Thursday, November 21, 2019

A surprise lesbian proposal took place on Ellen's show

A woman proposed to her fiancee on Ellen’s show after she said that her parents refused to attend their wedding.

Kate Austin tweeted at Ellen earlier this month: “My parents aren’t going to attend my wedding because they don’t like that I’m gay! I need someone to walk me down the aisle and someone else for a ‘father/daughter’ dance.” She also included some pictures of the proposal, which took place in front of the Eiffel Tower.

During a segment on her show about funny tweets, Ellen shared Kate’s tweet. And Kate and Sarah were in her audience, so she pulled them on-stage.

After their initial shock, Sarah explained that their plan was that Sarah would propose and Kate would walk down the aisle at their wedding, but Kate surprised her with the proposal.

Ellen then said that she had a wedding gift for Kate and Sarah, which was their family and friends. Kate looked confused, and Ellen asked Sarah to explain the gift.

“I know you already proposed to me, but of course you know I had to get my piece in there,” she said. “And there’s no better way to do it than in front of our chosen family and of course our biggest role model, Ellen.”

“The way that you feel today is the way you make me feel every day and I can’t wait to spend my life with you,” Sarah added. Then she got down on one knee and she said: “Will you be my wife?”


Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Today is Transgender Day of Remembrance

The International Day of Transgender Remembrance has been observed annually since it was founded in 1999 by Gwendolyn Ann Smith, a transgender woman, to memorialise the murder of her transgender friend Rita Hester in Massachusetts.

Today, we take a moment to honour and remember all those who have lost their lives to inexplicable transphobic violence. 

Over the last year a total of 331 transgender people are known to have been murdered across the world, and there are likely to be many more that were not reported.

We must end this epidemic of violence against our trans siblings!


Nigeria named the most dangerous place for LGBT tourists, while Norway is the safest

A new study has found that Nigeria is the most dangerous country in the world for LGBT tourists, while the UK is the fourth safest.

Researchers at travel website Asher & Lyric compiled their list of the best and worst countries for tourists by examining LGBT rights in each country.

They examined issues such as the legality of same-sex relations in each country, whether same-sex couples can adopt there, and what protections are in place for LGBT workers.

Nigeria was given an ‘F’ grade and a score of 142. Homosexuality is illegal in Nigeria and is punished by up to 14 years in prison or the death penalty under Sharia law. Discussion about LGBT rights is also criminalised in Nigeria.

Qatar, Yemen, Saudi Arabi, Tanzania, Iran, Sudan, Barbados, Malaysia and Malawi rounded out the top 10 most dangerous countries for LGBT tourists to visit.

Meanwhile, Norway came out on top of the index as the safest country for LGBT travellers with a score of 307 and an ‘A’ grade. It was closely followed by Portugal and Belgium, with the UK in fourth place with a ‘B+’.

Check the whole list here.

Where you should avoid travelling if you’re LGBT, mapped

Monday, November 18, 2019

Unveiled the first-ever video game with a playable transgender hero

Tell Me Why by Xbox Game Studios is the first video game by a major publisher to have a playable transgender main character.

Announced at Microsoft’s X019 event in London, the video game is the newest episodic narrative adventure game from Dontnod Entertainment, the studio behind Life Is Strange.

Set in a small-town in Alaska, the three-chapter game lets you play as both 21-year-old twins Tyler and Alyson Ronan, who come together after 10 years of separation. Unlike most regular twins like myself, the pair are able to wield the powers you all somehow think twins genuinely have to share thoughts and memories, in this case, it helps to investigate a mystery from their apparently turbulent childhood.

Making history, Tyler is the first playable protagonist from a major game studio and publisher who is also transgender. Not only is the voice actor for Tyler transgender too, but Dontnod worked closely with both Microsoft and LGBT media advocacy organization GLAAD on the game, making sure to shape Tyler both as an authentic representation of the trans experience, and a nuanced, multi-dimensional character in his own right. 

Watch the trailer below.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Not a step back in Spain!

Last night, the headquarter of the LGBT association in Girona, Espai LGTBI, was attacked and the glass door was broken, which is a new homophobic attack in Spain.

