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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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International News: June 2014 International News 

International News: June 2014

Japan’s First Lady Marches in Pride Parade Japan’s first lady Akie Abe joined the annual gay parade in Tokyo to show her support for the LGBT community.  The Agence France Presse reported that the 51-year-old wife of conservative Prime Minister Shinzo wrote on her Facebook page that she strives to “help build a society where anyone can conduct happy, enriched lives without facing discrimination.” Abe also wrote that she has been involved in LGBT activism since joining a commission set up by UNAIDS and the Lancet medical journal last year….

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International News: May 2014 International News 

International News: May 2014

Lesbian–Only Cemetery Opens in Berlin A new burial area for exclusively for lesbians was created in a two-century-old cemetery in the German capital last month. A 4,300-square-foot area of the Lutheran Georgen Parochial cemetery, established in 1814 in central Berlin, will be reserved as a graveyard for up to 80 lesbians. A spokeswoman for the Safia Association – a national group primarily for elderly lesbians – says the patch of land is a space where “the lesbian community can live together in the afterlife.”  The group was given use of…

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International News: April 2014 International News 

International News: April 2014

Church Must “Evaluate” Same Sex Civil Unions Pope Francis has once again called on Catholic leaders to be more accepting of gay and lesbian congregation members. He implored leaders to explore the possibility of tolerance for same-sex civil unions where couples’ economic and health security is at stake. “We have to look at the different cases and evaluate them in their variety,” the pontiff said in an interview with Italian newspaper Corriere delle Sera. The pope, however, did not say that the Vatican should endorse civil unions outright. Swedish Couple…

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International News: March 2014 International News 

International News: March 2014

Trans Woman Back in U.K. After Detention in Canada A British trans woman who was detained in a Canadian men’s jail during a visa dispute with the country has returned home. According to, Avery Edison (a stand-up comedian) is back “in her bed” thanks to an outcry for her release. After her story went viral, Internet outrage and legal help prompted Edison’s transfer to a women’s facility. Shortly thereafter she was granted permission to leave Canada altogether. reposts that Edison was attempting to enter the country for three…

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