LGBTI global news 24-7

Content about United Nations

February 28, 2015

Convened by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the meeting is the first of its kind to bring together LGBTI activists, government and private sector representatives from over 30 countries

Some 200 participants from over 30 countries gathered for the three-day Regional Dialogue on LGBTI Human Rights and Health in Asia-Pacific at the United Nations Conference Centre in Bangkok that concluded yesterday.

Speakers included Oyungerel Tsedevdamba, Member of Parliament of Mongolia; Louise Wall, Member of Parliament of New Zealand; Tarana Halim, Member of Parliament of Bangladesh; law and human rights experts; community organization workers; as well as private sector representatives.

February 13, 2015

State media attacks the openly gay chair of a human rights report on the hermit kingdom

North Korea has gone on another homophobic rant against the openly gay chair of a 2013 report condemning Pyongyang’s human rights record.

The Korean Central News Agency last month published an editorial demanding the US retract and apologize for the UN Commission Of Inquiry.

It claimed that a North Korean defector gave false testimony and the report 'is now being ridiculed and censured by the international community.'

January 26, 2015

The truth about drugs, addiction and decriminalization will surprise you, writes Hari

A few weeks ago, somebody asked me a strange question, about how my sexuality informs my attitude to drugs, and at first I was a little bit offended.

It is now a century since drugs were first banned in the US and Britain, and as this anniversary approached, I set off on a three-year, 30,000-mile journey to try to understand what the War on Drugs is really all about.

January 13, 2015

Ban Ki-moon says such laws breed intolerance even if not enforced

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon 'staunchly opposes' India's anti-gay law, which he said breeds intolerance in the world's largest democracy.

He made the comments yesterday (12 January) at while addressing the Indian Council of World Affairs in New Delhi.

'We are all different from one another, but we all have the same human rights,' he said.

'I am proud to stand for the equality of all people, including those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender. I staunchly oppose the criminalization of homosexuality.

January 13, 2015

Ban Ki-moon says such laws breed intolerance even if not enforced

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon 'staunchly opposes' India's anti-gay law, which he said breeds intolerance in the world's largest democracy.

He made the comments yesterday (12 January) at while addressing the Indian Council of World Affairs in New Delhi.

'We are all different from one another, but we all have the same human rights,' he said.

'I am proud to stand for the equality of all people, including those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender. I staunchly oppose the criminalization of homosexuality.

December 17, 2014

‘It has for sure provided us extra energy to continue our campaign for rights'

An investigation by a Nepalese govenment agency has refuted allegations of corruption at the country's largest LGBTI group.

The Social Welfare Council (SWC) has released a report that rebutted charges of corruption and irregularities leveled against the Blue Diamond Society (BDS) and founder Sunil Pant.

The allegations were made two years ago and resulted in the group losing its license as well as funding gaps and the demoralization of  its 750 full-time staff who were not paid for more than seven months.

November 21, 2014

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein has warned the government of Gambia to stop persecuting LGBTIs after it passed laws that would see homosexual ‘serial offenders’ and people with HIV jailed for the rest of their lives

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has warned Gambia that it is failing its international human rights commitments by its continued persecution of LGBTI people, citing the passage of new laws that even further criminalize sexual minorities.

Homosexuality was already punishable with up to 14 years in prison in Gambia but earlier this year the government passed a vaguely defined law punishing ‘aggravated homosexuality.’

November 17, 2014

Germany's hidden star is an architectural marvel, rich in food, history and culture

Can a queen be as sweet as marzipan, as romantic as an old ship moored in a harbour, or as elegant and smart as an old and superb medieval church? Of course she can, and you’ll discover this 'queen' is Lübeck.

November 6, 2014

'Same-sex cohabitants' were dropped from the draft law in 2012

LGBTI activists delivered a letter to Macanese government headquarters yesterday demanding domestic violence laws include gay couples.

The city's first LGBTI rights group, Rainbow of Macau, was founded after 'same-sex cohabitants' were dropped from the draft domestic violence law in November 2012.

November 4, 2014

Ban Ki-moon says she turned Eurovision into 'an electrifying moment of human rights education'

Bearded drag queen Conchita Wurst won high praise from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon yesterday for her 'powerful message' of tolerance.

Wurst, whose real name is Tom Neuwirth, won the Eurovision song contest for Austria in May, which Ban said she turned into 'an electrifying moment of human rights education.'

'She confounds people’s preconceived ideas of gender and sexuality – and she appeals to them to accept her as she is,' he said.

November 4, 2014

Ban Ki-moon says she turned Eurovision into 'an electrifying moment of human rights education'

Bearded drag queen Conchita Wurst won high praise from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon yesterday for her 'powerful message' of tolerance.

