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May 22, 2015

Gay erotica accounts for the majority of book sales in the country

Vietnam has banned gay romance novels following media reports that they are 'poisoning' young people.

The ministry of culture sent a letter to publishers ordering them to stop printing 'clichéd, useless, obscene and offensive' romance novels, most of which are translations from Chinese.

It also told them to review all their published books and remove anything 'indecent.'

Earlier this year, the media condemned Chinese romance novels, singling out danmei – gay erotica – for special criticism.

May 21, 2015

Robert Gates: Scouts can't 'ignore the social, political and juridicial changes taking place in our country'

Boy Scouts of America President Robert Gates said today that the organization can no longer ban openly gay adults.

Gates, a former US Secretary of Defense, said at the BSA's annual meeting in Atlanta: 'I must speak as plainly and bluntly to you as I spoke to presidents when I was Director of CIA and Secretary of Defense. We must deal with the world as it is, not as we might wish it to be. The status quo in our movement’s membership standards cannot be sustained.'

May 19, 2015

The UK premier of French choreographer's new work: Manger

French choreographer and dancer Boris Charmatz is the focus of a collaboration between Sadler's Wells theatre and Tate Modern museum in London.

Charmatz is director of the Musée de la danse in Rennes, France. He specialises in creating or using different physical spaces to present and redefine choreography and dance.

May 18, 2015

Herman Kelly, a communications director at the eurosceptic group Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy – who works largely with UKIP MEPs and Nigel Farage – posts anti-gay parenting rant on Twitter

Director of Amnesty International Ireland Colm O’Gorman was embroiled in a vitriolic Twitter spat with Director of Communications for EFDD Group (Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy) Hermann Kelly this evening, as Kelly posted a series of anti-gay parenting messages.

The EFDD is a Eurosceptic grouping within the European Parliament. Just under half of its 47 members are UKIP MEPs, and its co-President is Nigel Farage.

May 18, 2015

US Supreme Court to rule on same-sex marriage next month

US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg put special emphasis on the word 'constitution' while performing a marriage ceremony for two men in Washington DC over the weekend.

The wedding of Shakespeare Theater Company artistic director Michael Kahn and Charles Mitchem, who works at an architecture firm in New York, took place Sunday in Washington's Embassy Row neighborhood.

Ginsburg, who was performing her second same-sex ceremony, said that she was pronouncing the two men married by the powers vested in her 'by the Constitution of the United States.'

May 17, 2015

Reverend Warren Hall supported the NO H8 campaign

A Catholic priest has said he was sacked for supporting LGBTI rights.

Reverend Warren Hall, who used to work at Seton Hall University in New Jersey, posted a message on Facebook supporting the NO H8  campaign.

'I've been fired from SHU for posting a pic on FB supporting LGBT "NO H8",' he said on Twitter.

'I'm sorry it was met with this response. I'll miss my work here.

It came as the university’s basketball team recruited Derrick Gordon, the first openly gay Division I men’s basketball player.

May 15, 2015

Running from the 3rd to 14 June, the 2015 Sydney Film Festival boasts much on offer for the LGBTI cinema-goer, with ten films in this year’s program exploring themes around sexual and gender diversity

Cinema-goers attending this year’s Sydney Film Festival will be treated to the long awaited director’s cut of ‘54’ which restores 40 minutes of the film that was cut to downplay Ryan Philippe’s character’s same-sex love interest.

Miramax Films felt the boy-boy-girl love triangle at the heart of the film was too much for audiences in 1998 – however director Mark Christopher has spend the last 17 years reassembling the film to his original vision and the Sydney Film Festival screening will be one of the few opportunities for people to see the updated version.

May 15, 2015

Conservative blogger suggests he was on meth the night of the derailment

Fox News contributor Sandy Rios has said engineer Brandon Bostian’s sexual orientation was 'a factor' in Tuesday's train crash that killed eight people and injured more than 200.

