03-June-2010 – GLT
Group: Sweden is Europe’s gay-friendliest country
by Rex Wockner
ILGA-Europe — the European Region of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association — has named Sweden as Europe’s most pro-gay country. The new edition of the group’s “Rainbow Europe Country Index” says Sweden is the only European nation that passes all the group’s tests in areas such as anti-discrimination protections, recognition of same-sex partnerships and parenting, hate-crime and hate-speech laws, and equal age-of-consent laws. The index will not start tracking transgender issues until next year.
“Our congratulations to (Sweden) for making sure its legislation and practices are fully inclusive and respectful of human rights of LGB people,” said ILGA-Europe board chair Martin K.I. Christensen. “Sadly, despite advances in many parts of Europe, we still experience human rights violations of LGB people in Europe. This year Russia and Ukraine are on the bottom on our index.”
Other poorly ranked countries include Armenia, Belarus, Cyprus, Latvia, Macedonia, Moldova, Poland and Turkey. Rounding out the top five highest-ranked were Belgium, Netherlands, Norway and Spain.
To view the entire report.
July 31, 2010 – AFP
Tens of thousands march in Sweden Gay Pride
Stockholm (AFP) — Tens of thousands of people joined a lively Gay Pride parade through Stockholm Saturday, with marchers in costumes ranging from the pope to Barbie dolls, to support the fight against discrimination. "The aim is to highlight discriminatory structures in society and point out that all people have the power to make a difference," organisers said in a statement.
Several Swedish politicians took part in the march, with an estimated 35,000 people, about a month-and-a-half before parliamentary elections on September 19. "It is a major demonstration for openness and tolerance. We want Sweden to be a modern country where it is possible to choose how and with whom you want to live," Finance Minister Anders Borg told the TT news agency.
The head of the Social Democrat party Mona Sahlin, who said she has participated each year in Gay Pride, commented that "it is fantastic to see how things have changed over the last 10 years." The dressed up marchers, who also included Roman emperors and sailors, danced through the streets on the way to the "Pride Village" where several concerts were to be held Saturday night.
September 2, 2010 – PinkNews
Scandinavian airline to hold first mid-air gay wedding
by Caroline Jackson
A Scandinavian airline hopes to host the world’s first mile-high gay wedding. SAS Scandinavian Airlines is running an online competition to find a lucky couple to walk down the aisle during a flight from Stockholm to New York on December 6th. “Love is in the air” is the airline’s social online campaign and it is accepting entries from couples wishing to celebrate their nuptials up in the air. The winning couple with the most online votes will then marry onboard.
The winners will receive return business class flights with SAS to New York, with three nights’ luxury accommodation in New York. The couple will then be whisked away to Los Angeles to enjoy another three nights’ accommodation at Hollywood’s Andaz Hotel. The company says it has been conducting onboard weddings for straight couples for years but believes this will be the first time a gay couple marry in the air. SAS chief commercial officer Robin Kamark said: “SAS is the national airline of three of the world’s most liberal and progressive countries, especially when it comes to LGBT rights, so we feel this is a natural celebration of love."
Jeff Rebello, PR manager for SAS told PinkNews.co.uk: “The ceremony will be conducted by someone who has the authority to do so during Swedish airspace, where gay marriage is legal.” The company is also running a US version of the competition with VisitSweden, where one couple will win a VIP wedding and honeymoon package to Sweden. If the winner is UK-based, SAS will provide connecting flights via Scandinavia.
To submit or vote for a couples’ application, click here
October 1, 2010 – PinkNews
‘Transphobic’ attack at trans conference in Sweden
by Jane Fae
Two trans women were attacked at a transgender conference in Sweden last night. The women, who were attending the third European Transgender Council in Malmo, received minor injuries in what police are treating as a transphobic assault. Event organisers have not released their names but they are understood to be from Turkey.
The women said they were were attacked after visiting a restaurant in the Bergsgarten area of Malmo. As they entered the restaurant, a couple of men started shouting transphobic abuse at them. By the time they left, a group of six of seven men had gathered and the abuse turned from verbal to physical. The two women were pelted with eggs and received minor injuries which were later treated in the local hospital. The matter was reported to local police, who registered it as a hate crime. The assault is also being treated as potentially racist.
A British delegate at the conference, Natacha Kennedy, expressed her shock at the incident. She said: “Delegates are upset – but so too are the locals. Sweden has a very positive reputation when it comes to tolerance on transgender issues – so we were very surprised at this incident, and so too were people attending this conference from Sweden. The hope now is that this is atypical and that the rest of the weekend will now proceed without further incident.”
The Transgender Council is a meeting of Transgender Europe, which describes its mission as “fighting for transgender people all over Europe”. It works to improve legislation and raise awareness of trans people and issues.
Jane Fae’s blog