Tag Archives: Asia

North Korea Conducts Largest Nuclear Test To Date

The Guardian reports: North Korea has confirmed it has conducted its most powerful nuclear test to date, marking the 68th anniversary of its founding with a reminder to the world that it may be edging closer to developing a warhead capable of striking the US mainland. Friday morning’s test, which triggered a magnitude 5.3 earthquake, drew immediate condemnation from North …

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INDONESIA: Islamic Activists Urge Constitutional Court To Criminalize Homosexuality And Fornication

J. Lester Feder reports at Buzzfeed: A group of academics and activists urged the Constitutional Court of Indonesia to criminalize fornication and homosexuality on Tuesday in the latest hearing of a lawsuit that began earlier this year. The suit, which has been brought by 12 academics and activists, has already had several hearings, but captured international attention earlier this month …

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SINGAPORE: Government Bans Foreign Corporations From Sponsoring Public Events Like LGBT Pride

From the Straits Times: The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said on Tuesday (June 7) it will “take steps to make it clear that foreign entities should not fund, support or influence” events held at Speakers’ Corner, like the annual Pink Dot event last Saturday. This year’s event – the eighth such – attracted 18 sponsors, twice as many as …

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Obama Lifts US Arms Embargo On Vietnam

CNN reports: President Barack Obama announced Monday that the United States is fully lifting a decades-long ban on the sale of military equipment to Vietnam. In a joint news conference in Hanoi with Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang, Obama said that the removal of the ban on lethal weapons was part of a deeper defense cooperation with the country and …

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JAPAN: US Embassy Tweets Marriage Equality Message From Evan Wolfson To Promote Rainbow Week [VIDEO]

Less than a month after last year’s landmark ruling from the Supreme Court, Freedom To Marry held its “going out of business” gala and has since closed its offices. But founder Evan Wolfson is far from retired from fighting for LGBT equality. From the US Embassy in Tokyo: “To mark the beginning of Tokyo Rainbow Week starting tomorrow, here’s a …

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SOUTH KOREA: Government Signs Off On US Military Protections & Benefits For Same-Sex Couples

Stars & Stripes reports: South Korea has signed off on a U.S. decision to give same-sex couples the same legal protections and benefits as military families under the status of forces agreement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Tuesday. The statement came after the American Military Partner Association, a Washington-based advocacy group, announced that South Korea had been added to …

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CHINA: Court Rejects Same-Sex Marriage Case

The Guardian reports: A Chinese judge has rejected a gay couple’s attempt to secure the right to marry in the country’s first same-sex marriage case. Sun Wenlin, 27, from the central province of Hunan, had sued the civil affairs bureau in the city of Changsha for the right to marry his 37-year-old partner Hu Mingliang, a security guard. Sun decided …

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TAIWAN: Christian Groups Call For Boycott After McDonald’s Goes Viral With Coming Out Ad [VIDEO]

From the Shanghaiist: A new advertisement by McCafé featuring a heartwarming coming-out scene has created something of a firestorm in a coffee cup in Taiwan, with religious fundamentalists up in arms, calling for a boycott against the chain. In the 90-second video, titled Acceptance, the third and latest video in the More Warmth in Conversations campaign by McCafé which started …

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INDONESIA: Government May Ban LGBT Websites

From the Jakarta Post: Apparently under pressure to take preventive measures against the spread of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) propaganda through the internet, the Communications and Information Ministry is drafting a bill to ban websites that promote such activities. Ministry spokesperson Ismail Cawidu said the ministry had set up a panel that would meet to discuss the matter …

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China Bans Gay Romances From Television

CNN reports: Chinese censors say television shows shouldn’t include story lines involving gay relationships, plus other topics that “exaggerate the dark side of society,” according to new guidelines. The eight-page document on “vulgar, immoral and unhealthy content” posted on the website of the China Television Drama Production Industry Association, was dated December 31 but was widely reported in Chinese state …

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INDONESIA: “Effeminate” Men Banned From Television

