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 »

Indonesia govt official labels LGBTI people ‘main enemy of national development’

Leaders are increasingly whipping up anti-LGBTI hysteria in the country The head of Indonesia’s population and family planning agency has labeled LGBTI citizens the ‘main enemy of national development’. ‘In addition to violating religious rules, these sexual deviations also weaken us’ Nofrijal said on Monday (3 June) according to Ankara. Leaders in Muslim-majority Indonesia have… Read more »

This town that survived a deadly typhoon is now putting on its first Pride

Poverty, rural isolation and natural disasters won’t stop these people putting on the best Pride ever A village in the Philippines which has survived typhoons, poverty and isolation will rise together to host its first Pride. The LGBTI community in San Julian in Eastern Samar is working hard despite a limited budget to put on… Read more »

Japan opposition parties rally in bid to pass marriage equality

Will Japan follow Taiwan in passing same-sex marriage? Major opposition parties in Japan submitted a bill today (3 June) calling for marriage equality. In a move just under a week after Taiwan became the first country in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage, lawmakers are in high hopes, Bloomberg reported. But where the ruling party are… Read more »

Bhutan mulls axing anti-gay law

The Himalayan country’s penal code punishes gay sex with up to one year in prison The Kingdom of Bhutan is considering decriminalizing gay sex as it looks to revise its Penal Code. The mountainous South Asian nation of 700,000 currently criminalizes gay sex. Articles 213 and 214 of the 2004 Penal Code punish same-sex sexual… Read more »

Seoul Queer Culture Festival kicks off in South Korea

Counter-protests from Christian groups take place next to the capital’s premier LGBTI rights event The first day of the Seoul Queer Culture Festival (SQCF) has kicked off in South Korea’s capital on Saturday (1 June). The weekend-long festival will mark the 20th iteration of Seoul’s biggest LGBTI rights event. It follows on from Seoul Pink… Read more »

Li Huanwu’s same-sex marriage: Is this a big deal for LGBTI Singapore?

Lee Kuan Yew’s grandson marrying his boyfriend was big news among Singapore’s LGBTI community, but will it have any effect on the push for LGBTI rights? So, what’s the news in Singapore? Li Huanwu, a member of Singapore’s influential Lee family, married his long-term partner in South Africa last weekend. Congratulations to them! Absolutely. It’s… Read more »

Survey finds 45% believe same-sex marriage inevtiable in Asia-Pacific

And, three-quarters of respondents report improving LGBT rights in their region A survey by the Economist found 45% of respondents in the Asia-Pacific believe same-sex marriage is inevitable in the region. But, 31% of respondents disagreed that same-sex marriage is inevitable. Meanwhile, three-quarters of those surveyed reported a more open climate for LGBT rights compared… Read more »

Court rejects bid to stop South Korea pride

But, homophobic Christian protestors are setting up a counter-demonstration next to the Seoul Queer Culture Festival taking place this weekend A court in the capital of South Korea, Seoul on Thursday (30 May) rejected an application by conservative Christian groups to stop the annual LGBTI pride event this weekend. Anti-LGBTI groups had argued the 20th… Read more »

Pakistan human rights minister hires first trans employee

A huge step for trans citizens in Pakistan The Human Rights Minister in Pakistan has hired a trans woman to her department for the first time. Doctor Shireen Mehrunnisa Mazari announced the appointment yesterday (30 May) on Twitter. Many LGBTI people and allies praised the move. A monumental step in a country where progress for… Read more »

Hong Kong High Court repeals laws criminalizing gay male sex

Breaking: Three other laws remain, but now apply to all people The High Court in Hong Kong immediately repealed four offenses criminalizing gay male sex on Thursday (30 May). Justices reviewed seven offenses total, all part of the Crime Ordinance, and kept three intact after formally revising them. They ultimately found the four offenses unconstitutional… Read more »

Taiwan legalises same-sex marriage in first for Asia

On International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia on Friday (May 17), Taiwan has become the first country in Asia to legalise same-sex marriage. Legislators voted for a government-backed bill that would define a union between a same-sex couple as a marriage. Conservative opponents had proposed rival bills that would define partnerships as “same-sex unions”… Read more »

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 »

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 »