First EU-wide survey on life for gay, bi and trans citizens opens

Gay, bi and transgender adults from around the EU and Croatia are being asked to take part in the first European LGBT survey of its kind. The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights launched the survey on the LGBT experience of life in member states today. It is hoped the results will support the development… Read more »

Austria: Partnered gay man allowed to serve in a Catholic parish council

A gay man in registered domestic partnership has been allowed by an Austrian Cardinal to serve on a local parish council, in a decision that overrules an earlier ban on doing so. Florian Stangl, a disabled 26-year old man, who is Catholic, openly gay, and living with his partner, was recently elected to the council,… Read more »

St Petersburg ‘gay propaganda’ law could become nationwide Russian policy

Earlier this month, the governor of St Petersburg signed into law a bill making it an offence to “promote” gay or transgender personal identities in the city. Now, lawmakers in the Siberian city of Novosibirsk have proposed that Russia introduces the legislation nationwide. The bill recommends imposing a fine of up to 5,000 roubles (approximately… Read more »

St Petersburg scene ‘vibrant’ despite anti-gay law

St Petersburg’s gay clubs still vibrant in spite of new homophobic ‘propaganda’ law but there are fears for the future St Petersburg’s gay nightlife is still vibrant despite laws banning the ‘promotion’ of LGBT lifestyles to minors. That’s according to a story by the St Petersburg Times today (28 March), a leading English-language newspaper, which… Read more »

Maltese government set to propose civil partnerships

The Maltese government is set to propose civil partnerships for gay couples. The country’s justice minister is to pilot a cohabitation law, which will propose the regulation of same-sex relationships. Chris Siad, the justice minister in question, told Malta Today: “The bill on co-habitation will be discussed in Cabinet and within the Parliamentary Group shortly.… Read more »

Uruguayan man given landmark residence permit to live with husband in Italy

Authorities in northern Italy on Monday issued a residence permit to a Uruguayan man whose application was initially rejected because his marriage to an Italian man – which took place in Spain – is not recognised by the country’s laws. A court in Reggio Emilia ruled last month that authorities had violated European Union rules… Read more »

Albania: Proposed gay pride march provokes homophobic comments

With gay rights activists in Albania set to organise the country’s first ever gay pride parade in Tirana on May 17, religious groups and the Royalist Party have been quick to denounce the proposed plans. Reacting to the plans, announced on Friday, Albania’s deputy defence minister and leader of the Royalist Party, Ekrem Spahiu, had… Read more »

Conscripts to Turkish army must ‘prove’ their homosexuality for exemption from military service

Young gay Turkish men are being forced to “prove” their sexual orientation to avoid compulsory military service. There are no specific laws against homosexuality in Turkey, but out gay men are unwelcome in Turkey’s armed forces, giving them little incentive to fulfil the role their country requires of them. Armagan Kuloglu, a retired Turkish army… Read more »

Slovenia Repeals Gay Adoption Law

Slovenian voters on Sunday repealed a law that would have allowed a gay person to adopt the biological children of a partner, the AP reported. The country’s previous center-left government last year approved a family law which included the right. The law also gave gay couples in a registered partnership, available since 2006, many of… Read more »

Slovenians reject gay adoption law in referendum

Ljubljana, Slovenia (AP) — Slovenians rejected in a national referendum on Sunday a new family law that included a highly contested clause that would allow same-sex couples to adopt children in some cases. The law drafted by Slovenia’s former center-left government — and opposed by conservatives close to the Catholic Church — would have allowed… Read more »

India’s attorney-general blames Victorian Britain for anti-gay laws

In an apparent change of heart from the position it adopted three years ago, the Indian government has said that homosexuality was tolerated in pre-colonial India, and it was only the British who imposed their Victorian values of morality on what was a largely liberal land. India’s chielf law officer GE Vahanvati told the Supreme… Read more »

Author of St. Petersburg’s Anti-Gay Law Will Attend Madonna Concert, Prosecute If Necessary

The man behind St. Petersburg, Russia’s gay “propaganda” bill is threatening Madonna over her plans to speak out against the law when she comes to the city for a concert, ABC News reports. MilonovThe bill’s author, city assemblyman Vitaly Milanov, says he wants Madonna charged under the new law if she speaks out against it… Read more »

Madonna Threatened With Fine If She Violates St. Petersburg Anti-Gay Law

Madonna could face a fine of 5,000 rubles if she defies St. Petersburg’s recently enacted gay propaganda law when she performs in the Russian city this summer, an official has warned. Earlier this week, Madonna stated that she would defy the ban. “I will come to St. Petersburg to speak up for the gay community… Read more »

Ukraine rape victim searches for justice – Background story

Kiev, Ukraine (AP) – The 18-year-old woman, prosecutors say, was gang-raped by three young men, who tried to cover up their crime by strangling her with a cord, wrapping her naked body in a blanket and dumping her at an abandoned construction site — where they set her on fire. Amazingly, Oksana Makar survived. But… Read more »

