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April 22, 2014

We meet Hiro Mizuhara, a young leading light of Singapore’s emerging LGBTI community, and learn what life and the scene is really like on the island were gay sex is still against the law

Not all advice you get from locals is sound. Picking me up from Singapore’s airport, Hiro Mizuhara had told me not to believe the weather forecast predicting thunder – it hadn’t rained for months he pointed out.

The next day I was in the middle of the stunning Gardens By The Bay when the storm started. The downpour delivered three months worth of rain in a few hours, while I sheltered in the gardens’ enormous greenhouses.

March 22, 2014

The ASEAN SOGIE Caucus calls on the ASEAN governments to place greater priority on the well-being and welfare of all peoples in its 10 member-states

LGBT rights activists attending the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Civil Society Conference/ ASEAN People’s Forum (ACSC/APF) in Yangon, Myanmar from 21 to 23 March 2014 are continuing to lobby its 10 member-states to promote and protect the rights of its LGBTIQ people.

The 10 member-states are: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

The ACSC/APF is held ahead of the ASEAN Summit in May which will also be hosted by Myanmar, the Chair of ASEAN this year.

March 17, 2014

Inspirational advocates from across Asia share their stories at landmark awards ceremony in Singapore

Asia’s LGBTI heroes have been honored at the first Asian Pink Awards in Singapore.

Campaigners and company representatives flew in from all over the region and as far away as Europe for the event last night (16 March), organized by Asian gay men’s magazine Element.

Among those honored was A-Mei, the hit Taiwanese singer who held a free concert in 2013 to support same-sex marriage.

Another singer, Laure Shang, a past winner of the Chinese Supergirls contest and an LGBTI advocate was also given an award.

March 10, 2014

Three companies and 10 individuals will be honored as Element magazine hosts inaugural Asian Pink Awards

LGBTI heroes will be celebrated this Sunday (16 March) at the first Asian Pink Awards.

With a vast pool of talent and passion to choose from, the awards will go to 10 individuals and three companies from this list of 27 nominees.

February 18, 2014

A secret guide telling Singapore Christians how best to lobby their government against scrapping the country’s colonial era sodomy law has been leaked online - exposing their talking points about how to write to lawmakers

A secret guidebook created by a group of Singapore churches telling people how best to lobby lawmakers against repealing the country’s colonial era 377A law banning sex between men has been leaked online.

‘This Guide is not meant for mass distribution to everybody in your church or everybody you know on Planet Earth,’ the guidebook states.

February 15, 2014

A prominent church pastor has finally claimed responsibility for an anti-gay petition which demands the health ministry review its online brochure on sexuality for failing to warn against the 'homosexual lifestyle'

A pastor of a megachurch in Singapore, who once referred to the LGBT rights movement as the 'onslaught of the evil one', has revealed himself to be behind an anti-gay petition which was launched two weeks ago.

In a Facebook post yesterday, Lawrence Khong said he has been putting 'all (his) effort' in the past week to mobilize Christians in Singapore to demand that the health minister conducts a 'public enquiry to uncover who is responsible' for an online brochure which 'failed to warn the public of the high health risks associated with the homosexual lifestyle.'

February 15, 2014

A prominent church pastor has finally claimed responsibility for an anti-gay petition which demands the health ministry review its online brochure on sexuality for failing to warn against the 'homosexual lifestyle'

A pastor of a megachurch in Singapore, who once referred to the LGBT rights movement as the 'onslaught of the evil one', has revealed himself to be behind an anti-gay petition which was launched two weeks ago.

In a Facebook post yesterday, Lawrence Khong said he has been putting 'all (his) effort' in the past week to mobilize Christians in Singapore to demand that the health minister conducts a 'public enquiry to uncover who is responsible' for an online brochure which 'failed to warn the public of the high health risks associated with the homosexual lifestyle.'

