The UN’s LGBT expert has advocated for a global partnership to end violence

He advocated for unity in his keynote speech at the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) in Bangkok. Vitit Muntarbhorn said: “resolute action is required to stop the violence and discrimination affecting not only LGBT communities but also the human rights defenders working with them… “this goes hand in hand with the… Read more »

Not welcome! Prime Minister Banned From Sydney Mardi Gras

Not welcome! Prime Minister Banned From Sydney Mardi Gras Australia’s prime minister has been formally banned from Sydney’s Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras as an official guest. The move is in protest against Malcolm Turnbull’s failed plebiscite on same-sex marriage. A motion was passed to scratch him from the list at an official meeting for… Read more »

Pacific Nations ‘Dragging The Chain’ On LGBTI Rights: Former Judge

But Justice Michael Kirby said he doesn’t know what can be done about it. A former Australian high court judge says Pacific Island nations are dragging the chain on LGBTI rights, as he urged them to forget “hobgoblin” fears of LGBTI people. Michael Kirby, a former High Court Judge and prominent advocate for LGBTI rights,… Read more »

Gay marriage in Australia unlikely for years after public vote plan rejected

Australia’s parliament is almost certain to vote down a national referendum on same-sex marriage, potentially delaying marriage equality in the country for years. Though it backs same-sex marriage, the left-wing opposition Labor party formally announced Tuesday it would not support the government’s planned national vote. They say a public vote is unnecessary, too costly and… Read more »

Gay Polish mayor becomes opposition icon

Robert Biedron is a progressive and openly gay mayor in one of Europe’s most conservative countries. Slupsky, Poland — Poland’s right-wing government has put it on the fringes of Europe on issues that include abortion, migration and democracy. But a charismatic 40-year-old mayor is leading a counter-cultural charge from the Baltic coast city of Slupsk.… Read more »

Gay Polish mayor becomes opposition icon

Robert Biedron is a progressive and openly gay mayor in one of Europe’s most conservative countries. Slupsk, Poland — Poland’s right-wing government has put it on the fringes of Europe on issues that include abortion, migration and democracy. But a charismatic 40-year-old mayor is leading a counter-cultural charge from the Baltic coast city of Slupsk.… Read more »

Perth to host its first queer film festival

Perth is set to hold its first queer film festival in September. Several films will premiere at the event which will celebrate the best of LGBTQI cinema. Festival director, Mark Reid, explained that the chosen films don’t revolve around fairy tale romances that end happily ever after. The original films range drama to comedy, and… Read more »

Miss Fa’afafine: A look inside Samoa’s transgender beauty pageant

Homosexual acts may be illegal in Samoa, but the annual transgender beauty pageant is a mainstay of the island nation’s social calendar. Miss Fa’afafine takes its name from the Samoan word for the society’s “third gender”, which literally translates to “in the style of” (fa’a) “woman” (fafine). Estimates of the proportion of fa’afafines in the… Read more »

Papua New Guinea police open fire on student protest

Papua New Guinea have opened fire on a student demonstration at a university campus. Further shooting was reported outside a hospital where the wounded were being treated. Papua New Guinea police opened fire on students rallying in the capital, Port Moresby, as they prepared to march to parliament on Wednesday. The protesters were calling for… Read more »

Thousands march for gay rights in Poland, Croatia, Italy

Warsaw, Poland — Several thousand people marched Saturday in colorful gay pride events in Italy, Poland and Croatia urging support for minority rights in the mostly Catholic nations. The parades in Poland and Croatia come amid mounting right-wing sentiments that pose new challenges to gay rights activists. In Italy, however, the gay pride celebration comes… Read more »

Human rights in Oceania — lots of work to do

Much remains to be done to improve the human rights records of seven Pacific Ocean countries that still have laws against same-sex intimacy. In particular, LGBTI rights in those seven countries in Oceania are the focus of the following excerpts from the 2015 edition of the U.S. Department of State’s Country Reports on Human Rights… Read more »

‘The white attractive male is at the top’: Gay indigenous man screenshots racist messages he regularly gets on Grindr

Indigenous student started sharing racist messages he receives on Grindr Dustin Mangatjay McGregor is regularly abused when dating online Started public-shaming to show that racism is prevalent in the gay scene He says there’s a hierarchy in the gay community, just as in wider society An indigenous university student has begun sharing racist messages he… Read more »

Outback grass makes world’s ‘thinnest, strongest’ condoms

Ingredients found in spinifex grass are being used to create a range of “super-condoms”. A spiky grass that sprouts across the outback has been found to contain the ideal ­ingredients to make the world’s thinnest, strongest ­condoms. The bitter grass has long been used by Aboriginal ­hunters to shape their ­deadly spears. However, scientists from… Read more »

