LGBTI global news 24-7

Content about Reuters

March 31, 2015

Shibuya will issue certificates recognizing gay unions as 'equal to marriage'

Shibuya ward in Tokyo has become the first locale in Japan to recognize gay couples, a major step forward for LGBTI rights in the conservative country.

The district assembly Tuesday (31 March) voted overwhelmingly in favor of issuing certificates recognizing same-sex unions as 'equivalent to marriage' and granting them housing and hospital visitation rights.

March 27, 2015

In the same week that financial analysts predicted Apple may be valued at $1trillion before the end of the year, the company’s openly-gay CEO has said that he wants his personal wealth to be put to charitable use

Apple CEO Tim Cook has told Fortune magazine that he intends to give away his personal fortune to charity.

Reuters reports the 54-year-old as saying that, besides paying for his 10-year-old nephew’s education, his estimated $785 million fortune would go to charitable causes.

‘You want to be the pebble in the pond that creates the ripples for change,’ said Cook.

March 21, 2015

Russia has called for a vote on Tuesday on its proposal to stop the UN from extending benefits to staff members who are in same-sex marriages

Last July United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced that the organization would recognize and allow its staffers, who are in same-sex marriages, to receive equal benefits as those in opposite-sex marriages.

February 8, 2015

Gay rights activists and some media outlets had advised voters to defeat the referendum by not voting at all

A referendum intended to strengthen the country’s ban on same-sex marriage and child adoption by same-sex couples in socially conservative Slovakia failed on Saturday with low voter turnout.

According to media reports, the turnout from across the country on Saturday was at 21 percent, well short of the 50 percent threshold required for the ballot to be valid.

January 16, 2015

New constitution will ensure protection for all sexual identities

Thailand's new constitution will recognize a 'third gender' for the first time, a move that has been welcomed by the country's large LGBTI community.

A panel hand-picked by the military government began work on the new constitution this week after the previous one was scrapped following a coup in May.

Panel spokesperson Kamnoon Sittisamarn yesterday (15 January) said the charter would ensure protection for all sexual identities and equal treatment under the law.

January 8, 2015

Activists say recognition on travel documents will help tackle discrimination

Nepal yesterday (7 January) announced plans to add a third gender category to passports, following a 2007 Supreme Court ruling recognizing third gender.

'We have changed the passport regulations and will add a third category of gender for those people who do not want to be identified as male or female,' Lok Bahadur Thapa, chief of the government’s passport department, told Reuters.

December 20, 2014

'Playing Billie Holiday in Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill on Broadway was one of the most challenging and artistically rewarding experiences of my career...'

Singer, actress, and LGBTI ally Audra McDonald will soon appear on HBO in a portrayal of jazz great Billie Holiday.

The six-time Tony winner will reprise her role in the Broadway play Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill  for the premium cable and satellite television network

November 28, 2014

‘Prevention and control of HIV among men who have sex with men has to be a cornerstone of national HIV programs,’ says head of European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control

Europe will miss its 2015 targets for curbing the spread of HIV, says the World Health Organisation (WHO), with an 80 per cent increase in HIV transmission in 2013 compared with a decade earlier.

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 8, 2014

The male gender marker will also be removed

A Kenyan transgender activist yesterday won a landmark case to change the name on her high school exam certificate.

The high court gave the Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC) 45 days to change the name from Andrew Mbugua to Audrey Mbugua on her Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education.

She graduated with an A- grade.

The male gender mark will also be removed and any cost will be met by Mbugua.

Mbugua described her win as 'a huge watershed moment.'

August 31, 2014

Hospital officials have no new information on Rivers condition; unconfirmed reports say the comic is on life support

Today (31 August) Melissa Rivers, daughter of comic Joan Rivers, released a statement about her mother's condition.

The announcement came from New York City's Mt. Sinai Hospital, where the 81-year-old has been hospitalized since 28 August.

August 28, 2014

Frank Bernard quit job as a manager with third largest pizza chain in US when it refused to cover his husband of six years

California resident Frank Bernard is suing the Little Caesars pizza chain because it refused to provide health insurance benefits for the former manager's husband.

The chain, the third-largest in the US, offers benefits to the spouses of its heterosexual employees. Bernard, 47, has been legally wed to his husband for six years.

August 25, 2014

A new bill in California aims to ensure future birth certificates reflect the fact that modern families don’t always have one mother and one father

Following lawmakers in California ruling earlier this summer that same-sex couples have the right to marry, steps are now being taken to simplify the way in which same-sex parents complete the birth certificates of their children.

