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April 14, 2014

Gay campaigners ‘jubilant’. Civil unions could be signed into law as early as tomorrow

The island nation of Malta is set to finally legalize civil unions for gay couples this evening (14 April).

Traditionally conservative, the small European Catholic nation is one vote away from giving gay couples the right to have their unions recognized.

If the bill passes, as is widely expected, it will be signed into law as early as tomorrow.

The bill will give gay couples exactly the same legal rights as straight couples have with marriage.

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has described the change as a very important moment for Malta.

April 9, 2014

Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller has backed away from an election pledge to decriminalize homosexuality, saying stakeholders must decide the issue, and she can’t say when that will happen

Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller has again said that decriminalizing gay sex is not a priority for her government in the latest sign that she intends not to honor her 2011 election promise to do so.

Simpson-Miller told Television Jamaica, ‘We have to go to our constituents, consult our constituents and then we go with the decisions of those consultations.’

April 9, 2014

Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller has backed away from an election pledge to decriminalize homosexuality, saying stakeholders must decide the issue, and she can’t say when that will happen

Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller has again said that decriminalizing gay sex is not a priority for her government in the latest sign that she intends not to honor her 2011 election promise to do so.

Simpson-Miller told Television Jamaica, ‘We have to go to our constituents, consult our constituents and then we go with the decisions of those consultations.’

April 4, 2014

The world’s second openly gay leader of a country has told a European Union-Africa leadership summit that the rights of minorities, including LGBTI people must be respected

Belgian Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo has told a European Union-Africa summit that he is hosting in Brussels that the rights of LGBTI people must be respected in Africa.

Di Rupo, only the second openly gay person to be elected a national leader, made the comments in a speech in front of the leaders of Nigeria and Uganda amongst other delegates.

‘We cannot tolerate that some are denied their rights and persecuted for their origins, their sexual orientation, their religion and their convictions,’ Di Rupo said on Wednesday at a dinner for some 80 leaders.

March 29, 2014

David Cameron tweeted his congratulations to first gay couples making history today

UK Prime Minister David Cameron has congratulated newly married gay couples in England and Wales today (29 March).

The leader of the Conservative party took to his Twitter account to voice his support for those at the forefront of this historic occasion.

‘Congratulations to all same-sex couples getting married today – I wish you every possible happiness for the future #equalmarriage’ he said.

The world’s media has been focused on those lucky couples who will make history as the first gay people to become legally married.

March 28, 2014

Look back on the battle to get same-sex marriage legalized in England and Wales as the first couples prepare to walk down the aisle

The first same-sex marriages in the UK will take place at the stroke of midnight tonight.

After years of tireless campaigning from the LGBTI community, same-sex couples in England and Wales will finally be able to say ‘I Do’.

Queen Elizabeth II signed the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) last year in July, but it took several months before couples could register their intention to marry.

March 18, 2014

The Australian Senate has passed a motion calling on the Australian Government to do more on the world stage to help end the criminalization of LGBTI people

Australian senators voted yesterday on a motion acknowledging the persecution of LGBTI people in many parts of the world and called on the Australian Government of Prime Minister Tony Abbott to do more to combat the problem.

The motion was moved by opposition Australian Labor Party Senator Claire Moore on behalf of Labor Senator Louise Pratt and ruling Liberal Party Senator Sue Boyce at around 4.30pm in a bipartisan effort.

March 15, 2014

Australian PM Tony Abbott stumbled over his response when a high school student asked ‘Why are you so against legalizing gay marriage?’ during a school trip to Canberra

A high school student took advantage of the chance to quiz Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott on some of the important issues facing the country by challenging him on his stance on marriage equality.

Students from Newtown High School of the Performing Arts in New South Wales were on a school trip to Government House when the Prime Minister went to talk to them and agreed to answer some questions.

March 14, 2014

UK Prime Minister David Cameron has written an open letter calling for sport to do more to welcome open LGBTI athletes

A gay prime minister would be accepted in the UK, according to Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband.

The Labour and Liberal Democrat leader have said they were confident the British public would be able to judge him or her on their abilities, not their sexual orientation.

In an open letter, Prime Minister David Cameron also said more gay role models were needed in the world of sport.

