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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 countries 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 countries 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.

September 18, 2014

Report says tourism authority promotes the country as a gay-friendly destination but LGBTI acceptance is low

Thai LGBTI people face stigma and limited job opportunities despite high visibility in a generally tolerant society, according to a new report.

The report, conducted by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), found that while the tourism authority actively promotes Thailand as a gay-friendly destination, acceptance of LGBTI people in society is still low.

September 16, 2014

The country's UN ambassador says LGBTI rights 'go against our values'

A top Bangladeshi diplomat has said the Muslim country will oppose any recommendations on LGBTI rights at an upcoming UN conference on sexual and reproductive health and rights.

Abdul Momen, Bangladesh Permanent Representative to the UN, told the Dhaka Tribune, 'It goes against our values. Like many other countries including those Muslims and Christian, we opposed it.'

September 16, 2014

The country's UN ambassador says LGBTI rights 'go against our values'

A top Bangladeshi diplomat has said the Muslim country will oppose any recommendations on LGBTI rights at an upcoming UN conference on sexual and reproductive health and rights.

Abdul Momen, Bangladesh Permanent Representative to the UN, told the Dhaka Tribune, 'It goes against our values. Like many other countries including those Muslims and Christian, we opposed it.'

September 8, 2014

In an exclusive piece for Gay Star News, UK Minister for Women and Equalities Nicky Morgan explains why the commitment to equality cannot end at Britain’s shores

It’s a source of great pride to me that the UK has been recognized by the International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA) as being a European leader in equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people for the fourth year running.

It’s thanks to the heroic work and unrelenting passion of campaigners and activists that LGBT young people growing up in Britain today can be confident that society is on their side.

August 11, 2014

African island nation has taken its first steps to legalize male homosexuality by asking the public for their views

The Seychelles is to take its first steps to legalize gay sex today (11 August).

The Judicial College has invited members of the public to discuss for the presentation and discussion on the ‘discrimination of gay people, marriage equality and morality’ at a forum this evening.

Back in 2011, the 155- island African country agreed with the United Nations it would decriminalize homosexuality.

While same-sex female relationships are now legal, male homosexuality is still punishable by up to 14 years in prison.

But that could now change.

July 20, 2014

'These were men and women who had dedicated their own lives to saving the lives of others and they were taken from us in a senseless act of violence,' says Obama

The AIDS research community and activists were stunned and horrified to learn that prominent AIDS expert Dr Joep Lange was among those killed aboard a Malaysian Airlines flight which was shot down over Ukraine on Thursday.

July 16, 2014

Hanoi will host its signature LGBTI pride bicycle ride 3 August for the third year in a row and organizers are hoping to see double the number of participants this year

While the campaign to legalize same-sex marriage in Vietnam may have stalled for the moment, organizers of the third annual Viet Pride festival remain enthusiastic about the event.

This year’s theme for the festival is ‘Together’ and it will take place over five days from 1-5 August with its signature Viet Pride LGBTI bicycle rally on Sunday 3 August through the streets of Hanoi.

July 15, 2014

At least three men are still serving up to 14 years in prison for homosexuality

Malawi has officially suspended arresting people for gay sex, the justice minister has said.

Janet Chijaya-Banda has said the law, which punishes homosexuality with up to 14 years in prison, is effectively no longer used.

She was in front of the UN Human Rights Committee to answer question about the status of the homophobic law last week.

In her response, Banda said police have been told to not arrest anyone for being gay while the country’s Law Commission prepares to review its constitutionality.

July 8, 2014

Paige Phoenix has had his marriage to his wife annulled by the Victorian state government despite his passport saying he is male and living as a man for seven years but he hopes the United Nations Human Rights Committee will find in his favor

Australian transgender man Paige Phoenix will challenge his home state of Victoria’s policy of only allowing those who have undergone a full surgical genital sex change from changing their sex on their birth certificates in the United Nations after it annulled his marriage against his will.

Phoenix is recognized by the Australian Government as male and has a male passport but his state’s registry of births, deaths and marriages will not recognize him as male unless he undergoes the surgery – which could be life threatening for him due to a previous medical condition.

July 4, 2014

The world’s top level of government will now give equal benefits and recognition to its workers who are in same-sex relationships who have legally wed

The United Nations has announced that it will extend equal benefits to its employees who have entered into same-sex unions in jurisdictions where they are legal.

Under the new policy staff who have married a same-sex spouse in a jurisdiction will receive the same benefits and recognition as those in heterosexual marriages regardless of whether same-sex marriage is legal in their country of citizenship.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon made the policy announcement yesterday, saying 'equality begins at home'.

July 4, 2014

The world’s top level of government will now give equal benefits and recognition to its workers who are in same-sex relationships who have legally wed

The United Nations has announced that it will extend equal benefits to its employees who have entered into same-sex unions in jurisdictions where they are legal.

Under the new policy staff who have married a same-sex spouse in a jurisdiction will receive the same benefits and recognition as those in heterosexual marriages regardless of whether same-sex marriage is legal in their country of citizenship.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon made the policy announcement yesterday, saying 'equality begins at home'.

July 3, 2014

A working group of experts reviewing the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Diseases guidelines has recommended the removal of several ‘disorders’ that continue to stigmatize LGBTIs as sick despite the removal of homosexuality as a disorder in 1990

The World Health Organization (WHO) has been urged to remove several classifications in its International Classification of Diseases (ICD) guidelines as the United Nations body prepares to release a new edition of the guidelines in 2017.

The recommendation was made by a working group of health experts from around the world who have been tasked by the WHO to review the F66 section of the guidelines.

The ICD has not listed homosexuality as a disorder in-and-of-itself since 1990.

June 27, 2014

Egypt and Sierra Leone put forward a resolution at the UN Human Rights Council on the ‘protection of the family’ which was passed without language inclusive of LGBTI families with the help of Russia

The United Nations Human Rights Council has passed a resolution on the ‘protection of the family,’ but attempts to have it amended to recognize there are a variety of family structures – including those headed by LGBTI people – were blocked.

The resolution was put forward by diplomats from Egypt and Sierra Leone during the Human Rights Council’s 26th Session yesterday and calls for a plenary panel on the protection of the family and its members at the Human Rights Council’s September Council session.

June 27, 2014

Egypt and Sierra Leone put forward a resolution at the UN Human Rights Council on the ‘protection of the family’ which was passed without language inclusive of LGBTI families with the help of Russia

The United Nations Human Rights Council has passed a resolution on the ‘protection of the family,’ but attempts to have it amended to recognize there are a variety of family structures – including those headed by LGBTI people – were blocked.

The resolution was put forward by diplomats from Egypt and Sierra Leone during the Human Rights Council’s 26th Session yesterday and calls for a plenary panel on the protection of the family and its members at the Human Rights Council’s September Council session.

June 26, 2014

Beaten, starved and whipped – why we must remember Yves and the many LGBTI and other victims of torture today

Yves was enjoying a quiet, early evening drink with his boyfriend in a bar when he was surrounded by police.

He was dragged outside, stripped, kicked, beaten and trampled. Later he was thrown into a dark, cramped cell, starved and repeatedly whipped with a rope.

When he was released from prison, Yves was psychologically and physically scarred by the torture he was forced to endure. The threat of further violence eventually forced him to leave his West African home and seek asylum in the UK.