Europe

 

 

 

Russia tightens gay website crackdown and bans HIV health website

Russia’s media regulator is shutting down a HIV health website as it continues to target LGBT+ websites in a media censorship crackdown. The Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, known as Roskomnadzor, has ruled that LGBT+ portal and health website Parni PLUS (Guys Plus) can no longer run as it “promotes unconventional sexual relations.” ?… Read more »

Commonwealth of homophobia: One billion live under anti-gay laws exported by Britain

As royals, politicians and diplomats gather in London for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), millions of their LGBT citizens continue to suffer under oppressive discriminatory laws. British colonists made laws outlawing homosexuality that reflected Britain’s own Victoria penal code, transplanting them on to every country they conquered. ? While British politicians have largely… Read more »

In Italy, Lesbians Can’t Be Legal Moms Without Saying They’ve Had Straight Sex

Italy’s retrograde laws, pushed by the Catholic Church, force LGBT parents to lie about the way their children were conceived. Rome—Chiara Foglietta did not have sex with a man to conceive the healthy baby boy she and her partner Micaela Ghisleni delivered in Turin last week. And she says she’s not going to pretend that… Read more »

Poll finds overwhelming support for equal marriage in Czech Republic

A large majority of voters in the Czech Republic now support equal marriage – as pressure grows in the country to end a ban on same-sex weddings. 16 countries across Western and Northern Europe have now introduced same-sex marriage, but progress has been slower across Central and Eastern European countries, where polls suggest a majority… Read more »

Poland could vote in its first openly gay president during next election

Poland‘s existence under an anti-LGBT+ administration could be drawing to a close as an openly gay presidential candidate offers up a fervent fight for leadership. Current polls indicate that one in four Poles intend to vote for the left-wing candidate Robert Biedron, who entered his political career as an LGBT+ activist. ? Biedron, who is… Read more »

Play about silenced 1920s gay poet rivets Moscow theatre audiences

Play tells story of poet Mikhail Kuzmin who disappeared into official obscurity during Soviet era A play about a largely forgotten gay poet from early 1900s Russia has emerged as the dark horse in this year’s Golden Mask awards, the Oscars of the Russian theatre world. The Trout Breaks the Ice is based on the… Read more »

Ireland paves way for LGBT-inclusive sex and relationship education in schools

The Irish government has asked a regulator to draw up guidance for teaching about LGBT issues in relationships and sexuality education (RSE). The Republic of Ireland’s Education minister, Richard Bruton TD, this week announced a review of the RSE provisions in all schools. ? Teaching about sex and relationships has been mandatory in Irish schools… Read more »

We must get justice for gay and bisexual men murdered in Chechnya

State-sponsored violence in Chechnya against men perceived to be homosexual will not be forgotten, writes Matt Beard of All Out, and those responsible will be held to account One year ago this week, news broke of a wave of terrifying, state-sponsored violence in Chechnya against men perceived to be gay or bisexual. In scenes that… Read more »

Gay Chechens flee threats, beatings and exorcism

Family pressure has fuelled a sense of persecution felt by gay people in Chechnya, a mainly Muslim region in southern Russia. Dozens have fled and some have been granted asylum abroad, amid reports of kidnap and torture by Chechen security forces targeting gay or allegedly gay people. Chechen officials deny the reported abuses. Olga Prosvirova… Read more »

Paata Sabelashvili on Drugs & the LGBT Community

Exclusive Interview Politicians, journalists, and civil society observers covering the theme of drug use, in conjunction with the LGBT community in Georgia, are very familiar with the ‘White Noise Movement,’ which stems from anti-drug legislations which put drug users for small offenses behind bars for years. For consuming only a small amount of marijuana, Paata… Read more »

The Evolution of One of Fiction’s Gay Liberators

Alan Hollinghurst, one of England’s most celebrated novelists, has changed with the times and found new ways to surprise. When he was in his early 20s, Alan Hollinghurst, the English novelist, had a very English conversation with his father, a regional bank manager who served in the Royal Air Force during World War II. They… Read more »

Finland allows babies to legally have two mothers as soon as they are born

The country’s parliament approved the citizens’ initiative to change the law which means two mothers can be recognised as the mothers of a baby from birth. The change in law will mean a child’s two mothers can be legally recognised as mothers from the moment a baby is born. The initiative was approved on Wednesday.… Read more »

‘At least I know I won’t be killed’: how one gay man fled from Russia to Belarus

Peter* had set up a Skype account just to speak to PinkNews. Even though it has been six months since he left Russia to embark upon a new life in Belarus, he has to be cautious, and won’t tell me his real name. ? Since Russia’s gay propaganda law came into action in 2013, a… Read more »

The lesbian pioneers who fooled Spain’s Catholic Church

There was something unusual about the fresh-faced groom that day. The priest at the San Jorge church in A Coruña, north-western Spain, didn’t see anything special, and the smattering of relatives in attendance weren’t saying anything. But both ‘Mario’ and his bride, Marcela, were women. It was 1901, and the union between Elisa and Marcela… Read more »

Opinion Why We’ve Suppressed the Queer History of the Holocaust

Even in the concentration camps, the prisoners of the Nazis employed homophobia to distance themselves from those considered ‘other’. That ‘disgust’ still informs the erasure of Jewish gay and lesbian victims from the Holocaust narrative On September 10, 1944, Gonda Redlich, the Jewish head of the Youth Care department in the Theresienstadt ghetto, wrote in… Read more »

