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Support for gay rights in Russia reaches 14-year high

Nearly half of Russians are supportive of equal rights for the gay community, a new poll has found. This shows a 14-year high in support for gay rights in Russia. These are the findings come from a new poll by the independent pollster, the Levada Center. Russia has been widely condemned for its poor record on LGBTI rights in recent years. The country introduced the controversial ‘gay propaganda’ law in 2013. This law purports to protect children from imagery which could be considered as normalizing homosexuality and LGBTI culture in Russia. The authorities have also clamped down on other forms of LGBTI expression. This includes banning Pride parades from taking place across the country. Rise in gay rights support over the past six years Levada surveyed 1,625 respondents in 50 Russian regions from 18 to 23 April. The pollsters found that 47% of Russians agreed that ‘gays and lesbians should enjoy the same rights as other citizens’. This was a slight majority compared to the 43% who disagreed. The poll shows a notable increase in support since 2013. In the same year the ‘gay propaganda’ law was passed, 39% of Russians polled said that gay people deserved equal rights. Political analyst Alexei Makarkin told the RBC news website that the change could be attributed to the media. Makarkin said there has been a gradual decline in anti-LGBTI representation on Russian TV over the past six years. But he also tempered the new findings with a warning, according to RBC news website. ‘If fired-up people ...

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Grandson of Singapore’s founding father marries in South Africa

Li Huanwu, the grandson of Singapore’s founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew, married his partner, Heng Yirui in South Africa on Friday (24 May). ‘Today I marry my soul mate. Looking forward to a lifetime of moments like this with [Huanwu],’ wrote Heng in an Instagram post from Cape Town. Huanwu is also the nephew of serving Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who said he would not be looking to decriminalize gay sex in the city state.   View this post on Instagram   Today I marry my soul mate. Looking forward to a lifetime of moments like this with @hero.unit A post shared by Yirui Heng (@hengyirui) on May 24, 2019 at 2:50am PDT Debate over Section 377A of Singapore’s Penal Code, which punishes homosexual sex acts with up to two years in prison, has raged in Singapore since India dismantled similar colonial-era legislation. ‘My personal view is that if I don’t have a problem — this is an uneasy compromise — I’m prepared to live with it until social attitudes change,’ Lee told the BBC in 2017. Heng on Friday also shared an Instagram story of a ‘My Big Gay Wedding Day’ card. Coming out Li Huanwu came out ahead of Singapore’s largest LGBTI pride event, Pink Dot, last year. The 33-year-old came out in a stunning photo shoot for the Out in Singapore exhibition. He features in the photoshoot with Heng, who is a 28-year-old veterinarian. Lee Kuan Yew, who held office for three decades, often said ...

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Happy Valley Pride 2019 announces main headliners

Happy Valley Pride is an eclectic, alternative and inclusive, week-long festival for everyone. Celebrating LGBT+ life in Hebden Bridge and surrounding areas it will be taking place, earlier than in previous years, during the week of 22 to 28 July 2019. Founded in 2015, the festival has rapidly grown in size and stature -… Read the original article Author:

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These are the first same-sex couples to get married in Asia

The first same-sex couples to get married in Asia tied the knot in Taiwan on Friday (24 May). At least 289 same-sex couples were expected to marry at Household Registration Offices across the country. Shane Yuan and Marc Lin and Chun-peng Chou and Meng-huan Lin were among the nation’s first to get married. They signed marriage registration documents in the nation’s capital, Taipei. Same-sex couples register for marriage in downtown Taipei (Photo: Rik Glauert) Legendary LGBTI rights activist Chi Chia-wei witnessed the historic occasion. He signed certificates with a pen gifted to him by President Tsai Ing-wen to mark the occasion. Gay couple Shane and Marc with veteran LGBTI rights campaigner Chi Chia-wei (Photo: Rik Glauert) Shane Lin told Gay Star News he was ‘very happy’ to be finally married. ‘It is a very important day for us to remember’. His mother told Gay Star News she was happy that the country recognized her son’s marriage. First in Asia Taiwan’s parliament last week became the first in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage. The government bill, which largely avoids the term ‘marriage’, has been labeled a compromise by LGBTI rights campaigners. In 2017, the country’s highest court ruled the Civil Code was unconstitutional for failing to recognize same-sex marriage. But, in a bitterly-fought referendum, most Taiwanese citizens opted for a separate marriage law rather than changing the civil code which would have brought genuine equality. Yating and Meiyu were among the first same-sex couples to get married in Taiwan (Photo: Rik ...

