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August 7, 2014

All nine members of the city council of the Washington city of Seattle have signed a letter urging the US Food and Drug Administration to end its lifetime ban on men who have sex with men giving blood

Seattle, Washington’s city councilors have unanimously backed the repeal of America’s ban on gay and bisexual men giving blood, signing a letter to federal Food and Drug Administration commissioner Dr Margaret Hamburg in which they urge the Government to screen out donors based on risky behavior rather than sexual orientation.

‘We join Seattle Mayor Edward Murray, the American Medical Association, and the Puget Sound Blood Center to ask you to lift the lifetime ban on blood donations from men who have sex with men,’ the city councilors write in the letter dated 4 August.

August 5, 2014

20 years ago this month Victoria state police officers stormed the Tasty nightclub, strip searching nearly 500 patrons in view of each other and holding them for seven hours - now they have received an official apology

The police force in the Australian state of Victoria has issued a formal apology 20 years after a notorious raid on a Melbourne gay night spot in which nearly 500 people were stripped search.

The Tasty nightclub was raided on 7 August in 1994 and its 463 patrons were held for seven hours, stripped and cavity searched and in some cases assaulted by Victoria state police officers.

Not only were the club’s patrols forced to strip fully nude by police officers but they were made to do so in front of other club patrons.

July 31, 2014

Tico Perez, national commissioner of the Boy Scouts of America, has ruled out having adult gays and lesbians as scout leaders any time soon but says it's not because the scouting movement views them in any way as potential sexual predators

Boy Scouts of America national commissioner Hector 'Tico' Perez has made it absolutely clear that the reason why his organization will not let openly gay or lesbian people be scout leaders is not because they are viewed as more likely to be pedophiles.

July 16, 2014

Announcement comes as MLB also pays tribute to the late Glenn Burke who was out to his teammates in 70s and 80s

Major League Baseball on Tuesday (15 July) announced the appointment of former outfielder Billy Bean as the league's first Ambassador for Inclusion.

The announcement came prior to the league's All-Star Game in Minneapolis at a press conference that also included a tribute to the late Glenn Burke, a player who suffered greatly for being out to his teammates and coaches in the late 70s and early 80s.

Burke was recognized posthumously by the league as the sport's gay pioneer.

June 17, 2014

Botswana has backed a call by the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights for states to take steps to protect people from being subjected to human rights abuses because of their sexual orientation or gender identity

Botswana has backed a call by the African Union’s highest human rights body to protect the human rights of LGBTI people – though it has not yet said it will repeal its laws criminalizing same-sex relationships.

The 55th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights adopted a resolution in May calling for member states to respect the rights of LGBTI people in the strongest statement to date from a continent level body in Africa.

June 1, 2014

US trans activist and author Janet Mock has written an open letter of support to a trans teenager being held in prison without charges

US transgender author and activist Janet Mock has written an open letter to a transgender teenage girl being held in an adult prison without charges.

The girl, given the name Jane Doe by the media because her real name cannot be disclosed as she is a minor, is reportedly being held in a Connecticut adult facility without any charges being pressed against her.

Doe wrote a letter to Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy pleading for her release.

May 28, 2014

Prime Minister advisor’s rant sparks concern across Hungary’s LGBTI community

Hungary must ‘clear the faggot-lobby’ out of its theaters, says a top director who is now the Prime Minister’s culture commissioner.

Imre Kerényi –former director of the country’s National Theater and many other arts companies who is now a politician – made the comment following a Christian Theater Festival.

But his views have been condemned in an open letter to Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, who Kerényi advises on the ‘preservation and development of Hungary’s cultural values’.

May 22, 2014

The United Nations has voiced its concerns that both pro-Russian and pro-Ukraine elements have been targeting LGBTI people during the conflict over whether eastern Ukraine splits to join Russia

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) is warning that Ukraine’s LGBTI community is getting caught in the middle of the struggle between pro and anti-Russian factions in the country, with groups on both sides targeting them for persecution.

The United Nations’ Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine (HRMMU) report for the period 2 April to 6 May this year found that both sides in the conflict viewed LGBTIs negatively.