In recent times, the acts of intolerance and homophobic attacks have multiplied under the umbrella of the growth of the far right party VOX and its shaming rise in the elections to Spanish parliament.

Spain approved same-sex marriage in 2005, it is one of the nation tops in the list of countries most accepting of homosexuality, and it is also one of the most LGBT-friendly country according to the ILGA index, but the attacks and hate crimes against the LGBT community are multiplying at an alarming rate in the last months.

Spain has to say enough before it is too late, authorities and everybody have to stand together in front of fascism and to defense the rights of LGBT community, because they are the rights of the whole society.

LGBT rights in Spain, not a step back! Stop homophobia!

We exist and we will not hide into the closet never again!

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Hong Kong Pride banned for the first time

For the first time, the LGBT community in Hong Kong has been banned by police from marching in its annual Pride parade amidst violent protests in the city.

Organisers of the march were told that the event on November 16 would be reduced to a standstill gathering. Director of the parade’s organising committee, Yeo Wai-wai, said the police had informed them just 48 hours before the event, rather than the usual month in advance, so they were left with little time to inform guests.

The police cited disruption in other areas amidst violent protests against the now withdrawn 2019 Hong Kong extradition bill as the cause of the ban. Yeo Wai-wai said: “The police have been clamping down on freedom. Sexual minorities are no exception.”

The government has also imposed a mask ban to deter violent protesters, but this could discourage people joining the Pride event as LGBT people who have not come out to their family and friends often wear masks to protect their identities.

In October, a Hong Kong court turned down a judicial challenge against a government policy which denies civil partnerships to same-sex couples. Amnesty International described the court’s ruling as “a bitter blow” to Hong Kong’s LGBT community, who had hoped the city would follow the lead of Taiwan, which recently became the first country in Asia to legalise same-sex marriage.

Thousands take part in Hong Kong Pride every year

Friday, November 15, 2019

Suicide rates fall almost half after gay marriage legalised in Sweden and Denmark

Denmark was the first country in the world to allow civil unions for same-sex couples in 1989, and Sweden in the same in 1995. Same-sex marriage was legalised in Sweden in 2009, and in Denmark in 2012.

The joint study by the Danish Research Institute for Suicide Prevention and researchers from Stockholm University used data from national population registers in Denmark and Sweden.

Comparing two periods 13-year periods, 1989 to 2002 and 2003 to 2016, they looked at deaths by suicide of people in same-sex couples during the time both countries legalised civil partnerships and the time they both legalised same-sex marriage.

Suicides among those in same-sex partnerships fell by 46 percent between the two periods. This is partly due to improved understanding of mental health, as suicide rates also fell by 28 percent among heterosexual couples, but researchers believe reduced stigma influenced by same-sex marriage contributed to the huge drop.

The study states that with the passage of time, legalisation of same-sex marriage and the expansion of rights and protections to LGBT people, they become much more accepted in both Nordic countries.

View the full text here.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Police arrest 127 people during raid of LGBT bar in Uganda

Authorities in Uganda rounded up and arrested 127 people in the raid of Ram, an LGBT-friendly bar in Kampala, according to activists on the ground. Ram is the only LGBT-friendly bar in the city.

Just last month, Ugandan leaders sought to revive the internationally condemned “kill the gays” legislation around the same time that police in Kampala arrested 16 men suspected of engaging in homosexual acts, forcing them to undergo anal exams.

Meanwhile, OutRight said at least four LGBT individuals in Uganda have died in hate-related attacks. “The resurfacing of the anti-homosexuality bill in a country which already prescribes life imprisonment for same-sex relations could only have had one intention — to increase hate and stigma against LGBT people, putting them at heightened risk of arbitrary detention and attack,” said Jessica Stern, executive director of OutRight.

Same-sex relations have been criminalized in Uganda since British colonial times. Articles on “unnatural offenses” and “indecent practices” have been retained in the Penal Code since independence. “Carnal knowledge against the order of nature” between men carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Most LGBT students feel unsafe at school in Ireland

A shocking new report on LGBT teenagers in Ireland has revealed that almost three quarters (73 percent) feel unsafe at school.

