Malaysian school apologizes after conversion therapy printed in yearbook

Malaysian school apologizes after conversion therapy printed in yearbook

A school in Malaysia apologized this weekend for printing details of a conversion therapy program in the school’s yearbook.

The article used the derogatory term ‘kunyit’ to refer to homosexuals and included a photo of boys attending the program.

Internet users widely shared a photo of the yearbook online. The post garnered both condemnation and praise for the school in Kota Kinabalu.

Regional education director, Mistirine Radin, told Free Malaysia Today, the schools principal had made a mistake and apologized.

Mistirine said the school had not meant to publish it in the 2017 yearbook.

Malaysia is becoming increasingly hostile to its LGBTI residents.

The country’s prime minister, who took power nearly a year ago, has said LGBT rights are not Malaysia’s concern. He labeled them Western values.

Malaysia’s leaders regularly hit out at the LGBTI people. What’s more, attacks on trans Malaysians are on the rise .

Conversion therapy, which seeks to alter a persons gender identity or sexuality, has been widely denounced by global health bodies. What’s more, a number of countries and US states outlaw it for children. ’Setting them straight’

In the yearbook, the school said the program would ’set students straight’ and build self-esteem as males.

LGBTI groups and activists slammed the school online. BOOO to this school in Sabah. But YAAAY to our MPs Kasthuri Patto for asking for zero discrimination in schools, Maria Chin Abdullah for talking about the… https://t.co/hp4SFMMzpg — Pang Khee Teik (@PangKheeTeik) February 17, 2019 According to Free Malaysia Today, MP Maria Chin Abdullah also condemned damaging gay conversion therapy.

She said it would ‘reinforce intolerant, inaccurate and outdated assumptions about gender and sexual orientation’.

‘The fact that the program refers to itself as ‘kunyit’ and calls it a ‘weakness’, already shows the objective of this program is to shame students into changing their behavior’ she told FMT.

The school’s principal has reportedly recalled the yearbooks for reprinting.

‘The guidance and counseling unit has also promised to have a more positive programme involving these students to clear their name’ the principal reportedly said.

Gay couple, 51 years apart in age, wed in Taiwan

Gay couple, 51 years apart in age, wed in Taiwan

Andrew Goodier from the UK and 24-year old Taiwanese Ethan Shou-Chuan married in Taiwan (Photo: Provided)

A Taiwanese and British gay couple married in Taiwan on Saturday (16 February).

Andrew Goodier and Ethan Chao Shou-Chuan celebrated their relationship with 40 family and friends at a traditional banquet in Miaoli on the country’s west coast.

Their age difference of 51 years made headlines in the country.

After a famous Taiwan writer shared the couple’s story online, more than 500 well-wishers also arrived at the venue. Local media broadcast the celebrations live online.

‘We felt very happy and very lucky to have been so well-loved and receive all the lovely messages’ Chao told Gay Star News.

Taiwan is set to become the first country in Asia for equal marriage this year . In 2017, the country’s top court ruled it was unconstitutional to deny same-sex couples marriage rights. It gave lawmakers two years to legislate. ‘Looks fade, but love and commitments do not’

Goodier, 75, and Chao, 24, met in England in 2015.

Chao was supposed to be visiting a friend who shirked his hosting duties and instead arranged Goodier to look after him.

They celebrated their relationship in a local restaurant with family members and friends. Chao’s professor officiated the ceremony.

‘Age is just a number’ Chao told Gay Star News. ‘All it affects is one’s looks’.

‘Looks fade, but love and commitments do not, so it does not affect our relationship negatively at all’.

Chao said one of the reasons they were happy together was because they ‘always say nice things to each other’.

He said sharing household chores was an important part of a relationship. The pair want to also marry in England.

Andrew Goodier from the UK and 24-year old Taiwanese Ethan Chao Shou-Chuan married in Taiwan Beacon of liberalism

The public show of support for Chao and Goodier, especially in a conservative part of the country, is a welcome boost to LGBTI Taiwanese.

