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Exeter Pride and Exeter Mosque Panel Discussion

Exeter Pride in partnership with Inclusive Mosque Exeter is holding a Panel Discussion on Friday 26 April 2019 at Exeter Guildhall. The topic is Religion, Culture and Sexuality and is a timely opportunity to discuss the issues arising when people struggle to reconcile their faith or culture with their sexuality. The doors will open … Read the original article Author:

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New head of Hong Kong’s equality watchdog appears cool on LGBTI rights

The new head of Hong Kong’s equality commission, Ricky Chu Man-kin, did not promise to deliver much anticipated anti-discrimination legislation when he took office on Thursday (11 April). Chu said a ‘hastily made law’ could do more harm than good to society, according to the SCMP. He also said the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) should be neutral to gain trust. LGBTI activists in Hong Kong have been pushing for protection against discrimination based on sexuality or gender identity for years. But, Chu said: ‘Rather than relying on harsh laws, the ultimate goal we would like to see is that there is no discrimination in society’. ‘This involves a change in the culture and needs education’ But, Hong Kong’s only openly-LGBTI lawmaker, Raymond Chan Chi-chuen, slammed Chu’s comments. ‘It is absurd that he says he wants the equal opportunities watchdog to remain neutral.’ ‘You can’t be neutral when it comes to human rights and equal opportunities. It is his job to promote equal opportunities.’ Chu previously worked in anti-corruption commissions in Hong Kong. On Thursday, Chu said he agreed same-sex marriage is a human right. ‘But that does not mean we should ignore other things and get that right at any expense’ he said. LGBTI rights in Hong Kong Same-sex marriage is not legal in Hong Kong. What’s more, there is currently no legislation to protect citizens against discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Hong Kong’s Chief Executive, Carrie Lam, last month said the government was no closer to ...

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Love, Simon spinoff series is coming with Disney’s new streaming service

Disney released a slew of information about their new streaming platform, Disney+, on Thursday (11 April). The announcements included brand new content, including a spinoff series from the hit movie Love, Simon. Disney gave a straight-to-series order to Leah and the Offbeat, which is based on Becky Albertalli’s young adult novel of the same name. It’s a sequel to Albertalli’s book Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, on which Love, Simon was based. Leah and the Offbeat follows Simon’s childhood best friend, Leah, who used to be in love with him. Throughout the book, Leah grapples with friends and relationships, going to college, and being in a rock band. She’s also keeping a secret from her friends –she’s bisexual. Screenwriters Elizabeth Berger and Isaac Aptaker, who penned the movie, are returning to write the series. They are the only people returning from the movie. The series will have an entirely new cast and the movie’s director, Greg Berlanti, is not involved with the show due to his overall deal with Warner Bros. Disney recently made their purchase of Fox official. They shuttered Fox 2000, the studio arm of Fox focused on mid-budget films, which produced and distributed Love, Simon. This new series comes from the Disney-owned 20th Century Fox Television studio. Love, Simon’s legacy There was a lot of anticipation leading up to Love, Simon — the first same-sex romantic teen comedy from a major film studio. It wound up making a huge impact, with many people discussing the film’s ...

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Court puts equal marriage on hold in Cayman Islands

The Cayman Islands’ Court of Appeal on Wednesday (10 April) delayed the implementation of last month’s landmark same-sex marriage ruling. Same-sex couples, therefore, will have to wait months before knowing if they can tie the knot. The Cayman Islands government appealed the Grand Court. On March 29, the court ruled defining marriage as between a man and a woman was unconstitutional. The Grand Court also said the current definition of marriage under the constitution violated numerous rights. Chantelle Day and her partner Vickie Bodden Bush brought the court challenge. The appeals court president on Wednesday, however, said there could be a legal anomaly if same-sex couples married and the March ruling was later overturned. There was shouts of ‘Praise the lord, thank you, Jesus,’ and ‘bigots’ from the public gallery, according to the Cayman Compass. The appeals court will hear the full appeal in August. Government attorney Reshma Sharma argues the Grand Court overstepped its powers by revising the Marriage Law directly, to create what she described as ‘a new species of marriage,’ Cayman Compass reports. Landmark ruling Chief Justice Anthony Smellie of the Grand Court last month ruled in favor of Day and Bush. Smellie’s ruling stated the law must change in all areas of the territory so same-sex couples have the same access to the institution of marriage as heterosexual couples. After Smellie issued the decision, Day said: ‘It shows that love wins and I am really happy that the right result was received today.’ Day and Bush ...