The latest research by the activist group BeLonG To Youth Services is the largest survey ever conducted on LGBT young people in the Irish education system. It involved nearly 800 LGB people between the ages of 13 and 20 from all 26 counties in the Republic of Ireland.

The alarming findings show that 77 percent of LGBT teenagers experience verbal harassment (name calling or being threatened), and 38 percent experience physical harassment (being shoved or pushed).

And 11 percent experience serious physical assault (punched, kicked or injured with a weapon) based on their sexual orientation, gender or gender expression.

The study suggests that bullying is even more extreme in cases of transgender students, as 55 percent reported hearing transphobic remarks compared to 48 percent with homophobic remarks.

They are really bad news! Urgent action needed!

Monday, November 11, 2019

Adam Rippon celebrates birthday with a skate performance

Olympic figure skater Adam Rippon turned 30 years old today, and celebrated by taking to the ice for a skate to Ben Platt’s cover of Joni Mitchell’s “River”, from the Netflix show The Politician.

Adam said: “Today is my 30th birthday. I couldn’t be more grateful for everything and everyone in my life. Thank you for always sending love and positive energy my way. I hope I’m always able to do the same for you. I wanted to do something fun for myself so I asked one of my old skating choreographers, Cindy Stuart, to put this together with me. She is amazing. And Ben Platt is also amazing (duh) and when I heard him do a cover of this song I knew I had to skate to it. A huge thank you to On Ice Perspectives for putting it all together ❤️”

Congrats dear Adam!!!

Watch Adam's video below:

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Police has to protect the screening of a gay movie in Georgia

Anti-LGBT demonstrators rallied in Tbilisi, capital of the nation of Georgia, to protest the opening of a gay-themed movie.

Hundreds of people, some holding crosses or other religious icons, blocked a road leading to the theater showing And Then We Danced, a film about a love affair between two young male Georgian ballet dancers. The film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in May and was well-received there and at other festivals. 

But Georgia’s Orthodox Church and other homophobic forces in the conservative nation have condemned it and said it promotes sin. Some burned a Pride flag, while others threw smoke bombs and firecrackers in the direction of the theater or tried to force their way in. Riot police stopped them from entering the venue.

Police arrested 12 demonstrators. One of them had thrown a stone that hit a young woman who was trying to see the movie; she was taken from the scene by ambulance. The other arrestees had sought to force their way into the theater.

The film’s director, Levan Akin, denounced the violence in a social media post. “It is absurd that people who bought tickets need to be brave and risk getting harassed or even assaulted just for going to see a film,” said Akin, who was born in Sweden but is of Georgian descent.

Georgia’s Interior Ministry urged everyone to follow the law and avoid conflict, and said the protests did not lead to cancellation of the screenings. “All movie shows scheduled for today in Tbilisi have started and are under way,” said a statement issued by the ministry.

Watch the movie's trailer below:

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Leonardo da Vinci, a gay man in the Renaissance?

Everybody knows a great deal about Leonardo da Vinci’s interests in botany and human anatomy; about his explorations of flight and war machines; of his skills as a painter, and even his reputation for leaving projects unfinished. But what do we know of the man, of his passions, of Leonardo in love?

Five hundred years after his death, a new opera celebrates a more private side of the Renaissance master. The work Leonardo of composer Alex Mills and librettist Brian Mullin, focuses on the relationship between the great artist and two of his assistants.

One, Gian Giacomo Caprotti, known by Da Vinci as Salaí aka ‘Little Devil’, was a boy from a poor background who entered the workshop aged 10 in 1490, when the master was in his late 30s. The other, Francesco Melzi, came into Leonardo’s life in around 1505. This young man, by contrast, was from a noble Milanese family, and developed a role in the workshop akin to private secretary.

The opera charts the “shifting triangle that Leonardo had with these two young men,” says Mullin. “Leonardo moves from one relationship to the other. It seems there was a private drama that had been playing out from one figure to another.” To both composer and librettist, the relationships appear to have been more intense and profound than simply artist and assistants.

