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16 April 2015 edition

Dear friends and colleagues,

Around the UN: For the first time, the UN Statistical Commission has raised the issue of how statisticians should consider sexual orientation and gender identity. The conclusions made by the Commission will affect how visible LGBT people are throughout UN matters, including how explicitly LGBT issues are addressed in the UN's new development agenda.

The UN Human Rights Committee has recommended to Russia that it consider the "hate motive" when investigating crimes of possible homophobic or transphobic nature. Lawyer Kseniya Kirichenko said this is of "truly historical significance" as the recommendation acknowledges LGBT people as a "social group" and will potentially enable more effective criminal proceedings in Russia.

And World Bank President Jim Young Kim discusses how the Bank is updating "safeguards" for human rights to include LGBT people, including the decision to block a $90 million loan to Uganda following its adoption of the Anti-Homosexuality Act. 

From the World of Politics: Jamaica's first female prime minister, Portia Simpson-Miller, was interrupted during a speech in New York City by members of Jamaica Anti-Homophobia Stand who protested that the government has insufficiently responded to the recent flux of anti-LGBT violence. Elsewhere, Finland's first female president, Tarja Halonen, discussed her participation in Finland's LGBT movement and the future for global LGBT advocacy with the Harvard Political Review.

Former Dominican Republic President Hipólito Mejía apologized for using the derogatory word "mariconcito" -- or "little faggot" -- at a campaign event while in the US. During an official visit by Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambaev last week, EU leaders sought reassurances over pending new bills seeking to limit the rights of LGBTI people and civil society in general.

Across the US, celebrities cancelled tours, businesses halted contracts, and people spoke out against Indiana state's so-called "Religious Freedom" bill that enabled businesses to discriminate against LGBT people. In response, governor Mike Pence was forced to amend the bill. But the battle continues with 12 more states attempting to pass anti-LGBT discrimination measures, despite a newly released Reuters poll finds that most Americans side with gays in religious freedom disputes.

HIV, Health, and Wellness: Out of Bhutan, a new report from UNDP highlights how stigma and discrimination continue to impact universal access to HIV and health services for transgender people, gay men and other men who have sex with men. A new report from the Eurasian Coalition on Male Health finds that transgender people, gay men and other MSM in Eastern Europe and Central Asia are not represented in their countries' strategic discussions to end HIV. And the New Zealand Parliament is reviewing a petition urging the government to take action to address inadequate health services for trans and intersex Kiwis.

In Cuba, a report finds that lesbian and bisexual women receive unequal health service and are often left out of sexual health treatment campaigns.

In France, the National Ethics Committee has ruled to keep an indefinite ban on gay blood, stating that "giving blood is not a right." The president of the LGBT Federation called the ruling "absurd." And although Brazil lifted its blood ban in 2013, a politician now wants to see "gay blood" separated from other donations, enabling patients the ability to refuse blood from a gay person.

The Brazilian Parliament is considering a new HIV criminal law that has received support after a media frenzy spread panic of "barebacking" among the gay community. 

In the Name of Religion:  In Ireland, religious leaders attended the Faith in Marriage Equality conference and discussed theology behind supporting the same-sex marriage referendum, with Bishop Michael Burrows adding that gay rights is "the justice issue of our time."  African American pastors who support LGBTI rights are touring key African nations where the communities suffer extreme discrimination in an effort to provide an 'alternative narrative' of acceptance within Christian worship.

The Anglican Communion, the international association of Anglican churches, has raised concerns over the appointment of Nigerian Bishop Dr Josiah Atkins Idowu-Fearon as Secretary General. The Bishop has openly supported anti-gay laws and called the criminalization of homosexuality "good."

In Australia, Anglican Archbishop Dr Phillip Aspinall and Catholic priest Paul Kelly are calling for Queensland common law to end use of "gay panic" in homicide defence which reduces charges if the victim "came on" to the murderer. 

From Brazil, a report examines the shifting political climate as evangelical social conservatives try to reverse marriage equality and other gains for LGBT rights. With strong military and cattle-ranching ties, the conservative coalition -- known as the “BBB Bloc” for bibles, bullets, and bulls -- has LGBT Brazilians looking on in fear

School Days: In the US, another teacher has been fired from his Catholic school post because his sexuality is "inconsistent" with the church. Students at the school walked out of classes in protest. In Russia, where LGBT teachers continue to be targeted by the gay propaganda ban, one dismissed teacher is fighting back.

South Korean teachers were instructed to remove all references to LGBT issues from their school curriculums reflecting a compromise made with conservative groups as the government updates sex-ed standards. In the UK, the largest teacher's union is calling for mandatory education on LGBT issues in a resolution to tackle homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia.

In China, where no national sex-ed program exists, activist Humphrey Wou's program "Youth Decoding" hopes to provide reproductive health and diversity education to teens. And from Australia, Professor Paula Gerber explains why law schools need to teach courses on LGBTI rights.

As both the first lesbian premier and the first woman premier, Canadian Kathleen Wynne spoke to students about how being open about her sexuality has brought extra responsibility: 
There are people who come up to me often and say ‘you have made a difference in my son’s life or my daughter’s life — they’re gay — and they see your presence there as an important signal that our society is changing,’ and that we are a safer and more inclusive place.

Fear and Loathing: The Egyptian National Council for Human Rights (NCHR) has rejected all UN UPR recommendations on human rights that are considered "incompatible" with Muslim faith​.​ The NCHR is also supporting an administrative court ruling that forbids suspected gay people from entering the country. However,​ ​Mohammad Zare, a human rights lawyer and the President of the Arab Organization for Penal Reform, called the court's ruling unenforceable and said it will only tarnish Egypt's international image. 

Russian ombudsman Alexander Shislov presented his report to St Petersburg's Legislative Assembly on violence perpetrated on LGBT Russians and expressed concern over "increasing aggression in society." Meanwhile, a Russian court has authorized the closure of LGBT youth support group "Children-404" for violating the gay propaganda ban.

From India, gay men reveal the blackmail and abuse they have suffered since the Indian Supreme Court reinstated the ban on gay sex. And from Cameroon, a man describes how he lost everything after his sexuality was discovered.

South Korea has come under fire for hosting anti-LGBT groups that promote gay "cures" in government buildings. UK journalist Patrick Strudwick discloses his terrifying experience investigating gay conversion therapy and why he became an advocate against the practice. And in the US, President Obama has issued an official statement calling for the end of conversion therapy for gay and transgender youth. 

