"Luxembourg has sworn in Xavier Bettel as its first openly gay prime minister, signaling social reforms. He replaces Jean-Claude Juncker, who was the EU’s longest-serving head of government, with 19 years in power."
Cameroonian gay rights activist Yves Yomb (by xtraonline)
"Executive Director of Alternatives-Cameroon, Yves Yomb, spoke with Daily Xtra about the challenges of living in Cameroon as an out gay man and the advocacy that Alternatives-Cameroon is doing to curb the homophobia and stigma."
The results of the referendum means Croatia’s constitution will be changed to ban same-sex marriage.
Catholic-backed conservative groups, including Croatia’s HDZ party, have demanded the constitution be amended to maintain the definition of marriage as between a man and a woman.
'Marriage is the only union enabling procreation,' Croatian Cardinal Josip Bozanic said in his message to the followers, according to ABC News. 'This is the key difference between a marriage and other unions.'
What the fuck does a (presumably celibate) Cardinal know about procreation, let a lone marriage? The hubris of the holies.
Opponents of a California law which grants trans students certain rights may not have the required support to put the issue before voters.
A coalition of anti-trans conservative groups, calling themselves Privacy for all Students, claimed to have submitted 613,120 signatures to get their initiative placed on the November 2014 ballot.
However, early results of a random sampling of the petition has found that only 76.16% of the signatures are valid.
To qualify for the ballot, the statewide total needs to be more than 95% of the required signatures from a random sample of 3% or 500 signatures. This means that if the trend continues, the anti-trans referendum will not be voted on by the public.
The pro-trans bill, known as AB1266, grants transgender students the rights to use facilities corresponding to their gender.
It was signed into law by California governor Jerry Brown in September, and takes effect from 01 January 2014.
The bill has been attacked by conservative groups, claiming it will ‘confuse’ students and allow some to pose as trans so they can access female changing rooms.
Opponents also include the anti-gay National Organization for Marriage, who successfully fought for Proposition 8 in California which outlawed same-sex marriage in 2008.
A month after the ACT passed historic same-sex marriage legislation, Attorney-General Simon Corbell moved on Thursday to enact the “final piece” in the government’s legislative reforms for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer people in Canberra.
The bill, if passed by the Legislative Assembly next year, will remove the requirement for surgery for people who want to change their gender on their birth certificate.
The laws will also allow for the creation of a new category of identity on birth certificates for people who are intersex or identify as being of indeterminate or unspecified sex, bringing the territory into line with the categories used by the Australian Passport Office.
"On Nov 1, Fondation Émergence launched the campaign by releasing two striking posters: one of male hockey players kissing and another of female snowboarders doing the same.
The posters read “Sochi 2014” in stylized script — a nearly wordless design intended to make the posters usable across the globe, says Martine Roy, Fondation Émergence’s president.
more at http://dailyxtra.com
Activists in Uganda report that police have arrested Sam K. Ganafa, executive director of Spectrum Uganda Initiatives and board chair for the Sexual Minorities Uganda coalition.
Charges against Ganafa have not yet been determined. He was handcuffed after he reported to the Kasangati police station in response to a call from the district police commander.
Police also searched his home and took two of Ganafa’s guests to the police station for interrogation.
Activists said Ganafa has opened his home to many homeless LGBTI persons and it was also used as a Spectrum Uganda office for more than eight years.
An employee of a Ugandan telecommunications company, he is greatly respected, a good role model, and one of the few elderly persons who have openly lived as gay in Uganda, activists said.
Police reportedly took him to be tested for HIV because a complainant against him claimed that he had been infected.
Ganafa is expected to be taken to court tomorrow (Nov. 13).
Vietnam has legalized gay weddings.
The south-eastern Asian country has officially allowed same-sex couples to organize weddings and have the right to live together.
While the unions won’t be legally recognized as marriages, gay rights campaigners believe it is a large small step on the path to equal rights.
The Government has taken this step after two fines were handed out to a gay and lesbian couple who chose to have a marriage ceremony in the southern provinces of Kien Giang and Ca Mau.
The couples were charged with holding a ceremony ‘contrary to the habits and customs of Vietnam’ and the Law on Marriage & Family of Vietnam which bans marriage between persons of the same sex.
But now with the changing of the law, gay weddings will no longer be illegal.
After starting consultations with relevant departments in summer 2012, same-sex marriage itself was due to be voted on in May this year.
It is believed the next step will be to equalize the age at which men and woman can get married. Currently the marriageable age for boys is 20 and 18 for girls.
Le Quang Binh, gay rights activist and ISEE director, said: ‘We are going the right way in the fight for same-sex marriage.
‘This might be the first step, but it will still change people’s lives for the better.’
