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March 19, 2014

Alice Nkom: ‘Every time a homosexual is negatively affected, it’s a negative effect on all of humanity.’

A lawyer in Cameroon was honored for her work promoting gay rights in Africa yesterday (18 March).

Alice Nkom, who faces death threats almost daily in her life defending gay people, was awarded by Amnesty International.

Male and female homosexuality is illegal in Cameroon and can be punished by up to five years in prison.

Receiving the award in Berlin, Nkom described it as a ‘prize of hope’.

Last week, Nkom described the situation for LGBTI people as an ‘anti-homosexuals apartheid’.

March 19, 2014

More travel destinations are catering to the needs of gay and lesbian parents as same-sex families are becoming more normalized. Here are some things to consider prior to departure

Gay and lesbian parents may experience challenges other households do not, but a family is still a family, and families need to get away every once in a while.

Planning a trip abroad with your family is an awesome opportunity to show your kids something new, or refresh your view on local destinations.

But whether your child is a toddler or just about to turn 18, there are some precautions every rainbow family should consider before starting of a journey.

March 17, 2014

Inspirational advocates from across Asia share their stories at landmark awards ceremony in Singapore

Asia’s LGBTI heroes have been honored at the first Asian Pink Awards in Singapore.

Campaigners and company representatives flew in from all over the region and as far away as Europe for the event last night (16 March), organized by Asian gay men’s magazine Element.

Among those honored was A-Mei, the hit Taiwanese singer who held a free concert in 2013 to support same-sex marriage.

Another singer, Laure Shang, a past winner of the Chinese Supergirls contest and an LGBTI advocate was also given an award.

March 16, 2014

Alice Nkom, a Cameroonian lawyer who has defended gay men and women for the last decade, says the country is battling an ‘anti-homosexuals apartheid’, comparing the situation to slavery

Alice Nkom, a pro-gay lawyer from Cameroon has spoken out about the treatment of gay people in her country, calling it an ‘anti-homosexuals apartheid’.

She also likened the situation to that of slavery in the United States before it was abolished in the nineteenth century.

Nkom, who has defended gay men men and women for more than a decade, said: ‘Currently in Cameroon, it’s an anti-homosexuals apartheid.’

March 14, 2014

Xiao Zhen was aroused and then electroshocked in a treatment recommended by Baidu

A 30-year-old Chinese man filed a case on Thursday (March 13) against US-listed Baidu for promoting gay conversion therapy offered by a psychological consultancy in its search engine.

A court in Beijing will decide in the next few days whether to proceed with the lawsuit against Baidu and Chongqing-based Xin Yu Piao Xiang (XYPX).

March 5, 2014

Referee was told by angry football fan he was a 'poof' who only took on the job to 'watch boys in tight shorts'

A British amateur soccer player has pleaded guilty for shouting homophobic abuse at a gay referee.

Dale Ritchie, 25, admitted to calling Joe Richardson a ‘faggot’, a ‘poof’ and told him he was only a referee so he could ‘watch boys in tight shorts’.

Richardson was refereeing a friendly match in Perthshire last year when he gave a red card to one of the footballers.

Furious as he watched the match while he was drinking on the sidelines, Richie verbally abused the referee.

February 9, 2014

A leaked report has revealed the ‘shocking’ questioning refugees face trying to gain asylum in the UK

UK Home Office officials have reportedly been humiliating LGBTI asylum seekers with degrading questions about their sex lives.

A leaked report to the Observer, from October 2013, reveals the extent of the harsh questioning that asylum seekers endured.

One bisexual man underwent five hours of questioning, with no lawyer present, including: ‘Did you put your penis into x's backside?’ and ‘When x was penetrating you, did you have an erection? Did x ejaculate inside you? Why did you use a condom?’

January 13, 2014

ELEMENT Magazine lists its nominees for its first Asia Pink Awards, celebrating the businesses and individuals at the forefront of an LGBTI revolution

The Asian LGBTI world is growing at record pace. But this development hasn’t happened by accident. It’s the result of tireless work by an army of dedicated heroes, many of them volunteers.

Now ELEMENT Magazine – dedicated to gay men in Asia – has decided to celebrate its first anniversary by recognizing some of those champions.

