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August 3, 2014

The UNDP, which is known to be a supporter of LGBT rights worldwide, had provided funding for the original two committees that drafted the codes but did not monitor their outcome, Sunil Pant, Nepal's first openly gay politician, tells Gay Star News

It’s a dramatic reversal for a country whose Supreme Court ruled in 2007 to ensure broad protections for LGBTI people and whose government was looking into legalizing same-sex marriage after a Supreme Court decision in 2008.

Today, the LGBTI community faces fresh opposition as the law ministry under law and justice minister Narahari Acharya of the ruling Nepali Congress is seeking to enact punitive laws to recriminalize gay sex, Sunil Pant, the country's first openly gay politician and former member of parliament, told Gay Star News in an email.

July 9, 2014

Roman Khudyakov wants the 100 rouble note, worth around $3 or €2, banned or changed under the anti-gay propaganda law

A Russian lawmaker is so terrified children are going to become gay, he now wants to ban the 100-rouble banknote.

The note shows the Greek god Apollo, somewhat disrobed, riding a four-horse chariot atop the Bolshoi Theater – one of Russia’s main cultural symbols.

Roman Khudyakov, a member of parliament for the nationalist LDPR party, now wants the note, worth around $3 or €2, banned under the anti-gay law.

‘You can see clearly that Apollo is naked, you can see his genitalia,’ he told Reuters TV.

May 23, 2014

The event on June 28 is expected to the largest rally for gay acceptance – or for any social cause – in the Southeast Asian state where gay sex is illegal and punishable by up to 2 years in prison

More than 40 Singaporean LGBTIs and allies are featured in Pink Dot Singapore's new campaign video to launch the sixth annual rally to support the acceptance of LGBTIs in Singapore.

Titled 'For Family, For Friends, For Love,' the video was launched on Thursday night at the Parkroyal on Pickering hotel with over 100 people in attendance.

The 4-minute video features LGBT and straight Singaporeans 'shar(ing) their sentiments about Pink Dot and their wish for a more open-minded and inclusive Singapore,' according to organizers.

May 22, 2014

Zakhele Mbhele, the first gay black MP to be elected to the National Assembly, was sworn in on Harvey Milk Day

Africa has elected its first black gay member of parliament today (22 May).

Zakhele Mbhele, a member of the opposition Democratic Alliance, was sworn in to the South African National Assembly.

The 29-year-old is also the second ever gay MP in an African government, following UK-born Mike Waters' first appointment in South Africa in 1999.

An activist, as well as a politician, Mbhele has said he hopes to encourage equality and oppose violence against the LGBTI community while in office.

April 9, 2014

Culture Secretary resigns from her post after funding a home for her parents at taxpayers' expense

Conservative politician Maria Miller, who saw through same-same sex marriage in England and Wales, has resigned as culture secretary.

Following a row over her expenses, Downing Street said they had recieved a resignation letter from the member of parliament (MP) today (9 April).

David Cameron said while he was sorry to get the letter, he accepted her decision.

A huge outrage followed after Miller was cleared of funding a home for her parents at taxpayers' expense.

March 30, 2014

Mark Menzies, a Tory MP, resigned after a Sunday newspaper made unproven allegations about him asking a rent boy for drugs

UK politician Mark Menzies has resigned over allegations made in a British Sunday newspaper claiming he paid a rent boy for drugs.

Tabloid newspaper the Sunday Mirror claims Conservative Member of Parliament Menzies paid for the services of a Brazilian male escort, who he also asked to supply him with the drug methedrone.

Menzies released a statement denying the allegations.

‘I have decided to resign as a PPS after a series of allegations were made against me in a Sunday newspaper’ he said.

March 11, 2014

Gay rights activists, including a member of parliament and the former opposition leader, has called on the Constitutional Court and High Court to recognize gay people must be protected in Uganda

Uganda’s anti-gay law is to face scrutiny in the Constitutional Court.

A number of gay rights activists have joined together to challenge the constitutionality of the Anti-Homosexuality Act.

Fox Odoi, a member of parliament for West Budama North, as well as former opposition leader Ogenga Latigo, is among their number that filed the complaint today (11 March).

The draconian legislation, originally known as the ‘Kill All The Gays’ bill before the death penalty was removed, punishes homosexuality with life imprisonment.

February 24, 2014

Cher said no, and the world listened. From ballet demonstrations to national commercials, from tweets to open letters, here are the 14 ways the world came together for the Russian LGBTI community

Did you pour your Stoli vodka down a drain, or stop eating McDonald’s during the Winter Olympics?

