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Turkey has placed an 'indefinite' ban on all events organised by LGBT rights groups in its capital city, Ankara.

The move comes just days after the city's governing body cancelled a German LGBT film festival, citing terrorism and public safety.

“Starting from November 18, 2017, concerning our community’s public sensitivity, any events such as [LGBT] cinema, theatre, panels, interviews, exhibitions are banned until further notice in our province to provide peace and security,” a decree issued on Sunday read.

It went on to say how such exhibitions could cause different groups to “publicly harbour hatred and hostility” toward each other.

It is likely that this announcement will fuel concerns amongst LGBT under the Islamic-rooted government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

This is not the first ban of it's kind in Turkey. The annual gay pride parade in Istanbul has been blocked by authorities for three years in a row also on security grounds.

While homosexuality is not considered a crime under Turkish law, but there is still widespread hostility with LGBT people facing discrimination and stigma.



An Australian Senator has released a rival same-sex marriage bill that could see a number of anti-discrimination laws overturned.

While the proposed bill, sponsored by Liberal senator James Paterson, would legalise same-sex marriage, a number of attached exemptions would give wedding service providers, such as bakers and florists, the right to refuse gay couples.

It comes just days before the results of a nationwide postal survey are released to the public.

Should the survey return a 'yes' vote, the Australian government are expected to debate a number of proposed exemptions to the law.

The Paterson bill,  would also include a clause which would allow government employees the right to refuse to register a same-sex marriage, while parents will be able to remove their child from a class if the content taught contradicts their beliefs.

Paterson, who is a supporter of same-sex marriage, said he thinks “religious freedom and speech are important rights.”

“I suspect 30-40% of Australian will vote no. I don't think their votes should mean we shouldn't have same-sex marriage, but I do think that their freedoms should be protected and I think my bill is a bill that best does that,” he said.

The proposed bill has been heavily criticised by supporters of gay marriage with Alex Greenwich, co-chair of Australian Marriage Equality, claiming it has the potential to “divide Australians.”

“Australians have been voting not to entrench discrimination in legislation. That is what senator Paterson's bill seeks to do,” he said.

Adding: “Are we going back to a time in Australia where there were signs outside a shop saying who they would serve and who they wouldn't?”

The results of the national survey on same-sex marriage are expected on Wednesday, November 15. 



Dublin Bus have just introduced one of the most comprehensive Workplace Gender Transition Policy and Guidelines in the country.

The move comes as part of the transport company's Equality, Diversity and Non-Discrimination Strategy and has been devised in consultation with Transgender Equality Network Ireland (TENI).

Ireland's Gender Recognition Act was signed into law in 2105, meaning that any individual over the age of 18 can choose their true gender indentity.

According to Transgender Equality Network Ireland (TENI), companies need to be more aware what is happening and Sara Phillips, Chair, TENI said:

“TENI is delighted to work in partnership with Dublin Bus to create one of the most progressive policies on transgender inclusion in the workplace.”

“Dublin Bus is part of the fabric of our capital city and it is encouraging that they both, value their transgender employees and are working towards making Dublin a more trans friendly city.”

The new guidelines include recommendations for employees, managers and HR departments on how to support a fellow employee's transition.

“It may be daunting for an employee to approach their manager in the workplace on this issue. These guidelines were created to help foster dialogue and understanding of trans issues. Just as there are gay, lesbian and bisexual employees in Dublin Bus, there are also employees who are trans,” said Vivienne Kavanagh, Employee Development and Equality Executive.

As one of the largest employers in the country, Dublin Bus is considered to be one of the most progressive in terms of supporting diversity among its workforce.

Commenting on the launch, Ray Coyne, Dublin Bus CEO said “We are committed to managing a workplace that integrates, benefits from, and achieves equality for our diverse employees, as well as promoting an inclusive workplace that celebrates and supports diversity.” 



After a waitress in Illinois claimed she was denied a tip by a family after they noted she was sporting an LGBT rainbow tattoo, some members of the Facebook community sought to cast doubt over the story.

Samantha Heaton's story began circulating online after her colleague shared a snap of Samantha's tattoo alongside a receipt which explained why the 20-year-old waitress had been left without a tip despite providing good service.

"I would just like to say that being gay does NOT MEAN you don't believe in God or Jesus. And people who are "religious" should not disrespect or act in such ways to other people," wrote Joelie Nicole Marsh last week.

Samantha was stunned to receive a handwritten message on the credit card receipt which read: "Can’t tip someone who doesn’t love Jesus. Bad tatoo." [sic]

Speaking to local newspaper Rock River Times, Samantha expressed her upset, saying: "I went above and beyond for this couple, and for them to leave that kind of hurt. Like, I have bills to pay too."

