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9 February 2016 edition

Dear friends and colleagues,

From the UNThe UN Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights issued a statement of concern regarding the dangerous environment for gay and lesbian people in Malawi after a political leader made multiple statements calling for gay people to be killed. The politician was sued for 'inciting violence,' but the State chose not to prosecute. UN officials warn that the failure sends a message that killing lesbian and gay people is tolerated. 

UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) issued statements reprimanding France and Ireland for performing 'medically unnecessary and irreversible surgery' on intersex children. 

Working with the UN Free and Equal campaign, the United Nations Postal Administration has released commemorative stamps that 'celebrate the diversity of the LGBT community.' Available in English, French, and German, the stamps will be available online and at UN headquarters in New York, Geneva, and Vienna.

HIV, Health, and Wellness:  In the Philippines a nationwide study reveals a sharp rise in new infections and AIDS related deaths among gay men and other men who have sex with men, transgender women, sex workers, and people who inject drugs.

In the US a rigorous randomized trial found that testing for HIV can be improved significantly by offering opt-out tests to patients in emergency department settings. Meanwhile in the UK, another study has found that immediately treating men who test positive and offering PrEP to men who test negative would substantially reduce new infections among gay men. 

A new study on HPV found that people infected through unprotected oral sex are 22 times more likely to develop head and neck cancer later in life. 

In Australia Health Minister Jill Hennessy spoke out against gay 'conversion therapy,' noting that new legislation is being introduced to parliament to support 'zero tolerance' policy towards the practice.  

Let the Courts Decide:  The Supreme Court of India decided to refer to a five-judge Constitution Bench petitions challenging Section 377 of the penal code against the law criminalizing consensual same sex relations. 

In the Netherlands a Dutch court has fined a politician 1000 for 'unnecessarily offensive' and discriminatory statements he made about gay people.

The High Court in London ruled against a heterosexual couple petitioning for the right to register a civil partnership. Justice Andrews ruled that the Civil Partnership Act only applies to same-sex couples. 

From the World of Politics: Portuguese president Anibal Cavaco Silva blocked a new law that would have given adoption rights to same-sex couples and also would have allowed lesbians to receive fertility treatments.

In Indonesia, Mayor Ridwan Kamil 'reprimanded' the Islam Defenders Front for posting homophobic banners in the capital of Indonesia's West Java province. Meanwhile Indonesia's Minister of Research, Technology, and Higher Education said that LGBT students should be banned if they 'engage in disgraceful behavior like making love or showing affection.' 

The European Parliament passed a resolution on Crimea that strongly condemns 'unprecedented levels' of human rights abuses against all Crimeans. Furthermore, the Parliament expressed 'grave concern' regarding LGBTI Crimeans. In a separate report, the Parliament issued statements on human rights in Serbia and Kosovo, noting that, while progress has been made, discrimination and violence against LGBTI persons is still a matter of concern. 

The Politics of Union:  As Italy's parliament considered marriage equality legislation, several thousand marched in Rome both for and against the bill. In preparation for the vote, UK newspaper the Guardian reviewed the history of same-sex marriage and union laws across Europe.

In Australia politicians are divided over Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's plan for a public vote on marriage equality. The planned vote will delay movement on the issue until 2017 and will cost a reported $160 million. 

In Lithuania the Interior Ministry refused to grant the husband of a Lithuanian man a temporary residency permit after the couple was married in the Netherlands.

Fear and Loathing: Four men in Saudi Arabia were arrested in a raid of their home after the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice received tips that the men were living as 'married couples.' 

On the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, the UK's Holocaust Memorial Day Trust released a study on discrimination in Britain, which found one in six people have witnessed hate crimes based on sexual orientation in 2015.

Out of Central America, a new report highlights the extreme violence and discrimination faced by transgender people in Guatemala, EL Salvador, Honduras, Costa Rica, and Panama, noting that due to violence, the average life expectancy of El Salvadorian trans women is less than 35.

In Brazil violence against trans women continues with reports of four more women murdered in the last two weeks. In the US, 2016's first murder of a known transgender person has been reported—at least 22 trans murders were reported in 2015.

In the Name of Religion:  A US support group for Mormon mothers has called attention to suicide among LGBT teens—claiming that in their region 32 young Mormons have committed suicide since the Church enacted a new anti-gay policy.

A Unitarian Church in Manchester, England is baptising transgender people in their chosen genders.

From the UK, Sikh and LGBT activist Manjinder Sidhu looks to inspire and educate other South Asian LGBTIs. And from the US, evangelical author and LGBT activist Matthew Vines works to bring gay and trans people into conservative Christianity. 

Catholic author John L. Allen Jr. examined Pope Francis' shifting stance on same-sex civil unions as the Italian parliament prepares to vote.

Winds of Change:  Author and educator Linda Villarosa profiled the "new breed of proud and out African LGBT activists who are refusing to be silent."  Meanwhile the US special envoy for LGBT rights, Randy Berry, concluded his visit to Southern Africa and noted: “Change is not going to occur because the US wants it to. Change comes through those people working indigenously within those societies to produce a more equitable framework.” 

Author Zareer Masani—a self-described sexual migrant from India—described the changing attitudes of Indians towards homosexuality despite ongoing criminalization. Meanwhile, in the Indian state Karnataka, transgender people are fighting Section 36A of the State Police Act (introduced in 2011) which specifically targets transgender people under suspicion of "kidnapping or emasculating boys, committing unnatural offences, or any other offences.”
A new comprehensive survey in Hong Kong found that nearly all (91.8%) of surveyed young people believe that legislation to protect against LGBTI discrimination is necessary. 

On the March: In Germany LGBT communities and support groups have established special shelters to care exclusively for gay and lesbian refugees who are often targets of abuse and violence. 

The Austrian government distributed 'behavior guides' to refugees that use cartoons to comment on human dignity, democracy, violence towards women, and rights of children. The guide includes an image of same-sex kissing with the text:  "same sex partnerships are allowed in Austria. Women may live with women, men with men." 

From Turkey, LGBT Syrian refugees spoke out against the persecution they suffered under ISIS and their struggle to 'blend in' with straight Syrian exiles. From the Netherlands, gay Syrian refugees spoke about their surprise at facing abuse from other refugees within Dutch camps.  

