Europe

 

 

 

Swiss voters reject same-sex marriage ban

Voters in Switzerland have rejected a referendum initiative that would have changed the constitution and banned same-sex couples from marriage. The country, which regularly puts key legislation before the electorate, voted by 50.8% to 49.2% on Sunday, to reject the proposal – put forward by the Christian Democratic People’s Party. Although marriage equality has yet… Read more »

Italian Senate Approves Civil Unions for Gay Couples, but Not Adoptions

Rome — After months of political infighting and decades of battles by gay people for civil rights, Italy’s Senate on Thursday approved the country’s first law granting legal recognition to civil unions, but stopped short of giving same-sex couples the right to stepchild adoption. The paring of the adoption provision was crucial to passage in… Read more »

3rd Tirana Pride To Take Place On September 25, 2016

Pink Embassy, the leading organization for the rights of the LGBT community in Albania, in cooperation with the Human Rights House in Albania and OMSA, are pleased to announce the opening of the 6th Festival of Diversity and IDAHOT under the slogan “Stand Up Against Discrimination” on May 16th 2016 at 11.00 hrs, at the… Read more »

Shelter for LGBT Syrian refugees to open in Berlin

A LGBT rights group in Germany is opening a new home in Berlin for gay refugees. The project by Schwulenberatung Berlin is in cooperation with the city council and will create shelter for over 120 people, reports euronews.com. The group behind the project say they decided to open the shelter due to abuse gay migrants… Read more »

Finland finalizes equal marriage laws… but couples still face a long wait

Finland has finally finished making tweaks to its same-sex marriage legislation – but couples still have another year to wait before marrying. Way back in November 2014, the Finnish Parliament passed a citizens’ initiative on same-sex marriage by a tight vote of 105-92. The country’s President Sauli Niinistö signed the initiative into law back in… Read more »

Gay imam helps young Muslims balance religion, sexuality

Marseille, France (AP) — Growing up in Algeria, Shaira had almost everything a young man could wish for. But he also had a big secret. In a land where homosexuality is still a crime and a sin, he was forced to live a secret life, hiding that he was gay from everyone — even his… Read more »

Portugal overturns presidential veto to legalise same-sex adoption

Portugal’s parliament has just overturned the presidential veto on a bill to legalise same-sex adoption there. The new law had passed through Portugal’s Parliament last last year, granting full adoption rights to same-sex couples, and allowing lesbian couples to receive medically assisted fertilisation. Portuguese President Anibal Cavaco Silva, of the centre-right Social Democratic Party, blocked… Read more »

Rome’s Gay Pride Marchers Call On Government To Recognize Same-Sex Civil Unions

(AFP) Tens of thousands took to the streets of Rome on Saturday for the city’s annual Gay Pride parade and to call on the Italian government to recognise civil unions for same-sex couples. The march was held in a party atmosphere, with bright lights and rainbow flags adorning the Via del Corso in the centre… Read more »

Russia’s Invisible Children

“404 we exist!” reads one of the selfies from the Children 404 Vkontakte page that has been ordered to shut down. How one outreach forum for LGBT teens has been forced to adapt to growing pressure from politicians and the public “I do not know what is going on with me, and that’s the scariest… Read more »

Thousands protest Italy’s plan to permit gay unions, adoptions

Rome (AP) — Thousands of people opposed to gay rights are gathering in Rome’s Circus Maximus to protest against legislation that would permit marriage-style unions for same-sex couples and grant them legal recognition as families. Massimo Gandolfini, organizer of Saturday’s “Family Day” protest, told Sky Tg24: “Italy is one of the few western countries that… Read more »

Travel: A gay hipster guide to Stockholm

Adam Groffman of Travels of Adam writes about the delights of the Swedish capital Stockholm. Listen, I know you hear “Stockholm” and you might first think “cold.” But you’re wrong. Well, you’re not entirely wrong. The city can be cold (it’s Sweden, after all). But it’s also just so very cool. There’s an incredible mix… Read more »

Athens reborn: the gritty gay elegance of the Greek capital

Ruinous beauty, optimistic charm, a blazing hot gay scene – find out why Athens is still a top LGBTI hotspot I’ve pondered the progress of the Greek economic crisis with interest and confusion. Much of the xenophobic rhetoric around the crisis made me side with the Greeks long before I’d grasped the finer details of… Read more »

How the Nazis got away with persecuting gay men long after the Holocaust

Allowed to return to their legal careers, former Nazis enforcing §175 turned gay men into fair game once again When World War Two ended, one of the prime concerns of the British, American and Russian forces was to liberate Germany and Austria of all traces of Nazism and the Third Reich. But despite concentration camps… Read more »

The near-forgotten history of the Holocaust’s gay victims

‘The singing forest. Inexplicable. Beyond human comprehension. And so much remains untold.’ Before Hitler rose to power in 1933, Berlin was a hub of gay life, in the midst of which one of the world’s first homosexual liberation movements slowly gained momentum. That would end with gay people swept up in the Holocaust. But even… Read more »

Portugal President Anibal Cavaco Silva Vetoes Gay Adoption Bill

Portugal President Anibal Cavaco Silva has vetoed a bill recently approved by lawmakers that granted full adoption rights to gay and lesbian couples. The legislation gave gay couples the same adoption rights as straight couples. Silva called the change radical and in need of broader public consultation. He said that he was uncertain whether the… Read more »

