“We believe this proposal is viewed by many people of faith and by others as a straightforward attack on LGBT community and it is not consistent with the loving and inclusive message of Christianity”
~ Canon Charles Kenny, spokesman for the Church of Ireland's gay rights group Changing Attitude Ireland, on Northern Ireland's proposed anti-gay "conscience clause"
From the UN: Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is asking people to have courage to speak out against discrimination and to join the campaign for LGBT equality in a new video message for UN-Globe, the association of LGBTI staff working in the UN. Celebrating Zero Discrimination Day, UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibe added his support, saying "committing to making our world free of stigma and discrimination is not an option, it's a duty."
The United Nations Development Programme convened a landmark meeting to discuss strategies for promoting equal rights. Over 200 Asia-Pacific LGBTI advocates and experts from over 30 countries to engage in the dialogue.
Meanwhile, during a UN budget meeting, Russian diplomat to the UN has demanded that the Secretary-General revoke an administrative ruling that gives UN LGBT employees who are in domestic partnerships the same marital benefits as their heterosexual counterparts.
HIV, Health, and Well-Being: Researchers from "The PARTNER Study" have announced that HIV positive gay men who are on anti-retroviral treatment dramatically reduce risk of transmitting the virus. In two years, zero participants have been infected by their partners. Meanwhile, a study has determined that PEPFAR's ABC campaign, which emphasized abstinence to prevent transmission, was a relative 'failure.'
In Hong Kong, the Health Department has released figures showing that young gay men are contracting HIV at an "alarming" rate.
Studies from both the US and the UK find homeless youth predominantly identify as LGBTI. Furthermore, in the US homeless LGBT youth are often forced to engage in ‘survival sex’ simply to eat.
And journalist Andrea Majanik Bowen argues that the next battle for LGBT equality must be "making sure health service providers are competent and sensitive enough to meet our community’s needs."
Intolerance, Fear, And Loathing: In Russia, two men have been arrested for stabbing to death a gay man they say propositioned them on the street. In Ireland, a lesbian couple who were holding hands in the street were savagely beaten and left unconscious. And in Ghana, several women were attacked by a mob after community members posted posters accusing them of being lesbians.
In the US, a Christian activist and lawyer has made headlines by proposing a so-called Sodomite Suppression Act, which calls for executing gay people. Meanwhile, the deaths of US trans people continue. Following the seven murders of trans women since January, four transgender youths have committed suicide because of bullying.
In Kenya a gay Rwandan refugee was assaulted and blackmailed. The incident reflects similar findings from a new study that documents the growing physical and sexual assault suffered by gay men in Kenya.
Out of Syria ISIS has published an article 'explaining' why the killing of homosexuals are 'lawful executions' as another gay man is thrown from a building. Meanwhile, in Egypt, seven men have been arrested on charges of debauchery and homosexuality. The first raid since 26 Egyptians were acquitted of the same charge, advocates had hoped the raids would stop. Columnist Ahmed Ramadan explores the ongoing oppression of gay men in the Middle East.
In Cameroon, a report finds that LGBTI and human rights defenders face "alarming proportions" of homophobia and violence. In Europe, a short video documents the humiliation and abuse trans people are forced to endure in 34 countries.
In Russia, after a picture of owners of a lesbian club kissing in front of a prominent anti-gay Russian politician went viral, the club was targeted by an anti-gay group and was raided by police. In Ireland, LGBT groups are warning members against "catfishing" -- the so-called practice of lying on dating sites to target and attack victims.
Politicking: The Kazakhstan Senate has passed a ‘gay propaganda’ bill that outlaws 'promoting' non-traditional sexual orientation. Meanwhile, French president Francois Hollande is vowing to introduce tougher laws on anti-gay and anti-Semitic hate speech.
In Trinidad and Tobago, senators across party lines have called for laws to protect the rights of same-sex couples and disabled people when seeking adoption.
In the US, LGBT congress members are protesting the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a free trade deal between the US, Asia, and Latin America that would include Brunei and Malaysia-nations that practice sharia law and hold a death penalty for homosexuality.
