Pitcairn Island Passes Gay Marriage But Has No Wedding Plans

Wellington, New Zealand (AP) — Pitcairn Island, a tiny speck in the Pacific that’s home to just 48 people, has passed a law allowing same-sex marriage — but has no gay couples wanting to wed. First settled in 1790, Pitcairn is a British Overseas Territory that has some legal autonomy and is often considered the… Read more »

Grieving partner pays tribute to cafe´ manager killed during Sydney siege

A man has paid tribute to his life partner Tori Johnson, who was killed during the 16-hour cafe´ siege in Sydney. Mr Johnson was killed alongside barrister Katrina Dawson, when the Lindt café he managed in Martin Place was held up by self-described radical cleric Man Haron Monis. The cafe´ manager was hailed a hero… Read more »

Australia gets its first openly gay Chief Minister

An Australian Labor Party politician has become the country’s first openly gay government leader. Andrew Barr was appointed Chief Minister of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) on Thursday replacing Katy Gallagher who resigned last week. In his acceptance speech to the ACT Legislative Assembly Mr Barr paid tribute to his partner and said he looked… Read more »

Reduce sex work stigma in PNG to bring down numbers of AIDS deaths, says Port Moresby governor

The governor of Papua New Guinea’s capital says he is willing to disregard laws that prosecute sex workers if it means an end to the discrimination that is linked to the country’s large numbers of AIDS-related deaths. Papua New Guinea has one of the highest rates of HIV infections outside of the African continent and… Read more »

Gay asylum seekers fear arrest for reporting rape in Papua New Guinea

Gay asylum seekers to Australia fear reporting rape in case they are arrested for homosexuality. Australia has been sending asylum seekers to the Manus Island detention centre in Papua New Guinea, where homosexuality is illegal. Several gay men from Iran said they had been told they would be arrested if they spoke out about the… Read more »

Indigenous Australia’s HIV crisis never happened: five questions to James Ward

Tell us about who you are My name is James Ward. I am a Pitjantjatjara and Nurrunga man from central and south Australia, with connections to mobs in Kaltukatjara, Ntaria, Point Pearce and Adelaide. I currently live in Alice Springs but from next week will be relocating to Kuarna country in Adelaide. From next week… Read more »

World of male sex workers explored in new book

A new book shines a light on male prostitution and the findings are surprising. Sex work is an industry primarily associated with women. When male sex workers are thought about, it’s usually through the prism of health studies or debate around the legality of their behaviour; they become statistics, or shadowy carriers of disease. Media… Read more »

Eight Pacific countries still have anti-gay laws

The Pacific island nation of Palau has decriminalized gay sex in a revision of its penal code. The new criminal laws came into force at the end of July but were only announced today. At Palau’s last Universal Periodic Review at the UN Human Rights Council in 2011, France, Norway and Spain all made recommendations… Read more »

Film helping change attitudes about homosexuality in PNG

The Papua New Guinea Human Rights Film Festival is moving across the country, telling the stories of those oppressed in PNG and across the Pacific. One film being featured tells the story of Hanuabada village, a haven for gay and transgender people living in Port Moresby. Homosexuality is illegal in PNG, but the large community… Read more »

Gay asylum seekers on Manus Island write of fear of persecution in PNG

Guardian Australia obtains six letters detailing persecution in Iran, detention centre abuse and fears about resettlement in Papua New Guinea, where homosexuality is illegal Gay asylum seekers detained by Australia on Manus Island have written of suicidal thoughts, experiences of sexual assault and fear of persecution in Papua New Guinea in a series of handwritten… Read more »

Australia: Norfolk Island may introduce same-sex marriage this year

Norfolk Island in Australia, could legalise same-sex marriage this year, as plans to introduce legislation have been lodged. The self-governing territory could see a major hike in tourist numbers, if same-sex marriage becomes legal. The legislation which is yet to be introduced, would establish a new law to work alongside the Federal Marriage Act, but… Read more »

Being Gay in Papua New Guinea

Hanuabada village is one of few places that gay and transgender men can live in relative safety in Papua New Guinea, a country where homosexuality is illegal. Around thirty gay men permanently live in the village, a collection of traditional-style Papuan houses on stilts. Other PNG homosexuals have moved there from other places around the… Read more »

Sydney hosts two-month Queer Arab Film Festival

Australia: The Australian city of Sydney is hosting a two-month Queer Arab Film Festival to better understand the problems and challenges Arab, Muslim, Middle-Eastern LGBTIQ community face in a region that has harsh anti-gay laws and prejudices. Classical Arabic and Islamicate literature from the 9th to the 16th centuries was replete with examples of characters… Read more »

Impact of Male Circumcision on the HIV Epidemic in Papua New Guinea: A Country with Extensive Foreskin Cutting Practices.