Rainbow laces: Australia sports stars join anti-homophobia campaign

Top Australian sporting stars will wear rainbow laces this weekend as part of a campaign against homophobia. The initiative is inspired by similar movements in other countries including Britain. Openly gay athletes are rare in mainstream Australian sport – particularly in the country’s four main football codes. Almost 80% of participants in an international study… Read more »

Ian Thorpe says he has a ‘responsibility’ towards younger gay men

The swimmer says he wants to help other gay people who are struggling with their sexuality. Former Olympic swimmer Ian Thorpe spoke out about the “responsibility” he now feels towards others struggling to come to terms with their sexuality. “There’s an opportunity and a good responsibility I feel for young people who may be struggling… Read more »

Grindr documentary to feature at Cannes

A documentary about use of gay dating app, Grindr, in New Zealand is to feature at the Cannes Film Festival. The prestigious event – that often screens work by some of the world’s greatest film makers – will show the eight minute feature created by students, Annabelle Dick and Kyan Krumdieck. “We were trying to… Read more »

Australian state to issue apology for historic anti-gay laws

The Australian state of Victoria will become the second to issue an apology for historic gay sex convictions, it has been announced. It was confirmed last month that Tasmania’s Parliament would formally issue an apology for historic convictions related to consensual gay sex, under laws only lifted in 1997. This week, the Premier of the… Read more »

Gay Olympic diving champ Matthew Mitcham is hanging up his speedos

Australian diver Matthew Mitcham has announced his retirement from the sport. The 27-year-old diver came out before the Beijing Olympics back in 2008, revealing that his partner would be travelling to China to watch him dive at the event. It paid off – in Beijing he smashed the record for the highest single-dive score in… Read more »

UN Recognises EMTV Journalists

United Nations Women office in PNG has recognised EMTV journalists, Deborah Pranis and Florence Jonduo, for excellence in reporting on HIV and Gender Based Violence in Papua New Guinea. Both journalists were recognised for their reporting on EMTV’s Olsem Wanem program, a 30-minute documentary that looks into social issues affecting ordinary Papua New Guineans. The… Read more »

Australia’s ‘rent boys’: Male sex workers are ‘everywhere’, industry advocate says

When *Christopher was growing up in a small NSW country town, strangers would stop his mother in the street and comment on his big blue eyes and curly blond hair. Fast forward 15 years and Christopher was cashing in on those same charming boyish looks, listing them as his best features in online advertisements where… Read more »

The Sistergirls of Tiwi Islands: How a remote community in northern Australia has the highest population of transgender people in the country – including children as young as six

Tiwi Islands in the Northern Territory has the highest population of transgender people in Australia ‘Sistergirl’ or ‘Yimpininni’ is a term used to describe transgender, homosexual or bisexual indigenous people Locals say as many as five per cent of the population consider themselves a Sistergirl While they are largely accepted in the remote community, there… Read more »

Chinese Expat Pens A Personal Story

Auckland, New Zealand – a Chinese expat, Dave Yan, who possesses a personal story of dedication, perseverance and ingenuity, released a biographical fiction novel, Over A Year, to celebrate being granted his New Zealand residency. Set in Auckland, the story surrounds the life of an international student, Dave, for the time period of over a… Read more »

Poland passes first gender recognition bill

Polish parliament has passed the country’s first ever transgender recognition legislation. Anna Grodzka – Poland’s first openly transgender politician – introduced the Gender Accordance Act in May 2012, and it was finally passed on Thursday (23 July) by 252 votes to 158, with 11 absentations. Although the country has legally recognised transgender citizens since the… Read more »

New Zealand government to recognise ‘gender diverse’ people as well as male and female

The New Zealand government is changing the way it records gender – allowing people to identify as “gender diverse”. The government’s official data collection body Statistics NZ announced the change, which will be the new standard across government agencies. It explained: “‘Gender diverse’ will join ‘male’ and ‘female’ categories in a new gender-identity classification released… Read more »

Tasmanian church distributing anti-gay marriage booklet

Tasmania’s Catholic Archdiocese are distributing out copies of the church’s booklet that will explain to people its opposition to same-sex marriage. Archbishop Julian Porteous said 12,000 families of whose children attend Catholic schools in Tasmania will receive a copy of ‘Don’t Mess with Marriage’. By Friday the families will have all received a copy of… Read more »

Pitcairn Island Passes Gay Marriage But Has No Wedding Plans

Wellington, New Zealand (AP) — Pitcairn Island, a tiny speck in the Pacific that’s home to just 48 people, has passed a law allowing same-sex marriage — but has no gay couples wanting to wed. First settled in 1790, Pitcairn is a British Overseas Territory that has some legal autonomy and is often considered the… Read more »

