"I've become disillusioned and even passive since the Supreme Court's 2013 ruling on Section 377. I'm just tired of speaking up. People don't realise how the law fuels social prejudice."
~ Onir, Indian filmmaker as the Supreme Court reconsiders Section 377 of the penal code that criminalizes homosexuality.
From the UN: The UN Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights issued a statement of concern regarding the dangerous environment for gay and lesbian people in Malawi after a political leader made multiple statements calling for gay people to be killed. The politician was sued for 'inciting violence,' but the State chose not to prosecute. UN officials warn that the failure sends a message that killing lesbian and gay people is tolerated.
The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) issued statements reprimanding France and Ireland for performing 'medically unnecessary and irreversible surgery' on intersex children.
Working with the UN Free and Equal campaign, the United Nations Postal Administration has released commemorative stamps that 'celebrate the diversity of the LGBT community.' Available in English, French, and German, the stamps will be available online and at UN headquarters in New York, Geneva, and Vienna.
HIV, Health, and Wellness: In the Philippines a nationwide study reveals a sharp rise in new infections and AIDS related deaths among gay men and other men who have sex with men, transgender women, sex workers, and people who inject drugs.
In the US a rigorous randomized trial found that testing for HIV can be improved significantly by offering opt-out tests to patients in emergency department settings. Meanwhile in the UK, another study has found that immediately treating men who test positive and offering PrEP to men who test negative wouldsubstantially reduce new infections among gay men.
A new study on HPV found that people infected through unprotected oral sex are 22 times more likely to develop head and neck cancer later in life.
In Australia Health Minister Jill Hennessy spoke out against gay 'conversion therapy,' noting that new legislation is being introduced to parliament to support 'zero tolerance' policy towards the practice.
Let the Courts Decide: The Supreme Court of India decided to refer to a five-judge Constitution Bench petitions challenging Section 377 of the penal code against the law criminalizing consensual same sex relations.
In the Netherlands a Dutch court has fined a politician 1000€ for 'unnecessarily offensive' and discriminatory statements he made about gay people.
The High Court in London ruled against a heterosexual couple petitioning for the right to register a civil partnership. Justice Andrews ruled that the Civil Partnership Act only applies to same-sex couples.
From the World of Politics: Portuguese president Anibal Cavaco Silva blocked a new law that would have given adoption rights to same-sex couples and also would have allowed lesbians to receive fertility treatments.
In Indonesia, Mayor Ridwan Kamil 'reprimanded' the Islam Defenders Front forposting homophobic banners in the capital of Indonesia's West Java province. Meanwhile Indonesia's Minister of Research, Technology, and Higher Education said that LGBT students should be banned if they 'engage in disgraceful behavior like making love or showing affection.'
The European Parliament passed a resolution on Crimea that strongly condemns'unprecedented levels' of human rights abuses against all Crimeans. Furthermore, the Parliament expressed 'grave concern' regarding LGBTI Crimeans. In a separate report, the Parliament issued statements on human rights in Serbia and Kosovo, noting that, while progress has been made, discrimination and violence against LGBTI persons is still a matter of concern.
The Politics of Union: As Italy's parliament considered marriage equality legislation, several thousand marched in Rome both for and against the bill. In preparation for the vote, UK newspaper the Guardian reviewed the history of same-sex marriage and union laws across Europe.
In Australia politicians are divided over Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's plan for a public vote on marriage equality. The planned vote will delay movement on the issue until 2017 and will cost a reported $160 million.
In Lithuania the Interior Ministry refused to grant the husband of a Lithuanian man a temporary residency permit after the couple was married in the Netherlands.
Fear and Loathing: Four men in Saudi Arabia were arrested in a raid of their homeafter the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice received tips that the men were living as 'married couples.'
On the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, the UK's Holocaust Memorial Day Trust released a study on discrimination in Britain, which found one in six people have witnessed hate crimes based on sexual orientation in 2015.
Out of Central America, a new report highlights the extreme violence and discrimination faced by transgender people in Guatemala, EL Salvador, Honduras, Costa Rica, and Panama, noting that due to violence, the average life expectancy of El Salvadorian trans women is less than 35.
In Brazil violence against trans women continues with reports of four more women murdered in the last two weeks. In the US, 2016's first murder of a known transgender person has been reported—at least 22 trans murders were reported in 2015.
