Indonesia's highest Islamic clerical body issues fatwa proposing death penalty for gay sex

Indonesia's most prominent Islamic clerical body has issued a fatwa proposing a host of punishments for "homosexual crimes" - including the death penalty.

While Indonesia does not have a reputation for being particularly welcoming of the LGBT community – and same-sex marriage is not permitted - homosexual relations are not prohibited. Most individuals can go about their lives without prejudice.

But the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) views homosexuality as a sin. It issued the edict at the start of this month, according to The Jakarta Globe.

In far-flung U.S. territories, gay marriage hasn’t arrived

While more than 70% of U.S. states now allow same-sex marriage, the waves of change have yet to reach America’s far-flung and socially conservative territories in the Caribbean and Pacific.

Of the five territories, only Puerto Rico has faced a lawsuit seeking the right for gay and lesbian couples to wed, and a federal judge there — bucking the trend in federal courts on the mainland — rejected the suit. That case is under appeal before the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston.

Germany: Teen kidnapped, tortured by Muslim relatives for being gay

BERLIN, Germany -- A teenager of Lebanese descent accuses his father and two uncles of kidnapping him and trying to force him into an arranged marriage because he is openly gay.

Nasser El-Ahmad, who is now 18, told German media that he also was tortured. He said his dad threatened to slice his throat and one of his uncles poured gasoline on him with the intention of burning him to death.

Canada: Alberta’s new stand on gay-straight alliances makes for historic day

EDMONTON, Alberto, Canada — Alberta has vaulted to the forefront of Canada’s debates on sexuality and gender expression, Premier Jim Prentice said on Tuesday evening after MLAs quickly passed legislation that ended a debate on gay support clubs that roiled the province.

Only minutes after Alberta’s legislature convened for the first time in 2015, Prentice’s Education Minister announced that the Tory government was reversing its position on gay-straight alliances and would make the clubs mandatory in every school where a student requested one.

U.S. Marine offered plea deal in killing of transgender Filipina

OLONGAPO, Philippines -- A Philippines court offered U.S. Marine Joseph Pemberton a plea deal Tuesday, giving him the chance to avoid a murder trial that could send him to prison for up to 40 years. Lance Cpl. Pemberton, 20, who is accused of murdering transgender Filipina Jennifer Laude, 26, had previously asked the court to downgrade the murder charge to homicide, which carries a maximum 20-year prison term.

Russia tries to block benefits for families of gay U.N. employees

Last June, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon issued a far-reaching administrative ruling that offered marital benefits for the first time to all of the United Nations’ lesbian and gay employees, as well as to other U.N. workers who had entered legally recognized domestic partnerships. On Monday, March 2, Russia gave the plan a resounding nyet.

Uganda's "Kill The Gays" bill is back

David Bahati, the sponsor of Uganda’s notorious Anti-Homosexuality Act (AHA), announced this weekend that he intends to reintroduce the bill in parliament, after a court found it invalid for procedural reasons last August.

But this time will be different. President Yoweri Museveni is under heavy pressure not to once again invite international condemnation by supporting it. More importantly, the Ugandan coalition opposing it is broad-based and deep.

In fact, American activists could learn a lot from their Ugandan counterparts.

Slovenia legalizes gay marriage and adoption rights

LJUBLJANA, Slovenia -- The parliament of Slovenia voted 51-28 on Tuesday night to legalize marriage for gay and lesbian couples. Lawmakers also legalized adoption rights for gay and lesbian couples.

Man guilty of robbing men he met on Grindr

SYDNEY, NSW, Australia -- A man who met his victims on the social networking app Grindr before robbing them at knifepoint has been sentenced to at least 17 months jail.

Corey Draper, 23, contacted the victims via Grindr, a mobile app favoured by gay, bisexual and bi-curious men, the Sydney District Court heard on Tuesday.

Draper used the app to locate potential victims in his area. After chatting online, the suggestion was made to meet up to use the drug ice.

Mexico’s quiet marriage equality revolution

Courts in more than two-thirds of Mexico’s 31 states have granted same-sex couples the right to marry over the past two years in a series of rulings that will likely make marriage equality a reality nationwide in the near future.

The wave of rulings throughout Mexico hasn’t caused the uproar that has followed rulings in the United States over the past year striking down state laws barring same-sex couples from marrying. Couples have not rushed to marry nor have conservatives organized major protests.