First UK conference on gay China begins this week

A dozen leading figures from the Chinese gay and lesbian community will speak at The University of Manchester this week in the first event of its kind in the UK. From 22 to 24 March, activists, academics, and filmmakers will share their experience with European counterparts to correct misconceptions about being gay in China. Europe-China… Read more »

Restrictions to LGBT Rights on Parliament’s Agenda

On 20 March 2012 the Lithuanian Parliament adopted its spring agenda, preparing to debate on three legislative amendments openly violating LGBT rights as well as the international commitments to uphold freedom of expression and to fight discrimination. The first amendment submitted by Petras Gražulis and accepted by the parliamentarians for consideration is a new Article… Read more »

Russians find asylum in New York amid gay bashing, harsh laws back home

Brooklyn filmmaker Alexander Kargaltsev fled after clash at Moscow pride rally After military cops turned batons and a Taser gun on him at a Moscow gay pride rally, Alexander Kargaltsev decided to get out of Russia. “They left us lying in blood in the street,” he said. The clash punctuated a series of attacks —… Read more »

Gay Prisoners to Marry Inside Some of Britain’s Toughest Jails

London – Gay prisoners will be allowed to tie the knot inside some of the country’s toughest jails, as long as they pay for the ceremonies themselves Top security lock-ups like will have to host civil partnership ceremonies, provided the inmates fund the nuptials themselves. The green light for killers, rapists, drug dealers and terrorists… Read more »

LGBT Rights Made Visible In Moldova’s Quest To Join The European Union

Friday File: Activist Anastasia Danilova explains how Moldova’s campaign to join the European Union provides some opportunity and some backlash for LGBT Rights As one of the many struggling post-Soviet economies, Moldova currently finds itself at a crossroads between more ensuing years of economic despair and the opportunities associated with European Union membership.  Riddled by… Read more »

Moldova elects pro-European judge Timofti as president, ending 3 years of political deadlock

Chisinau, Moldova – Moldova’s Parliament elected a judge with a European outlook as president Friday, ending nearly three years of political deadlock in the former Soviet republic. Lawmakers approved the election of 65-year-old Nicolae Timofti, who is chairman of the Superior Council of Magistrates. The opposition Communists, who disapprove of the government’s pro-European policies, boycotted… Read more »

Statement on LGBT rights read in Lithuania’s UPR session

In the final session of the United Nations Human Rights Council Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Lithuania, held in Geneva on 16 March, a statement prepared by LGL together with COC Netherlands and ILGA-Europe was read: Madam Vice-President, We would like to thank Lithuania for its positive participation in the UPR process and would like… Read more »

Poll: 65 percent of British agree gays should have equal right to marry

The latest in a line of polls gauging public opinion on the proposed right of gay couples to marry in Britain has found two thirds of the public support it. Over the weekend, the Populus poll asked a thousand voters in Scotland, England and Wales what they thought of such a move, proposals for which… Read more »

European Parliament resolves to protect gay couples’ inheritance rights

The situation will be improved in most member statesThe situation will be improved in most member states The European Parliament has adopted a resolution calling on member states to ensure gay couples inheritance rights are respect around the EU. The report adopted by the Parliament says individual countries who do not recognise legal partnerships between… Read more »

Denmark: Equal marriage law to take effect in June

Denmark’s prime minister has announced that equal marriage laws will come into effect in the European country on 15 June this year. At a press conference, Helle Thorning-Schmidt, who took office in October last year, announced that gays would be allowed to marry in time for the summer, the Copenhagen Post reports. She said: “We… Read more »

Russian Orthodox Church: Ban homosexuality ‘propaganda’ among minors

The powerful Russian Orthodox Church wants the Duma to follow regional governments that have banned ‘homosexual propaganda aimed at minors.’ St. Petersburg enacted such a law last week. A controversial new law enacted in St. Petersburg and three other Russian regions, aimed at banning “homosexual propaganda aimed at minors,” has members of Russia’s besieged gay… Read more »

Gay couples make wedding plans amid angry Catholic sermons

‘It’s not like we are all going to be marching into Catholic churches in bridal dresses,’ says one gay man at Designer Civil Partnership show “Let me not to the marriage of true minds/ Admit impediments,” declared the bard of Stratford in his 116th sonnet. And at the Globe theatre in central London on Sunday… Read more »

St. Petersburg Governor Georgy Poltavchenko Signs ‘Gay Propaganda’ Bill

St. Petersburg City Governor Georgy Poltavchenko has signed a bill which outlaws “gay propaganda,” the city announced on Sunday. Poltavchenko signed the bill into law on Wednesday, March 7 and it will take effect 10 days after being officially published, Interfax reported. The law criminalizes “public actions aimed at propaganda of pederasty, lesbianism, bisexuality and… Read more »