Speculation as to Leonardo’s sexuality is a centuries-old pastime. Leonardo scholars and academics conclude he very likely was gay, everything points toward that. Aged 23, Leonardo was among four artists publicly accused of sodomy. “It is not known for certain if he went to jail,” says Mullin. “But that public shaming may have encouraged Leonardo to turn in on himself.”

The result of this inward gaze, Mills explains, is that “we don’t know much about Leonardo the man. In some ways it doesn’t matter what his sexuality was, but of course in trying to get into his mind it goes with the territory.”

A recent biography by Walter Isaacson is more blithe in its summation of Leonardo as “illegitimate, gay, vegetarian, left-handed, easily distracted, and at times heretical.” It is this vision of the artist in his younger days that will be brought to life in a TV drama staring Aidan Turner, scheduled for broadcast next year.

Aidan Turner is starring a young Leonardo in a new TV series

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Danica Roem is first trans person reelected to a state legislature

Transgender woman Danica Roem has been reelected to the Virginia state legislature despite a cruel advertising campaign that targeted her for her gender identity.

Roem captured 57 percent of the vote to beat anti-LGBT Republican opponent Kelly McGinn in northern Virginia’s 13th House District. In 2017, Roem had unseated one of the chamber’s most homophobic and transphobic members, Bob Marshall.

Roem’s reelection came after the anti-LGBT Family Foundation Action hate group targeted her online with Facebook ads where she was attacked for her gender identity.

The reelection of Dawn Adams, a lesbian, to the Virginia House was also key to the the Democrats winning a majority there. Like Roem, she had been heavily targeted by Republicans. Mark Levine and Mark Sickles, two gay men in the House, won reelection in relatively safe districts, as did Adam Ebbin, a gay state senator.

With the Democrats controlling both chambers, it's likely that Virginia will finally add sexual orientation and gender identity to its nondiscrimination law. Republican leaders in the House and Senate had refused to allow a vote on legislation that would accomplish this. With this new majority, these critically important protections will finally pass into law.

Congrats Virginia!!!

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Pete Buttigieg slams Trump adoption decision as 'huge step backward' on LGBT rights

The Trump Administration kicked off National Adoption Month by attacking LGBT families.

The Department of Health and Human Services announced a new rule that would allow adoption agencies to reject same-sex couples and rainbow families on the basis of religious freedom.

The proposed regulation would nullify an Obama-era policy that prohibited federally funded agencies from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Democratic presidential candidate Mayor Pete Buttigieg has slammed Donald Trump’s decision to allow publicly funded adoption agencies to discriminate against LGBT families.

“It’s a huge step backward,” Buttigieg said. “It’s bad enough that discrimination is taking place across the country, but when discrimination is being supported with federal funds, it takes away, first of all the movement justice and equality, but also an opportunity for the federal government to show leadership in advancing equality.”

Children should never be denied the opportunity to join a stable and loving family.

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Half a million people attend Buenos Aires Pride Parade 2019

Half a million of revellers have marched through the streets of Buenos Aires for the annual pride parade to celebrate queer diversity and also demand rights for the LGBT community.

The 28th edition of the parade converted almost the entire Argentine capital into a venue to celebrate freedom as participants began to gather in the morning at the Plaza de Mayo.

In Argentina, the march is held in November commemorating the establishment of "Nuestro Mundo" (Our World), the first gay group to begin operating in the South American country in 1967.

The first march in 1992, led by Carlos Jáuregui, attracted 300 people, many wearing masks to conceal their identity. More than twenty five years later, Buenos Aires has become the LGBT destination of choice in Latin America and the annual Orgullo (Pride) Parade attracts more and more people from all over the world.

In 2010, Argentina became the first country in Latin America to legalise gay marriage. Argentina became a world leader in transgender rights in 2012 when it gave people the freedom to change their legal and physical gender identity simply because they want to, without having to undergo judicial, psychiatric and medical procedures beforehand. 


Buenos Aires hosts one of the largest
Pride Parade in South America

Friday, November 1, 2019

My Heroes for Halloween

This 2-minute digital Public Service Announcement (PSA), produced by the team at Landwirth Legacy Productions, as means to challenge gender stereotypes when it comes to children's Halloween costumes.

