Miss Universe celebrates its first openly gay contestant

The Miss Universe beauty pageant has featured an openly gay contestant for the first time — and she hails from a country where homosexuality is criminalized. Twenty-year-old Swe Zin Htet competed as Miss Myanmar at the event on Sunday night in Atlanta, Georgia. Though she failed to advance to the top 20, fans say she… Read more »

India’s Transgender Rights Law Isn’t Worth Celebrating

India’s parliament passed a bill to protect transgender rights last week, but the new law is inadequate on several fronts. Trans activists and allied human rights groups have critiqued the various trans rights bills since the first one was introduced in 2016. In the end, lawmakers failed to consider the concerns the activists raised. As… Read more »

Transgender-rights bill angers activists

New Delhi — Last week, as the Indian Parliament passed a bill for the protection of transgender people, thousands of LGBTQ community members protested in the latest battle for gay and transgender rights in the country. The legislation prohibits discrimination and criminalizes physical abuse against the transgender community, but it has been rejected by the… Read more »

China’s LGBT community in push to legalise same-sex marriage

Hundreds of thousands have shared their love stories, written letters and made submissions to a review into Chinese civil law during Novembe Same-sex marriage is not banned in China, but it currently has no legal status Nearly 200,000 people have appealed to the Chinese authorities to recognise same-sex marriage, in a month-long push sparked by… Read more »

Japan’s Support for Gay Marriage Is Soaring. But Can It Become Law?

The country is being pulled in two directions as it experiences a “boom” in L.G.B.T. awareness but also remains committed to a sometimes inflexible traditional culture. Tokyo — Ikuo Sato stood in front of a Tokyo court in April and told the world he was gay. To a packed room, he described the anxiety he… Read more »

Japan’s Support for Gay Marriage Is Soaring. But Can It Become Law?

The country is being pulled in two directions as it experiences a “boom” in L.G.B.T. awareness but also remains committed to a sometimes inflexible traditional culture. Tokyo — Ikuo Sato stood in front of a Tokyo court in April and told the world he was gay. To a packed room, he described the anxiety he… Read more »

Islamic exorcisms used as a ‘cure’ for homosexuality in Indonesia: ‘If I am Muslim, I can’t be gay’

Jakarta, Indonesia – It was in December 2017, as anti-LGBTQ sentiment was peaking in Indonesia, when Acep Saepudin’s father decided something needed to be done about his son. He sought out a spiritual teacher in their town of Purwakarta in West Java Province and asked the ustad to give the young man an Islamic exorcism… Read more »

Myanmar government urged to scrap colonial-era law on gay sex

Myanmar one of more than 40 countries where laws introduced by British entrench discrimination against LGBT people. Yangon, Myanmar – Khin Maung Htun, a gay man in Myanmar, was standing on the street one night last year scrolling through his phone when police showed up to arrest some men who had been fighting nearby. The… Read more »

Singapore court to hear cases seeking to decriminalise gay sex

City-state has retained an old British law that criminalises gay sex, but several legal challenges hope to change that. As a Singapore court prepares to hear a series of legal challenges to a law that bans gay sex, LGBT+ activists on Tuesday called for the “right” verdict to be delivered so similar reforms can be… Read more »

Georgian far-right groups attempt to storm cinema at gay romance movie premiere

Hundreds of far-right protesters clashed with filmgoers and police at the Georgian premiere of And Then We Danced, an Oscar-nominated film that celebrates gay love. Set and filmed in Georgia’s capital, Tbilisi, And Then We Danced is the country’s first LGBT+ film, starring a gay dancer who is coming to terms with his sexuality. The… Read more »

Malaysia sentences five men to jail, caning and fines for gay sex

Kuala Lumpur – A Malaysian religious court sentenced five men on Thursday to jail, caning and fines for attempting gay sex, media and a rights group said. Sodomy and same-sex acts are illegal under Islamic law in Muslim-majority Malaysia, although convictions are rare. The Selangor Shariah High Court, on the outskirts of the Malaysian capital,… Read more »

‘And Then We Danced’ director responds to threat of protests in Georgia

Swedish director Levan Akin has responded to threats of protest by right-wing groups at the Georgian premiere of his film And Then We Danced on Friday, November 8. And Then We Danced is the story of a young man in the National Georgian Ensemble who is attracted to a rival male dancer. It has drawn… Read more »

Thousands join Taiwan’s 17th LGBT Pride parade

Clelbration:The first LGBT pride parade held since the legalization of same-sex marriage in May brought people to the streets of Taipei to ring in ‘year zero’ More than 200,000 people participated in the 17th Taiwan LGBT Pride parade in Taipei yesterday, celebrating what they dubbed “year zero” for marriage equality. The event’s organizers called on… Read more »

