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Content about Social Issues

January 30, 2015

Slovaks will go to the polls on 7 February in a referendum called by family groups on same-sex marriage and gay adoption but there are hopes that not enough people will bother to vote for it to be considered valid

Slovaks will vote in a referendum on Saturday 7 February that is designed to show lawmakers how they feel about recognizing same-sex relationships and adoption by gay couples in the EU member state.

The referendum was brought on after a coalition of chruch groups and ‘family values’ groups managed to convince 400,000 people to sign a petition in favor of the referendum – 50,000 more than was needed to force a popular vote on the issue.

Slovaks will be asked three questions in the referendum:

January 30, 2015

Top court breaks a long-standing agreement between the two countries

France's highest appeals court Wednesday (28 January) allowed a gay man to marry his Moroccan partner, despite the North African kingdom's refusal to recognize same-sex marriage.

France legalized gay marriage in 2013. However, a 1981 agreement said marriages between French and Moroccan nationals were subject to the laws of their respective countries.

Dominique and Mohammed first took the case to court after a city hall in France had refused to wed them, citing the 1981 convention.

January 30, 2015

Legislation creates a special LGBTI envoy in the State Department

US lawmakers in both of houses of congress yesterday (29 January) introduced a bill to promote and protect LGBTI rights globally.

The International Human Rights Defense Act would create a special envoy in the State Department to coordinate efforts to prevent and respond to discrimination and violence against LGBTI people worldwide.

January 29, 2015

No matter what age, you can be free

Actor Joel Grey has responded to the support after coming out as gay at the age of 82.

The father of actress Jennifer Grey, who was married to actress Jo Wilder for 24 years, has said he now feels comfortable being known in public as a gay man.

'I don't like labels,' Grey told People magazine. 'But if you have to put a label on it, I'm a gay man.'

On Twitter, Grey thanked the many people who sent him messages of support.

'Grateful for all the love and support coming my way,' he said. 'What a gift.'

January 29, 2015

AFA reportedly fired him for connecting Nazism with homosexuality

Bryan Fischer is practically a real-life caricature of a right-wing, religious radical spouting homophobia at every chance he gets.

But now, he is no longer serving as the spokesman for the American Family Association.

Rachel Maddow, speaking on her show, said: 'Fischer has been their director of issue analysis, the director of issue analysis for the American Family Association forever. He’s basically quoted everywhere for years now as the organization’s spokesman...

January 29, 2015

Bill gives civil partners nearly all the rights of married couples

Lawmakers in socially conservative Chile have given final approval to gay civil unions after more than four years of legislative wrangling.

The senate yesterday (January) passed the Civil Union Accord bill by a 25 to 6 vote margin with three abstentions, a week after the lower house approved the measure.

The bill now heads back to President Michelle Bachelet to sign into law.

January 29, 2015

Daily Dish blogger Andrew Sullivan has announced his retirement from blogging, saying he wants to concentrate on writing books and essays and spending more time with his husband and family

Openly gay conservative political blogger Andrew Sullivan announced yesterday he will retire from blogging to concentrate on other forms of writing.

A former editor of The New Republic, Sullivan founded his The Daily Dish blog in 2000 and it quickly became one of the most popular political blogs in the United States.

Sullivan moved the blog between a number of websites including Time, The Atlantic, and The Daily Beast before switching to an independent, subscription-based format in 2013.

January 29, 2015

Ethan Regal, a gay man living in Nigeria, writes about his experiences growing up and living in one of the worst places in the world to be gay

When I was a young boy in Lagos, Nigeria, I had a mysterious, unexplainable tingling sensation whenever I saw an attractive guy. The stories I heard regarding romance involved a boy and girl. So I thought to myself: maybe I’m a girl deep down. That seemed like the only explanation for my attraction.

I kept thinking that perhaps God made a mistake. Perhaps I was meant to be a girl. I never had issues with my body. I wasn’t interested in getting rid of my penis or growing breasts. I just thought that in order to be with a boy I have to be a girl.

January 29, 2015

Claims ‘computers can’t discriminate’

‘Computer says no’ is not discrimination: so if you have been discriminated against by a computer system, it doesn’t count.

That is the astonishing claim made by leading mobile phone operator, Vodafone, attempting to explain why their software appeared to have blocked access to Gay Star News itself.

January 29, 2015

Out singer raised $325,000 on Kickstarter to make album his way

Plenty of people have been smitten by Steve Grand since that day in July 2013 when his self-made video All-American Boy went viral on YouTube.

The openly gay singer gained such a rabid following that he was able to raise $325,000 via Kickstarter to make his debut album - his way.

Grand announced this week that the album will finally be released on 24 March.

Although his debut hit is about a gay man's unrequited love for his straight friend, the singer says his music is for everybody - gay or straight.

January 28, 2015

The classes were intended to create a more tolerant environment

A Dublin school has cancelled workshops to tackle homophobic bullying in order for 'both sides' of the issue to be represented.

Voluntary organization ShoutOut was booked to run four classes at the school Coláiste Eoin in Stillorgan, Co Dublin before Christmas.

On Tuesday (27 January), the day they were due to teach 80 students, they were told at 10.30am via email the workshop was cancelled.

January 28, 2015

Top court bars five other states from intervening

Malaysia's Federal Court Monday (26 January) allowed Negeri Sembilan state to challenge the Court of Appeal's ruling against its Islamic cross-dressing ban.