School Days: School officials in Iceland are attempting to promote the Akurskóli primary school as a 'gender-neutral school' with gender-neutral bathrooms, an inclusive uniform policy, and lectures from a national queer organization. As principal Sigurbjörg Róbertsdóttir said, 'It's not up to us, the school, to force [trans students] or anybody else into a pre-designed form.'

In the US, the Department of Education will begin to publicly post colleges and universities who receive federal funds and have requested waivers allowing the school to discriminate against LGBT students and employees in the  guise of religious freedom.

Author and professor Georgiann Davis shared five ways parents can help and support their intersex children—without undergoing unnecessary genital surgery.  

Business and Technology:  In the US state of Indiana, city officials have confirmed that the state's Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which allowed businesses and organizations to discriminate against LGBT people, cost the capital city up to $60 million

In Spain, the Madrid Metro system announced plans to give away free annual travel passes to transgender people as part of a campaign to support those 'experiencing social exclusion.' The city has recently experienced a wave of suspected hate crimes against LGBT people.

In India, a new initiative was announced to train and employee LGBT community members as taxi drivers for 'Wings Rainbow.'

A report from YouTube says that 'coming out' videos are one of the most popular genres on the website, with ad revenue off this genre earning the company an estimated $1 million.

Sports and Culture:  The International Olympic Committee has recommended that transgender athletes be allowed to compete in the Olympics regardless as to whether they have undergone gender reassignment surgery. 

From Russia, reporter Katerina Patin explores how state-run news media spreads homophobia and fear through extreme misinformation. Meanwhile Russia's anti-gay propaganda law ensures that no opposing information is presented.

Out of Australia a new LGBT teen drama has already gained over 56,000 views on Youtube.

Indian actors Manoj Bajpayee and Rajkummar Rao, and director Hansal Mehta,  released a video supporting the movement to decriminalize homosexuality

South African pop star Toya Delazy won Best International Song at the Out Music Awards. 

Finally check out the 'Gay Sex Commercial' by Berlin filmmakers that hopes to 'give the ‪LGBT‬ community something to celebrate!
Jensen Byrne
"I've become disillusioned and even passive since the Supreme Court's 2013 ruling on Section 377. I'm just tired of speaking up. People don't realise how the law fuels social prejudice." 
~ Onir, Indian filmmaker as the Supreme Court reconsiders Section 377 of the penal code that criminalizes homosexuality.
Continue for excerpts from the articles
New stamps promoting LGBT equality worldwide unveiled at UN
The United Nations Postal Administration unveiled a set of six commemorative stamps to promote UN Free & Equal – a global UN campaign for LGBT equality launched and led by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

The new stamps mark the first time the United Nations has issued stamps with this theme. In an interview, the artist who designed them, Sergio Baradat said he was very influenced by art from the first quarter of the 20th Century. 

“One of the stamps represents someone who is transgender,” Mr. Baradat said, referring to the stamp that depicts a person with butterfly wings, an image he says represents a person “becoming who they really are, blossoming." "We live in a world where even though [developed] nations have embraced marriage equality [and] LBGT equality, we still have a far, far, far way to go, but we are making some strides,” he added. Read more via the UN
UN: Press briefing notes on Malawi
We are concerned by recent developments in Malawi, where the spokesperson of one of the country’s main political parties recently described gay and lesbian people as “worse than dogs” and called for them to be killed. 

Mr Msonda was subsequently charged under section 124(1)(b) of the Penal Code, which makes it a criminal offence to incite others to break the law.  He was due to appear before the Blantyre Magistrate Court today, 22 January, after a criminal case was initiated by two civil society organizations. 

Regrettably, the Director of Public Prosecutions filed a notice before the Chief Magistrate’s Court to discontinue the case, underlining that the State will not prosecute Mr Msonda. 

We are concerned that the failure to prosecute this case sends a dangerous message that inciting others to kill gay people is legitimate and will be tolerated by the authorities – in effect encouraging violent threats and attacks on the gay and lesbian community in Malawi. Read more via UN
IGM = "Harmful Practice" + "Violence": UN reprimands France + Ireland over Intersex Genital Mutilations
StopIGM.org warmly welcomes the historic, binding 2016 "Concluding Observations" of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) for France and Ireland.

This marks the first time that the Committee reprimanded two States over IGM practices at once, again recognising non-consensual, medically unnecessary, irreversible, cosmetic genital surgeries and other procedures on intersex children as a "harmful practice" and as "violence against children".

We particularly appreciate that the Committee specifically called on Ireland to "adopt legal provisions in order to provide redress to the victims of such treatment, including adequate compensation", and for France invoked the Joint General Comment No. 18 (2014) and No. 31 of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women on harmful practices, which also contain detailed stipulations regarding legislation and access to justice and redress for survivors, and highlight the necessity of developing a holistic policy. Read more via StopIGM.org
Philippines: No longer dodging the AIDS crisis
HIV infection rates are raising fears that the Philippines will be faced with a public health crisis that it has long escaped. Since the Philippines reported its first case of HIV in 1984, the island nation has had one of the lowest rates of infection in the world; less than 1% of its 100 million population has been infected with the virus that causes AIDS. But that may be changing.

Globally, new HIV infections have fallen dramatically in recent years, according to UNAIDS, the United Nations’ program to combat the disease. But in the Philippines, more than 20,000 new HIV infections were reported from 2010 to 2015 — more than four times as many as had been recorded in the 26 years before that.

Along with India and Pakistan, the Philippines is seeing new infections and AIDS-related deaths sharply rise among men who have sex with men and among transgender women, sex workers and people who inject drugs. Read more via LA Times
US: Opt-out screening can improve acceptance of HIV testing
Compared with active choice testing, opt-out screening can substantially increase HIV testing, and opt-in schemes may reduce testing, a new study has suggested.

"Our study provides evidence that small changes in wording can significantly affect patients' behavior and thus our understanding of their preferences. Specifically, modifying HIV testing defaults led to clinically and statistically significant differences in test acceptance percentages." 

"We found that active choice testing, although previously considered a form of opt-in testing, is a distinct category: compared with a strict opt-in scheme informing patients that they can request a test, simply asking patients if they would like a test increased test acceptance by 13 percentage points," the authors write.