Thousands attend Taiwan’s first pride since legalisation of gay marriage

Revellers march through Taipei as same-sex equality continues to divide country Nearly 200,000 revellers have marched through Taipei in a riot of rainbow colours and celebration as Taiwan held its first pride parade since making history in Asia by legalising gay marriage. The island has long hosted the region’s largest pride marches but this year… Read more »

Gay in Georgia: „If you are Georgian, you need to be a straight man“

The current Spartacus Gay Travel Index ranks Georgia number 95 in its ranking, with an overall rating of -2. In categories such as same-sex marriage, persecution, antidiscrimination laws or transgender rights, the country only scores in a single case with a positive rating. All others are either 0 or negative. Although homosexuality has been legal… Read more »

Hong Kong Court Upholds Ban On Gay Marriage

A Hong Kong court has rejected a challenge against the city’s ban on same-sex marriage. According to CNN, Hong Kong’s Court of the First Instance handed down its ruling on Friday. The plaintiff in the case is a woman known as MK who argued that the city’s ban violated her constitutional rights. The court said… Read more »

Indonesia’s ‘gay sex ban’ is a ‘human rights disaster’ for LGBT people

A comprehensive overhaul of Indonesia’s criminal code that would effectively put a gay sex ban in place has been slammed by human rights groups. New laws being proposed will ban sex between unmarried couples and make it illegal for unmarried couples to live together. As same-sex relationships are not recognised under Indonesian law, it will… Read more »

Lesbian wedding of Pakistani-Indian couple – wearing sari and sherwani

In a lesbian wedding that showed “love has no borders”, two women – one from India, one from Pakistan – have married in a ceremony wearing traditional outfits. Bianca Maieli wore an ivory sari at her wedding to new wife Saima Ahmad, who wore a sherwani – an outfit traditionally worn by male brides in… Read more »

Field Training with Key Populations to Strengthen Advocacy Capacity – Lighthouse, Vietnam

This case study has been prepared by MPact to analyze community approaches used to increase meaningful engagement in Global Fund processes to ensure access for key populations. Being implemented in 23 countries and across 6 regions, the Global Fund (GF) technical assistance program aims to increase meaningful engagement of Key Populations communities in GF processes… Read more »

Plea For LGBT Rights In Uzbekistan Provokes Police Raid, Online Backlash

    by RFE/RL’s Uzbek Service – Margot Buff Source – Radio Free Europe

Gay Chinese find a place to be themselves on ‘Rainbow Cruise’ to Vietnam

(BL) – Workshops, talks and advice on LGBT issues are on offer during five-day return journey from Shenzhen to Da Nang With more than 1,000 gay Chinese and their families on board the ship, it’s also a place for some to come out On the deck of a cruise ship in southern China, two grey-haired… Read more »

In Nepal, 1,500 citizens have changed official gender

In 2007, Nepal implemented some of the world’s most progressive gender policies At least 1,500 members of the LGBT community in Nepal have changed their gender on official documents. Following a historic court ruling in 2007, Nepal implemented one of the world’s most progressive gender identity policies in the world. Nepal prohibited discrimination and allowed… Read more »

LGBTI people ‘were not expected’ argues Japanese govt

Plaintiffs in landmark equal marriage accused the government of ‘denying their existence’ by arguing they were not expected when the constitution was written The Japanese government on Monday (8 July) argued LGBTI people ‘were not expected’ and are therefore not covered by the Constitution’s marriage clause. Thirteen couples are suing the Japanese government to recognize… Read more »

High Court in India rejects same-sex marriage plea

The court said it was up to parliament of India to draft and pass laws The Delhi High Court in India rejected a plea to legalize same-sex marriage on Monday (8 July). Petitioner Tajinder Singh argued the LGBTI community have fundamental human rights and deserve equality. ‘The Constitution treats everyone equally without any discrimination’ the… Read more »

19-year-old Indian dies by suicide after homophobic abuse

‘Everyone knows I’m a boy, but the way I walk, think, feel, talk…it’s like a girl. People living in India don’t like this’ wrote Avinshu Patel A 19-year-old man in the Indian city of Chennai died by suicide last Wednesday (3 July). The day before, Avinshu Patel, known as Avi, wrote a Facebook post detailing… Read more »

Tbilisi hosted its very first impromptu Pride march

Capital of Georgia never hosted a Pride parade before Despite several delays, Tbilisi hosted its very first impromptu Pride march yesterday (8 July) in the capital of Georgia. The official parade, scheduled for the day, was called off for the second time in less than a month. Nonetheless, local LGBTI activists didn’t lose hope. Not… Read more »

The Largest Pride Celebration in Southeast Asia is in the Region’s Most Catholic Country

Thousands marched in the Philippines in solidarity with the LGBTQ community. More than 70,000 people participated in the Metro Manila Pride March, making it the largest Pride celebration in Southeast Asia. This, despite the Philippines having the region’s largest Catholic population in Asia. Gray skies and persistent rainfall didn’t deter the crowd on Saturday, June… Read more »