In the Name of Religion: A US support group for Mormon mothers has called attention to suicide among LGBT teens—claiming that in their region 32 young Mormons have committed suicide since the Church enacted a new anti-gay policy.
A Unitarian Church in Manchester, England is baptising transgender people in their chosen genders.
From the UK, Sikh and LGBT activist Manjinder Sidhu looks to inspire and educate other South Asian LGBTIs. And from the US, evangelical author and LGBT activist Matthew Vines works to bring gay and trans people into conservative Christianity.
Catholic author John L. Allen Jr. examined Pope Francis' shifting stance on same-sex civil unions as the Italian parliament prepares to vote.
Winds of Change: Author and educator Linda Villarosa profiled the "new breed of proud and out African LGBT activists who are refusing to be silent." Meanwhile the US special envoy for LGBT rights, Randy Berry, concluded his visit to Southern Africa and noted: “Change is not going to occur because the US wants it to. Change comes through those people working indigenously within those societies to produce a more equitable framework.”
Author Zareer Masani—a self-described sexual migrant from India—described thechanging attitudes of Indians towards homosexuality despite ongoing criminalization. Meanwhile, in the Indian state Karnataka, transgender people are fighting Section 36A of the State Police Act (introduced in 2011) which specifically targets transgender people under suspicion of "kidnapping or emasculating boys, committing unnatural offences, or any other offences.”
A new comprehensive survey in Hong Kong found that nearly all (91.8%) of surveyed young people believe that legislation to protect against LGBTI discrimination is necessary.
On the March: In Germany LGBT communities and support groups have established special shelters to care exclusively for gay and lesbian refugees who are often targets of abuse and violence.
The Austrian government distributed 'behavior guides' to refugees that use cartoons to comment on human dignity, democracy, violence towards women, and rights of children. The guide includes an image of same-sex kissing with the text: "same sex partnerships are allowed in Austria. Women may live with women, men with men."
From Turkey, LGBT Syrian refugees spoke out against the persecution they suffered under ISIS and their struggle to 'blend in' with straight Syrian exiles. From the Netherlands, gay Syrian refugees spoke about their surprise at facing abuse from other refugees within Dutch camps.
School Days: School officials in Iceland are attempting to promote the Akurskóli primary school as a 'gender-neutral school' with gender-neutral bathrooms, an inclusive uniform policy, and lectures from a national queer organization. As principal Sigurbjörg Róbertsdóttir said, 'It's not up to us, the school, to force [trans students] or anybody else into a pre-designed form.'
In the US, the Department of Education will begin to publicly post colleges and universities who receive federal funds and have requested waivers allowing the school to discriminate against LGBT students and employees in the guise of religious freedom.
Author and professor Georgiann Davis shared five ways parents can help andsupport their intersex children—without undergoing unnecessary genital surgery.
Business and Technology: In the US state of Indiana, city officials have confirmed that the state's Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which allowed businesses and organizations to discriminate against LGBT people, cost the capital city up to $60 million.
In Spain, the Madrid Metro system announced plans to give away free annual travel passes to transgender people as part of a campaign to support those 'experiencing social exclusion.' The city has recently experienced a wave of suspected hate crimes against LGBT people.
In India, a new initiative was announced to train and employee LGBT community members as taxi drivers for 'Wings Rainbow.'
A report from YouTube says that 'coming out' videos are one of the most popular genres on the website, with ad revenue off this genre earning the company an estimated $1 million.
Sports and Culture: The International Olympic Committee has recommended that transgender athletes be allowed to compete in the Olympics regardless as to whether they have undergone gender reassignment surgery.
From Russia, reporter Katerina Patin explores how state-run news media spreadshomophobia and fear through extreme misinformation. Meanwhile Russia's anti-gay propaganda law ensures that no opposing information is presented.
Out of Australia a new LGBT teen drama has already gained over 56,000 views on Youtube.
Indian actors Manoj Bajpayee and Rajkummar Rao, and director Hansal Mehta, released a video supporting the movement to decriminalize homosexuality.
South African pop star Toya Delazy won Best International Song at the Out Music Awards.
Finally check out the 'Gay Sex Commercial' by Berlin filmmakers that hopes to 'give the LGBT community something to celebrate!'