However, the five-judge panel said it would only rule on whether the Shariah enactment contravened the constitution and would not hear arguments about whether religious law can be repealed by a civil court.

Muslim-majority Malaysia has a dual-justice system that separates secular and Sharia law. The latter only applies to Muslims and is a state matter.

January 28, 2015

The parents were speaking in support of a bill that would make sexual orientation and gender identity a protected class – alongside race, sex and religion

Parents of gay and trans kids in Idaho made emotional appeals in the Idaho Capitol on Monday.

The moms and dads spoke out during a hearing for a bill that would add sexual orientation and gender identity to the state’s Human Rights Act – alongside race and religion.

January 28, 2015

James David Manning praises the 'wisdom' of ISIS for stoning gay men

A New York City pastor who made the bizarre claim that Starbucks flavors its coffee with semen has said he was tempted by gay sex while in prison.

James David Manning of ATLAH Worldwide Missionary Church in Harlem made the admission in an interview with the Young Turks.

'Absolutely, no doubt about it. I spent three and a half years in prison,' he said.

'I saw a lot of that activity going on in prison. It was par for the course.

'I was tempted but I didn’t yield to temptation, by the way. You need to know that.

January 28, 2015

Hint: because they are Republican

A recent Pew Center survey has found that 7% of LGBTI Americans are opposed to gay marriage.

While 58% of respondents said gay marriage should be the top priority for LGBTI people right now, 39% said the issue was taking too much focus away from other issues important to them.

The strongest opposition to gay marriage within the LGBTI community came from Republicans – with one in five opposed to same-sex marriage. In contrast, 96% of Democrats supported marriage equality.

January 27, 2015

Most of them were teenagers and could be possibly put to death

12 men were arrested for holding a 'gay wedding' in Nigeria yesterday (26 January).

Fariq Maidguri, 18, and Abba Mohammed, 25, who was not caught, are accused of attempting to hold a ceremony for their relationship.

The suspects, most of them teenagers, were arrested by the Islamic state police Hisbah on the outskirts on the northern city of Kano.

In the northern Nigerian states, under Sharia law, homosexuality is punishable by death.

January 27, 2015

Veteran human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell writes about the horrors gay people faced during World War 2

'We must exterminate these [homosexuals] root and branch...We can't permit such danger to the country; the homosexual must be entirely eliminated.'

With these chilling words, the head of the SS, Heinrich Himmler, set out the Nazi master plan for the sexual cleansing of the Aryan race.

January 27, 2015

US president wraps up a three-day visit to the south Asian country

LGBTI activists are calling for US President Barack Obama to help end India's anti-gay law during his visit to the country.

A social media campaign was launched earlier this month leading up to the president's three-day visit to the south Asian country, which ends today, using the hashtags ObamaForQueerIndia and ReadDown377.

In December 2013, the Supreme Court reinstated Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), which punishes gay sex with up to life imprisonment.

January 27, 2015

Emmy nominee McKinnon known for impersonations of Ellen DeGeneres and Justin Bieber

Following in the footsteps of such female Saturday Night Live alums as Tina Fey, Kristin Wiig and Amy Poehler, Kate McKinnon is heading to the movies.

McKinnon, the first openly lesbian cast member in the show's history, has landed a starring role in an all-female version of Ghostbusters.

The film will also star Melissa McCarthy, Wiig and Leslie Jones who is also a current SNL castmember, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

January 27, 2015

The man opened up about his life on an online forum ahead of proposed legislative changes in Ireland around gay adoption and the country's planned marriage equality referendum

Ahead of the same-sex marriage referendum planned to take place in Ireland in early May, LGBT issues are being widely discussed in this traditionally Roman Catholic country.

Last week, the Irish government also announced that it was pushing ahead with legislative changes to allow gay couples to adopt.

January 27, 2015

Alan Turing biopic has crossed the $100 million mark in worldwide box office grosses

Judging from the results from other award shows, it doesn't look like the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game is going to win any major Academy Awards next month.

But the film, up for eight Oscars including Best Picture, is winning at the box office.

Over the weekend, the film starring Benedict Cumberbatch crossed the $100 million mark in worldwide box office grosses. In the process, it became the highest grossing independent film released in 2014.

January 27, 2015

She was just 24

A trans woman was shot down in Texas yesterday (26 January).

Ty Underwood, a 24-year-old training to be a nurse, was found murdered in the city of Tyler, around 90 miles southeast of Dallas.

A woman had called 911 early on Monday morning saying a car had hit a telephone pole and that her children had heard gunshots.

While police have yet to determine a motive, it is believed she was targeted because she is transgender.

January 27, 2015

Says he is 'horrified' by how transphobic he was when he made that statement

UKIP leader Nigel Farage's top aide and secretary general Matthew Richardson has apologized unreservedly for calling trans woman 'she-males' today (27 January).

But while saying sorry for the language used, he has not retracted suggestions that a future UKIP administration would put an end to gender reassignment within the NHS.

January 26, 2015

So if you've got that money to hand...

A notebook kept secret by Alan Turing during World War 2 is set to go to auction and sell for at least seven figures.

The manuscript, made up of 56 pages, has never been seen in public and is almost certainly the only extensive writing by Turing in existence.

When Turing committed suicide in 1954 following chemical castration as punishment for his homosexuality, the notebook was among papers left to his close friend and mathematician Robin Gandy.