Abstract The degree to which adult medical male circumcision (MC) programs can reduce new HIV infections in a moderate HIV prevalence country like Papua New Guinea (PNG) are uncertain especially given the widespread prevalence of longitudinal foreskin cuts among adult males. We estimated the likely impact of a medical MC intervention in PNG using a… Read more »

Olympic kayak hopeful talks of relief after coming out as gay

An Olympic kayak hopeful has discussed coming out as gay, saying it was a relief, and that he had an overwhelmingly positive reaction. Connor Taras, 25, missed joining the 2012 Canadian Olympic team by half a second, and still travels to the US every winter for training. He said being gay but not out meant… Read more »

Support For Ian Thorpe From Ricky Martin, Gareth Thomas, Matthew Mitcham

Ricky Martin, Gareth Thomas and Matthew Mitcham are among the celebrities applauding Olympian Ian Thorpe’s decision to come out gay. “Congrats @IanThorpe!” out singer Ricky Martin tweeted. “Brave man! Happy for you! Millions appreciate what you’ve done! Proud of you! #SelfLove.” After years of denials, Thorpe, Australia’s most decorated Olympian, acknowledged he’s gay, saying he… Read more »

Senate hearing hears gay refugees in Australian run camps in New Guinea fear local laws

An Australian Senate estimates hearing has been told that LGBTI asylum seekers’ refugee applications are being processed under Papua New Guinea law – which punishes homosexuality with up to 14 years in jail Asylum seekers who have been told they can never resettle in Australia and are being held in camps in neighboring Papua New… Read more »

New Zealand Defense Force rated world’s most LGBTI inclusive military

The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies (HCSS) has released a study of LGBTI inclusion in the world’s militaries and has rated New Zealand’s armed forces the most supportive The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies (HCSS) have given a 100% rating for LGBTI inclusion to New Zealand’s armed forces – topping the rest of the world’s… Read more »

2 out of 3 LGBTI Australian young people still experience bullying in 2014

A new report by University of Western Sydney researchers has found that bullying is still all too common for LGBTI Australian young people with nearly one-in-ten saying the problem was so bad they had to change schools Almost one-in-ten LGBTI Australian young people has had to change schools because of homophobic bullying and more than… Read more »

Gay NZ skater Skjellerup blasts Olympics hosts

Kiwi speed skater Blake Skjellerup, one of the world’s only openly gay winter athletes, is still sweating on potential qualification for the Sochi Olympics, but remains eager to draw attention to Russia’s views on homosexuality. Skjellerup finished 33rd in qualifying for the Olympic 500m short track speed skating, one spot out of automatic qualification. The… Read more »

A quarter of all same-sex marriages in New Zealand are by Australians

Nearly a hundred Australian same-sex couples have resorted to travelling to New Zealand to get married since August. 47 female couples and 50 male couples have made the journey from Australia, since New Zealand’s equal marriage law came into effect in August. 361 same-sex couples in total have so far tied the knot in New… Read more »

Australia high court overturns ACT gay marriage law

Australia’s High Court has overturned legislation allowing gay marriage in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). The ACT parliament passed a bill in October making the territory the first part of Australia to legalise same-sex weddings. But the national government challenged the decision, saying it was inconsistent with federal laws. Some 27 couples who married since… Read more »

Gay Couples Begin Marrying In Australian Capital

Gay couples began marrying shortly past midnight in the Australian capital of Canberra as the nation’s first gay marriage law took effect. The Sydney Morning Herald reported on the marriages of Alan Wright and Joel Player, who exchanged vows beneath the 55 bronze bells of the National Carillon at Lake Burley Griffin, and Stephen Dawson… Read more »

Fiji to host first ever Pacific islands LGBTI short film festival

Fiji will be the first ever Pacific island nation to host an LGBTI themed short film festival when the inaugural A Night OUT at the Movies screens in Suva tomorrow night The Pacific islands region will get its first ever LGBTI short film festival A Night OUT at the Movies when it screens on Friday… Read more »

To stop AIDS, Australia must stand up for human rights

Indonesian activists from World Vision light 2880 candles during a World AIDS Day event in JakartaThis World AIDS Day, the people of Asia and the Pacific, who are living with, and working to prevent HIV, ask that the Australian Government make clear its intention for HIV funding, and stress the importance of Australia’s role as… Read more »

Australian Capital Territory first to legalise same-sex marriage

The Australian Capital Territory has become the first jurisdiction in Australia to legalise same-sex marriage. The bill passed after a short debate today by nine votes to eight, just over a year after federal parliament rejected a same-sex marriage bill 98-42. The move was passed in the 17-member ACT Legislative Assembly, backed by Labor and… Read more »

Gay Marriage Hopes Dashed As Conservatives Return To Power In Australia

Australia’s conservative opposition swept to power on Saturday, ending six years of Labor Party rule and the hopes of gay marriage supporters. “The coalition has won 13 seats clearly and with 10 seats still in play,” Australia’s newly-elected Prime Minister Tony Abbott told supporters gathered at Sydney’s Four Seasons Hotel. “And I can inform you… Read more »

Tasmanian Upper House defeats provision to ban offensive anti-gay materials

Tasmania’s Upper House of state parliament has vetoed a bill that would have prohibited offensive homophobic materials just a day after the Australian postal service confiscated 38,000 extreme anti-gay election flyers in the state LGBT rights activists in the Australian state of Tasmania have been floored by a decision by the state’s Upper House to… Read more »

Gay Ambassador to Australia Marries in D.C.

