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January 6, 2015

Gay couples can now hold symbolic weddings without interference or fines

Gay marriage is no longer banned in Vietnam under an amendment to marriage law that came into effect on 1 January.

Same-sex couples can now hold symbolic weddings and cohabitate without interference or fines from authorities.

However, they will not receive the same rights as straight married couples, a halfway point some lawmakers have hailed as the first step towards marriage equality.

November 24, 2014

Baja California officials then find 'inconsistencies' in their paperwork

The first gay wedding in the Mexican state of Baja California had to be postponed again after a registry official refused to perform the ceremony and then announced a bomb threat.

After a 19-month legal battle, hairstylists Victor Aguirre Espinoza, 43, and Fernando Urias Amparo, 37, were supposed to be the first gay couple to marry in the northwestern state on Friday (21 November).

The couple arrived at Mexicali city hall both dressed in white suits in defiance the dozen Catholic protesters praying outside.

September 3, 2014

Sergei Aksyonov says the police and self-defense forces will be called if gay people try to hold public events

Crimea's top official Sergei Aksyonov said yesterday gay people 'have no chance' on the peninsula Russia annexed from Ukraine in March, the Interfax news agency reported.

The de facto leader told a government session, 'This is definitely not our style. We in Crimea do not need such people and they will never hold their events publicly. The police and self-defense [forces] will react quickly and explain within three minutes the orientation one should hold to.'

August 6, 2014

'Your sport is what makes up who you are more than your sexuality'

Speed skater Blake Skjellerup, who represented New Zealand in the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, reminds closeted athletes that they need to keep their eye on the prize until they are ready to come out.

The 29 year old came out himself four months after he competed in the Olympics and finished 16th. He is one of the official ambassadors for the Gay Games which begin on Friday (8 August) in Cleveland, Ohio.

February 4, 2014

Bent Høie, the official representative for Norway at the Paralympics, said it was common for an official to take their spouse to such an event

Norway’s gay minister will be making a stand by taking his husband to Sochi Winter Games.

Bent Høie, the official representative for Norway at the Paralympics, announced he would be attending the event with his spouse today (4 February).

‘I cannot wait to watch and support all the Norwegian athletes,’ he said. ‘These are athletes with disabilities who perform at a very high level.’

Speaking to the Stavanger Aftenblad newspaper, Høie said it was normal for a cabinet official to travel with a spouse on such an official visit.

September 12, 2013

Former Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor and openly gay man Daniel Baer has been sworn in as the US ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe

Openly gay US State Department official Daniel Baer will be packing his bags for Vienna after the Obama Administration swore him in as the new US ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

Baer was sworn in yesterday by acting Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Uzra Zeye.

The swearing in ceremony took place in the Benjamin Franklin room of the State Department building where Baer was joined by partner Brian Walsh.

May 22, 2013

SaveCalifornia, a conservative family values advocacy group have told parents to boycott celebrations honouring gay activist Harvey Milk

Harvey Milk Day (22 May), celebrating the state’s first openly gay man elected to US office, is being met by protests.

SaveCalifornia, a family values group, have called for parents to boycott Harvey Milk Day.

They have described Milk as a ‘predator of teens’ and have advised California parents to ‘protect your child from Harvey Milk Gay Day.’

March 24, 2013

Al-Fajr, Tunisia's ruling party's official paper, accused Nawal El Saadawi, Egypt's leading feminist, of 'promoting homosexuality and prostitution'

Renowned Egyptian feminist, Nawal El Saadawi, was accused by the Tunisia’s main paper as a ‘promoter of prostitution and homosexuality’.

The smear campaign was launched last week in Al Fajr, after Saadawi visited Tunisia during the International Women’s day, where she was warmly received the country’s president, Moncef Marzouki, as well as several other ministers.

March 2, 2013

Hundreds of thousands of tourists and Sydneysiders turned out to watch the 2013 Mardi Gras parade despite an early threat of rain

Sydney’s 35th annual Mardi Gras Parade has been a success despite an early threat of rain from bad weather that thankfully cleared up at the last minute.

It had rained the previous night and all day but that didn’t deter the hundreds of thousands who turned up to line Sydney’s Oxford Street to watch the parade - which itself contained 10,000 people across 110 different marching groups and floats.

January 25, 2013

UK Culture Secretary and Equalities Minister Maria Miller has published the bill giving gay couples the equal right to marry in England and Wales

December 20, 2012

The Catholic Church condemn gay couples who want children, saying it will lead to further 'exploitations of science'

The Vatican has continued its fight against marriage equality in Europe and around the world, saying gay couples live in a ‘different reality’ hoping for a ‘false utopia’.

L’Osservatore Romano, the official newspaper of the Holy See, printed a front-page editorial titled titled ‘Marriage Is Not A Contract’.

Think Progress reports it claimed same-sex couples live in a ‘different reality’ where they believe society will crumble if an ‘unattainable utopia’ of equality is not achieved.

September 1, 2012

Billionaire Republican campaign donor David Koch opposes his party’s stance against allowing same-sex couples to marry

June 20, 2012

Malaysia deputy minister says government is ‘tackling’ LGBT issue

A Malaysia deputy minister questioned in the senate yesterday, said that the constitution did not protect the rights of LGBT citizens.

Dr Mashitah Ibrahim, deputy minister in the prime minister’s department responded to a question in the senate about what the government was doing to ‘tackle’ LGBT issues.

‘A series of rehabilitation and treatment courses will be given to Muslims who have deviated from societal norms,’ said Mashitah. She said that being LGBT was against Islam and the constitution of the country, as Islam is the official religion.

April 27, 2012

South Koreans have rallied to support Lady Gaga against Christian criticism of her for 'spreading homosexuality and pornography'

Cultured South Koreans have defended Lady Gaga against Christian criticism ahead of her performance in Seoul tonight, the first in her Born This Way Asian tour.

Since her arrival in the country last Friday, Christian groups have been praying for Lady Gaga's concert to be cancelled.

April 5, 2012

Hotel chain to offer reduced room rates, free internet and more for LGBT customers during World Pride in London

Hotel chain Hilton will celebrate World Pride in London by giving lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender visitors special offers during the festival.

Stay Hilton. Go Out will give LGBT customers reduced room rates, double Hilton HHonors rewards points, late check-out, free high-speed internet and free one-year digital subscription to gay magazine Out.

December 6, 2011

Lion King unites with Mr Gay HK for first Asian Disneyland Gay Day.

Organisers of the first official Gay Day at Hong Kong Disneyland are jubilant after more people turned up than anticipated.

The event had been taking place unofficially since 2007 but this was the first time Disney itself added input.

Co-ordinated by a group of volunteers called GayDaysAsia, almost 200 people took part in the fun at the weekend.

Highlights included a gay-themed treasure hunt with the first prize being a yearly pass to the fun park, a Lion King show featuring Mr Gay Hong Kong 2010 HeiHei Yau and a Buzz Lightyear Astroblaster challenge.