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December 16, 2014

But did Craig Revel Horwood give him a banana?

Gay Strictly Come Dancing judge Craig Revel Horwood has opened up about his relationship, saying he was first attracted to his partner for a slightly odd reason.

No, it wasn't because he could rumba all night, it was because of his performing monkey.

'There's three of us in this relationship,' the BBC1 reality show judge told OK magazine.

'There is Damon [Scott], Bubbles [Damon's performing monkey] and me. What I first saw what he did, that attracted me as he is an artist.

December 16, 2014

Kathryn Knott, Philip Williams and Kevin Harrigan will be tried as a group for on aggravated assault, criminal conspiracy and other charges

Two men and the daughter of a local sheriff were ordered to stand trial Tuesday (16 December) in connection with the September beating of a gay couple in Philadelphia.

Kevin Harrigan, 26, Philip Williams, 24, and Kathryn Knott, 24, are to be tried for aggravated assault, criminal conspiracy and other charges.

The trio cannot be charged with a hate crime, however, because sexual orientation is not covered in the stat of Pennsylvania's current hate crime law.

December 14, 2014

Lambda Legal and South Carolina Equality sued after the state governor and attorney general declined to apply the Fourth Circuit decision

Lawyers who successfully fought for marriage rights in South Carolina are asking a federal judge to have the state pay their legal fees.

Papers were filed with District Judge Richard Mark Gergel, the jurist who ruled the southern US state's ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional.

December 13, 2014

In his decision, Garcia said allowing same-sex couples to marry as the case is appealed 'would only be temporary, with confusion and doubt to follow'

While a judge ruled the Texas ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, he's unwilling to lift a stay while the case faces appeal.

This past February, US District Judge Orlando Garcia found the southern's state's prohibition went against the US Constitution's protection of equal treatment under the law.

December 11, 2014

Lesbian Queen of Shops to choose Britain’s LGBTI business stars

Mary Portas – known in Britain as the Queen of Shops – is joining the judging panel to choose the top 50 most influential LGBTI people in business.

Openly lesbian, Portas is best-known for her work on the Channel 4 show Secret Shopper.

She joins the Out at Work Top 50 judging panel, led by diversity and inclusion expert Linda Riley, Labour peer Michael Cashman and Lord Guy Black of the Daily Telegraph Group.

December 9, 2014

First ruling was vacated on a legal technicality

Broward county judge Dale Cohen yesterday overturned Florida's ban on gay marriage for a second time after he vacated his first ruling on a legal technicality.

Cohen first ruled the ban unconstitutional on 4 August in a lawsuit filed by Heather Brassner, who entered a civil union with her now estranged partner in Vermont in 2002 but sought a divorce in Florida.

However, Cohen was not prepared to grant the divorce without first addressing the constitutionality of the gay marriage ban.

December 9, 2014

She has a matter of days before she could go back to the country where her family and teachers sent her to witch doctors to 'cure' her

A Ugandan woman has a matter of days to prove she is a lesbian and was tortured over her sexuality.

Judith Twikirize, 23, was told she would be forced to return home to Uganda, flying home yesterday evening (8 December), after the UK government ruled she was lying over her sexuality.

Due to the case being fast-tracked, after she had claimed asylum on 29 September, the young woman could not compile the necessary evidence in time.

December 8, 2014

He was accused of plotting to kill his wife on their honeymoon

Bisexual millionaire Shrien Dewani walks free after he was accussed of plotting to murder his wife Anni on their honeymoon.

The prosecution had argued that Dewani plotted to kill his wife four years ago in order to pursue relationships with men.

But Judge Jeanette Travers, ruling in Cape Town, has said the prosecution had 'fallen far below' the level needed to a secure conviction, leading to Dewani's acquittal.

The state's key witness, cab driver Zola Tongo said Dwani paid him to hire two men to carry out the murder.

December 6, 2014

State Republican leaders eventually plan to take their appeal to the state Supreme Court

Republican lawmakers in Missouri plan to appeal a judge's ruling requiring the US state to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states.

According to The Kansas Star, Senate President Pro Tem Tom Dempsey and House Speaker Tim Jones filed a motion on 3 December. The hope is to eventually take the case to the state Supreme Court.

December 6, 2014

Auckland lawyer Matthew Muir was sworn in as the first openly gay judge to sit on New Zealand’s High Court bench on Friday

One of the lawyers behind the campaign to legalize homosexuality in New Zealand in 1986 has seen his career come full circle as he was just appointed to sit on the bench of the High Court of New Zealand.

Auckland lawyer Matthew Muir was one of a group of lawyers who advised the authors of the Homosexual Law Reform Bill which legalized sex between men in New Zealand in 1986 after decades of activism by the LGBTI community.

December 5, 2014

Performer pleads guilty to possession with intent to distribute

UK porn star Bruno Knight was sentenced to two years in jail for attempting to smuggle half a pound of methamphetamine out of the US in his anus.

Knight, real name Patrick Gizzie, will also serve three years of supervised release after he leaves prison.

'I am sorry to you and your country,' he told the judge.

December 4, 2014

He now says that he is likely to change his judgment, which would leave the women married to one another again

A judge in Athens, Ohio, approved a couple’s divorce last week… only realizing afterwards that the couple were both women.

Currently, Ohio has a ban on same-sex marriage. This ruling becomes the state’s first same-sex divorce.

