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July 17, 2014

Gay Star Travel editor Jean Paul Zapata is an Amsterdam virgin. May these translations be his guide

As a teenager growing up in the US, Amsterdam has always been one of those magical places so many of my fellow countrymen and women obsessed about.

Mostly for the legalized marijuana, but also for the canal systems, cycling culture and various iconic museums, Amsterdam was the place to go.

Amsterdam continues to top the travel charts and this weekend I get my first taste of the Dutch city as I travel for Milkshake festival.

July 5, 2014

'Our plan is to file something with the US Supreme Court because we believe Theresa is a proper party and we believe that intervention is appropriate'

A Pennsylvania county clerk faces a difficult challenge in her attempt to uphold the state's defunct law against same-sex marriage.

On 3 July the US 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed Theresa Santai-Gaffney's appeal of a lower court's rejection of her wish to defend the state's gay marriage ban.

In late May, US District Judge John E. Jones III struck down the state's prohibition against marriage equality.

June 11, 2014

'I went home, and I was like, "Oh my God, I have glitter between my teeth!"'

During Sunday night's Tony Awards, Neil Patrick Harris kissed fiance David Burtka on the mouth during his electrifying performance of Sugar Daddy from Hedwig and the Angry Inch.

But during his rehearsal of the number earlier in the day, those lips belonged to Looking star Jonathan Groff.

May 26, 2014

Canadian immigration officials have rejected the visa applications of a group of 10 Ugandan LGBTI rights activists out of fear they will try to seek asylum once they are in the country for WorldPride 2014

Canadian immigration officials fear a group of Ugandan LGBTI rights activists want to travel to Toronto to participate in WorldPride 2014 in order to claim asylum and so are denying them entry.

The reasons given for denying them entry visas include a lack of travel histories, being unable to prove they had the money to maintain themselves in Canada, and family ties in Canada and Uganda.

Officials told eight of the activists that they did not believe they had a legitimate business purpose in Canada.

May 13, 2014

Former US Speaker of the House defends NFL player Derrick Ward’s Twitter meltdown over the Michael Sam kiss

Former US Speaker of the House defends NFL player Derrick Ward’s Twitter is accusing gays of intolerance when it comes to reacting to anti-gay views.

Gingrich, 70, appeared on CNN's Crossfire this week to discuss some of the negative reaction to the nationally-televised kiss between Michael Sam and his boyfriend after Sam was drafted by the NFL.

Ex-NFL player Derrick Ward had a Twitter meltdown over the kiss and suffered tremendous backlash because of it.

May 2, 2014

Pasadena City College had initially insulted its Oscar-winning alum by revoking invite due to long ago leaked photos

In just a matter of weeks, Dustin Lance Black has gone from someone who could give Pasadena City College 'a bad name' to someone college officials 'deeply respect.'

An embarrassing saga involving inviting then un-inviting Black to be the Southern California college's commencement speaker came full circle on Wednesday (30 April) when school officials decided to re-invite the Oscar winner to be their speaker eight days from now.

April 30, 2014

With just nine days until graduation, Pasadena City College still has no commencement speaker

Instead of an Academy Award winning alumnus delivering the commencement speech at Pasadena City College next month, the Southern California school has no one at all.

With nine days until graduation, the school is dealing with a second fiasco involving its scheduled commencement speaker.

Black's invitation was rescinded earlier this month because of long ago leaked sex photos and now Dr. Eric Walsh, Pasadena’s director of public health, has also not panned out.

April 18, 2014

Says Oscar winning screenwriter and activist: 'I did nothing wrong and I refuse to be shamed for this any longer'

Not many months after he won the Academy Award for his screenplay for the film Milk in 2009, Dustin Lance Black's newfound fame quickly showed its downside.

Old photos of him having unprotected sex with an ex-boyfriend were leaked onto the internet. Black quickly issued a statement saying he wanted to emphasize the importance of responsible sexual practices and moved on with his life.