In it, a happy family prepares for Halloween by carving a few pumpkins together. Mom holds up the two superhero costumes her son and daughter requested for trick-or-treating: Batman and Wonder Woman. The kids grab them and head upstairs to change. Dad has a worried look on his face. "Their costumes are going to look awesome," his wife reassures him. 

Later, the parents watch from a distance as their children trick-or-treat at a neighbors house. "Look at you two! You look great," the neighbor says to the two young superheroes as she hands them candy. "Thank you for keeping our streets safe."

Mom and Dad look relieved, but it's only once they get into bed when we realize why. Their daughter was the one wearing the Batman costume and their son the Wonder Woman one. 

Considering people dress up as everything from a hotdog to a demon, a little girl dressing up a fictional male character and a little boy dressing up as his favorite female superhero shouldn't be a big deal. But one look at the comments on this video, and you'll see it definitely still is. Everyone should be able to be whoever they want to be, and not have to worry about whether their decision fits into stereotypical gender roles. 

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Support for LGBT rights grows in Europe

European Commission released the new special edition of the Eurobarometer on discrimination. Its chapter 3 is focused on LGBT rights.

More than three quarters of respondents (76%) agree LGBT people should have the same rights as heterosexuals people, with the majority (51%) saying they "totally agree". More than seven in ten (72%) agree there is nothing wrong in a sexual relationship between two persons of the same sex, with 47% totally agreeing. Finally, almost seven in ten (69%) agree same sex marriages should be allowed throughout Europe, with 45% saying they "totally agree" with this.

Since 2015, respondents have become more accepting of each of these aspects of equal rights for LGBT people in Europe. They are more likely agree same sex marriage should be allowed throughout Europe (+8 pp), that LGBT people should have the same rights as heterosexuals (+5% pp) and that there is nothing wrong in a sexual relationship between two persons of the same sex (+5 pp).

Although overall support for these aspects of LGBT rights and relationships is strong, there is considerable variation between countries in Europe. Almost all respondents agree LGBT people should have the same rights as heterosexual people in Sweden (98%), the Netherland (97%), Spain (91%) and United Kingdom (90%). In contrast, only think in the same way 31% in Slovakia, 38% in Romania and 39% in Bulgaria.

An overview of all these aspects shows respondents in Sweden, the Netherlands, Spain and Denmark are consistently amongst the most likely to agree with LGBT rights and relationships, while those in Latvia, Slovakia, Romania and Bulgaria are consistently amongst the least likely to do so.

Learn more here.

Sweden, the Netherlands and Spain are the
countries where LGBT equality is majority

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Bogotá elects first woman and openly lesbian as mayor

Colombia's capital city elected its first female and openly lesbian mayor in what is being hailed as an important advancement for both women and LGBT rights.

Journalist-turned-politician Claudia López won the race for mayor of Bogota on a platform promising to combat corruption and advance equal rights for minority communities. The Alianza Verde candidate captured over 1.1 million votes, or about 35 percent of the vote, defeating runner-up Carlos Galán by 2.7 percentage points.

With her victory, Claudia also becomes the first openly gay mayor of a capital city in Latin America, a region slowly advancing in improving LGBT rights but where long-standing cultural biases and inequality remain barriers.

"This is the day of the woman," she said to a jubilant crowd. "We knew that only by uniting could we win. We did that. We united, we won and we made history!"

In 2013 Claudia briefly left Colombia after receiving death threats for her research on paramilitary activity in politics. She has long fought against corruption in Colombia and in August 2018 tried unsuccessfully to pass a citizen-driven anti-corruption bill.

Claudia’s brash style of speaking and strong opposition to Colombia’s right-wing politicians made her popular with left and centre voters, but public opinion on her election was mixed. Conservative former President Álvaro Uribe acknowledged his party's setback, stating on Twitter that "I recognize the defeat with humility."


Monday, October 28, 2019

Queen Elizabeth vowed to tackle discrimination against the LGBT community

Queen Elizabeth’s speech at State Opening of Parliament genuinely focused heavily on the logistics of the Brexit, but it also included a line of fierce support for the UK's LGBT citizens.

