South African gets 30 years in prison in toilet-brush rape and murder of lesbian

A South African court has sentenced Lekgoa Lesley Motleleng to 30 years for the rape and murder of Duduzile Zozo, a 26-year-old black lesbian from a township east of Johannesburg, according to representatives with the organization Forum for the Empowerment of Women (FEW) who were inside the courtroom.

Motleleng, a 22 year old who lived near Zozo and even attended a vigil before her burial before being identified as the killer, reached a plea bargain with the prosecution on October 22.

Rapper turned Muslim preacher embraces homophobic views

LONDON, England -- A former rapper turned Muslim preacher has been banned from speaking at a university because of his homophobic views.

Preacher Imran ibn Mansur, who abandoned a career in rap for a radical view of Islam, calls homosexuality a "disease."

The 24-year-old preacher also spouts this gem: Sodomy, is an act that in the Sharia ... comes under the category of 'obscene, filthy, shameless' acts."

Australia: Liberal Party faces dilemma as gay marriage bill arrives in Senate

Liberal Democrat David Leyonhjelm is poised to introduce his long-awaited same-sex marriage bill to the Senate in Australia, in a move that will increase the pressure on the Liberal Party to allow its MPs a conscience vote on the issue.

Senator Leyonhjelm is due to introduce his Freedom to Marry Bill to the upper house on Wednesday afternoon, which would allow gay, lesbian, transgender and intersex people to marry.

He will flag his plans in a speech to the Senate on Tuesday evening.

Cameroon: Accuser relents, but police won’t free alleged gay man

(The author of this article is an activist for LGBT rights in Cameroon who writes under a pseudonym.)

A 22-year-old Cameroonian man, identified here as A.H., was held in police custody from Nov. 17 to Nov. 20 after a Facebook correspondent entrapped him and denounced him to police as a homosexual.

The accuser, Serge, turned A.H. over to police when the two men met for the second time — an occasion that had seemed like a date but ended up more like a trap.

UPDATED! Chaos ensues when Baja California's first gay marriage is denied

(Editor's note: Update is below.)

MEXICALI, Baja California, Mexico -- This morning was supposed to be one for the history books in Baja California, when Victor Aguirre Espinoza and Fernando Urías Amparo were scheduled to become the first same-sex couple allowed to marry in the Mexican state just south of the California border.

But instead of a joyful wedding ceremony, the couple, dressed in matching white suits, were thrust in the middle of an ugly homophobic nightmare.

Outside the Mexicali City Hall, anti-gay protesters prayed and shouted slurs.

The World Bank's uneasy relationship with LGBTI rights

The U.S. Agency for International Development and other bilateral donors announced last week a new commitment to infuse lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex rights into their development agendas.

The move, however, left some activists and civil society leaders to wonder: Where does the world’s largest multilateral donor stand on LGBTI rights?

Chinese activists worry as landmark gay "conversion" case stalls

The excitement that coursed through China’s gay rights community in July when a Beijing court heard the country’s first case challenging gay “conversion” therapy has turned to apprehension after the deadline for a decision passed without news.

The lawsuit, filed with Beijing’s Haidian District Court in May, accuses a psychiatric counseling clinic in the southwestern city of Chongqing of exceeding the bounds of its license in offering to “cure” homosexuality. Search engine Baidu, which published ads promoting the clinic, is also named in the suit as a co-defendant.

Draconian anti-gay bill signed into law in The Gambia

BANJUL, The Gambia -- Yahya Jammeh, the brazenly homophobic president of The Gambia who has called gay people "vermin" and should be exterminated like mosquitoes that cause malaria, has signed into law one of the most horrific anti-gay laws in the world.

The draconian law puts anyone convicted of certain "homosexual acts" with life imprisonment, according to the Associated Press.

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SoCal to honor Transgender Day of Remembrance

In solidarity with transgender-serving organizations and activists around the globe, events in honor of the 16th annual Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) will be held today across Southern California, including in Hillcrest, Oceanside, Long Beach, Palm Springs, Orange County and Riverside.

Iraq: "When Coming Out is a Death Sentence"

NEW YORK – The rising tide of violence and turmoil in Iraq poses grave threats to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals who are experiencing levels of persecution that puts many at imminent risk of death, according to two publications released today by the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC), MADRE, an international women’s human rights organization, and the Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq (OWFI).

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