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May 15, 2015

While the majority of Colombians are opposed to same-sex marriage, the government say they are committed to equality

Gay marriage in Colombia has had a long and difficult journey, but the government is apparently determined to bring in equality.

Interior Minister Juan Fernando Cristo has confirmed the leading political party, the left-leaning National Unity Coalition, has every intention for gay couples to be able to get married soon.

'The government supports the fight for equality and we will adopt measures providing equal marriage rights for all,' Cristo said at the Andes University in Bogota on Thursday, as reported by Efe.

May 13, 2015

Caroline Dinenage may have voted against it, but she says she'll help to progress LGBTI rights in her new role

Prime Minister David Cameron has appointed a Minister for Equalities that has voted against same-sex marriage.

Caroline Dinenage, the Conservative MP for Gosport in South Hampshire, was promoted to minister at the Ministry of Justice as well as a Minister for Equalities at the Department for Education.

During the same-sex marriage debate back in 2013, she was one of the 175 politicians that voted to keep gay couples unequal in the eyes of the law.

May 8, 2015

All forms must include a transgender category

India's University Grants Commission (UGC) has written to all universities in the country asking them to recognize transgender students.

Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Vijay Sampla said universities have been requested to include a transgender category on all application forms, academic testimonials and other relevant documents.

The minister said the instructions were issued in response to a landmark 2014 judgment that recognized transgender people as third sex.

May 8, 2015

‘We don’t discriminate against anyone’s color, religion or beliefs, and we’re just the same as anyone wanting to live a happy life and love who we want to love.’

An Irish teenager has made a passionate plea for marriage equality in Ireland when she came face to face with the head of government.

Alison Kershaw’s emotional outburst - in front of Ireland’s prime minister Enda Kenny and surrounded by cameras and reporters - broke through the awkwardness’, according to Independent.ie.

May 2, 2015

'Ministers should have the right to uphold their religious beliefs'

Texas lawmakers are pushing hard to pass a religious freedom bill that offers protections the clergy already have.

Last week, on the day the Supreme Court heard oral arguments for four gay marriage ban cases, state Sen. Craig Estes introduced legislation allowing ministers of faith to not participate in wedding ceremonies on religious grounds.

April 26, 2015

Saying sorry is not enough, chair of the NI Assembly's health committee says 'questions still remain for Jim Wells to answer'
 

Saying sorry is not enough, Northern Ireland Health Minister Jim Wells has been called before the Northern Ireland Assembly's health committee to explain his comments that gay couples are more likely to 'abuse' children.

Wells has apologized on Friday after he linked gay relationships and the abuse of children at a South Down hustings meeting on Thursday night.

He said, 'You don't bring a child up in a homosexual relationship. That a child is far more likely to be abused and neglected...'

His comments were immediately met by uproar from the audience.

April 24, 2015

'I was not attacking the homosexual community, I was attacking their campaign for marriage, which is seeking an end to traditional marriage'

Northern Ireland's Health Minister Jim Wells has apologised for saying gay couples are more likely to abuse children.

Speaking at a South Down hustings event last night (23 April) the DUP minister said gay couples were more likely to be in 'unstable relationships'.

Social media erupted, with opposition party Ulster Unionists issuing a statement describing the comments as 'absolutely appalling' and 'totally wrong'.

April 13, 2015

'No-one should be banned from giving blood because he is gay'

The French Minister of Health has announced changes to the rules for blood donors in a bid to allow homosexual people to donate blood.

Marisol Touraine said it was only a matter of weeks or months until the change would take effect when she spoke in the National Assembly on Sunday.

She said she supports the idea, but would wait for a recommendation from the health agencies before reaching her decision.

On 3 April members of the National Assembly passed an amendment to end the blanket ban on blood donations by gay men.

March 25, 2015

Former Trade Minister Lord Davies reveals that almost one in four UK board members are now female – but challenges remain to boost that number further

The number of female board members in FTSE 100 companies has nearly doubled since 2011 – rising from 12.5% then to 23.5% in early 2015.

The statistics were announced today by former Trade Minister, Mervyn Davies, Lord Davies of Abersoch.

Following the formation of the UK’s coalition government in 2010, a target was set by then Minister, Lord Davies, following a request from Business Secretary, Vince Cable.

