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February 26, 2015

Pontiff is not what he seems

Pope Francis is a complicated, confusing pontiff to the LGBTI community –especially its transgender members.

On the surface Francis displays a pastoral countenance to his papacy that extends to us all.

He set off global shock waves, when flying home after a weeklong visit to Brazil in 2013, when he was queried about the ‘gay lobby’ in the Vatican.

February 24, 2015

'We shouldn’t demonize and dismiss and hate each other as that is so dangerous'

The Archbishop of Canterbury has revealed that he has 'a lot' of gay friends. 

The leader of The Church of England, Justin Welby, made the comments when asked about his views on the LGBTI community and gay marriage by a group of Muslim sixth form students during a visit to St. Alban's Academy in Highgate, Birmingham on Monday (23 February). 

February 24, 2015

Randy Berry will advocate for LGBTI rights globally

The US State Department Monday (23 February) named Randy Berry as its first LGBTI rights envoy.

The openly gay diplomat is currently the US consul general in Amsterdam and has served in Bangladesh, Egypt, Uganda, and South Africa.

Secretary of State John Kerry said he 'could not be more proud' to announce Berry as the first-ever special envoy for the human rights of LGBTI persons.

February 23, 2015

Tzipi Livni could become one of two rotating premiers if her coalition wins

An Israeli politician has made a campaign promise to legalize gay marriage if she becomes prime minister in the March elections.

Tzipi Livni made the pledge at a weekly gay party called Dreck in Tel Aviv on Saturday night (21 February).

The Hatnuah party leader will become one of two rotating prime ministers if her coalition with Labor wins.

'Good evening Dreck. There's a chance that on March 20 we'll come to celebrate the end of the period of darkness, racism and discrimination and we'll start a period of light, love and equality,' she said.

February 19, 2015

New South Wales politician voted against same-sex marriage in 2013

The opposition leader in New South Wales has u-turned on gay marriage after voting against reform in the Australian state in 2013.

On becoming Labor leader in January, Luke Foley said he would keep 'an open mind' and 'continue to reflect' on the issue, which cynics saw as a non-commital halfway ground ahead of the March elections.

But today, the practising Catholic spoke in favor of overturning a federal ban on gay marriage.

February 17, 2015

Scott Lively is currently on trial for crimes against humanity

Abiding Truth Ministries pastor and author of The Pink Swastika, Scott Lively, is upset that the media label him ‘anti-gay’ because of his years of actively campaigning against the rights of LGBTI people.

Lively is currently being sued in the US Federal Court by Ugandan LGBTI activists over his role in convincing Ugandans to pass strict laws further criminalizing gays and lesbians and he has praised Russian leader Vladimir Putin over his regime’s laws against so-called ‘homosexual propaganda.’

February 13, 2015

The head rabbi of Melbourne's Yeshivah Center has told an inquiry into the handling of child abuse complaints by institutions that be believes it’s possible that pedophiles could be cured through counseling and spiritual guidance and that ‘the same thing could happen to someone who was gay’

A leading Orthodox Jewish religious leader in Australia has told a public inquiry into child abuse in institutions that he believes that gay people can change their orientation if they undergo therapy and are given spiritual guidance.

Rabbi Zvi Telsner made the comment in response to questions at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Australia, which is currently examining how Jewish schools in Melbourne and Sydney responded to reports of child abuse since the 1980s.

February 12, 2015

Co-founder of Nefes committed suicide last year over persecution

One of the only LGBTI rights group operating in Azerbaijan has announced it is being forced to close today (12 February).

Nefes (which means 'Breath') has said the increased arrests and persecution has forced them to make a decision:

They cannot risk the personal safety of its members any longer, and will close.

At the beginning of 2014, former Nefes leader Isa Shakhmarli hanged himself with a rainbow flag in his apartment.

February 10, 2015

Judge says allegations of conspiracy are 'unsubstantiated by any facts'

Malaysia's top court today (10 February) upheld opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim's conviction for sodomy, which is illegal in the Muslim-majority.

Federal Court judge Arifin Zakat said there was 'overwhelming evidence' that the former deputy prime minister had sodomized a male aide, and defense allegations that the case was a political conspiracy were 'unsubstantiated by any facts whatsoever.'

February 8, 2015

It's the ninth time the PM has attended the annual gay event which is the largest in New Zealand with more than 12,000 attendees today

Prime Minister John Key, who has attended Auckland's annual Big Gay Out for nine years, appears to be taking the heckling in stride.

As he started his short speech on the main stage at Coyle Park, there were as many cheers as there were 'boos' and heckling from the crowd, according to media reports.

Key, however, smiled and told the crowd: 'Hello, how are you all? It's good to be back at The Big Gay Out. This is the ninth time I've been here.'

January 27, 2015

Says he is 'horrified' by how transphobic he was when he made that statement

UKIP leader Nigel Farage's top aide and secretary general Matthew Richardson has apologized unreservedly for calling trans woman 'she-males' today (27 January).

But while saying sorry for the language used, he has not retracted suggestions that a future UKIP administration would put an end to gender reassignment within the NHS.