In Pakistan, a trans person was ganged raped and her two friends murdered. In the UK, police are searching for information on the murder of a trans tourist. In South Africa, another bisexual woman was gang raped to "cure" her lifestyle. In Turkey, a gay university student was beaten while bystanders watched. And in the US, trans teen Taylor Alesena, well known on Youtube for documenting her experiences with bullying, committed suicide during spring break. 

On the Move: Nigerian gay rights activist Aderonke Apata has lost her long struggle for asylum and faces deportation after a UK High Court judge ruled she "fabricated" her sexuality. Several hundred thousand people had signed a petition urging the court to grant her asylum. 

Across Asia, some LGBT people are fleeing conservative and patriarchal environments of their family homes to migrate to countries that appear more progressive. 

In Peru, thousands marched to demand equal rights for LGBTI people, including recognition of civil unions and laws to explicitly protect sexual orientation and gender identity. TV star Rodrigo González showed his support for the rally by "coming out" via Facebook. 

From the World of Business: New Zealand's leading developer of nation-wide standards has published a new guide for inclusive gender and sexual diversity in employment. In the US, the Executive Order on LGBT Workplace Discrimination has gone into effect, setting new standards on anti-discrimination among all federal contractors and employees. 

And Bob Witeck, LGBT consultant to US retail giant Walmart, discusses how he encouraged the notoriously conservative business to stand for LGBT workers' rights.

Winds of Change: During a speech to local college students, Bahamas Prime Minister Perry Christie said conservative nations must consider how to react to changing global social realities, stating, "we must co-exist."

Malta has passed Europe's most progressive gender identity and expression law. It joins Denmark in allowing trans people to change legal identity without surgery or sterilization and becomes the first country in the world to prohibit medically unnecessary surgery on intersex infants.

Sweden has added a gender neutral pronoun to its official dictionary, to be used when gender is unknown, a person is transgender, or when the gender is considered superfluous information. And in India, Panjab University is embracing a third gender category--adding it to everything from admissions to washrooms.

In Ireland, senators approved same-sex adoption with a standing ovation. In Japan, following Shibuya Ward's headline grabbing recognition of same-sex partnerships, gay wedding ceremonies are gaining wider acceptance.  And in Chile, President Michelle Bachelet signed into law a same-sex civil union bill, stating: “The civil union law is a vindication in the struggle for sexual diversity rights.” 

And finally, representatives from 16 Asia-Pacific countries, along with civil society groups, have released a new roadmap for improving LGBTI rights across the region. 

Sports and Culture:  An in-depth report on culture attitudes in the US found that the millennial generation are less likely to apply black-and-white rules and more often identify as LGBT than any previous generation. From Peru, an ambitious photo project, Virgenes de la Puerta documents marginalized trans women to capture the country's emerging transgender pride movement. 

Latina supermodel Patricia Velasquz discusses her inspiration to come out. And Kenyan gospel singer Darlan Rukih Moses comes out as intersex and "proud."

Meet M-Coalition, the first Arab coalition dedicated to the health and human rights of gay men and other men who have sex with men in the region. In South Africa, Miscast, the first local young adult novel about coming to grips with your gender identity has been published. 

India's Film Board has banned local film Unfreedom, a story of the entwined relationship between religion, violence, sexuality and intolerance. Featuring a lesbian couple, the controversial film will screen in North America. A new revival of the Broadway play The Heidi Chronicles underlines the connections between feminism and gay men.

Australian Group Captain Catherine McGregor, the highest ranked transgender military officer in the world, delivered a moving address to the National Press Club on her experience coming out and the pain of gender dysphoria.  

Finally, check out the photo of President Obama shooting a rainbow across Jamaica, that has some joking he has magical powers for gays!
“By now we should all be aware of the poisonous consequences of these ill-informed and hateful bills: they produce hate and lead to impunity for violence and discrimination against minorities. This has no place in a country that has committed itself through its constitution to full protection of human and civil rights.

Daniele Viotti, Member of the European Parliament in regards to Kyrgyzstan's proposed anti-LGBT bill
A new battle at the UN could decide what 'LGBT' means
Each year a group of UN experts meet to decide, on behalf of the countries of the world, what it means to be healthy, sick, rich, poor, violent, peaceful, and a myriad of other states of well-being. Although this group is not very well-known in the human rights community, it may have more influence on global human rights than most other parts of the UN. The UN Statistical Commission is the department that decides how to define many of the terms used by governments. At its annual meeting this year, for the first time, issues of sexual orientation and gender identity were raised.

This discussion is vitally important to LGBT communities as the UN establishes the new development agenda and guides trillions of dollars of international aid and humanitarian relief programs over the next decades. The goals are the result of a long series of negotiations amongst governments, and one of the big questions has been whether these goals will explicitly include LGBT people, either now or in the future as the goals come under review.

For goals about equal access to healthcare, the Commission would need to figure out how to know to track who is and is not receiving healthcare. Similarly, if the UN wants to include LGBT people in its development agenda, then it will have to gather data about LGBT populations. Read More
UNHRC recs may form new judicial practice for LGBT hate crimes in Russia
The UN Human Rights Committee issued its concluding observations based on the seventh periodic report of the Russian Federation. A special place in the document was given to the list of issues and recommendations related to the rights of LGBT individuals.

For the first time in the practice of international law, the Human Rights Committee has pointed out to the authorities of Russia the need to take into account the hate motive in the investigation of homophobic and transphobic crimes.

This means the provisions of the Russian Criminal Code that recognize the hate motive against any "social group" as an aggravating circumstance can now be used protect the rights of LGBT people. Law enforcement agencies and the courts will have to specifically investigate the motive of attacks on people on the grounds of their sexual orientation and gender identity. Read More
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World Bank President: Our Efforts Have Slowed Rise Of Anti-LGBT Laws
The World Bank’s decision to block a $90 million loan to Uganda in response to a sweeping anti-homosexuality law has helped slow passage of anti-LGBT laws in other countries, implied President Jim Yong Kim in an interview.

“Everyone knows now that I will do this and so everyone is watching very carefully,” said Kim. Kim confirmed that the loan, which was “delayed” last February, is officially dead and that “the Ugandans have withdrawn their request” for the funding.

