"Most developed and free nations of the world accept homosexuality, as they should. If we want to be one of them one day, it is time to start behaving like we belong in the modern world. Strong minority rights are evidence of justice in society. It shows even the powerless are heard and protected. So, gay or not, we need to do this. We need to move ahead in the world." ~ Chetan Bhagat, acclaimed Indian author
The UN Human Rights Council adopts a resolution for LGBT rights, and while equality moves forward some places, elsewhere it takes two steps back. This and more Global LGBT stories from Equal Eyes.
Laws - what do they say about us?: On the heels of Uganda's HIV criminalization law, The Gambia passes a bill to imprison gays and lesbians for life for "repeat offenders" and people living with HIV. Author Chetan Bhagat condemns Section 377--India's anti-gay law as a British relic, urging straight Indians to take a stand and Matthew McFetridge investigates how Section 377 is affecting LGBT inMyanmar. For an overview, Graeme Reid looks at how international law attacks or protects sexual and gender minorities.
Jordanian Prince Zeid Raad al-Hussein, the new United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the first Arab Muslim to hold the post, delivered his opening remarks to the Human Rights Council on Tuesday. In his remarks he spoke against exploitation for any reason, including sexual orientation.
Denmark progresses in trans rights, but 20 European countries still force transgender individuals to undergo sterilisation if they want their gender choice recognized. Hong Kong hosts international policy leaders to strategize equal opportunities for LGBTI people and Peru hosted the first regional meeting with LGBT advocates from Latin America and the Caribbean.
Fear and loathing: After death threats appeared on Facebook Bahamas' first gay pride event was canceled. Elsewhere, Javed Jaghai dropped his Supreme Court suit against Jamaica's buggery law after repeated death threats. Nine Egyptian menwere arrested over a gay wedding video that appeared on Youtube, and across the Middle East personal mobile phones are being used to target and entrap allegedly gays and lesbians.
Cameroonian youth leader Abongwa Victor describes how criminalization has led to 'corrective' rape, torture, abuse, and mental anguish among LGBT youth, while the mayor of Kazakhstan's capital fears international media is brainwashing children with gay propaganda.
Activists in Russia and the Ukraine fear Crimea's threats to expel LGBT from the country. Meanwhile, the World Congress of Families, an anti-gay/anti-abortion US based group, will hold "Large Families: the Future of Humanity" in Moscow, despite economic sanctions forbidding involvement.
Societal transformation: Good news from Asia where a survey of 7,000 young Chinese found that despite conservative values, 90% accept gays. In Chile the National Youth Institute (INJUV) found that 70% of young people support gay marriage and first member of Chile's armed forces comes out of the closet.
Though evangelical Christians in South Korea continue to promote hate speech, 10,000 participants attended South Korea's Queer Culture Festival.
Meanwhile, Kenyans speak up: out lesbian judge Monica Mburu is unafraid and Kenyan filmmakers come out from behind an anonymous label during their triumphant turn at the Toronto International Film Festival with a film on LGBT love.
Health and HIV: Two Cameroon HIV organizations are no longer able to provide health and social support after being evicted for working with gay people. In the US some doctors are refusing to help women requesting HIV prevention in the form of PrEP.
Inadequate care is nothing new for many LGBT people in the US and UK, where separate studies show LGBT have bad experiences and worse outcomes from health services than straight people. Good news in Cape Town, where a clinic specifically for LGBT and sex workers has opened to bypass these stigmatizing experiences. Another study investigates intimacy in LGBT relationships, the role of condoms, and the potential to affect HIV transmission.
Seeking equality through the courts: Coahuila became the first state to legalize same-sex marriage in Mexico. Among Nordic countries, only Finland and Faroe Island do not recognise same-sex marriage, but that may soon change. After US state Louisiana failed to overturn the gay marriage ban, other states head to court, but the Economist wonders if the movement is going too fast.
For Vivian Boyack, 91, and Alice “Nonie” Dubes, 90, the law has moved just in time, allowing the lesbian couple to marry after 7 decades together. And in London the Southbank Festival of Love hosted a mass wedding to celebrate equal marriage rights. A gay couple in Switzerland and lesbian couple in Italy celebrated the first sets of adoptions by gay parents in each country.
Entertainment, sport, and culture: On the path to the Oscars, Benedict Cumberbatch talks homophobia, politics, and playing Alan Turing, a brilliant gay World War II hero. A new book examines the history of male sex workers and Pakistan sees its first children's book to promote gay equality. Both might be found in the re-opened oldest gay bookstore in the US.
Arsenal football players use humor to combat homophobia, while Russian politicians find nothing funny about an ad that depict famous historical Russian men kissing. Send your mail with a Tom of Finland gay erotic stamp and if you need something to watch, check out the seasons of these seven lesbian web series.