Matthew Knott, Mark Kenny | The Age | January 27, 2016
Same-sex marriage reform advocates within the Turnbull government have reacted angrily to the plans of some hardline conservatives to vote “no change” in Parliament even if a future plebiscite votes “yes”.
Arrangements for the plebiscite are being worked through with a view to a final set of options within weeks.
Opponents, including Abbott loyalist Eric Abetz and conservative strongman Cory Bernardi, have begun speaking out, declaring they will not back the change, regardless of public opinion. One MP said he expected others would also vote against reform, “come what may”.
Fridae News | January 27, 2016
Nine LGBT groups have released a strong joint statement criticising the government for a decision to delay legislation to protect sexual minorities from discrimination at a press conference last week.
A long awaited report by Hong Kong’s government into eliminating discrimination against sexual minorities has concluded that “more studies and public consultation are needed” on the issue. The report took two and a half years to compile by Hong Kong’s Advisory Group on Eliminating Discrimination against Sexual Minorities.
Last week, a press conference was organised by some of the city’s most prominent LGBT supporters. A total of nine organisations included lawmaker Ray Chan Chi-Churn and singer Denise Ho Wan-see, to denounce the report.
Significantly Chan, who was a member of the advisory group working on the report, claimed that most of the members of the group were in favour of legislation—but that this was not represented. Chan has asked for his name to removed from the report.
Darren Wee | Gay Star News | January 26, 2016
Saudi religious police Tuesday (26 January) arrested four gay men in a raid on an apartment in the capital Riyadh, where they were living as married couples.
The Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice acted after a video of an unofficial gay marriage started circulating on social media Monday, according to local media reports.
During interrogation, two of the men, both aged 28, admitted that they had got married two days before and were still on their honeymoon. The other two men married last week.
Stefanie Gerdes | Gay Star News | January 26, 2016
A branch of Germany’s leading right-wing party is demanding LGBTI people shouldn’t be discriminated against – while implementing discriminating policies themselves.
The Alternative für Deutschland (AfD), a Eurosceptic party comparable to Britain’s UK Independence Party, has turned into Germany’s third-biggest party and could clock in 13% of votes at the next election, new research suggests.
Now Polish-German activist Katharina Nocun has publicized parts of the party’s Baden-Württemberg branch’s manifesto on Twitter and her blog – and it shows the AfD’s acceptance of LGBTI people to be more than just limited.
Nita Bhalla | Reuters | January 26, 2016
NEW DELHI, Jan 26 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – An Indian politician campaigning for gay sex be legalised said on Monday he would continue his fight for the freedom and equality of sexual minorities despite attempts by members of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party to thwart his efforts.
Opposition lawmaker Shashi Tharoor in December introduced a private member’s bill in India’s lower house of parliament seeking to amend a British colonial era law which punishes homosexual sex with up to 10 years imprisonment.
However the bill was quickly scuppered by members of Modi’s right-wing Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Magdalena Mis | Reuters | January 26, 2016
LONDON, Jan 22 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – A centre for 125 lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) asylum seekers is set to open in Berlin in March.
There are an estimated 3,500 LGBT asylum seekers in Berlin, many experiencing abuse in shelters where they are staying with other people seeking asylum, according to Schwulenberatung, a Berlin-based gay rights organisation which will run the centre.
“We have heard a lot of stories about discrimination and crimes against LGBT people in the last two years,” Stephan Jakel, Schwulenberatung manager in charge of refugee affairs, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation on Friday.
Darren Wee | Gay Star News | January 25, 2016
An Indonesian minister has said LGBTI students should be banned from university.
‘There are standard values and moral standards to be maintained. The campus is a moral guardian,’ Muhammad Nasir, minister of research, technology and higher education, said on Saturday (23 January).
He made the comments in response to a recent controversy over a poster advertising counseling services for LGBTI students at the University of Indonesia, which went viral last week.
Andrew Potts | Gay Star News | January 25, 2016
Despite its reputation of being one of the most LGBTI friendly countries on the planet, New Zealand is still holding out on removing past convictions for sex between men from people’s permanent records.
New Zealand’s Ministry of Justice says that bad record keeping is the obstacle because prior to the decriminalization of homosexuality in 1986 the law did not treat consensual and non-consensual sex acts between males differently or distinguish between sex between adults and sex crimes against children.
Electronic records only go back to 1980 and according to that data nearly 80 percent of those convictions involved sex with a male who was under 16 – something which is still a criminal offense in New Zealand.
Carlos Santoscoy | On Top Magazine | January 26, 2016
Portugal President Anibal Cavaco Silva has vetoed a bill recently approved by lawmakers that granted full adoption rights to gay and lesbian couples.
The legislation gave gay couples the same adoption rights as straight couples.
Silva called the change radical and in need of broader public consultation. He said that he was uncertain whether the changes were in the best interest of children.