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April 30, 2015

The former head of BP has said that employee network groups must be supported by senior allies and role models in order to be truly effective

Following up comments he made during a speech at Stonewall’s recent Workplace Equality Conference in London, Lord John Browne of Madingley has expanded further on his belief that senior role models are crucial for companies that are trying to foster an environment of inclusiveness.

April 27, 2015

Pride festival is extended by two days amid surge in interest in LGBTI issues

Some 3,000 LGBTI people and their allies Sunday (26 April) afternoon marched in Tokyo Rainbow Pride amid calls for Japan to legalize gay marriage.

The crowd, many waving rainbow flags and dressed as geishas, paraded through the capital's entertainment and shopping district Shibuya.

Last month, the ward become the first local government in the conservative country to issue legally non-binding certificates recognizing gay partnerships as 'equivalent to marriage.'

April 17, 2015

At its annual Workplace Conference, Stonewall’s chief executive, Ruth Hunt, said that the organization’s Workplace Equality Index will now include questions about transgender equality

Stonewall’s 12th Workplace Conference took place in London today – and was the biggest in the event’s history.

Around 750 delegates turned up at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in Westminster – up from around 630 last year.

Stonewall, the UK’s leading LGBT advocacy group, carries out extensive work with businesses to ensure they are more diverse and inclusive with regard to LGBT staff and best practice policies.

April 15, 2015

Those in the New York City area will be spoilt for choice with workplace-related LGBT events and conferences next week, with the Rev Jesse Jackson among the many key speakers lined up to participate

A number of business-related diversity and inclusion events will take hitting the Big Apple next week.

As Gay Star Business has previously reported, LGBT Week NYC will run from 20-24 April. Organized by Community Marketing Inc, events will include an Entrepreneur Forum at the headquarters of Microsoft and an LGBT Travel & Hospitality Symposium at Google’s NY HQ.

April 9, 2015

Says Australian PM Tony Abbott deserves more credit for accepting her

Catherine McGregor, the world’s highest ranked transgender military officer, has said words cannots describe how 'excrutiatingly painful' the effects of gender dysphoria are.

The Australian Defence Force lieutenant-colonel said those effects nearly drove her to suicide at an inspiring speech on Wednesday (8 April) in Canberra.

'I functioned as a male until a few weeks after my 56th birthday. I choose the term “functioned” advisedly, because my relationship to my birth gender was fraught from a very young age,' she said.

March 7, 2015

Thick crowds stretched almost the entire length of the parade route and almost to the site of tonight’s Mardi Gras Party after party and this year top Australian military leaders took part in the parade

Hundreds of thousands of people have packed the streets of Sydney’s gay village tonight to watch the annual Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras take place for the 37th year in a row.

There were thick crowds all the way to Moore Park which meant that participants had to give their best along the entire parade route to wow the crowd and many were visibly exhausted by the end.

February 10, 2015

David Axelrod writes in memoir: 'He grudgingly accepted the counsel of more pragmatic folks like me'

It wasn't until May of 2012 that US President Barack Obama officially evolved on the issue of gay marriage and publicly declared his support.

It was nearly six months before the 2012 presidential election and the conventional wisdom was that Obama would remain mum on the issue until after voters had decided between he and Republican nominee Mitt Romney.

But it turns out Obama had wanted to declare his support even before his first presidential election in 2008, according to a new memoir by Obama's chief campaign strategist David Axelrod.

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 9, 2015

City's fire chief was sacked for writing a book equating gay sex to bestiality

Conservative radio host Erick Erickson has compared the killing of 12 French journalists for publishing cartoons of Mohammed to the sacking of Atlanta's fire chief.

Kelvin Cochran was ousted Tuesday (6 January) for distributing a self-published book that equated gay sex with bestiality.

'In light of the events, we've got to talk about the terrorism situation,' Erickson said Wednesday (7 January) to open his eponymous radio show on Atlanta-based WBS station.

'The terrorists were offended by a publication,' he said.

January 8, 2015

Activists say recognition on travel documents will help tackle discrimination

Nepal yesterday (7 January) announced plans to add a third gender category to passports, following a 2007 Supreme Court ruling recognizing third gender.

'We have changed the passport regulations and will add a third category of gender for those people who do not want to be identified as male or female,' Lok Bahadur Thapa, chief of the government’s passport department, told Reuters.

January 7, 2015

'Devout Christian' says he is unapologetic

Atlanta fire chief Kelvin Cochran has been ousted for self-publishing a book in which he equates homosexuality to pederasty and bestiality.

He was fired yesterday (6 January) on return to work after a 30-day suspension without pay.

Cochran distributed his faith-based book titled Who Told You That You Were Naked? to his subordinates without of the city's permission.

In it, he identifies himself as a 'devout Christian man' and lists gay sex as one of several 'vile, vulgar and inappropriate ways which defile their body-temple and dishonor God.'

December 14, 2014

Praised by city officials and students when he came out in June, the gay principal's contract will not be renewed next school year

Peter Cahall, principal of Wilson High School in Washington DC, made national headlines last year when he came out as gay to his students during a lunchtime Pride Day rally in June this year.

