The tortuous path to gay marriage in Taiwan

Even when gay marriage seemed inevitable, opponents did not give up When taiwan became the first country in Asia to legalise gay marriage on May 17th, it was not only the tens of thousands of rainbow flag-waving demonstrators outside the legislature who cheered. Advocates of equal rights across Asia declared Taiwan a beacon of inspiration.… Read more »

Same-sex discrimination declines

The Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) released a report on Friday which showed that discrimination against same-sex partners in communities has decreased, but they lack major legal protections. The report, released in conjunction with the May 17 International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, made numerous references to the 2017 research report entitled Cambodia’s… Read more »

Bangladesh charges extremists over gay activist murders

Dhaka (AFP) – Eight Islamist extremists from a banned group were charged by Bangladesh police on Sunday (May 12) for the 2016 murders of two prominent gay rights activists. Dhaka police’s counter-terrorism unit filed the charge-sheet against the eight men, saying they were members of Ansar al Islam, deputy commissioner of police Mohibul Islam Khan… Read more »

LGBTI group compile ‘Pink List’ of queer-friendly Indian politicians

With over 8,000 candidates, the first vote after homosexuality was decriminalized will be a major one The largest election in history is underway in India, and LGBTI groups are working tirelessly to ensure voters are mindful. In the first election since the decriminalisation of Section 377 India, ‘The Pink List’ is a website compendium of… Read more »

Brunei says it won’t enforce death penalty for gay sex

Brunei has backtracked on enforcing laws introduced last month that would have made sex between men and adultery punishable by stoning to death. Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah on Sunday extended a moratorium on the death penalty to cover the new legislation. The rethink follows global outcry over the laws, including boycotts and celebrity protests. While still… Read more »

First hotel owned and run by trans women opens in India

It will also house counseling services and a shelter for trans peopleA group of trans women has realized its dream and will open their own hotel in Kerala, India. The women planned to open the hotel called Hotel Ruchimudra in the state capital of Kochi in south east India. Aditi Achuth, Saya Mathew, Preethi Alexander,… Read more »

Hong Kong judge rules religion should not define what marriage is

Justice Anderson Chow Ka-ming said marriage is an issue of the law, not a ‘social’ one A Hong Kong judge tasked with ruling on whether to allow civil union partnerships for LGBTI couples ruled earlier thisweek (23 April) that religion will not define marriage. Lawyers for the Catholic Diocese of Hong Kong, China – the city’s largest… Read more »

Taiwan’s capital opens process for same-sex marriage

Taiwan will become the first country in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage on 24 May The government of Taiwan’s capital, Taipei, opened bookings for same-sex couples to get married on Tuesday (23 April) . The city government is now taking on-site and telephone bookings for marriage registration, according to the city’s Department of Civil Affairs.… Read more »

Tokyo Rainbow Pride is upon us and here’s how Japan celebrates love

Keep those cherry blossom and rainbow outfit pictures coming Tokyo Rainbow Pride is upon us and here’s what you can do to celebrate Move over, cherry trees. This coming weekend there will be another colorful sight to see in Tokyo, Japan. The capital of the island country will celebrate its LGBTI community with the annual… Read more »

Stop performing operations on intersex children, Indian court rules

The Madras High Court also said a marriage between a man and trans woman was valid The Madras High Court in eastern India on Monday (22 April) made a landmark ruling guaranteeing the rights of transgender and intersex people. It was asked to rule on whether the term ‘bride’ as per the Hindu Marriage Act… Read more »

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 »