She said: “Our government will surely make further progress to tackle the gender pay gap and discrimination. People are usually discriminated on the basis of their race, faith, gender, disability, or sexual orientation.”

This was for the very first time, LGBT rights were mentioned by Queen during a speech, since 2003. Earlier, she vowed to increase “equality and social justice. All by bringing forward legislation on the registration of civil partnerships between same-sex couples.”

after Queen Elizabeth gave the assent to the law

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Over 200,000 participants in Taiwan Pride Parade 2019

This year is the first LGBT Pride parade since Taiwan became the first Asian country to legalize equal marriage. It is estimated that over 200,000 people were in attendance throughout the day, with visitors from approximately 100 countries.

Taipei’s LGBT parade has become the largest in Asia since its initiation in 2003, drawing visitors every year from countries worldwide to join the festivities and experience the island’s vibrant civil society. 

The 17th LGBT parade focused on the theme, “Together, Make Taiwan Better,” calling for compassion and care among LGBT communities and the general public.

There were two stages (at Taipei City Hall Plaza and Ketagalan Boulevard), six ‘teams’ for each color of the rainbow, 24 floats and approximately 180 groups officially registered for the parade. Five flags representing bisexual, trans, pansexual, asexual and intersex groups led the teams throughout the route.

Last May 17, International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, Taiwan has become the first country in Asia to legalise same-sex marriage.

Taipei host the largest Pride parade in Asia

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Drag Queen Story Hour

Drag Queen Story Hour (DQSH) is just what it sounds like, drag queens reading stories to children in libraries, schools, and bookstores. 

DQSH captures the imagination and play of the gender fluidity of childhood and gives kids glamorous, positive, and unabashedly queer role models. 

In spaces like this, kids are able to see people who defy rigid gender restrictions and imagine a world where people can present as they wish, where dress up is real..

“Drag Queen Story Hour is a fun and important program that celebrates diversity in the way that children may dress and act. It encourages children to look beyond gender stereotypes and embrace unfettered exploration of self. Programs like DQSH encourage acceptance of difference and help to prevent bullying, while providing an enjoyable literary experience,” told Judy Zuckerman, director of Youth and Family Services, Brooklyn Public Library.

DQSH events are happening all over the world at libraries, schools, bookstores, museums, summer camps, afterschool programs, and other community spaces. Each chapter is independently operated and funded.

Find an event near you and make donations here.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Mayor Pete jumps to second in Iowa, according latest poll

Mayor Pete Buttigieg is building momentum in Iowa, according to the latest Iowa State University/Civiqs poll. Of likely caucus-goers, 20% said Buttigieg is their top choice among the field of Democratic presidential candidates. That moves him to second in the poll, up from fourth in September, just behind Sen. Elizabeth Warren who maintained her lead at 28%.

The Iowa State University/Civiqs poll surveys the same pool of voters each month leading up to the Iowa Caucuses to understand how voter preferences are shifting. Dave Peterson, a professor and Whitaker Lindgren faculty fellow in political science who organized the poll, says Buttigieg’s ground game in Iowa is paying off.

“You can attribute some of his momentum to basic retail politics. Buttigieg is incredibly well organized and is spending a lot of resources in Iowa. His presence at the Iowa Steak Fry last month was better than any other candidate,” Peterson said.

Former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders were tied for second in the September poll. Sanders is now third with 18% and Biden is fourth at 12%. The online poll of 598 likely caucus-goers also asked voters to list the candidate they do not want to win the nomination, Biden and Sanders topped this list.

The online survey was sent to selected members of the Civiqs research panel. Likely caucus attendees were identified as those who responded they would “definitely” or “probably” attend the Iowa Democratic Caucuses and identified as Democrats or independents. An oversample of Democrats and independents were selected to produce a larger number of likely caucus attendees.

Demographic data were collected in previous Civiqs surveys. The results for registered voters are weighted by age, race, gender, education, party and congressional district to be representative of registered voters in Iowa. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 5%. Results of the next poll are expected in mid-November.

Besides, 70% of voters in the US would vote for a gay man as president, a poll found. The poll, which was conducted by Quinnipiac, found that 85% of Democrats and 46% of Republicans were willing to see a gay man become president.