In recent months Russia has been at the center of a civil rights firestorm, between president Putin signing anti-gay laws to politicians threatening LGBTI Olympic athletes and spectators.

Even though the Sochi Winter Olympics wrapped up this weekend, the reactions to Russia's anti-gay laws are still being seen, heard and felt around the world.

February 14, 2014

A politician, who with one other is against the anti-gay bill, has consulted with legal experts and believes it to be unconstitutional

A Uganda politician has sparked a glimmer of hope after he has pleaded with the president to stop the anti-gay law.

Fox Odoi, a member of parliament for West Budama North, has written to President Yoweri Museveni urging him to reject the bill.

The draconic legislation, originally known as the ‘Kill All The Gays’ bill before the death penalty was removed, will punish homosexuality with life imprisonment.

January 30, 2014

Dr Philip Lee has put forward a proposal to stop any immigrants with HIV or Hepatitis B from entering the UK

A group of British right-wing politicians wants to ban immigrants with HIV from entering the UK, a move branded 'draconian' by campaigners.

Dr Philip Lee, a Conservative member of parliament for Bracknell, has put forward an amendment to the Immigration Bill stating anyone wanting to enter the country must state whether they have HIV or Hepatitis B.

On Twitter, he said: ‘I've placed an amendment to tomorrow's Immigration Bill calling for migrants to confirm their Hepatitis B status before permission to enter’

January 15, 2014

Conservative politician Sir Edward Leigh claims the Churches, BBC, press, Governments are all complicit in stopping people speaking out against same-sex marriage and divorce

A British member of parliament has suggested there is a mass conspiracy to stop people speaking out against gay marriage and divorce.

Sir Edward Leigh, the Conservative MP for Gainsborough, said the breakdown of marriage is a ‘modern plague’ causing ‘not just expense but misery’.

He claims the Church, Government, schools, the BBC and the press are all ‘complicit’ in the view over the past 50 years people are happiest when they can do what they want and are completely liberated.

October 31, 2013

Prime Minister David Cameron has said he is 'very happy' to look at pardoning the World War II who committed suicide after being convicted of homosexuality

The lower house of UK parliament will vote on pardoning gay World War II hero Alan Turing.

John Leech, the Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament, confirmed the bill honoring the computer genius will be voted on in the House of Commons.

He said: ‘Commons Leader of House confirms to me that Government will not oppose my Alan Turing Pardon Bill on 29 November.’

The vote comes on the heels of it flying through the UK parliament’s upper house.

October 21, 2013

As millions of Brits have had 'treatment' from unqualified therapists who may prescribe 'gay cures', several politicians are calling an end to quack treatment

A British member of parliament will introduce a bill to ban ‘gay cure’ therapists this week.

Geraint Davies, a Labour MP for Swansea West, has called for nationwide regulation of mental health therapists – ensuring any gay teen or adult is not faced with quack treatment.

‘Anyone can set themselves up as a counsellor or psychotherapist without training or experience with no recourse for the patient if something goes wrong,’ he said.

October 17, 2013

British Prime Minister praises Turing who broke German codes during World War II and tells the Commons his prosecution for gay sex was ‘completely wrong’

British Prime Minister David Cameron will ‘look at’ giving a pardon to World War II hero Alan Turing who was later persecuted for being gay.

Cameron made the commitment at the weekly Prime Minister’s Questions session when quizzed by openly-gay Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament (MP) Stephen Gilbert.

Turing was a mathematics genius who worked as a codebreaker during the war, famously breaking the Enigma Code so the Allies could read Nazi communications.

October 10, 2013

Despite having a bounty on his head, Wendelinus Hamutenya is a well-known politician, in an openly gay relationship, who has put LGBT issues to the top of the agenda

The first winner of Mr Gay Namibia has started a bid to become a member of parliament, Gay Star News can exclusively reveal.

Wendelinus Hamutenya is campaigning for a position on the parliamentary list of the Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) party’s national convention which will take place next month.

September 16, 2013

International Criminal Court is considering whether those behind Anti-Homosexuality Bill in Uganda should be brought to justice

A campaigner in Uganda has launched a petition calling on the International Criminal Court to arrest the author of the country’s ‘Kill the Gays’ Bill.

Magembe Norman, a straight Ugandan gay rights activist, has been told the court in The Hague is considering taking action against three extremist anti-gay spokespeople.