Pope Benedict warns against gay marriage

Pope Benedict XVI has denounced gay marriage in a speech to US bishops visiting Vatican City. The Pope warned of “powerful political and cultural currents seeking to alter the legal definition of marriage”. He also urged the bishops to emphasise to their Church that premarital sex and cohabitation was “gravely sinful” and “damaging to the… Read more »

Belarus President: Better to Be a Dictator Than Gay

Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko responded to criticism of his authoritarian governing style by saying he would “rather be a dictator than gay,” which appeared to be a thinly veiled reference to gay German foreign minister Guido Westerwelle. Bloomberg reports that Lukashenko made the comment to reporters Sunday outside Minsk. He seemed to be responding to… Read more »

Gay online encyclopaedia debuts

WikiQueer, a gay, bi and trans online encyclopaedia has launched publicly this week. The wiki site began collating content after its soft-launch last year and has now gone live. Unlike Wikipedia, WikiQueer says it will allow dynamic content from existing online LGBT and wiki projects, content geared towards activism around issues, and in-depth information on… Read more »

Graduate hands back Oxford degree over Christian Concern conference

An Oxford graduate has handed back his degree over a college’s arrangement to host conferences in association with a religious group which has regularly opposed advances in gay rights and backed ‘gay cure’. Michael Amherst returned his Exeter College English degree yesterday, saying he no longer wished “to be associated” with the institution. Exeter’s administrators… Read more »

Anti-Gay Law Stirs Fears in Russia

Moscow — St. Petersburg’s legislature passed a law on Wednesday aimed at eliminating what its backers called “propaganda” of homosexuality among minors, prompting fears among gay rights groups of an impending crackdown on their activities as other cities vowed to look into adopting similar measures. The law, which follows similar legislation passed elsewhere recently, appears… Read more »

St. Petersburg Assembly Approves ‘Gay Propaganda’ Bill

St. Petersburg’s Legislative Assembly on Wednesday approved a bill which seeks to outlaw “gay propaganda” in the city. If signed into law by St. Petersburg Governor Georgy Poltavchenko, the bill would criminalize “public actions aimed at propaganda of pederasty, lesbianism, bisexuality and transgenderism among minors.” Offenders face a fine of up to $16,700 under the… Read more »

St. Petersburg bans gay propaganda and promises to punish Rammstein

As St. Petersburg city legislature approved the bill banning the promotion of homosexuality and pedophilia, its initiator promised that when the bill comes to force he will personally seek to have the German rock group Rammstein penalized. The bill was approved at its third reading on Wednesday by 29 votes to five with one abstention.… Read more »

Elton John & David Furnish interview Peter Tatchell

Attitude magazine – March 2012 Celebration of 60th birthday & 45 years of human rights campaigning London, UK – Elton John & David Furnish interview Peter Tatchell in celebration of his 60th birthday, 45 years of human rights campaigning and 10 years of his Peter Tatchell Foundation. The interview is published in the March 2012… Read more »

Free HIV treatment for asylum seekers and non-UK citizens

Experts believe cost will be far less than possible costs of treating someone in hospital for Aids Asylum seekers and other non-British citizens are set to be given free HIV treatment after the government indicated it was willing to accept an amendment from Lord Fowler to the health bill. Doctors working with people who have… Read more »

Moldova city bans ‘gay propaganda’

Gay rights campaigners have slammed the city of Balti’s anti-gay law as ‘shameful’ The decision by a city in Moldova to ban ‘homosexual propaganda’ has been branded ‘shameful’ by gay rights campaigners. Balti’s City Council yesterday announced it would prohibit ‘aggressive propaganda of non-traditional sexual orientations’, after 23 out of 35 members voted in favor… Read more »

Kurdish gay rights group hacked on Facebook

An extremist Turkish Nationalist group called “Ayyildiz Tim” hacked the Facebook page of Hebûn, the Kurdish LGBT Association based in Diyarbakir, this weekend. Members of Hebûn say they are extremely concerned about sensitive information that was stored on their account and the fact that Kurdish LGBT people have been outed after the hacked user’s friends… Read more »

‘Real Men Get Raped’ Campaign Comes To London Tube Stations

A new rape awareness campaign aimed at men in London is hoping to challenge the way that people think about the crime and its victims. Posters for the campaign, launched by Survivors UK, an organization that deals with sexual violence against men, read “Real men get raped and talking about it takes real strength” and… Read more »

The European Parliament strongly condemns Russia’s LGBT censorship laws

Today the European Parliament adopted a resolution on the upcoming presidential election in Russia, where it clearly denounces Russian laws which forbid the public mention of homosexuality or gender identity to minors. European Parliament logo Presented by five political groups, the resolution recalls that Russia is subject to several international human rights agreements, including the… Read more »