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April 13, 2014

Evening also features Ellen Page and Rita Moreno but honoree Norman Lear calls in sick

This year's Los Angeles chapter of the GLAAD Media Awards took place at the Beverly Hilton Hotel where the Golden Globe Awards - the most star-studded of all the award shows - are held each January.

April 9, 2014

Meanwhile British parliamentary meeting hears about the real problems facing European sex workers

British LGBTI organizations have been challenged to speak up for sex workers at a meeting organized by the English Collective of Prostitutes.

But when a group called Queer Strike ‘named and shamed’ LGBTI organizations who they said were refusing to help decriminalize sex work in the country, the picture they gave was misleading.

April 9, 2014

Government believes gay people will be unable to provide proof the law contravenes the right to equality and freedom from cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment guaranteed under the constitution

Uganda’s government is battling to stop a legal challenge that could threaten the new anti-gay law.

A number of gay rights activists and politicians believe the Anti-Homosexuality Act contravenes the Constitution and deserves to be repealed.

But the government has denied the activists’ claims and want the Constitutional Court to throw out the case.

‘When the rant of gay activists is done, the world will move on,’ a government spokesman Ofwondo Opondo has said.

‘Those opposed to anti-gay bill should read article 91 Uganda constitution.’

April 4, 2014

Authorities are alleged to have shut down the US-funded offices and interrogated one of the Ugandan citizens working there

Uganda police raided the offices of a HIV charity for ‘training youths in gay sex’, a spokesman said today (4 April).

The authorities are alleged to have shut down the Makerere University Walter Reed Project in Kampala yesterday, arresting and interrogating at least one Ugandan citizen.

Government spokesman Ofwono Opondo confirmed the raid, saying on Twitter: ‘Police burst Water Reed Project in Makerere University #training youths in homosexuality.’

April 1, 2014

Violence and discrimination continue, but the government is unlikely to back a new anti-gay bill, says leading organization for men who have sex with men

Life in jail for homosexuality is not enough to protect Tanzania from gays, an MP has argued, as he drafts a new anti-LGBTI bill.

The law in Tanzania already gives 20 years to life for homosexual activity, with slightly lighter sentences in the semi-autonomous island of Zanzibar.

But Ezekiel Wenje from the main opposition party, Chama cha Democrasia na Maendeleo, claims homosexuality is on the rise because that law is not enough of a deterrent.

March 28, 2014

Homophobia has a price, and the African country is seeing that as it faces further threats of aid cuts as part of the international backlash

Uganda officials are to hold talks with the European Union over the anti-gay law today (28 March).

The east African nation is facing severe sanctions and aid cuts as part of the international backlash over the new homophobic law.

Uganda President Yoweri Museveni signed the bill into law last month that punishes homosexuality with life imprisonment.

The country’s foreign minister Sam Kutesa will be meeting with the head of the EU delegation in Uganda Kristian Schmidt.

March 25, 2014

Ukraine's Justice Minister Pavel Petrenko is claiming the European Commission has allowed it to exclude LGBTI people from new anti-discrimination legislation but the Commission says that is incorrect

A senior Ukrainian government minister is claiming that the European Commission has let it off the hook when it comes to protecting LGBTI people from discrimination but a spokesman for the commission claims otherwise.

‘We did find an understanding with the European Commission on the draft law on discrimination,’ Ukrainian Justice Minister Pavlo Petrenko said, according to the Global Post.

March 19, 2014

Mathematician who helped the Allies win World War II was convicted for having gay sex was only finally pardoned in December 2013

A research fund honoring Alan Turing, the gay World War 2 code-breaker genius, was announced in the UK budget today (19 March).

Universities are being asked to bid to host the new research institute to develop applications for the vast amounts of data now routinely collected and stored.

The new Turing Institute, expected to cost around £42 million ($70m, €50m), will be launched with five years of government support to ensure the UK leads the way in big data and algorithm research.