Pope Francis meets with openly gay Apple CEO Tim Cook

Apple CEO Tim Cook has had a sit down meeting with the head of the Catholic church. The two men – along with their personal teams – met at the Vatican yesterday. This is the pontiff’s second meeting with technology world leader in a week, after he met with Eric Schmidt – the executive chairman… Read more »

Italy same-sex marriage: Rallies held across country

Tens of thousands of people have marched in cities across Italy, demanding legal recognition for same-sex couples. The rallies were held as lawmakers are due to debate the deeply divisive issue next week. Opponents of the bill in the mainly Catholic nation are planning to hold their own demonstration next Saturday. Italy is the only… Read more »

Tens of thousands protest in the streets of Italy for gay civil unions

Rome — Tens of thousands of people demonstrated Saturday in nearly 100 cities across Italy to urge the government to permit gay and lesbian couples to have civil unions and legally recognized families. Mirco Pierro, 39, rallied in front of the Pantheon in Rome with his partner and twin infants, saying he wanted “to defend… Read more »

Russia rejects bill to punish hand-holding and coming out with jail

A Russian Duma committee has rejected a bill which would have made coming out to young people and kissing in public punishable with jail sentences. The Russian Duma was set to vote this week on a measure which would ban all public displays of affection between same-sex couples. The legislation suggested punishments for same-sex couples… Read more »

Screening ‘Sodom’

Watching Russia’s strangest documentary On May 27, 2015, Russian celebrity journalist and film director Arkady Mamontov stood in a Moscow studio of the state-owned TV channel Rossiya 1 (Russia One) to discuss his latest documentary with a group of experts and an audience of about 70 people. Along with tens of millions of Russians who… Read more »

Europe, Putin, and the ‘Gayropa’ Bait

The Kremlin’s messaging on gay rights issues has little to do with beliefs Information war as most people understand it — the use of propaganda to persuade people that a certain cause is right — does not actually exist in Russia. The Russian doctrine of information war is not concerned with ideology. It is a… Read more »

Political Violence, Inc.

How attacks on Russia’s LGBT community are sub-contracted Political violence in Russia is a franchise industry. Anyone can peddle the product so long as they adhere to some basic marketing rules. End users are stratified into various preapproved categories, such as known supporters of “European values,” or prominent opposition politicians There are also ways of… Read more »

Romanian Orthodox Church: marriage only between man, woman

Bucharest, Romania — The Romanian Orthodox Church says it supports an initiative to change Romania’s constitution to specify that marriage is between a man and a woman. The statement comes amid concerns from some that the conservative East European nation will align with other EU nations and permit gay marriage. Romania currently does not recognize… Read more »

On the Frontiers of the “Russian World”

How homosexuality got caught up in the war in eastern Ukraine It was a windy afternoon and Anfisa Glushenko, a 23-year-old volunteer from the self-defense forces of the Luhansk People’s Republic, was in a chatty mood. As the car sped past the charred gas stations and abandoned villages of eastern Ukraine, she kept her green… Read more »

In and Out In ‘90s Russia

An observer looks back on what’s changed, and what hasn’t, for gays in Russia When I first lived in Russia in 1991, during a leave from my job at The San Francisco Chronicle, life was falling apart and cracking open simultaneously. The Soviet state was collapsing under the weight of its own terrible history. But… Read more »

The Origins of Russian Gay Myths

Four Myths that Fuel Hatred for Gays in Russia Most Russians want gays liquidated or ostracized. That’s according to a recent poll that showed hardening attitudes towards all minorities in Russia, but especially towards the country’s LGBT community. Behind Russia’s blossoming hatred for gays are several powerful myths that make up the Kremlin’s narrative of… Read more »

Estonia Civil Unions Law Takes Effect, But Gay Couples Advised To Wait

Estonia’s civil partnership law, approved in 2014, took effect on Friday, but gay and lesbian couples are being advised to hold off on exchanging vows. Passage of the law made Estonia the first former Soviet nation to recognize such unions. The new law gives straight and gay couples most of the rights afforded to married… Read more »

Greece Approves Civil Unions For Gay Couples

Greece’s parliament has approved a bill that allows gay and lesbian couples to enter a civil union. According to the AFP, 193 lawmakers backed the law, while 56 rejected it. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said that the bill would end a practice of “backwardness and shame” for Greece. The new law does not provide for… Read more »

Slovenia says No to gay marriage

More than 60 percent of those who voted were against same-sex marriage. Slovenians on Sunday voted against legalizing gay marriage, with more than 60 percent of those who cast their vote in a referendum saying No. According to Slovenian news agency STA, with 90 percent of the votes counted, 63 percent had voted against and… Read more »

Malta could become first country in Europe to ban ‘gay cure’ therapy

Malta could become the first EU country to outlaw ‘gay cure’ therapy, under a government bill submitted this week. The country’s government yesterday unveiled a ‘Affirmation of Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Gender Expression’ bill – which would outlaw so-called ‘conversion’ therapy. The practise of attempting to ‘cure’ someone’s sexuality is considered pointless and damaging… Read more »

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 »