LGBTI global news 24-7

Content about minister

February 26, 2015

Over 30,000 of the signatures come from Northern Ireland residents

Almost 150,000 people have signed a petition against Northern Ireland's proposed 'Freedom of Conscience' bill. 

In December, DUP minister Paul Given introduced the bill to the Northern Ireland legislative assembly, which would allow people with strongly held religious views to deny access to goods, facilities and services on the grounds of sexual orientation. 

February 25, 2015

Our laws as they stand are having an unjust and disproportionate impact on those of religious faith', says Northern Ireland Bishop

The Catholic Church has spoken out in favour of a proposed equality clause that would permit anti-gay discrimination.

In December, DUP minister Paul Given introduced his Freedom of Conscience Bill to the Northern Ireland legislative assembly, which would allow people with strongly held religious views to deny access to goods, facilities and services on the grounds of sexual orientation. 

February 25, 2015

The Head of Government Affairs for the professional business services firm, ARUP, on why he decided to set up a company LGBT network

‘You’re about to move from Westminster to the private sector, you might want to think about holding back a bit, you know...with your personal life.’

Such was the parting advice of a Government Minister with whom I had worked for a number of years, shouted loudly in my ear over the music of my leaving party.

February 23, 2015

State government calls for review of family law

Victoria is one step closer to allowing gay adoption after the state government made good an election pledge and called for a review of family law.

The Labor government commissioned the review, to be led by Eamonn Moran PSM QC, to determine what legal changes are needed to permit adoption by same-sex couples under Victorian law.

The Moran is to report to state equalities minister, Martin Foley, by 8 May.

February 13, 2015

The 67-year-old former politician has used the opportunity to speak out for same-sex marriage

Ireland's former equality minister Pat Carey has come out as gay.

The Fianna Fáil minister has said current Health Minister Leo Varadkar, who came out last month, inspired him to do the same.

'My only regret is that I didn’t have the courage or confidence to [come out while I was in politics],' he told the Irish Times.

'When I look back it’s an awful pity I didn’t feel able to do that. Nobody stopped me, but I wasn’t sure how it would be received.

February 13, 2015

Research from Germany suggests that religious groups are aggressively opposing gay rights

It's hard to avoid the feeling that the world is becoming a more dangerous place, particularly for cartoonists, aid workers, journalists, or anyone prepared to make a stand, question the unquestionable or to speak up when it would perhaps be safer to remain silent.

February 11, 2015

Woman kneels in protest of a judge who refuses to wed same-sex couples

An Alabama minister yesterday (10 February) was arrested and charged with misdemeanor disorderly conduct after trying to perform a gay marriage.

Deputies found Anne Diprizio, 43, kneeling on the floor of Autauga County Probate Office in protest of judge Al Booth. 

The dispute occurred after two women, Courtney Cannon and Morgan Plunkett, obtained a marriage license and Diprizio offered to wed them right then and there.

However, Booth said the office stopped performing all ceremonies on Friday – when gay marriage became legal in Alabama.

February 6, 2015

'This community should be treated as any other human being'

Nepal's minister for information and communication has said the government is ready to amend discriminatory legal provisions against sexual minorities.

Speaking on Wednesday (4 Febuary) at the first day of a three-day South Asian transgender and hijra consultation in Kathmandu, Minendra Rijal said the government had started the process by issuing passports with a third gender.

February 1, 2015

His participation as a premier is a first in the event's 20-year history

It's the first time a state premier has taken part or led a gay pride march in the Australian state of Victoria.

Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews, who was accompanied by his wife Catherine, led the march as it celebrated its 20th anniversary today with 141 groups participating and 4,000 people marching down Fitzroy Street in St Kilda today.

The parade is part of Melbourne's annual Midsumma gay and lesbian festival which attracts up to 50,000 people a year.

January 31, 2015

The proposed ‘conscience clause’ would allow people to refuse goods or services to LGBTI people on the grounds of strongly-held religious beliefs 

LGBTI activists are rallying against a new bill proposal which they fear could legitimise anti-gay discrimination in Northern Ireland.

The proposed ‘conscience clause’ is a measure which could allow people to refuse goods or services to gay and lesbian people on the ground of their strongly-held religious beliefs.

January 25, 2015

The health minister, Leo Varadkar, who came out as gay last week, is reviewing options presented to him by the Irish Blood Transfusion Service

Ireland’s Minister for Health, Leo Varadkar, who recently came out as gay, has indicated that the country’s ban on gay and bisexual men giving blood may be relaxed.

Currently, gay and bisexual men are barred from donating blood – a measure introduced in 1985 following the emergence of HIV and AIDS.

January 25, 2015

The general, who is married to a woman, says he knows of others senior military who are similarly fearful of discussing their sexuality

A senior general in the British Army has revealed to a newspaper that he is gay and is deciding whether to publicly out himself. The man in question is married to a woman and has children.

January 20, 2015

The Australian Capital Territory Government has announced that Labor Legislative Assembly member Yvette Berry will be given an LGBTI Equality portfolio – joining the state of Victoria as Australian jurisdictions to have a government Minister for Equality

Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Labor lawmaker Yvette Berry has become only the second person in the history of Australian politics to be given a ministerial portfolio that covers LGBTI Equality.

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr made the announcement earlier today as part of an expected cabinet reshuffle, handing Berry ministerial responsibility for the areas of Housing, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, Community Services, Multicultural Affairs, Women, and Social Inclusion and Equality.