April 14, 2014

Conservative Mothers for America leader Mary Baker says ‘gay supremacy is becoming a monster that carries greater evils than white supremacy ever did’

The African American leader of US group Conservative Mothers for America claims that there is a powerful growing ‘gay supremacy’ movement that is worse than the white supremacy movement – which she could tolerate more because at least those racists were Christians.

Mary Baker, a speaker for the Tea Party Express, made the claims in an article for Tea Party Nation which warned that America needed to take a similar approach to putting down ‘Gay Supremacy’ like it had the white supremacist movement.

April 10, 2014

‘I’m gay, I’m gay! I don’t want to go back to Cameroon!’ he allegedly shouted, as he was being attacked

Friends of a blind bisexual asylum seeker from Cameroon are accusing UK deportation officers of beating him up.

Alain Kouayep Tchatchue fled after the people in his town discovered he was having sex with another man.

Fearing being beaten or killed, the French speaker came to the UK in order to live and love freely. In his time here, he has found another male partner – another asylum seeker.

The Home Office rejected his claim of asylum and issued a deportation order last week.

January 23, 2014

Proposed legislation was unexpectedly moved to more GOP-friendly committee this week to improve its chances

In a vote along party lines, an Indiana House committee approved a constitutional marriage ban bill on Wednesday (22 January).

Although same-sex marriage is already illegal in Indiana, the bill seeks to amend the state constitution to define marriage as being between one man and one woman.

The 9-3 vote represented a victory for Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma, a Republican, who committed what some had described as a political power play.

January 23, 2014

Toni Atkins succeeds John Perez who was the first openly gay man in the powerful leadership role

The leadership of the California Assembly will be handed off from a gay man to a lesbian at the end of 2014.

Toni Atkins, a Democrat from San Diego who is currently Assembly Majority Leader, has been chosen by her colleagues to succeed current speaker John Perez who has been termed out.

I am humbled, grateful, and ready to get to work,' Atkins said in a statement Wednesday (22 January).

January 23, 2014

Toni Atkins succeeds John Perez who was the first openly gay man in the powerful leadership role

The leadership of the California Assembly will be handed off from a gay man to a lesbian at the end of 2014.

Toni Atkins, a Democrat from San Diego who is currently Assembly Majority Leader, has been chosen by her colleagues to succeed current speaker John Perez who has been termed out.

I am humbled, grateful, and ready to get to work,' Atkins said in a statement Wednesday (22 January).

January 22, 2014

Muslim educational expert claims he is not homophobic, despite saying he could never 'approve' of homosexuality

Global charity Oxfam has cancelled an event in London after learning the speaker called gay people ‘evil’.

Ibrahim Hewitt, a Palestinian speaker and former headteacher, had written a book for 15 to 16-year-old students describing homosexuality as a ‘great sin’.

He said in an Islamic state, homosexuality should be treated like pedophilia and incest.

In the book, Hewitt reportedly said: ‘[Homosexuality is an] evil practice which could corrupt and pollute the whole society.’

January 17, 2014

Report claims President Yoweri Museveni refuses to back the law previously called the ‘Kill the gays bill’ and has attacked parliament’s Speaker Kadaga for passing it

Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni has attacked parliament for passing the Anti-Homosexuality Bill and said gays are ‘abnormal’ but could be saved.

The bill, previously known as the ‘Kill the Gays Bill’ but with the death penalty now removed, was pushed through in a shock move in December.

Now Museveni has joined the critics of Speaker Rebecca Kadaga who was instrumental in forcing it through – even though some claimed not enough members of parliament (MPs) were present to make a quorum.

January 10, 2014

Parliamentary speaker has told Barack Obama, Richard Branson, and other Western countries to mind their own business

Uganda’s speaker Rebecca Kadaga has told Western countries to back off and stop ‘bullying’ them on anti-gay laws.

