Just days after Russian President Vladimir Putin praised Sir Elton John "despite his orientation," the music icon said he wants to show the Russian leader how the country's controversial law that seeks to protect children from gay "propaganda" is dangerous to LGBT people.
Recounting his positive experiences performing in Russia since 1979, the world famous singer-songwriter posted a statement on his official website concerning the controversy around the anti-propaganda law signed by Putin last year, which makes it illegal for anyone to spread information about the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community to minors.
"It was very clear to me that, although foreigners like myself who are visiting Russia are not affected by this new law (and President Putin has recently confirmed this), it is a very different story for those living inside the country," John wrote. more >>
Virginia's new attorney general has announced that his office will not defend the state's ban on gay marriage, revealing that he has changed his views on the matter and refuses to "hurt" people any more.
"As attorney general, I cannot and will not defend laws that violate Virginians' rights," Attorney General Mark Herring announced on Thursday, according to NPR. "The commonwealth will be siding with the plaintiffs in this case and with every other Virginia couple whose right to marry is being denied," he added of a recent case concerning gay marriage.
The case in question concerns a Virginia couple, Timothy B. Bostic and his partner Tony C. London, who applied for a marriage license in July 2013 at Norfolk Circuit Court but were turned down because of the state's ban on same-sex marriage. Bostic and London have since filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court and have been joined by another same-sex-couple, Carol Schall and Mary Townley. more >>
A Catholic high school president in Seattle has resigned following public controversy that stemmed from the firing of the school's former vice principal for marrying his same-sex partner.
"Sister Mary (Tracy) came to this decision after much prayer and reflection. For Sister Mary it was a difficult, but necessary decision so that a new leader can be brought in to ensure the entire Eastside Catholic community is moving forward on a positive path," stated a letter by Eastside Catholic's Board of Trustees on Tuesday, shared by KING 5 News.
Sister Mary Tracy reportedly submitted her resignation on Sunday, and the school has said that search for her replacement will begin soon. more >>
The United Nations AIDS taskforce has announced its plans to pursue legal action against the African country of Malawi over its laws criminalizing homosexuality. The lawsuit, which will be carried out by the AIDS taskforce and various human rights groups, is considered rare.
In March, UNAIDS, the Malawi Law Society and local human rights groups will ask a high court to overturn the southern African country's law on homosexuality by ruling it unconstitutional. "Our argument is that as long as same-sex relationships are consensual and done in private no one has business to get bothered," Felicia Kilembe, a spokeswoman for the Malawai Law Society, told Reuters.
Malawi's laws regarding homosexuality have made international headlines in the past. In 2009, a transgender woman and a man were arrested for holding an engagement party. The couple had their alleged offenses pardoned later in 2010. Punishment for homosexual acts in the African country includes a maximum sentence of 14 years imprisonment. more >>
The Rev. Fernando Sebastián, a Spanish cardinal newly appointed by Pope Francis, has called homosexuality a "defect" from which people can recover, and further clarified the pope's view on the controversial subject.
"Homosexuality is a defective manner of expressing sexuality, because this (sex) has a structure and a purpose, which is procreation," said 85-year-old Sebastián, who is set to take up office at the Vatican in February, according to local Spanish newspaper Diario Sur.
"A homosexual who can't achieve this (procreation) is failing." more >>
Chinese LGBT groups are speaking out against controversial gay reparative therapy methods, which include electroshock therapy and pornography, used in the world's most populous country, arguing that such practices are deeply damaging to individuals.
The LGBT Center in the capital, Beijing, has criticized methods which include connecting a wire to a person's genitals while a doctor administers electric shocks as the person watches a pornographic film, in hopes that it would eliminate undesired sexual attraction. Gay rights groups have argued that such methods "deeply damage homosexuals' physical and mental health, and worse, infringe on their self-respect," according to AFP.
The news agency added that in the past month it has contacted five different clinics in China that claim to offer "sexuality adjustment" therapy through means including hypnosis, drugs and electric shocks, and reported on a number of cases where people have said they suffered trauma after giving them a try. more >>