In blow to Hungary, EU court rejects refugee ‘gay tests’

The EU’s top court yesterday (25 January) ruled that psychological tests to determine sexuality are illegal for asylum seekers fleeing countries where homosexuality is outlawed. The ruling involved a Nigerian man subjected to tests by Hungarian authorities, which the court said had interfered unduly in his private life. “An asylum seeker may not be subjected… Read more »

Lesbian couple sue Bulgarian court in first ever fight for same-sex marriage recognition

A trailblazing lesbian couple in Bulgaria have become the first to fight a legal battle for the recognition of their same-sex marriage. Lilia Babulkova and her wife, who goes by the initials DK, could set a court precedent in the battle for recognition by an EU court for their same-sex marriage to be officially recognised… Read more »

Researching Queer Archives from the Former Eastern Bloc

Karol Radziszewski began his art publication DIK Fagazine in 2005, and has since delved into the little-known queer archives of former Soviet Union countries. In 2005, Karol Radziszewski, a young graduate from Warsaw’s Academy of Fine Arts, began DIK Fagazine. In Radziszewski’s words, the fanzine is “the first art magazine from Eastern Europe devoted entirely… Read more »

Albania Has Transgender Beauty Pageant

LGBT supporters cheered as seven competitors took part in a transgender beauty contest competition in a disco bar in the capital, Tirana. (Dec. 24) Source – Olean Times Herald

This tiny island just passed same-sex marriage

The small island of Saint Helena has passed same-sex marriage by an overwhelming parliamentary vote. The South Atlantic Ocean island of just 4,500 people saw its legislative body approve of marriage equality by nine votes to two. ? With just Governor Lisa Phillips’ approval needed to sign the bill into law, weddings could happen within… Read more »

The gay royals from history that you aren’t taught about at school

For hundreds of years, the monarchy has had hidden gay and bisexual members, sometimes more secretive than the next. Despite a member of the Royal Family rarely having come out publicly as gay or bisexual, many well-known figures lived relatively openly with same-sex partners or lovers. ? From William III to James I, the Royal… Read more »

How Queer Poles Find Any Degree of Self-Embrace They Can

‘OUT: LGBTQ Poland’ features portraits and stories from queer Polish people that are as uplifting as they are chilling. To be out and LGBTQ in a staunchly Catholic, politically conservative country like Poland is to summon an unlikely well of resilience while waiting for social tides to change. As journalist Robert Rient writes in the… Read more »

The ‘gayest’ city in the world?

Skopje’s classical makeover may be both controversial and kitsch, but we couldn’t get enough of it! Imagine If Mariah Carey Decided To Rebuild Ancient Rome… Thankfully, One Doesn’t Have To Conjure Up Depictions Of Glitzy Statues And Wedding-Cake Style Buildings, As Such A Place Exists And It Is Called Skopje. From faux neoclassical façades to… Read more »

Austria Court Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage

Austria’s Constitutional Court has ruled that laws prohibiting gay and lesbian couples from marrying are discriminatory. According to The New York Times, the court advised that gay couples be allowed to marry starting in 2019, unless lawmakers act sooner. The ruling, announced Tuesday, makes Austria the 16th European nation to grant marriage equality. In its… Read more »

Gay couple’s marriage declared ‘void’ by Greek Supreme Court

Greece’s Supreme Court has upheld a decision to void a gay couple’s marriage, nearly ten years after they tied the knot. Themis Katsagiannis and Dimitris Tsambrounis tied the knot on the island of Tilos nearly a decade ago, in June 2008. ? Greece does not permit same-sex marriages, but the couple were permitted to wed… Read more »

More Focused Prevention Measures, Improved Access To Treatment Critical To Curb Growing HIV Epidemic In Russian Federation

PLOS Medicine: The expanding epidemic of HIV-1 in the Russian Federation Chris Beyrer, professor at the Center for Public Health and Human Rights in the Department of Epidemiology at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and colleagues “…The continuous growth of the Russian HIV epidemic is a failure of public policy and practice. The… Read more »

Gay fans warned holding hands at Russia World Cup will be dangerous

• Equality campaigner Fare will produce cautionary guide for LGBT fans • Piara Powar: ‘Gay people have a place in Russia which is quite underground’ LGBT fans will be warned about holding hands in public and other outward displays of affection when in Russia for the World Cup next summer. A cautionary guide will be… Read more »

Russia’s ‘gay propaganda’ law has led to a huge rise in anti-LGBT attacks

Hate crimes against LGBT people have doubled since Russia created a law banning gay “propaganda”. The 2013 legislation, which prohibits “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relationships” towards minors, has been condemned by the European Court of Human Rights. ? The European judges found that the law “reinforced stigma and prejudice and encouraged homophobia”. The law also… Read more »

Romania Gay Marriage Case Could Have Outsize Impact in Europe

Bucharest, Romania — The European Union’s highest court began examining a case on Tuesday over a Romanian man’s attempts to get legal residency for his American husband, a closely watched hearing that will have major implications for the legal recognition of same-sex relationships across Europe. The case, legal experts say, could determine whether same-sex partners… Read more »

Turkish capital Ankara bans all gay rights functions

The Turkish capital Ankara has banned all gay festivals, screenings, forums and exhibitions on security grounds. The governor’s office said on Sunday that it also wanted to protect public order and sensitivities. The announcement follows a move last week to ban a festival of German-language gay films also due to have been held in the… Read more »

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 »