John Berry, U.S. ambassador to Australia, married his partner of 17 years, Curtis Yee, on Saturday. John Berry, the newly confirmed U.S. Ambassador to Australia, married his longtime partner in Washington, D.C., Saturday, reports the Washington Blade. Berry and his partner, Curtis Yee, have been together for 17 years, and married in a ceremony at… Read more »

Gay Speed Skater Blake Skjellerup Plans To Defy Russian Ban At 2014 Olympics

An openly gay speed skater from New Zealand says that he will represent both his country and the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, next year if he is able to make the team. Blake Skjellerup plans to defy Russia’s recent ban of so-called “propaganda” supporting… Read more »

Tasmania votes to allow same-sex couples to adopt

The last Australian state to legalize homosexuality, and the first to introduce civil unions, has voted to allow same-sex couples to adopt non-biological children for the first time LGBT rights advocates in the Australian state of Tasmania have welcomed the passage of a law allowing same-sex couples to adopt. Since 2003 gays and lesbians in… Read more »

Marriage equality advocates condemn vandalism of Tasmanian anti-gay marriage billboard

Australian marriage equality advocates have condemned the vandalizing of an anti-gay marriage billboard in the town of Wynyard, Tasmania, just days after it was erected Australian marriage equality advocates have condemned the vandalism of an anti-marriage equality billboard in Wynyard, Tasmania, as well as the business signs of the man behind the billboard, sign maker… Read more »

Same-sex marriages revealed in 1930’s Australia

A newspaper from 1932 shows that Australian gay men were holding illegal same-sex marriages behind closed doors eight decades ago A newspaper article from 1932 has been uncovered that shows that gay men were seeking to marry each other in Australia as long ago as 80 years ago. In an article in the tabloid The… Read more »

Legal protections against HIV-related human rights violations: Experiences and lessons learned from national HIV laws in Asia and the Pacific

Increasingly, countries in the Asia-Pacific region have put in place HIV laws to provide legal protections for people living with HIV. In a follow-up to the report of the Global Commission on HIV and the Law, Legal Protections against HIV-related Human Rights Violations: Experiences and Lessons Learned from National HIV Laws in Asia and the… Read more »

State schools better for minority students, says Michael Kirby

Gay Australian former high court judge Michael Kirby says state schools are less discriminatory to minority pupils than private or religious schools Gay Australian former high court judge Michael Kirby said that secular public schools are better for gay pupils and other minorities that private or religious schools. Kirby, who describes himself as a Protestant… Read more »

Fiji: LGBT rights campaigners say discrimination remains a major issue

Whilst holding week-long events to raise awareness, Fiji campaigners for LGBT rights have said that, despite some slow progress, there is still a long way to go, and that discrimination against LGBT people remains a problem. The country is marking the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT), which marks the World Health Organisation’s decision… Read more »

Week-long celebrations to mark IDAHOT

The Drodrolagi Movement (droMo) will be marking International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT) with a week of events that include rainbow-chalking driveways, a peace vigil, a documentary screening and discussion and a Pride Party. IDAHOT is a day to draw attention to the issue of homophobia and transphobia in the community. On May 17th… Read more »

Olympic swimmer comes out as gay

Amini Fonua, who represented the South Pacific islands nation of Tonga at London 2012, comes out as gay – but he goes to an ‘LGBT-unfriendly’ American university Olympic swimmer Amini Fonua has come out in his college newspaper, despite studying at one of the least LGBT-friendly schools in the US. New-Zealand-born Fonua represented the South… Read more »

Anti-gay marriage candidates win Tasmania election

Despite a campaign to make local election all about marriage equality, anti-gay-marriage candidates win all three contested seats in Australian state of Tasmania Two candidates who voted against gay marriage in last year’s Upper House vote in Tasmania won their seats in a local election yesterday. The third victor has also said she would vote… Read more »

World’s first transgender MP seriously ill

New Zealand’s Georgina Beyer, who became the world’s first openly transgender MP in 1999, has chronic kidney failure The world’s first transgender MP, New Zealand’s Georgina Beyer, is seriously ill with chronic kidney failure. Beyer had been about to announce her candidacy in the Wellington mayoral election. She has not confirmed if she will no… Read more »