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May 17, 2015

Conchita, Dana and all the LGBTI Eurovision heroes

As Austria welcomes everyone to Vienna to celebrate 60 years of the Eurovision Song Contest, we take a look back at some of the LGBT stars who have made Eurovision what it is today.

1 CONCHITA WURST

Undoubtedly the biggest success of recent times was the 2014 winner Conchita Wurst of Austria.

Against a backdrop of vicious verbal attacks from several East European countries, Conchita stormed to victory in Copenhagen receiving maximum points from 13 countries and even points from voters in Russia, Albania and Azerbaijan.

May 14, 2015

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon appears in the video launched in time for IDAHOT

United Nations' Ban Ki-Moon stars in a powerful video for LGBTI rights posted today (14 May).

Faces, a part of the UN Free and Equal campaign, features real LGBTI people from around the world in their homes and workplaces.

It challenges you to look beyond the label and see these people for what they truly are, just normal people going about their daily lives.

The video was launched in Times Square in New York City, where it will play throughout the day, and on YouTube.

April 13, 2015

World Bank is investigating one of its employees for an alleged leak of information. Fabrice Houdart, who was the president of the bank’s LGBT employee organization, denies any wrongdoing

A leading advocate for LGBTI global rights within the World Bank is under investigation for allegedly leaking documents.

But Fabrice Houdart denies wrongdoing and claims he is being targeted by his bosses because he criticised the organization’s president and his senior management team for awarding bonuses at a time of cut-backs in the bank.

Houdart has hired lawyers who specialise in working with whistle-blowers to represent him but currently remains employed and working at the bank.

March 31, 2015

South Asian country says vote against partner benefits for gay staff was based on 'sovereignty issues'

The US ambassador to India has expressed disappointment in the south Asian country for voting against LGBTI rights at the UN.

Richard Verma made the comment last week in New Delhi.

'We were disappointed... by India's support this week for the attempt to strip benefits from UN staff in same-sex relationships,' he said.

'We will continue to support the rights of LGBT individuals in India, in international institutions, and around the world.'

March 31, 2015

South Asian country says vote against partner benefits for gay staff was based on 'sovereignty issues'

The US ambassador to India has expressed disappointment in the south Asian country for voting against LGBTI rights at the UN.

Richard Verma made the comment last week in New Delhi.

'We were disappointed... by India's support this week for the attempt to strip benefits from UN staff in same-sex relationships,' he said.

'We will continue to support the rights of LGBT individuals in India, in international institutions, and around the world.'

March 25, 2015

Country is accused of trying to export its domestic hostility to LGBTI rights

Russia has failed in its bid to block partner benefits for all gay UN staff.

The UN Budget Committee on Tuesday (24 March) voted against Russia's proposal by the by 80 to 43.

EU member countries and the US lobbied hard against the resolution while Saudi Arabia, China, Iran, India, Egypt, Pakistan, and Syria voted in favor.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in July that the UN would recognize the marriages of all gay staff and extend benefits to their partners.

March 25, 2015

Country is accused of trying to export its domestic hostility to LGBTI rights

Russia has failed in its bid to block partner benefits for all gay UN staff.

The UN Budget Committee on Tuesday (24 March) voted against Russia's proposal by the by 80 to 43.

EU member countries and the US lobbied hard against the resolution while Saudi Arabia, China, Iran, India, Egypt, Pakistan, and Syria voted in favor.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in July that the UN would recognize the marriages of all gay staff and extend benefits to their partners.

March 21, 2015

Russia has called for a vote on Tuesday on its proposal to stop the UN from extending benefits to staff members who are in same-sex marriages

Last July United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced that the organization would recognize and allow its staffers, who are in same-sex marriages, to receive equal benefits as those in opposite-sex marriages.

March 21, 2015

Russia has called for a vote on Tuesday on its proposal to stop the UN from extending benefits to staff members who are in same-sex marriages

Last July United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced that the organization would recognize and allow its staffers, who are in same-sex marriages, to receive equal benefits as those in opposite-sex marriages.

March 20, 2015

Historic city's first LGBTI group talks to Gay Star News about Asia's young LGBTI movement

Macau tops the world in terms of GDP but on many social issues the city is still very backward, says Anthony Lam, the co-founder of the city's first LGBTI group.

The director-general of Rainbow of Macau said that he views the progress of LGBTI rights as an index of how internationalized the former Portuguese colony actually is.

Right now, the fight for LGBTI rights centers around the Domestic Violence Bill, and is one of the reasons why Rainbow was founded two years ago.

March 3, 2015

Russia is furious that United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon ordered that all UN employees in legally recognized relationships should have equal partner benefits regardless of where they are working

The Russian Government has warned it may intervene at the United Nations to stop gay and lesbian employees of the UN receiving equal partner benefits regardless of the laws of the country they are working in.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon issued an administrative order in June last year so that all UN employees who were in relationships that had been legally recognized by a member state could receive equal benefits no matter where they were working.

March 3, 2015

Russia is furious that United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon ordered that all UN employees in legally recognized relationships should have equal partner benefits regardless of where they are working

The Russian Government has warned it may intervene at the United Nations to stop gay and lesbian employees of the UN receiving equal partner benefits regardless of the laws of the country they are working in.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon issued an administrative order in June last year so that all UN employees who were in relationships that had been legally recognized by a member state could receive equal benefits no matter where they were working.

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 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.