An interpretation of non-discrimination which excludes people based on their sexual orientation would be in conflict with the principles of human dignity, inclusiveness, equality, human rights, and non-discrimination.
~ excerpt from the High Court of Kenya ruling that despite anti-homosexuality laws, an LGBT group has the right to form. Signed by Justices Isaac Lenaola, Ngugi Grace Mumbi, George Vincent Odunga, and Isaac Lenaola
From the UN: On April 15th, the UN International Day of Sport for Development and Peace, tennis legend and gender and sexual equality activist Billie Jean King urged athletes to be role models and to try and "help make a positive difference" in the world:
“The great thing about sports is that it really has no borders. It’s a way to connect with others from other cultures. It’s a way to develop... It gives me a chance to have a platform, to speak out on what I feel is the right thing about human rights.”HIV, Health, and Wellness: From Kenya, founder of Men Against AIDS Youth Group, and openly gay and HIV+ man Victor Shaaban eloquently shared his story of having been raped multiple times to "cure" his sexuality. In this short video he speaks about tactics for reaching marginalized Kenyans for HIV prevention.
Out of South Africa, The Champions for an AIDS-Free Generation, a collection of nine former African presidents, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and other influential African leaders, met for three days of high-level discussions to reaffirm their commitment to the cause and the future of Africa's AIDS response.
From Australia, a new study finds that LGBs living on the outskirts of major cities have poorer access to healthcare and a greater likelihood of adverse mental health outcomes than city dwellers. From the US, a new study finds only 9% of academic medical practices have procedures for linking LGBT patients to LGBT-competent doctors.
India's first phone helpline dedicated to the local queer community received over 100,000 calls in only 9 months. Nearly 75% of callers reported they do not disclose their sexual preferences for fear of discrimination and violence and many sought advice for psychosocial crises.
In the US, an evolution in medicine and a rethinking of gender issues is changing how doctors approach intersex infants. Teams of psychologists, genetic counselors, hormone experts, surgeons, and ethicists are helping families determine if sexual assignment surgery should be undertaken at all.
In the UK, an anti-gay group that supports conversion therapy has lodged a formal complaint with the General Medical Council, stating that people who wish to "reduce" homosexual feelings face discrimination as conversion therapies are eliminated.
From the World of Politics: India's Rajya Sabha, the upper house of Parliament, has unanimously passed a bill to promote transgender rights, end discrimination, and promote employment for trans people.
In Northern Ireland, the resignation of health minister Jim Wells over anti-gay remarks has some questioning if hostility towards LGBT people is rampant in his Democratic Unionist Party.
As the UK general election approaches the three leading party candidates, Prime Minister David Cameron, Labour leader Ed Miliband and Lib Dem chief and Deputy PM Nick Clegg, discussed how each of their parties would approach LGBT discrimination in the Commonwealth countries.
And with Turkey's parliament election approaching, Istanbul LGBTI advocacy group SPoD has issued a call for all candidates in all political parties to take the "LGBTI Rights Pledge": a promise to protect LGBTI rights and actively include stakeholders in policy decisions.
The Politics of Union: In France, the group La Manif Pour Tous (LMPT) announced it is registering as a political party. The organization was formed in protest against marriage equality and is now the main opposition to gay marriage, gay parenting, and gender diversity in France.
Malawi passed a new law that protects girls under 18 from marriage, but includes discriminatory language against LGBT Malawians. The "Marriage, Divorce, and Family Relations Law" rejects transgender and intersex person's identity and restricts all marriages and cohabitation arrangements to those between a man and a woman.
Elsewhere, Tonga has agreed to ratify the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, however resistance from church leaders over the phrase a "woman's right to choose her spouse" has led the government to promise to include a same-sex marriage ban.
Ecuadorian lawmakers approved a bill to legalize civil unions with a vote of 89-1, giving LGBT couples the "same rights and obligations" as marriage. In Northern Ireland, over 17,000 people have signed a petition calling for a referendum on same-sex marriage. And in Japan, lesbian actresses Ayaka Ichinose and Akane Sugimori held a symbolic wedding ceremony to advocate for same-sex marriage.
A poll of South Korean young people showed support of LGBT people has doubled in four years, with nearly 60% of young people supporting marriage equality. A poll of Guam university students found over 50% support gay marriage, with researchers stating that more students identified with the issues because they reported knowing an LGBT person.