February 5, 2014

Singapore’s leading public health organization has declared that LGBTI people are normal and not mentally ill in publishing an online Q&A on LGBTI issues – though homosexuality is still technically banned in the South East Asian nation

Singapore’s Health Promotion Board has said that gay people are normal and not suffering from mental illness in a new online resource aimed at better educating Singaporeans around LGBTI issues.

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.’

January 13, 2014

ELEMENT Magazine lists its nominees for its first Asia Pink Awards, celebrating the businesses and individuals at the forefront of an LGBTI revolution

The Asian LGBTI world is growing at record pace. But this development hasn’t happened by accident. It’s the result of tireless work by an army of dedicated heroes, many of them volunteers.

Now ELEMENT Magazine – dedicated to gay men in Asia – has decided to celebrate its first anniversary by recognizing some of those champions.

Its inaugural Asia Pink Awards celebrates some of the individuals and champions who are helping make the continent a better place for all LGBTI people.

January 11, 2014

The two men arrested have been in a relationship for over 10 years, the mother of one of the men told a local newspaper

In what’s a rare case in a country which has a reputation for a low crime rate, the police have arrested two Singaporean men, believed to be responsible for kidnapping a 79-year-old woman for a ransom of S$20 million.

Heng Cheng Boon, a 50-year-old credit card salesman, and 41-year-old odd-job worker Lee Sze Yong were arrested and charged on Friday for allegedly kidnapping Ng Lye Poh on Wednesday, according to local media reports.

December 17, 2013

From free vodka nights to rooftop infinity pools at skyscraper level, we lead you to most popular gay circuit parties, club nights and hotels from Bangkok to Taipei

If you want disco balls and flashing lights on your travels through the Orient, an epic boogie in Asia is not a difficult task.

The Far East offers travellers stunning beaches for relaxing and unique cities for exploring, but of interest to the club-bound, the gay party scene in many Asian countries has long been a force to be reckoned with.

Freedom from sexual labeling makes many Asian countries an attractive destination for LGBTI travellers, who contribute to the growing visibility of local gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities.

November 12, 2013

Gay Star News captured the lesbian-lovers, grandmas and Lady Gaga's Little Monsters who came out to support the Chinese LGBT community

Hong Kong LGBT Pride drew over 5,000 marchers and supporters this year.

Gay Star News photographed locals and visitors from neighboring countries including Malaysia, Singapore, Korea, Thailand and the Philippines, all who took to the streets to celebrate the theme of 'We stand for love. We stand for LGBT'.

The streets were flowing in rainbow and red, the signature color of this year's parade to signify love.

November 6, 2013

Omar Kuddus asks if LGBTI activism has become dominated by ‘fashions’ and whether a focus on Russia is distracting from the wider struggle for rights

Whilst the world’s and media’s attention is focused on the plight of Russian LGBTIs, we must not forget homosexuality is illegal in 76 countries.

With the Winter Olympics Sochi in 2014 and Russia’s anti-gay propaganda laws firmly in place, not a day goes by without some news about the conditions Russian homosexuals face under the heinous anti-gay propaganda laws.

October 13, 2013

Bystanders react with disparaging comments about transgender people Bystanders react with disparaging comments about transgender people

A lovers’ tiff that developed into a vicious assault is being regarded from a different perspective in Singapore – because the attacker happens to be from the transgender community.

The incident occurred in February 2012 when William Hanz De Veyra Arriesgado, a 25-year-old Filipino living with a 47-year-old Australian, Colin James Peady, had an argument in a pub.

October 7, 2013

Singapore’s High Court will hear a test case in November on whether LGBTs are protected from discrimination in employment after an executive at a department store was fired after his bosses discovered he was gay

The Singapore High Court will hear a test case on whether LGBTs have protection from discrimination in the workplace after a senior executive at the Robinsons department store was sacked over his sexual orientation.

Lawrence Wee Kim San was recently dismissed by Robinsons and is now applying to the High Court here to declare that Article 12 of the Singapore Constitution should apply to all forms of discrimination at work.

