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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

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 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 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).

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.

January 23, 2015

Netizens worry about the safety of the two men

Two North Korean soldiers have been spotted sharing a gay kiss on South Korean CCTV.

The images were widely shared on Korean media this week leading netizens to worry for the safety of the two men.

'I'm pretty sure they'll be killed if they're caught,' one Reddit user wrote.

'My immediate thought was how basically three generations of their children will suffer if they get caught somehow,' another said.

January 15, 2015

Finnish Olympian Ari-Pekka Liukkonen came out publicly as gay in February of 2014 at the height of his career to protest the treatment of LGBTI people in Russia and he has now been named Sports Role Model of the Year

Finland has recognized its most prominent openly gay athlete as a national sporting role model during an annual sports gala recognizing the best sporting achievements for 2014.

25-year-old Finnish swimmer Ari-Pekka Liukkonen came out as gay in February to protest the treatment of LGBTI people in Russia ahead of the Sochi Winter Olympics in what many said was a brave mood for an athlete at the top of their career.

January 12, 2015

Trip to paradise up for grabs with tour operator's exclusive giveaway

Intrepid travellers could win a trip to Peru, Thailand, Costa Rica or Greece with a new giveaway from gay tour operators Detours Travel.

The organisation is giving away the $2000 experience to its lucky grand prize winner, as well as three $500 gift certificates for three runner ups.

The travel experts – who specialize in hosting LGBTI groups to destinations such as Costa Rica, known for its sloth population [see picture] – added Peru to its list of destinations late last year.

December 25, 2014

The West African countrywill lose duty-free access to US markets

The US government has removed Gambia from a trade benefits program for abusing human rights, including a new law that imposes life imprisonment for some gay acts.

The White House did not initially give any reason why Gambia would cease being a beneficiary of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), according to the Associated Press.

November 30, 2014

The minister of Foreign Affairs has said there’s no chance of any dialogue between Gambia and any other countries about LGBTI rights 

The Gambian minister for Foreign Affairs has declared he will have nothing to do with ‘ungodly’ gays who are ‘detrimental to human existence.’

These comments were made by Bala Garba Jahumpa on live national television last night (29 November).

In his speech, he spoke about his refusal to enter into dialogue about LGBTI rights with any nations. Even if it means Gambia will lose aid.

November 28, 2014

Archbishop of Trinidad and Tobago Joseph Harris has spoken out against religious parents who desert their gay children as he helped open a new Catholic shelter for children that will not discriminate against gay and lesbian kids

The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Trinidad and Tobago Joseph Harris helped launch a new shelter for at-risk children on Wednesday – one of four operated in the Caribbean nation by the Holy Faith Sisters religious charity.

According to the Credo Center’s administrators, the shelter will welcome children regardless of their sexual orientation and the same policy exists for all the Holy Faith Sister’s children’s shelters in Trinidad and Tobago.

November 24, 2014

Eight LGBTI people were arrested and torturted in the country this month

Gambia's president has signed into law a bill that punishes 'aggravated homosexuality' with life imprisonment.

The notoriously anti-gay President Yahya Jammeh approved the bill on October 9, according to documents uncovered last week. 

The bill targets 'serial offenders' and people living with HIV but because 'homosexuality' and 'homosexual acts' are not defined in Gambian law, human rights groups fear that LGBTI people will be persecuted arbitrarily under the new enactment.

November 10, 2014

Laotian runner-up sparks third gender debate in her Communist country

A 22-year-old Venezuelan on Saturday night was crowned Miss International Queen in Thailand at the world's biggest beauty pageant for transvestites and transgender women.

Isabella Santiago beat 21 other contestants from 18 countries to win the title and 440,000 baht (US$12,500) in prize money in the resort town of Pattaya. The winner can also opt for a free cosmetic procedure, including gender reassignment surgery.

November 7, 2014

Edgars Rinkevics has become the most prominent openly gay politician in a former Soviet Bloc state and the first ever lawmaker in his country of Latvia to announce he is gay

Latvia’s Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics has come out as gay in one of the most public of forums, posting his announcement on Twitter and expressing his hope that his government will move to legalize civil partnerships for same-sex couples.

‘Our country has created a legal framework for all types of partnerships, I will fight for it, I know that it will immediately cause a lot of hysteria but I am #Proudtobegay,’ Rinkevics posted in Latvian to the social media website earlier today.

