Slovenia launches vote on gay marriage

The country’s EU commissioner and MEPs weigh in on the referendum. EU politicians, including European commissioner Violeta Bulc, are urging Slovenia to back same-sex marriage as early voting begins Tuesday on a referendum that could overturn a controversial marriage equality law. If the country supports gay marriage — as Irish voters did in May 2015… Read more »

Russia passes law allowing them to ignore international human rights decisions

The Russian government votes to pass law which enables them to ignore decisions handed down by foreign justice bodies. Last week, the state Duma voted to pass a draft law titled “On Amendments to the Federal Constitutional Law ‘On the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation”. The bill-drafted by all four Russian parliamentary parties –… Read more »

Gay refugees rehoused in the Netherlands after threats

Five gay refugees have been rehoused in the Netherlands after being threatened by fellow refugees. According to Dutch News, the five men, three from Syria, one from Iraq and one from Iran, were moved after the Salvation Army said it could not guarantee their safety. The men were originally housed in the Parool, a refugee… Read more »

Gay refugees rehoused in the Netherlands after threats

Five gay refugees have been rehoused in the Netherlands after being threatened by fellow refugees. According to Dutch News, the five men, three from Syria, one from Iraq and one from Iran, were moved after the Salvation Army said it could not guarantee their safety. The men were originally housed in the Parool, a refugee… Read more »

Ireland passes bill removing religious exemptions from LGBT equality law

Fresh off of the country’s first same-sex weddings, Ireland’s Parliament has passed a bill removing religious exemptions from LGBT anti-discrimination laws. The Republic of Ireland approved same-sex marriage in a landslide referendum earlier this year, by 62.07% to 37.93% – and overcoming bureaucratic hurdles, the green light has been given for weddings to start this… Read more »

Bosnia Activists Hope EU Bid Will Help End Anti-LGBT Violence

“Most people keep their sexuality a secret. There is lots of discrimination here.” Sarajevo (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Ivan has not told his parents, or many friends, that he’s gay. “I want to tell them, of course,” he said. “Every person on this planet needs to share nice things from his private life; to say… Read more »

Russian LGBT festival refuses to be silenced by ‘gay propaganda’ law

Bok o Bok’s opening night was ambushed by a screaming politician and visitors risked attack, but founders say they won’t be scared out of St Petersburg Holding events for the LGBT community in a country that is clamping down on human rights is difficult. Staging them in the cradle of the “gay propaganda” law is… Read more »

Cyprus Approves Civil Unions Bill For Gay Couples

The Cyprus House of Representatives on Thursday approved a much-anticipated civil unions bill. The unicameral Mediterranean island nation is the second most religious state in the European Union behind Malta. Gay or straight couples entering a civil union will receive all the rights and obligations given to a married couple with the exception of joint… Read more »

‘I’m gay in Ukraine and my country despises me’

Ukraine’s crisis is not just military and political, it is social and cultural. Kiev — In my long struggle to both be true to myself and to my homeland I always lose. I still hope to see a ray of light. Sometimes I do. Like during a groundbreaking — for Ukraine — queer art-show that… Read more »

Ukraine moves closer to visa-free EU travel as gay rights bill passes

Parliament adopts legislation banning discrimination against gay people in the workplace – a key condition for the European Union to ease travel restrictions Ukrainian lawmakers have approved a bill that bans discrimination against gay people at work – key legislation intended to help pave the way for visa-free travel between the country and the European… Read more »

Gay Couples To Begin Marrying Monday In Ireland

Gay and lesbian couples will begin exchanging vows on Monday in the Republic of Ireland. In May, Ireland became the first nation to legalize such unions by a popular vote. On Tuesday, Irish Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald signed the commencement order for the Marriage Act 2015 in Dublin Castle, the BBC reported. Starting on… Read more »

Ukraine ‘to lose out’ on EU travel agreement after blocking LGBT rights law

Ukraine is set to lose out on a visa-free travel agreement with the EU, after the Ukrainian Parliament blocked a law protecting LGBT people from discrimination. The country – which is sharply divided between those who want better relations with Europe, and those who want closer ties with Russia – had applied to join the… Read more »

Slovenia To Hold Gay Marriage Referendum

Lawmakers in Slovenia on Wednesday approved a plan to hold a vote on whether to implement legislation which would allow gay and lesbian couples to marry. Voters will weigh in on the issue on December 20, the AFP reported. The referendum is a response to a parliamentary bill adopted in March which allows gay couples… Read more »

France to Lift Ban on Gay Men Donating Blood

Paris — France will lift a ban on blood donations by gay and bisexual men starting next year, officials announced Wednesday, joining a growing list of countries that have loosened or scrapped such restrictions, which many see as outdated vestiges of the 1980s AIDS crisis. “Giving one’s blood is an act of generosity and of… Read more »