Rios, who is also governmental affairs director at the anti-gay American Family Association, made the outrageous claim Thursday (14 May) on her radio show.

'I’m not inferring that this accident happened because he was gay, but I do think it’s an interesting part of the story and you can bet it would be edited out,' she said.

May 15, 2015

Australian LGBTI workplace inclusion group Pride In Diversity has announced the winners of its annual business awards and many industry leading companies and institutions are among the winners

PwC has been named Australia’s 2015 Employer of the Year for LGBTI workers – becoming only the first company to win the award twice since the founding of workplace inclusion group Pride In Diversity in 2012.

The Australian arm of the global professional services firm topped a list of 20 organizations which were honored today at a luncheon in Sydney organized by Australia’s only national employer support program for the inclusion of LGBTI people in the workplace.

May 13, 2015

'I read a lot of girl-on-girl books'

Australian actress Cate Blanchett has revealed she has had 'many' lesbian relationships in the past.

The two-time Oscar winner, who has been married theater director Andrew Upton for 15 years, plays a bisexual woman in her upcoming film Carol.

During an interview with Variety magazine, Blanchett, 45, was asked whether it was her 'first turn as a lesbian.'

'On film – or in real life?' she asked coyly.

May 12, 2015

Groundbreaking video is first time Arabic-speaking public figures have backed IDAHOT

Lebanese celebrities have stepped forward to make a powerful video for International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT).

In the video, a world first organized by the Proud Lebanon group, 14 prominent Lebanese personalities say everyone is born ‘free and equal’.

They argue against anti-gay legislation, saying: ‘We should all work together to change these unjust laws and replace them with laws that protect all citizens.’

May 11, 2015

In order to recruit top talent, members of the Hong Kong business community wants the High Court to overthrow a decision by the Government not to recognize same-sex partnerships

The High Court in Hong Kong has been asked to rule on a decision by the regional Director of Immigration not to recognize foreign, legally registered same-sex partnerships and marriages.

The decision is being challenged by a woman who entered into a civil partnership in the UK but who now resides with her partner in Hong Kong.

The hearing of the so-called ‘QT case’ is expected to take place in Hong Kong’s High Court on 14-15 May.

Hong Kong does not currently recognize same-sex partnerships – whether between citizens or those from abroad.

May 7, 2015

'Bruce Jenner’s unwavering courage and bravery inspired' new transition fund

A transgender porn site is offering to pay for gender reassignment surgeries.

Ross Bleustein, co-owner of the relatively new Trans500.com, last week announced the creation of a transition surgery fund.

Bleustein said the inspiration came from watching Keeping Up with the Kardashians star and former Olympian Bruce Jenner come out as transgender on national TV.

May 5, 2015

'Getting back with Captain Jack is like putting on an old pair of shoes or a very comfortable coat.'

John Barrowman is set to once again return to one of his best-known roles on British television when a new Torchwood audio drama is released later this year.  

The Scottish-born actor revealed in his radio show that he has already recorded the first audio drama, called The Conspiracy, which will focus on his time-travelling, omnisexual hero Captain Jack Harkness.

‘Getting back with Captain Jack is like putting on an old pair of shoes or a very comfortable coat,’ Barrowman told director Scott Handcock in the latest Big Finish podcast.

May 2, 2015

The international festival of hip hop dance theatre continues to demonstrate the power of dance.

'Our manifesto is peace, love, unity and having fun' declared artistic director Jonzi D, launching the annual Breakin' Convention dance festival at Sadler's Wells theatre in London.

Sadler's Wells is a theatre renowned for its support and celebration of contemporary dance, but it's events like Breakin' Convention where you really feel the power of contemporary dance to connect to a young audience from right across the city.

April 30, 2015

'I was there making this pilgrimage for the thousands of gay Muslims who were too scared to go to Saudi Arabia'

Gay Muslim filmmaker Parvez Sharma risked death by filming his pilgrimage to Mecca for his new documentary.