Three Artists Tell Us What It’s Like To Be Queer, Muslim and Pakistani

Aziz Sohail, Abdullah Qureshi and Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Jr are working together to give more visibility to the voices from the LGBTQ community of their country. This article originally appeared on VICE IN. “hey too sexy to be a enemy Never got to kiss a Pakistani hehe (sic) ” — “Aap apna tashreef lekar dafa… Read more »

Police give South Korea pride parade green light

But, anti-LGBT Christians are expected to disrupt the parade later this week Police in South Korea’s Daegu city have granted permission for a pride event scheduled for Saturday (29 June) to take place. It comes as mainly Christian, conservative anti-LGBT groups continue to disrupt pride events throughout the country. Police on Monday (24 June) said… Read more »

LGBTI activists in Thailand submit petition for gender rights panel

Campaigners call on the Thai government to establish a panel to monitor gender justice LGBTI rights activists in Thailand have submitted a petition calling for a panel that will conduct monitoring for gender justice. Kittinan Tharamathat, president of the LGBT group Rainbow Sky Association of Thailand, submitted the petition with human rights activists, Nada Chaijit… Read more »

Tbilisi Pride offices evacuated after death threats and counter-protests

Organizers in Georgia are battling preachers, police and protesters for their right to hold a Pride parade Ahead of the city’s very first Pride parade, hate groups attacked the Tbilisi Pride offices resulting in a police evacuation yesterday (19 June). The capital of Georgia, eastern Europe, has, much like its cobblestone streets, a long and… Read more »

Bhutan’s LGBTI community celebrate anti-gay law repeal

The small Himalayan kingdom became the latest country to decriminalize homosexuality on Friday (7 June) Bhutan’s LGBTI community had a good reason to celebrate over the weekend. The small Himalayan kingdom’s parliament voted to repeal two laws which criminalized homosexual sex late on Friday (7 June). Bhutanese LGBTI rights activists did not try to hide… Read more »

Gay high school law student shot dead for trying to do human rights work

Ryan Hubilla, who wished to one day be a human rights lawyer, was no older than 16 A gay high school law student was shot dead for trying to do human rights work today (14 June). Ryan Hubilla was one of two human rights defenders killed in the Philippines. Nelly Bagasala was also killed. Two… Read more »

Study finds there are 210,000 men who have sex with men in Singapore

Researchers warned the population could face a concentrated HIV epidemic New research estimates there are 210,000 men who have sex with men (MSM) in Singapore. A study by the National University of Singapore (NUS) said the population—more than double the previous estimates of 90,000—could be at risk of a concentrated epidemic of HIV. The research… Read more »

LGBTQ Cambodian community, queer Khmer activist shares story

For June, which is designated LGBTQ Pride Month, Q Voice News features a series of first-person essays under the theme What Pride Means To Me. This article is written by queer Khmer activist Hunny Hach. Happy Pride. What Pride Means To Me: I’m queer and I’m Khmer People give me a second look when I… Read more »

Stonewall 50: Police refuse to protect Pride after violence in Georgia

‘We have a lot of anger,’ says Eastern European campaigner Giorgi Tabagari It can be easy to forget amongst the pageantry and pomp that the Pride movement started as a protest, but that’s exactly what it means for the LGBTI community in Georgia, eastern Europe. The first brick thrown at Stonewall sparked a global fight… Read more »

Its Pride month & I have never been so afraid. I live in Malaysia.

Our situation has only deteriorated – and we are terrified. We don’t get the privilege of celebrating Pride. We need help. Every year, when the month of June rolls around, butterflies of anticipation start to flutter in the hearts of the LGBT community. It is our month to celebrate, our month to raise awareness, and… Read more »

Hong Kong Court Issues Landmark Ruling in a Victory for LGBT Rights

(Hong Kong) — Hong Kong’s Court of Final Appeal said Thursday the government cannot deny spousal employment benefits to same-sex couples, in a ruling hailed as a major step forward for same-sex equality in the semi-autonomous Chinese territory. The court overturned an earlier judgment, saying unanimously that denying same-sex couples access to spousal benefits is… Read more »

How India’s Stonewall played out in the country’s courts

From 2009 to 2018, barristers, judges, newspapers, and celebrities weighed in on whether LGBTI people could live their true lives 11-12-13 is not just a series of consecutive numbers. The 11th of December, 2013 was when LGBTI Indian’s freedom was taken back. It was a black day in Indian queer history. Our debate was made… Read more »

Villagers ‘humiliated’ by India’s first openly LGBTI athlete

‘She should stick to running’ Villagers in the home village of India’s first out athlete say her coming out was ‘humiliating’. Dutee Chand made international headlines in May when she revealed her female partner was her soulmate, making her the first openly LGBTI athlete in India. She is the current national 100m sprint champion. In… Read more »