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IGLTA eNewsletter

IGLTA business tour of Japan

President/CEO John Tanzella spent last week meeting with tourism leaders throughout Japan and participating in seminars on the LGBT travel market. The trip began by meeting the Osaka Convention & Tourism Bureau and speaking at a seminar for approximately 70 local tourism professionals. Tanzella also met with the Kyoto Convention Bureau, which included a tour of the city, Japan's former capital. He had a formal meeting with the Mayor of Kyoto and his advisory staff. In Tokyo, he met with the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO), which included discussing the feasibility of a future IGLTA Annual Global Convention in Japan, and participated in an LGBT seminar for a capacity crowd of 150 tourism professionals. "This week was hugely important for IGLTA and its members, both in Japan and outside," said Tanzella, who was accompanied by Kyoto-based IGLTA board member Shiho Ikeuchi. "Japan, and Asia in general, are becoming more open for LGBT travelers and recognizing they have a lot to offer our community: rich history and culture, and unique cuisine, art and architecture."

22 Feb 2017 13:12:04 CDT

Vote now for your favorite Travel Talk topic!

What travel topic would you most like to see discussed at our 34th Annual Global Convention? We asked our members to submit videos on aspects of travel that excite and inspire them and now you have the opportunity to vote for your favorite. The submission with the most votes will be featured on the main stage in St. Petersburg, Florida, 6 May. The choices are: LGBT Travel in Cuba; Will Tourism Destroy or Save Us?; or LGBT Travel in Iran.

22 Feb 2017 13:12:04 CDT

IGLTA now accepting board applications

We are seeking visionary, enthusiastic and dynamic leaders to fill openings on the association's board of directors. These individuals will work closely with other board members to help IGLTA realize its mission and meet its goals. Click here for full details on how to apply. We are accepting nominations until 1 March.

22 Feb 2017 13:12:04 CDT

Small business spotlight

Please join us in supporting the small business members of IGLTA, such as TravelGay specializing in gay trips to Italy and LGBT wedding packages all around the world; and Missouri's Moonrise Hotel, home to the award-winning Eclipse Restaurant, a St. Louis leader in modern American cuisine.

22 Feb 2017 13:12:04 CDT

Have you registered for #IGLTA2017 yet?

Don't miss the premier networking and educational event of the year for the LGBT tourism industry!

22 Feb 2017 13:12:04 CDT

Finland's parliament confirms same-sex marriage law

Finland's parliament voted down a citizens' petition demanding a repeal to a law that will allow same-sex marriages, securing the future of the law that will come into force next month. In the vote, 120 members of parliament were opposed to the petition, while 48 supported it.

22 Feb 2017 13:12:04 CDT

Richland, Washington, florist discriminated against gay couple by refusing service, state Supreme Court rules

A Richland, Washington, florist who refused to provide flowers to a gay couple for their wedding violated anti-discrimination law, the state Supreme Court ruled recently. The court ruled unanimously that Barronelle Stutzman discriminated against longtime customers Rob Ingersoll and Curt Freed when she refused to do the flowers for their 2013 wedding because of her religious opposition to same-sex marriage. Instead, Stutzman suggested several other florists in the area who would help them.

22 Feb 2017 13:12:04 CDT

5 cost-conscious tips for the LGBTQ traveler

The queer community has close to $1 trillion in disposable income and many of us don't have children. That's a lot of money and not a lot of responsibility. So how are we spending our discretionary income? It's so common it's cliché: Queer people love to travel! According to 2015's 20th Annual LGBT Tourism & Hospitality Survey, "the annual economic impact of [American] LGBT travelers is over $75 billion per year in the U.S. alone."

22 Feb 2017 13:12:04 CDT

'The exorcism was over in 15 minutes but nothing changed' — LGBT life in Nigeria

A pastor spits out prayers as his subject falls to the ground, writhing and contorting after a 30-day fast. Ministers form a circle around the emaciated man and douse him in anointing oil and holy water. When the prayer tsunami ends, a hovering calm ensues. A hologram glides through the man's atrophied body as he springs to his feet, professing his salvation.