In November, Taiwan voters opted for a separate special law to recognize same-sex marriages rather than to change the country’s Civil Code.

It was a major defeat for LGBTI activists who said the separate law failed to offer genuine equality.

Chao said he still believes Taiwan is open and friendly to all tribes of people.

‘The general public probably just need a bit more time and that is totally understandable.’

‘Hopefully, one day, Taiwan will become more liberal and friendly to people that are “different”.’

LGBT History Month: Test your knowledge

LGBT History Month: Test your knowledge

Sue Sanders founded LGBT History Month 15 years ago to improve education and awareness of LGBT historical figures.

BBC News LGBT correspondent Ben Hunte travelled to Brighton – often referred to as the gay capital of the UK – to test how much the public really knows about LGBT history.

We chose a diverse range of 6 British figures that you may not have heard of.

Producer Fatma Wardy.

Actor Don Cheadle wears ‘Protect Trans Kids’ t-shirt on Saturday Night Live

Actor Don Cheadle wears 'Protect Trans Kids' t-shirt on Saturday Night Live

Actor Don Cheadle hosted on Saturday Night Live (SNL) last night, 16 February. Many noticed the slogan on the t-shirt he was wearing — ‘Protect Trans Kids.’

While Cheadle did not say anything about the t-shirt, this was still a powerful statement. Positive Reactions

People on Twitter were excited to see Cheadle’s support. Don Cheadle on Saturday Night Live.
One of the good guys. #ProtectTransKids pic.twitter.com/ZKviMarS4v — Greg Hogben (@MyDaughtersArmy) February 17, 2019 Don Cheadle, hosting “Saturday Night Live” this week #snl #protecttranskids pic.twitter.com/RBbyyKWmZL — Christopher Pepper (@mrhealthteacher) February 17, 2019 . @DonCheadle thank you for your performance on Saturday Night Live & lifelong gratitude for your support of transkids. This old transman knows how a shoutout from a hero can & will save tender lives anytime, but especially during Der dread Trümpenreich. #ProtectTransKids https://t.co/aVqZUatOQN — A Toone ⚧ (@AndersonToone) February 17, 2019 @DonCheadle Thank you for raising awareness and being an ally. I’m the parent of a wonderful trans kid and this means the world to me. pic.twitter.com/M46ccxp5K7 — Kathy Riley (@mckelly64) February 17, 2019 @DonCheadle I loved the shirt man, thank you for doing that, my son is a trans man and seeing people step up for these kids rights and safety is a wonderful thing — night of the dogs (@cthulhumachine) February 17, 2019 I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t like kids, but trans kids need all our support. School is bad enough as it is (bullying, drug dealing, who knows what). We need to stand up for these kids ’cause (being KIDS) they can’t stand up for themselves the way an adult can. — Me_myself_and_I_1885 (@MelaK96) February 17, 2019 Hey @DonCheadle you’re awesome and that Protect Trans Kids shirt was amazing. We need more people with influence to speak out like you do. — Dennis (@wyldemoose39) February 17, 2019 Hello just came online to say Don Cheadle wearing a protect trans kids shirt !!!! Amazing! beautiful! outstanding! nothing but respect for MY James Rupert Rhodes !!!!!! — vri (@carolsrhodey) February 17, 2019 Negative Reactions

However, not everyone was happy. Some even questioned what it meant to be a ‘trans kid’ and implied that letting kids be themselves is ‘normalizing child abuse.’ Saturday Night Live, MSM, Don Cheadle are trying to normalize child abuse and exploitation with #TransKids nonsense created by adults. We must speak out and not be silent while kids childhoods are stolen. #LetKidsBeKids What’s next? 9 year old boys dancing in gay strip clubs? https://t.co/Lcz4XCMEAe — Jimerican Trump Responded with Q Code (@JimericanTweets) February 17, 2019 Don Cheadle’s “protect trans kids” shirt makes me sad. Of course we should protect ALL kids. But part of protecting children should be letting children be children. Being or becoming trans is a very ADULT concept and decision. — Question Everything (@notgroupthink) February 17, 2019 Don Cheadle’s ‘protect Trans kids’ t-shirt won a lot of praise from SNL viewers Sure, Don. Let’s take them away from their idiot parents before they allow their child to do irreversible harm to their bodies. https://t.co/uek11NH4d4 — The Smokeshow Thē Andrew Bello (@BelloBeingBello) February 17, 2019 Anything else?

