Taiwan becomes first Asian country to recognize same-sex marriage

By : MICHAEL K. LAVERS of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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Taiwan on Wednesday became the first Asian country to legally recognize same-sex marriage.

The Taiwanese Constitutional Court ruled the provision of the island’s civil code that does not “allow two persons of the same sex to create a permanent union of intimate and exclusive nature for the committed purpose of managing a life together” is unconstitutional.

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2 men in Indonesia caned dozens of times for gay sex

By : Wire Report
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BANDA ACEH, Indonesia (AP) – Two men in Indonesia’s Aceh province were publicly caned dozens of times May 23 for consensual gay sex, a punishment that intensifies an anti-gay backlash in the world’s most populous Muslim country and which rights advocates denounced as “medieval torture.”

More than a thousand people packed the courtyard of a mosque to witness the caning, which was the first time that Aceh, the only province in Indonesia to practice Shariah law, has caned people for homosexuality.

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Indonesia police arrest dozens in raid on Jakarta gay sauna

By : Wire Report
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JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) – Indonesian police detained dozens of men including several foreigners in a weekend raid on a gay sauna in the capital, another sign of growing hostility to homosexuality in the world’s most populous Muslim nation.

Police spokesman Argo Yuwono said 141 men were detained for questioning in the raid Sunday evening on the gym and sauna in north Jakarta. Police say the sauna was the venue for a sex party promoted as “The Wild One.”

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Chad Griffin urges U.S. to grant visas to gay Chechen men

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL GAY MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin on Monday described reports that the U.S. has discouraged Russian LGBT rights advocates from helping men who have fled anti-gay persecution in Chechnya apply for visas as “greatly disturbing.”

Griffin in a letter to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson wrote that while he understands “it is indeed difficult for them to obtain U.S. visas, it is imperative that the U.S. immediately take every possible step to help the victims find their way safely — and to clearly communicate that the U.S. is pursuing every option, so that the victims do not lose hope.”

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Romanians celebrate LGBTQ Pride amid moves to limit rights

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BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) – Some 1,000 people joined an LGBTQ Pride march in the Romanian capital of Bucharest May 20, demanding greater rights amid government moves they say will curtail their rights.

Some 30 ambassadors expressed support for the march and for protecting the rights of the LGBTQ community and U.S. Ambassador Hans G. Klemm was among those taking part, despite the pouring rain.

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Piers Morgan mocks non-binary couple’s gender identity on air

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL GAY MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Piers Morgan sparked controversy when he called gender neutrality a “fad” and compared non-binary identity to wanting to be an elephant on “Good Morning Britain.”

Fox Fisher and Owl Stefania were invited on the talk show to discuss their children’s book on gender neutrality, coinciding with International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia.

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Indonesian Shariah court sentences gay couple to 85 lashes

By : Wire Report
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BANDA ACEH, Indonesia (AP) – An Islamic Shariah court in Indonesia’s conservative Aceh province has sentenced two gay men to public caning for the first time, further undermining the country’s moderate image after a top Christian politician was imprisoned for blasphemy.

The court, whose sentencing Wednesday coincided with International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, said the men, aged 20 and 23, would each receive 85 lashes for having sexual relations. One of the men wept as his sentence was read out and pleaded for leniency.

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Mariela Castro leads LGBT march in Havana

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL GAY MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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HAVANA — The daughter of Cuban President Raúl Castro on Saturday led a march through the Cuban capital that commemorated the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia.

Mariela Castro, who directs Cuba’s National Center for Sexual Education that is known by the Spanish acronym CENESEX, and more than 2,000 people marched from the Havana’s oceanfront to a pavilion that is near the Habana Libre hotel in the Vedado neighborhood.

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Tel Aviv to hold first bisexual-themed Pride parade

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL GAY MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The first bisexual-themed Pride parade in the world will take place in Tel Aviv in June.

The Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality, which fully sponsors the city’s annual Pride parade, on Tuesday announced that this year’s theme is “bisexuality visibility.” A press release said officials expect more than 200,000 people will attend the parade that is scheduled to take place on June 9.

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The VIP treatment at Havana’s most popular gay party

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL GAY MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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HAVANA — The ability of Cubans to find a way to work things out, which translates as “resolver” in Cuban Spanish, truly defies explanation. It proved particularly useful on Saturday night at Havana’s most popular gay party.

Café Cantante is a nightclub near Plaza de la Revolución that hosts Proyecto Divino, a party that features cabaret singers and other performers. It takes place every Saturday.

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Albania LGBTQ rights organizations hold annual Pride ride

By : Wire Report
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TIRANA, Albania (AP) – LGBTQ rights organizations in Albania have held their annual Pride event without any disturbances, while the country’s political opposition prepared for an unrelated national protest in the capital, Tirana.

Scores of bikers with multi-colored balloons and flags started their mile-long (1.6 kms) ride May 13 passing past a tent pitched by the opposition in front of Prime Minister Edi Rama’s office in downtown Tirana.

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Australian state apologizes to men convicted for gay sex

By : Wire Report
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BRISBANE, Australia (AP) – An Australian state parliament apologized May 11 to hundreds of men convicted decades ago for having homosexual sex, as the government introduced legislation to throw out their criminal records.

Queensland State Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk delivered the apology to those affected by a prohibition on homosexual sex, which was repealed in 1990.

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