‘No limits’ Beijing queer film festival returns this weekend

The 13th edition of mainland China’s longest-running LGBTI film festival opens with Birds in Mire by Zhang Wanlin Fans of queer Asia cinema are in for a treat this weekend as the week-long Beijing queer film festival opens in China’s capital. The festival, now known as Love Queer Cinema Week, returns for its 11th edition… Read more »

Is this China’s chance for marriage equality?

Gay Star News spoke to Sun Wenlin, the man pushing China’s leaders to recognize same-sex marriage Sun Wenlin wants the government of China to change its civil code and recognize same-sex marriage. Sun, from China’s Hunan Province, launched an online campaign this month to encourage the National People’s Congress (NPC) to discuss equal marriage. His… Read more »

Malaysian official plays down claim there are 310,000 ‘homosexuals’ in the country

A senior officer from the Islamic Development Department said this week the country had ‘rehabilitated’ 1,450 LGBTI Malaysians A senior officer from the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) on Tuesday (31 October) said his earlier remark that there were 310,000 homosexuals in Malaysia was only ‘preliminary’. On Monday, Jakim’s Mohd Izwan Md Yusof said the… Read more »

Taiwan’s Gay Pride Parade Draws Thousands, as Votes on Same-Sex Marriage Near

Taipei, Taiwan — A year ago, participants in Taipei’s annual gay pride parade — the biggest event of its kind in East Asia — had a lot to celebrate. Taiwan’s constitutional court had given the government until May 2019 to legalize same-sex marriage, ruling that the civil code’s definition of marriage as being between a… Read more »

The modern gay history of Taipei, Asia’s most LGBTI-friendly city

Cruising grounds, police raids, and the biggest Pride in East Asia It’s undeniable: Taipei is one of the greatest LGBTI cities in the entire world. The Taiwanese capital is the epicenter of gay rights in the country. The city hosts the second largest gay pride in Asia (behind Tel Aviv, Israel), the country is becoming… Read more »

In fear for their lives: The hidden LGBTI community of Brunei

Brunei’s LGBTI community face severe social stigma and the threat of brutal anti-LGBTI laws in the majority Muslim nation ‘I’m extremely scared,’ says Khairul, a young gay man from Brunei. ‘Khairul’ (not his real name) would only speak to GSN under the condition of anonymity out of fear of persecution in his home country. ‘Being… Read more »

Stop using LGBTI Malaysians as ‘punching bag’ warns lawyer group

Lawyers for Liberty was responding to calls from political leader, Anwar Ibrahim, to reject LGBTI ‘lifestyle’ Malaysia’s leaders must stop using the LGBTI community for political gain, said local civil society group Lawyers for Liberty. It comes as LGBTI Malaysians feel increasingly persecuted under Malaysia’s nascent new government. ‘The LGBT have to live in hiding… Read more »

It took thousands of police to keep this South Korea pride parade violence-free

Recent pride events in South Korea’s cities have been violently disrupted by conservative Christian protestors A pride festival and parade in South Korea’s Busan went ahead without major disruption from conservative protestors on Saturday (13 October). Some 2,000 police kept the event’s 15,000 attendees safe, according to organizer Minsoo Kim. It comes after similar events… Read more »

Tokyo bars LGBTI discrimination ahead of 2020 Olympic Games

New legislation protects against gender and sexuality based discrimination and promises LGBTI education programs in Japan’s capital, Tokyo The Tokyo Metropolitan Government on Friday (5 October) passed a bill to tackle discrimination against the LGBTI community ahead of the Olympics in 2020. ‘This act upholds the goal of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government to make Tokyo… Read more »

LGBTI community in Nepal brings issues to lawmakers

Nepal is often considered one of the best places in Asia in recognizing LGBTI rights Despite government guarantees to protect rights in Nepal, the LGBTI community has not seen significant change, an NGO told lawmakers this week. Nepal is known as one of the most progressive countries for LGBTI rights in Asia. The mountainous South… Read more »

LGBTI South Koreans back on streets to protest violence at Incheon pride

Police and protesters appeared to outnumber attendees of LGBTI rally to speak out against hate More than 100 LGBTI rights advocates rallied in South Korea’s port city Incheon on Wednesday (3 October). They were demonstrating against violence from conservative protesters and police inaction at the first Incheon Queer Culture Festival on 8 September. The Open… Read more »

My court case could see Jamaica follow India and make gay sex legal

Lawyer and LGBTI activist Maurice Tomlinson is waiting for his day in court to strike down Jamaica’s anti-sodomy law The Indian Supreme Court’s historic judgement decriminalising homosexuality has given me new hope I may soon have my day in court to challenge Jamaica’s law. Few people know this – but the anti-gay law in Jamaica… Read more »

Indonesian police stop an LGBTI pageant from happening in Bali

Indonesian authorities have stopped an LGBTI pageant from happening in Bali. Muslim leaders said all LGBTI events should be banned across Indonesia. Police said they cancelled the event because of ‘rejection from the Balinese community’. They cancelled the Mr and Miss Gaya Dewata event claiming they received letters of complaint from locals in Bali. The… Read more »