Its inaugural Asia Pink Awards celebrates some of the individuals and champions who are helping make the continent a better place for all LGBTI people.

January 12, 2014

A Cameroonian man who was jailed for sending a text message to another man saying ‘I’m very much in love with you’ and labeled a ‘curse’ by his family has died

Roger Jean-Claude Mbédé, 34, died on Friday (10 January) in Cameroon after his family removed him from hospital where he was seeking treatment for a hernia, according to a lawyer who worked on his case.

Mbédé was arrested in March 2011 after texting another man with the message ‘I’m very much in love with you’. He was convicted the following month and sentenced to three years in jail under a Cameroonian law that imposes up to five years in prison for homosexual acts.

January 7, 2014

79-year-old military veteran Hal Faulkner has had his discharge record changed from ‘undesirable’ to ‘honorable’ 58 years after he was kicked out of the Marines for being gay

A 79-year-old man who is dying from cancer has finally had his military service record cleared 58 years after he was kicked out of the US Marine Corps when the military learned he was gay.

Faulkner was discharged as an ‘undesirable’ after three years of military service beginning in 1953 during which he served in the Philippines and rose to the rank of sergeant.

Faulkner was diagnosed a few years ago with cancer and asked his relatives to help him secure a dying wish – to have his service record cleared.

December 23, 2013

Karina and Gabriela became the second same-sex couple to wed in the state of Oaxaca since a December 2012 Supreme Court ruling found the state’s ban on gay marriage unconstitutional

A lesbian couple became the second same-sex marriage to take place in the state of Oaxaca.

Yesterday (22 December) Karina and Gabriela, whose last names have been omitted per their request, married in a private ceremony at approximately 3pm local time.

Alex Ali Mendez Dia, a lawyer for Oaxaca Front for the Respect and Recognition of Sexual Diversity, told Gay Star News the couple has been waiting two years to get married.

December 21, 2013

Eastside Catholic High School administrators insist Mark Zmuda is well respected, but his same-sex marriage breaks the contract he signed

Students at a US high school in the state of Washington staged a sit-in after finding out a gay teacher had been fired for marrying his partner.

Vice principal and swim coach Mark Zmuda worked for Eastside Catholic High School for approximately a year and a half.

According to lawyer for the Archdiocese of Seattle and Eastside Catholic the process to terminate Zmuda began about two weeks ago.

November 21, 2013

Trans murders are ignored and transgender people who speak out are persecuted by Russia’s FSB security service, claims lawyer

A Russian lawyer has stripped off to defend transgender people’s rights.

While naked protests against Putin’s regime are not uncommon, Masha Bast’s protest may still raise some eyebrows in the legal profession.

But as chairwoman of the Association of Russian Lawyers for Human Rights, she wanted to take a stand for Transgender Day of Remembrance yesterday (20 November).

She is renaming it Transgender Day of Defense.

November 17, 2013

Jamaica’s Constitutional Court has ruled that three national television stations can legally refuse to screen a paid public service announcement promoting greater tolerance for homosexuals

The Constitutional Court of Jamaica has thrown out a law suit against three television stations that refused to screen a paid for public service announcement promoting tolerance of gays and lesbians in the Caribbean island nation.

Justices Paulette Williams, Bryan Sykes and Leighton Pusey found that the state owned Public Broadcasting Corporation of Jamaica (PBCJ) network could not screen the commercial as it does not screen any kind of paid advertisement.

November 12, 2013

Companies you have never heard of are busy blacklisting LGBTI websites – and in doing so they may be breaking equality laws

Internet companies may be breaking the law by routinely blocking LGBTI websites, Gay Star News can reveal.

We have uncovered what appears to be a shocking level of ingrained cultural bias towards the gay, bi, trans and intersex community that infects almost every part of the internet.

And experts say it isolates vulnerable LGBTI people, stopping them accessing vital information.

November 10, 2013

A state hearing officer ruled Andrew Shirvell was justifiably dismissed, in 2010, for his intimidation of University of Michigan Student Body President Christopher Armstrong

Andrew Shirvell is suing to get the job he had while he tormented a gay student body president of the University of Michigan.

The former state assistant attorney general filed a federal wrongful termination lawsuit this week (7 November).

According to the Detroit Press Mike Cox, the attorney general who fired him in 2010, is one of the people named in the suit.