In an accompanying editorial, Jason S. Haukoos. MD, and Sarah E. Rowan, MD, both from the University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora, emphasize that, "the study by Montoy and colleagues represents one of the largest trials to evaluate consent for HIV testing among emergency department patients, and the only one to do it in a randomized fashion but with particular focus on the efficacy of the various consent options." Read more via MedScape
UK: PrEP, plus increased testing and treatment, could prevent nearly half of HIV infections in gay men by 2020
A new British mathematical modelling study published in The Lancet HIV has found that adding pre-exposure prophylaxis for gay men at high risk of HIV to relatively modest increases in HIV testing, and immediate treatment for those diagnosed, could substantially cut the number of gay men infected by 2020. The researchers conclude that without these interventions, the number of gay men acquiring HIV is unlikely to decrease by 2020, even if the UK achieves the ‘90-90-90’ target of 73% of all people with HIV virally suppressed by this time.

The study, which was funded by the UK Health Protection Agency (now Public Health England) also finds that behavioural changes such as reducing the number of regular sexual partners could also make substantial inroads into HIV incidence but are less powerful as individual interventions.

It finds that increases in sexual partner numbers or condomless sex would substantially reduce the effectiveness of PrEP, testing and treatment, but even a complete cessation of condom use would not totally negate the effect of other interventions: only this, combined with a decrease in HIV testing, would do so. Read more via AIDSmap
Oral sex can raise risk for head and neck cancer by seven times
Oral sex can spread viruses that can cause head and neck cancers, according to a new study. The research shows a strong connection between the human papillomavirus (HPV), which can be spread through oral sex, and head and neck cancer. The virus can raise the risk of getting head and neck cancer by as much as seven times, and maybe by far more, scientists say. The study involved nearly 97,000 people in two studies, according to the researchers.

HPV accounts for 70% of head and neck cancer, according to experts. It is so prevalent that by 2020 it is predicted to beat cervical cancer as the main cancer caused by HPV.

Head and neck cancers were long thought to have been caused by smoking and drinking. But a sharp rise in the number of cases led doctors to speculate that there may be another cause, and the new study is the first to show conclusively that HPV-16 precedes the development of those cancers. The research, conducted by scientists at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, was published in 'JAMA Oncology'. Read more via the Independent 
Australia: Zero tolerance for gay 'conversion' therapy
The state government will attempt to crack down on so-called gay conversion therapy through a new public watchdog with the power to investigate people purporting to "cure" or suppress homosexuality. The move comes amid growing concerns that such practices remain prevalent in Australia – including alarming claims of shock treatment or aversion tactics being used in recent years in a bid to thwart same-sex attraction.

Legislation will be introduced into parliament later this year to establish a new watchdog – the Health Complaints Commissioner – with the power to investigate and sanction anyone claiming they can treat homosexuality.

While registered practitioners can already be investigated by authorities, the legislation will close a loophole that currently exists regarding unregistered practitioners making unproven claims that they can convert gay people. "If they are found to be making false claims and to be acting in a manner that puts people's physical, mental or psychological health, safety or welfare at risk, the Commissioner will be able to ban them from providing such services," said Health Minister Jill Hennessy. Read more via The Age
India: Supreme Court refers plea against Section 377 to five-judge Bench
Moved by arguments that a person cannot be branded a criminal for his sexuality, the Supreme Court referred a batch of petitions challenging Section 377 of IPC, a colonial era law criminalising consensual sexual acts of LGBT adults in private, to a five-judge Constitution Bench for in-depth hearing. A three-judge Bench of Chief Justice of India T.S. Thakur and Justices Anil R. Dave and J.S. Khehar gave full credence to arguments that the threat imposed by Section 377 amounts to denial of the rights to privacy and dignity and results in gross miscarriage of justice.

Giving an indication that the Supreme Court will consider the constitutionality of Section 377 with new eyes, Chief Justice Thakur told senior advocate Anand Grover, appearing for petitioner Naz Foundation, that the new Bench would not limit itself to the narrow confines of the curative law and conduct a comprehensive hearing of the arguments placed for the protection of the dignity and rights of the LGBT community.

With this, what had seemed to have been the last strand of hope for the decade-old legal fight for LGBT rights has suddenly transformed into a full-fledged battle cry with the Supreme Court indirectly accepting that its past decisions upholding Section 377 IPC needs a thorough relook. Read more via the Hindu
Netherlands: Court convicts, fines politician for anti-gay statements 
A Dutch court convicted former Amsterdam politician Delano Felter for comments he made in 2010 against homosexuals. He was fined one thousand euros by the court, which conditionally suspended half the amount for two years.

“The gay profile is simply too dominant. I think that there are too many gays in the government,” he told broadcaster AT5. These people with these sexual deviations must basically be contested by heterosexuals,” he said. The court found his comments “unnecessarily offensive,” and incited discrimination against a group of people.

Felter was the leader of the Republikeinse Moderne Partij, or Modern Republican Party, when he made the remarks on camera as part of a political debate. Read more via Netherlands Times
Portugal: The President blocks adoption laws for same-sex couples – just weeks before leaving office
The new law had passed through Portugal’s Parliament last last year, granting full adoption rights to same-sex couples, and allowing lesbian couples to receive medically assisted fertilisation. Portuguese President Anibal Cavaco Silva, of the centre-right Social Democratic Party, blocked the law just two months before he is set to leave office.

He claimed in a statement that the law doesn’t regard “the child’s best interest” as a priority, which he claims is more important than equality for gay couples. He added: “It is important that such a big change on a sensitive social topic is not entered into force without a broad public debate.”

The left-wingers who dominate the country’s Parliament will try to override Silva’s veto on the issue. Despite the stalling on the issue, many same-sex couples are already raising children together in Portugal under existing laws. Read more via Pink News
Indonesia: Mayor warns Muslim hardliners against harassing gays
Mayor Ridwan Kamil of Bandung, capital of Indonesia’s West Java province, has ordered the Islam Defenders Front (FPI), a hardline Islamic group, to take down ‘provocative’ banners targeting lesbians and gay men. The mayor’s orders came after FPI members raided boarding houses in the country’s third largest city where they believed gay people were staying and put up signs demanding that they leave.

‘I have reprimanded the FPI. They admitted what they did,’ the mayor said in a text message forwarded to Reuters by an aide. ‘Provocative banners have to be taken down.’