March 1, 2014

Ugandan government spokesman Ofwono Opondo has continued his defence of the new anti-gay law on Twitter, saying the West ‘shouldn’t force homosexuality on Uganda’
 

Ugandan government spokesman Ofwono Opondo has taken to Twitter again to respond to global criticism of the country’s new draconic anti-gay law.

Yesterday (28 February) he wrote ‘Uganda government can’t force the West to give it their money, and they shouldn’t force homosexuality on Uganda either #AntiGayLaw’.

February 27, 2014

After several countries have said it could cut aid to Uganda, a government spokesman has shrugged off the threats

Uganda has told the West to ‘keep its aid’ after international criticism of its new anti-gay law.

Ofwono Opondo, the government spokesman, has shrugged off cuts to Uganda. The Netherlands has frozen a €7 million ($9.5m) subsidy to the legal system, while Denmark and Norway will redirect  €6 million ($8.2m) towards NGOs and human rights groups.

President Barack Obama has threatened the new anti-gay law will ‘complicate’ Uganda’s relationship with the US, which benefits from a reported $400 million (€293m) in aid.

February 26, 2014

American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer says LGBTI rights activists are ‘Jack-Booted Homo-Fascist Thugs’ for wanting businesses owned by religious people to provide them goods and services

American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer has weighed in on Arizona’s bill that would allow businesses to legally discriminate against gay customers in the name of ‘religious liberty’ – labeling LGBTI activists who feel businesses should not be able to discriminate against them ‘homo-fascists’ and ‘Big Gay.’

‘If “Big Gay” homosexual activists actually believed in tolerance they would respect the convictions of Christian businessmen,’ Fischer said on his Focal Point online radio show on Monday.

February 24, 2014

President Yoweri Museveni blames having to sign the bill, one of the most draconic homophobic laws in the world, on Western groups 'for showing us how you kiss' 

Uganda president Yoweri Museven has signed the Anti-Homosexuality Bill into law today (24 February).

For the first time ever, the president signed the bill live on television.

The legislation is one of the most draconic in the world, toughening up present laws to include life imprisonment for ‘repeat offenders’ of homosexuality.

It will also be illegal to ‘promote’ homosexuality, and those who fail to report homosexuals to the police will also risk arrest or jail.

February 20, 2014

Uganda’s government has promised to uphold the constitution but that doesn’t mean the president won’t sign the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, experts say

The world should not be ‘misled’ by Uganda’s latest statement promising to uphold the constitution and implying LGBTI people will not be persecuted.

That’s according to Ugandan gay activists reacting to a new statement from the government’s official spokesman.

The ‘confusing’ statement does not say the Anti-Homosexuality Bill will not be signed. President Yoweri Museveni has promised to sign it and there are rumors he already has.

February 18, 2014

Camp in Kenya is no safe haven for LGBTI refugees, say men who have fled again after attacks and death threats

Gays fleeing Uganda are facing attacks and even murder in a refugee camp in Kenya.

That’s according to a group of men who contacted Gay Star News to plead for help from the international community.

They were all at the Kakuma refugee camp in northwestern Kenya – a desolate site whose name translates as ‘nowhere’ in Swahili.

When there they say they faced attack and death threats. One of their gay friends dropped dead in front of them – they believe he was poisoned.

February 18, 2014

IOC spokesman says countries who do not abide by an anti-discrimination rule could factor in decisions on the bidding process

Russia, and other countries with homophobic laws, could be banned from hosting the Olympics under a proposed new rule.

The International Olympics Committee has responded to calls that countries must abide by a specific anti-discrimination decree modelled on the Olympic Charter’s Principle 6.

Principle 6 says sport does not discriminate on any grounds, including race, religion, politics or gender.

February 18, 2014

A spokesperson for Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has said his country can ‘do without’ humanitarian and development aid from the United States if it tries to force it to back down on making homosexuality an offense worthy of life imprisonment

Following a statement by President Barack Obama that passing the notorious Anti-Homosexuality Bill would damage diplomatic relations between Uganda and the US, a spokesman for Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has said his country can do without US aid.

