A California activist and business owner literally has taken LGBT pride to new heights, Advocate.com noted. Neal Gottlieb, the founder and owner of Three Twins Ice Cream, planted a rainbow flag atop Uganda's highest peak to protest the African country's recent passage of the Anti-Homosexuality Act. Gottlieb, a former Peace Corps volunteer and graduate of Cornell University, published the photo of his prideful summit on Facebook and shared a copy of the letter he sent to Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni that detailed the feat.
In Canada, Quebec's government has, for the first time, allowed a gay male couple to claim expenses toward having a child through surrogacy, according to Pink News. The case is being considered precedent-setting, and saw Joel Legendre and his husband claim back the cost through the province's health insurance board RAMQ. Legendre and his husband's twins are due in July, and are being carried by a surrogate mother who got pregnant through in vitro.
An Italian court has ordered a town to recognize the marriage of a gay couple who were wed in the United Statesa move that advocates of gay marriage, which is not allowed in Italy, hailed as a first step toward legality, according to Reuters. The court in the Tuscan city of Grosseto said the town hall had to transcribe the marriage into its records, giving the two men the same rights as a heterosexual married couple. The coupleStefano Bucci, 57, and Stefano Chigiotti, 68were married in New York in 2012 and sued Grosseto city hall after an official there refused to transcribe the marriage into its registers.
An "openly gay" and "openly Christian" aspiring lawyer is claiming that a British Columbia law school unconstitutionally discriminates against gays and lesbians and requires students to "abstain from 'sexual intimacy that violates the sacredness of marriage between a man and a woman,'" Courthouse News Service reported. Trevor Loke sued the minister of advanced education of British Columbia, Trinity Western University and the province's attorney general in B.C. Supreme Court. Loke claims the school's admission policy effectively excludes people on the basis of sexual orientation.
The Sri Lankan government said there was no move to legalize gay marriages in the country, TheHindu.com noted. Sri Lanka Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa made the announcement at a meeting that President Mahinda Rajapaksa held with editors of local media.
Also in Canada, Alberta Justice Brian Burrows has ruled that a provincial law requiring transgender individuals to undergo gender-reassignment surgery before they can change their birth certificates is unconstitutional and can no longer be enforced, LGBTQ Nation reported. "Transgender persons encounter disadvantage, prejudice, stereotyping and vulnerability because their felt sex is not the sex recorded at birth," Burrows wrote in his decision. He said the law, as it stands, contributes to the prejudice.
A 25-year-old gay Indian student who fled to Australia to escape a forced marriage that his Muslim family arranged has been granted refugee status, The Times of India reported. The commerce graduate, who lives with his boyfriend in New South Wales, arrived on a student visa in March 2009 to study business managementbut he withdrew from the diploma course after six months. He then claimed his father demanded that he enter the arranged marriage with an Indian woman when he last went to his home in Hyderabad in 2011.
Ethiopia's government recently cancelled a planned anti-gay rally, according to the UK Guardian. In addition, a plan by the legislature to add gay sex to a list of crimes ineligible for presidential pardons has been dropped. In Ethiopia, same-sex acts are punishable by up to 15 years in prison, and a 25-year jail term is given to anyone convicted of infecting another person with HIV during same-sex acts.
Japan's first lady joined the festivities of Tokyo's LGBT-pride parade on April 27, according to Advocate.com . Akie Abe, wife of conservative Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, stood on a float amid a sea of 3,000 participants marching though the Shibuya district. Abewho openly fights for gender equalitysaid she was particularly drawn to participate through her work related to HIV.
A serial killer in Lahore, Pakistan, has confessed to murdering three gay men, saying that he carried out the killings in order to send a warning to gay people to stopbut police say he had sex with his victims before killing them, according to Gay Star News. Muslim father of two Muhammed Ejaz, 28, used his skills as a paramedic to sedate his victims and then broke their necks to kill the men. Ejaz would have killed again if police had not gotten to his potential fourth victim before him and used him to ambush Ejaz.
The Dorchester Hotel in England is facing a boycott by fashion and screen stars in a situation over a law, passed by its owner in Brunei, which could lead to gay people being stoned to death, according to The Evening Standard. ( This is similar to what has happened to at California's Beverly Hills Hotel, where an LGBT conference withdrew from the venue for the same reason. ) British actor Stephen Fry, Ellen DeGeneres and leading designers have all vowed not to stay in any of the hotels the Sultan of Brunei owns in protest over the legislation.