This is a fight for human rights. Its does not pit African traditions against western traditions or the colonised against colonisers. Africa has the same universal values and belongs to humanity. It is not separate, and neither is Cameroon.
~ Alice Nkom, Cameroonian lawyer and longtime advocate for decriminalization of homosexuality @AliceNKom
From the UN: At the 28th meeting of the UN Human Rights Council, Iran agreed to partially implement three recommendations that included the treatment of individuals based on their sexual orientation, however it is not clear that LGBT people will be protected by these partial changes as Iran fully rejected all recommendations that explicitly address LGBT issues.
The UN Secretary General’s human resources reform extending benefits to safe-sex couples was upheld at a vote this past week in the Fifth Committee - which discusses administrative and budgetary issues for the UN. Equality and fairness are the winners.
The World of Politics: The European Parliament has released its "Annual Report on Human Rights and Democracy," and included strong recommendations that governments should support LGBTI organizations. In the US, six members of congress presented evidence of violence against LGBT in Central America and have requested USAID specifically scale up support of LGBT advocacy in the region.
In Switzerland, parliament has amended an existing anti-discrimination law to include protection for sexual and gender identity. Yet in the US, the state of Indiana has passed a 'Religious Freedom Bill' which advocates say will allow people to use religious beliefs to refuse to comply with existing nondiscrimination laws.
In Canada, the Province of Alberta has shown support for LGBT students with new legislation that makes gay-straight student alliances mandatory if requested, prevents parents from exempting children from classes that discuss sexual orientation, and adds gender identity to anti-discrimination laws.
In Italy, however, a program for primary students that teaches gender equality has been accused by politicians of 'confusing' children about their own sexual identity. And in Australia, a Member of Parliament is accusing an anti-bullying program as being 'little more than' promotion of LGBT lifestyle by the 'militant gay lesbian lobby.' Yet in the UK, Prime Minister David Cameron has said that trans rights and bullying based on sexual orientation in schools is "one of the most important things" to combat.
In Kenya, legislators have recognized 'intersex' people in the newly passed Persons Deprived of Liberty Act, a first step towards protecting intersex Kenyans.
Nigeria's presidential election will occur this Saturday, with voters choosing between incumbent Goodluck Jonathan and candidate Muhammadu Buhari. Both have campaigned with the promise of supporting and upholding Nigeria's anti-gay marriage law.
In Peru, legislators defeated a bid to approve same-sex marriage, with leftist legislator Condori Cusi citing Hitler's Mein Kampf as inspiration for his vote. And in Thailand, the junta cabinet has passed a law that will ban gay people from monkhood, or risk prison.
HIV, Health, and Wellbeing: Jamaica's Ministry of Health has targeted churches and other faith-based organizations to reach 5,000 gay people and 7,000 sex workers for HIV prevention. In the UK, four high profile doctors are saying that denying boys the HPV vaccine is institutional homophobia.
In Australia, public health data shows gonorrhoea rates among gay men at a 4-year high and in New Zealand, a new report shows gay men have been infected with a rare STI. Meanwhile, porn actor Blue Bailey has joined voices with New Zealand advocates for PrEP and condomless sex, though the New Zealand AIDS Foundation says the community should not abandon condoms.
And in both the US and the UK, advocates have noted the special challenges elderly LGBT people face when dementia and alzheimers force them to seek social care.
Fear and Loathing: In Iraq, ISIS continues to target individuals on charges of homosexuality, as an administrative official from Mosul confirmed four more young people were executed. A vigilante group in Mombasa, Kenya has warned they will behead all gay people in the village, including the founders of PEMA, the oldest local LGBTI organization. And from Jamaica, a video was posted to Facebook showing a boy being stoned to death while his attackers yelled anti-gay slurs.
Meanwhile in Cameroon, lawyer Alice Nkom continues to fight against criminalization of homosexuality and for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights despite death threats.
In France, 60,000 people have signed a petition to dismiss the train guard who humiliated a lesbian couple for kissing goodbye in Paris. And in the UK, a new poll finds Londoners are significantly less likely to be accepting of their gay or transgender children compared to other Britons.
In Russia, international giant IKEA has shut down their retail magazine 'Family Live' over concerns that it violates the anti-gay propaganda ban by showing families with same-sex couples.
In the Name of Religion: Indonesia's most prominent Islamic clerical body, the Indonesian Ulema Council, has stirred confusion with conflicting statements regarding the recommendation of the death penalty for punishment of 'homosexual crimes.' Local activists are condemning the statements though council member Choli Ridwan assures the recommendations will not apply in Indonesia.