October 5, 2013

Judge dismisses challenge to anti-gay law, saying prohibition based on moral issue

Singapore’s court has struck another blow to gay rights, refusing for the second time in this year to strike down a colonial law that criminalizes sex between men.

The first Singaporean who had contested the law nearly three years ago, Tan Eng Hong, had his challenge to the constitutionality of Section 377A of the Penal Code dismissed by the high court, with the judge saying the law was based on “morality and social values”.

September 12, 2013

The amazing story of how LGBT staff at one bank are helping change their company, gay people’s lives and the corporate world

Staff in big banks can feel they are small cogs in enormous wheels. But at Barclays some of them have found ways to make huge changes – helping themselves, their colleagues and the whole corporate world.

Their vehicle has been Spectrum, Barclays’ award-winning LGBT staff group.

And they have used it to unite employees in far-flung regional offices, to help LGBT organizations from the streets of New York to Mumbai and to change the benefits system for gay and lesbian colleagues’ partners.

September 8, 2013

Singapore religious leader, who ‘spoke with God’, champions law that criminalizes homosexuality, claiming it’s not normal 

He says when he was 16, God spoke to him and ordered him to become a preacher.

Now, at 61, Lawrence Khong, senior pastor of Singapore’s Faith Community Baptist Church, movie producer and magician, is championing Section 377A that criminalizes homosexual sex in Singapore, in the midst of legal battles to have the law repealed.

Khong’s argument: homosexuality is not normal.

August 26, 2013

A poll of social attitudes funded by the Government of Singapore has found that most people are either opposed or lukewarm when it comes to LGBT rights – though the younger generation are more open minded

A year long survey of Singaporean social attitudes has found that the South East Asian island nation has a long way to go in terms of accepting LGBT people.

The Our Singapore Conversation (OSC) survey reported back a year to the date that it was announced by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and sought the opinion of a representative sample of 4,000 ordinary Singaporeans on a range of issues.

The survey found 37% of those surveyed said they rejected ‘gay lifestyles,’ while 27% felt neutral on the issue.

August 26, 2013

Despite assurances from Russian government that gays will be punished, presidential candidate for the International Olympic Committee Ng Ser Miang has expressed his approval about the upcoming games

An International Olympic Committee (IOC) presidential candidate is confident the Sochi Winter Olympics next year will be ‘wonderful’.

Ng Ser Miang, who could replace current IOC president Jacques Rogge on 10 September, made a statement from his office in Singapore today.

He believes the rights of LGBT athletes and spectators will be protected at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, despite Russia’s anti-gay law banning ‘homosexual propaganda’ and conflicting reports from Russian government as to how the laws will apply during the Olympics.

August 24, 2013

Lawrence Bernard Wee Kim San says he was forced to leave retail store Robinsons after being asked to become straight and his lawsuit was dismissed on contractual grounds 

A 40-year-old Singaporean, whose suit against his employers for 'forced resignation' because he was gay was dismissed by court, is now ready for further battle, asking for protection for gays in the workplace.

August 18, 2013

Love in the air and parties on the way as Wellington approves same-sex marriages from Monday, with nearly three dozen couples ready to say they do

There is love in the air, parties on the way and a rush to pack suitcases as New Zealand makes history Monday when nearly three dozen couples will say they do with the government approving same-sex marriages.

New Zealand’s Department of Internal Affairs said 31 weddings were scheduled to take place. However, the number can go up given the intense interest and excitement at home and afar.

The department said 977 marriage forms were downloaded ahead of the historic day, which means three times as usual.

August 1, 2013

Gay Star News learns how Barclays uses enthusiasm, innovation and even ATM messages to prove their LGBT credentials at pride

Nowhere are LGBT rights more visible around the world than during a gay pride event.

As businesses have evolved to become more LGBT-inclusive, many have demonstrated their support of gay prides by marching in parades or sponsoring events.

Banking giant Barclays, with its LGBT employee network group Spectrum, has taken its corporate social responsibility to new heights of diversity and inclusion.