High Court in India grants lesbian couple police protection from families

The couple fled to the capital, Delhi, after facing mental and physical abuse from their parents in Rajasthan A lesbian couple in India rushed to the capital, Delhi, to seek protection from their families who disapprove of the relationship. Luckily, the Delhi High Court granted them police protection, according to local media. It is another… Read more »

Students celebrate end to India’s gay sex ban at Pondicherry’s first pride parade

After pushback from Pondicherry University, some 200 people waved flags and banners for LGBTI equality on the campus Some 200 students took the streets of Pondicherry in southeastern India for the city’s first pride parade. LGBTI advocates and allies marched through Pondicherry University holding banners and waving flags to celebrate India’s recent decriminalization of gay… Read more »

Movement to repeal Singapore’s anti-gay law calls for public action

At a town hall meeting, Ready4Repeal calls on Singaporeans to advocate for the scrapping of an infamous law banning male homosexual sex A coalition of LGBTI rights activists and allies have called on the Singaporean public to take a stand on repealing a law banning male homosexual sex. Ready4Repeal, a group of campaigning for the… Read more »

Gay teacher in China files case for unfair dismissal

In landmark case and big step for LGBTI rights in China, labor arbitration will hear whether a teacher was unfairly dismissed due to his sexuality A labor arbitration committee in Qingdao, China will hear an unfair dismissal case brought by a kindergarten teacher who claims he was fired for being gay. The school allegedly fired… Read more »

Indian court rules lesbian couple should live together

It is believed to be the first time an Indian court upheld the recent Supreme Court decision to dismantle the Section 377 and legalize gay sex The High Court of Kerala in south India on Monday ruled that a lesbian couple should live together. Importantly, the judges upheld the Supreme Court’s recent decision to dismantle… Read more »

Veteran Singapore diplomat Tommy Koh backs petition to repeal anti-gay law

But, the petition to repeal Singapore’s Section 377A still has only half the signatures of a petition to keep it Singapore’s Ambassador-at-Large, Professor Tommy Koh, has backed a petition to repeal the city-state’s anti-gay law, Section 377A. The Ready4Repeal campaign announced the veteran diplomat as a lead signatory on Friday (21 September). ‘377A is a… Read more »

Constant homophobic abuse won’t stop this Middle East lesbian helping others

‘It makes me happy and makes me want to live.’ Aisha a 29-year-old Muslim lesbian living in the Middle East describes her life as ‘one blockade after another’. Even though her father is extremely abusive, Aisha can’t move out. It’s not culturally accepted for women to move out of their family homes until they are… Read more »

LGBTI advocates denounce support for Singapore’s anti-gay law

Islamic and Christian organizations have voiced support for Singapore’s Section 377A amid intense debate over the anti-gay law Advocates for LGBTI rights have hit back at religious institutions for supporting Singapore’s anti-gay law, Section 377A. In the last two weeks both Christian and Islamic organizations have expressed support for the law that punishes gay sex… Read more »

India’s transgender population still at risk after gay sex decriminalized

While much of India’s LGBTI community may be celebrating the end of gay sex ban, transgender people in the capital have reported a surge in violence Despite a major win for the LGBTI community in India, transgender people are still vulnerable. On 6 September, India’s Supreme Court ruled that a law making gay sex illegal… Read more »

Hong Kong recognizes same-sex partnerships in spousal visa applications

The administrative change comes after top court ruled denying dependent visas to same-sex couples was unconstitutional Same-sex spouses will be able to apply for dependent visas to stay with their partners in Hong Kong from Wednesday (19 September). The government will change its visa policy in line with a historic legal ruling in July this… Read more »

Gay Sex In China: Where Communist Puritanism Meets Colonial Baggage

Centuries-old tales showing an acceptance of same-sex romance abound in Chinese culture, but even ultra modern Hong Kong lags behind in embracing the LGBTI community Like India, where the recent decriminalisation of gay sex is a return to deep historical roots, China has a long tradition of acceptance – at times even celebration – of… Read more »

‘No LGBTI discrimination in Singapore’, says education minister

Rights activist strongly disputes minister’s claim that Singapore’s LGBTI community does not experience discrimination Singapore’s education minister has claimed that LGBTI people in the city-state do not experience discrimination. ‘The fact is [that LGBTI people] live in Singapore peacefully, no discrimination at work, housing (and) education,’ said minister Ong Ye Kung. ‘However, on the issue… Read more »

The Guardian view on gay rights: India backs freedom – others should follow

Editorial The supreme court judgment decriminalising homosexuality overturned a colonial era law. But its welcome ruling is a reminder of the work to be done elsewhere Unless you are gay, and have lived in one of the 70 or so countries where homosexuality is illegal, it is hard to imagine what it would feel like… Read more »