Gay priest tells Pope: Your church is making life hell for gay people

A Vatican priest who was sacked after coming out for gay has shared the message he sent challenging the Pope on LGBT rights. At the start of the month, the Church’s three-week long annual Synod was disrupted when an official in the Vatican’s doctrine office came out as gay – and was promptly dismissed from… Read more »

Italy: Cities Cannot Register The Foreign Marriages Of Gay Couples

Italy’s highest administrative court has overturned a lower court’s ruling that allowed cities to register the foreign marriages of gay and lesbian couples. According to the AFP, cities from Rome to Naples and Milan had defied the government’s ban on such unions by registering the legal marriages of gay couples which had taken place outside… Read more »

Peter Tatchell plans to reach out to Muslims on LGBT rights

Peter Tatchell is launching a new campaign to convince everyday Muslims to embrace LGBT rights, and improve links between the LGBT and Muslim communities. The veteran human rights campaigner will hold a street stall outside Whitechapel tube station in East London this Wednesday, in a bid to reach out to the local Muslim community. Parts… Read more »

Hundreds Stage Gay-Pride Parade In Belgrade

Hundreds of people have staged a gay-pride parade in the Serbian capital, Belgrade. Hundreds of riot police were deployed in the city center on September 20, with several armored and water cannon vehicles parked at main crossings in the downtown area where roads have been closed to traffic since the early morning. Threats of disruption… Read more »

Montenegro has banned Pride in this city for the THIRD time in a year

The Montenegrin city of Nikšic has had its Pride march banned for the third time this year. The Pride event was cancelled, and authorities cited security threats. Football hooligans and nationalists had threatened to disrupt the event, and the Orthodox Church had mobilised against it. Despite the security threats excuse for banning pride, others have… Read more »

What It’s Like To Be Young, LGBT And Vilified In Russia

Photographer Misha Friedman takes a look inside “The Iron Closet.” New Yorkers can get a no-holds-barred look at Russia’s beleaguered lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth as part of Brooklyn’s annual “pop-up” photography festival. Photographer Misha Friedman, whose images have appeared in Time Magazine and The New Yorker, is bringing his exhibit, “The Iron… Read more »

Pavlovian Priests and the Sorry State of LGBT Rights in Georgia

According to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, the word gay refers to cheerful, lively and high spirited person. The LGBT Prague Pride Parade, which I was fortunate to observe on my recent visit to Prague, lived to the very definition of the word. What I saw was fabulous: unicorns and countless rainbow colored flags, balloons, and thousands of… Read more »

Can you guess which country has the highest proportion of gay weddings?

One country has more same-sex weddings than you’d think… That’s right: according to the stats, Belgium has a higher proportion of gay weddings compared to all marriages than anywhere else. A study from statistics website 10 and 3 looked at the ongoing prevalence of weddings across a period of time in early adopters – Belgium,… Read more »

Prague Celebrates The Fifth Pride With The Biggest Parade In Its History

Prague Pride is behind us, yet our work for equal rights in the Czech Republic is hardly over. However, a major step was made on Saturday with the biggest and most colourful parade in the existence of Prague Pride. Up to 35,000 people joined in, filling the entire Wenceslas Square, while several thousands more were… Read more »

Masked men hurl smoke bombs at venue of Ukraine gay rights forum

Masked men have hurled smoke bombs into a venue in the Ukraine port city of Odessa where gay rights activists were about to hold a forum. They threw “several” smoke bombs at the participants before fleeing, Odessa Pride spokesman Kyrylo Bodelan said, adding that no-one was hurt in the attack. LGBT activists were planning to… Read more »

The Importance of Reykjavik Pride

Reykjavik Pride has come to an end. After almost a full week of all kinds of events peaking with the Saturday Reykjavik Pride Parade we have to give the organizers and participants thumbs up for all their effort and hard work. We really appreciate it and so do the tens of thousands who, with their… Read more »

Love will be the theme of Prague Pride 2016

Love will be the theme of Prague Pride 2016, which will be held from Monday August 8 until Sunday August 14. The sixth annual Czech LGBT festival, the biggest of Eastern Europe, wishes to point out that we all have the same right to love. We are all born with the gift of love, we… Read more »

What Does Islam Say About Being Gay?

Istanbul — On June 29, Turkey’s 12th Gay Pride Parade was held on Istanbul’s crowded Istiklal Avenue. Thousands marched joyfully carrying rainbow flags until the police began dispersing them with water cannons. The authorities, as has become their custom since the Gezi Park protests of June 2013, once again decided not to allow a demonstration… Read more »

What Does Islam Say About Being Gay?

