Asia

 

 

 

EU parliament slams Brunei over anti-gay laws

It called laws punishing gay sex with death by stoning ‘retrograde’ but stopped short of introducing sanctions The European Parliament on Thursday (18 April) condemned Brunei’s ‘retrograde’ Islamic laws which punish gay sex with death by stoning. It adopted a resolution that ‘strongly condemns the entry into force of the retrograde Sharia Penal Code; [and]… Read more »

Secrets and crimes: Gay South Korean soldiers trapped in legal bind

Seoul: Productive and driven, he was a model army officer, but he had a secret: He was in a gay sexual relationship with a fellow soldier – a crime under South Korea’s military law. He kept his sexuality hidden from everyone, including friends and family, only meeting his lover off-base and after work. Same-sex acts… Read more »

Azerbaijan police are trying to ‘hunt’ transgender people through internet

Breaking: Reports indicate at least 14 gay and transgender people have been randomly detained in the last 24 hours Azerbaijan police in the country’s capital Baku are reportedly rounding up gay and transgender people and detaining them. According to reports from unnamed LGBTI people in Baku, the random arrests started last night (1 April). Police… Read more »

In the Caucasus, queer people are forced to flee their homes

Provincial communities in the Caucasus are particularly queer-hostile The following is a version of a partner post written by Armine Avetisyan, Nika Musavi, and Dato Parulava that first appeared on the website OC Media. Faced with bullying, discrimination, and violence, queer people in the South Caucasus are frequently forced to flee their homes. Mel from… Read more »

70% of Singaporeans disapprove of same-sex relations, study finds

Religious groups among the most likely to have negative attitudes towards same-sex relationships Almost 70 percent of people in Singapore disapprove of same-sex relationships, a recent study has found. The number of people who disapprove was highest among Singaporean Muslims, Christians and Hindus. The working paper, produced by the Singapore-based think-tank the Institute of Policy… Read more »

Brunei defends new death penalty law for gay sex

Tiny oil-rich nation issues statement pleading “peace” and “respect” Brunei has defended its decision to pass a new Islamic law introducing the death penalty for adultery and homosexuality. The government issued a statement saying it was an independent country and had the right to do as it wished. Brunei said the new law will come… Read more »

In the Caucasus, queer people are forced to flee their homes

Provincial communities in the Caucasus are particularly queer-hostile The following is a version of a partner post written by Armine Avetisyan, Nika Musavi, and Dato Parulava that first appeared on the website OC Media. Faced with bullying, discrimination, and violence, queer people in the South Caucasus are frequently forced to flee their homes. Mel from… Read more »

Indonesian university shuts down student news site over lesbian love story

Students could face up to 12 years in prison under Indonesia’s stringent pornography laws University officials in Indonesia this month ordered a student news website shut down its entire operation after it published a fictional same-sex short story. Student journalists could also face up to 12 years in prison under Indonesia’s draconian pornography law, which… Read more »

Thailand elects first transgender member of parliament

Filmmaker Tanwarin Sukkhapisit was elected to the House of Representatives Thailand on Sunday (24 March) elected its first transgender member of the House of Representatives. It was the first general elections since a military coup in 2014. Filmmaker Tanwarin Sukkhapisit won a seat for the Future Forward Party (FFP). FFP, the biggest challenge to the… Read more »

A Chinese Dating App for Gay Men Is Helping Them Have Kids, Too

Blued’s new service connects men with overseas surrogates. Will China’s government mind? The urge to have a child hit Geng Le hard after age 35. A former cop from China’s Hebei province, he’d launched a gay dating app called Blued a couple of years earlier, in 2012, and had become something of an icon for… Read more »

These are the movies you need to watch to mark same-sex marriage in Taiwan

GagaOOLala, known as ‘Asia’s LGBTI Netflix’, has put together a package of equal marriage flicks Taiwan is set to become the first country in Asia to legalize same sex unions by May 24. To mark the occasion, the region’s first online LGBTI streaming service, GagaOOLala, have chosen 24 movies on the topic. The ‘Go! Marriage… Read more »

Central Asia’s first LGBTI pride march sparks protests

‘We have to beat the craziness out of them’ a member of Kyrgyzstan’s parliament wrote about LGBTI people There’s been threats, protests, and fiery debates in Kyrgyzstan’s parliament after a pro-LGBTI rally earlier this month. In what was believed to be one of the first public LGBTI pride events in Central Asia, 400 people took… Read more »

South Korea’s witch hunt for homosexuals in the military has restarted

Three men serving in the navy are being investigated for engaging in homosexual acts South Korea’s military has resumed its hunt for homosexual servicemen, according to the country’s Military Human Rights Center. Three men serving in the navy are under investigation for engaging in homosexual acts. They face two years in prison under South Korea’s… Read more »