Since Donald Trump became president, LGBTI rights — specifically trans rights — have come under fire. The Trump Administration was successful in banning trans troops from the United States military. With Trump’s focus on the Mexico-America border wall, he is actively harming LGBTI refugees, many of which are transgender . Additionally, since Trump became president, hate crimes against LGBTI people have tripled in Washington DC . See Also:

Zambia broadcasting agency censors gay content on popular reality show

Zambia broadcasting agency censors gay content on popular reality show

The Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) of Zambia is prohibiting homosexual content from being shown on television. What happened?

Last week, the IBA ordered the ban of popular reality show Lusaka Hustle, airing on DSTV’s Zambezi Magic channel. Lusaka Hustle is basically the Zambian equivalent of Keeping Up With The Kardashians. The show focuses on the personal and professional lives of local celebrities.

The reasoning given by the IBA is that the show is ‘corrupting people’s morals’ and ‘promoting homosexuality’ in the country.

One of the celebrities featured on the show, Kuni, has been criticized for cross-dressing and normalizing an ‘apparent gay lifestyle.’ This raised red flags for conservative Zambians. It prompted both the IBA and Rev. Godfridah Sumaili, the Minister of National Guidance & Religious Affairs, to object to the show. To Ban or To Edit

Multichoice Zambia, a joint venture with the Zambian Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC), announced on 14 February that it will be suspending the airing of Lusaka Hustle.

However, on 16 February, this decision changed. It was announced that instead of banning the show outright, it will be edited to remove scenes that promote homosexuality. The show will resume airing on Zambezi Magic.

Chanda Kasolo, Zambia’s Information and Broadcasting Services Permanent Secretary, says the editing is the ‘immediate term solution’ the government agreed upon.

In Zambia, the ‘practice and promotion’ of homosexuality ‘on TV or otherwise’ still remains illegal. Why the change?

In an interview with QTV News, Kasolo said that the government wants Multichoice to continue to profit from this popular show. However, the government also wants to promote ‘local content,’ which includes sticking to the country’s values.

According to Kasolo, in the future his Ministry ‘will be ascertaining what sort of restrictions existing laws impose on content of social and news television programming in Zambia.’ He notes that his Ministry intends to set up a framework to cover all content guidelines, as provided for in the IBA Act and other legislation. See Also:

San Francisco approves leather-themed ‘Eagle Plaza’ in gay district

San Francisco approves leather-themed ‘Eagle Plaza’ in gay district

A mock-up of a proposed design for Eagle Plaza in San Francisco The Mayor of San Francisco has given official approval to plans for a leather-themed Eagle Plaza in the heart of the city’s gay district.

The city’s mayor London Breed signed a bill to approve the creation of the new plaza in San Francisco’s South of Market (SoMa) neighbourhood, after it received backing from the Board of Supervisors. Leather flag will fly from top of San Francisco’s Eagle Plaza

The site of the plaza is outside the Eagle Bar, a historic gay venue associated with the leather subculture.

According to the mayor’s office, the space “will be designed to recognise the strong cultural influence of the local LGBTQ and leather communities”, with a leather pride flag “flying above the plaza.” A mock-up of a proposed design for Eagle Plaza in San Francisco The plaza will be a “safe space for people of all ages to gather, relax, play, and celebrate,” with open areas to host “neighbourhood gatherings, events, and performances.”

Mayor Breed said: “Eagle Plaza will not only provide much-needed open space in Western SoMa, it will also recognise the cultural contributions of the LGBTQ and leather communities.