The FPI has harassed and ‘raided’ human rights training events as well as LGBT film festivalsover the years. While Indonesia has the largest Muslim population than any other country in the world, with approximately 95% of its population of 207 million identifying themselves as Muslim, the Southeast Asian country is a secular nation that recognizes six official religions. Read more via Gay Star News
Indonesia: Minister on back foot over anti-gay remarks
A minister has found himself on the receiving end of angry scorn and fierce criticism following comments he made attacking the LGBT community. Research, Technology and Higher Education Minister Muhammad Nasir took to his Twitter account @menristekdikti on Monday to clarify the statement he made on Sunday, in which he said that LGBT “corrupted the nation's morals”.

Nasir agreed that members of the LGBT community, as Indonesian citizens, were entitled to equality before the law: "But that does not mean that the state legitimizes the LGBT status. Only their rights as citizens must be guaranteed by the state," he tweeted on Monday to his 16,500 followers.

His earlier comments that LGBT elements should be barred from universities as there were "values and moral standards to uphold" met with a wave of public fury and criticism.

A petition issued on change.org by a student named Poedjiati Tan from Surabaya demands that Nasir withdraw his comments regarding LGBT and morality, as well as his calls for a ban on LGBT people within universities. Read more via Jakarta Post
European Parliament gravely concerned over situation LGBTI people in Crimea
The European Parliament adopted a resolution on the human rights situation in Crimea and the severe restrictions on the freedoms of expression, association and peaceful assembly.

The resolution starts out by strongly condemning “the unprecedented levels of human rights abuses perpetrated against Crimean residents” (paragraph 2) following the Russian annexation.

Tanja Fajon MEP, Vice-President of the European Parliament Intergroup on LGBTI Rights, reacted: “I am deeply concerned about the situation for LGBTI people in Crimea. With homophobic rhetoric coming from the highest levels, and violence going completely unpunished, it is no wonder that many see no other option than leaving the peninsula.” Read more via Intergroup on LGBT Rights

European Parliament calls on Kosovo and Serbia to step up efforts on LGBTI rights
The European Parliament adopted two of its annual progress reports for candidate and potential candidate EU countries. MEPs have assessed the rights of LGBTI people in Serbia and Kosovo, and recommended the countries to improve the situation.

Discrimination, hate speech and hate crime against LGBTI people, remain a strong concern for the Parliament in both countries. In this regard, the Parliament stresses its concern that the processing and investigation of such cases remains insufficient. Read more via Intergroup on LGBT rights
A history of same-sex unions in Europe
As Italy’s Senate prepares to vote on the introduction of civil unions, we take a look at the rights of gay and lesbian couples across the continent. Legal recognition of same-sex partnerships is far from uniform across Europe.
Even within the EU laws differ significantly. The bloc’s website describes the differences between the 28 member states as “huge”. Read more via Guardian
Italy: Thousands march for gay rights
A bill, which the Senate will start examining on Thursday, is the first to get to parliament. If approved, the draft legislation will enable same-sex couples to commit themselves to one another before a state official, to take each other's names and, in certain circumstances, adopt each other's children and inherit each other's residual pension rights.

"The first time I marched with these slogans, it was 10 years ago, and I was pregnant. I hope this time it works," said bank worker Costanza Tantillo, who joined the Rome protest with her partner and their two children, nine-year-old Beatrice and Ludovico, four.

Two women who marched nearby held up a sign that read: "Stella and Paola, we've been together for 30 years and you still don't acknowledge us." Protests had been planned for 90 towns and cities across Italy, under the slogan "Wake up Italy! It's time to be civil." Read more via The Local

Italy: Poor turnout for Rome anti-gay union protest
Tens of thousands of people gathered in Rome's Circus Maximus arena to protest against a civil unions bill for same-sex couples, a hot-potato issue for Prime Minister Matteo Renzi's government.

But while organisers had been hoping to attract one million people and authorities had prepared for 500,000, journalists at the scene estimated the numbers to be in the tens of thousands. Official numbers were not immediately available.
"Without limits, our society will go mad!" organiser Massimo Gandolfini told the "Family Day" rally, as grandparents, parents and children held up banners reading "Wrong is wrong" in the capital's ancient Roman chariot racing stadium. Read more via The Local
Lithuania: Refusal to recognise same-sex marriage for residence permit
Lithuania has refused to issue a temporary residence permit to the husband of a Lithuanian man. The country’s Migration Department refused to issue the permit to the Belarusian man who married his husband in the Netherlands.

The men have the option to appeal the decision within 14 days at a regional court. The Migration Department consulted with the Interior Ministry before making the decision, said the Department’s interim head Evelina Gudžinskaitė.

“The Ministry of the Interior responded that same-sex marriages are not allowed in Lithuania and such a marriage is not recognised in Lithuania,” she said. Foreign nationals can apply for residence permits on the basis of family reunification in Lithuania. A marriage does not have to have taken place in Lithuania to be recognised, but this is the first time where a same-sex marriage has been considered by the Department. Read more via Pink News
Australia: Politicians should not ignore public vote on marriage
Politicians should think very carefully before they “snub their nose” at the Australian people by refusing to implement their viewpoint on same-sex marriage, Liberal minister Steve Ciobo said today, after a conservative senator said he would not be bound by the result of a national plebiscite.

Following a marathon six-hour government party room meeting in Canberra last August, Tony Abbott announced it would be for “the people to decide” whether to repeal the 12-year-old law defining marriage as between a man and a woman.

However Eric Abetz, a former member of Tony Abbott’s cabinet, expressed his view that the plebiscite’s result should not necessarily sway MPs to vote in parliament one way or another. Mark Dreyfus, the opposition legal affairs spokesman, said Senator Abetz had made a “mockery” of the plebiscite and recommitted a Labor government to legislate same-sex marriage.

“This absurd notion makes a complete joke of our democratic process and renders a $160 million national plebiscite totally pointless,” Mr Dreyfus said. Read more via Guardian Australia
UK: Straight couple lose court bid to have civil partnership
Rebecca Steinfeld and Charles Keidan from London were told the Civil Partnership Act 2004 - the precursor to same-sex marriage being legalised in the UK - only applies to “two people of the same sex”. Earlier this month they argue to the High Court that everyone should be treated equally by the law, regardless of their sex or sexual orientation.

But Mrs Justice Andrews ruled that “just as the UK was under no obligation to extend marriage to same-sex couples, it has never been under an obligation to extend civil partnership to heterosexual couples”. Speaking after the ruling was announced, Steinfeld said a civil partnership “captures the essence of our relationship and values”.