April 27, 2014

Mersyside police have promised to crack down on homophobic and transphobic crimes, which figures show are on the rise

The police and crime commissioner for Merseyside, UK has promised to tackle homophobic and transphobic hate crimes, which figures show are on the increase.

Jane Kennedy has said she is committed to stamping out these hate crimes, which police figures show have increased from 2012 to 2013.

Numbers show there were 1,256 incidents of hate crimes in 2013, 11% of these were homophobic and 4% were transphobic.

Altogether the figures show a 7% increase from hate crimes reported in 2012.

April 17, 2014

The Namibian Government plans to deny refugee status to gay and lesbian Ugandans fleeing persecution from their homelands and Namibia’s gay community is not happy about it

Namibia’s Commissioner for Refugees Nkrumah Mushelenga has said that gay and lesbian Ugandans will never be granted refugee status in his country.

‘Our domestic refugee law does not have a provision granting refugee status for being gay. And we will never do that,’ Mushelenga said in comments reported by the Namibian Sun newspaper.

‘We will not accept them. They are not part of the criteria we use.’

February 11, 2014

Kenyan LGBTIs have held a protest action in solidarity with their Ugandan brothers and sisters – calling on Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta to dissuade Uganda from passing a law which could see people jailed for life for being gay

Kenyan LGBTI rights activists protested outside the Ugandan High Commission in Nairobi on Monday to stand in solidarity with the Ugandan LGBTI community as their Parliament again prepares to consider draconian legislation to further criminalize homosexuality.

January 30, 2014

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police have promoted openly lesbian Marianne Ryan as commander of the Alberta province Mounties – making her the first LGBTI person to lead the province’s police force

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), affectionately known as the Mounties, have appointed the first openly lesbian woman to lead the police force for the province of Alberta

Assistant Commissioner Marianne Ryan assumed the command of the RCMP in Alberta on Wednesday after a handover of responsibilities from Deputy Commissioner Dale McGowan.

‘I can’t think of a greater privilege than to lead such a dedicated team of employees who are truly committed to public safety in this dynamic and progressive province,’ Ryan said yesterday.

January 15, 2014

Calls for review of constitutionality of law which 'may fuel prejudice and violence'

UN Secretary Ban Ki-Moon on Wednesday (15 January) condemned Nigeria's new anti-gay law which have already resulted in numerous arrests and 11 allegedly gay men being put on trial in an Islamic court.

A spokesperson for Moon said the Secretary-General has 'deep concern' particularly about the Same-Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act in Nigeria which is 'in breach of fundamental human rights.'

January 14, 2014

New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory will consider joining Victoria and Tasmania in wiping convictions of men charged with having adult gay sex before it was decriminalized

The Australian state of New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory may follow Victoria and Tasmania in quashing historical convictions for gay sex before it was legalized.

November 6, 2013

UK supermarket's plan to put facial recognition advertizing at petrol stations has drawn condemnation from the LGBTI community as it could lead to violence

Plans by UK supermarket chain Tesco to deploy new profiling software at petrol station checkouts are being condemned as it could lead to gay and trans bullying today (5 November).

Several members of the LGBTI community have said the new software is dangerous, likely to inspire homophobic bullying and potentially illegal.

Earlier this week, Tesco announced plans to install facial recognition technology that would use customer attributes, such as length of hair and other facial cues.

October 8, 2013

The Republic of Cyprus has moved to ban the vilification of people based on their sexuality or gender identity 9 years after it added its first anti-discrimination protections for gays

The Republic of Cyprus has banned the vilification of people based on their sexual orientation or gender identity, adding the protections to the Mediterranean island’s Criminal Code.

Cyprus already protected people from vilification on the grounds of their race, skin color, religion, national or ethnic origin, or descent and the new protections were added in line with recommendations from Cyprus’ Commissioner for Administration and Authority against Racism and Discrimination.

September 7, 2013

The Ukrainian Parliament’s Commissioner for Human Rights wants to backtrack on decision to offer LGBTs legal protection

Human rights charity Amnesty International has expressed outrage following Ukraine's bid to opt out of the European Union's anti-homophobia laws.