This DJ Is Challenging Singapore’s Gay Sex Ban

This will be the first case brought against the archaic law since 2014. A tide of change is lapping at the shores of southern Asia. The decriminalizing of gay sex in India last week has galvanized people in the region to take more strides towards equality, with the newest push coming from a DJ in… Read more »

Most Singaporeans still support law banning gay sex – survey

Singapore (Reuters) – A slim majority of Singaporeans still support a law that bans gay sex, an online survey showed on Monday, amid renewed debate on whether the city-state should follow India’s footsteps and scrap similar British colonial-era legislation. Previous legal challenges to overturn the ban failed but a prominent Singapore diplomat called on the… Read more »

In over 40 countries, laws against homosexuality are a lasting legacy of British rule

After scrapping a regressive 19th century law that criminalised homosexuality, India has joined the ranks of the few former colonies to abandon a lasting legacy of British rule. Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) was introduced by the British in 1861, inspired by the 1553 Buggery Act that outlawed homosexuality in England. It… Read more »

India court legalises gay sex in landmark ruling

In a historic decision, India’s Supreme Court has ruled that gay sex is no longer a criminal offence. The ruling overturns a 2013 judgement that upheld a colonial-era law, known as section 377, under which gay sex is categorised as an “unnatural offence”. The court has now ruled discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation… Read more »

Dependent Visa Case Gives Hong Kong’s Gay Community Reason To Hope

The future’s looking bright in the fight against discrimination – a victory in the city’s top court by a lesbian couple who took on the Immigration Department will have far-reaching implications The Pride March in London this year was a particularly colourful and vibrant celebration of diversity. There were 30,000 participants, including 150 police officers.… Read more »

World’s first openly gay prince pioneers LGBT university course

India’s Manvendra Singh Gohil, who is believed to be the first openly gay prince in the world, has pioneered an LGBT+ module at Karnavati University in the western state of Gujarat. The course is reportedly the first module to focus on LGBT+ issues at a university in South Asia, according to The Times of India.… Read more »

What it’s like to be LGBT in Singapore: ‘It definitely takes a thick skin’

A recent controversy featuring Paris Jackson has sparked a conversation on Singapore’s LGBT+ rights record and on how LGBT+ celebrities and allies should deal with countries that criminalise homosexuality. The 20-year-old daughter of the late Michael Jackson, who identifies as bisexual and has promised to be an advocate for the LGBT+ community, shared a picture… Read more »

Transgender Pakistanis Demand Protection After Murder, Dismemberment

Dozens of transgender people have staged a protest in the northwestern Pakistan city of Peshawar to demand more protection after a transgender woman was shot dead and dismembered. The protesters gathered on August 20 outside the Peshawar Press Club, chanting: “We want protection. We want respect and rights.” On August 16, a transgender woman named… Read more »

2 Terengganu Women To Be Caned For Having Sex In A Car

  They were also fined RM3,300 each. On 12 August, the Terengganu Syariah court sentenced two women to six canes and a RM3,300 fine each after they pleaded guilty to having sex in a car New Straits Times reported that the women admitted to breaking an Islamic law which bans sexual relations between women. Punishment… Read more »

Exclusive: Police are ‘blackmailing gay and bisexual men’ in Kyrgyzstan

Police in Kyrgyzstan are using false nicknames on LGBT dating apps to entrap gay and bisexual men, an NGO activist has told PinkNews Nazik, an advocate for LGBT+ rights in Kyrgzstan, has been “beaten with a bottle” because she is a lesbian. “I know dozens of cases myself and I personally had to deal with… Read more »

India appoints its third transgender judge in Assam

Karachi: India’s transgender community marked another milestone in its challenging path on Saturday when Swati Bidhan Baruah was appointed as the first transgender judge in the state of Assam, Geo News reported. After taking up their new role, Judge Baruah went on to hear their first case in the Guwahati District Court (Guwahati Lok Adalat)… Read more »

Out of the Shadows: Pakistan’s Transgender Candidates Step Onto the Political Stage

Each week, residents of Islamabad call in to Nadeem Kashish’s radio show to vent frustration with the problems bedeviling Pakistan’s capital: a lack of running water; chronic electrical outages; soaring rent prices. On air, Kashish’s voice crackles with energy, imploring listeners to vote and hold politicians accountable on their campaign promises. But the program has… Read more »

Here are the 21 best photos from East Timor’s second Pride parade

Lead by a trans marching band, East Timor’s Pride parade stopped traffic in the streets of Dili The young nation of East Timor held its second ever Pride parade over the weekend and it was a rousing success. About 1500 people hit the streets of the capital, Dili, to celebrate the LGBTI community but to… Read more »

‘We are ready’: Singapore’s LGBTI community celebrates 10th Pride rally

The 10th Pink Dot SG sent a clear message to Singapore that LGBTI people will fight for their rights Singapore’s largest LGBTQ-affirming movement, Pink Dot SG, celebrated its 10th anniversary at the weekend. The LGBTI rally has overcome a lot of adversity to make it to its 10th birthday. But on the weekend thousands of… Read more »