LGBTIQ

India's top court officially recognised transgender rights today in a landmark ruling. The supreme court directed the federal and state governments to allow people to identify themselves as outside the binary male/female gender definitions. The estimated three million transgender Indians will have the same access to welfare programs for the poor, including education, healthcare and jobs to help them overcome social and economic challenges. The court also ordered the government fight the social stigma associated with transgender people through a public awareness campaign.
A historic motion for Ballarat was put forth to affirm support for a “No to Homophobia” campaign at a City of Ballarat council meeting on Febraury 12. The motion was carried unanimously. Greens councillor Belinda Coates put the motion. She said after the meeting: “It was fantastic to get unanimous support for this motion to affirm support for the 'No to Homophobia' campaign and their 'Promise' campaign.
The Kansas Republican-controlled House of Representatives passed a bill on February 11 that makes it legal to discriminate against LGBTIQ people in the mid-western US state. This caused outrage across the US. If passed by the Senate, the law would make it legal for private businesses to discriminate against LGBTIQ people and allow public servants to deny LGBTIQ people basic services — so long as their reasoning is motivated by “sincerely held religious beliefs”.

Actress Ellen Page, best known for her work in the 2007 film Juno came out as gay in her speech at a Human Rights Campaign conference on February 14. The conference itself was aimed at LGBTIQ youth where, during an emotional speech, Page said she was “tired of hiding” and “lying by omission”. “I'm here today because I am gay,” Page said. “And because maybe I can make a difference.”

It’s impossible to ignore any longer just how cruel and irrational the government’s war on refugees has become after violent attacks in the Manus Island detention centre left one dead and scores injured. The threat of expulsion to Manus Island is particularly terrifying for some asylum seekers given the criminalisation of homosexuality in Papua New Guinea. Amnesty International said last year that staff would be forced to report suspected same-sex activity in the detention centre. PNG can prosecute same-sex people with a penalty of 14 years jail.
From its inception, Green Left Weekly has reported on the fight against discrimination suffered by the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) community.
Campaigners for equal rights had their first win for 2014 as a Pakistani-born gay man, Ali Choudhry, obtained a temporary deportation reprieve just as nation wide protests began on January 7. A petition with 120,000 signatures was also handed to the Sydney office of immigration minister Scott Morrison. Later, about 50 protesters staged a "die-in" outside the department of immigration office in Sydney. A protest was also held outside the department of immigration office in Melbourne.
On Christmas Eve, the Queen of England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, and the Commonwealth deigned to pardon one of the 20th century’s most important mathematicians of the crime of homosexuality. In 1952, Alan Turing was tried and convicted of engaging in sex with other men. He was presented with the choice of prison or chemical castration. He chose the latter, estrogen treatments that caused him to grow breasts, made him impotent, and drove him to depression.
In his opinion piece “Will Radicals Set Back the Marriage Equality Movement?”, OutInPerth editor Graeme Watson writes that Equal Love is threatened by a “socialist takeover”.

Over 200 people laughed until it hurt at the 'Welcome to the Abbottoir' comedy night held in Sydney on November 9. Featuring Michael Hing (as seen on SBS TV), Twiggy Palmcock (famous for crashing Tony Abbott's election night party), Hannah G (Newcastle-based comedian) and Carlo Sands (Green Left Weekly), the evening was organised by Green Left Weekly and filmed by Green Left TV.

Equal marriage rights rally participants

Equal marriage rallies were held on November 23 in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.   About 500 people braved wet weather to march for  marriage equality in Melbourne.

Rita Hester was found murdered inside her apartment on November 28, 1998. Hester was transgender and also African American, her death highlighting not only the issue of transphobic murder, but also the disproportionate representation of people of colour among its victims. Her murder is still unsolved but an international day of action known as Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) is marked on November 20 each year.   Hester’s murder was preceded and followed by other high profile transphobic murders.