In a letter to city council members, he has called the decision by John Davis, the chief of schools, to not renew his contract 'purely capricious and arbitrary.'

November 28, 2014

Taiga Ishikawa could become the first out male lawmaker in the country

A LGBTI Tokyo assemblyman has announced that he will run for parliament in next month's elections.

If successful, Taiga Ishikawa, 40, will become the first gay male lawmaker in the conservative country.

'My goal is to promote diversity in the community,' he told the Wall Street Journal.

November 25, 2014

Faith-based book equates homosexuality to pederasty and bestiality

Atlanta fire chief Kelvin Cochran has been suspended for a month without pay for distributing a self-published anti-gay book to his subordinates.

In the book titled Who Told You That You Were Naked?, he identifies himself as a 'devout Christian man' whose first priority as Atlanta Fire Department (AFD) chief was 'to cultivate its culture to the glory of God.'

One passage equates homosexuality to pederasty and bestiality while another describes gay sex as one of several 'vile, vulgar and inappropriate ways which defile their body-temple and dishonor God.'

November 11, 2014

Pacific nation bans gay sex and marriage

The 'queen of the Cook Islands' has said it is 'unfair' to criminalize gay people because of who they love.

The paramount chief of the Takitumu tribe, Marie Pa Ariki, made the comments last week in New Zealand at Hui Takataapui, an annual gathering of indigenous people from the Pacific nations.

'[Gay] people are knowledgeable and contribute to society and to home life,' she told GayNZ.com.

'They are human like everyone else... we are all whanau.'

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.

October 18, 2014

Archbishop Raymond Leo Burke will instead be named to the Patron of the Knights of Malta

Anti-gay American Cardinal Raymond Burke is about to lose his job as head of the Roman Catholic Church's version of a Supreme Court.

Burke has clashed with Pope Francis since he became head of the church last year and confirmed his demotion on Friday (17 October) to Buzzfeed News.

He will go from being the church’s chief guardian of canon law to patron to the Sovereign Military Order of Malta which is a minor post.

October 16, 2014

And he calls gay people evil

A man who claims he can 'cure' gay people is facing charges he raped a teenage boy and threatened to kill him with his 'warlock powers' if he told.

Kentucky police have arrested Polly Ann Church of God youth pastor Rex Allen Murphy after the 16-year-old male came forward to say he was being sexually abused.

The abuse allegedly happened at the church and at the suspect's home for a period of at least six months.

Colin Hatfield, the chief of Eubank police, has described the accusations as 'very graphic and to the point'.

October 9, 2014

Christopher Bailey, CEO and Chief Creative Officer at Burberry, and ‘straight ally’ Sir Richard Branson at Virgin, top this year’s rankings

For the second year running, UK-based executive-level networking group OUTstanding has compiled a list of the world's Top 100 LGBTI business leaders.

The OUTstanding top 50 first appeared last year, but this year’s list has been extended to a top 100. A corresponding top 20 ranking of straight allies has also been revealed.

October 2, 2014

Social media giant had lost users over enforcement of its real names policy

Facebook on Wednesday (1 October) apologized for enacting a real names policy last month that had banned drag performers from the practice of using their stage names on their profiles.

The social media giant now plans to work on building new tools to authentication tools to use in verifying accounts that are flagged for being fake.

August 17, 2014

The Mumbai chief of India’s ruling party, BJP, says his party is now against the misuse of section 377 and will raise the issue in Parliament

'Criminalizing the gay community by misusing section 377 of the IPC [Indian Penal Code] is not acceptable to the [ruling] BJP,' Mumbai chief Ashish Shelar told some 250 attendees at a special Independence Day event 'Acceptance Meet' On Friday. The meeting was organized by The Humsafar Trust, an NGO in Mumbai which promotes LGBTI rights, and other community organizations.

August 4, 2014

New Stonewall chief, Ruth Hunt, has spoken about the organisation’s future plans to tackle homophobia in schools

In one of her first major interviews since becoming the new chief of UK-based LGBT rights charity, Stonewall, Ruth Hunt has said that she believes educating pre-primary school children that families come in all shapes and sizes – including single and same-sex parents – is vital in helping to tackle homophobia.

Speaking to The Independent newspaper, she said that she wants Stonewall to commission books ‘celebrating difference in all its forms for under-fives.’

June 26, 2014

Voters in the South Carolina town of Latta have voted to strip their mayor of his executive powers after he fired their popular lesbian police chief and was recorded making a homophobic rant

Latta, South Carolina, Mayor Earl Bullard has been stripped of his executive powers by voters after he caused a backlash by firing the town’s lesbian chief of police after she investigating one of his appointees.

Bullard was only newly elected in April of this year when he fired Latta Police Chief Crystal Moore for doing a background check into a man he had appointed the town’s Parks and Recreation office – discovering the man was driving without a license and had a string of convictions.

May 11, 2014

Judge says his decision to retire early came after an 'inappropriate invasion of my privacy'

Judge David Audlin on Friday retired as Monroe County’s chief circuit judge – with four years left in his second six-year term – to return to private practice.