The US Supreme Court heard historic arguments to determine if same-sex marriage is a constitutional right. Though justices appear to be divided, both sides of the case remain optimistic about the decision expected in June. Excited crowds camped outside the court for days to protest and celebrate.
A study of Latin America finds a majority of religious people in those countries oppose same-sex marriage. The US National Organization for Marriage is working to build an International Organization with the purpose of joining all groups that oppose marriage equality.
Let the Courts Decide: The Kenyan High Court has set a ground-breaking precedent by ruling in favor of the local LGBT group, 'National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission.' The group had been denied the right to register as an NGO because of a Kenyan law that criminalizes homosexuality.
In Russia, a district court has refused to reinstate a lesbian teacher who was fired for "immoral conduct" after an anti-gay activist submitted her social media pictures to the school. The court engaged an "expert" to evaluate the pictures before ruling against the teacher.
The European Court of Justice has said that France's law banning gay men from donating blood was "liable to discriminate" and ruled in favour of adopting less restrictive measures than excluding all gay men who have ever had sex. And in South Africa a court has ruled that religious objections cannot be used as a basis for businesses to discriminate against LGBT people after a lodge turned away a gay couple. Matthew Clayton of Cape Town based LGBT group, Triangle Project stated:
"At a time when South Africa is once again seeing the devastating reality of hate and intolerance being exacted on foreign nationals around the country, this ruling is an important statement that no one has the right to discriminate against others because of who they are."Fear and Loathing: ISIS continued with murders across Syria, Iraq, and Libya. In new photos, two Syrian men accused of homosexuality are hugged by their executioners before they are stoned to death.
From Brazil, graphic images showing a trans woman prisoner brutally assaulted by police guards have sparked outrage, with LGBT campaign groups accusing the police of a cover up.
In Pakistan, friends are mourning the assassination of Sabeen Mahmud, a prominent human rights activist.
India's entrant to Mr Gay World, an annual international competition to establish LGBT human rights ambassadors, Thahir Mohammed Sayyed has dropped from the contest and his family have gone into hiding after receiving threats to their safety.
In Russia, a teen gang, calling themselves "fighters of same-sex love" will stand trial for the abduction, extortion and sexual assault of a 16 year old boy they met online. In Canada, the LGBT Capital Pride event and Ottawa police are warning that gay men are being targeted through dating apps for sexual assault. And in the US, a trans woman has committed suicide after suffering cyber bullying. She marks the eighth suicide of young trans American in the last 5 months.
In Bangladesh, popular actress Disha Ganguly committed suicide after her relationship with another actress was revealed. Upon learning of Ganguly's death, her girlfriend attempted suicide but was prevented by bystanders.
In the US, students at a Pennsylvania high school organized an "Anti-Gay Day" in response to a Gay-Straight Alliance event meant to draw attention to bullying. The anti-gay protest included coordinated outfits, passed out Bible verses, and, as 16-yr-old bisexual student Zoe Johnson said, "I got called a dyke, a faggot. They were calling us every horrible name you can think of."
Winds of Change: In Nepal, Sunil Babu Pant, the country's first gay politician is leading the charge to help LGBTI Nepalese after the massive earthquake killed at least 7,040 people. LGBTI people are particularly vulnerable during disasters as discrimination and lack of proper ID can prevent them from accessing essentials.
The Council of Europe passed a resolution on discrimination against transgender people and urged members to protect the their rights, abolish medical procedures needed to change legal gender, and make transgender-specific healthcare accessible.
Out of the UK, a survey shows the continuing evolution in the language young people consider offensive. While most objected to "faggot," nearly half felt "that's gay" is acceptable and 10% believed the word "homosexual" is offensive. Out of the US, a new study evaluated when teen bystanders were willing to intervene to stop LGBT bullying, and found teens were more likely to defend a fellow student when they themselves had LGBT friends and connections.
In Jamaica, an editorial urges Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller to stand up to anti-gay bigots.
And in his op-ed, activist Evan Wolfson highlights the strategy to shift public opinion around LGBT people in the US, where support for gay marriage jumped from 27% to 63% in less than twenty years. Wolfson contends the swift gains were made because advocates moved away from abstract discussions of gay rights to personal stories that share who gay people are and how we all connect.
