Pushed Off at Pride

Two men were pushed off a promenade and into the sea at a gay pride festival in Thessaloniki, Greece.

The two men, draped in rainbow flags, were pushed off the boardwalk by a group of young men, who shouted: “We will kill you and your types.”

They were rescued by other parade participants. Emergency medics attended, but neither man suffered serious injuries.



Blood ban in court in France

Laurent Drelon | Google Plus | r

Laurent Drelon, 48, has asked the European Court of Human Rights to overturn the rule in France that require gay men to have abstained from sex for a year before they can donate blood, after he was prevented from giving blood several times since he first tried in 2004.

“This is the first time that the the court will make a decision on whether French legislation is discriminatory or not,” said Mr Drelon’s lawyer, Patrice Spinosi.

Gay men were completely banned from giving blood in France in 1983. The outright ban was lifted in 2016, but gay men would first have to promise at an interview at a blood donation centre that they had not had sexual relations for the previous 12 months.

In Britain the abstention period is currently three months.


Great weather for Pride

Warsaw Pride yesterday | Czarek Sokołowski/AP | r

Yesterday was the big day throughout Europe for Gay Pride Marches, and many thousands of people took part.

In Warsaw, organisers estimated 45,000 people marched in the annual “equality parade” to protest discrimination not just against LGBT people but also women, ethnic minorities and people with disabilities.

“The situation in Poland is bad because same-sex couples cannot marry or adopt children,” said Alicja Nauman, who was marching with her partner Dominika Wróblewska.

The situation is completely different in Greece.

Thousands, including members of a LGBT police association, also turned out for the 14th edition of the pride parade in Athens. Since the leftist government took office in 2015, Greece has extended civil partnerships to same-sex couples, authorised sex changes from the age of 15 and legislated for children to be adopted by same-sex partners.

Hope everyone had a fantastic day.


Court strengthens gay partners rights in EU

Today the European Court of Justice ruled that countries in the European Union where gay marriage is not yet legal must still offer same sex spouses the same residency rights as heterosexual couples under Brussels’ freedom of movement laws.

A country could not use the illegality of homosexual marriage as a reason to stop an EU citizen bringing their non-EU spouse to live with them, which is a right guaranteed by Brussels.

“Although the member states have the freedom whether or not to authorise marriage between persons of the same sex, they may not obstruct the freedom of residence of an EU citizen by refusing to grant his same-sex spouse, a national of a country that is not an EU Member State, a derived right of residence in their territory.”

The decision does not force EU members to recognise gay marriage, in a bid to prevent accusation that the Luxembourg court is meddling in national affairs.


Germany’s President apologises



3 June 2018 | Frank-Walter Steinmeier at the ceremony | R. Hirschburger | Alliance/DPA | 18317

On 3 June 2018, Germany’s President, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, asked forgiveness for the suffering inflicted on homosexual men by the German state under Nazi rule and after 1945.

He was speaking at a ceremony in Berlin which marked the 10th anniversary of a monument to commemorate homosexuals who were persecuted by the Nazis.

Steinmeier admitted that mistreatment of gays had continued after the war in both East and West Germany. “The German state has inflicted heavy suffering on all these people, particularly under the Nazis, but also after that, in East Germany and also under the Basic Law.”

The ceremony was for “the many tens of thousands of people whose private spheres, lives, love and dignity were infringed upon, denied and violated.” More than 50,000 men were persecuted by the Nazis, and were “tortured, sent to prisons and to concentration camps.”

Paragraph 175 was abolished in 1994.


Out at work? Oui!

Mounir Mahjoubi | Morocco World News | r

France’s Digital Minister Mounir Mahjoubi has come out as gay, hoping to give gay people more visibility at a time when homophobic acts are on the rise.

He came out yesterday, the International Day Against Homophobia. The 34-year old junior minister in Emmanuel Macron’s government tweeted that homophobia “sometimes forces us to adapt and lie just to avoid hatred and to live our lives. Homophobia is an ill that eats away at society, invades schools, and poisons families and lost friends.”

Mr. Mahjoubi is not the first French politician to come out, but he said his personal experience could inspire those facing prejudice.


Europe letting gays down, says ILGA

Belgrade Pride, 2017 | Heinrich-Boell-Stiftung | r

Malta is the best place in Europe to be gay, according to its laws. Azerbaijan is the worst, but Latvia and Poland, which are EU members, do not rank much higher, while overall progress is “stagnating”,

reports EU Observer.

Malta scored 91 percent in the annual Rainbow Europe Survey, which looks at countries’ pro-LGBTI rights laws and policies.

It was followed by Belgium (79 percent), Norway (78 percent), Finland (73 percent), France (73 percent), and the UK (73 percent). Denmark, Portugal, and Spain also scored well.

Germany didn’t. Germany (59 percent) still lacks laws to protect LGBTI people from hate speech. Italy scored 27 percent and Poland (18 percent).

The survey of 49 states describes Europe as “a region where advances are not being made at the rate they once were. This lack of sustained progress on LGBTI equality issues should set off alarm bells.”