Kim reflected on the loan while discussing a proposal for updated “safeguards” for human rights and the environment that are being drafted to guide the Bank’s lending.  These include evaluating the impact on LGBT people, the first Bank policy to identify them as a vulnerable minority. Kim said that there was unanimous support from the Bank’s board that anti-LGBT discrimination was unacceptable during a discussion of his decision to block the loan to Uganda last year, even from countries that have their own laws against homosexuality. Read More
Egypt: National Council for Human Rights rejects UN Human Rights recommendations
Egyptian media is reporting that the Egyptian National Council for Human Rights has endorsed the recent administrative court's ruling to forbid suspected homosexuals from entering Egypt.

In a report published by the Egyptian newspaper Youm-Sabe, Dr. Salah Salam, a member of the Egyptian NCHR was quoted saying that he respects the decision of the administrative court authorizing the Ministry of Interior to deport "alien homosexuals," and ban them from entering the country. Dr. Salam said the decision is in line with Egyptian religious beliefs and traditions, reiterating that the Egyptian NCHR opposes anything that violates religion.

Dr. Salam told the paper that he believes that "homosexuality is legally, religiously, and strategically unacceptable."  Further, he said that Egyptian NCHR rejected all UN Human Rights Council recommendations [during the UPR review of the country] that are incompatible with Muslim faith. 

Legal experts have come out publicly against the ruling. Mohammad Zare, human rights lawyer and President of the Arab Organization for Penal Reform, called the ruling unenforceable and noted that this type of decision will tarnish Egypt's international image.  Read More
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Jamaica: LGBT advocates interrupt Jamaican prime minister’s speech
Members of Jamaica Anti-Homophobia Stand, a group that advocates for LGBT Jamaicans, interrupted Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller as she spoke in Manhattan.  A video of the confrontation that shows Simpson-Miller challenging the protesters then leaving the stage from where she was speaking.

The advocates challenged the prime minister over perceptions of the government’s insufficient response to rampant and headline grabbing anti-LGBT violence, including the a video this month showing a gay teenager being stoned to death in a street. A report from Jamaican LGBT advocacy group J-FLAG notes at least 30 gay Jamaicans have been murdered between '97-'04, including J-FLAG co-founder Brian Williamson who was stabbed to death inside his home in 2004. 

Jamaica is among the English-speaking countries in the Caribbean in which consensual same-sex sexual acts remain criminalized. Read More
Finland: First female president discusses the future of LGBT advocacy
Tarja Halonen, president of Finland between 2000 and 2012 and previously the chair of Seta, a prominent Finnish LGBT rights organization, sat down with the Harvard Political Review, saying:

"I think that Nordic countries, the Netherlands and the United States have been some of the best examples [of LGBT rights]. Our governments understand that being gay is of course not a risk for the [LGBT] persons themselves, or for the community or the state. It’s a very important human rights issue—perhaps one of the most intimate issues of your personality. That’s why I think we have to work hard in order to help people in Uganda, the Middle East and Russia, because they have a new type of phobia concerning sexual minorities." Read More
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EU leaders demand answers from Kyrgyz President over anti-LGBTI bill
During an official visit by Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambaev last week, EU leaders  have sought reassurances over pending bills seeking to limit the rights of LGBTI people and civil society in general.

The anti-LGBTI ‘propaganda’ bill would outlaw any public information ‘aimed at forming positive attitudes toward non-traditional sexual relations’. Anyone found guilty under the proposals could be jailed for 12 months.This is the latest in a series of actions taken by the EU, after the European Parliament urged the Kyrgyz Parliament to reject the ‘anti-propaganda’ bill in January 2015.

Daniele Viotti MEP, Co-President of the Intergroup on LGBTI Rights and part of the Parliament’s Delegation for relations with Kyrgyzstan, said: “We should all be aware of the poisonous consequences of these ill-informed and hateful bills: they produce hate & lead to impunity for violence & discrimination against minorities.” Read More
Dominican Republic: I apologize if I insulted anyone but I am not a homophobe
Former Dominican Republic president and current presidential candidate Hipólito Mejía pushed back against reports that his use of derogatory words were against LGBTs.

"I never meant to make fun or belittle human beings who have been marginalized and harassed," Mejía said in a statement. "If that was misinterpreted as an insult, I have no problem offering my apologies and reiterating that it was not, nor is, nor would be my intention; that's not how I behave."

Mejía used the Spanish word "mariconcito" which translates to "little faggot" last week during an event when he joked that a campaign consultant suggested he practice sitting down like a "mariconcito" when doing media appearances if he wanted his poll numbers to increase. Read More
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Eastern European and Central Asian MSM and transgender people are absent from HIV dialogue
A new report from the Eurasian Coalition on Male Health finds men who have sex with men and transgender people are not involved in strategic discussions around HIV in most nations of Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Lack of reliable epidemiological data, high stigma, and policies that restrict the access of MSM and TG to information on HIV are key factors that preclude the two key populations from meaningfully participating in the country dialogue processes, contributing to HIV/AIDS program planning, and otherwise cooperating with the Global Fund.

 “The absence of key populations of MSM and transgender people in the country dialogue challenges the legitimacy of these processes in our region,” says Vitaly Djuma, ECOM’s Executive Director. Read More
Bhutan: UNDP study on stigma, discrimination, & Universal Access in the gay and trans community
The new report looks at barriers Bhutanese gay men and other men who have sex with men and transgender people have in accessing health services. In addition to the strengths, limitations and needs of the health services dealing with marginalized peoples' sexual health, the study puts forth a set of concrete recommendations. Find the report here
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France: National ethics body rules for indefinite ban on gay blood donation
France's National Consultative Ethics Committee (CCNE) believes maintaining a ban is not a matter of gay rights, but a health issue as there are still “scientific uncertainties” on the risks of using blood from homosexuals.

“Giving blood is not a right. What matters most is the health and the protection of the receiver,” said Jean-Claude Ameisen, president of the CCNE. The committee says that lifting it now “could expose people to medical risks, which should be taken into consideration from an ethical point of view."

The ban covers people who habitually practice same sex relations, and those who confessed to even a singular gay contact during preliminary interviews for potential donors.

President of the LGBT Federation, Stephanie Nicot, called it absurd: "It's risky behavior that should lead to exclusion, and only a temporary one, not the fact that you are gay or you had a homosexual relationship 20 years ago. This is an extremely worrying sign," he said. Read More
Brazil: Politician claims 'gay blood' should be separated
A Brazilian Congressman Jair Bolsonaro claimed patients receiving blood transfusions should be able to demand ‘heterosexual blood’.

The congressman said his party, the far-right Progressive Party, wants to introduce a policy which would see people be made aware if they are receiving blood from a gay donor. Patients should also be allowed to ask to not receive the blood if it makes them uncomfortable and, instead, request blood donated by a heterosexual person.