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Renowned LGBTI activist wants to become the Pete Buttigieg of India

LGBTI rights activist Harish Iyer announced this week he would be joining one of India’s major political parties, the Indian National Congress (INC). Iyer was looking forward to ‘working with the Mumbai Congress team in weeding out homophobia, transphobia, Islamophobia and the politics of hate’ he wrote on Twitter. ‘I encourage more people from the LGBT community to join politics’ he said. ‘Come out and be the change’. He expressed a hope that one day INC would have an LGBTI section of the party, just as they have a section for women. In an interview with News18, the activist urged better representation in politics and encouraged more minorities to join political parties. ‘I do believe that equality is the way to go. I hope I can become the Pete Buttigieg of India,’ he said, referencing the US gay presidential hopeful. INC in its manifesto has promised to withdraw the controversial Transgender Bill. The trans community has slammed the bill. It also pledged to introduce gender sensitivity training in all government offices including the army and the Indian Air Force. Iyer has long campaigned for equal rights in India. He was at the forefront of India’s long campaign to decriminalize gay sex. In August last year, India’s National Human Rights Commission consulted him on LGBTI issues. Iyer’s entry into politics was welcomed by LGBTI rights groups in the country. @incindia and @rahulgandhi have indeed walked the talk by bringing in @hiyer ; LGBTQ rights activist to the party. It’s important to ...

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Be a Hero for Hastings Pride

Hastings Pride were invited by the national lottery and ITV to take part in the People’s Project awards. Out of hundreds of applications Hastings Pride has reached the final 5 for the Meridian East ITV region. Three out of the five finalists can now win up to £50,000 for their community projects which is decided by a public vote. Natasha Scott… Read the original article Author:

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How it feels to be the first transgender winner of Drag Race

Angele Anang made history last week. She became the first ever trans woman to land first place in the history of the Ru Paul’s Drag Race franchise. The Thai contestant took home the top prize when the second season of Drag Race Thailand ended on Friday (5 April). ‘You worked hard and you showed the world you are an amazing artist and an amazing human being,’ co-host Pangina Heels said of Angele. She is the first queen ever to win five challenges in a row and beat the record for most challenge wins in a single season. Overall, she won a total of six challenges, beating BenDeLaCreme’s former record of five. But, Drag Race has a contentious history with transgender representation. Last year, creator and co-host of the original US show RuPaul, came under fire for his comments about trans contestants. He initially said he wouldn’t accept a trans contestant, and though that has changed, many still criticized him for his stance. There have only been a handful of trans contestants in the franchise’s global history. Gay Star News spoke to Angele: How does it feel to win Drag Race Thailand? It is unbelievable. From the beginning of the race. I never thought I was going to win or even be in the top three. But, I did everything from my heart, gave it everything and it paid off at that moment. I am so proud of myself. How have your family and friends reacted? Everyone has been crazy. My ...

