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INTernational News: Germany’s Merkel voted against gay marriage In The News International News 

INTernational News: Germany’s Merkel voted against gay marriage

BERLIN (Reuters) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she voted against legalizing gay marriage given her personal view that marriage should be between a man and a woman, but she hoped parliament’s approval of the measure would lead to more social cohesion. “For me, marriage in the Basic Law is marriage between a man and a woman and that is why I did not vote in favor of this bill today,” she told reporters moments after the 393-266 vote in favor of an amendment that will legalize same-sex marriage. “I…

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International News: Tanzania threatens crackdown on LGBT advocates In The News International News 

International News: Tanzania threatens crackdown on LGBT advocates

DAR ES SALAAM,(Reuters) – Tanzania has threatened to arrest and expel activists, as well as deregister all non-governmental organizations that campaign for gay rights. Homosexuality is a criminal offense in the East African nation, where the law states that suspects convicted of having “carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature” could face up to 30 years in jail. At a rally, Tanzania’s Home Affairs Minister Mwigulu Nchemba said both domestic and foreign campaigners for gay rights would now face punitive measures in the country. “Those who want…

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Thai contestant crowned Miss International Queen in transgender pageant In The News International News 

Thai contestant crowned Miss International Queen in transgender pageant

REUTERS – Thai contestant Jiratchaya Sirimongkolnawin was crowned Miss International Queen 2016 at a contest billed as the world’s largest and most popular transgender pageant. The 25-year-old beat 24 other contestants for the crown, with the second and third place going to contestants from Brazil and Venezuela, respectively. The pageant, which brings together transgender people from around the world, was launched over a decade ago to help transgender women feel more accepted by society. “It’s like a new category, but the gender already existed a long time ago,” said Jiratchaya,…

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Germany’s Social Democrats, Greens press for same-sex marriage In The News International News 

Germany’s Social Democrats, Greens press for same-sex marriage

REUTERS – Germany’s Social Democrats (SPD), junior partners in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s ruling coalition, said on they would launch a new push to legalize same-sex marriage in Germany, a move opposed in the past by Merkel’s Christian Democrats. Thomas Oppermann, who heads the SPD’s parliamentary faction, told Der Spiegel magazine his party would raise the issue at the next meeting of the right-centre coalition, a move welcomed by the pro-environment Green party. The issue could help the SPD differentiate itself from Merkel’s conservatives as the uneasy coalition partners ramp up…

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YouTube admits that LGBT videos are hidden in its  “restricted mode”, apologies for confusion In The News International News 

YouTube admits that LGBT videos are hidden in its “restricted mode”, apologies for confusion

INDEPENDENT TECH The Google-owned video company offers a “restricted mode” that aims to “screen out potentially objectionable content”. But a number of prominent YouTubers noticed that LGBTQ videos appeared to be hidden as part of that rule – provoking huge protests. Now YouTube has admitted that such videos are being hidden, but says that it only does so to ensure that people don’t see videos that deal with “more sensitive issues”. “We are so proud to represent LGBTQ+ voices on our platform – they’re a key part of what YouTube…

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International News: November 2015 International News 

International News: November 2015

Italian Legislatures Debate Civil Unions, Adoption Laws Italy has finally begun debate on a bill that allow gay and lesbian couples to enter into civil unions. It is anticipated that the bill, which has support of Premier Matteo Renzi, will be debated for months, as the issue is a contentious one. Included in the law would be partial pension rights, automatic inheritance and would enable same-sex partners to adopt each other’s children, if the child only has one legal parent. Italy remains the only major country in Western Europe that…

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International News: October 2015 International News 

International News: October 2015

New Australian PM Insists on Public Vote for Marriage Equality The newly appointed Australian Prime Minister has announced that he plans to go ahead with a public vote on same-sex marriage.  Malcolm Turnbull’s (right) announcement signals a change from his predecessor, Tony Abbott, who staunchly opposed marriage equality. Turnbull’s plan to go through with a plebiscite, or public vote, on marriage equality, is not without criticism.  Opponents of the plebiscite argue that it will be expensive, lament its long time scales, as well as the fact that it is not…

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International News: July/August 2015 International News 