“Civil partnerships are a modern social institution conferring almost identical legal rights and responsibilities as marriage, but without its history and social expectations,” she said. “We don’t think there is sufficient justification for stopping us or other opposite-sex couples from forming civil partnerships.” The couple, who campaigned for equal marriage laws, now must decide whether to take their case to the Court of Appeal, or the European Court of Human Rights. Read more via Buzzfeed
Saudi Arabia: ‘Married’ gay couples arrested in raid
Saudi security authorities have arrested four gay men in the capital Riyadh after they raided the flat where they were living as married couples. Acting on tips about the men living together after they held wedding parties attended by other homosexuals, members of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, the religious police, headed to the flat in Al Quds neighbourhood, Saudi news site Sabq reported on Tuesday, citing sources close to the Commission.

Homosexuality and cross-dressing are socially taboo and legal offences in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. Reactions from social media users to the raids mostly touched on the need to mete out tough punishment to those found to be involved so that it would act as a strong deterrent. Some users even suggested that those who took part in the party be secluded for five years in remote areas.

Lawmakers have been pushing for a crackdown on homosexuality, including the adoption of tougher immigration measures against expatriate homosexuals, including their prompt deportation. Read more via Gulf News
UK: One in six people have witnessed LGBT hate in the last year
Today marks 71 years since the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the Nazi concentration camp responsible for the genocide of over a million people, including those who identified as LGBT. As part of their continued mission to learn from the past and prevent it repeating itself, the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust has conducted a study to find out the current state of discrimination in Britain.

17% of respondents said they have witnessed a hate crime based on sexual orientation in the last year, while just over one in ten have seen an incident based on transgender identity. In total, 27% of people have witnessed a form of hate crime in the last year, and more than two thirds of those people said they regretted not challenging it.

The research focused on five characteristics that are often subject to hate crime – race or ethnicity, religion or beliefs, sexual orientation, disability, and transgender identity. It found that younger people were more likely to challenge hate crime, with 17% of 16-24 year-olds having intervened in hate incidents, compared to 13% of 25-34 year-olds, and just 7% of those aged 35-44. Read more via Gay Times
Brazil: The four latest known trans murders
A trans woman identified as ketelen C. Alves, 23, was shot twice in the early hours of Saturday (23) in a sex work location next to the Ministry of Finances (Sefaz) headquarters.

Another transwoman, Bruna Sousa A. C. de Menezes, 23, who was also in the sex trade was murdered by several unidentified individuals. The crime occurred on the night of Saturday 23, in the Pauzanes Sector. So far no suspects have been identified.

Another trans woman (transvestite as media insists) was killed on Sunday evening. According to Police, Dani R. M. S. Pereira, 20, was picked up by the rescue unit of the Fire Department, after being hit in the chest by a gun shot. The victim was taken to the North Emergency Unit (UPA), but was dead on arrival. In the police report, witnesses told the investigating officers the young woman was a transgender sex worker.

News of the fourth victim news was found on social media (FB) and states that Michely Fernandes, 30, a sex worker trans woman was shot to death on the 26th January.  No police report have been found on this murder nor anything in the media, so no more information is available at this time. Read more via Planet Transgender
US: Trans woman killed in Texas shooting
In a statement issued on Tuesday that identified Monica Loera, 43, by her birth name and used masculine pronouns, the Austin Police Department said Loera was shot around 3 a.m. local time on Jan. 22. She was taken to hospital, where she later died.

“She was funny, [and] beautiful,” a close friend told the Chronicle. “I never saw her as David, I saw her as Monica. She loved Madonna and she loved to cook.”

Loera’s death, which was Austin’s first homicide this year, comes after a spate of trans homicides in 2015, with at least 22 transgender or gender-nonconforming individuals killed. “It took only three weeks for the initial quiet of 2016 to be shattered by the murder of another trans person,” said Nell Gaither, president of Trans Pride Initiative, in a statement. Nineteen of the victims were individuals of color, according to the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs, which documented the deaths.

“It may be a new year, but it’s looking like, unfortunately we’re telling the same horrific story,” said Beverly Tillery, executive director of the New York City Anti-Violence Project. Read more via Buzzfeed
Central America: Report documents anti-trans violence 
A new report indicates transgender women in Central America remain particularly vulnerable to discrimination and violence. The Latin American and Caribbean Network of Trans People, which is known by the Spanish acronym REDLACTRANS, and its affiliate organizations in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Costa Rica and Panama began collecting data last March.

The report indicates the life expectancy of trans women in El Salvador is less than 35 years because of rampant violence. REDLACTRANS’ report also notes that police in Panama and other Central American countries routinely target trans women for abuse and other mistreatment. Many trans women also engage in sex work or so-called “survival sex” because of a lack of employment opportunities.

The report also notes trans women in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Costa Rica and Panama frequently lack formal education and access to health care because of their gender identity. “[The report’s] primary objective is to generate documented evidence about the violence suffered by our trans counterparts in the region,” reads the report. 

The report contains a series of recommendations that includes the passage of laws that “recognize and guarantee the right of trans people to freely exercise their gender identity.” Read more via Washington Blade
Turkey: Meet three LGBT Syrian refugees who fled ISIS brutality 
Millions of people have fled Syria due to the civil war, the rise of the Islamic State’s self-styled caliphate and the brutality of the Assad regime, desperate to escape regime barrel bombs, Islamic State sadism and persecution by other intolerant, hardline groups. And for Syria’s LGBT citizens, the threat of violence within ISIS-controlled regions is even greater.

Under ISIS rule, even those simply suspected of being gay have been publicly tortured and executed. The Islamic State’s penal code for those accused of engaging in sodomy dictates death is the penalty “for both the receiver and the giver,” Vocativ deep web analysts have found.

Even before the horrors of the Islamic State’s persecution of gays became a daily reality, Syrians were largely intolerant of any variation on “traditional” sexuality. In addition to being abused at home, Louay says he faced dangers on the street in his home city.