November 4, 2013

New challenge to sodomy charges against two 21-year-olds who were tortured and jailed without food or water

The trial of an alleged Zambian gay couple has taken a new twist after their lawyer questioned medical evidence obtained against them by torture.

It means the two men, from the small town of Kapiri Mposhi, north of the capital of Lusaka, Zambia will have to further wait to discover if they will spend 14 years in jail over sodomy charges.

October 30, 2013

The two women, who were originally married in the US, separated and remarried in Europe to avoid legal pitfalls

The first gay couple in France have divorced.

Six months after France celebrated the legalization of same-sex marriage, the state has apparently received its first divorce papers.

Two young women, who have asked not to be named, were originally married in the United States in 2011 and had their marriage officially recognized by France during the summer of 2013.

According to France TV, the couple’s lawyer Rémy Rubaudo filed for divorce on the joint behalf of the couple earlier this month.

October 25, 2013

A record number of Russian LGBTs are seeking asylum in the United States with over 800 applications from Russian citizens during the last 12 months

Russia’s growing climate of intolerance for LGBT people appears to be responsible for a spike in applications for asylum in the United States by Russians.

837 Russians sought asylum in the US during the last 12 months compared to 722 the year before – the most since 2002.

LGBT group Immigration Equality say they have received 99 inquiries from Russian LGBT asylum seekers when they only received 63 inquiries from Russians during the previous 12 months – suggesting LGBT Russians make up a large proportion of the Russians to seek asylum in the US in 2013.

October 24, 2013

Lawyer for gay couples asks justices to 'bring certainty to the uncertainty in the state'

The New Mexico Supreme Court was asked on Wednesday (23 October) to bring some clarity to the issue of gay marriage in a state where it is neither prohibited or allowed.

'Today, this court is given the opportunity to give credence to the notion of equality,' lawyer Maureen Sanders told the five justices. 'The court can bring certainty to the uncertainty in the state.'

October 23, 2013

Fashion impresario Christopher Lee Sauvé loves his home town of Canada and poking loving fun at Anna Wintour, Britney Spears and Betty White with his part-homage, part-satire clothing line

This self-proclaimed momma’s boy is taking fashion police to a whole new level.

Featured everywhere from the pages of Vogue to the lamp posts of New York City, Canadian-born Christopher Lee Sauvé is no stranger to ruffling some feathers of the world’s most notorious fashion figures.

After he produced a T-shirt mimicking fashion stylist Rachel Zoe’s catchphrase ‘I Die. Bananas’ Sauvé received a cease-and-desist letter from Zoe’s lawyer saying she had trademarked ‘I Die’ and ‘bananas’.

October 19, 2013

President Barack Obama calls Jeh Johnson, the Homeland Security secretary nominee, 'an absolutely critical member of my national security team'

President Barack Obama has nominated Jeh Johnson, a lawyer who co-authored the US Pentagon's Don't Ask, Don't Tell study, to be the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.

DADT forced gay and lesbian personnel to conceal their sexual orientation in order to avoid being discharged.

October 18, 2013

A second leading expert on the Australian Constitution has said Tasmania can pass a law to allow same-sex marriage at a state level and believes a High Court challenge against it by the Australian Government is likely to fail

Supporters of the Tasmanian Same-Sex Marriage Bill today released what they say is a ‘game changing’ legal opinion that backs the constitutionality of the bill.

The opinion is from one of Australia's most senior and respected High Court barristers in the area of constitutional law, Bret Walker SC.

In the opinion Walker says there is no legal conflict between the Tasmanian state Same-Sex Marriage Bill and the federal Marriage Act and that a High Court challenge to the state bill is likely to fail.

October 16, 2013

Tim Newcomb points out Aaron McKinney, serving life for Matthew Shepard's murder, said years after the crime the University of Wyoming student 'needed killing'

An attorney involved in Matthew Shepard's murder trial is pushing back against many of the conclusions revealed in Stephen Jimenez's controversial The Book of Matt: Hidden Truths About the Murder of Matthew Shepard.

Lawyer Tim Newcomb was the appellate attorney for Russell Henderson, Aaron McKinney's accomplice in the University of Wyoming student's killing.

Newcomb is listed as a source in Jimenez's book.