22 Feb 2017 13:12:04 CDT

Japan's largest housing website to offer LGBT support in finding tolerant landlords

It may not be the first, but it is easily the largest service of its kind. Suumo is a national housing information website, compiling a vast database of available properties for sale or rent as well as providing advice and other support for buyers. Their presence in Japan is huge to say the least, with physical service counters in various locations and commercials that run around the clock.

22 Feb 2017 13:12:04 CDT

Gay panic law set to be scrapped in Queensland

A parliamentary committee has recommended the so-called gay panic defense, or provocation, be scrapped in Queensland. The partial defense to murder has allowed defendants to argue for a reduction in their criminal responsibility to manslaughter by claiming an unwanted homosexual advance provoked violence.

22 Feb 2017 13:12:04 CDT

Israel delays decision on allowing same-sex couples to adopt

The government continues to delay its decision on allowing same-sex couples to adopt in Israel. Last September, the High Court of Justice ordered Social Affairs Minister Haim Katz and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked to formulate a position on whether to grant single-sex couples equal rights in adoption, the same as for married heterosexual couples, and to present this position to the court by February 2017.

22 Feb 2017 13:12:04 CDT

Tanzania threatens to list gay people

The threat to publish the names of suspected homosexuals in Tanzania has been defended by the deputy health minister in a fierce row on Twitter. Homosexual acts are illegal in the East African nation and punishable by up to 30 years in jail. Those who advertised homosexual activities online would also be targeted, the politician warned.

22 Feb 2017 13:12:04 CDT

Taiwan courts to review same-sex marriage

Marriage equality advocates in Taiwan are hopeful a decision to hold a constitutional review on same-sex marriage will be a positive step forward. The Council of Grand Justices form the Judicial Yuan (Constitutional Court) which is one of the five branches of government in Taiwan.

22 Feb 2017 13:12:04 CDT

Study: Teen suicide attempts fell as same-sex marriage was legalized

Fewer U.S. teens attempted suicide in states where same-sex marriage was legal in the years leading up to the 2015 Supreme Court ruling upholding gay marriage, according to a new study. Analyzing data from 1999 to 2015, researchers found a 7 percent reduction in suicide attempts among high school students in the 32 states that legalized same-sex marriage. There was a 14 percent declined among students categorized as sexual minorities, specifically gays, lesbians and bisexuals, according to the study.

22 Feb 2017 13:12:04 CDT

South Australian same-sex couples can adopt children

17 February marks a momentous day for same-sex couples in South Australia, as adoption rights become legal. Changes to legislation passed late in 2016. The changes mean same-sex couples can adopt children. A bill to allow the change was passed, one of several to improve the lives of LGBT+ people in the state. The day will be marked by Child Development Minister Susan Close, who will meet with same-sex couples and their children at Parliament House.

22 Feb 2017 13:12:04 CDT

LGBT refugees and asylees have their own Trump fears

In the days following President Trump's first executive orders on immigration, LGBT activists gathered outside the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, an enduring symbol of gay rights. An activist from Mexico took the microphone. "Hello beautiful people!" bellowed Ishalaa Ortega. "I am a transgender woman of color from Mexico ... I have to leave my country, my family, my friends behind and became an immigrant not because I want to invade this country but because my life was at risk ... I lost almost everything, but not my dignity as a human being!"

22 Feb 2017 13:12:04 CDT

Kuoni to roll-out LGBT training for store network

Kuoni is to roll out bespoke training materials to its entire retail network on how to sell to the LGBT market. The operator claims the move will make it the first shop network to boast a standard level of knowledge and confidence in selling to this sector of the market. The firm said it means it can also "confidently" offer advice to independent travel agents selling its holidays to gay and lesbian customers.

22 Feb 2017 13:12:04 CDT