The next first family?

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Hong Kong court rules against same-sex marriage

A Hong Kong court turned down the city’s first judicial challenge for same-sex marriage and civil union partnerships, but urged the government to “undertake a comprehensive review” to save time and money from court actions arising from discrimination.

The court found that the evidence in the case was not "sufficiently strong or compelling" enough to require defining marriage "as including a marriage between two persons of the same sex."

It considered that the existing laws did not cover same-sex marriage, adding it would be “beyond the proper scope of the functions and powers of the court to change a social policy on a fundamental issue”.

The ruling can still be reviewed in Hong Kong's higher court at a later date.

Hong Kong does not recognise same-sex marriage in general, except for limited purposes, such as taxation, civil servants’ benefits, or application of dependent visas if a couple has married overseas, mostly achieved through legal challenges in the past few years.

Hong Kong's government defendes the city's ban on same-sex unions after neighbouring Taiwan legalised gay marriage in an unprecedented first for Asia.

last may 2019, the first in Asia

Monday, October 21, 2019

Northern Ireland set to legalize same-sex marriage

Campaigners who fought for decades to end Northern Ireland's same sex-marriage ban prepared on Monday for a momentous change to the law at the stroke of midnight.

An overwhelming vote by British lawmakers in July to compel the government in London to overhaul the law if Belfast's devolved executive had not been restored by October 21.

Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK where gay and lesbian couples cannot marry, after same-sex weddings were legalised in England and Wales in 2013 and in Scotland the following year. The first same-sex marriages in the Republic of Ireland took place in 2015, after the country voted for reform in a referendum.

A survey found almost 70% of people in Northern Ireland support same-sex marriage.

It's time Northern Ireland!

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Olympic gold medalist Kerron Clement comes out as gay

Olympic gold medalist Kerron Clement came out as gay on National Coming. The American track athlete told he was “tired of loving in the dark.”

“I have been through what a lot of people have been through which is being afraid of being who you are,” he said. “I struggled with my sexuality for 17 years. Over time, as you get older, you care less. Now it’s time to just be yourself and be free. That’s what I’ve become, free.”

Clement competed in the 2008 and 2016 Olympic Games, in Beijing and Rio de Janeiro, respectively. The track star won gold and silver medals in 2008, and another gold medal during his Olympic return. 

“I have a global brand backing me,” he added, mentioning the difficulty some other athletes have had in the past being supported by institutions after sharing their stories publicly. “It’s absolutely amazing. I wish all companies would do.”

With the love from his community of family and friends, Clement said he’s now experiencing a level of freedom and not walking around worried that someone might discover his “secret.”

Be free and proud Kerron!!!

Friday, October 18, 2019

John Bercow declares trans rights are human rights in passionate speech

John Bercow, the speaker of the House of Commons, proudly declared that “trans rights are human rights” at the 2019 PinkNews Awards.

Bercow took to the stage to accept a Special Award in recognition of his tireless support of LGBT issues during his 22-year political career.

He was honoured by his US counterpart, speaker Nancy Pelosi, who called him “a steadfast ally and a committed fighter in the struggle to end discrimination and honour the dignity and worth of every human being”.

In his acceptance speech, Bercow recalled the journey to legalising same-sex marriage, and compared this to the current struggle faced by trans and non-binary people today.

“From the criminalisation of a type of love 50 years ago to almost complete legal equality today, that is one hell of a journey,” he said.

“But as others have noted, I feel I must acknowledge that there is still work to be done, work to be done on trans rights, because trans rights are human rights.”

His words were met with a tremendous applause from the audience of LGBT advocates, celebrities and politicians.


Thursday, October 17, 2019

A gay guy faces prison for wearing shorts in a picture in Saudi Arabia

A gay social media personality from Saudi Arabia says he is facing prison for posting a picture of himself in leopard print short shorts on Twitter.

Suhail al-Jameel, 23, posted a statement saying authorities had charged him with sharing nudity online, after initially detaining him for wearing shorts at the beach on October 6.

"In 2019 LGBTQ are not welcome in Saudi Arabia, you must live in secret and can't live in peace. You want tourism but you won't give us freedoms," al-Jameel, who has over 171,000 Twitter followers, wrote.