Acknowledging the sentiment of the message, Samantha countered: "I do believe in Jesus and God. I myself am a Christian. And, as a Christian, thou shall not judge."

"No matter how someone looks, you should love them for what’s in their heart and how they treat you—not for what is on the outside," she reasoned.

Samantha, who has been in a relationship with her girlfriend for three years, despaired for the future of the family's children, saying:"What if one day their kids grow up and want to be with the same sex, are they going to disown them? Throw them on the street."

Like many members of the LGBT community, Samantha has fought public and private battles since coming out, and feels understandably dismayed by the family's treatment.

"As someone who came out when it was still a battle for the LGBTQ community, that’s just plain rude and uncalled for," Samantha said.

While the post has amassed considerable attention, some members of the public were quick to question the legitimacy of the claim.

"So they wrote the note in blue pen but signed in black let me guess you have a gofundme people can donate to," wrote one.

"Probably another fake story like the last 5 of these that were all proven to be a lie," added another while someone else wrote: "I bet anything, they left her a cash tip on the table and she wrote the note for attention."

"Why are the signature and the "note" from two different color pens? You know, when you do these fake "hate crime" hoaxes, you delegitimize the real ones," remarked someone else.

While the post has received scepticism, it has also amassed thousands of likes and shares since its upload.



US President, Donald Trump, has effectively banned transgender people from serving in the US military.

He made the announcement in a series of tweets in which he said the decision had been made after consultation with his Generals and military experts.

The President also stated that the military “cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail.”

It looks as though it's a case of one step forward and two steps back, as the new policy completely contradicts the Obama administration's efforts to loosen restrictions on transgender people in the US military.

According to The Independent, Defence Secretary Jim Mattis said that the Pentagon was giving the military another six months to conduct a review to determine if allowing transgender individuals to enlist in the armed services would impact its "readiness and lethality".


Pride month is in full swing and with so many events due to take place across the capital this weekend, this year's festivities are not to be missed.

Dublin's Pride festival has been running since Friday June 16 and will come to an end this Saturday when thousands of people take to the city streets for the annual Pride parade.

Here's a run down of what you can expect over the weekend.

Friday June 23

Start as you mean to go on, isn't that how the saying goes?

The night before the main event, George performer, Veda Lady, will host a pride warm up show at Street 66, Parliament Street, Dublin 2.

Joined on stage by Pixie Woo, the pair will be entertaining audiences with a host of 80's classics from 9:00pm.

Admission is free, but make sure you get there early and nap yourself a table before the crowds descend.

Saturday June 24

The theme for this year's parade is 'find your inner hero', so expect to hear a lot of dodgey Mariah Carey covers belted out across the streets of Dublin.

The pre-parade rally kicks off at 12:00pm in St. Stephen's green with drag performances and speeches from David Norris and BelongTo executive director, Moninne Griffith (this year's Grand Marshal).

Taoiseach Leo Varakdar is also planning to march along the parade route with Fine Gael LBGT.

The main event starts at 2:00pm – setting off from St. Stephen's Green and heading toward Smithfield, Dublin 7.

An official after party, hosted by Panti Bliss, will be held in Smithfield square from 1:00pm to 7:00pm.

There will be food stalls, a family playground and an official Pride pop-up shop, along with performances from Niamh Kavanagh and Brian Kennedy.

But the party doesn't stop there.

Of course pubs and clubs across the city centre will be packed with parade goers, but bars like Pantibar, The George and Mother are all hosting their very own Pride parties.

Sunday June 25

For those of you brave enough to venture outside on Sunday, Street 66 Parliament Street are hosting some acoustic sessions from 5:00pm.

As well as that, Shirley Temple Bar's Pride Bingo will take its usual slot in The George this Sunday night from 9:00pm.

For more information on this year's festival, please visit www.dublinpride.ie.



An Irish company have launched an incredible online tool just in time for Pride 2017.

Ireland have made massive strides towards equality over the past few years, with 2015's marriage referendum proving we are a country that wants to make positive changes.

However, despite our progress, online hate and discrimination still remains.

Enter Connector – an Irish company working to fix this problem once and for all.

In an effort to combat online hate speech, Connector have created a free tool called #LoveWins.

The Google Chrome extension works by monitoring homophobic language online.

When the software detects any kind of derogatory term, it automatically changes it to a positive word.

The altered phrase will appear in rainbow colours, so users know where changes have been made.

The company hopes the tool will reduce the amount of hurtful language circulating online, thus allowing users to feel safe and secure when browsing the internet.