Wurst, whose real name is Tom Neuwirth, won the Eurovision song contest for Austria in May, which Ban said she turned into 'an electrifying moment of human rights education.'

'She confounds people’s preconceived ideas of gender and sexuality – and she appeals to them to accept her as she is,' he said.

November 1, 2014

'Using criminal law to prosecute individuals for engaging in consensual same sex conduct violates a host of human rights guaranteed by international law,' says the UN human rights office

The United Nations human rights office on Friday expressed its disappointment over a ruling by the Singapore Supreme Court to uphold an 150-year-old British colonial law criminalizing consensual same-sex relations between adult men.

On Wednesday, the Court of Appeal rejected two separate Constitutional challenges by Tan Eng Hong who filed the first challenge in 2010, and gay couple Gary Lim and Kenneth Chee in 2012.

October 31, 2014

A 26 year veteran of the fight for LGBTI equality in Australia, Australian Marriage Equality national convener Rodney Croome has been honored as the 2015 Australian of the Year for his home state of Tasmania

Veteran spokesperson for the Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian Rights Group and national convener of Australian Marriage Equality, Rodney Croome has been named the 2015 Australian of the year for his home state of Tasmania.

Croome was honored for his 26 year involvement in the fight for LGBTI equality which has culminated in his role as national spokesperson for the campaign to legalize same-sex marriage in Australia.

October 27, 2014

The bill was passed in a landslide vote earlier this month

The United Nations human rights office has urged Kyrgyzstan to scrap a draft law that punishes the spreading of 'gay propaganda' with up to a year in jail.

The Kyrgyz parliament passed the Russian-style bill in a landslide vote at its first reading earlier this month.

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 22, 2014

Representatives of the Government of Sri Lanka have admitted to the United Nations Human Rights Committee that LGBTI people are protected under its constitution – though they maintain their country’s anti-sodomy law is not discriminatory

The Sri Lankan Government of President Mahinda Rajapaksa has admitted for the first time this month that its constitution protects people from discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Representatives of the government made the admission to the United Nations Human Rights Committee after being questioned on the issue.

October 17, 2014

Impoverished LGBTI people often can’t get jobs just for being LGBTI. Sebastian Rocca tells us why, and what you can do for your community

Imagine you can’t get a job because your neighborhood knows you’re a lesbian.

Or your apartment manager discovers you’re a trans man, and kicks you out of your home, which is legal because your government doesn’t protect LGBTI people from discrimination.

This is the experience of many gay, bi and trans people worldwide, individuals who are thrown into a poverty cycle with no escape because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

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 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 9, 2014

The 'accidental activist' tells GSN how changing her gender marker changed her life

It took Geena Rocero nearly a decade to come out publicly as transgender from the time she moved to New York to become a model. But when she did, she came out to an audience of 2 million and counting in a TED talk on March 31, the International Transgender Day of Visibility.

Rocero, 30, grew up in Manila and entered and won her first beauty pageant at the age of 15. She originally intended to follow her transgender friends to Japan, but she changed her plans when she found out she could change her gender marker in California - and in doing so change her life.

September 26, 2014

After surviving a total of seven hostile amendments from Egypt, resolution passes 21-16 with seven abstentions

The United Nations Human Rights Council on Friday (26 September) passed a resolution which condemns discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Chile, one of the co-sponsors of the resolution, states that it 'does not seek to create new rights. ... There are some whose rights are more violated and need more protection.'

Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Uruguay were joined by 42 additional co-sponsors.

September 26, 2014

After surviving a total of seven hostile amendments from Egypt, resolution passes 21-16 with seven abstentions

The United Nations Human Rights Council on Friday (26 September) passed a resolution which condemns discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Chile, one of the co-sponsors of the resolution, states that it 'does not seek to create new rights. ... There are some whose rights are more violated and need more protection.'

Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Uruguay were joined by 42 additional co-sponsors.

September 24, 2014

Sam Kutesa is a virulent supporter of Uganda's anti-gay laws, which set up sentences of up to life in prison for homosexuality.

President Barack Obama is to meet with Sam Kutesa, the new president of the United Nations General Assembly who was instrumental in bringing in new anti-gay laws in Uganda, today (24 September).

The meeting will take place in New York this afternoon, prior to a UN Security Council summit on foreign terrorists the US president will chair.

But experts say Obama is unlikely to use this opportunity for a moral argument over homosexuality.

September 23, 2014

Thousands of political prisoners were 're-educated' in the island jail

The Croatian government has received a controversial proposal to turn a former gulag into a gay resort.

Only a few abandoned prison buildings stand on the uninhabited island of Goli Otok, which translates to the Barren Isle.

Between 1949 and 1956, 13,000 political prisoners were sent to the gulag for 're-education' when Croatia was part of Communist Yugoslavia. About 400 of them died there.