In the Name of Religion: When considering religious acceptance of LGBT communities much is made of Christian and Muslim faiths, but journalist Harry Ess examines how Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and Jainism approach gender and sexuality.
According to reports, the Vatican has rejected France's nominated ambassador, openly gay Laurent Stéfanini. Pope Francis met with Stéfanini to personally decline the appointment.
In Germany, a Catholic school principal was fired after she revealed plans to marry her partner. Despite a non-disclosure clause, the issue sparked public debate within the community as parents and activists spoke out in her support.
Chadwick Moore takes an indepth look at the history of the US Religious Freedom Restoration Act and how the religious right is now using it to bring discrimination back into law. And in an excerpt from bestselling author Rachel Held Evans' new book, Evans reveals how a survivor of gay conversion therapy is helping Christians turned off by a conservative 'hate' filled church find their faith.
LGBT Orthodox Jews held a conference in New York bringing together Jewish leaders and mental health professionals to discuss how best to protect vulnerable members of the community. And in the UK during the annual National Union of Students conference, the Union of Jewish Students held an event focused on LGBT and religious freedom.
Out of Egypt, where the court recently ruled the government can deport and refuse entry to foreign LGBT people, activist Scott Long wonders at the lack of outrage for ongoing abuses to the Egyptian LGBT community.
In Russia, Elena Musolina went from 'mom' to activist after the anti-gay propaganda law turned her son into a second class citizen. And in the UK, British citizen Vienna Brown says she will sue the government if her bisexual son Orashia is deported back to Jamaica. Orashia is the latest asylum seeker the court has ruled "lied" about his sexuality.
The World of Business: Hong Kong based firm LGBT Capital reported that the annual purchasing power of local LGBTs amounts to $300 billion, despite the near invisibility of LGBT in Chinese media. With polls showing a growing acceptance of the community, some luxury brands are taking advantage of China’s “pink economy."
Out of Australia, market leader PriceWaterhouseCooper announced a new external advisory board to boost workplace diversity. The company, which ranked as 2012's best workplace for Australian LGBTs, hopes to "engage in conversations and challenge assumptions" on all aspects of diversity.
International tech giant IBM spoke out publicly against proposed legislation that encourages LGBT discrimination. The company is in the midst of a large expansion in the US state of Louisiana, but plans could be delayed as they expressed concern that the 'Religious Freedom Bill' under consideration will be detrimental to employees.
Taiwan game developer, Gamania extended marriage benefits to LGBT employeesin an effort to create a "happy work-life environment."
And in China, WorkForLGBT held the first job fair targeted at LGBT Chinese with 200 HR leaders and 17 Fortune 500 companies, including Google, Starbucks, IBM, Electronic Arts (EA), and L’Oreal. Organizer Steven Bielinski noted that people from across China traveled to the event because they are seeking opportunities where"LGBT employees can bring their authentic selves to work."
Sports and Culture: Olympic gold medalist Bruce Jenner ended speculation and officially announced that he is transitioning from male to female. Social media response to the interview announcement was so great it "broke Twitter." In Canada,gay Olympians were honored for their achievements as leaders before a safe space existed for LGBT athletes.
From Indonesia, photojournalist Fulvio Bugani captures the Islamic boarding school that offers a safe haven for transgender people. And from the Philippines, group Pink Ink provides support to LGBT students interested in becoming journalists.
Russian activist Elena Klimova, whose LGBT support group for teens was shut down by the Russian Court, is shaming her cyber bullies by publishing the hateful messages they send her alongside their real names and pictures found through social media.
Out of Japan, a new academic book has been published on the evolving sexual identities of Japanese men in media. And out of the US, comics leaked online reveal original X-Men character Iceman will come out as gay in the new comic book. Actor Shawn Ashmore, who plays Iceman in the X-Men film franchise, tweeted his excitement over the evolution of the character.
Watch this short, moving video from Lithuanian group Svetimageda, who captured the impact of cyber bullying when a man asks for help translating a message left on his facebook page. The group advises Lithuanians how to react to racial and homophobic bullying.
Finally, across the globe, preparations are underway for IDAHOT, the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. Check out local events planned for the 17 May celebration, or sign up to automatically tweet your support on the day.