The American Military Partner Association ( AMPA ) responded to the news that the Republic of Korea ( South Korea ) has been added to the list of duty-station assignments outside of the United States approved for same-sex couples. AMPA President Ashley Broadway-Mack. "With thousands of service members stationed in South Korea, this was a serious concern that our families still faced after the successful repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' and the eventual recognition of same-sex spouses by the Department of Defense. This is incredibly welcome news for so many service members and their families who now don't have to go through extraordinary lengths to stay together." South Korea hosts an estimated 30,000 U.S. military personnel.
MSMGF: the Global Forum on MSM & HIV, has provided recommendations on several key advocacy entry points to influence the document drafts that lead-up to the High-Level Meeting ( HLM ) in June, a press release noted. The organization indicated its hopes that the upcoming Zero Draft will include the need to decriminalize homosexuality and fully fund comprehensive HIV and other STI prevention, care and treatment programs for men who have sex with men. See msmgf.org/ensuring-bold-response-political-declaration-zero-draft-advocacy-next-steps-united-nations-high-level-meeting-hivaids/ .
The head of Britain's digital-espionage agency has apologized for the organization's historic prejudice against gay people, saying it failed to learn from the treatment of World War II codebreaker Alan Turing, the Associated Press reported. GCHQ chief Robert Hannigan told a gathering the LGBT-rights group Stonewall organized that the agency's ban on gay individuals had caused long-lasting psychological damage to many and hurt the agency because talented people were excluded from working there. At GCHQ, Turing is now seen as a genius"a problem-solver who was not afraid to think differently and radically," Hannigan said.
The Catholic church reportedly lobbied two of Australia's most prominent gay chief executives to stop their companies' support for marriage equality, The Sydney Morning Herald reported. The Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney contacted Qantas CEO Alan Joyce and SBS CEO Michael Ebeid, urging them to reconsider their public endorsement of same-sex marriage. Both companies were among hundreds of Australian corporations to pledge their support for the Australian Marriage Equality campaign last year.
A judge ruled against a gay couple who had sought the right to marry in China's first court case addressing the issue of same-sex unions, The New York Times reported. The couple, Sun Wenlin and Hu Mingliang, filed a lawsuit against a civil affairs bureau in Changsha, Hunan Province, in southern China, after the office refused to grant them the right to marry when they tried to register in June 2015. In a surprising development, a district court accepted the case early this yearthe first time a Chinese court had agreed to hear such a lawsuit.
A State Department report says that Syria was the worst country by far in 2015 when it came to human rights, surpassing Russia, China and Egypt, USA Today noted. The government killed 15,748 people last year, and Islamic State terrorists killed 2,098, the report said, which cites the Syrian Network for Human Rights. Secretary of State John Kerry said he is instructing U.S. personnel to document abuses so violators can be brought to justice. The report is at http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/humanrightsreport/index.htm#wrapper.
Ireland is set to review its lifetime ban on gay men donating blood, PinkNews reported. The Irish Blood Transfusion Service Board is set to review changes to the law this month and, according to the Irish Independent, a decision is expected shortly after the April 21-22 conference at the Royal College of Surgeons. The final decision on the issue will be taken by health minister Leo Varadkar, who is openly gay.
A Paris tribunal has ruled that calling a male hairdresser a "faggot" is not homophobic"because hair salons regularly employ gay people," BBC News reported. The case relates to an employee at a salon who was fired after failing to turn up for work while sick. French Labour Minister Myriam el Khomri called the judgement "shocking." Reporter Mathieu Brancourt, who tweeted the tribunal's finding, wrote: "You are a hairdresser, you get called a faggot, and that's OK because hairdressers are often gay right. Thanks, tribunal."
A steward from Air France has launched an online appealin the form of a Change.org petitionagainst gay cabin members having to travel to Iran, TheLocal.fr reported. It's titled: "Gay stewards from Air France don't want to fly to the death penalty in Iran." The letter points out that homosexuality in Iran is illegal and comes with a penalty of 74 lashes for a minor, while adults can be given the death penalty.
A case has been filed with Kenya's High Court aimed at striking down the country's ban on gay sex, PinkNews reported. At the moment, gay people in Kenya can face up to 14 years imprisonmentwhile politicians have supported harsher anti-LGBT measures. The law, which dates back to 1930, any person who has carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for fourteen years."
In Britain, a multimillionaire former couplebanker Giuseppe Montalto, 53, and Nimish Popat, 47are embroiled in a bitter High Court battle over their tanning shop empire and pot plants following the breakdown of their relationship, The Daily Mail reported. The couple split in 2009, when Montalto moved out of the home they shared, and since then have fought over how their fortune should be divided.
Portugal's armed forces chief, General Carlos Jeronimo, has resigneddays after being summoned to explain comments about gay soldiers made by the deputy head of the military college, Z News reported. President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa had accepted the resignation of Jeronimo, who took up the post of chief of staff in 2014. The resignation came after Antonio Grilo, deputy head of the military college, admitted advising parents of young military students in the Portuguese army to withdraw their sons if they were gay "to protect them from the other students."
The version of Shrek the Musical currently playing in Canada has been forced to change its script following a backlash over an anti-trans slur, according to PinkNews. The original script included the word "tranny" several times throughout, as well as in the original cast recording. Ky Greyson, a trans man, said to CBC News after viewing the show, "It was really a good production, but I remember hearing the word used and the entire crowd bursting laughing and just my heart dropping."
In Germany, two male king penguins who didn't quite live up to their keepers' plans for them to go forth and multiply have been moved from Berlin to Hamburg, TheLocal.de reported. "They're gay, as far as we know," said Berlin Zoo spokeswoman Christiane Reiss of penguins Stan and Olli. Even their names have changed since the move to the northerly port city; now they're known as Kalle and Grobi.