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October 15, 2014

Eight Pacific countries still have anti-gay laws

The Pacific island nation of Palau has decriminalized gay sex in a revision of its penal code.

The new criminal laws came into force at the end of July but were only announced today.

At Palau’s last Universal Periodic Review at the UN Human Rights Council in 2011, France, Norway and Spain all made recommendations that the country repeal its anti-gay laws, which were accepted by the government.

This new criminal code was passed by the Palau National Congress and signed into law by President Tommy Remengesau Jr in April.

October 12, 2014

'They deserve the right to equality, and the same respect and decency that other people have that are living right next door'

October 11, 2014

'Homo[sexuality] is a problem for us'

Twenty-one years ago, when Bill Clinton was in the White House, the Democratic president formed a military policy called 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell.'

The code permitted gay, lesbian, and bisexual troops to serve in the US military as long as they were not out. Yesterday, 10 October, the Clinton Library released documents chronicling the debate in creating the plan.

October 10, 2014

Amnesty International is the latest organization to call upon the President of Chad, Idriss Deby, to scrap a homophobic bill that is currently passing through the Chad parliament

In September, Government ministers voted in favour of a draft law that would make Chad the 37th African state to criminalise same-sex relations.

Its proposed penal code threatens jail sentences of between 15 and 20 years, and a fine of between CFA francs 50,000 to 500,000 (the equivalent of between £60 and £600.)

Ministers said at the time that the law was being introduced to, ‘protect the family and to comply with Chadian society’.

October 10, 2014

Neil Peng says Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou has a 'special relationship' with his closest aide

A Taiwanese court on Wednesday found Taipei mayoral candidate Neil Peng not guilty of defamation for his repeated calls for President Ma Ying-jeou to admit his 'special relationship' with his closest aide.

Ma's aide, National Security Council Secretary-General King Pu-tsung, filed the claim and said he would appeal the ruling.

The author also called King a 'fool,' 'bitch,' 'prostitute' and 'scum.'

October 8, 2014

He may have banned gay propaganda, but he definitely hasn't banned tributes to how muscly and manly he is

Russian president Vladimir Putin has got a whole exhibition for his birthday painting him as a muscly, masculine hero defeating the evils of the world.

Comparing him to Greek mythical hero Hercules (also known as Hercules), the paintings are called 'The 12 Labors of Putin'.

The exhibit is being held by members of a pro-Putin Facebook group who have created the artwork, headed by a man named Mikhail Antonov.

October 7, 2014

Similar to Russia's own anti-gay laws, the European Union has described Kyrgyzstan's new gay propaganda bill as one of the most sweeping homophobic draft laws in the world

A Central Asian country has taken just four minutes to agree on an anti-gay bill that makes Russia look tame.

A key education committee in Kyrgyzstan, which used to be in the Soviet block and is still influenced by Russian politics, has approved the language of their 'gay propaganda' legislation.

On Thursday, the bill will receive its first reading. If the lawmakers approve it, then it will be signed into law by the president.

Now it has emerged that it has taken just four minutes for the committee to decide to approve the bill.

October 6, 2014

NOM President Brian Brown: 'We are not defeated or dispirited'

Monday was not a good day for the National Organization for Marriage, one of the most vocal opponents of gay marriage in the US.

The US Supreme Court's decision to pass on reviewing any of the seven same-sex marriage cases submitted to them has resulted in same-sex marriage immediately becoming legal in Utah, Oklahoma, Virginia, Wisconsin and Indiana on the same day.

In addition, Colorado also announced it would begin issuing marriage licenses state-wide to same-sex couples with five more states likely to soon follow suit.

October 4, 2014

Uganda President Museveni says he still wants to persecute gays, but not if the African country loses money through lack of foreign trade because of it 

The president of Uganda is having second thoughts about anti-gay laws, not because he has changed his mind on homosexuality, but because he fears for the Ugandan economy.

President Yoweri Museveni still wants to presecute gays, but doesn’t want Uganda to pay the price if foreign traders refuse to do business with the African country.

His comments were made yesterday (Friday 3 Ocotber) and were reported in the New Vision newspaper.

Museveni said he still wants to enforce harsh punishments on gays in Uganda, but not if foreign traders desert him.

October 2, 2014

Former leader of the anti-gay British National Party was forced to leave for causing 'disunity by deliberately fabricating a state of crisis'

Nick Griffin was forceably expelled from the British National Party, it was announced last night.

The former leader of the far-right political party and ex-MEP, who believes gay marriage 'kills' children and two men kissing is 'creepy', was told to leave for 'trying to cause disunity'.

He has been accused of harassing members of BNP staff, allegedly making physical threats in at least one case, and of 'bringing the party into disrepute'.

September 30, 2014

For Richard Blanco, coming out was 'just a slow sort of easing into'

Richard Blanco was chosen in 2013 to do what such celebrated American poets as Robert Frost and Maya Angelo had done in the past: write an original poem and recite it at the inauguration of a US president.

Blanco made all kinds of history at the second inaugural of US President Barack Obama with his poem One Today. He was first openly gay man chosen as inaugural poet, the first Latino, and at 44, the youngest.

Blanco has written a new memoir, The Prince of Los Cocuyos, in which he writes about how, growing up in Miami as part of a Cuban family, he hid being gay.

September 29, 2014

Court postpones ruling on a case seeking to repeal the Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act for a second time

A Nigerian court last week postponed the ruling on a case seeking to repeal of the Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act for a second time.