Blood donations from men who have sex with men were previously banned completely, but in 2013 the ban was lifted allowing MSM to donate if they are in a long term relationship or if they have not had sex in the past 12 months. Read More
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Cuba: Lesbians receiving unequal treatment from health services
A new report finds that in addition to other forms of discrimination, lesbian and bisexual women in Cuba face unequal treatment from public health services and their specific sexual and reproductive health needs are ignored.

Lesbians receive less information about STI prevention than other population groups and they have fewer welcoming institutional spaces where they can socialise and discuss their problems, said the report. The research study debunks the myth that engaging in lesbian sex avoids all infection risks, although these are indeed much lower than for other sexual behaviours.

Women represented 18.5% of the 2,156 new HIV-positive cases diagnosed in Cuba in 2013, bringing the total number of people living with the virus to 16,400, according to the Ministry of Public Health. Read More
Ireland: Catholic Church ‘will pay price’ for stance on gay marriage
A conference discussing the religious case for marriage equality has heard there will be “a price to be paid” by the Catholic Church for its stance in relation to the upcoming referendum. Marriage Equality: The Religious Case for a Yes Vote was hosted by Faith in Marriage Equality at Trinity College Dublin.

Vice-provost Prof Linda Hogan said: “Theologically speaking, there are no impediments to gay and lesbian people marrying in a civil ceremony. People of faith can exercise their freedom of conscience to vote yes to lesbian and gay people marrying in a civil ceremony. This debate is being framed as religious people being no voters with everyone else voting yes. This couldn’t be further from the truth. People of all faiths support sharing the freedom to marry with gay and lesbian couples."

Church of Ireland bishop Michael Burrows said he was supporting a yes vote in the referendum: "I have come to believe that the rights of gay people have become, very properly, the great justice issue of our time just as the abolition of slavery and the emancipation of women were in the past. I could not vote against this proposal because of my utter abomination of homophobia." Read More
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Brazil: HIV-Specific criminal law introduced amid media frenzy and moral panic over ‘barebacking’ gay subculture
A simply worded amendment covering ‘heinous crimes’– which currently includes murder, extortion, rape, child exploitation and spreading an epidemic that results in death – adds individuals who “transmit and infect consciously and deliberately others with the AIDS virus. (sic)” was presented to the Brazilian Parliament by the populist Congressman, Pompeo de Mattos.

The bill has considerable support thanks to an outbreak of moral panic that began with an article in the daily newspaper, O Estado de S. Paulo, that uncovered the gay ‘barebacking’ subculture and further suggested that some men were deliberately passing on HIV to unsuspecting partners. Days later, it was reported that police were now looking into the allegations. Read More 
New Zealand: Urgent attention needed on trans and intersex healthcare
Parliament’s Health Select Committee has heard that the lack of healthcare services for trans and intersex people is a priority public health issue where urgent intervention is needed. 

Auckland counsellor and advocate Tom Hamilton told gathered MPs that trans and intersex people and their whanau find wide variety of care standards. Lack of expertise results "in frustration for the community, which leads to further delay in treatment, possible mental health deterioration and extra costs being met by the individuals … or individuals actually educating the health professionals to improve their experience of care.”

Hamilton’s submission follows a petition urging the government to take action “to address the inadequate supply of publicly funded gender reassignment health services, including counselling, endocrinology and surgical services, in New Zealand”. Read More
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US: Black pastors launch African tour to counteract Rick Warren’s anti-gay movement
Spearheaded by The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries, Bishop Rev. Dr. Yvette Flunder and Bishop-Elect Pastor Joseph Tolton, the organization’s international outreach ministry has launched a month long tour of key African nations where LGBTI communities continue to experience extreme discrimination and persecution. These countries include: Uganda, Rwanda, Cote D'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo and Kenya. 

Until April 30, 2015, Pastor Tolton will be on the ground working to provide an uplifting alternate Christian narrative. The message advocates for inclusion, economic justice and the reconciliation of all people of African descent globally.

“As black gay Christians who identify with Pentecostal worship and as people of social justice, we are countering the work of conservative, mostly white American evangelicals who are doubling down on their attempt of spiritual colonization of Africa,” said Pastor Joseph Tolton. Read More
Nigeria: Concerns raised over Nigerian bishop appointed as New Secretary General of global Anglican Communion
The newly-named Secretary General of the Anglican Communion Office is on the spot over his anti-homosexuality remarks at a time when the church is divided sharply over gay clerics.

The Most Reverend Dr Josiah Atkins Idowu-Fearon was appointed to be the next Secretary General of the Anglican Communion. He currently serves as Bishop of Kaduna in the Church of Nigeria where he has earned a global reputation in the Church for his expertise in Christian-Muslim relations.

However, the Bishop is under fire for his support for the criminalization of homosexuality and support of Nigeria's anti gay law, the Same Sex Prohibition Act signed by the then president, Jonathan Goodluck. In a 2014 interview, Dr Idowu-Fearon said, “The government has criminalised homosexuality which is good, our battle is not against human beings, it is against the devil.” Read More
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Australia: Anglican and Catholic leaders call to scrap gay panic defence
Brisbane’s Anglican archbishop has joined a local Catholic priest in calling for Queensland’s controversial “gay panic” homicide defence to be scrapped.

Speaking after his Easter Sunday mass the archbishop of Brisbane, Dr Phillip Aspinall, said he supported Fr Paul Kelly in his calls for the Homosexual Advance Defence to be removed from Queensland common law. The defence means a murder charge may be reduced to manslaughter if the defendant establishes their victim “came on” to them, and the killing was in self-defence.

“I think Fr Paul Kelly is on the right track, well and truly,” Aspinall said. “I don’t think it’s reasonable to murder someone who approaches you sexually. Violence is never a constructive response.” Read More 
Brazil: LGBT Community Looks On In Fear At Rise Of Evangelicals
Backed by the country’s rapidly growing evangelical population, a large number of religious conservatives won election in October as part of a broad conservative coalition that now controls Congress. They have taken office bent on reversing recent gains for LGBT rights, including a 2013 decision by a judicial panel that established marriage equality nationwide. 

Jean Wyllys, Brazil’s only out gay member of Congress and best-known progressive standard bearer, wrote that the threat of “religious fundamentalism” has gone ignored as Brazil’s major parties have scrambled for the votes of conservative evangelicals who now make up more than 20% of the population. This “Christian fundamentalism” is every bit as dangerous as “Islamic fundamentalism” in the Middle East, and now threatens “individual liberty, sexual diversity, and secular culture” in Brazil, he said.

