Wallabies coach Michael Cheika stands by Israel Folau after online posts about homosexuality

Speaking for the first time since Folau sparked a storm of controversy six weeks ago with the first of a series of divisive posts about gays, Cheika said anyone who disagreed with his religious beliefs — including homosexuals — should ignore them.

Cooks may legalise homosexuality

A proposed overhaul of the 1969 Crimes Act excludes sections that ban homosexuality.

Currently, the law bans "indecent acts" between two men, and "consensual sodomy" with prison terms of between five and seven years, although convictions are rare.

LGBT activists in the country have long been pushing for an amendment, and the draft Crimes Bill 2017 brings that one step closer.

The Solicitor General, David James, says the new bill makes laws suitable for the modern era, and means people will no longer be locked up for their private conduct.

Funeral home 'refused' to cremate gay man

John "Jack" Zawadski, 82, and his nephew filed a lawsuit against the Picayune Funeral Home's owners seeking damages for breach of contract and emotional distress.

The lawsuit accuses them of backing out of a verbal agreement to provide final services for Zawadski's husband, Robert Huskey, in May 2016 after discovering he was gay. The reversal compounded the family's grief and left them scrambling for alternatives. The only provider they could find was 90 miles away, the lawsuit alleges, leading the family to cancel Huskey's memorial.

Rugby ref Nigel Owens asked to be chemically castrated

He said the pressure of officiating the 2015 final was nothing compared to accepting his homosexuality.

The Welsh referee suffered from bulimia and attempted suicide because being gay felt "totally alien" to him.

Owens, the first openly gay man to officiate at the highest level of the game, revealed his sexuality in 2007.

Russia blocks Overwatch comic over gay character

The graphic novel, which is a spin-off of Blizzard's first person shooter, is normally available in several countries on the game's website.

In the latest issue one of the heroes, Tracer, kisses another girl called Emily.

However it's unavailable in Russia with a message reading "in accordance with Russian law we cannot share this comic".

Back in 2013 Russia passed a law stopping "gay propaganda" being available to under-18s.

How a datting app got men to self-test for HIV

The study targeted black and Hispanic Grindr users in Los Angeles, a high-risk population that is often untested for HIV.

Gay-related and HIV-related stigma and lack of access to health care often keep these men from getting tested, according to Dr. A. Lina Rosengren, lead author of the study and an infectious diseases fellow at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. The study says that not only are the home test kits convenient, they can help bypass some of those stigmas by providing anonymity.

Pope: Church should ask forgiveness from gay people for past treatment

He also said the Church should ask forgiveness for the way it had treated women, for turning a blind eye to child labour, and for "blessing so many weapons" in the past.

He made the comments while speaking to reporters aboard a plane taking him back to Rome from Armenia.

In the hour-long freewheeling conversation that has become a trademark of his international travels, Pope Francis was asked if he agreed with recent comments by a German Roman Catholic cardinal that the Church should apologise to gay people.