You can download the tool for free here.  



In honour of Pride Month, Skittles have ditched their signature rainbow colours and have instead opted for a more monochrome look.

The black and white sweets are displayed alongside the brand's message: "During Pride, only one rainbow matters. So, we've given up ours to show our support".

Parent company, Wrigley, said that since the Skittles brand and the LGBT community both share the rainbow as a symbol, "Skittles has again given up its rainbow colours in order for Pride's rainbow to take centre stage".

The flavour remains the same, but given that all the sweets are the same shade of white, it's impossible to tell which combination you'll get.

Although it is great to see a major company offer support to such a worthy cause, the campaign hasn't been entirely well recieved.

Some have labelled the move as racist, with some asking “Why should whiteness mean equality?!”

At the moment these special Skittles packets are only available at Tesco stores in the United Kingdom.


A unbelievable as it may seem, it was only 24 years ago that homosexuality was decriminalised in Ireland.

Up until 1993, gay men and women lived under the threat of persecution for being themselves, and a new documentary is aiming to shed light on the lives led by people in the LGBT community at the time.

A Different Country, a landmark documentary, is coming to RTÉ One on Wednesday June 21 at 9.35pm, and will chronicle some of these vital stories, from a time when the LGBT community was almost totally hidden.

Film makers recorded the personal recollections of those people who lived in Ireland when it was a crime to be gay.  

The documentary preserves the memories of those who lived in a time when to openly express one’s sexuality could result in job loss, ostracisation, physical attack and estrangement from family.

The harrowing film showcases the ways in which this community first mobilised to change the laws around homosexuality. 

We may have all celebrated at Dublin Castle barely two years ago, when the Marriage Equality Referendum secured equal marital rights for all Irish people, but a past in which persecution was a reality for many is not so far behind us.

This documentary is set to be a stark reminder of that, while preserving a dark part of Irish history.


Police have launched a hate crime investigation following reports that Caitlyn Jenner was subjected to transphobic abuse as she left the British LGBT Awards in London on Friday night.

According to The Sun, a bystander shouted a host of hateful comments at the reality star while she got into a car after the event. 

It's also reported that objects were thrown while the abusive comment were being made.

A spokesman for the Met Police told the Press Association: ''Police were called on Friday May 12 at 11.40pm to an awards event in Great Queen Street, WC2, following an allegation of a hate crime.''

''Officers attended and spoke to one of the organisers who alleged that a photographer had verbally abused a woman and a man as they were leaving the event.''

''No arrests have been made. Enquiries are ongoing.''

Caitlyn transitioned in 2015 and has spoken open and honestly about her journey ever since

She is currently in the UK promoting her new book The Secrets Of My Life and received a Loud And Proud award at the British LGBT Awards ceremony.



A recent study by the University of Washington's School of Social Work, has revealed that married same-sex couples enjoy a higher quality of life than single LGBT adults.

In 2014, 1,800 LGBT people over the age of 50 were surveyed in the 32 states of America where same-sex marriage was already legal at the time.

Of those who took part, one quarter were married, one quarter were in long-term relationships and the remainder were single.  

The results were published to Eurekalert last week.

The research revealed that in general, participants in relationships (married or long-term), showed better health outcomes than those who were single, with those who were married faring even better, socially and financially.

The study also found that single LGBT adults were more likely to have a disability and reported lower physical, psychological, social and environmental quality of life.

It is thought that the tax exemptions, and social benefits enjoyed by married couples may be a contributing factor. 

As same-sex marriage was only legalised in Ireland and across the United Sates in 2015, research on the subject is quite limited, however, researchers say they will continue to examine the influence same-sex marriage has on the health and well-being of the LGBT community.  

Oh, and while we have you; don't forget to have your say in the inaugural SHEmazing Awards this May! It's time to vote, and you can do it right here!


French designer brand Vetements has released a special line of sweatshirts that are "‘Gay, Lesbian and Fetish" themed.

Now, before you jump to conclusions – when we say 'fetish', we don't mean chains, whips and leather masks. 

The collection includes a rainbow-striped sweatshirt that pays homage to the gay pride flag.

Then, there is the purple and black jumper, that features a double-sided axe or, as it's also known, a labrys.

Apparently, this axe is used by Lesbian activists as a symbol of woman's strength and self-sufficiency.

Finally, there is the fetish jumper, and it is black, blue and white with a red heart in one corner, which are the colours of the leather pride flag.

Anyway, at $625 a pop, we don't fully understand the appeal, but thousands of people did. 

The sweaters completely sold out just after Christmas, and have since been restocked.