February 14, 2014

Government spokesman makes announcement on Twitter that Yoweri Museveni will consent to the Anti-Homosexuality Bill

Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni has decided to sign the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, his spokesman has said.

The series of tweets from government spokesman Ofwono Opondo says: ‘Pres Museveni has told NRM MPs he will assent the anti-homosexuality bill into law.

‘This comes after 14 medical experts presented a report that homosexuality is not genetic but a social behavior.

‘The NRM Caucus has welcomed the development as a measure to protect Ugandans from social deviants.

February 11, 2014

UK's National Crime Agency has told gay men to err on the side of caution when they are considering receiving pictures or having sex with someone they have met on Grindr or other hookup apps

Gay men who are using hook up apps like Grindr are being warned to ensure their sex partners are over 18.

The UK’s National Crime Agency has said, after an increase of teens reporting abuse on these apps, the responsibility is always on the adult.

If an adult receives a picture of someone under the age of 18, under the law it means they have indecent images of children.

And if an adult has sex with someone under the age of consent of 16, then they are breaking the law.

February 10, 2014

Pending a public vote in 2015 to allow same-sex marriages in Ireland, those who travel abroad to get married will have their status recognized in their home country

Same-sex couples who travel from Ireland to marry in the England, Wales and Scotland will have their status recognized pending a public vote next year.

A Department of Justice spokesman has confirmed that once a referendum allowing same-sex marriage in Ireland is passed, all foreign unions will be recognized.

February 4, 2014

Senegalese police have arrested 4 men over a spate of vigilante attacks on alleged homosexuals last Thursday but local Muslims have marched calling for their release

Four Senegalese men have been arrested after they attacked five men they alleged were homosexuals with stones and batons on Thursday but protests have been held urging authorities to release the men.

The four men were arrested by Senegalese police in the city of Rufisque after they stoned and bludgeoned the five men in what they said was a campaign to rid their community of homosexuals.

January 13, 2014

US Secretary of State and activists react to the signing of the ‘Jail All The Gays’ legislation by President Goodluck Jonathan

LGBTI Nigerians will flee the country, causing pressure on foreign asylum systems, thanks to the new ‘Jail All The Gays’ legislation.

That’s the verdict of gay Nigerian expert in exile Davis Mac-Iyalla, speaking to GSN after it was confirmed President Goodluck Jonathan had signed the bill into law.

January 10, 2014

LGBTI activists in Russia fear if the people voted on a referendum to ban homosexuality, then 90% of them would agree to 'shoot gay people in the street'

Russia’s powerful Orthodox Church is demanding a public vote on banning not just gay propaganda, but gay people.

Vsevolod Chaplin, a Church spokesman, pointed to polls showing more than half of Russians consider homosexuality to be an illness or a crime.

He said it is a sign the country was ready to revert to a Soviet-era homosexual ban.

‘There is no question that society should discuss this issue since we live in a democracy," Chaplin told pro-government Izvestia daily.

December 24, 2013

Online filtering and blocking is being revealed as systematically homophobic, transphobic – putting vulnerable LGBTI people at risk

British Telecom were last week in serious damage control mode after it emerged they were blocking non-pornographic LGBTI websites.

Being a polite sort of person, I must instead ascribe their current effusion of inaccurate statements on what they’ve been up to as the natural tendency of PR types to put a positive spin on things.

December 5, 2013

He's facing demands for a ban but Irish Muslim cleric Yusuf Chambers says he has never called for gays to be executed and wants to talk

An Irish Muslim cleric, accused of wanting homosexuals killed, is now saying he would like to create a dialogue with the LGBTI community.

Yusuf Chambers, speaking to Gay Star News in a very rare interview, Chambers says he has never called for gays to be executed.

Chambers is a member of extremely controversial group Islamic Education and Research Academy, and the focus of several campaigns to stop any event where he is involved.