Indonesia’s crackdown on its LGBT population continues. Gay Star News reports: Indonesia has banned men from behaving effeminately or dressing in women’s clothing on TV. The Indonesian Broadcasting Commission (KPI) issued a directive Tuesday (23 February) after receiving complaints from viewers. The directive specifically banned: Men wearing feminine fashion. Men wearing feminine make-up. Feminine body language exhibited by men, including, …

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Taiwan Elects Pro-Gay Marriage President

Taiwan has elected Tsai Ing-wen, its first female president. She also backs same-sex marriage. From the New York Times: Taiwan has some of the most progressive policies on LGBT rights in Asia, and Tsai has vocally supported expanding them to include same sex marriage. A campaign video that she released on Cixi, Chinese Valentine’s Day, last August, included three same …

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JAPAN: 51% Back Same-Sex Marriage In New Poll

Bloomberg reports: A majority of Japanese support changing the country’s laws to allow same-sex unions, with the highest backing coming from younger respondents, according to a poll. Fifty-one percent of people polled by researchers from universities and the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research back such partnerships, the Asahi newspaper reported. Support exceeded 70 percent among respondents in …

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TAIWAN: Taipei City Government To Ask Court To Legalize Same-Sex Marriage

Asia One reports: The Taipei City Government Department of Civil Affairs yesterday stated its decision to petition to the Constitutional Court to make a decision about whether the Constitution forbids the government from restricting marriage rights from same-sex couples and to seek a decision that would require the government to legalize same-sex marriage. Countries all over the world have started …

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TAIWAN: Government Prepares To Intro Same-Sex Marriage Legislation

The Global Times reports: Taiwan plans to draft a same-sex partnership law to further protect the rights of homosexual couples, making Taiwan likely to become the first region in Asia to legalize gay marriage. Following the US Supreme Court’s decision on gay marriage in June, judicial authorities in Taiwan announced recently that they decided to draft a same-sex partnership law …

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SINGAPORE: 28,000 Attend Seventh Annual Pink Dot LGBT Rights Rally

Via Reuters: Singapore’s Pink Dot gay rights rally drew a record number of participants on Saturday, even as the country remains deeply divided over homosexuality. In early evening, a mostly young, pink-donned crowd was filling up the small Hong Lim Park, decked out in hot pink balloons and signs, next to Singapore’s central financial district. The event, in its 7th …

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SOUTH KOREA: Christian Activists Rally Outside Queer Cultural Festival

Citing threats from Christian groups who last year physically blockaded the Seoul Pride parade, last week the Seoul police denied a permit for what would be South Korea’s 16th annual such event. The Korea Queer Cultural Festival kicked off this week anyway, but not without a rabble of Christian protesters who were watched over by about 1000 cops. Via the …

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VIETNAM: Gay Marriage No Longer Banned, But It’s Not Recognized Either

This week Vietnam’s repeal of its constitutional ban on same-sex marriage went into effect. But marriage still isn’t legal or recognized. Same-sex couples can now hold symbolic weddings and cohabitate without interference or fines from authorities. However, they will not receive the same rights as straight married couples, a halfway point some lawmakers have hailed as the first step towards …

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TAIWAN: Pride Parade Draws 70,000

Yesterday the New York Times raved abut the difference between Taiwan and its Asian neighbors: Waving rainbow flags and banners demanding same-sex marriage, the revelers set off from Taiwan’s presidential palace, drawing cheers and thumbs-up from spectators along the way. For the 13th year in a row, the gay pride march took over the streets of the capital on Saturday …

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SINGAPORE: Court Upholds Sodomy Law

Via the Straits Times: The highest court in Singapore has upheld Section 377A of the Penal Code, the law that criminalises sex between men, rejecting arguments that the provision contravenes the Constitution. In ruling that the provision is constitutional, the three-judge Court of Appeal on Wedesday rejected two separate challenges to strike down the law. Gay couple Gary Lim, 46, …

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