“I grew up with this curly blond hair and green eyes … I was the cutie in my family,” he says. By the time he was a teenager, when he could no longer conceal his sexual orientation, his looks and demeanor made him the subject of ridicule and beatings. He was also accused of being a “prostitute,” he says. “My life was in danger.” Read more via Vocativ
Netherlands: Gay Syrian refugee's hope of new life tested by Dutch camps
Omar had long dreamt of escaping discrimination in Syria, and drawn by exuberant images of the Gay Pride march in Amsterdam he hoped to find a new life in the Dutch city after fleeing war at home. But four months after arriving in the Netherlands, the 20-year-old was shocked to find himself the victim of insults, taunts and intimidation from his fellow travelling companions.

"Coming to the Netherlands, which is the country of freedom and expressing yourself, and being bullied there as a gay person, it was completely crazy," he said.

He is among more than 54,000 refugees who made it to the Netherlands in 2015, crossing by boat to Greece and then flying to Holland in September on a fake Spanish passport. "It was surprising that those people, after making a long journey, tiring journey, after they get there, they’re still capable of bullying and harassing me," he said.

Omar's experience has not been unique, as gay refugees have found themselves caught between the conservative cultural outlook of refugee families, and the more tolerant Dutch attitude. Read more via AFP
UK: Transgender baptisms offered at Greater Manchester church
Transgender baptisms are to be offered for the first time in the UK by a church in Greater Manchester. The New Chapel Unitarian and Free Christian in Denton, Tameside, agreed the move at its annual general meeting.

Jean Clements, the church's worship leader, proposed the change after meeting a couple who had a transgender child. The church was moved to make a change in order to help those in the same situation. Mrs Clements said: "I felt saddened by the fact that this family were being shunned by many mainstream churches.

New Chapel stressed it is for other Unitarian Chapels within neighbouring districts "to decide for themselves whether they wish to offer similar services". Read more via BBC
US: Unraveling the truth behind gay mormon youth and suicide
While there are conflicting reports regarding numerous suicides involving LGBT Mormon youth, there's no question that there's been an increase of suicidal teens and twenty-somethings following the Church's new antigay policy. Instituted in November, the new rules label any Mormon in a same-sex marriage as an "apostate," which could include excommunication from the church, and bars children of all same-sex couples from being baptized. 

Three months on, the mental effect on Mormon youth is becoming clearer. "Therapists have seen an uptick in clients who reported suicidal thoughts," the Salt Lake Tribune reported recently. "Activists have been bombarded with grief-stricken family members seeking comfort and counsel."

But many say the repercussions from November are much more serious. Wendy Montgomery, co-founder of Mama Dragons — a supportive group of Mormon women with LGBT children — says nearly three dozen queer and questioning youth have taken their lives since the new rules went into effect. Montgomery has been told 32 young Mormons have committed suicide recently, reports the Deseret News. Read more via the Advocate
Pope Francis sends mixed signals on civil unions for gay couples
Last weekend, tens of thousands of Italians took to at least 100 piazzas up and down the country to demonstrate their support for a measure currently before the Italian parliament, and backed by the governing center-left majority, to provide civil unions for same-sex couples along with full adoption rights.

On Saturday, another wave of demonstrators flooded Rome’s Circus Maximus to oppose that measure, in a rally known as Family Day. It was originally set for the square outside St. John Lateran, for centuries the seat of the papacy, but organizers say they were forced to relocate due to the high number of people planning to take part.

This is Italy, so from the beginning of the ferment, one question above all has loomed over the debate: “Where does Pope Francis stand?” Early on, it seemed plausible Francis might just sit this one out. Read more via The Crux
US: A fresh gay face is shaking things up in evangelical land 
When Matthew Vines burst onto the evangelical scene in 2012, he could have become another one-hit wonder of viral videos. A YouTube video of the 21-year-old outlining a scriptural defense of monogamous, Christ-centered same-sex relationships showed up on LGBT blogs and Facebook timelines all over.

Since then, he has established The Reformation Project, an organization aimed to change Christians minds on same-sex relationships, and he's published God and the Gay Christian: The Biblical Case in Support of Same-Sex Relationships. Three years later, Vines is an emerging voice in Christian conversations on the intersections of faith, gender, and sexuality.

When I met Vines in the beginning of this venture with The Reformation Project, he was eager, albeit a bit naïve. He wanted to change the world equipped only with theology that affirmed same-sex relationships: “In 10-15 years, I want to change 2 billion Christians' minds on same-sex relationships,” I once heard him say. While his goals haven’t changed, the timeline has — and so have his methods. Read more via the Advocate
UK: What I learned on my rocky road to coming out as gay to my Sikh family 
I was born into a traditional, conservative Sikh family, where neither of my parents spoke English very well. My home was troubled. I discovered my sexuality at the age of 11 and at first I did not know what it was. I was afraid everyday due to the arguing and thought I would be disowned.

I almost ran away from home. The arguments, the pain, the guilt and shame were overwhelming. I lived abroad for many years, working for human rights organizations. In the end, my coming out to my parents over text message was the easiest coming out story imaginable. They were relieved their son was talking to them properly, he loved them and was only away due to his own shame and guilt. They said they would provide for me and love me no matter what. Such a shock to me!

The crux of my work is to empower, inspire and educate South Asian LGBTIs to be able to have an easier coming out process whilst living the life they always dreamed of. I do this through the principles of the law of attraction. Love and forgiveness are key ingredients along with gratitude and prayer. Read more via Gay Star News
How African LGBT activists are risking their lives to bring tolerance to their homes
When Ugandan LGBT activist Clare Byarugaba woke up and turned on her phone on February 28, 2014, she was greeted by the same ominous message over and over: "Have you seen the newspaper?" A few days before, the president of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni, had signed into law a bill that punished certain sexual acts between two people of the same gender with life in prison and threatened incarceration for those who provided services and support to the LGBT community. In response, a popular tabloid newspaper ran Byarugaba's name and photo on its front page that day with the headline "Top Ugandan Gays Speak Out: How We Became Homos."

"All I could think of was, Oh, my God, my mom!" recalls Byarugaba, whose voice catches as she describes her mother's response: She threatened to hand her daughter over to the police. Byarugaba left town, fearing for her life after receiving death threats on her phone and via social media. She had seen what happened to out gays and lesbians in her country. In 2011 Uganda's most visible LGBT activist, David Kato, was bludgeoned to death with a hammer shortly after another tabloid splashed his photo on its front page under a banner that read, "Hang Them."

