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Jamaican activist ends legal challenge to anti-sodomy law amid fears for his safety

| Friday, August 29, 2014
Javed Jaghai
KINGSTON, Jamaica -- A Jamaican gay rights activist who brought a legal challenge to the Caribbean island's anti-sodomy law says he has withdrawn the case after growing fearful about his safety. Last year, Javed Jaghai made headlines after initiating a constitutional court challenge to Jamaica's 1864 law that bans sex between men.

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Colombia allows lesbian partner to adopt child born via artificial insemination

| Thursday, August 28, 2014
Veronica Botero and Ana Elisa Leiderman with their children Raquel and Ari.
BOGOTA, Colombia -- Colombia has taken a major step recognizing the rights of same-sex couples after the country's constitutional court allowed a lesbian couple to adopt a child born to one of its mothers. Ana Leiderman gave birth to two children via artificial insemination. Her longtime partner Veronica Botero however doesn't have any custodial or legal rights ...

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Sailor is first member of Chile’s armed forces to come out as gay

| Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Mauricio Ruiz, 24, sailor of the Chilean Navy, right, comes out publicly as gay during a press conference in Santiago, Chile, Wednesday Aug. 27, 2014. Ruiz who was accompanied by Rolando Jimenez, left, president of the Homosexual Liberation and Integration Movement, is the first member of the Chilean armed forces ever to come out publicly as gay with the approval of the High Command of the Chilean navy.
SANTIAGO, Chile -- A sailor with Chile's navy on Wednesday announced he is gay, an unprecedented public declaration in this socially conservative South American nation. Chile has traditionally been a tough place for homosexuals, although the country decriminalized gay sex in 1999 and attitudes toward gays are evolving. The killing of a gay man in Chile 2012 set off a national debate...

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Berlin’s first openly gay mayor to resign by end of year

| Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Klaus Wowereit
BERLIN -- Charismatic Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit, whose reputation has taken a beating over struggles in the construction of the German capital's new international airport, said Tuesday he will step down by the end of the year. Wowereit told reporters he would resign Dec. 11 after more than 13 years in office.

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Ecuador to formally recognize couples in same-sex civil unions

| Sunday, August 24, 2014
Ecuador
QUITO, Ecuador -- Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa on Saturday said that same-sex couples in civil unions can now have their relationships officially recognized by the Ecuador government. Correa said LGBT people will have "the full constitutional right" to register their civil unions, and have them recorded on their national ID cards, reports AFP.

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Lawmaker blames Spain’s trillion dollar debt on ‘subsidies to homosexuals’

| Friday, August 22, 2014
Luz Elena Sanín
A Spanish lawmaker is facing calls to resign after blaming Spain's $1 trillion deficit on "subsidies offered to homosexuals" by the previous socialist government. The Local reports that Popular Party senator Luz Elena Sanín told journalists that Spain’s ruling conservative party had increased its public spending due to “the debts” caused by “subsidies for...

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Mariela Castro breaks tradition in fight for greater LGBT, HIV protections

| Tuesday, August 19, 2014
In this May 10, 2014, file photo, Mariela Castro, daughter of Cuba's President Raul Castro, center, marches in a parade marking the upcoming International Day Against Homophobia, in Havana, Cuba. policy in parliament.
HAVANA -- Yet another revolutionary tradition has been broken in Cuba: A lawmaker voted "no" in parliament. And it wasn't just any lawmaker. Mariela Castro, the daughter of President Raul Castro and niece of Fidel Castro, gave the thumbs-down to a workers' rights bill that she felt didn't go far enough to prevent discrimination against people with HIV or with unconventional gender identities.

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Russian anti-gay extremist sentenced to five years in penal colony

| Sunday, August 17, 2014
Maxim Sergeyevich Martsinkevich
MOSCOW -- The leader of the Russian anti-gay vigilante group “Occupy Pedophilia,” who is alleged to have lured LGBT youth to abusive encounters through fake social media profiles, was sentenced Friday to five years in a Russian penal colony. Maxim Sergeyevich Martsinkevich was convicted of inciting and fomenting cases of extremism by posting videos on the “Vkontakte” (VK.com) ...

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Ugandan gays who fled persecution still feel danger in neighboring Kenya

| Sunday, August 17, 2014
A Ugandan man is seen during the third Annual Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Pride celebrations in Entebbe, Uganda, on Aug.  9, 2014.
NAIROBI, Kenya -- When a Ugandan court overturned the country's Anti-Homosexuality Act this month, rights activists worldwide claimed a victory. But not gay Ugandans who fled persecution to live in a refugee camp in neighboring Kenya. "The reaction shocked me. I went there. I thought it would be a celebration, but ... nothing," said Brizan Ogollan, founder of an aid organization...

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27 men arrested in Lebanon for alleged ‘unnatural sex’ and ‘public indecency’

| Wednesday, August 13, 2014
Human rights activists rally in Beirut in 2013  demanding greater rights and protections for the LGBT community in Lebanon.
BEIRUT, Lebanon -- Police in Beirut have arrested 27 men for allegedly engaging in “gay sex” during a raid on a Beirut bathhouse on Saturday. According to Colonel Tony Haddad of Hbeish police station, the 27 unnamed men, including the owner and employees, have been in police custody since police raided Agha Hammam in the area of Hamra-Concord, Beirut.

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