Africa / Asia / Europe / Middle East / North Africa

Recount: 75 (or 79) nations where homosexuality is illegal

The number of countries with anti-homosexuality laws is currently 75, according to the latest tally from ILGA, the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association. That’s down one from earlier this month, when the African nation of Chad was incorrectly included in the list. This blog now lists a total of 79, including four … Continue reading

Americas / Europe / Faith and religion

Letter to Pope: Halt church support of anti-gay violence

Human Rights Watch has challenged Pope Francis to speak more directly in opposition to  violence and discrimination against LGBT people worldwide and to ensure that other Catholic officials do so too. In a letter to the Holy See on Oct. 16, HRW praised church teachings that uphold human dignity for all, but added that “too … Continue reading


Much talk, a little action on LGBT rights worldwide

Much discussion and a little action on LGBT rights occurred during last month’s meeting of the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland.  These are excerpts from the report on the session by the advocacy group ARC International, particularly the sections related to countries with anti-gay laws. Navi Pillay, United Nations High Commissioner for Human … Continue reading


Russian LGBT group delighted, nearly overwhelmed by support

The Russian LGBT Network is nearly overwhelmed with the volume of letters and other communications from supporters who want to help them block Russia’s new ban on ill-defined “gay propaganda.”  On July 29, the network issued this statement, expressing its delight, requesting supporters’ patience, and urging continued action: We keep getting letters and questions from … Continue reading


Anti-gay law leads to cancellation of Russian official’s trip

St. Petersburg’s ban on “gay propaganda” has resulted in cancellation of a planned trip to Uruguay and Argentina by that Russian region’s governor, Georgy Poltavchenko. Pltavchenko cancelled a planned visit after the Uruguayan capital of Montevideo withdrew its plan to honor him as an “illustrious citizen.” The local LGBT group Colectivo Ovejas Negras had protested … Continue reading

Americas / Europe / Faith and religion

Some hope for charity to LGBTs from new pope

For activists seeking justice and equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people, there was little to praise in the selection of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina as the new pope, Francis I. About the best they could say about him was that he had urged people to respect homosexuals as individuals. … Continue reading

Americas / Europe / Faith and religion

14 countries accept gay marriage, Nigeria may outlaw it

With the growth in public acceptance of same-sex relationships, gay marriage now is officially recognized throughout 11 countries and in portions of three others. Elsewhere, same-sex marriage is variously unauthorized, formally prohibited or treated as a gateway to criminality, such as in countries where homosexual activity is illegal. Those countries include Nigeria, where the Senate … Continue reading