule Alabama's same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional last month (23 January). 

February 25, 2015

'No matter who you love, you will receive the same rights and protections as everyone else'

The Obama administration has redefined the term 'spouse' to include married gay couples.

The plans, which have been published today by The Department of Labour in a new 52-page document, will grant gay couples the Federal right to job-protected leave from their place of work, so they can take care of a sick partner, child or parent under the 1993 Family and Medical Leave act (FMLA).

February 24, 2015

Chhattisgarh will also pay for sex reassignment surgery

In a first for India, Chhattisgarh state has set aside a 2% housing quota for its estimated 3,000 transgender residents.

The move comes nearly a year after the Supreme Court recognized transgender citizens as third gender. In its ruling, the apex court directed governments to provide transgender people with quotas in jobs, education and basic amenities in line with other minorities.

AK Saxena, additional commissioner at the Chhattisgarh housing board, said from now on transgender residents would have the quota in all government housing schemes.

February 24, 2015

Michalak is the Global Director of Social Mission at ice cream giant, Ben & Jerry’s –  one of the world's first companies to provide same sex benefits to its LGBT staff

Ben & Jerry's, the Vermont-based ice cream company, has a long and proud history supporting LGBT rights. In 1989 it became one of the first publicly traded companies to extend benefits to same-sex partners.

Since 2001, its leadership has vocally supported the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, and it has even allowed same-sex marriage ceremonies to take place in Ben & Jerry's stores. It's fitting that one of the company's mottos is "love comes in all flavors."

February 24, 2015

Randy Berry will advocate for LGBTI rights globally

The US State Department Monday (23 February) named Randy Berry as its first LGBTI rights envoy.

The openly gay diplomat is currently the US consul general in Amsterdam and has served in Bangladesh, Egypt, Uganda, and South Africa.

Secretary of State John Kerry said he 'could not be more proud' to announce Berry as the first-ever special envoy for the human rights of LGBTI persons.

February 23, 2015

Ash Carter: 'I don’t think anything but their suitability for service should preclude them'

New US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter has come out in favor of transgender people being able to serve openly in the military.

Appearing at a town-hall meeting in Afghanistan, said he aims to make 'service as attractive as possible to our best people in our country … provided they can do what we need them to do for us.'

Carter added that he doesn't think 'anything but their suitability for service should preclude them.'

February 21, 2015

'We are a nation under laws'

Robert Bentley, the governor of Alabama, vows to follow the federal courts when it comes to marriage equality.

'We are a nation under laws,' the southern state's chief executive said to Politico. 'We may not always agree with them, but we obey them.'

February 21, 2015

Baton Rouge police chief issues issues memo to all officers telling them to stop enforcing the invalidated and unconstitutional law that prompted the arrests of the two men

Baton Rouge Police Chief Carl Dabadie has 'finally' issued a 'department-wide memo to remind officers not to arrest people using that statute,' reported The Advocate, a local Baton Rouge newspaper.

The memo came after the chief also apologized after two Louisiana men were arrested on Friday using an unconstitutional and unenforceable anti-sodomy law after they were seen having sex in a car in a park.

February 21, 2015

'The rogue actions of Travis County judges do not withstand the scrutiny of law'

Texas wants its highest court to void the marriage license of the southern state's only legally married same-sex couple.

Yesterday, 20 February, state Attorney General Ken Paxton announced he filed a petition with the Texas Supreme Court.

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 20, 2015

Did you know churches blessed gay marriages in the 'Dark Ages'? Discover and more

1. The world's oldest porn, which dates back over 3,000 years, features both male/male, female/female and male/female couples.

February 19, 2015

State's Supreme Court issues emergency order blocking other same-sex couples from obtaining licenses

For now, Sarah Goodfriend and Suzanne Bryant are the only legally married same-sex couple in the giant state of Texas.

And they might be for awhile.

The couple has been together for 30 years and were married in Austin on Thursday (19 February). They said their vows in front of the Travis County Clerk’s Office, according to The Austin American Statesman.

February 19, 2015

Caution urged after draft report details potential policy change

The US Army is reportedly considering making it easier for transgender people to serve in the military.

A draft document obtained by USA Today proposes raising the authorisation level needed to initiate dismissal proceedings against trans service members.

The leaked report, which has not been adopted as official directive, does not rescind current Army policy, which considers transgender people "administratively unfit" for service.

February 18, 2015

The next project of the German-born director of Independence Day and Stargate will be a drama on the 1969 Stonewall riots

Writer-director Roland Emmerich is to be honored at the upcoming GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles. He will be presented with the Stephen F. Kolzak Award by actor Channing Tatum.

Openly gay, German-born Emmerich has helmed some of Hollywood’s biggest hits in recent years.

Relocating to the US in the early 90s, his credits include Stargate, Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow and 2012. He directed Tatum – who is soon to wow audiences in the eagerly-anticipated sequel to Magic Mike – in 2013's White House Down.

February 18, 2015

But marriage licenses will not be issued to gay couples yet

A Texas judge Tuesday (17 February) ruled the state's ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional.

Travis county probate judge Guy Herman made the ruling as part of an estate dispute, in which an Austin woman sought to have her eight-year lesbian relationship recognized as a a common-law marriage.

Travis county clerk Dana DeBeauvoir commended Herman's order as 'a great step toward marriage equality,' but added that the judge had not instructed her to begin to issuing marriage licenses to gay couples.

February 18, 2015

'What they seek is society telling them their sin is acceptable to God'

The notoriously anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church has said LGBTI people face 'zero' discrimination in the US.

The 'God hates fags' church made the claim in an amicus brief to a federal court hearing an appeal to the of Kansas' gay marriage ban.

'What they seek – indeed what they crave – is society telling them their sin is acceptable in the sight of God,' the church wrote.