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March 18, 2015

Presbyterian Church (USA) claims 1.8 million members

The largest Presbyterian group in the US has approved a change to its constitution to allow gay marriage.

Last summer, the Presbyterian Church (USA) governing body voted to redefine marriage as a 'commitment between two people, traditionally a man and a woman.'

But approval was required a majority of the 171 regional bodies to ratify the change. The critical 86th yes vote came Tuesday (17 March) night from the Palisades Presbytery in New Jersey.

March 15, 2015

His American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) group was named to the Human Rights Watch (HRW) 'Hall of Shame' in 2013 for 'endangering the lives and dignity of LGBT people' around the world

Republican Jeb Bush, who is being watched closely by gay rights activists as he continues to publicly oppose marriage equality while saying that his view is evolving, is said to have surprised some observers with the appointment of prominent anti-gay activist Jordan Sekulow to his Right to Rise PAC (political action committee).

Sekulow is an attorney, radio show host and the right-wing Executive Director of the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ).

January 23, 2015

Perhaps the first ‘ex-ex-gay’ activist, Lowell ‘John’ Evans co-founded the Love In Action ex-gay ministry in 1973 but became one of the movements biggest critics a few years later after the suicide of a close gay friend

One of the earliest members of the ex-gay movement in the United States to leave it and campaign against it has died this week, aged 80.

Lowell ‘John’ Evans co-founded what has been called the earliest ex-gay ministry, Love In Action, in 1973 with a heterosexual Christian preacher named Kent Philpott, and another gay man, Frank Worthen, in San Raphael, California.

Two years later Philpott released the book ‘The Third Sex?’ in which he claimed his ministry had successfully converted people from being gay to straight.

January 19, 2015

Sri Lankan LGBTI rights group Equal Ground hope the incoming government of President Maithripala Sirisena will be more open minded to the needs of sexual minorities and transgender people

A leading Sri Lankan LGBTI rights group has expressed hope that Sri Lanka will move forward to protect the needs of sexual minorities and transgender people now that the New Democratic Front coalition have taken power.

President Maithripala Sirisena was swept into power at the start of this year with the backing of Sri Lanka’s minority Muslim and Tamil communities and rural Sinhalese voters that had become disenchanted after 10 years of government by outgoing president Mahinda Rajapaksa.

January 19, 2015

Report finds the women face 'amplified stigma' due to their gender and job

Transgender female sex workers are among the most marginalized and discriminated populations in China, according to a new report.

Based on 10 months of research by Asia Catalyst and two Chinese community-based organizations, Beijing Zuoyou Center and Shanghai CSW (commercial sex worker) and MSM (men who have sex with men) Center, the report found transgender sex workers experience 'amplified stigma' due to both their gender identity and their profession.

January 16, 2015

Execs from Google, Sky, Barclays, Tesco, Burberry and more make the cut

Britain’s top 50 LGBTI business people have been named in a new list out today.

Executives from household names like Barclays, IBM, EY all make the grade. And in poll position is Antonio Simoes, chief executive at HSBC UK.

All of them have helped increase visibility of LGBTI people in the workplace.

Appropriate list judges were all openly gay or lesbian.

November 27, 2014

'In Europe, we're crawling; in America they're running' – GETA boss claims businesses aren't catering for queer travellers

Gay Star News editor Tris Reid-Smith took part in a panel discussion on gay travel last night, hosted by Grayling and the Gay European Tourism Association (GETA) – and urged companies to directly market to queer tourists.

Attended by representatives of several high-profile travel organisations, talking points included how to be sensitive to the needs of LGBTI travellers and the benefits of working with them.

November 19, 2014

John Smid, former leader of the notorious ‘ex-gay’ group Love In Action, has married for a third time, and this time it’s to another man

Six years after resigning as executive director of the ‘ex-gay’ group Love In Action, former ‘ex-gay’ leader John Smid has married another man in Oklahoma.

Smid married his partner Larry McQueen in Hugo, Oklahoma over the weekend, a 35 minute drive from their home across the border in Paris, Texas, and the couple held a wedding ceremony in Tulsa on Sunday.

November 18, 2014

Kansas City Union Mission says it will refuse shelter to homeless married same-sex couples who want to stay together, even though same-sex marriage isn’t yet legal in the state

The owners of a privately owned Christian homeless shelter in Kansas City, Missouri, have announced there will be no room in the inn for homeless married gay couples under their roof.

For 90 years Kansas City’s City Union Mission has provided shelter and food for individuals and families who are down on their luck, helping around 500 people each night, but the shelter has now announced that same-sex couples will not be allowed to stay there as couples.

November 9, 2014

UK newspaper Independent on Sunday has published the annual Rainbow List today, showcasing the most influential LGBTI people in the UK today 

UK newspaper the Independent on Sunday has today published the 2014 Rainbow List.

The annual list showcases 100 of the most influential LGBTI people in the UK.

The paper revealed how hard it was to reduce a total of 4,390 entries to just 101 stars who have made the final list.

‘The result honours those who have long and brave histories of standing up for equal rights, even when equality wasn’t even legal,’ writes the newspaper.

November 4, 2014

Ifeanyi Orazulike was arrested on the same day a challenge to the country's anti-gay law was dismissed

Nigerian LGBTI rights activist Ifeanyi Orazulike was arrested and detained without charge on the night of 22 October, the same day a constitutional challenge to the country's anti-gay law was dismissed.