“I am excited that we are able to remove the roadblocks and finally get this exciting project to move forward.”

According to the Bay Area Reporter , construction of the plaza will be funded by a local development company in order to secure approval for redevelopment of an adjacent site. San Francisco lawmakers: Eagle Plaza will honour LGBT leather community

San Francisco Supervisor Rafael Mandelman said: “I’m glad to see Eagle Plaza finally moving forward.

“The plaza will be an important public meeting place for the leather community during events like Folsom Street Fair and Up Your Alley and will also provide much-needed year-round public park space in SoMa.”

Supervisor Matt Haney added: “At a time when San Francisco is rapidly changing and developing, it is even more critical that we honour and celebrate the rich history and culture of our city.

“The SOMA neighbourhood has been home to a thriving LGBTQ and leather community for decades. It is wonderful to see the important contributions of the LGBTQ leather community honoured, while also bringing much needed public open space to our neighbourhood.

“I’m grateful for the hard work of the LGBTQ community, the Mayor’s Office, Build Inc, and many others in making Eagle Plaza a reality.”

The plans for the plaza have been in the works for several years. Gundry MD Feeling Old & Sluggish? Top Surgeon Shares His #1 Technique

Caster Semenya fights to compete without reducing her testosterone levels

Caster Semenya fights to compete without reducing her testosterone levels

South African Olympic gold medalist Caster Semenya. | Photo: Chell Hill

South African middle-distance runner Caster Semenya is fighting for her right to compete without reducing her testosterone levels.

The openly gay athlete appeared at the court of arbitration for sport (CAS) on 14 February. She is asking to compete without ‘unnecessary medical intervention’. The IAAF has long questioned Semenya’s gender

Lawyers for athletics’ governing body, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), suggested that, if Semenya was successful in next week’s landmark case, it could lead to athletes with differences of sexual development (DSD) and transgender athletes ‘dominating the podiums and prize money in sport’.

‘Her case is about the rights of women such as Ms. Semenya who are born as women, reared and socialized as women, who have been legally recognized as women for their entire lives, who have always competed as women, and who should be permitted to compete in the female category without discrimination,’ her lawyers said in a statement.

The IAAF has previously asked Semenya to undertake gender testing by athletics chiefs, but no results have been made public.

Her lawyers repeated the statement the South African made when she announced she would fight the rules last year: ‘It is not fair. I just want to run naturally, the way I was born.’

She also added: ‘It is not fair that people question who I am.’ The new rules for runners like Semenya

Semenya has been competing without taking testosterone-suppressing medications ever since CAS changed the rule in 2015. They allowed intersex athletes with testes and higher levels of testosterone to compete freely.

Nonetheless, the IAAF intended to bring in new rules on 1 November 2018. They postponed a decision to 26 March to wait for the outcome of the legal challenge from Semenya and Athletics South Africa.

The rules will apply to women in track events from 400m up to the mile. According to the new rules, athletes will have to keep their testosterone levels below a prescribed amount ‘for at least six months prior to competing’. Will athletes with DSD have to reduce their testosterone levels?

In a statement, Semenya’s lawyers added: ‘Women with differences in sexual development have genetic differences that are no different than other genetic variations that are celebrated in sport. She asks that she be respected and treated as any other athlete. Her genetic gift should be celebrated, not discriminated against.’

The IAAF rejected a report suggesting it regarded Semenya as a ‘biological male’.

‘The IAAF is not classifying any DSD athlete as male,’ it added. ‘To the contrary, we accept their legal sex without question, and permit them to compete in the female category.’

It pointed out that DSD athletes’ get the same increases in bone and muscle size and strength and increases in hemoglobin that a male gets when they go through puberty’.

This is ‘what gives men such a performance advantage over women,’ it added.