High court in India moves to protect lesbian couple

Although gay sex was decriminalized last year, the couple were facing abuse and threats from family members A high court in India has instructed police to protect a lesbian couple facing abuse from their family and people in living in their village. It is one of a handful of such judgments since India dramatically decriminalized… Read more »

Mr Gay World India 2019 Suresh Ramdas On Coming Out, Sec 377, And Being Tall Dark And Handsome

The pageant Mr. Gay World India has risen to popularity in the past few years. This year, the winner was Suresh Ramdas, a Bengaluru-based techie. We spoke to him about his success, his thoughts on the Section 377 ruling, and his future plans: What kind of a childhood did you have? Did you grow up… Read more »

Pride organizers in South Korea urge police to protect their rights

Seoul’s 20th Queer Culture Festival will kick off in May amid rising violence from conservative Christian groups Organizers of the largest LGBTI pride event in South Korea urged the government not to give in to conservative groups and protect attendees. The 20th Queer Culture Festival will take place in May, including a parade on June… Read more »

All aboard Bangkok’s first pride cruise

Southeast Asia’s LGBT party capital just went next level Bangkok next month will launch the country’s first LGBTI pride cruise. Setting sail on 3 March, the boat party along the Chao Praya river will feature performances and international DJs. Pangina Heals—a judge on RuPaul’s Drag Race Thailand—is also slated to perform. What’s more, Bangkok Indie… Read more »

Taiwan’s same-sex marriage bill falls short

Taiwan’s premier asked the country’s ‘homosexual friends’ to ‘wait a bit longer’ Taiwan on Thursday (21 February) became the first country in Asia to submit a same-sex marriage bill to parliament. But as the details emerged, the government, lawmakers, and activists admitted it fell short of true marriage equality. Lawmakers from both major parties have… Read more »

South Koreans opposing gay rights are less than 50% for the first time

And more people identify as liberals than ever before The portion of South Koreans opposing LGBTI rights has decreased, dipping below 50% for the first time in history. A 2018 report suggests 49% of South Koreans said that they cannot accept homosexuals. The number has decreased from 57.2% tallied in 2017, according to the Korea… Read more »

Japan’s former defense minister takes up fight for LGBTI rights

Tomomi Inada has said she wants to promote LGBTI issues as fierce debates over the acceptance of LGBTI rights continue A former defense minister of Japan has said she aims to ‘promote understanding’ of LGBTI rights issues. Tomomi Inada has described LGBTI rights as a ‘human rights issue’ which transcends left or right political beliefs.… Read more »

Falling in love at a Myanmar high school

Inspired by real events, A Blue-sky explores sexuality and gender identity as a young person in a country where gay sex is illegal A movie exploring sexuality and gender at a Myanmar high school stunned audiences when it was screened at Myanmar’s LGBTI film festival last week. A Blue-sky, directed by Hein Htwe Maung, follows… Read more »

This is why Lunar New Year is a time of massive anxiety for LGBTIs in China

‘Sometimes our parents are more like children than we are,’ one gay man in China said Justin doesn’t plan to return to his hometown in southern China this Lunar New Year. As a closeted gay man, Justin said he could not face the ‘worry and uncertainty’. Over the festivities, his parents and other relatives would… Read more »

Thousands march in first Mumbai Pride since decriminalisation

Thousands of people in Mumbai have taken to the streets to celebrate the first Mumbai Pride since homosexuality was decriminalised last year. Photos shared on social media of the event show huge numbers of people taking to the streets to celebrate the LGBT+ community. The pride event has a renewed poignancy this year, as it… Read more »

At least 13 couples will now sue Japan’s government over same-sex marriage

This is the country’s largest ever push for marriage equality A lesbian couple in northern Japan became the 13th couple to join a nationwide campaign to sue the Japanese government to recognize same-sex marriages. The two women submitted their marriage registration documents to Sapporo’s Chuo Ward office this week, according to Asahi Shimbun. They expect… Read more »

Trans women led Indonesia’s LGBTI movement and this is why it’s important

Stonewall 50: As New York celebrates 50 years since the Stonewall riots, Indonesia celebrates 50 years of the country’s first trans activist group In the 1960s, I grew up in Pasuruan, East Java in Indonesia. During this time, I learned that trans women in Jakarta started organizing action groups. The first trans women organization was… Read more »

Japan’s Supreme Court rules transgender people still have to get sterilised

The Supreme Court of Japan has upheld a law which forces transgender people to get sterilised before they can legally change their gender. The panel of four justices ruled unanimously on Thursday (January 24) to reject an appeal filed by Takakito Usui, a trans man who wants to change the gender on his official documents,… Read more »