Istanbul — On June 29, Turkey’s 12th Gay Pride Parade was held on Istanbul’s crowded Istiklal Avenue. Thousands marched joyfully carrying rainbow flags until the police began dispersing them with water cannons. The authorities, as has become their custom since the Gezi Park protests of June 2013, once again decided not to allow a demonstration… Read more »

Poland passes first gender recognition bill

Polish parliament has passed the country’s first ever transgender recognition legislation. Anna Grodzka – Poland’s first openly transgender politician – introduced the Gender Accordance Act in May 2012, and it was finally passed on Thursday (23 July) by 252 votes to 158, with 11 absentations. Although the country has legally recognised transgender citizens since the… Read more »

Italy breaches rights over gay marriage – European court

Italy violates human rights by failing to offer enough legal protection for same-sex couples, a European court has ruled. Judges said the government had breached the rights of three gay couples by refusing them marriage or any other recognised form of union. Italy is the only major Western European country with no civil partnerships or… Read more »

Prague Pride 2015 will celebrate fifth anniversary of the ever growing festival.

Press Release The 5th edition of the Prague Pride festival will take place from Monday, August 10th through Sunday the 16th, with the Parade, main concert and outdoor party on Saturday the 15th. This year the festival will celebrate its fifth anniversary with a full program. The Facebook event of the Prague Pride Parade can… Read more »

Italy: Sports magazine causes outrage over gay kiss on cover

A popular Italian sports magazine has faced a backlash from readers after featuring a gay rugby couple on its most recent cover. The 11 July edition of SportWeek features Giacomo and Stefano – a gay couple who also play together on gay-friendly amateur Rome squad Libera Rugby. The cover features the provocative headline, ‘Who’s afraid… Read more »

Congrats! France’s first out gay MP gets married

A French Senator became the first out gay Parliamentarian to get married on Saturday. Luc Carvounas, a Senator, married his partner Stephane Exposito in Val-de-Marne on 11 July. The couple had entered a civil solidarity pact, or PACS, three years earlier. Exposito is the chief of staff to the Secretary of State for Women’s Rights… Read more »

100,000 attend Milan Pride in support of marriage equality in Italy

The Mayor: ‘There is one inviolable right: to be happy with oneself.’ On Saturday 100,000 people took part in Milan Pride: walking through the city in support of gay rights in Italy. Dario Davanzo, who manages the event, told La Repubblica: ‘This is the first Milan Pride where we can see such a powerful synergy… Read more »

British Cabinet Office to fly rainbow flag for Pride in London

The Cabinet Office has announced that it will fly the rainbow flag this week to celebrate Pride in London. In a first for central Government, the Cabinet Office flew a rainbow flag to mark World Pride in 2012 in London. The iconic flag has been flown since for Pride events including Pride in London. It… Read more »

Over 300,000 Rally In Rome Against Gay Marriage

Hundreds of thousands of people travelled from all over Italy and Europe yesterday to protest against the proposed legalisation of gay marriage, and the teaching of ‘gender theories’ in schools. Gathering in the San Giovanni Square in Rome, with estimates of participants running from 300,000 to a million people, the protest put the ‘anti-Austerity’ protests… Read more »

Protests after gay son ‘exorcised’ in controversial Russian play

Russia’s law banning ‘homosexual propaganda’ tested to its limits with play featuring gay teenager’s coming out story A play based on the true story of a gay son coming out to his parents is under threat in Moscow, after complaints from a protest group. ‘All the Shades of Blue’ – ‘blue’ is a slang term… Read more »

Latvia urged to protect EuroPride participants against violence

Amnesty International has urged the Latvian government to commit to protect the participants of this year’s EuroPride. The event will take place on 20 June in Riga, and despite organisers saying authorities have been cooperative, the government has not been openly supportive. Last December, Latvian President Andris Berzins said: “Homosexuality should not be advertised and… Read more »

Lithuanian army refuses gays – by asking recruits if they like flowers

1After Lithuania re-introduced mandatory services, conscripts are being asked questions to determine their sexuality. The randomly-selected men have to complete a psychological test to asses their suitability. According to the Lithuania Tribune, questions include asking if they like flowers or have ever considered becoming florist. They are also asked if they have ever wanted to… Read more »

Gay in Putin’s Moscow: why the city is pinker than you think

Also see Gay Russia website LGBT nights are easy to find and Grindr reaches into the heart of the Kremlin itself. But two years after the law banning ‘homosexual propaganda’, can being gay in the Russian capital really be much fun? “Moscow is like a small European city in the mid-90s,” says Anton Krasovsky. “Everybody… Read more »