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January 30, 2015

Comedy legend was last above title in 1988's Big Business opposite Bette Midler  in 1988

The last time Lily Tomlin had a starring role in a film, the Berlin Wall was still standing, Ronald Reagan was president of the US and it still would be 16 more years before the launch of Facebook.

But the 75-year-old comedy legend is back above the title in the comedy Grandma which premiered this week at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah.

In her first leading role since 1988's Big Business with Bette Midler, Tomlin plays a feminist poet who is breaking up with her far younger girlfriend and still dealing with the death of her longtime partner.

January 30, 2015

'The only way I will rest in peace is if one day transgender people aren’t treated the way I was...My death needs to mean something'

Over 100,000 people have signed a petition calling for Leelah's Law, the proposed legislation that could end LGBTI 'cure' therapy in the US.

The White House petition has gained the necessary amount of signatures required needed for a response from President Barack Obama.

January 30, 2015

Legislation creates a special LGBTI envoy in the State Department

US lawmakers in both of houses of congress yesterday (29 January) introduced a bill to promote and protect LGBTI rights globally.

The International Human Rights Defense Act would create a special envoy in the State Department to coordinate efforts to prevent and respond to discrimination and violence against LGBTI people worldwide.

January 29, 2015

AFA reportedly fired him for connecting Nazism with homosexuality

Bryan Fischer is practically a real-life caricature of a right-wing, religious radical spouting homophobia at every chance he gets.

But now, he is no longer serving as the spokesman for the American Family Association.

Rachel Maddow, speaking on her show, said: 'Fischer has been their director of issue analysis, the director of issue analysis for the American Family Association forever. He’s basically quoted everywhere for years now as the organization’s spokesman...

January 29, 2015

Bill gives civil partners nearly all the rights of married couples

Lawmakers in socially conservative Chile have given final approval to gay civil unions after more than four years of legislative wrangling.

The senate yesterday (January) passed the Civil Union Accord bill by a 25 to 6 vote margin with three abstentions, a week after the lower house approved the measure.

The bill now heads back to President Michelle Bachelet to sign into law.

January 29, 2015

They're going to use it for LGBTI advocacy instead

A gay bear couple own JebBushForPresident.com, and they're not giving it up without a fight.

Domain owners CJ Phillips and Charlie Rainwater, from Oregon, purchased the site name in 2008, ready for the former Florida governor to enter the race.

Instead of promoting the Republican politician, however, they're planning on using it for LGBTI advocacy.

'This page is intended to prompt understanding, insight, and healthy dialogue in the ever changing landscape of civil rights and social justice,' they said.

January 29, 2015

Ethan Regal, a gay man living in Nigeria, writes about his experiences growing up and living in one of the worst places in the world to be gay

When I was a young boy in Lagos, Nigeria, I had a mysterious, unexplainable tingling sensation whenever I saw an attractive guy. The stories I heard regarding romance involved a boy and girl. So I thought to myself: maybe I’m a girl deep down. That seemed like the only explanation for my attraction.

I kept thinking that perhaps God made a mistake. Perhaps I was meant to be a girl. I never had issues with my body. I wasn’t interested in getting rid of my penis or growing breasts. I just thought that in order to be with a boy I have to be a girl.

January 27, 2015

Hardline Catholic group the Missionaries of Mercy have bought Toulon’s gay bar Texas in order to close it down as it sits next to the group’s church in the city, labeling it a ‘bar of Sodom’

Closeted Catholic priests will be the only gay men drinking in a gay bar in the French city of Toulon after a hardline Catholic group managed to purchase the building this month.

The Missionaries of Mercy took the opportunity to buy the bar when its owners filed for bankruptcy recently – meaning it would have to be sold to whoever was the highest bidder.

January 27, 2015

US president wraps up a three-day visit to the south Asian country

LGBTI activists are calling for US President Barack Obama to help end India's anti-gay law during his visit to the country.

A social media campaign was launched earlier this month leading up to the president's three-day visit to the south Asian country, which ends today, using the hashtags ObamaForQueerIndia and ReadDown377.

In December 2013, the Supreme Court reinstated Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), which punishes gay sex with up to life imprisonment.

January 23, 2015

US president is interviewed by three YouTube stars

US President Barack Obama has said he hoped the Supreme Court would make the 'right decision' on gay marriage when it rules on the issue in spring.

The president yesterday (22 January) gave interviews to three YouTube stars in an attempt to reach a younger audience.

Obama told comedian GloZell Green that he was hopeful the high court would recognize there was 'no good reason' to ban gay marriage.

January 23, 2015

The country’s House of Representatives have passed a law allowing gay people to register their partnerships

Chile is poised to become the next South American country to recognize same-sex unions after its House of Representatives approved a ‘civil union’ bill this week.

A significant majority passed the bill on Tuesday, with 86 legislators voting in its favor and 23 against (with two abstentions).

The bill has the backing of the Government, with President Michelle Bachelet [pictured] saying that she believes civil unions are a stepping-stone towards full same-sex marriage rights.

January 23, 2015

Human Rights Campaign has published its annual State Equality Index and warns that despite marriage equality in most states, other inequalities persist

Human Rights Campaign has today published its annual State Equality Index, which ranks 50 US states and Washington D.C with regards to the protections that it offers LGBT citizens.

It has broken states down into four categories, with 29 states occupying the bottom slot: those states offering the least protection.

Just seven states fill the top category: those with the most protection.

January 22, 2015

President Michelle Bachelet says she will sign the bill into law

Chilean lawmakers have approved a bill that would legalize gay civil unions in the south American country.