UK soap star announces engagement in Sri Lanka, where gay sex is illegal

Opinion: Jimmy Essex and outlets covering his happy news make no mention of Sri Lankan legals. That’s a problem Actor Jimmy Essex, who starred on British soap Hollyoaks until last year, has gotten engaged to his musician boyfriend of six years. Sharing the news on social media yesterday, Jimmy said in a romantic Instagram announcement:… Read more »

South Korea slipping on LGBTI rights, activists warn

In the last year, conservative groups have violently protested a number of LGBTI pride events South Korea’s fledging LGBTI movement has triggered a conservative backlash, Human Rights Watch (HRW) warned this week. In it’s 2019 world report, HRW said leaders had done little to protect the rights of LGBTI people in South Korea. The rights… Read more »

Partnerships, politics, and Japan’s own Stonewall Riot

Stonewall 50: With elections, lawsuits, and a swell in visibility, 2019 could be a milestone year for LGBTI Japan In July last year, a lawmaker from Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), Mio Sugita, said LGBTI people were ‘unproductive’. It caused a big problem. Around 5,000 people protested outside the party headquarters in Tokyo. The… Read more »

Anti-gay Singapore is leaving LGBTI people without a home

In Singapore, where gay sex is illegal, LGBTI people are often pushed from family homes and do not qualify for government housing LGBTI Singaporeans are struggling to find somewhere to live in one of the world’s most affluent cities. Conservative attitudes centered on a heteronormative family can push LGBTI Singaporeans from their family home. What’s… Read more »

Asia’s largest ever LGBTI art exhibition to open in Bangkok

Spectrosynthesis II will open later this year with 200 works from more than 50 artists Thai capital Bangkok will host the largest ever exhibition of Asian LGBTI art later this year. Hong Kong-based charity, the Sunpride Foundation, has curated more than 200 works from over 50 artists in the region. The exhibition, titled Spectrosynthesis II,… Read more »

Vietnam’s ‘femme queen on the streets, dom top in the sheets’

Twenty-four-year-old Dan Ni tears apart gender codes with lace, sequins, fishnet and bold lipstick ‘My existence is a story to be told about gender politics, about defying what society says is masculine, feminine, what’s accepted and what is not’ says Vietnamese graphic designer Dan Ni. In a new documentary, Dating with Dan Ni, the 24-year-old… Read more »

Nine percent of Japan’s population is LGBT, research finds

The estimated LGBT population also rose by 1.3% since 2015 Research has found 8.9 percent of Japan’s population identify as LGBT. Dentsu, Japan’s largest advertising agency, surveyed 60,000 Japanese residents between the ages of 20 and 59 in October 2018. Importantly, 8.9 percent identified as LGBTI. What’s more, this is up from 7.6 percent in… Read more »

Laws to ‘ban’ LGBTI people in Indonesian city are illegal

Indonesia’s Constitution says all citizens must be protected from discrimination regardless of sexuality Indonesia’s leading human rights organization said plans to ban LGBTI people in a major city goes against the country’s laws. The National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) said police actions in the city of Depok goes against the country’s mandate to… Read more »

Indian army’s gay sex ban will continue, says top general

This is despite gay sex becoming legal in India last year A top general in the Indian army said a ban on gay sex will stay in effect, despite the Supreme Court lifting a general ban on it last year. ‘[The Indian] Army will not allow LGBT activities in the force,’ Chief of Army Staff,… Read more »

China shuts down two LGBTI organizations

Activists say it is becoming increasingly difficult for LGBTI groups to operate Regional authorities in China shut down two LGBTI organizations on Tuesday (8 January). The Municipal Affairs Bureau in the southern metropolis Guangzhou labeled the Guangzhou University Rainbow Group and the Guangzhou Gender and Sexuality Education Center as ‘illegal social organizations’. The organizations provided… Read more »

In China, at least 130 places still offer LGBTI conversion therapy

Results of a new survey reveal just the tip of the iceberg, activists warn A new survey conducted by LGBTI advocates and NGOs in China has revealed at least 136 locations offering LGBTI conversion therapy in the country. A ‘heat map’ published by Matters shows 134 confirmed locations in hospitals, clinics, and psychiatric centers across… Read more »

Cambodia’s government says it has a good record on LGBTI issues

HIV rates are on the rise among LGBTI people Cambodia’s Human Rights Committee says it has done a lot to help LGBTI people. The CHRC’s director, Keo Remy, made the comments at a special event on the weekend. The event marked the ten year anniversary of LGBTI organization, Rainbow Community Kampuchea (RoCK). Remy said Cambodia’s… Read more »