January 18, 2015

Leo Varadkar, the Irish Minister for Health, announced on a radio show this morning he is gay and wants to be an equal citizen in his own country

‘I want to be an equal citizen in my own country,’ said Irish Minister for Health Leo Varadkar on the radio this morning (18 January).

Varadkar was speaking to Miriam O’Callaghan on RTÉ Radio one this morning when he publicly announced he is gay.

He said he wanted to be honest ahead of the Irish referendum on gay marriage.

‘I am a gay man, it’s not a secret but it’s not something that everybody would know,’ he said.

‘I have always put the career and job and politics first. I am a very private person.

January 16, 2015

Ex-Southern Baptist president delivers an anti-gay sermon at the legislature

A baptist minister invited to give a devotional at the opening of the Georgia House of Representatives on Wednesday (14 January) took the opportunity to rant against gay rights, which he called 'erotic liberty.'

Bryant Wright, pastor of Johnson Ferry Baptist Church and former president of the Southern Baptist convention, reminded legislators that their role was to protect citizens against the 'evil,' in this case gay marriage.

January 13, 2015

Goa chief says 'homosexuality is a natural gift'

Goa's sports and youth affairs minister has denied saying that he planned to set up LGBTI 'rehabs' after receiving criticism far beyond the Indian state.

Ramesh Tawadkar today (13 January) blamed the media for misunderstanding and misquoting him.

'I was not talking about the LGBT (youths) but about drug addicted and sexually abused youths,' he told the Press Trust of India.

January 12, 2015

Gay rights activist: 'This would be a disaster, a government-mandated torture chamber for children.'

An Indian state is planning on setting up 'rehabs' for LGBTI youth to be 'cured'.

Ramesh Tawadkar, Goa's Sports and Youth Affairs Minister, said gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex teenagers need to be 'helped' – like young people who have committed crimes or are addicted to drugs.

Speaking to reporters at the launch of the Goa State Youth Policy 2015, he reportedly said: 'We will make them normal. We will have a center for them. Like Alcholic Anonymous centers.'

January 9, 2015

Gay rights activists have applauded the decision

A health minister in Zimbabwe has said men who have sex with men in prison should be protected from HIV and AIDS.

Dr Owen Mugurungi, the HIV and TB Director in the Ministry of Health, said it would be ‘disastrous’ to ignore homosexuality was ‘rife in prisons’.

He said:  'We might want to deny that men have sex with men but we know that in prison that this thing does happen.’

This has been received well by the LGBTI community in the country who have applauded the minister.

December 12, 2014

Quebec’s Bill 20 could force anyone who wishes to use donated sperm or eggs as part of an IVF cycle to undergo a ‘psychosocial assessment’ – a law change that some believe would unfairly impact on same-sex couples

A representative for Dr Gaétan Barrette, Quebec Minister for Health, has strongly denied to GSN that a bill that the Liberal Party minister has sponsored will unfairly target same-sex couples.

Bill 20 was introduced to the Quebec Parliament on 28 November. The controversial legislation is designed to, ‘promote access to family medicine and … amend various legislative provisions relating to assisted procreation’.

December 7, 2014

Following a landslide victory by the Labor Party, the new Victorian state government has appointed Australia’s first ever Minister for LGBTI Equality in Martin Foley

Albert Park MP Martin Foley has become the first government minister at a state or federal level in Australia to be given an LGBTI Equality portfolio as the new Victorian Labor state government moves quickly to fulfill one of its election promises to the LGBTI community.

Incoming Premier Daniel Andrews promised that he would allow same-sex couples to adopt if he won government, alongside creating the equality portfolio and a government ministerial advisory committee which would identify issues of inequality in Victorian state law.

December 6, 2014

Two protestors threatened to chop off the head off Reverend Jackie Carter and put it on a stake

Threatening voicemail messages, rocks thrown at her door and a gruesome message from someone who wanted to behead her. These are all the things Reverend Jackie Carter has had to deal with since she has started performing gay marriages.

Carter is a minister at First Metropolitan Community Church in Wichita, Kansas where gay marriage has been legal for less than a month.

November 30, 2014

The minister of Foreign Affairs has said there’s no chance of any dialogue between Gambia and any other countries about LGBTI rights 

The Gambian minister for Foreign Affairs has declared he will have nothing to do with ‘ungodly’ gays who are ‘detrimental to human existence.’

These comments were made by Bala Garba Jahumpa on live national television last night (29 November).

In his speech, he spoke about his refusal to enter into dialogue about LGBTI rights with any nations. Even if it means Gambia will lose aid.

November 24, 2014

India's sixth largest city has reported 10 anti-trans murders, three gang rapes and five acid attacks since March

There were 37 reported anti-trans attacks in Hyderabad since March, including 10 murders, three gang rapes and five acid attacks.

However, Telangana Hijra Transgender Samithi (THTS) said more anti-trans attacks go unreported every day in India's sixth largest city and 90 per cent of transgender women had attempted suicide.

The group mourned their murdered sisters last week on the international Transgender Day of Remembrance (20 November).

November 19, 2014

But did they complain about there being no 'unlike' button?

A South African church has fired a gay minister for appearing in a Facebook photo with gay people.

Philip Olivier, of the Afrikaans Protestant Church, posted the picture online showing he had attended a social function by LGBTI insurance and medical aid company Triarc.

The church charged the minister with socialising and mixing with gay people. It cited 1 Timothy 6:11 in the Bible, 'flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness'.