A Sinner in Mecca had its world premiere Wednesday night (28 April) at the Hot Docs festival in Toronto.

Security has been beefed up for the three sold-out screenings as Sharam has already received hate mail and death threats and the film was denounced by the Iranian state media as a 'Western conspiracy' to legitimize the 'despicable sin of homosexuality.'

April 27, 2015

'It is a clear question. Do we support legal discrimination against one group in this country? Or do we not?'

The acting leader of Australia's ruling party has said she will push to make it compulsory that all Labor MPs vote for gay marriage.

Tanya Plibersek will argue for a binding vote on marriage equality at the Labor National Conference in July.

The party changed its policy to support gay marriage at the 2011 conference but allowed its parliamentarians a free vote on the issue.

'Labor has always been a party that is opposed to discrimination,' she told Fairfax Media.

April 21, 2015

David Au brings us a tender film about food, family, and the power of George Takei

I am a sucker for movies about food and family, so writer/director David Au's film Eat With Me had me in tears without even trying.

The story of a mother and son – each of them on a journey to find themselves and each other – Eat With Me perfectly captures the pain and confusion that life and love always seem to throw up along the way.

Inspired by a real-life moment between his parents, this is a story that Au has been working on since 2003 when the script began life as a short-film.

April 20, 2015

Inspired by Hasselhoff, Oprah, and RuPaul, this is gay sport as you have probably never seen it before.

Everyone loves a musical parody video, and the Toronto Triggerfish (reportedly the world's largest LGBT water polo club) has pulled out all the stops as they promote their upcoming annual tournament.

'The whole thing took about a month to produce...' explained Shih-Ming Yao, director and star of the video. 'I'd like to say that there was a rigorous casting process, but to be honest we found a role for everyone that wanted to be in it.'

April 16, 2015

Historic iconic venue, which featured in the film Pride, is at risk of closing

London gay bar Royal Vauxhall Tavern is at risk of closing due to its recent sale to property developers.

But celebs and stalwarts of the scene have come together to launch a campaign to help save the iconic venue.

It comes as the Black Cap in Camden, another notable London LGBTI venue, closed without notice last week.

Writer of Bafta-winning film Pride Stephen Beresford, who featured the RVT in his 2014 hit film, is calling on people to help save the bar. 

April 15, 2015

Former student with neo-Nazi facial tattoo confesses to the killing

A gay employee at a North Carolina community college was shot dead Monday (13 April) morning by a white supremacist in what may have been a hate crime.

Ron Lane, 44, was shot once with a 12-gauge shotgun at the school's print shop, where he was the director, by a former student whom he dismissed from a work-study program for too many absenses.

Kenneth Morgan Stancil III, 20, confessed to the killing the next day after he was  arrested while sleeping on a Florida beach, about 500 miles from Wayne Community College in Goldsboro.

April 14, 2015

Gay mathematician's hidden notebook dates from the time he cracked the Nazi's Enigma code

Alan Turing's hidden wartime manuscript Monday (13 April) sold for more than $1 million at Bonhams auction house in New York.

An anonymous buyer paid $1,025,000 for the 56-page notebook, part of which will be donated to charity.

The handwritten notes date from 1942 when the gay mathematician was working at the UK government code and cypher school in Bletchley Park, where he led the team that cracked the code used by the Nazi Enigma machines.

April 12, 2015

They said the coverage sends the message of trans people being 'a joke and a freakshow'

Transgender advocates expressed their alarm over the Bruce Jenner ‘spectacle’ created by gossip and rumors spread in the media.

Talking to the LA Times, representatives of organizations offering support for trans people called the public speculation and jokes about Jenner’s possible transition ‘profoundly disrespectful’.

April 11, 2015

Earlier this week US President Barack Obama issued a statement calling for an end of the use of conversion therapy for LGBTI minors

Six White House staffers – some straight, some LGBT – are calling for an end to the dangerous, widely debunked practice of conversion therapy which supporters  falsely claim can change a person's sexual orientation or gender identity.