After two decades of attempts, Hawaii has just passed same-sex marriage into law. The vote was 19-4, with two excused. Governor Neil Abercrombie, a Democrat, is expected to sign the legislation during a special invitation-only event tomorrow. The Aloha state is now the sixteenth to extend the institution of marriage to same-sex couples.”
Five women arrested under Senegal’s anti-gay law
Senegal has arrested five women who have allegedly violated the country’s anti-gay law.
On early Monday morning (11 November), the five women had met up for a birthday party at a Dakar restaurant known as a meeting point for LGBT people.
Police raided the restaurant and immediately detained them at the police station.
Among their number was 31-year-old Sene Dienge, an assistant director at Women’s Smile – a lesbian rights group.
One newspaper claimed the detainees had been caught committing homosexual acts in public.
Gay rights campaigners suspect someone had been working at the restaurant undercover and had tipped police off on Dienge’s role in the community.
Ndeye Kebe, the president of the activist group, said the women cannot afford a lawyer.
One of the only LGBTI advocates in the country, Kebe said suspected lesbians has faced mounting pressure in the wake of several scandals.
Earlier this year, a man discovered a video of his 18-year-old girlfriend kissing another woman.
When he posted it online, and it was splashed across the tabloids, his girlfriend was forced to flee the country.
‘In Senegal when we talk about homosexuality, we are usually talking about men, and we forget about the women,’ Kebe said, as reported by the Associated Press.
‘But people are now on the hunt for lesbians.’
If convicted, the five women face up to five years in jail and fines of up to 1.5 million Senegal francs ($3900, €2300).
“‘Pride events around the world are extremely important milestones on any country’s LGBT calendar,’ said Abby Lee, co-founder of Les Peches, Hong Kong’s premier events for lesbians, bisexual and queer women.
'It is a day of visibility for the LGBT movement. A day to show the rest of the world that we are celebrating our sexual identities and community's solidarity. This is especially true in Hong Kong where the LGBT community is still fairly transparent and discreet and our basic human rights still denied.'
This year’s Rainbow Ambassadors are Hong Kong singers Anthony Wong, who came out in 2012, and former legislative council member Tanya Chan.
'You don't have to be gay to support equal rights,' said Chan. 'I believe everyone who believes in justice should strive for equality.'
Participation was reported to be double last year’s 4,000, with more mainland Chinese people coming over the border to march for LGBT equality.
"Silence around issues of men who have sex with men should be stopped,” said Dr. Kaseba-Sata. “And no one should be discriminated against on the basis of their sexual orientation."
Retired Associate Justice Sandra Day O’Connor today married a same-sex couple in the U.S. Supreme Court. O’Connor, the first woman appointed to the nation’s highest court, married a couple together for 36 years, Jeffrey Trammell and Stuart Serkin.
Trammell is a rector (academic, not religious, leader) at The College of William & Mary in Virginia, where the former justice was chancellor. O’Connor was appointed to the Court by President Ronald Reagan.
“The ceremony took place in the lawyer’s lounge of the court, according to court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg,” Bloomberg reports. “That is just off the courtroom where the sitting justices delivered a pair of 5-4 decisions in June that stopped short of legalizing gay marriage across the country yet struck down a federal law barring benefits for spouses in same-sex marriages.”
In an August article, the Washington Post called Trammell a “D.C. lobbyist and gay Democratic activist,” and reported on his work attempting to unite Virginia’s higher education institutions to offer benefits to partners of same-sex couples.
Recently, Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg became the first Supreme Court justice to officiate at a same-sex wedding. She later hinted she would not be the last.
The government and opposition in Malta have agreed to change the country’s Constitution to protect LGBTI people.
The decision comes as the politicians prepare to vote for lesbian and gay civil unions, offering similar rights and responsibilities to marriage, which also have cross-party support.
The civil unions legislation is expected to pass as early as this week. But the constitutional changes may take a little longer.
Opposition Member of Parliament (MP) Claudette Buttigieg has tabled a private members bill to change the Constitution so people are protected from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
But the government Labour Party has said gender identity should also be added, protecting transgender and intersex people too.
Civil rights minister Helena Dalli said: ‘Categorizing gender identity under sexual orientation is not accurate and therefore it is important to make a distinction and introduce the amendment.’
The proposal to include gender identity has now been backed by the opposition Nationalist Party, reports Malta Today.
Buttigieg said: ‘Let’s avoid political bickering over such matters which do not benefit the people or Parliament. People out there have high expectations and we should deliver.’
The Mediterranean island nation of Malta, Gozo and Comino has a population of over 450,000 and appears keen to keep up with other European Union members on LGBTI issues. The changes are also likely to benefit the country’s important tourism industry.