As the co-coordinator of the Civil Society Coalition on Human Rights and Constitutional Law, an LGBT advocacy group, Byarugaba worried that something similar might happen to her. Speaking out and organizing against her government's anti-LGBT rhetoric had made her vulnerable. Read more via Essence
Africa: “Seeds of hope” for gay rights in Africa, says special US envoy 
Southern Africa is moving towards greater acceptance of sexual and gender minorities though there is still a long way to go, the US first special envoy for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people said. Randy Berry, an openly gay senior diplomat, was speaking at the end of a 10-day visit to Malawi, Namibia, Botswana and South Africa.

“I believe in all of these countries, there are seeds of hope,” Berry said, speaking from South Africa.  “With government representatives, I found them to be sensitive to the issues, wanting to engage very clearly... After these consultations, I am quite hopeful.”

Berry said he was encouraged by governments’ willingness to discuss the issue and to give LGBT groups space to operate. “The fact that we can actually have a rational, coherent, quiet conversation is really important,” he said. “The problem we face in a global sense is one of ignorance and non exposure.”

Many Africans, particularly religious leaders, argue that decriminalising homosexuality would be akin to promoting it and that it goes against their traditions and culture. Being gay “is not a learned behaviour. It is not somehow produced by external forces. This is how people are born,” Berry said. Read more via EWN
India: How has the sexual landscape changed?
In the world's largest democracy, homosexual activity is still a crime punishable by life imprisonment. A few weeks ago, the Indian Parliament saw MPs of both major parties scurrying for the exits to evade a debate on this anachronistic ban, introduced by the British Raj in the 19th century.

The occasion was a failed attempt by a maverick backbencher to introduce a private member's bill legalising homosexuality. Indian politicians are in no hurry to debate a reform that would annoy religious extremists. And yet India, always a land of contradictions, allows Gay Pride marches in most major cities, has vibrant gay pressure groups and publications and officially accepts people who are transgender.

When I grew up in India's most cosmopolitan city, Bombay, in the 1960s, the very mention of homosexuality was taboo, and absolutely no one was “out”. Last month, I made a personal journey home for a BBC Radio 4 documentary, to explore how dramatically India's sexual landscape has changed in recent years. Read more via Independent
India: Transgender people say fight will not stop till Sec 36A repealed
Shreeja (name changed), a transgender who begs on the city streets, has been bullied and dragged by the cops to police stations, often for cases not related to her. Hers is not an isolated case. The police have been accused of committing at least 40 atrocities against transgenders, under the cover of Section 36A of the Karnataka Police Act, alleges the transgender community.

Section 36A is aimed at controlling the ‘objectionable activities’ of ‘eunuchs’. But activists have condemned this section, saying it is a violation of fundamental rights guaranteed under the Constitution. Akkai Padmashali and other activists met Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs T.B. Jayachandra recently, and he assured them that the government would remove the Section.

Akkai told Deccan Chronicle, “The government is quiet on the issue. We have met several leaders, but it has been of no use. Our fight will not end till Section 36A is fully repealed. I have trust in the present government, and hope that it will remove the offending section.” Read more via Deccan Chronicle
Austria: Government issues cartoons, behavior guides  to ‘explain’ gay people to refugees
The Austrian government is issuing a cartoon guide to refugees to explain Western views of homosexuality and consent. The country’s interior ministry started drawing up the leaflets following mass sexual assaults in Cologne, Germany, over the New Year.

Amid allegations that some of the men involved in the attacks were refugees, the country has drawn up the leaflets to introduce ‘Western values’ to those fleeing the Syrian conflict. A cartoon graphic from the leaflets features two men kissing and two women kissing with a big green tick. A picture of a man groping a woman has a red cross through it. Read more via PinkNews
Germany: LGBT groups plan shelters for gay refugees amid attacks
The Lesbian and Gay Federation in Germany (LSVD) says several incidents of discrimination and physical assaults against gay refugees have been reported in the past year. "Berlin officials identified 95 cases in the German capital alone between August and December 2015, mainly in refugee homes," Markus Ulrich from the LSVD told NBC News.

Now LGBT communities in Berlin, Nuremberg and other major cities are now planning to set up special shelters exclusively for gay and lesbian refugees. "We have been alerted to a growing number of insults and violent acts against queer refugees, including cases of rape," Marcel de Groot, manager of Berlin's gay counselling centre, Schwulenberatung, said.

The support organization estimates that "between 5 and 10 percent of the 70,000 refugees that arrived in Berlin last year were gay, lesbian or transsexual," he added. Schwulenberatung has had to find emergency accommodation for up to 70 people, mostly gay men, in private Berlin homes because "they had strong fears in the refugee shelters or became victims of attacks," de Groot said.

Social workers and volunteers believe that the estimated number of unreported cases could be even higher. "Many homosexual refugees do not trust police," said de Groot, because authorities in their home counties "often persecute them for their sexual orientation." Read more via NBC
Hong Kong: Majority now support anti-discrimination laws for LGBT people
A study commissioned by the Equal Opportunities Commission found that more than half of Hongkongers surveyed are in favour of legislation against sexual orientation, gender identity and intersex status discrimination, indicating a visible shift in public opinion over the past decade.

More than half – 55.7% – of the 1,005 surveyed agreed with enacting legislation – almost double the 28.7 percent who agreed in 2005. The shift was even more defined among young people – 91.8 percent considered legislation necessary, and nearly half – 48.9 percent – with religious views concurred. The findings of the Study on Legislation against Discrimination on the Grounds of Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Intersex Status were released on Monday.

The study also revealed the prevalence of discrimination against LGBTI in Hong Kong. In the study’s focus groups, LGBTI respondents feel that discrimination frequently takes place in areas of employment, education, provision of services, disposal and management of premises, as well as government functions. They also feel that they have little or no means of redress. They therefore saw legal protection from discrimination as the necessary first step in the protection of basic human rights and dignity. Read more via Hong Kong Free Press
Iceland primary school introduces gender-neutral toilets
An Icelandic elementary school has removed gender signs from its bathrooms in an effort to become “gender neutral”. The principal thinks that other schools should do the same: “One simply has to be conscious about the fact that we are not all the same and everybody has the right to be as they are,” says Sigurbjörg Róbertsdóttir, principal of Reykjanesbær’s elementary school, Akurskóli, where school officials have had gender signs removed from the school’s restrooms.

