Europe

 

 

 

Turkey: German gay film festival banned in Ankara

Turkish officials have banned a festival of German-language gay films due to be held in the capital Ankara, saying it could incite hatred or be targeted by terror attacks. The organisers Pink Life QueerFest Four had planned to screen four films at cinemas on 16 and 17 November. They said the decision “deprives us of… Read more »

Six injured as ‘spy’ attacks Russian LGBT activists

Six LGBT activists have been injured during an alleged ‘acid’ attack in Moscow. The activists had been attending the Fourth LGBTIQ+ Family Conference, a conference for LGBT+ people and academic specialists in the field. The group of activists were leaving the conference when a man threw a liquid at the group and knocked several of… Read more »

1917 Russian Revolution: The gay community’s brief window of freedom

In January 1921 Russian Baltic Fleet sailor Afanasy Shaur organised an extraordinary gay wedding in Petrograd. The guests included 95 former army officers along with members of the lower ranks of both the army and navy, and one woman, dressed in a man’s suit. The city had never seen anything like it. Shaur pulled out… Read more »

Scotland to pardon gay men with historical convictions

Nicola Sturgeon offers apology in Holyrood to thousands of men prosecuted for having sex under old laws Thousands of gay men in Scotland prosecuted for having sex will be automatically pardoned in a new bill that will also allow many to get previous convictions removed from their records. The bill will pardon men who were… Read more »

Sheltering Albania’s Gay Youth from Virulent Homophobia

Emergency Housing for LGBT Youth in Tirana, Albania The psychologist at the LGBT youth shelter waited for me in a small side street in the city center of Tirana, Albania’s capital. “No one knows our exact address, we want to avoid arson and havoc,” she told me. She knocked on a discrete door. Once inside,… Read more »

Muslim woman reveals abuse growing up as a lesbian in Pakistan

A Muslim woman has described how hard it was growing up as a lesbian in Pakistan, where homosexuality is illegal. ‘Zayna’, 40, who moved to the UK in 2010, said she was discriminated against because of her sexuality but always stayed true to herself. Shopkeeper raped customer when she asked if she could charge her… Read more »

Pop star ‘feared dead’ in Chechnya’s anti-gay crackdown, human rights group warns

Members of the LGBT community suggest Zelimkhan Bakayev, who went missing in August, was abducted by authorities A leading Russian human rights group said it has “serious fears” a gay Chechen pop star has been killed in a crackdown on the homosexual community. Zelimkhan Bakayev has not been seen since 8 August when he left… Read more »

LGBT People Under Attack: Raids in Belarus, Murder in Chechnya, Registration of Gays in Central Asia

Singer and Entertainer Zelim Bakaev Apparently Murdered by the Security Services of Chechnyan President’s Security Services The LGBTQI community is under assault in Eastern Europe as well as Central Asia. The most recent crackdown in the region was this past weekend’s raids of nightclubs popular with the LGBT community in Belarus, during which two clubs… Read more »

Prime Minister Theresa May challenged over deportation of LGBT asylum seekers

Prime Minister Theresa May has been challenged in Parliament over the deportation of LGBT asylum seekers. People can seek asylum in the UK on the grounds that they face persecution in their home country because of their sexuality or their gender identity. However, the Home Office procedures for processing LGBT asylum seekers has been repeatedly… Read more »

Gay clubs raided and dating app shut down in ‘alarming’ crackdown on LGBT people in Belarus

LGBT people in yet another former Soviet state are facing an “alarming” crackdown. Two clubs popular with the LGBT community in Belarus were raided this weekend, with customers harassed and detained by police. Gay-rights activists hold placards on February 14, 2011 during a rally against homophobia in Minsk. Gay rights activists said they held their… Read more »

A man tortured in Chechnya for being gay dares to go public with his story

Moscow — For the first time since gruesome accounts of the systematic detention and torture of gay men began leaking out of Russia’s republic of Chechnya, a young man has gone public with his story. Maxim Lapunov, 30, told reporters on Monday that he was demanding justice from the Russian government for the 12 days… Read more »

Same-Sex Couples Wed in Germany as Marriage Law Takes Effect

Berlin — Cheers rang out in the City Hall of Berlin’s Schöneberg district on Sunday as two men, who met 38 years ago, when the German capital was a divided city, became the country’s first same-sex couple to legally marry. The couple, Bodo Mende, 60, and Karl Kreile, 59, were wed in a civil ceremony,… Read more »

Why Are HIV Rates on the Rise Among Europe’s Older Adults?