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Where does the Equality Act go from here?

On Friday (17 May), the United States House of Representatives made history when it passed the Equality Act. In a 236-173 vote along party lines, the House passed federal non-discrimination legislation protecting LGBTI people for the first time. While legislators previously introduced the Equality Act, it had never before made it to a full House vote. The Equality Act amends the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It supercedes state law, meaning no one can legally discriminate against LGBTI people, regardless of whether state laws already protect them or not. Currently, half of all LGBTI Americans live in the nearly 30 states lacking non-discrimination laws for LGBTI individuals. A majority of all LGBTI Americans (two-thirds) have also reported experiencing discrimination and harassment due to their identity. Polling shows a majority of all Americans support these protections. But how can this legislation actually become law? The Senate, and then the President Typically, a bill becomes law by passing in the House, and then the Senate, with majority votes. After it makes it through Congress, it heads to the White House where the president either signs it into law or vetoes it and sends it back to Congress. These are two massive hurdles for the Equality Act — the Senate is controlled by Republicans and the White House has already spoken out against the bill. In celebrating the bill’s passage in the House, many LGBTI groups and Democratic politicians like Sen. Tammy Baldwin called on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to hold a ...

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LGBTI mouthwash is here whether you like it or not

Leading mouthwash brand Listerine has released a rainbow-colored pride bottle. In the run-up to Pride Month, it may be the latest culprit of ‘homocommodification’. The pride bottle, part of Johnson & Johnson’s Care With Pride range, is adorned in rainbow stripes and woods such as ‘healing’, ‘sunlight’, and ‘harmony’. Since 2011, Care With Pride has donated US$one million to LGBTI groups such as PFLAG and the Trevor Project. Recently we have seen LGBTI pride sandwiches and Ikea bags. Perhaps understandably, Twitter has not been kind to the Listerine bottle. Here are the most hilarious responses: allies buying the pride edition Listerine in solidarity pic.twitter.com/LWeBwLQuRn — Adam Moussa (@adamjmoussa) May 21, 2019 pride listerine to wash the mediocre dick out of my mouth pic.twitter.com/Q6HsI0ktBn — FOUR LOKO IDOL (@TRAUMA_PUNK) May 21, 2019 The Pride Listerine from Target is great to have on hand for when he comes over on his way home from work and needs to freshen up afterwards before returning to his wife and kids. — Neil McNeil (@Neil_McNeil) May 21, 2019 what’s more gay cock breath or listerine pride breath https://t.co/PhcM2VnnY6 — clark (@clarkus96) May 22, 2019 Too scared to put *it* in your month just yet cuz you are “not gay, dude, let’s just wrestle a bit and do other bro things”? Try Listerine. pic.twitter.com/L00Q6zcMEM — *joins the battle* (@suprememodelrus) May 22, 2019 I’m so fucking tired of companies just chucking a rainbow on their shite to sell to us as if it means something I’ll wash ...

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Arthur creator Marc Brown defends same-sex marriage episode

Marc Brown, creator of the animated children’s show Arthur, defended the recent same-sex wedding episode in a new interview. While speaking with People magazine, Brown said he was ‘disappointed’ by the bevy of conservatives critics who came out out of the woodwork agaisnt the episode. ‘I’m really proud of that episode,’ Brown said. ‘And I will defend it to anybody who wants to talk about it.’ A week ago, PBS aired the Season 22 premiere of Arthur called Mr. Ratburn and the Special Someone. In the ‘groundbreaking’ episode, Mr. Ratburn, Arthur’s teachers, marries his male partner, Patrick, an aardvark chocolatier. After the episode gained prominence online, it became evident that Alabama Public Television (APT) chose not to air the episode. Mike Mckenzie, director of programming at APT, said the decision not to air it came down to airing programs that parents can ‘trust’ their children to watch. ‘Not the kind of world we want to live in’ Brown gave a passionate defense of the episode to People, specifically expressing his disappointment with APT. ‘Why shouldn’t their teacher marry another man?’ he questioned. ‘We all know people who are gay, who are trans, and it’s something that is socially acceptable. Why is there this discomfort that it takes a leap into our national media?’ He continued: ‘I don’t want children or people who are different to feel excluded. That’s not the kind of world we want to live in. And we want children to be educated so they can see there’s not just one ...