The executive director of the International Center for Advocacy on the Rights to Health was arrested at his office in Abuja while celebrating his birthday with friends and colleagues.

He has filed a motion in Abuja High Court alleging he was arrested, detained and dehumanized without charge.

October 29, 2014

Sam Ganafa was arrested for 'unnatural offenses' last year

A Ugandan court has dismissed criminal charges against prominent LGBTI rights activist Samuel Ganafa.

The executive director of LGBTI rights group Spectrum Uganda Initiatives and three colleagues were arrested in November last year for 'unnatural offenses,' which is punishable by up to life in jail.

The court dismissed the charges on 8 October, nearly a year after his arrest.

October 15, 2014

Victoria state parliament passed the bill with three amendments, including posthumous expungements

Victoria today became the first Australian state to expunge historic gay sex convictions.

Both houses of Victorian parliament passed the Sentencing Amendment (Historical Homosexual Convictions Expungement) Bill with three amendments proposed by the Labour Party.

The amended bill includes allowances for posthumous expungements, a provision to amend the state’s Equal Opportunity Act to outlaw discrimination on the basis of an expunged gay sex convictio and an additional purpose to recognize that the convictions should never have been considered crimes.

October 15, 2014

Calls have been made to scrap of an agreement that lets the US keep custody of servicemen accused of committing crimes in the country

Dozens of protesters burned the US flag yesterday night outside the US embassy in Manila demanding Washington hand over a marine suspected of murdering a transgender woman to Philippine authorities.

About 40 young activists waving red flags and shouting 'US troops out now' called for the scrapping of an agreement that allows the US to keep jursidiction of  military personnel accused of committing crimes in the Philippines.

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.

September 30, 2014

Respect After Death Act ensures that authentic gender identity is reflected on death certificates

California Governor Jerry Brown has signed a bill into law that will make sure death certificates for transgender people accurately reflect their authentic, lived identity.

The Respect After Death Act requires that the authority responsible for completing the transgender person's death certificate adhere to documentation of their gender identity such as an updated birth certificate or driver's license.

September 26, 2014

Activists scored the three candidates on their gay marriage stance, policies and recognition of LGBTI issues

LGBTI rights groups said yesterday all three Taipei mayoral candidates lack concrete policies on gay rights.

The candidates were scored on gay marriage stance, policies and recognition of LGBTI issues, on a scale ranging from three to minus three points.

Independent candidate Neil Peng received the highest score with 1.5 points, followed by independent candidate Ko Wen-je with minus one.

Chinese Nationalist Party candidate Sean Lien came last with minus three points.

Neil Peng is the only candidate who openly supports gay marriage.

September 23, 2014

Whether you’re flying solo, with your partner or rainbow family, the Gay European Tourism Association offers some advice to keep safe and have fun on your European adventure

The Gay European Tourism Association (GETA) has launched an information campaign to educate LGBTI travelers touring Europe.

GETA's new website explains the ‘difference in legal and social attitudes to homosexuality across Western, Central and Eastern Europe,’ so LGBTI travelers are aware of how homosexuality is treated throughout European countries.

September 19, 2014

Numbers were down but there were no anti-gay protests

Hundreds of people marched through the Israeli capital yesterday night for Jerusalem Pride despite two delays due to the war in Gaza.

Different media reports said 500-2,000 people took part in the 13th edition of the event, although numbers were down on previous years when several thousand people attended.

September 9, 2014

Broadway League reverses controversial decision following outpouring of support for the late Tony nominee

Following protests from major Broadway stars including Audra MacDonald and Harvey Fierstein and an online petition, the Broadway League announced Broadway theaters will dim their lights Tuesday evening in honor of Joan Rivers.

September 9, 2014

Tweets four-time Tony winner Harvey Fierstein: 'She loved Broadway and we loved her'

There is growing outrage over The Broadway League's controversial decision not to dim the marquee lights of Broadway theaters in honor of the late Joan Rivers.

The Broadway League is the trade organization that represents Broadway theatre owners and producers.

September 9, 2014

Activists fear the gay marriage bill has been shelved indefinitely

More than forty marriage equality and civil rights groups gathered outside the Taiwanese legislature in Taipei this morning calling on lawmakers to pass a marriage equality bill they say has been deliberately set aside.

They also announced a larger protest that will see 99 civil rights groups surround the Legislative Yuan when it reopens on October 5.

September 4, 2014

After receiving over $90k in donations when his family kicked him out for being gay, Daniel Ashley Pierce has asked the public to donate instead to the charity helping him move on

A gay teen, who was beaten and kicked out of his home by his family for being gay, has asked the public to donate to a charity for LGBT homeless youth.

Daniel Ashley Pierce received over $90,000 (€68,456) in donations after a video of his family kicking him out and attacking him went viral.

Now, the teen is asking for donations to be re-directed from him to Lost-n-Found Youth, an Atlanta-based non-profit that helps get LGBT homeless youth off the streets.

August 9, 2014

The Christian activist admitted to creating a fake organization and website to dupe parade organizers and Trojan condoms to get condom sponsorship

Bill Whatcott, who was found guilty by the Supreme Court of Canada last year of promoting hatred against gays and lesbians by distributing hateful pamphlets, boasted that his marching in the Vancouver Pride Parade last weekend to be 'unorthodox evangelism.'

Whatcott, who is the executive director of anti-gay group Christian Truth Activists, applied to march in the parade using a pseudonym and a fake society called the Calgary Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster alongside four other evangelical Christians.