International News: July/August 2015

Court strikes down Guam’s same-sex marriage ban A federal judge ended Guam’s law banning marriage equality, making it the first U.S. territory to legalize same-sex marriage. In her ruling, Chief Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood said the laws denying marriage rights to same-sex couples were unconstitutional, citing a previous decision by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which has jurisdiction over Guam. The decision went into effect June 9. Ireland to pass law allowing legal gender change without doctor sign-off Ireland is in the process of drafting one of the world’s most…

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International News: March 2015 International News 

International News: March 2015

Trans Lawmaker Announces Bid for Polish Presidency Transgender lawmaker Anna Grodzka announced her bid to become the next president of Poland, breaking fresh ground in the conservative Catholic country. The 60-year-old told former filmmaker and publisher is backed by the Green Party. Grodzka transitioned in 2009 and was elected Poland’s first transgender Member of Parliament in 2011. Relaxed Surgical Barriers for Trans Citizens’ Legal Recognition Both Israel and the Canadian province of Manitoba announced that their trans citizens will no longer be required to show proof of gender confirmation surgery…

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International News: February 2015 International News 

International News: February 2015

Gambian President verbally Attacks LGBT Community Yahya Jammeh (below), president of Gambia, spoke out harshly against the LGBT community Saturday in a speech from the country’s capital of Banjul. According to the Washington Blade, Jammeh said; “the Bible that came first condemns homosexuality and the Bible is the book of the Almighty Allah and the Quran,” Jammeh told soldiers, adding that efforts by pro-LGBT countries including the United States to “impose homosexuality on the globe” are doomed to fail. The speech followed an alleged coup attempt against his government two…

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International News: December ’14/January ’15 International News 

International News: December ’14/January ’15

Cuba’s Bid to Host GLBT Conference Not Without Controversy Critics are calling foul on Cuba’s efforts to host an annual GLBT conference in 2016, arguing that the sentiments “lack merit” given the country’s poor record on human rights. “In Cuba there are no rights for the GLBT community or for anyone else,” Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., said, calling the effort “unconscionable,” the Washington Blade reported. According to the article, Cuban GLBT rights advocates who are associated with the country’s National Center for Sex Education (CENESEX) – of which Mariela Castro…

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International News: November 2014 International News 

International News: November 2014

Cohabitation Bill Narrowly Passes Estonia Parliament The Estonia government passed the Cohabitation Act, a law that enables cohabitating couples, irrespective of the gender of either partner, the right to register their relationship at a notary and enjoy the kinds of financial benefits conferred by marriage. The final version also provides for the possibility of adoption by unmarried cohabiting couples.  According to Estonian Public Broadcasting, the bill, which will go into effect in 2016, narrowly passed with a 40-38 result. Spain Passes Anti-Discrimination Law Spain, the autonomous community of Catalonia passed…

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International News: October 2014 International News 

International News: October 2014

t.A.T.u. Singer Doesn’t Mind Lesbians, ‘Won’t Accept’ Gay Men A singer from Russian duo t.A.T.u., condemned gay men in a recent interview. Julia Volkova, who has identified herself as bisexual, said she “would condemn” her son if he came out as gay, but that women should have the “freedom” to be lesbians. “A man must be a man,” she said and added that God created man for the sake of “procreation.” Volkova went on to say that she would be OK with it if her daughter was a lesbian. Ugandan…

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International News: September 2014 International News 

International News: September 2014

UK Ballroom Dance Council Seeks to Ban Gay Couples from Competition The British Dance Council is considering a proposal that would ban same-sex couples from mainstream competitions, instead creating same-sex-only categories, The Guardian reported.  The proposed rule would recognize partnerships as “one man and one lady…unless otherwise stated.” The council’s president says that so far he’s heard more support for the change than opposition. If the proposal were enacted, it would prevent the current leaders in the over-35 pre-championship category, John Church and Alex Lewall, from defending the title. LGBTI…

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International News: July/August 2014 International News 

International News: July/August 2014

Indian Census Includes Trans. Population The first-ever count of India’s transgender population has found that nearly 500,000 citizens identify as transgender– though activists say the real number may be far higher.  Despite the large numbers, Gay Star News reported that only 28,341 registered voters identify as trans, or belonging to the “third gender” as allowed in the country. Additionally, the census found that transgender Indians were more likely to be disadvantaged in education and more likely to be out of work than the general population. Two LGBT Protestors Detained in…

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