While US officials speak out against global LGBT inequality, some US states are continuing to push for discriminatory laws at home, protecting people's 'right' to refuse services in the name of religious freedom. In Northern Ireland, nearly 150,000 people have signed a petition against a similar law, called a 'conscience clause,' that would allow Irish businesses to refuse LGBT people.
Meanwhile, in South Africa, openly gay MP Ian Ollis has sparked debate by holding hands with his partner before the State of the Nation Address. His response, "What's the fuss?"
Winds of Change: In Japan, the Ministry of Education has declared that schools must provide support for LGBT students to prevent bullying and suicide. Meanwhile in Canada, the new sex-ed curriculum that includes discussion of same-sex relationships, online bullying, and gender identity has stirred debate.
Journalist Claire Ainsworth explores how biologists' definition of gender and sexuality continues to evolve. In the UK, the House of Lords approves three person in vitro fertilization to prevent genetic diseases in babies, and elsewhere researchers say they've used stem cells to create human egg and sperm cells, opening the possibilities for same-sex birth parents.
Slovenia becomes the 11th EU nation to legalize gay marriage and the Navajo Nation tribal council approves same-sex marriage stating: the tribal court should be free from discrimination 'regardless of gender.' Meanwhile in Mexico, same-sex couples have successfully petitioned the right to marry on a case-by-case basis.
On the march: During Sydney’s annual Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Fair Day in Australia, LGBT people discuss their most important issues for the community beyond marriage. While during the annual Arctic Pride in Finland, participants stressed the importance of being a role model of acceptance despite the views of neighboring Russia.
And in Sweden, hockey team Orebro HK, hosted 'Pride Game' wearing special rainbow jerseys and dancing to YMCA. More than a fun stunt, the event included a pre-game talk on pride issues and informational handouts.
In the UK, a Parliamentary inquiry has determined that LGBTI asylum seekersface bullying, harassment, and abuse while housed in detention centers. The report supports statements made during the highly publicized asylum case of Nigerian lesbian and advocate Aderonke Apata. As the judge adjourned the case this week, protesters from around the world gathered in London to support Apata's cause.
Photojournalist Bradley Secker gives an in-depth look at gay men who fled Iraq to Syria and neighboring Turkey before the rise of ISIS. Meanwhile Iranian LGBT refugees are facing increased violence from Turkish police.
Let the Courts Decide: The owner of a South African gay conversion camp has been found guilty of the murder of Raymond Burs, a teen who was chained to his bed. Raymond was the third young man to die at the camp. For more on conversion camps, check out this documentary with an inside view of conversion in the US.
Egyptian TV journalist Mona Iraqi has been charged with defamation for her role in the 'gay' bathhouse raid that saw 26 men arrested for debauchery. Meanwhile, in India, e-commerce site Snapdeal is being charged for selling vibrators that promote anal sex, thus violating India's anti-gay law.
Sports and Culture: After complaints in South Korea over a kiss between lesbian teens, the Korea Communications Standards Commission will investigate if the TV drama violated standards. In the US, fans are tweeting support for The Fosters after it showed a kiss between 13-year-old boys.
A Ugandan film based on a real story explores the dangers of being 'Outed'. A new documentary explores homophobia and what 'coming out' means for Colombians. And actress Samira Wiley wins the 2015 Human Rights Campaign award for LGBT visibility and speaks passionately about her own experience coming out.
Jamaican music producer, Copeland Forbes, says homophobia in music has negatively impacted the reggae and dancehall industry. Meanwhile J-FLAG, the Jamaican Forum of Lesbians, All-sexualls, and Gays, says it's time to have open discussion on the issues faced by the entertainment industry where homophobic music is concerned.
Check out the new racially diverse and gay Apple emojis for your mobile and personalize your gender with Facebook.
Finally, a newly discovered letter from Freud sent to a mother requesting help for curing her gay son resonates today:
"Homosexuality is assuredly no advantage, but it is nothing to be ashamed of, no vice, no degradation; it cannot be classified as an illness; we consider it to be a variation of the sexual function, produced by a certain arrest of sexual development. Many highly respectable individuals of ancient and modern times have been homosexuals, several of the greatest men among them. (Plato, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, etc). It is a great injustice to persecute homosexuality as a crime – and a cruelty too."