Asked by readers of a British gay publication, Clegg replied: ‘Yes and why not?

March 13, 2014

Lithuanian lawmakers will vote today on a bill that would ban all public expression of LGBTI identity and impose fines on those who broke the law

Lithuanian lawmakers will vote today on a bill that would outlaw gay pride parades, public speeches in support of LGBTI rights, gay rights campaign materials and audio-visual materials in support of the rights of LGBTI people.

The bill would make such actions an administrative offense with fines of between $US400 to $US1200, and $US1200 to $US2500 for subsequent offenses.

The bill was introduced by Order and Justice Party MP Petras Gražulis in response to a Baltic March for Equality in the capital Vilnius in July last year.

March 4, 2014

Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi has said the government will be forced to make reductions and cutbacks in the face of the World Bank freezing $90 million in aid

Uganda has announced MP expenses, as well as ‘other areas’, will be slashed as donors cut aid over anti-gay law.

Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi has said the government will have to make reductions and cutbacks.

Gay rights activists in Uganda are largely opposed to cuts in aid, as they feel it could cause a violent backlash.

‘It will delay the improvement of service delivery in the health sector,’ Mbabazi told reporters.

March 3, 2014

Australia’s deputy Opposition leader has called on Liberal and National party MPs in the government to pressure Prime Minister Tony Abbott to allow them a conscience vote and co-sponsor her bill on same-sex marriage

Deputy Australian Labor Party leader and Member for Sydney, Tanya Plibersek, has written to all MPs in the Australian Government to call on them to put pressure on Prime Minister Tony Abbott to allow them a conscience vote on her bill to legalize same-sex marriage.

February 28, 2014

Catholic martyrs were canonized after an African king had them executed for not sleeping with him

Pope Francis will be flying to Uganda in order to praise Uganda martyrs who rejected gay sex from the country's former king.

The head of the Catholic Church will visit Uganda in October, which has recently enacted one of the worst anti-gay laws in the world.

Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi has confirmed the Pope has accepted the invitation to attend the celebrations to mark 50 years since the canonisation of the Uganda Martyrs.

The Vatican is yet to confirm the visit.

February 26, 2014

As Netherlands, Norway and Denmark announce aid changes, gay activists have responded to the worldwide call to cut aid to the African country

Uganda gay activists have warned the worldwide call for aid to be cut will make the fight-back against the new law harder.

Several advocates for LGBTI equality fear politicians will directly blame gay people if aid is cut and increase hatred against them.

After Uganda’s president Yoweri Museveni signed the anti-gay bill into law on Monday (24 February), the Netherlands has announced it has frozen aid while Denmark and Norway is redirecting its assistance so it directly helps non-governmental organizations and human rights groups.

February 18, 2014

Rival politicians and right-wing broadcasters have accused the popular prime minister Elio Di Rupo of being 'shameless' by appearing shirtless

Belgium’s gay Prime Minister is being accused of trivializing his job by appearing topless in pictures.

While Elio Di Rupo’s physique is nothing to be ashamed of, the 62-year-old has angered rival politicians who have criticized him for being ‘shameless’ and ‘outrageous’.

In a documentary to be screened on Belgian television this week, a three-second clip of the popular Socialist leader changing his shirt is caught on camera.

It was from a national day last July that saw the inauguration of the country’s new King Philippe.

February 18, 2014

Rival politicians and right-wing broadcasters have accused the popular prime minister Elio Di Rupo of being 'shameless' by appearing shirtless

Belgium’s gay Prime Minister is being accused of trivializing his job by appearing topless in pictures.

While Elio Di Rupo’s physique is nothing to be ashamed of, the 62-year-old has angered rival politicians who have criticized him for being ‘shameless’ and ‘outrageous’.

In a documentary to be screened on Belgian television this week, a three-second clip of the popular Socialist leader changing his shirt is caught on camera.

It was from a national day last July that saw the inauguration of the country’s new King Philippe.