“When will we wake up to the true nature of the monster emerging from the lake,” he asked. Read More
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US: Students fight back after Catholic School fires their teacher
More than 150 students and alumni of a Des Moines–area Catholic high school demonstrated in protest of the school’s decision to rescind a full-time job offer of substitute teacher and school coach Tyler McCubbin because he’s gay. McCubbin says the school initially told him he could continue substitute teaching and coaching if he wanted. But after news of the decision prompted public outcry, the administration rescinded their offer. 

Students walked out of class and prayed in the rain with alums. “I just want the community to know that this is a really important topic, and that just because our school officials or diocesan leaders might have made this decision, it does not directly reflect what we believe as students,” said Grace Mumm, a sophomore.

The diocese has said that the Catholic School contract “contains specific language that outlines the code of conduct in accord with long accepted Church teaching” and that “it is our expectation that staff and teachers support our moral beliefs as they are the models of our Catholic faith.” There have been several cases around the nation of staff at Catholic churches and schools being fired or not offered jobs because they are engaged or married to a same-sex partner. Read More
Canada: Kathleen Wynne feels ‘responsibility’ as first lesbian premier
Premier Kathleen Wynne, speaking to students at Agincourt Collegiate on Wednesday, says she is not a "gay activist" but hopes she can be an example to others. "I can be an example . . . If I can help (gay) people be less frightened, that’s a wonderful, wonderful thing.”

Wynne, 61, still maintains that she is not an activist, but told reporters after her speech to the school “that being a lesbian, being in this office allows others to look at this office in a different way.”  Read More
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Russia: Anti-gay views on rise; teachers face brunt
Alevtina is one of several teachers who lost their jobs in St. Petersburg after being outed by an anti-gay activist. While most resigned quietly, the 27-year-old music teacher decided to fight her dismissal in court — an unusual step in Russia where gays have faced increasing pressure in recent years.

The rising anti-gay sentiment has coincided with the passage of a controversial Russian law that prohibits exposing children to gay "propaganda." The law has made it easy to target teachers, because they work directly with children.

The hardening of lines against gays is thrown into stark relief by a new Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll. The survey found that Russians' tolerance of gays has plummeted in recent years, with 51% of those surveyed late last year saying they would not want a gay neighbor. This was up from 38% in 2012. Read More
Australia: There needs to be more LGBTI Rights subjects across law schools 
Law schools around Australia need to move education away from assumptions of heterosexuality and gender normativity and encourage students to grapple with legal issues related to sexual orientation and gender identity. Paula Gerber explains. Read More
China’s LGBT sex-ed problem
At the International Conference on Sexuality in Kunming, China, HIV/AIDS activist Humphrey Wou attended a panel on sex education, hoping to learn about the textbooks used to teach Chinese students about sex. One presenter read aloud from a book widely used in high schools in the city of Hangzhou: “Masturbation will lead to mental disorders and homosexuality,” he said.

China lacks a unified, national sex-education policy, which means the quality of education varies dramatically. Sex education—or “puberty education,” as the government calls it—is often optional. Even when it is offered, students are limited to learning about the biological differences between boys and girls and family-planning practices. 

“When it comes to sex-education, most people only consider three categories: anatomy, disease/infection, and condom use,” Wou said. “It made me think, if I were teaching a student how to drive, would I only open the hood, show them pictures of car wrecks, and teach them how to operate the pedals?” In 2013, he created Youth Decoding, which uses storytelling and audience participation to engage students—LGBT and straight alike—in thinking and talking about sex. Read More
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South Korea: Teachers banned from talking about LGBT issues
In a move designed to better inform teachers of how to go about sex education and counter inaccuracies, the government appears to be attempting to remove all references to LGBT people and issues in schools across the whole of South Korea. Government officials say the move was due to pressure from conservative groups.

An official from the department of student health policy said: “It is urgent that we create sex-ed standards that move away from abstinence education, but staunch opposition from conservative groups to the initial draft made it difficult to reach a compromise. Our plan is to publish the standards that are possible right now and to work to create a social consensus moving forward.” Read More
UK: Teachers call for compulsory same-sex relationships education
Members of the largest UK teacher's union, National Union of Teachers, passed a resolution to call on the government following May's general election to urge schools to 'tackle homophobia, biphobia and transphobia' in an effort to help 'create a positive climate of understanding' among students. 

'Conference demands that a future government must tackle the embedded homophobia, biphobia and transphobia that exists in schools and create a positive climate of understanding about sexuality and gender fit for the twenty first century.' reads the resolution.

'This must include a commitment to make it easier to discuss ideas about sexuality and gender so that students and teachers are more confident to identify as LGBTI and work in schools without fear of prejudice.' Read More
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Russia: Ombudsman concerned over “aggressive tones” at LGBT people 
St. Petersburg ombudsman Alexander Shishlov has presented his 2014 annual report on human rights in the local Legislative Assembly. A separate chapter of the report highlights multiple cases of LGBT discrimination in St. Petersburg.

Shishlov cited 36 cases of attacks on LGBT people. Of these, 30 occurred during public events. In particular, he mentioned an attempt to disrupt the LGBT rally in St. Petersburg. Nevertheless, Shishlov acknowledged “the professional work of police officers,” which helped the rally to be held without significant violations of law. However, the Ombudsman said that “hostile opponents of LGBT movement insulted LGBT activists before and after the event, prevented passage of the rally participants to the place of the meeting, threw stones and grabbed away placards.” Read More
India: Gay sex ban in India stirs violence, blackmail, and abuse
When Rajan was followed by two men into a public toilet in Mumbai and forced to perform oral sex on them, the 31-year-old gay marketing professional realised this was the beginning of the end of his short-lived sexual freedom.

"They knew I was gay. They were watching me and waiting. They filmed the whole thing and threatened to tell the police," Rajan, who did not want to disclose his full name, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

"Then they took me to an ATM and made me withdraw all the money I had which was 15,000 rupees ($240)... Even though society has not fully accepted us, the law was there to protect us. But now we are scared."

Rajan is one of thousands from India's LGBT community who've faced persecution after the reinstatement of a colonial-era law banning gay sex. Read More
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US: Nationwide boycott leads to "Religious Freedom" bill amendment
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signed a revised religious freedom bill that had been approved by lawmakers earlier after language was added that says the law cannot be used to discriminate. Critics of Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act called the law discriminatory, allowing businesses to refuse service to LGBT people.