‘Therefore, to preserve fair competition in the female category, it is necessary to require DSD athletes to reduce their testosterone down to female levels before they compete at an international level.’ Read also:

South Koreans opposing gay rights are less than 50% for the first time

South Koreans opposing gay rights are less than 50% for the first time

The portion of South Koreans opposing LGBTI rights has decreased, dipping below 50% for the first time in history.

A 2018 report suggests 49% of South Koreans said that they cannot accept homosexuals. The number has decreased from 57.2% tallied in 2017, according to the Korea Institute of Public Administration.

In terms of the tendency for minority exclusion, Korean women were less accepting than men of criminals, homosexuals, North Korean defectors and immigrants.

As for political orientation, more people identify as liberals than ever before, The Korea Times reports.

It showed 47.4% of the surveyed identifying as politically moderate, followed by liberals with 31.4% and conservatives with 21.2%.

In 2013, 22.6% of the population identified as liberals, compared with 31% as conservatives. 2013 was also the year in which Koreans opposing homosexuality accounted for 62.1%.

At the moment, there is no formal recognition of same-sex relationships in South Korea, with marriage or other forms of legal partnership are not available to same-sex partners. Read also:

New York City councilman ‘blames gay agenda’ for scuppering Amazon deal

New York City councilman ‘blames gay agenda’ for scuppering Amazon deal

Rubén Díaz was a New York state senator for more than a decade (Ruben Diaz) New York City councilman Rubén Díaz has doubled down on claims that the city has been taken over by gay people, after Amazon cancelled a plan to build a second headquarters in the city.

Díaz, a long-serving New York City politician and a Pentecostal minister, has faced calls to resign over his attacks on city council speaker Corey Johnson , who is gay.

In a February 9 interview, the politician claimed: “Everybody is controlled by the homosexual community.”

Brushing off calls to resign, Díaz re-escalated the row this week as he hit out at the cancellation of plans for Amazon to build a new headquarters in the city. New York City councilman Rubén Díaz claims the Amazon spat ‘proves’ he is right

Díaz tweeted: “Amazon’s HQ2 leaving is another case of the abuse of power from some City Council Members.

“This is all because of @JimmyVanBramer. He organised folks to push back on Amazon and even got [Corey Johnson] to fight back as well.

“This is another indication proving what I have been saying is correct.” Ruben Diaz branded ‘paranoid, delusional and full of hatred’

Van Bramer, a gay Democrat, responded via Twitter: “You are paranoid, delusional and full of hatred for the LGBTQ community.

“Using the Amazon decision to pull out as proof of a vast gay conspiracy just proves what I have been saying. Resign already.”

Other commenters also hit out at Díaz. New York city councilman Rubén Díaz has refused to apologise for his comments (Ruben Diaz) One response read: “This tweet is another indication that you’re an unabashed homphobe who deserves no place in New York City politics in 2019.”

Another added: “You are not fit to hold public office. What an embarrassment.”

Amazon said in a statement that it decided not to proceed with the project because “a number of state and local politicians have made it clear that they oppose our presence and will not work with us to build the type of relationships that are required to go forward with the project we and many others envisioned in Long Island City.” It said: “After much thought and deliberation, we’ve decided not to move forward with our plans to build a headquarters for Amazon in Long Island City, Queens.”

Díaz has refused to apologise for any of his comments, despite being stripped of a committee chairmanship over the remarks.

He has also been condemned by his own son, Bronx borough president Rubén Díaz Jr.

Díaz Jr tweeted on Saturday (February 9): “The LGBTQ community is unequivocally an essential voice in our City. @revrubendiaz’s sentiments are antagonistic, quarrelsome and wholly unnecessary. He should apologise.” New York councilman Rubén Díaz has a history of anti-LGBT rhetoric

The conservative Democrat has long been an opponent of marriage equality, leading thousands of supporters in anti-gay marriage rallies in New York in 2009 and 2011 despite his own granddaughter being a lesbian.

He was also once forced to resign from a post after suggesting that if New York hosted the Gay Games, it would result in the spread of AIDS by encouraging homosexuality.