And removing gender signs from restroom isn’t the only change the school has brought about this year. It has also changed one of the instructions regarding swimming lessons, in a memo that is sent home to parents. Instead of the typical phrasing of “girls should wear swimsuits and boys should wear swimtrunks”, it simply states that children should wear appropriate swim-attire, without categorizing which gender should wear what.

The procedure itself wasn’t explained specifically to the children. However the school asked Samtökin ’78, the national queer organization, to come and do a lecture on prejudice. Read more via Gay Iceland
US: List of schools allowed to discriminate against LGBT students will be published online
Religious schools that receive federal money yet obtain federal exemptions to discriminate against LGBT students and employees will have their waivers posted online for public view, under a decision by the Department of Education. Announced in a letter to lawmakers, the decision comes one month after eight U.S. senators requested more transparency into the practice of granting school waivers from Title IX of the Education Act.

The 1972 law bans publicly funded schools from engaging in sex-based discrimination — which the Obama administration has applied to protect LGBT students — but Congress also provided an exemption for religious schools.

The assistant secretary for civil rights at the Education Department, Catherine Lhamon, told the senators on Wednesday that her office is planning to post the waiver requests and the government’s reply letters “on our website with a basic search tool so that applicants, students, parents, and others can be better informed about which educational institutions have sought and/or received a religious exemption.”

Led by Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon, the lawmakers said in December, “We are concerned these waivers allow for discrimination under the guise of religious freedom.” They continued: “At a very minimum, we believe that parents, students, and taxpayers have a right to know when institutions of higher education — as recipients of tax dollars — seek and receive exemptions under Title IX as well as the justification of those exemptions.” Read more via Buzzfeed
Five things you can do for your intersex child 
I was born with complete androgen insensitivity syndrome, an intersex trait that wasn’t discovered until I was a teenager. I’m externally female, meaning I was born with a vagina, so my parents had no reason or way to know that I was intersex. I was a teenager when doctors discovered, because of an unrelated event, that I had XY chromosomes, internal testes, and a blind-ended vaginal pouch.

When doctors told my parents I was intersex, they also instructed them to withhold the diagnosis from me in order to protect the development of my gender identity. My parents went along with the doctor’s recommendation, and a few years after my diagnosis, when doctors determined my breasts were sufficiently developed and I was of a reasonable height for a woman, my testes were surgically removed. At the time of the surgery, I didn’t know that the surgeon was removing my testes, because I didn’t even know I had them.

Given my experience as an intersex person, activist, and sociologist who studies intersex, I offer below a list of five things I hope you do for your intersex child. Read more via The Parents Project
US: Religious Freedom Act cost Indy up to 12 conventions and $60M
The furor surrounding last year's Religious Freedom Restoration Act might have cost the city of Indianapolis as many as 12 conventions and up to $60 million in economic impact, the city's nonprofit tourism arm confirmed Monday evening.

Though they come with some caveats, the numbers from Visit Indy represent the most tangible effects yet of a controversy that city officials and business leaders long warned would cause real damage to Indianapolis' reputation. When Gov. Mike Pence signed RFRA into law last March, it was met with fierce backlash from civil rights groups across the country, who worried that it would allow Hoosiers to discriminate against LGBT people on the basis of religion. Days later, a so-called "fix" was signed into law to clarify that the state law was not intended to override local civil rights protections.

"It’s baffling how delusional Mike Pence is on his claim that there’s no direct correlation between LGBT rights and the Hoosier economy," Drew Anderson, spokesman for the Indiana Democratic Party, said in a statement. "In fact, Pence’s out-of-touch ideology comes from an ideologue — not a governor. When he signed RFRA last year, Mike Pence threw Indiana directly into a $250 million economic panic, including Indianapolis’ $60 million.” Read more via Indy Star
Spain: Free metro passes for transgender people
Madrid's metro has announced it will give away a batch of free annual travel passes to transgender people in the city. Thirty-eight passes will be distributed as part of an effort to promote the social integration of transgender men and women across the Spanish capital, according to the metro's website. "Madrid Metro considers it a priority to raise awareness among the public so as to avoid any type of discrimination and prejudice," it says.

The scheme is a collaboration between the local government-run transport network and the non-profit Spanish Association of Transsexuals (AET), which campaigns for transsexual, transgender, gay and lesbian equality across Spain. The organisation doesn't specify how the recipients of the passes will be chosen, simply saying that they will be people "experiencing social exclusion".

Some social media users have reacted warmly to the plan, with one tweeting: "What a beautiful initiative! Everything that improves human relations is welcome!" But other comments are more negative. Some users think giving travel benefits to one group is unfair to everyone else, while others say that rather than being inclusive, the scheme singles out transgender men and women as different. Read more via BBC
Russia: Watching the country's strangest documentary 
When Boris Nadezhdin, a former Russian Duma deputy, suggested that homosexuality was biological, an audience member cried out, “that’s a lie!” reigning in the rogue guest. I watched “Sodom,” along with dozens of hours of Russian television, to try and understand the narrative on homosexuality being disseminated across the country. Major television networks, all of which are either state-owned or firmly under the influence of the state, spread a narrative that goes beyond homophobia into a surreal, parallel universe of logic. It is a world that has sprung up relatively recently. 

Four years ago, the idea that homosexuality was linked to pedophilia was something that only cropped up in news coverage of the handful of politicians who espoused that view. Now, across the full spectrum of Russian media, that theory is presented as scientific fact. TV hosts across the networks regularly discuss homosexuality as a problem that needs to be solved. Three quarters of Russians now consider homosexuality a psychological disorder, and theories for “treatment” are popular on-air conversation starters. Read more via Coda Story
Olympic body changes transgender guidelines
Transgender athletes look set to compete at the Olympic Games for the first time without first having to undergo gender reassignment surgery. 

Medical chiefs at the International Olympic Committee have recommended the change allowing transgender athletes to take part in this summer's Olympics in Rio de Janeiro as well as other international events. Read more via CNN
Australia: This new drama puts LGBT teens at the forefront Read more
India’s first LGBT taxi service announced Read more
South Afican Toya Delazy wins international LGBT music award Read more
German film: The first ever ‪Gay‬ Sex Commercial! Watch
Young Hollywood’s Public Coming Out Read more
Stars Urging India To Be More LGBT-inclusive 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 © 2016 Richard Burzynski, All rights reserved.

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