Some state governments had banned the use of taxpayer money to fund city employees’ travel to Indiana, while some celebrities canceled upcoming appearances in the state. Read More

US: LGBT battle far from over as religious freedom bills multiply
The swift and overwhelming backlash that helped modify the religious freedom bills – spurred in particular by tech and business leaders – revealed a new front in the broader US culture wars over LGBT rights. Even as marriage equality emerges a winner in the national battle, other hard-won LGBT rights are being attacked under the guise of religious liberty.

Measures resembling those in Indiana and Arkansas have multiplied across the country – and the majority have garnered less attention. Twelve states besides Arkansas and Indiana have proposed religious freedom laws over the past year. The bills failed to pass in five states, but are still pending in seven. Read More
US: Most Americans side with gays in religious freedom disputes
A majority of Americans believe businesses should not be allowed to refuse services based on their religious beliefs in the wake of controversies in Indiana and Arkansas over gay rights and religious freedom, a Reuters/Ipsos poll found. It also found that 52% of Americans support allowing same-sex couples to marry, far more than the 32% who oppose it.

The survey results suggest a split over the issue between Americans and some of the politicians who represent them. Read more
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South Korea: Government slammed for hosting 'conversion therapy' seminars
The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) has written to South Korean officials to express concern over two recent 'conversion therapy' seminars hosted in government buildings.

The letter dated 3 April said the failure of high-level government officials and the National Human Rights Commission of Korea (NHRCK) to denounce 'gay cures' and the groups promoting these practices contravened the country's international commitments to human rights.

'Two recent convenings by anti-LGBT hate organizations in South Korean government buildings that convey the troubling impression of the government’s tacit endorsement of so-called “conversion therapy” and tolerance for discrimination against LGBT Koreans,' the letter reads. Read More
UK: This is what happens when you undergo gay conversion therapy
Journalist Patrick Strudwick's undercover investigation into gay conversion therapy in the UK eventually led to the British Medical Association condemning the practice. In his new essay, he describes his terrifying experience, how the therapy made him doubt himself, and why he's an advocate against conversion therapy.  Read More
US: Obama calls for end to ‘conversion’ therapies for gay and trans youth
President Obama is calling for an end to such therapies aimed at “repairing” gay, lesbian and transgender youth. His decision on the issue is the latest example of his continuing embrace of gay rights. His official statement was posted alongside a WhiteHouse.gov petition begun in honor of Ms. Alcorn, the trans teen whose suicide note mentioned undergoing conversion therapy. The petition has received more than 120,000 signatures in three months.

Mr. Obama condemned the practice, sometimes called “conversion” or “reparative” therapy, which is supported by some socially conservative organizations and religious doctors. Read More
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Pakistan: Transgender person gang-raped, two killed
Armed men in northwest Pakistan abducted and gang-raped a transgender person after killing two others in a pre-dawn incident, police said. The incident took place in the Yar Hussain neighbourhood of Swabi district, where the group was returning home after performing a music and dance show at a wedding party.

Sajjad Khan, district police chief of Swabi in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, said the men were waiting for them in a field and tried to abduct all of them but they refused.

“The attackers opened fire after the refusal. One transgender and one drummer died on the spot while another was wounded,” Khan said. The armed men then abducted one transgender who was released hours later after being raped by four persons, Khan said. Read More
UK: Murder detectives appeal for information over death of transgender escort found beaten and strangled in flat
Murder squad detectives are appealing for people who knew a “high class” transgender escort to come forward after she was found beaten and strangled in west London. Vanessa Santillan, 33, was found dead inside a £400,000 first-floor flat in Fulham. 

Ms Santillan, a glamour model and escort who is originally from Mexico, has a personal website which describes herself as “one in a million” and states: “I’m a Ts girl visiting from MIAMI FL.” It is understood she has spent the last few years as a high-end call girl and made regular trips to London. Read More
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US: Transgender teen who fought bullying online commits suicide
Taylor Alesena, a transgender teen that candidly documented her struggles with loneliness and bullying at a San Diego-area high school on YouTube, died April 2nd in an apparent suicide. The 16-year-old Fallbrook High student took her own life during spring break, the school district confirmed.

Max Disposti, the executive director of the area's LGBTQ Resource Center, said that Alesena was frequently cyber-bullied and called names by her peers, even as her YouTube channel became an inspiration to others facing a similar ordeal. "[Alesena] felt unsafe, she felt beat up every day she needed to go to school," Disposti said. Alesena's suicide comes one month after another transgender teen named Sage who frequented the LGBTQ Resource Center killed himself. Read More
Turkey: University student attacked while bystanders watch
Kafkas University student and LGBTI activist Birkan Perincek has been the victim of a homophobic attack by a group of 4-5 people.

Perincek said that he did not report the assault to the police because of past experiences with discrimination by the police based on his sexual orientation. He recounted that, in the past year, when his computer was stolen, instead of finding the offender, the police had directed him questions such as “Who have you slept with from the organization?” Read More
Russia: Court authorizes closure of LGBT teen support group's website
A court in St. Petersburg has authorized the government to block the social-network page of an online support group for LGBT teenagers in Russia.

A lawyer for Deti-404 (Children-404), Maria Kozlovskaya said that the group had been preparing for a court hearing on the issue on April 6.

But when the activists arrived in court on April 6, she said, they were told that a decision had already been made on March 25 to include the group's page on the social network VKontakte on a list of banned websites.  Read More
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Cameroon: Outing ends in homelessness
The story of Aris, 26, will resonate in the minds of all those who have suffered violent setbacks after their homosexuality was suddenly revealed to their family.

Makékéné, is a village on the line dividing the Central region of Cameroon, and the Western region. It is there, in March 2015 that Aris, launched an SOS to his friends back in Yaoundé, the country’s political capital, to tell them the drama that transformed his life a few weeks earlier.

Aris, unwittingly, was outed by his younger brother, with whom he lived.  And for this student, smoothly promoted to a bright future, everything in his life collapsed for one reason … he is gay. Read More
South Africa: Bisexual woman gang raped because of her “lifestyle”
In another horrific LGBTI hate crime, a 30-something bisexual mother of three in Limpopo has reportedly been raped by a group of men who said they wanted to show her that her “lifestyle is wrong.”