February 11, 2014

Kenyan LGBTIs have held a protest action in solidarity with their Ugandan brothers and sisters – calling on Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta to dissuade Uganda from passing a law which could see people jailed for life for being gay

Kenyan LGBTI rights activists protested outside the Ugandan High Commission in Nairobi on Monday to stand in solidarity with the Ugandan LGBTI community as their Parliament again prepares to consider draconian legislation to further criminalize homosexuality.

February 10, 2014

President Yoweri Museveni has reportedly days before he decides to assent or send the Anti-Homosexuality Bill back to parliament

Uganda’s Prime Minister has said the Anti-Homosexuality Bill will be ‘fully debated’ before it becomes law.

Amama Mbabazi has hinted the draconic legislation, originally known as the ‘Kill All The Gays’ bill before the death penalty was removed, will go back to parliament before it is signed back into law.

Writing on Twitter today (10 February), he said: ‘To all those who sent me messages about the Bill on homosexuality, I want to assure you that it will be fully debated and democratically resolved.’

February 7, 2014

Dutch prime minister and Russian president meet despite extreme tension between the two countries following assaults and humiliation

President Vladimir Putin has told the world the Olympics is not the place to discuss Russia’s treatment of gay people.

In a meeting with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, the Russian president demanded politics and sport should not mix.

‘I know you always give much attention to humanitarian issues and adherence to human rights,’ Putin said, according to Reuters.

‘We are always open to discussion.’

February 5, 2014

David Silvester was kicked out of the UK Independence Party. Now he wants gays to ‘repent’ and has bizarrely voted for a town council motion against him

Local councilor David Silvester who said floods across Britain were caused by same-sex marriage equality has called on gays ‘to repent’ at a council meeting.

Silvester remains part of Henley Town Council, a prosperous town in southern England and home to the world-famous rowing regatta, despite being kicked out of the UK Independence Party because of his comments.

February 5, 2014

Lambeth Mayor Mark Bennett, an adovocate for gay rights, was a friend of Prime Minister Tony Blair

A gay mayor in London has died suddenly, at the age of 44, from a suspected heart attack.

Tributes have poured in to Lambeth Mayor Mark Bennett, who was first elected in 2005, died on Monday (3 February).

Tony Blair, former Labour Prime Minister, described him as an ‘intelligent, immensely hard-working and above all, a warm and generous spirit who was a pleasure to be around’.

Bennett, assistant to Alistair Campbell for the first four years of Blair’s government from 1997 to 2001, also paid tribute.

February 5, 2014

O’Grady says he believes Putin is gay as he joins a global day of action against Russia anti-gay hate

Popular gay TV star Paul O’Grady has said he is boycotting Coca-Cola but supporting lesbian BBC Olympics anchor Clare Balding over Sochi.

O’Grady, who made his name as drag queen Lily Savage and is now a TV host, was fronting a protest in London as part of a day of action today (5 February) before the Sochi Winter Olympics.

Around 300 showed up for the protest in London, outside the Prime Minister’s Downing Street home, in the last hour – despite rain and a strike crippling the Tube network.

January 29, 2014

Britain will be sending Anne, the Princess Royal, Lord Sebastian Coe and Culture Secretary Maria Miller, the politician responsible for same-sex marriage in England and Wales, to Russia

UK Prime Minister David Cameron has officially refused to attend the Sochi Winter Olympics, but has denied it is a ‘snub’.

Downing Street formally informed Russian diplomats yesterday the Conservative leader will not be attending, but stressed it was not due to the outrage surrounding Russia’s gay propaganda laws.

Instead, Cameron declined the invitation on the grounds there is no precedent for serving prime ministers to attend the Winter Olympics.

Britain will be sending Anne, the Princess Royal and former London Olympics chief Lord Sebastian Coe.

January 29, 2014

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has told a ministerial forum that it is not his government’s role to lead the people on LGBTI rights as new polling shows that 4 out of 5 Singaporeans still think gay relationships are almost always wrong

Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has told a ministerial forum with the students union of Nanyang Technological University that it is not up to his government to lead the Singaporean people into accepting LGBTI rights and that the people’s deeply held values must be respected.

Singapore’s Today newspaper live tweeted the Prime Minister’s speech, tweeting ‘On LGBT issues, PM Lee says not Gov's role to decide if society's deeply held social, moral values are right or wrong.’