In 2003, Díaz filed legal action in a bid to block the Harvey Milk High School, which caters for ostracised LGBT youth, claiming that it discriminated against straight children.

He accepted an invitation to speak at the anti-gay National Organisation for Marriage’s 2015 “March for Marriage” event in Washington DC.

The politician took a $4,500 donation from the group during his 2016 re-election campaign for state senator.

Anglicans bar same-sex spouses from Lambeth Conference

Anglicans bar same-sex spouses from Lambeth Conference

Archbishop Of Canterbury Justin Welby (Fiona Goodall/Getty) The Anglican Communion has barred spouses of gay bishops from attending its next Lambeth Conference.

The global Anglican church is facing an increasingly fractious split between liberal Western churches who embrace LGBT+ people, and a faction of hardline African churches who do not.

A once-a-decade meeting of Anglican church leaders, the Lambeth Conference, is set to go ahead next year, despite fears that anti-LGBT church leaders will choose to boycott the event.

As part of a compromise measure intended to quell dissent, Anglican leaders this week barred religious leaders from pro-LGBT churches from bringing same-sex spouses to the event, although opposite-sex spouses are allowed. Anglican Communion claims it would be ‘inappropriate’ to invite same-sex spouses

Dr Josiah Idowu-Fearon, secretary-general of the Anglican Communion, claimed in a blog post that the decision was made “to take account of the Anglican Communion’s position on marriage, which is that it is the lifelong union of a man and a woman.”

He added: “It would be inappropriate for same-sex spouses to be invited to the conference.

“The Archbishop of Canterbury has had a series of private conversations by phone or by exchanges of letter with the few individuals to whom this applies.” Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby (Leon Neal/Getty) Canon Jeremy Pemberton, who was the first Church of England priest to marry a same-sex partner, highlighted the “hypocrisy” of the decision to exclude same-sex partners.

Speaking to The Times , he said: “They will be no doubt be inviting all sorts of spouses of bishops who have been married before or remarried once, twice or several times, so it is the usual hypocrisy from the Church of England and the Anglican Communion.

“There is no sense to it. The basic problem is they don’t understand hospitality.

“The same-sex partners should be invited. If they don’t wish to come, they don’t have to come. But this is grossly inhospitable. It is just rude and bad. It is not complicated.”

The event is set to take place at the University of Kent’s Canterbury campus. PinkNews contacted the University of Kent for comment. Anglican Communion faces deep divides over LGBT issues

There are several gay bishops across Anglicanism. Within the Church of England, the Bishop of Grantham Nicholas Chamberlain came out as gay in 2016 , revealing that he is in a same-sex partnership.

The US Episcopal Church also has a number of out bishops, including the Assistant Bishop of New York, Mary Glasspool, while the Scottish Episcopal Church is also reportedly tipped to consecrate its first openly gay bishop.

Churches that permit same-sex marriage have faced action from the Anglican Communion in the past, with the US Episcopal Church handed a suspension from the body in 2016 for embracing same-sex unions.

The Scottish Episcopal Chuch was also handed a ‘punishment’ over its embrace of equal marriage in 2017.

In a 2017 interview with GQ, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby warned that divides on LGBT issues were “irreconcilable” and admitted he had handled the issue poorly.

The Archbishop, the head of the global Anglican Church, said: “It is just irreconcilable. There are some disputes that are irreconcilable. I don’t know [where it goes] at the moment.

“What I know is we have to be faithful to the deposit of faith, the tradition of scripture. We have to be holy, above all.

“We have to be people who look like God wants us to look like. When people look at the church they should see Jesus, and really, they don’t very often, particularly when we are totally hostile to people, judgemental, unpleasant, nasty.”

He confessed that his handling of the issue had been poor, saying: “I am having to struggle to be faithful to the tradition, faithful to the scripture, to understand what the call and will of God is in the 21st century and to respond appropriately with love for all people – not condemning them, whether I agree with them or not. That covers both sides of the argument.

“I am not doing that bit of work as well as I would like to.”