March 21, 2015

Lesbian MSP Ruth Davidson replied 'Do you kiss your mother with that mouth?' to twitter troll calling her 'miserable cunt'

The Scottish National Party (SNP) has taken a clear stance against homophobia following an SNP member tweeting abuse at the homosexual leader of another Scottish party.     

Marc Hughes sent what was described as ‘vile and offensive’ homophobic tweets to Ruth Davidson MSP, the openly lesbian leader of the Scottish Conservatives.

March 20, 2015

'Transgenders have been deprived of education, employment opportunities, begging on the streets and going through gross neglect'

West Bengal state cabinet Wednesday (18 March) approved the formation of  a Transgender Development Board, the first of its kind in India.

Sashi Panja, minister-in-charge for women and child development, said Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra states had transgender boards, but they were focused on welfare, not development.

'Quite often we have seen that they (transgenders) have been deprived of education, employment opportunities, begging on the streets and going through gross neglect,' she said.

March 18, 2015

Committee wants to avoid a repeat of the Sochi boycotts

Japanese lawmakers Tuesday (17 March) formed a cross-party group to stamp out anti-gay discrimination in the country by the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Hiroshi Hase, Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) member and leader of the committee, said they wanted to avoid a repeat of the Sochi boycotts over Russia's anti-gay law.

'As it hosts the Olympic Games, there is no doubt that Japanese society will be questioned on how it treats its sexual minorities,' he said.

'We must substantiate the principles described in the basic plan of the Games.'

March 13, 2015

Perverting the Constitution and religious freedom

State legislatures across the country are disenfranchising LGBTI Americans.

Lawmakers are introducing a surprising number of bills in state legislative sessions, overtly sanctioning and enforcing discrimination. These bills are called Religious Freedom Restoration Acts (RFRA), but don’t be fooled. These politicians are looking to codify LGBTI discrimination.

This week the Georgia Senate, with a vote of 37-15, approved their controversial RFRA (House Bill 1023).

March 13, 2015

The BFI's Flare Film Festival in London will open with new film starring James Franco and Zachary Quinto

The BFI’s Flare Festival is the annual LGBT Film Festival held in London. As an LGBT film festival it’s a big deal, plus it’s a vibrant social event – you are pretty much guaranteed to run into everyone that you know in London as you dash between screenings in the Southbank complex beneath Waterloo Bridge.

Opening the festival this year will be I Am Michael, a movie directed by Justin Kelly and starring James Franco and Zachary Quinto.

This is an interesting movie.

March 13, 2015

National AIDS Trust ‘deeply concerned’ by cuts
 

A 50% cut in a HIV prevention project funding could have grave consequences, the UK's National AIDS Trust (NAT) has warned today.

The funding for the programme HIV Prevention England (HPE) has been halved from £2.4 million ($3.5 million €3.4 million) to £1.2 million ($1.8 million €1.7 million),with a further £1.2 million allocated to a mixture of testing services and grants.

 

 

NAT CEO Deborah Gold said today (13 March): ‘We are deeply concerned about the level of upheaval to HIV prevention provision across the country.

March 9, 2015

More women are being promoted to the boardroom level, but not enough to hit a 25% Government target set back in 2011

The UK government’s target for women to hold a quarter of FTSE 100 board directorships looks unlikely to be achieved before May’s General Election, reports the Financial Times.

The target was set in February 2011 by former trade minister Lord Davies, who had been asked by business secretary, Vince Cable, in 2010 to look at ways to boost the number of women on corporate boards.

March 7, 2015

An increasing number of LGBT people are coming forward to adopt

The UK's Department of Education announced this week that adoption rates by LGBT parents have it a record high.

Loving, stable homes have been offered to more than 480 children in the past 12 months, thanks to LGBT couples and individuals.

The news comes as part of the UK’s LGBT Adoption and Fostering Week, taking place until 8 March 2015, marking the contribution and commitment of the nation’s LGBT adopters and foster carers.

March 5, 2015

Australia, USA and Israel among countries asked to clarify rights of traveling British wedded same sex couples
 

British married gay couples hoping to travel will soon know their rights abroad in more than 70 countries, following a request from the UK government.

Equalities minister Jo Swinson has requested that countries including Australia, Israel and the US make clear how safe it is for married gay tourists.

More than 70 government authorities have been questioned to clarify the rights of gay people while working, travelling or living abroad- which has been a grey area.

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.