The parliament speaker, who once promised to pass a ‘Kill The Gays’ bill as a Christmas present to Ugandans, has said their country can make its own decisions.

She referenced President Barack Obama, who visited Senegal last year, claiming the president Macky Sall ‘kept him quiet’

Kadaga also slammed British billionaire Richard Branson, who urged for a boycott of Uganda.

December 25, 2013

SMUG is defiant in the face of parliament pushing through act giving life in prison to ‘repeat’ gays. Calls on president not to sign and make it law

Leading LGBTI rights organization Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) has pledged to fight to the end to stop the anti-gay law passed by the country’s parliament.

The passing of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill on Friday (20 December) took LGBTI activists and governments around the world by surprise. It appears it may even have been a shock to Uganda’s own government.

December 20, 2013

Anti-Homosexuality Bill is now passed by parliament. LGBTI people 'afraid for their lives'. Hunt feared. President could sign it into law as early as tomorrow. Death penalty dropped but life in prison remains for homosexuality

Uganda’s parliament has passed the dreaded anti-gay bill today (20 December), leading LGBTI people to fear a 'hunt'.

Speaker Rebecca Kadaga put forward a motion for second reading today and the bill passed.

Originally known as the 'Kill The Gays' bill, the death penalty has been dropped but people can still get life in prison for homosexuality.

The bill will make it illegal to 'promote' homosexuality and will also jail anyone who does not report homosexual activities to the police.

December 20, 2013

Ugandan gay activist Edwin Sesange of the African LGBTI Out and Proud Diamond Group calls for action as his country passes life in jail for homosexuality

The speaker of the Ugandan Parliament has today fulfilled the promise she made a year ago in Canada.

Rebecca Kadaga has been a champion of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, now an act – a vicious crackdown on LGBTI people in the country.

By contrast Kadaga, while launching the human rights check list for parliamentarians, said: ‘The people of Uganda will not find comfort until the rights of all are observed.’

November 16, 2013

House Speaker John Boehner's office maintains getting meeting space for an anti-gay group 'does not imply endorsement'

The anti-gay group World Congress of Families held a meeting in the US Capitol complex because of help from House Speaker John Boehner's office.

Allan Carlson, president of the organization, thanked the speaker for permitting an event meant to teach elected officials about what can be learned from Russia's gay propaganda laws.

November 16, 2013

House Speaker John Boehner's office maintains getting meeting space for an anti-gay group 'does not imply endorsement'

The anti-gay group World Congress of Families held a meeting in the US Capitol complex because of help from House Speaker John Boehner's office.

Allan Carlson, president of the organization, thanked the speaker for permitting an event meant to teach elected officials about what can be learned from Russia's gay propaganda laws.

November 14, 2013

US House Speaker: 'People are already protected in the workplace'

John Boehner insists he is against workplace discrimination but he sees 'no basis or no need' for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act that passed the US Senate last week.

Although there are still 29 states in the US in which LGBT people can be fired just for being who they are, the speaker of the House of Representatives says ENDA is not needed.

November 7, 2013

After 64-32 vote, attention now turns to House where Republican leadership expected to let legislation die

After nearly 20 years, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act has finally passed the US Senate.

The legislation, known as ENDA, has been introduced in all but one Congress since 1994. It was last voted on by the full senate in 1996 when it fell one vote shy of passage.

In the end, the 64-32 vote had every Democratic senator and 10 of their Republican colleagues voting in favor of passage.

Surprisingly, among the Republicans supporting ENDA was Arizona Senator John McCain who was a vocal opponent of ending the military's Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy.

November 7, 2013

'One house of Congress should not stand in the way of millions of Americans who want to go to work each day and simply be judged by the job they do'

US President Barack Obama wasted no time Thursday (7 November) in putting pressure on the Republican-led House of Representatives to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.

In a statement shortly after the full Senate approved the measure to protect LGBT employees in the workplace, Obama zeroed in on the House where Republican Speaker John Boehner is against the legislation.