Activist Cindy Molefe, from the group Limpopo LGBTI Proudly Out, told Mambaonline that the woman, Abby*, who has often worked with the organisation canvassing for LGBTI rights, was brutally attacked on Saturday night. Read More
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UK: Nigerian Lesbian Loses Asylum Battle, Faces Deportation
Prominent United Kingdom-based Nigerian lesbian and gay rights activist, Aderonke Apata, had her lengthy legal tussle to claim asylum in the country thrown out of the highest court of the land, the Royal Courts of Justice – after a judge ruled that she was pretending to be lesbian.

A Home Office barrister argued last month that Ms Apata cannot be a lesbian as she has children. He claimed that while she “indulged in same-sex activity” she was not “part of the social group known as lesbians”.

Ms Apata, 47, came to Britain in 2004 and has won awards for her gay-rights campaigning. She is engaged to her long-term partner Happiness Agboro, also from Nigeria, who has already been granted asylum based on her sexuality. Read More
Asia's LGBT people migrate to escape violence at home
Long before Joe Wong surgically removed his breasts and uterus, he was Joleen, who once used an entire roll of brown duct tape to flatten her chest in an effort to look less feminine at her new secondary school in Singapore. 

To escape the violence and find acceptance, many LGBT people migrate abroad - including Wong, who moved to Bangkok, where he currently works for a LGBT rights group. Read More
Peru: LGBT supporters march for civil union debate
An estimated 3,000 Peruvians in support of LGBT rights marched Saturday in the capital city Lima after the country's Commission of Justice repeatedly failed to address a bill that would recognise civil unions for same-sex couples. The bill had its hearing postponed until after the Easter holiday. If passed, the civil union legislation would expand inheritance laws for same-sex couples in Peru. 

The march's main objectives were to encourage citizens to demand equal rights for people LGTBI; support the legal and equal recognition of same-sex couples (gay marriage); and support passing laws that explicitly protect sexual orientation and gender identity with the inclusion of these categories in the criminal offenses against discrimination and hate crimes.  Read More

Peru: Rodrigo González declares his homosexuality with picture
Television star Rodrigo González came out via Facebook with a picture of his boyfriend in support of the LGBTI equality march.

Apologizing for not being able to attend the rally in person, González stated his support for the movement and revealed his sexuality, saying that he hoped his coming out would help the cause. Read More
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New Zealand sets new standard for LGBTI inclusion in the workplace
Standards New Zealand, the operating arm of the country’s Standards Council, has published a new guide on diversity. The latest guides –  produced in consultation with agencies including Rainbow Wellington, Affinity Services, gQ Network, New Zealand Council of Trade Unions, and others – is Rainbow-inclusive workplaces: A standard for gender and sexual diversity in employment.

In a statement SNZ said, ‘International research shows that people from the lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, takatāpui, queer, and intersex (LGBTTQI) communities still face discrimination and exclusion in the workforce; in recruitment, retention, training, and advancement opportunities.' -- Takatāpui is the Māori (indigenous New Zealand people's) word meaning a devoted partner of the same sex.

‘There is also research that indicates that workplaces that support and encourage staff to be authentic and bring the whole of themselves to work perform better than those where people feel they must hide a central aspect of themselves.’ Read More
Bob Witeck, Walmart's LGBT consultant, gets corporations on the workers' side
en Walmart sided with gay rights by saying that Arkansas’s religious freedom reformation act sends the “wrong message”, it surprised many. The nation’s largest employer is more commonly associated with low wages and red-state religious values than with LGBT rights.

But in working with Bob Witeck, the DC-based head of the gay and lesbian-focused communications group Witeck Communications, Walmart addressed charges by critics that it ought to put its money where its mouth is, and lobby to avert dangerous anti-gay legislation in its own backyard.

Like most consultants, Witeck doesn’t like to say too much about what he and his clients talk about. But in an interview with the Guardian, he offered some insight into how corporations have evolved in this regard. Read More
US: Another Step Toward Equality for LGBT Workers
Today, President Obama’s Executive Order on LGBT Workplace Discrimination goes into effect. It prohibits federal contractors and subcontractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Because of this Executive Order, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people employed by federal contractors across the country will now receive new legal protections designed to ensure they are judged by the quality of their work, not who they are or whom they love. Read More
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Bahamas: ‘We Must Co-Exist With Global Views On Homosexuality’
Prime Minister Perry Christie said leaders of conservative countries must consider how their nations could “co-exist in a world” where global attitudes towards social issues like homosexuality are shifting.

Mr Christie said that while governments must not seek to change the conservative ideas of its people, they must consider how to react to changing global social realities.

"How do we coexist in a world where the vice-president of the United States has said culture of countries do not trump human rights? Human rights are then elevated to the highest levels. And therefore you see the traditional norms of the world being changed and the levels of what was phobia are being rejected and are now becoming norms. Countries like the Bahamas have to look very carefully at it, not to change it, but how do you go about accepting it?” Read More
Ireland: Senators Approve Same-Sex Adoption Bill
After nearly a week discussing the Children and Family Relationship Bill – which was subject to over 120 amendments, the Seanad in the Republic of Ireland approved the bill.  The bill – which passed the lower house earlier last month – follows up on a promise to extend adoption rights to same-sex partners and co-habiting couples, ahead of the country’s referendum on same-sex marriage on May 22.

The bill received a standing ovation when it passed – and given the controversy surrounding the country’s same-sex marriage referendum, cleared the Seanad remarkably without incident. Read More
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Chili: President signs civil unions bill
Chilean President Michelle Bachelet on Monday signed a bill into law that will allow gays and lesbians in the South American country to enter into civil unions.

“Today is a historic day for sexual diversity,” said Rolando Jiménez, director of the Movement for Homosexual Integration and Liberation, in a press release. “The state for the first time recognizes that there is not just one way to make a family. From today the state protects family diversity and takes responsibility for historic injustices based upon prejudices and taboos that never should have existed.” Read More
Thailand: New roadmap to progress LGBTI rights in Asia Pacific
A major regional workshop involving representatives from national human rights institutions (NHRIs) and civil society groups has concluded with a call for greater efforts to advance the rights of LGBTI people in the Asia Pacific.

The Programme of Action and Support on the role of NHRIs in promoting and protecting human rights in relation to sexual orientation and gender identity, including health rights, in Asia and the Pacific sets out a wide range of practical steps for NHRIs to bolster their work.