At present, birth certificates in the US state have space for a ‘mother/parent’ name and a ‘father/parent’ name, forcing same-sex couples to add their names to these two fields regardless of their gender identity. A new bill will allow them the option of stating their relationship to the child: ‘father’, ‘mother’ or, simply, ‘parent’.

July 29, 2014

The government of Sweden will give Uganda around $200 million in development aid over the next five years after it became one of the first countries to suspend or redirect aid to the country over the passage of its draconian Anti-Homosexuality Bill

Sweden has announced it will provide $200 million in aid to Uganda over the next five years to improve health care, with a focus on sexual health and human rights - despite being one of the first to withdraw aid over the Central African country’s passing a law punishing homosexuality with terms of up to life in prison.

June 20, 2014

The US government has revealed measures it is taking against Uganda in response to the draconian homophobic laws implemented earlier this year

Uganda’s officials have said they will not be blackmailed by the US to appeal its laws against gay people.

The US government has revealed measures it is taking against Uganda in response to the draconian homophobic laws implemented earlier this year.

Aid will be cut and redirected, and visas will be banned for any official responsible for introducing the anti-gay law to Uganda.

April 28, 2014

Draft legislation would ban foreign non-government organizations from helping LGBTI people

Uganda is to draft a new anti-gay law banning non-governmental organizations promoting gay sex as the situation for LGBTI people shows no sign of getting better.

This draft legislation would ban foreign non-government organizations from helping LGBTI people.

The law passed in February made it illegal to promote homosexuality and introduced life sentences for having gay sex.

April 11, 2014

Denmark will celebrate its third time hosting the Eurovision Song Contest by marrying three Russian gay couples as it also marks 25 years since it legalized same-sex civil unions

The City of Copenhagen will celebrate the Eurovision song contest being held in Denmark by marrying three gay Russian couples in what organizers say is an act to ‘strike a blow for diversity.’

This is the third time that Denmark will host the contest and this year is also the 25th anniversary of Denmark becoming the first country in the world to formally recognize same-sex couples with civil partnerships.

April 3, 2014

The legislation also includes a measure that adds  the national motto 'In God We Trust' in Mississippi's state seal

Governor Phil Bryant announced he will sign Mississippi's  Religious Freedom Restoration Act, a proposal many argue allows public businesses to deny services to LGBTI customers.

March 14, 2014

Uganda warns cutting health budget will mean they cannot buy HIV kits and antiretroviral drugs, medicine that half a million Ugandans rely on

The United States has suspended some of its reported $400 million in aid to Uganda.

This is the first move after President Barack Obama warned passing the law would ‘complicate’ the African country’s relationship with the US.

A senior US government official told Reuters that a portion of the US Centre for Disease Control’s agreement with Uganda’s Ministry of Health had been put on hold.

Uganda now says it can no longer afford to buy antiretroviral drugs and HIV testing kits, medicine that some members of the Ugandan LGBTI community relies on.

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.’

January 16, 2014

Gay figure skater says he wouldn't boycott any Olympics even if they were in North Korea

Johnny Weir says he has come under much 'hate and scutiny' due to publicly speaking out against boycotting the Olympics in Sochi because of Russia's anti-gay laws.

"I've been called so many names and been hated on so many fronts, and been called a Russian spy and all of these wild and outlandish things,' the openly gay figure skater tells Reuters. 'I definitely feel in the crossfire.'

January 2, 2014

Two HIV patients believed to have been cured after a bone marrow transplant have relapsed and are back on antiretroviral treatment

Scientists on the hunt for an AIDS cure say despite a major setback, they are more inspired than ever.

Last month, two HIV positive patients believed to have been cured after bone marrow transplants had relapsed and was back onto antiretroviral treatment.

But with the obvious disappointment, comes a huge leap forward.

‘It’s a setback for the patients, of course, but an advance for the field because the field has now gained a lot more knowledge,’ Steven Deeks, a professor and HIV expert at the University of California, told Reuters.

December 13, 2013

Leading members of India’s ruling Congress party say they will fight the Supreme Court’s decision to reinstate the country’s Section 377 anti-sodomy law as the party explores the best options to move forward with towards reform

The Indian Government has indicated that it will move to re-decriminalize homosexuality despite Indians going to the polls in five months for general elections.

Congress party president Sonia Gandhi spoke out Thursday against the Supreme Court ruling that reinstated the country’s colonial era Section 377 buggery law the day before – and several other prominent voices within the party have now joined her.

September 22, 2013

Earlier this month, conservative Christian Kevin Swanson told his listeners to 'tell gay couples to die on their wedding day'

Kevin Swanson, the conservative Christian who wants his followers to 'tell gay couples to die on their wedding day,' is certain the deadly floods in the US state Colorado are due to 'decadent homosexual activity.'