New research published this week in the “Lancet” shows a sharp upward trend in HIV diagnosis rates among adults over 50 in Europe. What explains this alarming increases, and how can we reduce transmission risk? Conducted by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, the study examined the diagnoses rates of 31 European countries… Read more »

UK’s first same-sex Anglican church wedding takes place

The first same-sex wedding in a UK Anglican church has taken place in Scotland. The Church of England and Church in Wales are both legally banned from carrying out same-sex weddings, but the Scottish branch of Anglicanism, the Scottish Episcopal Church, is not bound by the same laws. In a break from traditional Anglican teachings,… Read more »

Lost portrait of King James’s gay lover resurfaces after 400 years

A lost portrait of King James’s rumoured gay lover has been found after more than 400 years. The portrait, by Flemish artist Peter Paul Rubens, was rediscovered hanging in a property in Glasgow, where it had been assumed it was a copy. However the painting, was verified to be real by antiquities expert Dr Bendor… Read more »

Montenegro: Gay pride event urges less violence, more rights

Podgorica, Montenegro – About 200 people have gathered at an LGBT pride event in Montenegro urging more rights and zero tolerance for violence against gay people in the conservative Balkan country. Participants held banners with sayings such as “Proud my son is gay” and “My daughter is lesbian” as they marched Saturday through the Montenegrin… Read more »

Serbia’s First Openly Gay Prime Minister Attends Belgrade Pride March

Serbia’s first-ever openly gay prime minister joined gay activists Sunday at a pride march held amid tight security in the conservative Balkan country. Belgrade, Serbia — Serbia’s first openly gay prime minister joined several hundred gay activists Sunday at a gay pride march that was held amid tight security in the conservative Balkan country. Holding… Read more »

Serbia’s gay PM is first in region to attend pride parade

The prime minister of Serbia has become the first head of government in a Balkan country to take part in a gay pride march. Ana Brnabic is the first gay person, as well as the first woman, to lead Serbia. Gay pride parades in the country have not always gone ahead. Seven years ago, more… Read more »

Gay and displaced on the frontlines of Ukraine’s conflict

Fighting is not the only thing driving people from their homes in eastern Ukraine. Persecution is also forcing LGBTI people to flee. His claims of having a girlfriend met with scorn – one of his neighbours had told them everything. Unless Viktor could present the woman within 24 hours or pay a bribe he could… Read more »

Couple accidentally become first to marry in Faroe Islands

A couple who wanted a quiet, fuss-free wedding in the Faroe Islands have accidentally become the first gay couple to tie the knot there. London-based gay couple Leslie Travers and Richard McBride, 48 and 37, became the first same-sex couple to marry in the Faroe Islands after travelling there for a low-key wedding The Faroe… Read more »

Hate crime against gay and bisexual people in Britain rises by 78 per cent

Hate crime against gay, lesbian and bisexual people in Britain has risen by a massive 78 per cent in the last four years. The proportion of gay, lesbian and bisexual people who have experienced a hate crime rose from nine per cent in 2013 up to 16 per cent in 2017. The new research by… Read more »

Trump picks openly gay former diplomat and cancer survivor Ric Grenell as ambassador to Germany

Grenell was also considered as a possible envoy to both the UN and NATO His posting in Germany has to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate Grenell, 50, would be the first openly gay ambassador in Trump’s administration He’s a non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma survivor and co-created a mobile app that helps cancer patients customize and track… Read more »

Scottish same-sex couple adoptions double in three years

Figures released this month show that adoptions in Scotland by same-sex couples have doubled since 2013. There have been 97 same-sex adoptions in Scotland so far, prompting hopes that a 100th same-sex adoption will be announced within 2017 statistics. The statistics from National Records Scotland show that 5.7 percent of all adoptions were to same-sex couples… Read more »

Region responds to homophobic hate with first ever LGBT Pride event

A British county is hosting its first Pride event in response to a recent rise in homophobic hate crime. Worcestershire in the West Midlands has seen a dramatic rise in homophobic hate crime since 2015, when 18 incidents were reported. 40 such incidents occurred in Worcestershire from April 2016 to March 2017 – and in… Read more »

Door Opens to Achieving Marriage Equality in Czech Republic

Issue is on the Agenda for October’s Parliamentary Elections If it was up to the thousands who participated in last week’s Prague Pride, it’s clear the Czech Republic would be joining the growing list of countries legalizing same-sex marriage. Marriage equality was a major theme during Prague Pride Week, which prominently featured a lesbian couple… Read more »

Germany to begin gay weddings in October

Germany’s President Frank-Walter Steinmeier has signed the country’s equal marriage law. Equal marriage passed through the lower house in the German Parliament last month, after Chancellor Angela Merkel caved in to demands from opposition parties. The country’s right-wing Chancellor, who has blocked equal marriage for more than a decade, reversed her long-standing policy to allowed her own MPs to… Read more »

Revealed: LGBT Asians forced into heterosexual arranged marriages, police say

Hundreds of gay and lesbian people in the UK are being forced into arranged heterosexual marriages, research has found. West Midlands Police say the number of people contacting them regarding a forced straight marriage has markedly increased. The force say they had at least 30 cases of LGBT people contacting them regarding forced marriages in… Read more »