“In recent years, NHRIs in the Asia Pacific region have emerged as key advocates for the human rights of LGBTI people and their equality,” said Chris Sidoti. Representatives from the NHRIs of Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Korea, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Philippines, Samoa, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Timor Leste were among more than 40 participants involved in the two-day gathering. Read More
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Malta: Surgery and Sterilization Scrapped in Progressive Gender Identity Law 
Transgender people in Malta will no longer need to have surgery, sterilization and a diagnosis of mental illness to legally change gender under a law passed last week, which rights groups hailed as a new benchmark for LGBTI rights in Europe. The majority of countries in Europe require transgender people to undergo a series of medical procedures, be diagnosed with a mental disorder, and get divorced if married in order to have their desired gender legally recognized by the government.

The Gender Identity, Gender Expression and Sex Characteristics Act makes Malta only the second European nation, after Denmark, to allow transgender people to change their legal gender without any medical or state intervention.

The law also prohibits medically unnecessary surgery on the genitals of intersex infants, making Malta the first country in the world to do so, said ILGA-Europe, a network of European lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) groups. Read More
Sweden: Official dictionary adds gender-neutral pronoun
“Hen” will be added to “han” (he) and “hon” (she) as one of 13,000 new words in the latest edition of the Swedish Academy’s SAOL. The pronoun is used to refer to a person without revealing their gender – either because it is unknown, because the person is transgender, or the speaker or writer deems the gender to be superfluous information.

The word “hen” was coined in the 1960s when the ubiquitous use of “han” (he) became politically incorrect, and was aimed at simplifying the language and avoiding the clumsy “han/hon” (s/he) construction. It resurfaced around 2000, when the country’s small transgender community latched on to it, and its use has taken off in the past few years.

It can now be found in official texts, court rulings, media texts and books, and has begun to lose some of its feminist-activist connotation. Read More
India: Panjab University to introduce 'third gender' category
Panjab University (PU) will soon introduce a column for transgenders (TG) under 'gender' category in all its application forms, academic testimonials and other relevant documents that are processed or issued by the university.

According to a notification issued by the PU registrar, the PU vice-chancellor has approved certain measures to remove discrimination against the transgender community, to be implemented with immediate effect. In addition, PU will also create transgender-friendly infrastructure like washrooms, restrooms, etc, in its campuses. PU will hold sanitization programmes and awareness workshops for students, teachers and non-teaching staff to bring members of the TG community in the mainstream of life. Read More
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Japan: Gay wedding ceremonies seen gaining wider acceptance
Wedding facilities openly embracing gay couples are increasing, according to Nijiiro Diversity, a nonprofit organization in Osaka that advises companies about how to deal with sexual minority issues.

Among such facilities are Aoyama Geihinkan in Tokyo and Kafuu Resort Fuchaku Condo Hotel in Okinawa. The latter, which started wedding services for same-sex couples last September, has a website dedicated to the service. Meanwhile, Shibuya Ward in Tokyo made headlines by approving a draft ordinance recognizing same-sex partnerships. It is aiming to reduce the discrimination often faced by homosexual couples, and is the first municipality in the country to take such a move.

“I hope weddings of same-sex couples will raise awareness that sexual minorities are not people who exist only on TV or in foreign countries but people who may be around you,” said Maki Muraki, who heads Nijiiro Diversity. Read More
Australia: This speech from the world’s most senior transgender military officer will make you feel things
Catherine McGregor, the world’s highest ranked military officer, gave a moving speech to the National Press Club. McGregor, current Director of Research and Analysis in the Office of the Chief of the Royal Australian Air Force, spoke about the pain of gender dysphoria, dealing with transphobia, and the support she received after coming out in 2012. Read More
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US: The gayest generation? Research finds more millennials identify as LGBT
Millennials are either the gayest generation, or the most honest. A research report by the Public Religion Research Institute states that 7% of millennials identify themselves as either gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, a percentage that is more than twice the share of older Americans who identifies as something other than heterosexual.

The results were tucked into a massive report that examined millennials’ attitudes toward everything from sex education to the idea that marriage is an outdated institution. As a whole, the survey shows a cohort that has fewer non-negotiable stances than previous generations. “The survey paints a picture of a generation that is less likely to apply black-and-white rules,” PRRI CEO Dr. Robert Jones says. 

Reports on the LGBT population size have varied wildly ever since Alfred Kinsey's research in 1948 suggesting that 10% of men are gay. Kinsey’s research wound up being called into question years later, but the disparity between percentage of millennials that identify as LGBT and the percentage of older cohorts suggest changes in society may be making people feel comfortable to come out. Read More
Perú: "Virgenes de la Puerta" A rare glimpse inside Peru's trans community
Boston-based artists Andrew Mroczek and Juan Barboza-Gubo have been documenting the plight of Peru's mercurial transgender community. As part of their ambitious project Virgenes de la Puerta ("Virgins of the Door"), Mroczek and Barboza-Gubo are photographing several trans women -- many of whom have never been photographed in a positive, respectful way -- in order to present them as honored role models, and examples of leadership in the country's burgeoning transgender pride movement.

"We want to show the trans community that there are these amazing pillars who represent their interests," Mroczek explains, "and that there are those who are willing to sacrifice their own personal safety in order to gain the visibility needed to promote change."

In a country where homosexuality and transgenderism are widely considered to be illnesses, transgender Peruvians live almost entirely in the shadows, forced to the fringes of society by a staunchly Catholic nation that severely marginalizes its LGBT citizens. Read More
Obama Shoots Giant Rainbow Out Of His Hand in Jamaica
Pres. Obama visited Jamaica, the 1st US president to do so 30 years. Departing, he shot a beautiful, giant rainbow at the island nation, proving he has some tricks up his gay wizard sleeve! Caught on camera by White House photog Pete Souza, we guess Obama is okay with his magical powers not being a secret. Read more
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Kenya: Popular Gospel Singer, Darlan Rukih Moses I’m both man and woman and am proud Read More
India: Board bans film on gays Claims it’ll ignite ‘unnatural passion’ Read More
How Patricia Velasquez was inspired to come out as The World's First Latina Lesbian Supermodel Read More
Meet “M-Coalition” The First Arab Coalition on MSM and HIV Read More
South Africa: First transgender teen novel published The story is about coming to grips with true identity in SA. Read More
US: What “The Heidi Chronicles” Gets Right About Feminism And Gay Men Read More
Equal Eyes is edited by Christina Dideriksen and Richard Burzynski. The views presented here do not necessarily represent the view of UNAIDS or its Cosponsors.
All stories and photographs linked within are the property of the original publishers.
Equal Eyes Copyright © 2015 Richard Burzynski, All rights reserved.

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