World

Gay Ugandans face new threat from anti-homosexuality law

KAMPALA, Uganda -- “Go away! We know who you are. We don’t want you in our country. If we see you, we’ll burn you to death.” Melanie Kiwagama reads out the text messages she received last year, after Uganda’s notorious anti-homosexuality bill came into effect. Since then, she says the flow of threats towards her and her partner have been constant.

Despite being annulled by the country’s constitutional court on a technicality last summer, MPs haven’t given up on attempts to further criminalize homosexuality. According to a leaked draft, a new law is in the making.

Australia: New NSW Labor leader urged to meet rainbow families

SYDNEY, Australia -- The new leader of New South Wales (NSW) Labor Luke Foley is being urged to meet same-sex couples and their children so he can see firsthand the impact of achieving marriage equality.

Foley, a committed Catholic who is replacing John Robertson as NSW Labor leader and the only party member opposed to gay marriage, has previously voted against allowing same-sex couples to marry on the basis that he was raised by a single mother and lacked a fatherly male role model.

Luxembourg says "I do" to gay marriage

DIFFERDANGE, Luxembourg -- Jean Paul Olinger and Henri Lorenzo Huber were the first same-sex couple to tie the knot in Luxembourg, with a new marriage law coming into force on Jan. 1.

Olinger and Huber, both in their 60s, are Differdange's trailblazers, also having been the commune's first couple to enter a registered partnership, a so-called PACS.

Elsewhere in the country, January wedding dates are also set, with two women to wed in Walferdange on Friday and the first same-sex ceremony in Luxembourg City scheduled for Jan. 16, according to RTL.

India: Transgender mayor elected in Chhattisgarh state

RAIGARH, India -- A transgender on Sunday scripted history by winning the mayor's election in Chhattisgarh state's Raigarh Municipal Corporation, defeating the nearest rival from the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party).

Independent candidate Madhu Kinnar won the mayoral election of the Raigarh Municipal Corporation by 4,537 votes against BJP's Mahaveer Guruji, an election official said.

Madhu, 35, belonging to Dalit community, is the first transgender to get elected as mayor in Chhattisgarh, a state in central India with a population of 25.5 million.

Canada: Two homophobes found not guilty of mischief at college campus

REGINA, Saskatchewan, Canada -- Two well-known homophobes, including American anti-gay activist Peter LaBarbera, were found not guilty of mischief for an incident this year at the University of Regina.

Canada: Two homophobes found not guilty of mischief at college campus

REGINA, Saskatchewan, Canada -- Two well-known homophobes, including American anti-gay activist Peter LaBarbera, were found not guilty of mischief for an incident this year at the University of Regina.

Australia: "Becoming impenetrable" for LGBT asylum seekers

SYDNEY, Australia -- The government’s new asylum seeker laws could see genuine LGBTI refugees deported to oppressive regimes, refugee advocates and legal experts have claimed.

Human Rights Law Centre legal advocacy director Daniel Webb said the new legislation “throws out the rule book” by excising all references to the UN Refugee Convention. He was particularly scathing on an increase in the circumstances asylum seekers could now be returned to their country of origin.

Taiwan: Parliament becomes first in East Asia to debate gay marriage

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- A proposed amendment to the Civil Code that aims to legalize same-sex marriage became a hot topic of debate at a committee in Taiwan's Legislature Monday, marking the first time that such a bill has ever been reviewed at the parliamentary level in East Asia.

Opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmaker Cheng Li-chiun, one of the lawmakers who proposed the draft bill, said in the session of the Judiciary and Organic Laws and Statutes Committee that it is the Legislature's responsibility to make changes to discriminatory or unfair laws.

Uganda: Parliament adjourns without debating anti-gay law

Uganda’s parliament adjourned on Friday without passing a new version of the anti-LGBT law that was struck down by the country’s Constitutional Court in August, despite overwhelming support from lawmakers.

Partner Thomas Zinn: "Humble, generous" Tori Johnson would have loved Martin Place flower tribute

SYDNEY, Australia -- Siege victim Tori Johnson's partner has thanked Australia and the world for the outpouring of support for the family that has come in the wake of the Martin Place tragedy.

Thomas Zinn read an emotional statement directly to viewers on the TODAY Show this morning, speaking of the family's pride in the strength of the community.

"As you can imagine, this is a very difficult time for our family," he said.