Valeriya Lutkowska, Ukraine's Parliamentary Commissioner for Human Rights, announced on Thursday she and fellow delegates would travel to Brussels and attempt to persuade the EU to allow them to not take up laws which would outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Denis Krivosheev, Amnesty International's Europe and Central Asia Deputy Director, has expressed disgust at the announcement.

August 24, 2013

Advocacy group says local daily equated sexuality with sex work and its homophobic reports will push people deeper into ‘closets of shame’   

A series of ill-conceived reports by a local daily in India has harmed the cause of HIV intervention and gay rights and will force people deeper into closets of shame, a leading non-profit organization working in the area of gay and transgender sexual health has said.

The Humsafar Trust in Mumbai, India’s financial and film capital, led a protest on Monday against reports published by a Marathi language newspaper, Lokmat Amravati, portraying the gay community in a negative light.

July 27, 2013

Amidst gruesome reports of homophobic violence and murders around the world, the United Nations has launched a Free and Equal campaign to promote LGBT rights

The United Nations has announced an unprecedented effort to help LGBT people around the world: the Free and Equal campaign.

Facing calls from LGBT rights advocates worldwide to intervene in anti-gay violence taking place in various countires, particularly in Russia and Africa where brutal homophobic attacks and murders are protected by law, the UN’s first global education campaign for LGBT rights will focus on legal reforms and education efforts.

July 27, 2013

Though slammed with kidnap charge and branded ‘dreaded organization’, Bangalore-headquartered Sangama to continue supporting young women ‘traumatized’ by their families

Despite the storm that broke over its Bangalore headquarters when an irate father accused it of complicity in the “kidnap” of his daughter by a “lesbian”, Indian LGBT rights organization Sangama remains unshaken.

Its drop-in centers are operating as usual and the phone helplines it runs are ready to intervene if members of the LGBT community or sex workers face an emergency.

“It’s nothing new for us,” says Gurukiran Kamath, dismissing the furor that saw the 14-year-old organization hit the headlines internationally this week.

July 17, 2013

Commissioner Bud Selig: 'We welcome all individuals regardless of sexual orientation into our ballparks'

If a player wants to come out publicly or to his team, Major League Baseball has adopted a 'zero-tolerance' policy for anti-gay harassment and discrimination.

'We welcome all individuals regardless of sexual orientation into our ballparks, along with those of different races, religions, genders and national origins," Commissioner Bud Selig said in a statement. 'Both on the field and away from it, Major League Baseball has a zero-tolerance policy for harassment and discrimination based on sexual orientation.'

June 28, 2013

GSN meets the team from North Coast Softball who are preparing for the Gay Softball World Series

Gay softball is a big deal and clubs across North America are in preparations for the Gay Softball World Series in which over 150 LGBT teams compete each year.

We caught up with Jason Buffa – commissioner of Cleveland’s North Coast Softball, to find out how the club is shaping up this year.

When was the North Coast Softball established?  

June 9, 2013

A county commissioner has been dropped as a graduation speaker at the Catholic school he attended in his own youth because he is working to allow same-sex couples to marry in Ohio

An Ohio local politician has been dropped as the graduation speaker at the Catholic high school he attended as a teen because of his same-sex marriage advocacy.

Franklin County Commissioner John O’Grady had been scheduled to speak at the Bishop Ready High School on Saturday but parents were confused when he failed to show.

June 8, 2013

The Ukrainian Parliament’s Commissioner for Human Rights has called for LGBT status to be added to the country’s hate crime laws and for an end to attempts to ban so-called ‘homosexual propaganda.’

Ukrainian Parliamentary Commissioner for Human Rights Valeriia Lutkovska has called for lawmakers to add LGBT status to laws in the country’s criminal code which see greater responsibility placed on perpetrators who commit crimes motivated by intolerance.

Lutkovska made the call in an annual report on the state of human and civil rights and freedoms in Ukraine published on the Commissioner's website.