September 27, 2014

‘Homos bully the poor and needy’ reads church sign erected by notorious anti-gay pastor James David Manning in Harlem

A notorious anti-gay pastor has put up a new sign at his church, claiming gay people are bullies and Jesus would have killed them with fire and brimstone.

The ATLAH World Missionary Church in Harlem, New York has a sign outside which currently reads: ‘When the homos bullied the poor and needy in Sodom like they do in Harlem Jesus fire and brim-stoned them’ alongside a Bible reference.

This is not the first time the church has erected homophobic signs.

September 26, 2014

Activists scored the three candidates on their gay marriage stance, policies and recognition of LGBTI issues

LGBTI rights groups said yesterday all three Taipei mayoral candidates lack concrete policies on gay rights.

The candidates were scored on gay marriage stance, policies and recognition of LGBTI issues, on a scale ranging from three to minus three points.

Independent candidate Neil Peng received the highest score with 1.5 points, followed by independent candidate Ko Wen-je with minus one.

Chinese Nationalist Party candidate Sean Lien came last with minus three points.

Neil Peng is the only candidate who openly supports gay marriage.

September 25, 2014

'The sexual orientation of a person is just like the color of their skin'

Former US President Jimmy Carter had a lot to say this week about Christianity and discrimination against gay people.

Carter, now 89, was asked about gay rights during an appearance at the 100th anniversary celebration of Michigan's Grand Rapids Community College.

'I never knew of any word or action of Jesus Christ that discriminated against anybody because of who they were,' said Carter, a Democrat who served as president from 1977-81.

September 25, 2014

One man, an LGBTI activist, has been afraid to leave home and has deactivated his Facebook profile

The president of Nefas LGBT Azerbaijan Alliance fears for his life and that of his fiance, according to the group's Facebook page.

A photo of their engagement posted on social media was then published by media outlets in the Caspian Sea country without their permission.

September 25, 2014

Lambda Legal hails Holder's leadership in the fight for federal recognition of same-sex marriage

US Attorney General Eric Holder plans to step down as head of the Justice Department as soon as a successor is in place.

His impending departure was confirmed Thursday (25 September) by President Barck Obama.

Holder, 63, has been in the job for five-and-a-half year which is the fourth-longest ever for an attorney general.

Holder is considered a hero by LGBTI activists for his record on civil rights.

September 24, 2014

Sam Kutesa is a virulent supporter of Uganda's anti-gay laws, which set up sentences of up to life in prison for homosexuality.

President Barack Obama is to meet with Sam Kutesa, the new president of the United Nations General Assembly who was instrumental in bringing in new anti-gay laws in Uganda, today (24 September).

The meeting will take place in New York this afternoon, prior to a UN Security Council summit on foreign terrorists the US president will chair.

But experts say Obama is unlikely to use this opportunity for a moral argument over homosexuality.

September 22, 2014

Former president of France is back, saying he 'detests' the way equal marriage was brought in by Francois Hollande's government

Nicolas Sarkozy has claimed the new same-sex marriage law in France 'humiliates families'.

The former president of France has returned to politics, condemning several actions made by François Hollande's government.

The 59-year-old politician, currently on his third wife, said he 'detested' the way Hollande 'forced' through marriage equality.

'[The government is] humiliating families and humiliating people who love the family', he said, by introducing legislation allowing same-sex marriage.

September 19, 2014

US President writes in letter to her daughter: ‘Not only did she make us laugh, she made us think’

Joan Rivers, not long before her death, caught some blowback from the LGBTI community for a joke she made about US President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama.

In July, Rivers was asked about being asked about likelihood of the US ever having either a female or a gay person elected.

She replied, 'We already have that with Obama. You know Michelle is a tranny. A transgender. We all know.'

Obama is not holding a grudge.

September 19, 2014

Uganda’s President Museveni is struggling to find accommodation during a trip to Texas where he is seeking to encourage tourism and investment in his country despite its persecution of LGBTI people

Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni is struggling to find a hotel to stay in as he prepares to meet with potential investors in his country this weekend in Irving, Texas.

President Museveni had been due to stay at the Irving Four Seasons hotel. However the hotel cancelled the booking after a blog post in the Dallas Voice noted his country’s record of persecuting LGBTI people and attempts to pass draconian laws to silence them.

September 12, 2014

Both LGBTI and non-LGBTI actors report hearing homophobia on set and think that the entertainment industry still has a problem casting gay actors in straight roles

The results of a study have been published that find that many actors still believe Hollywood is rife with homophobia.

The research was undertaken by respected LGBT think thank, the Williams Institute at UCLA, and was funded by leading actor’s union, SAG-AFTRA [Screen Actors Guild‐American Federation of Television and Radio Artists]. Ken Howard, the union’s president, described the study as ‘unprecedented’.

September 12, 2014

Neil Peng has repeatedly accused the president of having a gay relationship with his closest aide

Taipei mayoral candidate Neil Peng again called on President Ma Ying-jeou to come out in an online Q&A session despite a pending libel suit against him.

The author and politician said the age of gay stigmatization was over and gay people were just like any other minority such as left-handed people.

He said, 'Today would we discriminate against left-handed people? We not only don't discriminate, we think of them as very valuable, for example [baseball player] Wei-Yin Chen.'

September 12, 2014

Group's president Bill Donohue complains: 'They decided to include a gay group that is neither Catholic nor Irish while stiffing pro-life Catholics'

An LGBTI group will be marching in the New York City St. Patrick's Day Parade in 2015 but the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights will not be.

The group's president, Bill Donohoe, posted a letter on the group's website Thursday (11 September) explaining why the league won't be participating in the parade for the first time in 20 years.