First Muslim drag queen says there have been ‘countless’ Muslim gay marriages

Asifa Lahore, Britain’s first Muslim drag queen, says there have been “countless” same-sex Muslim weddings. She also revealed that there is a “thriving” LGBT community among Muslims in the UK. In an interview with The Times, Asifa said “in the last three years I’ve been to dozens of gay Muslim, same-sex marriages. “I attended one… Read more »

Serbia’s openly gay Prime Minister says her sexuality has never been an issue

Serbia’s out Prime Minister Ana Brnabic insists her sexuality has never been an issue in the country. Ms Brnabic was appointed as the country’s PM by Serbia’s conservative President Aleksandar Vucic, making her one of three out leaders in office around the world today. The other two openly gay leaders, Ireland’s Leo Varadkar and Luxembourg’s… Read more »

For many gay men in conservative Chechnya, living in fear for their lives is commonplace

They call themselves survivors. Two Chechen men who agreed to share their story say they have been forced into hiding and their lives are in danger simply because they are gay. They say they are so afraid, even with a place in a secret safe house outside of Moscow, that they asked ABC News’ “Nightline”… Read more »

Couple married in one of UK’s first gay Muslim weddings suffer online abuse

‘You can’t be a gay Muslim, if you are then you’re not a Muslim’ A couple who had one of the UK’s first same-sex marriages involving a Muslim partner have received online abuse after their wedding. Jahed Choudhury and Sean Rogan married last week in Walsall, in the West Midlands. Footage from the ceremony showed… Read more »

Catholic Malta Legalizes Gay Marriage Over Church Objection

The predominantly Roman Catholic island nation of Malta is set to legalize gay marriage, joining much of Western Europe. Valletta, Malta — The predominantly Roman Catholic island nation of Malta is set to legalize gay marriage, joining much of Western Europe by replacing the traditional “you are now husband and wife” declaration in civil ceremonies… Read more »

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan calls for urgent action after half of London’s LGBT venues close

More than half of London’s LGBT venues have closed in a decade, new research has found. Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has called for urgent action over the closures – with a string of new measures to be enacted. The findings come as more than a million people are set to take part in the… Read more »

Malta moves step closer to legalizing gay marriage

Malta moved closer to passing a law legalizing same-sex marriage Wednesday after its parliament voted in favor of the measure, which marked a key step in the process. The legislation now moves into the committee stage before a final vote is held in parliament on July 12 where it’s expected to pass. “On 12 July… Read more »

Vatican cops bust drug-fueled gay orgy at home of cardinal’s aide

Vatican police raided a drug-fueled gay-sex party at an apartment belonging to an aide of one of Pope Francis’ key advisers, according to a new report. The Holy Father is “enraged,” since the home, inhabited by Francesco Cardinal Coccopalmerio’s secretary, belongs to the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith — the arm charged with… Read more »

All of Germany’s Muslim MPs voted for same-sex marriage equality

After Angela Merkel claimed marriage should be ‘between a man and a woman’ It was the best news of last week: Germany finally followed its European neighbors by voting in favor of same-sex marriage equality on Friday morning. The snap vote showed 393 MPs voted in favor, while seven abstained or were absent. Meanwhile, the country’s leader Angela Merkel was one of 226… Read more »

Germany gay marriage approved by MPs in snap vote

A clear majority of German MPs have voted to legalise same-sex marriage, days after Chancellor Angela Merkel dropped her opposition to a vote. The reform grants couples now limited to civil unions full marital rights, and allows them to adopt children. Mrs Merkel’s political opponents were strongly in favour. But the chancellor, who signalled her… Read more »

‘Mr Gay Syria’: film documents lives of LGBTI Syrian refugees

When “Mr Gay Syria” premiered at the Sheffield Film Festival in England this June, it took viewers by surprise. For starters, the documentary revolves around a little-spoken of community: gay Syrian refugees. Turkish director and journalist Ayse Toprak chronicles the lives of Hussein Sabat and Mahmoud Hassino, as an usual quest brings them together. Married… Read more »

Turkish police arrest dozens at Istanbul’s banned LGBT pride event

Istanbul — At least 44 people were detained during a march for LGBT rights that the governor of Istanbul had banned, Turkey’s state-run news agency reported Monday, while Europe’s top human rights organization criticized the country for barring the event for a third year running. Anadolu Agency said 20 people who “reacted against” the march… Read more »

Turkey LGBT: Police stifle Istanbul Gay Pride rally

Police in the Turkish city of Istanbul have thwarted attempts by organisers to hold a banned Gay Pride march. The organisers of the annual event had vowed to press ahead despite the ban by the authorities, who had cited threats from far-right groups. But police briefly fired rubber bullets to disperse the marchers and detained… Read more »