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Kerry likens Uganda anti-gay law to Nazism, apartheid

US Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday compared tough new anti-gay laws enacted in Uganda to anti-Semitic legislation in Nazi Germany or apartheid in South Africa. "You could change the focus of this legislation to black or... Jewish, and you could be in 1930s Germany or you could be in 1950s, 60s apartheid South Africa," the top US diplomat told a small group of reporters.

Majority of Americans now support gay marriage, survey finds

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Support for gay marriage has surged in the United States in the decade since it first became legal in Massachusetts, with just over half of Americans now supporting the idea, according to a survey released on Wednesday. The survey on attitudes towards lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people comes as U.S. lawmakers and courts are increasingly allowing same-sex couples to wed.

Decade sees big rise in US support for gay marriage

Support for gay marriage has seen dramatic gains in the United States over the past decade and now has the support of a majority of Americans, a study released Wednesday showed. The survey by the non-partisan Public Religion Research Institute found that 53 percent of Americans said they are in favor of gay marriage. That number reflects a 21-point jump compared to 2003, when 32 percent of people said they supported same-sex marriage.

B.C. MLA says assistant, constituency office targets of homophobic attack

VANCOUVER - British Columbia MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert says he is more determined than ever to fight for gay rights after his constituency office in Vancouver became the target of an alleged homophobic attack. Herbert, who represents Vancouver-West End, said a man came into his constituency office on Friday, demanding to see him. The man started shouting homophobic slurs at his assistant and complaining about the rainbow flags hanging from his office window and at a nearby community centre, Herbert said.

Laws on homosexuality in African nations

Many African countries, with the notable exception of South Africa, have laws that ban or repress homosexuality. On Monday, Uganda's president signed into law a bill that includes life terms for those convicted several times of practising homosexuality. According to a report by rights group Amnesty International in June, homosexuality was illegal in 38 out of 54 countries in the region, and punishable by death in Mauritania, Sudan and Somalia. Following are some of the countries which have adopted repressive laws against homosexuals:

Canadian actress Ellen Page comes out as gay at Las Vegas conference

LAS VEGAS, Nev. - Oscar nominated Canadian actress Ellen Page has come out as gay, declaring that hiding her sexuality has caused her years of suffering. Page went public Friday night in Las Vegas during an emotional speech to the Time to Thrive conference — an LGBT (lesbian, gay, transgender, bisexual) youth event sponsored by the gay advocacy group Human Rights Campaign. The 26 year old Halifax native said she was "tired of lying by omission," and that her fear of coming out had caused her spirit, her mental health and her relationships all to suffer.

'Juno' star Ellen Page says she's gay

Ellen Page, the fresh-faced star of the 2007 sleeper hit "Juno," declared at a press conference late Friday that she is gay. "I'm here today because I am gay," Page, 26, said at an event for homosexual teens in Las Vegas hosted by the Human Rights Campaign, a pro-gay rights group. "I am tired of hiding and I am tired of lying by omission. I suffered for years because I was scared to be out. My spirit suffered, my mental health suffered and my relationships suffered," she said.

'Juno' actress Ellen Page comes out as gay

By Eric M. Johnson (Reuters) - Actress Ellen Page, who was nominated for an Oscar for her role in "Juno," came out as a lesbian on Friday at a Las Vegas conference for gay teens. "I am tired of hiding and I am tired of lying by omission," the 26-year-old actress said in a speech that drew roaring support from an audience at the Time to Thrive conference sponsored by the Human Rights Campaign.

Male, female or custom? Facebook's new gender options

Facebook on Thursday freed members from the bonds of being either male or female, letting people opt for custom genders such as transsexual or "intersex" at the social network. Along with adding scores of "custom gender" options on profile pages, Facebook is letting members select which pronouns they wish to be used when being referred to in posts or messages. Facebook users could opt to be refered to as "he/him" or "she/her," or by a neutral "they/their" choice.

Facebook users, others react to social media site creating alternative options for gender

SAN FRANCISCO - Facebook announced Thursday that its 159 million U.S. users now have dozens of options for completing the gender question on their profiles. The social media giant has been working with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights groups to expand the choices beyond male and female. The result: a "custom" option that lets users pick from about 50 terms, including transsexual, androgynous and intersex. The Associated Press asked Facebook users and others for their reactions:
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