In Ireland, Catholic bishop Kevin Doran compares being gay to having down syndrome, even as the Irish Parliament discusses same-sex marriage and adoption bills. The documentary Owning Our Faith captures stories of Catholic LGBT and urges other Catholics to contribute their stories online. And in Italy, Pope Francis has met with prison inmates to have lunch. The selected group includes gay, trans, and HIV+ prisoners.
In the US, the largest Jewish movement has made history by selecting a lesbian rabbi as president. With a focus on social justice and activism, Rabbi Denis Eger has been called the Jewish Lesbian Pope Francis.
The Presbyterian Church has become the latest Christian denomination to formally recognize same-sex marriages. With this change nearly all US Protestant groups extend rights and blessings to LGBT and same-sex couples.
Winds of Change: Activists from China and Egypt discussed how the internet has facilitated changes for the LGBT community, especially in their regions. And in Turkey, activists from 11 countries from the Balkans to the Middle East joined the 6th Meeting of the Regional Network Against Homophobia and Transphobia to discuss tactics to end discrimination and promote freedom of speech and assembly.
LGBT activists in Central and Eastern Europe have been encouraged by a failed anti-LGBT referendum in Slovakia, despite ongoing fear and violence from conservative and, in some states, actively hostile governments.
From Uganda, Sexual Minorities Uganda director Frank Mugisha breaks down the 14 ways the country can break free of homophobia. And out of Kenya, the Kuria Foundation for Social Enterprise discusses the role of the private sector in bringing equality to LGBT Kenyans.
As people continue to publish video and photographs of killings through social media, Facebook and Twitter have both released new updates to their platforms to combat hate and exploitation online. However, some are calling these steps a 'responsibility dodging, spineless fix.'
On the Move: In Peru, protesters took to the streets after congress rejected the Civil Union Bill to give marriage rights to same-sex couples. And in the US, President Obama concluded a reenactment of the historic march in Selma, Alabama with a speech comparing the struggle for racial civil rights to the fight for LGBT equality today.
LGBTI Ugandan refugees in Kenya have launched a protest at the UN High Commission of Refugees for better protection and services. LGBT Central American immigrants fear they have been left out of US immigration reform. And in Europe,LGBT refugees and immigrants continue to face discrimination and abuse in detention centers.
Let the Courts Decide: In Taiwan, a court has refused a woman's request to adopt her partner's children, saying the adoption would "negatively impact" the kids. The lesbian couple has vowed to appeal the decision. In Germany, a court has ruled against the father and two uncles of a gay teen whom they abducted with intentions to force him to marry a girl to hide his sexuality.
In Turkey, the Council of State has ruled a teacher should not have been fired forbeing gay in his 'private life.' Meanwhile the European Court has ruled the Turkish government cannot force trans people to undergo sterilization when seeking gender reassignment.
Sports and Culture: Kings College of London rugby players have gone nude to raise money for LGBT victims of domestic violence. While in Japan, lawmakers hope to learn from Sochi boycotts by ending local LGBT discrimination before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
And at the Cricket World Cup games in Australia, a Sri Lankan fan has been condemned for waving a sign calling cricketer Glen Maxwell a ‘fag.' Sri Lankan politician Malsha Kumaranatunge stated:
"Using homophobic terms to insult opposing players or anyone is un-acceptable. Cricket is for everyone. Whether you are Sinhalese, Tamil or Muslim, Buddhist or Hindu, rich or poor, gay or straight. Respect."
The campaign to boycott Dolce & Gabbana continues after the designers spoke out against gay families and called children born from IVF 'synthetic.' Meanwhile, the social media campaign #WeJustNeedtoPee has spread from Canada to the US as trans people protest against transphobic legislation by taking pictures of themselves in bathrooms. And trans teen Jazz Jennings becomes the first trans spokesmodel of a major brand as the face of the Clean & Clear Campaign.
In China, a documentary on parents of gay children was deemed inappropriate by the state censor and removed from the Internet. From the US, the LGBTQ web series First Person has taken on the often overlooked issue of 'bisexual erasure.' And co-creator of runaway TV drama hit Empire admitted that 'attacking homophobia,' especially among the African American community, is part of his 'agenda.'
Japan Times looks at how sexual identity is changing in Japan culture and the Advocate reviews how international song contest, Eurovision has promoted LGBT performers throughout its 60 year history.
Finally, check out this clever viral video that uses a giant x-ray screen to hide the identity of couples to show that 'Love Has No Labels.'