Europe

 

 

 

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 »

Azerbaijan Detains Dozens of Gay and Transgender People

Moscow — More than 50 gay and transgender people in Azerbaijan’s capital, Baku, were detained and abused in a series of raids over the past week, lawyers and rights activists said. The Azerbaijani government said the raids were prompted by multiple complaints from local residents, who had urged the police to crack down on the… 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 »

Turkey bans Istanbul Pride, organizers vow to march anyway

Istanbul –  Turkish authorities announced Saturday they will not allow the Istanbul Pride march to take place on Sunday — the third year in a row the celebration has been banned. The move prompted criticism from rights groups and fears of possible violence, as Pride organizers said they would defy the ban. For more than… Read more »

Germany to quash convictions of 50,000 gay men under Nazi-era law

Parliament votes through measure overturning conviction and offering compensation to the estimated 5,000 men still alive Germany’s parliament has voted to quash the convictions of 50,000 gay men sentenced for homosexuality under a Nazi-era law that remained in force after the second world war. After decades of lobbying, victims and activists hailed a triumph in… Read more »

Serbia will have two pride parades this year after LGBT community is divided

There will be two pride parades this year in Serbia after division amongst the LGBT Community. Three Serbian LGBT organisations are organising a parade for June 24 separate from the traditional Pride held in Belgrade in September. The organisations claim that Belgrade Pride does not focus on the needs of the community. One Pride will… Read more »

Germany won’t vote on same-sex marriage, despite overwhelming support

Germany’s parliament will not vote on same-sex marriage, despite an overwhelming majority of citizens supporting full equality. The highest court in the country has rejected an attempt by the Green Party to force a vote before September’s national election. The Federal Constitutional Court reported that it had rebuffed the Greens’ application yesterday for an injunction… Read more »

Russian government defends ‘gay propaganda’ law after human rights ruling

The Russian government has vowed to appeal against a European Court of Human Rights ruling over its gay ‘propaganda’ law. In a ruling this week, the European court condemned Russia’s 2013 law which bans “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relationships” towards minors. The law also bans people sharing “distorted ideas about the equal social value of traditional and non-traditional sexual… Read more »

Russian ‘gay propaganda law’ discriminatory, European court rules

(CNN) – A European court has ruled that Russia’s so-called “gay propaganda law” is discriminatory, promotes homophobia and violates the European Convention on Human Rights. The law bans “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations around minors” and was justified by Russia’s Duma as a necessary measure to protect children from homosexual influence. On Tuesday the European… Read more »

Russia’s ‘Gay Propaganda’ Laws Are Illegal, European Court Rules

London — Russia’s prohibition of what it considers the promotion of homosexuality is discriminatory and violates freedom of expression, Europe’s top human rights court ruled on Tuesday, in a strong rejection of laws that rights groups say have been routinely used as cover for abuse and violence. Homosexuality was decriminalized in Russia shortly after the… Read more »

Thousands attend Pride in Ukraine despite death threats

Thousands of people marched in Kyiv Pride yesterday despite death threats to the organisers and far-right protesters. The march through the capital of Ukraine drew a crowd of 2,500 markers according to police spokesperson Oksana Blishchik. Judith Gough, the British ambassador to Ukraine, also joined the march which she said was held in a “fine… Read more »

Denmark approves same-sex marriage in the Faroe Islands

The road to approving same-sex marriage in the Faroe Islands has finally been completed. The islands have become the final Nordic country to legalise marriage equality. The archipelago known as the Faroe Islands, which is self-governing, voted to make it legal for same-sex couples to marry last year. However the legislation required a change in… Read more »