"I take a photo of myself wearing shorts at the beach and I go to jail for wearing shorts. Then the police change my charges to electronic crimes for sharing photos of nudity. How am I nude if I am wearing shorts on a hot beach?"

al-Jameel openly documented his sexuality on Snapchat and Twitter and posted makeup tutorials, dance videos, and images in revealing outfits. 

Saudi Arabia is among the countries in which homosexuality is illegal and consensual same-sex sexual activity remains punishable by death. 

The "infamous" picture

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Harry Styles releases a ‘bisexual anthem’ on National Coming Out Day

After months of hints and teases about new, sexually charged music, Styles unleashed the thirst-quenching video for his new single, ‘Lights Up’.

Filmed in Mexico, the clip finds the ex-One Direction singer topless and glistening with sweat, as he writhes with a scantily-clad crowd of men and women.

Released on National Coming Out Day, the track features Styles singing about “step[ping]into the light” of a new identity and “never going back”.

Fans put two and two together and got 100 percent queer, with many hailing the track a “bisexual anthem”.

Watch it below:

Monday, October 14, 2019

Hungary's opposition wins in Budapest and more cities

Liberal opposition candidate Gergely Karacsony won Budapest’s mayoral election, beating the ruling party Fidesz and sending a strong message to the nationalist-populist government of Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

With most ballots counted, Karacsony had the support of more than 51 per cent of voters in the capital of Hungary. Ten of 23 major cities also fell to opposition parties in local elections billed as a trial run for taking on Orban as a united front in parliamentary elections in 2022.

"October 14 marks the start of a new era for Hungary in its quest to regain its freedom", Karacsony said in his speech. "The victory was not mine or the opposition parties but that of Budapesters who were fighting to win back the capital," he added. 

Is this the beginning of the end of Orban’s power? 

Sunday, October 13, 2019

National Coming Out Day celebrates 30 anniversary

For three decades, every October 11, the LGBT community and its allies have celebrated National Coming Out Day (NCOD), a positive celebration of queerness that encourages folks to share their truth with the world and take a stand against homophobia. But how did NCOD start?

On October 11, 1987, over half a million people marched for queer rights in Washington, D.C., an event that resulted in the founding of several LGBT organizations. The progressive momentum of the movement continued over the following year, and LGBT activists Rob Eichberg and Jean O’Leary decided to create National Coming Out Day on the march’s first anniversary. NCOD’s logo was famously created by late artist and HIV activist Keith Haring.

Eichberg, who died of AIDS complications in 1995, was a psychologist and founder of the personal growth workshop, The Experience. O’Leary was an out lesbian political leader and longtime activist from New York and was the head of National Gay Rights Advocates in Los Angeles at the time of NCOD’s founding. Rather than react defensively to oppressive anti-LGBT actions, Eichberg and O’Leary’s vision was to create a holiday that celebrated queer identities in order to decrease stigma and homophobia.

Haring's NCOD logo

Friday, October 11, 2019

Uganda plans to resurrect the 'Kill the Gays' bill

Uganda announced plans for a bill that would impose the death penalty on homosexuals, saying the legislation would curb a rise in unnatural sex in the east African nation.

The bill, colloquially known as “Kill the Gays”, was nullified five years ago on a technicality and the government said it plans to resurrect it within weeks.

“Homosexuality is not natural to Ugandans, but there has been a massive recruitment by gay people in schools, and especially among the youth, where they are promoting the falsehood that people are born like that,” Ethics and Integrity Minister Simon Lokodo said.

“Our current penal law is limited. It only criminalises the act. We want it made clear that anyone who is even involved in promotion and recruitment has to be criminalised. Those that do grave acts will be given the death sentence,” he added.

Lokodo also said the bill, which is supported by President Yoweri Museveni, will be re-introduced in parliament in the coming weeks and is expected to be voted on before the end of the year.

Even without it, Uganda is one of the hardest countries in Africa to be a sexual minority. Under British colonial law, gay sex is punishable with up to life imprisonment and activists said the new bill risked unleashing attacks.