January 26, 2015

Indicates a UKIP government would cancel funding for treating gender dysphoria

UKIP leader Nigel Farage’s top aide, Matthew Richardson, has called trans women ‘she-males’.

And his comments give the clearest indication yet the party wants to pull funding for treating gender dysphoria.

It’s a further major blow to the British anti-Europe party’s reputation in the LGBTI community after a series of embarrassing gaffes.

January 20, 2015

'Expect dead bodies if you continue to provocate', the politician warns

A Lithuanian politician has warned a gay group that it is 'playing with fire' and its activities could lead to a massacre similar to what happened in Paris.

Algirdas Vaclovas Patackas, previously of the Way of Courage political party, told the leader of gay rights group LGL to expect 'dead bodies' if they continue to 'provocate'.

He was referring to the tragic killings in France earlier this month, where 12 people in the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo were killed by extremists.

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.

January 16, 2015

Once the leader of the Catholic Church, always a leader of a Catholic Church

Pope Francis has claimed the family is being threatened by gay marriage.

Speaking in the Phillippines, the leader of the Catholic Church criticized what he called the 'ideological colonization of the family' - language that many have taken to mean the marriage of same-sex couples.

'The family is threatened by growing efforts on the part of some to redefine the very institution of marriage, by relativism, by the culture of the ephemeral, by a lack of openness to life,' Francis said.

January 15, 2015

Bharatiya Janata Party takes a stance on homosexuality for the first time

India's ruling political party has come out in support of decriminalizing gay sex, the first time the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has taken a stance on the issue.

Shaina NC, BJP spokesperson for Mumbai, said Tuesday (13 January) that while homosexuality may be seen as unnatural, it was not unacceptable.

'We are for decriminalizing homosexuality. That is the progressive way forward,' she said told NDTV.

In December last year, the Supreme Court reinstated Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which punishes gay sex with up to life imprisonment.

January 15, 2015

'It really gives you validation and gives you kind of a wall that you can lean on if something happens'

Martina Navratilova and Julia Lemigova had already been together for more than six years by the time they got married last month.

It has already made all the difference.

'I want to write an article about it, how much it changes your life,' the tennis legend tells The New York Times.

January 13, 2015

Exodus International past leader says he is 'gay with bisexual tendencies'

Former 'ex-gay' poster boy Randy Thomas has come out as gay.

In a blog post published yesterday (12 January), the former executive vice-president of the now defunct Exodus International disclosed that he was 'gay with some level of bisexual tendencies.'

'The truth is, that my primary sexual attraction is toward men,' he wrote.

'It is also true that to date the love of my life has been a woman. I was attracted to her in every way. Many people won’t believe me but what I just shared is true.'

January 6, 2015

But 60% say refusing to hire an LGBTI person is discriminatory

Almost 70% of Hong Kong people believe society should tolerate anti-gay views, according to a new survey.

The results released yesterday (5 January) also showed that 57% of respondents said schools should not have to teach that homosexuality and heterosexuality are both 'beautiful.'

Hong Kong Polytechnic University interviewed 611 adults in November for the survey, which was commissioned by the anti-gay Family School Sexual Orientation Discrimination Ordinance Concern Group.

January 4, 2015

LGBTI activists want Foley, who voted against marriage equality, 'to meet with same-sex couples and their children so he can hear for himself why marriage equality matters'

Marriage equality advocates in Australia are urging potential New South Wales Labor leader Luke Foley to meet with same-sex couples and their children to challenge his anti-gay views.

Foley, a committed Catholic who is preparing to be elected unopposed as leader of New South Wales Labor on 5 January, has previously voted against marriage equality, claiming this view is based on his upbringing by a single mother. 

December 29, 2014

A scene suggesting depicting James Franco’s character and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un waking up in bed together was one of those reportedly cut from the ‘redacted’ film version released on Christmas Day

A scene in controversial movie, The Interview, which depicted North Korean leader Kim Jong-un participating in a group sex session with a male journalist and four women, was reportedly cut from the final film.

The Daily Mail says that the ‘gay-orgy’ scene was described in a leaked version of the movie’s screenplay but did not make the final filmed version.

December 25, 2014

Looming new threat for Uganda’s LGBTIs

A new anti-gay bill will be top of the agenda in Uganda’s churches this Christmas as politicians return home to celebrate the holidays.

But it won’t just be a time for friends and families for members of the Ugandan parliament. They will also be starting an election campaign.

The party primaries to choose the next leader of Uganda are early next year and campaigning is already under way even though the final vote is not until 2016.

December 19, 2014

Remind yourself of the biggest stories of the year

Brick by brick, it feels like the wall of LGBTI rights across the world is becoming stronger.

For those who believe in equality, rights for LGBTI people is moving at a lightning speed. And for those who don't, it's becoming worse.

But because there are more places that believe gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex people deserve rights, the spotlight is on these homophobic and transphobic places like never before.

If no one cared about the community, the world would never have acted in several ways that could only have happened in 2014.

December 19, 2014

She used to be a homophobe. Now she’s a hero

My first interaction with Kathy Baldock, the founder and director of Canyon Walker Connections, was in 2012.