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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.

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.