August 27, 2013

One of the world's only openly trans politicians has spoken about being the target of many Polish neo-Nazi extremist groups

One of the world’s only openly trans politicians has spoken out against the ‘numerous death threats’.

Anna Grodzka has discussed some of the most extremist transphobia she has encountered while in office.

‘I’ve been shouted at many times, called names on the street, there has been numerous death threats on the internet,’ she told Gay Star News through a translator.

The 59-year-old, who has been a member of parliament since 2011, said neo-Nazi groups were the ‘biggest problem in Poland’.

August 19, 2013

Larger than average crowds have turned out for the last same-sex marriage protests before the Australian election in the cities of Melbourne and Brisbane, with thousands attending across both cities

Thousands of LGBTs and their allies marched and rallied in the state capitals of Queensland and Victoria on Saturday in the last protest actions in support of same-sex marriage that will be held in Brisbane and Melbourne before Australian voters go to the polls.

Melbourne Greens MP Adam Bandt told protesters at the Melbourne rally that they should be proud of themselves for bringing the Australian public around to their way of thinking.

August 3, 2013

Sunil Babu Pant, founder of the gay rights movement in the former Himalayan kingdom, relinquishes leadership of the organization he established 12 years ago after ‘protracted persecution’

Twelve years after he started the gay rights movement in the conservative Himalayan kingdom of Nepal, Sunil Babu Pant, the nation’s only openly gay member of parliament, relinquished charge of the non-profit Blue Diamond Society he had founded under the guise of spreading public awareness about HIV and AIDS.

July 24, 2013

Parliament is going to vote the draft this Friday or next week, but most of the Italian LGBT activists are not happy with it because 'nothing changes, there's no specific punishment for gay hate'

Italian LGBT activists have slammed the new bill against homophobia, due to be voted on by parliament this Friday (26 July) or next week.

The bill has been approved, in its first draft, by the justice commission of the lower chamber of parliament.

Ivan Scalfarotto, an openly gay member of parliament, was the author of the bill and had cross-party support.

While the purpose of the bill is criminalize gay hate crime, most of the Italian gay rights groups say it is 'useless' and 'dangerous'.

July 19, 2013

UK government says they will have to change the court rules, IT systems, the processes for civil registrations, religious buildings registration, and that it will all 'take time'

A gay member of parliament has questioned why same-sex marriage will take so long to implement in England and Wales.

Chris Bryant, a Labour MP for Rhondda, took to social networking sites to ask why it will take until summer 2014 when gay couples will be able to legally marry.

On Twitter, he said: ‘Why is the govt taking nearly a year before same sex marriages can take place?

‘In France they happened within a week of the new law.

‘And why will people not be able to translate from a civil partnership to marriage…even later?’

July 11, 2013

Bill criticized by LGBT-friendly lawyer group saying it will not protect transgender people from trans-motivated hate crimes

Italy's Justice Commission of the lower chamber of the parliament has approved the first draft of a new law protecting gay people from hate crimes.

The bill, which proposes to extend the Italian anti-discrimination law to violence and crimes motivated by homophobia, will now be discussed and voted by the whole parliament from 22 July.

Ivan Scalfarotto, an openly gay member of parliament from Partito Democratico, proposed the bill.

‘This is a good example of good policies. We have done a great job,' he said.

July 10, 2013

Gay member of parliament Ben Bradshaw claims an Exeter church turned away a gay couple as they were not 'welcome'

A gay family was banned from worshiping in an English church, according to an openly gay member of parliament.

Labour MP Ben Bradshaw said an Exeter ‘conservative evangelical church’ had turned away the unnamed couple, who wish to not be identified.

During a debate in the House of Commons, he asked what guidance the Church of England was planning to issue to parishes and church schools on pastoral care for same-sex couples and their children’.

June 29, 2013

From the armed forces marching in strict order to community groups signing, dancing and blowing whistles, thousands joined the Pride in London parade

Huge crowds cheered a colorful celebration of gay marriage and marked a day to reflect on LGBT rights, at Pride in London (29 June).

The British capital’s pride comes at a time when same-sex marriage legislation for England and Wales is set to be passed by the UK Parliament in the next few weeks, with the Scottish Parliament not far behind.

But the plight of LGBT people elsewhere in the world, particularly in Russia where activists are attempting to mark pride in St Petersburg, was a dark cloud over the revelers on a day otherwise bathed in sunshine.