Poland blocks debate on gay civil partnerships

The Polish Parliament has voted against having a debate on the regulation of gay and straight civil partnerships. The Polish Sejm rejected the proposal, put forward by the Democratic Left Alliance, meant that same-sex couples in civil partnerships would be able to pay income tax jointly, the right to inheritance, and social security benefits as… Read more »

Grieving partner pays tribute to cafe´ manager killed during Sydney siege

A man has paid tribute to his life partner Tori Johnson, who was killed during the 16-hour cafe´ siege in Sydney. Mr Johnson was killed alongside barrister Katrina Dawson, when the Lindt café he managed in Martin Place was held up by self-described radical cleric Man Haron Monis. The cafe´ manager was hailed a hero… Read more »

Australia gets its first openly gay Chief Minister

An Australian Labor Party politician has become the country’s first openly gay government leader. Andrew Barr was appointed Chief Minister of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) on Thursday replacing Katy Gallagher who resigned last week. In his acceptance speech to the ACT Legislative Assembly Mr Barr paid tribute to his partner and said he looked… Read more »

Reduce sex work stigma in PNG to bring down numbers of AIDS deaths, says Port Moresby governor

The governor of Papua New Guinea’s capital says he is willing to disregard laws that prosecute sex workers if it means an end to the discrimination that is linked to the country’s large numbers of AIDS-related deaths. Papua New Guinea has one of the highest rates of HIV infections outside of the African continent and… Read more »

Robert Biedron Becomes Poland’s First Openly Gay Mayor

Warsaw, Poland (AP) — Robert Biedron already made history once in Poland by becoming the first openly gay lawmaker in parliament in 2011. On Monday, he became the country’s first openly gay mayor. The 38-year-old’s political successes are a marker of how quickly this deeply conservative and Catholic country has changed in the decade since… Read more »

Gay asylum seekers fear arrest for reporting rape in Papua New Guinea

Gay asylum seekers to Australia fear reporting rape in case they are arrested for homosexuality. Australia has been sending asylum seekers to the Manus Island detention centre in Papua New Guinea, where homosexuality is illegal. Several gay men from Iran said they had been told they would be arrested if they spoke out about the… Read more »

Indigenous Australia’s HIV crisis never happened: five questions to James Ward

Tell us about who you are My name is James Ward. I am a Pitjantjatjara and Nurrunga man from central and south Australia, with connections to mobs in Kaltukatjara, Ntaria, Point Pearce and Adelaide. I currently live in Alice Springs but from next week will be relocating to Kuarna country in Adelaide. From next week… Read more »

World of male sex workers explored in new book

A new book shines a light on male prostitution and the findings are surprising. Sex work is an industry primarily associated with women. When male sex workers are thought about, it’s usually through the prism of health studies or debate around the legality of their behaviour; they become statistics, or shadowy carriers of disease. Media… Read more »

Eight Pacific countries still have anti-gay laws

The Pacific island nation of Palau has decriminalized gay sex in a revision of its penal code. The new criminal laws came into force at the end of July but were only announced today. At Palau’s last Universal Periodic Review at the UN Human Rights Council in 2011, France, Norway and Spain all made recommendations… Read more »

Film helping change attitudes about homosexuality in PNG

The Papua New Guinea Human Rights Film Festival is moving across the country, telling the stories of those oppressed in PNG and across the Pacific. One film being featured tells the story of Hanuabada village, a haven for gay and transgender people living in Port Moresby. Homosexuality is illegal in PNG, but the large community… Read more »

Gay asylum seekers on Manus Island write of fear of persecution in PNG

Guardian Australia obtains six letters detailing persecution in Iran, detention centre abuse and fears about resettlement in Papua New Guinea, where homosexuality is illegal Gay asylum seekers detained by Australia on Manus Island have written of suicidal thoughts, experiences of sexual assault and fear of persecution in Papua New Guinea in a series of handwritten… Read more »

Australia: Norfolk Island may introduce same-sex marriage this year

Norfolk Island in Australia, could legalise same-sex marriage this year, as plans to introduce legislation have been lodged. The self-governing territory could see a major hike in tourist numbers, if same-sex marriage becomes legal. The legislation which is yet to be introduced, would establish a new law to work alongside the Federal Marriage Act, but… Read more »

Being Gay in Papua New Guinea

Hanuabada village is one of few places that gay and transgender men can live in relative safety in Papua New Guinea, a country where homosexuality is illegal. Around thirty gay men permanently live in the village, a collection of traditional-style Papuan houses on stilts. Other PNG homosexuals have moved there from other places around the… Read more »

Sydney hosts two-month Queer Arab Film Festival

Australia: The Australian city of Sydney is hosting a two-month Queer Arab Film Festival to better understand the problems and challenges Arab, Muslim, Middle-Eastern LGBTIQ community face in a region that has harsh anti-gay laws and prejudices. Classical Arabic and Islamicate literature from the 9th to the 16th centuries was replete with examples of characters… Read more »