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Philippines Congress launches online poll on same-sex unions

The Philippines Congress this week launched an online poll to gauge support for legalizing same-sex unions. Former House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez filed a bill seeking the recognition of same-sex unions in October 2017. A judge on the Supreme Court in 2018 said the country’s existing constitution and civil code could allow same-sex civil partnerships. ‘Are you in favor of the proposal in the House of Representatives which legalizes same-sex unions as a civil partnership in the country?’ The poll asks. Head on to the Congress’ website and vote YES for #Equality! Yes to Civil Partnerships! https://t.co/tSZJdn4Bs7 pic.twitter.com/nQn1kSACzH — Side B Philippines (@SideBPh) May 21, 2019 Respondents can choose between three replies: ‘Yes, because this will give equal civil rights to same-sex couples. The bill provides such couples with legal partnership status that will govern their property rights, custodial rights over children and adoption rights.’ ‘No, because the underlying intention is to legalize marriage between members of the same sex and I personally believe this is wrong.’ And: ‘I am undecided.’ As of Wednesday (22 May) morning, 117,006 people had cast their votes. So far, 51% of people had voted ‘yes’. Meanwhile, 48% had voted no. But, 1% said they were undecided. Taiwan last week became the first country in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage. Man and Woman Predominantly Roman Catholic, the Philippines does not grant LGBTI citizens equal rights. A bill prohibiting discrimination based on sexual identity or gender identity is languishing in the country’ senate. Articles 1 and 2 ...

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Hong Kong hits back after subway bans LGBTI advert

Hong Kongers took to social media this week after it emerged an advert featuring a same-sex couple had been banned from the city’s Mass Transit Railway (MTR) and airport. Hong Kong’s largest airline, Cathay Pacific, last week launched an LGBTI-inclusive advertisement as part of its rebrand. A poster at the airline’s headquarters shows two men holding hands on a beach with ‘Move beyond labels’ written underneath. But, the South China Morning Post revealed the advert had been banned by the MTR and the Airport Authority. Hong Kong’s latest LGBTI group, Hong Kong Marriage Equality, launched a ‘move beyond discrimination’ campaign in response. Legendary LGBTI rights campaigner and lesbian billionaire Gigi Chao kicked off the campaign with a MTR selfie. LGBTI group Pink Alliance also quickly joined. The MTR corporation on Monday (20 May) shifted blame to its advertising agency JCDecaux. A statement said it had asked JCDecaux to consider MTR’s ‘commitment to equal opportunities and diversity when it considers advertisements in the future.’ They city’s only openly-gay lawmaker Ray Chan hit back by saying MTR said ‘a statement reaffirming its commitment to diversity is not enough’. He said, as a public corporation, MTR had a responsibility to make a public explanation and apology. Two steps forward, always one step back. #HongKong, Asia’s World Retrograde City. A hour and a half’s flight time away, Taiwan legalize same-sex marriage; Taiwanese President tweeted #LoveWon https://t.co/Ja7ELCCstF — Ray Chan (@ray_slowbeat) May 20, 2019 ‘Until then, I urge activists, allies, and ordinary citizens alike to ...

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Same-sex and opposite-sex couples hold joint wedding to support equality

A day after Taiwan’s parliament voted to legalize same-sex marriage, two gay couples and one straight couple held a joint wedding on Saturday (18 May). The social media stars organized the ceremony in support of same-sex marriage and promote gender equality. Leading LGBTI activists, including veteran LGBT rights activist Chi Chia-wei and coordinator of Marriage Equality Coalition Taiwan Jennifer Lu attended. Taiwan’s parliament on Friday (17 May) became the first country in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage. The president is expected to sign the bill into law before this Friday (24 May). Saturday’s event, therefore, was a wedding ceremony and celebration and the couples will likely register with the government at another time. According to the Taipei Times, all three couples said their parents disapproved of their relationships. But, they said, they never gave up communicating with their families. Chi Chia-wei echoed this perseverance in his speech. He said people had labeled him a ‘pervert’ when he first lobbied parliament for same-sex marriage. The legendary activist also encouraged the newlyweds to love, trust, help and tolerate each other, according to the Taipei Times. He congratulated Taiwan in being the 27th country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage. First in Asia Taiwan became the first place in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage on Friday (17 May). The country’s parliament voted in favor of a government bill offering same-sex couples similar rights to opposite-sex couples. It comes after years of court rulings, referendums, and tussles in parliament. The crucial 4th line ...

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