The Chamber of Deputies passed the measure by a vote of 86 to 23, with two abstentions.

'This is a law that does not discriminate and it gives protection to all couples and families in the country,' government spokesperson Alvaro Elizalde said.

The Senate last October approved the legislation first introduced by former President Sebastián Piñera in 2011.

January 22, 2015

Editor claims it is to distract from the government

Egypt's government is telling the media to boost its anti-gay coverage, an editor has claimed.

Ibrahim Monsour, the editor-in-chief of a leading liberal newspaper the Tahrir News, has said the government want coverage of arrests for homosexuality and other 'morality' charges in order to distract from politics.

President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi was part of the revolution that ousted the previous government, with him gaining power in 2014.

'These are instructions from the state apparatus' to cover sex scandals and other 'silly' issues, Monsour said.

January 21, 2015

President Obama calls gay marriage a 'civil right'

US president Barack Obama made history today (21 January) by saying the words 'lesbian,' 'bisexual' and 'transgender' for the first in a state of the union address.

The president said that he pushed for LGBTI rights because 'as Americans, we respect human dignity.'

'That’s why we defend free speech, and advocate for political prisoners, and condemn the persecution of women, or religious minorities, or people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender,' he said.

January 21, 2015

Todd and Jeff Delmay were among plaintiffs in case challenging Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage

It's been a heady month for Florida newlyweds Todd and Jeff Delmay who became the second same-sex couple in their state to legally marry.

Tonight, they are in Washington DC to attend President Barack Obama's State of the Union Address before members of the US Senate and House of Representatives.

They have been invited by Democratic Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

'We are over the moon with excitement,' Todd Delmay said in a statement from Equality Florida.

January 19, 2015

Sri Lankan LGBTI rights group Equal Ground hope the incoming government of President Maithripala Sirisena will be more open minded to the needs of sexual minorities and transgender people

A leading Sri Lankan LGBTI rights group has expressed hope that Sri Lanka will move forward to protect the needs of sexual minorities and transgender people now that the New Democratic Front coalition have taken power.

President Maithripala Sirisena was swept into power at the start of this year with the backing of Sri Lanka’s minority Muslim and Tamil communities and rural Sinhalese voters that had become disenchanted after 10 years of government by outgoing president Mahinda Rajapaksa.

January 16, 2015

Podcaster is charged with apostasy

A promiment Mormon critic and pocaster faces excommunication from the church of Latter Day Saints (LDS) for supporting of gay marriage.

John Dehlin yesterday (15 January) said he had been summoned to appear before a disciplinary council on January 25.

'The charge is apostasy, and I have been informed that the likely
outcome of the disciplinary council will be either disfellowshipment (ie, official
censure) or excommunication (ie, termination of my membership),' he said in a statement.

January 16, 2015

Ex-Southern Baptist president delivers an anti-gay sermon at the legislature

A baptist minister invited to give a devotional at the opening of the Georgia House of Representatives on Wednesday (14 January) took the opportunity to rant against gay rights, which he called 'erotic liberty.'

Bryant Wright, pastor of Johnson Ferry Baptist Church and former president of the Southern Baptist convention, reminded legislators that their role was to protect citizens against the 'evil,' in this case gay marriage.

January 15, 2015

Yukio Hatoyama plays the first female president of the US

A former Japanese Prime Minister yesterday (14 January) made his musical debut musical in Tokyo – in drag!

Yukio Hatoyama played retired politician Rosario, who served as the first female president of the US, a part that required both singing and dancing.

Other cast members in the original production, Waist Size Story, included Orix senior chairman Yoshihiko Miyauchi and Japanese Red Cross Society president Tadateru Konoe.

The musical tells the story of former delinquents, who are now in their late 60s and live on the West Side of Manhattan.

January 13, 2015

He also thinks you can 'cure' AIDS with herbs and bananas, so we're probably fine

Gambia President Yahya Jammeh has claimed the world is doomed because of gay people.

In another speech condemning homosexuality, he has said the US and other countries that support LGBTI people are leading to the 'collapse' of modern society as we know it.

'Let me make it very clear that if they think that they can be homosexuals and want to impose homosexuality on the globe, they are doomed,' Jammeh told soldiers in the capital of Banjul, according to independent news website Gambia Affairs.

January 13, 2015

'Shirvell's conduct reasonably could have created the impression that neither he nor the department enforced the law in a fair, even-handed manner without bias'

A court has found a former Michigan state's lawyer one-man campaign against an out college student does not fall under First Amendment protection.

Last week the Michigan appeals court ruled against Andrew Shirvell. The former state assistant attorney general was fired in 2010 for harassing the student body president of the University of Michigan, who happened to be gay.

January 12, 2015

Pope Francis is to visit the Catholic-majority country on Sunday

Philippine Archbishop Socrates Villegas has said homosexuality is not a sin ahead of the Pope's first visit to the Catholic-majority country on Sunday (15 January).

The archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan made the comment today at a forum hosted by the Philippine Daily Inquirer at University of Santo Tomas in Manila.

January 8, 2015

They suggest he could be more consistent

Gay rights leaders in some of the world's most homophobic countries have written a letter to President Obama.

They are calling on him to be more consistent with dealing with the governments that are passing anti-LGBTI laws.

The letter, signed by people like Kenya's Eric Gitari and The Gambia's Pasamba Jow, suggest the way he dealt with Ugandan politicians should be the same as the way he deals with lawmakers from countries that do not receive the same media attention such as Nigeria or Kyrgyzstan.