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Thai activists protest Brunei’s anti-gay laws

LGBTI rights activists in Thailand protested outside the Brunei Embassy in the capital Bangkok on Tuesday (9 April). They condemned Brunei’s brutal sharia laws ushered in last week. The tiny Muslim-majority nation in Southeast Asia now punishes gay sex with death by stoning. Activists on Tuesday presented a statement signed by 130 civil society groups across Southeast Asia. About 30 activists waved rainbow flags and presented stones painted with rainbows. #Thailand! #LGBTIQ #HRD did peaceful protest at #Brunei Embassy in BKK, to delivered Statement of #ASEAN CSOs on the Full Enforcement of Sharia Law in Brunei Darussalam. After that our community met ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights #AICHR pic.twitter.com/YUVtVUCtdi — Matcha Phorn In (@Matcha_Phornin) April 9, 2019 ‘We need to come out and speak out’ said independent activist and organizer SirisakChaited. ‘Not  not just for LGBTIQAs+ people in Brunei but for LGBTIQAs+ people all over the world.’ ‘When we speak out for human rights in Brunei, we must speak out for human rights everywhere’ SirisakChaited told Gay Star News. Prasert Wasedue Raman, the official officer of the Brunei Certification Office, met with the activists and accepted the letter, according to Voice TV. The activists later presented the statement to the Thai representative of a regional human rights commission. SirisakChaited also said they had hoped more Southeast Asian countries would join the protest. Legitimizing violence ‘By adopting conservative views of morality and excessive punishments, Brunei essentially legitimizes violence’ the statement said. The signatories, which include groups from Thailand, Singapore, the Philippines, Indonesia and ...

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Fiji will never have same-sex marriage, says PM

Fiji’s prime minister has said the country will never have same-sex marriage while his government is in power. Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama said on Monday (8 April) there had been rumors of churches administering same sex marriages. But, he said according to Fiji Village, this should not happen in churches. And, he said, Fiji is a god-fearing country that will never accept same-sex marriage. His party, FijiFirst, would not allow same-sex marriage despite an increasing awareness of human rights in the country, he said. LGBTI Pride in Fiji Fiji is a small country in the South Pacific Ocean with a population of just under 900,000 people. Homosexuality is legal in the country. It became the second country in the world to enshrine the rights of LGBTI people in its Constitution. South Africa was the first country to do so in 1994. But, LGBTI people still face discrimination and violence, sometimes even at the hands of their own families. Last year, police promised to get serious about LGBTI abuse after two transgender people were killed in the space of a year. In 2012, police cancelled an already approved Pride March at the last minute because it ‘did not realise that this was a march for gays and lesbians’. Even Fiji’s Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama is not very supportive of LGBTI people. He famously said in 2016 that all LGBTI people in Fiji should move to Iceland and stay there. Read the original article Author: Rik Glauert

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Massachussets bans conversion therapy

Massachusetts’ Republican Governor Charlie Baker on Monday (8 April) signed a bill banning gay conversion therapy for minors in the state. It became the 16th state in the US to ban the practice. Washington DC and Puerto Rico have also outlawed conversion therapy. Conversion therapy attempts to change a person’s sexuality or gender identity via psychological or spiritual means. It has no basis in evidential science. Massachusetts’ ban prohibits licensed therapists from subjecting minors to the practice. But, adults can still access this type of therapy if they so choose. Last month, both houses of the Massachusetts’ congress passed a bill banning conversion therapy. In fact, the Senate approved the bill by a 34-0 vote. Detrimental effects Most medical associations, including the American Medical Association, American Psychiatric Association, and more, condemn the practice. Conversion therapy is shown to have detrimental effects on people, including mental health problems. It also causes an increase in suicidal thoughts. But, the UCLA’s Williams Institute found last year that more than 20,000 teens will face conversion therapy before adulthood. Several states have already passed bills banning the practice on youth. And several more are in the process of voting on such bills. One of the most recent states is Colorado. LGBTI groups and rights activists on Monday also welcomed the move. Human Rights Campaign’s Chad Griffin thanked Baker ‘for standing on the right side of history!’ Good news!! Thank you Massachusetts. Only 34 more states to go to ban conversion therapy, a form of child abuse. https://t.co/XfAaJ8QYxW — Chelsea Clinton ...

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