November 6, 2014

Interview process also forces applicants to reveal their HIV status or if they've had a 'transsexual operation'

A Christian university in South Korea has told gay people they are not welcome to apply for jobs on their campus.

'Drinking, smoking and homosexuality are not allowed,' the ad for an English language teacher job posted by Korea Nazarene University reads.

The full job application also includes a 'self health check list'. Questions include 'Are OR were you HIV (AIDS) positive?' and 'Have you had transsexual operation? [sic]'.

University officials claim LGBTI people do not meet the 'requirements' needed to be a teacher at the school.

November 3, 2014

There were no attacks this year

The second Podgorica Pride took place without incident yesterday in the capital of the deeply conservative Montenegro despite fears of violence.

The 100 marchers were outnumbered 100 to one by 2,000 policemen, nearly half of the Balkan country's force.

Activists walked past the government buildings in central Podgorica, waving banners reading 'Traditionally Proud,' 'Silence = Death' and 'This is Just the Beginning.'

Human Rights Minister Suad Numanovic, Podgorica Mayor Slavoljub Stijepanovic and several EU ambassadors joined the march.

October 28, 2014

Report finds 87 per cent of the country's LGBTI people are not out

LGBTI Mongolians face social stigma and violence despite living in the first Asian country to teach LGBTI issues in schools, according to a new report.

The report was conducted by the United Nations Development Program and US Aid and is the first comprehensive review of LGBTI rights in the north Asian country.

It highlighted the lack of published records of LGBTI before the transition to democracy in 1992 and until recently, there was no word in the Mongolian language for gay or transgender.

October 27, 2014

The German is barred from leaving the country after he stormed a military camp where the suspect is held

The German fiancé of a transgender allegedly slain by a US Marine fainted yesterday after he was stopped from boarding a flight home from the Philippines.

Marc Suselbeck has been charged with 'undesirability' and is not allowed to leave the country.

He reportedly lost consciousness at Manila international airport and was taken to hospital.

October 24, 2014

Churches blame the deadly virus on 'homosexualism'

LGBTI Liberians have gone into hiding after church leaders said Ebola was a punishment from God for homosexuality.

LGBTI people in the capital Monrovia have been harassed, beaten and a few have had their cars smashed.

‘Since church ministers declared Ebola was a plague sent by God to punish sodomy in Liberia, the violence toward gays has escalated. They're even asking for the death penalty. We're living in fear,’ LGBTI activist Leroy Ponpon told Reuters.

October 23, 2014

Korea University council is the first student body to ban discrimination against LGBTI people

The student council of Korea University in Seoul has revised its rules to ban discrimination against LGBTI people after several homophobic incidents on campus.

It is the first student body of a South Korean university to do so.

Earlier this year, a placard welcoming new LGBTI students was torn down by unidentified individuals. A similar incident occured at Ewha Womans University, sparking concerns about homophobia on campuses.

October 17, 2014

The company's director says she will file a complaint with the UN Human Rights Committee

A Kazakh court has upheld a fine imposed an advertising agency over a contraversial gay club poster.

The poster shows Kazakh composer Kurmangazy Sagyrbayuly kissing Russian poet Alexander Pushkin.

A court in Almaty last month found Havas Worldwide Kazakhstan guilty of 'advertising goods and services banned in Kazakhstan' and fined the company and director a total 314,000 tenge ($1,700).

The judge said, 'The court of the first instance gave the correct assessment based on available proof.'

October 15, 2014

The bill, similar to Russia’s own anti-gay law, will make it illegal to spread information about ‘non-traditional sexual relations’

Kyrgyzstan lawmakers have voted overwhelmingly in favor of a law that will punish 'gay propaganda' with up to a year in jail.

Earlier today (15 October), the bill passed its first reading with a vote of 79 to 7.

The bill, similar to Russia’s own anti-gay law, will make it illegal to spread information about ‘non-traditional sexual relations’ in the former Soviet country.

October 15, 2014

Eight Pacific nations 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 14, 2014

The video by Chinese girl group SNH48 shows two girls caressing and embracing

Korean media is speculating that a music video for Chinese girl group has been banned in the country because of several intimate scenes between two of the girls.

The MV for the song Uza shows two girls from 16-member group carressing and embracing.

The video was removed after less than three days online.

SNH48 is the Chinese sister group of the hugely popular Japanese group AKB48.

The video was shot in South Korea and directed by Hong won-ki, who is also responsible for videos by K-pop groups Girls Generation, Super Junior, F(x) and T-ara.