December 3, 2014

The 10th Circuit appeals court has rebuffed the latest attempt by the state of Kansas to stop gay people from getting hitched

Kansas remains one of the US states where battles continue to be waged over same-sex marriage.

The US Supreme Court announced in early October that it declined to review pending same-sex marriage bans in several US states.

This paved the way for same-sex marriage in states such as Virginia and Wisconsin, among others, and sent out a clear signal to lawmakers elsewhere that should they continue to fight same-sex marriage in the courts, they would ultimately be disappointed should they get to the Supreme Court.

December 3, 2014

While some Texas county clerks are preparing to issue licenses, others have said that they will refuse gay couples even if a federal judge lifts his stay on a ruling overturning the state’s same-sex marriage ban

Campaigners are hopeful that a stay on a ruling striking down the same-sex marriage ban in Texas could soon be lifted. This could mean that gay couples will be able to apply for marriage licenses within the state.

However, the Texas Observer reports that some couples may be left bitterly disappointed, as some county clerks have indicated that they will refuse to grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples even if a federal judge lifts his stay.

November 27, 2014

Jim Hood says he has 'statutory duty' to argue the constitutionality of the state's laws

Attorney General Jim Hood announced Wednesday (26 November) that Mississippi will fight a decision this week by a federal judge to strike down the state's ban on gay marriage.

Hood said in a statement that his office has a 'statutory duty' to argue the constitutionality of the state's laws.

November 26, 2014

But no marriages yet as ruling put on hold pending possible appeal

A federal judge struck down Arkansas' ban on gay marriage on Tuesday (25 November) then placed a stay on the ruling to give the state an opportunity to appeal.

The stay means no marriages can take place between same-sex couples - yet.

US District Judge Kristine Baker stated in her ruling that even though the state's 2004 ban was approved by voters, that 'does not immunize it from federal constitutional scrutiny.'

Baker ruled in a lawsuit filed by two same-sex couples who sued on the grounds that the ban was in violation of the US Constitution.

November 26, 2014

'The court concludes that Mississippi’s same-sex marriage ban deprives same-sex couples and their children of equal dignity under the law'

Another barrier has been swept away. At least for now.

Today, 25 November, US District Court Judge Carlton W. Reeves ruled against Mississippi's amendment banning same-sex marriage.

November 24, 2014

No Rachel, you were not supposed to put beef in the trifle. It did not taste good.

Friends was one of the few shows in the 90s/early 00s that was unafraid to show its love for gay fans.

With a lot of LGBTI people choosing to tuck into their turkey with friends this year, take a moment to remember the show that made you realise that doing that was a great way to spend the holiday.

After all, for 10 years, Thanksgiving on television was Friends.

November 19, 2014

Same-sex couples can begin getting married immediately after marriage ban is struck down

Same-sex couples in Montana don't have to wait any longer to get married.

A federal judge on Wednesday (19 November) struck down the state's gay marriage ban passed by voters in the state in 2004.

U.S. District Judge Brian Morris did not issue a stay on his decision which stated the ban was in violation of the 14th amendment of the constitution that guarantees equal protection.

November 14, 2014

Another senior figure in the church has lashed out at gay people who wish to marry and start families

A Catholic Cardinal in Italy has said this week that gay couples that wish to have children are undermining traditional families and are ‘irresponsible’.

Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, who is the Archbishop of Genoa and the President of the Italian Bishops Conference, is regarded as a senior figure in the church.

Addressing a meeting of Italian bishops in Umbria on Monday, he spoke out against same-sex civil unions, saying that they ‘confuse people’, especially if children are involved.

‘It is irresponsible to weaken the family by creating new forms.’

November 12, 2014

Stays decision for one week so no licenses will be issued to same-sex couples before then

A federal judge on Wednesday (12 November) struck down South Carolina's ban on same-sex marriage saying it is unconstitutional.

US District Judge Richard Mark Gergel stayed his ruling for one week so no licenses can be issued to same-sex couples before then.

Gergel based his decision on a recent ruling by the US Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals which upheld the striking down of a same-sex marriage ban in Virginia.

November 8, 2014

'Because the federal District Court’s injunction will effectively disable a provision in the Kansas Constitution, I believe I have a duty to exhaust all of the state’s options for appeal'

Kansas will take its fight against marriage equality to the US Supreme Court.

Yesterday, 7 November, the 10th US Circuit Court of Appeals denied Attorney General Derek Schmidt's request to place a hold on a federal judge's ruling against the state's ban on same-sex marriage.

November 7, 2014

Judge says the law is 'degrading, oppressive and inhuman'

A Malaysian court today scrapped a ban on Muslim transgender women wearing female clothing in Negeri Sembilan, a landmark ruling that could trigger similar challenges in other states.

The three-judge panel of the Court of Appeal unanimously ruled that the Sharia law contravened the constitution and did not give transgender women 'the right to live with dignity.'

Judge Mohamad Yunus said the law and punishments were 'degrading, oppressive and inhumane.'

November 7, 2014

Decision comes two days after district judge made ruling that applied only to city of St. Louis

A federal judge on Friday (7 November) struck down Missouri's ban on gay marriage that was passed by voters in the Midwestern state 10 years ago.

US District Court Judge Ortrie D. Smith ruled that the ban is unconstitutional and that that same-sex couples can obtain marriage licenses.

The state has said it will appeal.

Smith's ruling comes two days after same-sex marriage marriage licenses began being issued in the city of St. Louis where a state judge lifted the ban.

Smith's decision applies to the entire state.