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November 25, 2014

Unlock the ancient, enigmatic glamour of the Turkish metropolis with our guide

Pushed and pulled by the eastern and western worlds for centuries, absorbing influences and attitudes from both Europe and the Middle East, Turkey is astoundingly resilient.

And Istanbul, with 14 million people, has been the cosmopolitan centre of the region since it was founded as Constantinople in 330 AD. The Bosphorus Strait, a shipping lane that links the Black Sea and the Marmara Sea dividing Istanbul in two, is one of the boundaries between Europe and Asia.

November 25, 2014

Unlock the ancient, enigmatic glamour of the Turkish metropolis with our guide

Pushed and pulled by the eastern and western worlds for centuries, absorbing influences and attitudes from both Europe and the Middle East, Turkey is astoundingly resilient.

And Istanbul, with 14 million people, has been the cosmopolitan centre of the region since it was founded as Constantinople in 330 AD. The Bosphorus Strait, a shipping lane that links the Black Sea and the Marmara Sea dividing Istanbul in two, is one of the boundaries between Europe and Asia.

March 1, 2015

'The parade is an important way for Guinness to support the Irish community, and we look forward to celebrating with millions of New Yorkers on March 17'

Guinness is returning as a sponsor of the New York City St. Patrick's Day Parade.

February 27, 2015

The film is the true tale of one of the first people to undergo gender reassignment surgery – and what happened to her

The first picture of Eddie Redmayne playing transgender pioneer Lili Elbe has been unveiled. 

Redmayne, who just won an Oscar for his role as Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything, will play Elbe in forthcoming drama, The Danish Girl. 

The film, set in the 1920s, tells the story of a painter named Wegener, who was persuaded by her wife, also a painter, to pose in women's clothing for her. 

This opened up a whole new world for Wegener, who later began her male-to-female transition and changed her name to Lili Elbe. 

February 27, 2015

'I couldn't defend the party or convincingly campaign for it any more'

The leader of UKIP LGBT group has quit and left the party 'due to the leadership's failure of the leadership to set a gay-friendly tone.'

Tom Booker, who manages a hydrotherapy pool in Peterborough, led the group for three years.

'Last night I stepped down as Chairman of LGBT* in UKIP and gave up my membership of #ukip. I'll remain unaffiliated...for now,' he tweeted on 24 February.

February 26, 2015

The banking group hosted an event at its Edinburgh headquarters to celebrate the top employers on Stonewall’s recent Workplace Equality Index

Banking group Lloyds has been acknowledged as the top employer of LGBT people in Scotland by the Scottish branch of campaigning charity, Scotland.

The acknowledgement follows the publication of Stonewall’s UK-wide Workplace Equality Index in January.

Stonewall Scotland held an event on Tuesday evening to recognize LGBT employers north of the border. It celebrated the results at a reception at Lloyds' Scottish headquarters on the Mound in Edinburgh on Tuesday evening.

The top five employers were as follows:

February 26, 2015

Over 30,000 of the signatures come from Northern Ireland residents

Almost 150,000 people have signed a petition against Northern Ireland's proposed 'Freedom of Conscience' bill. 

In December, DUP minister Paul Given introduced the bill to the Northern Ireland legislative assembly, which would allow people with strongly held religious views to deny access to goods, facilities and services on the grounds of sexual orientation. 

February 23, 2015

The annual event took place over the weekend

Lapland's LGBTI community took to the streets over the weekend for the region's annual Pride celebrations. 

Arctic Pride, which takes place in Lapland's commercial centre, Rovaniemi, was set up to provide a safe place for sexual and gender minorities to meet in one of Europe's most northern cities, which lies just six miles from the Arctic Circle. 

February 23, 2015

The annual event took place over the weekend

Lapland's LGBTI community took to the streets over the weekend for the region's annual Pride celebrations. 

Arctic Pride, which takes place in Lapland's commercial centre, Rovaniemi, was set up to provide a safe place for sexual and gender minorities to meet in one of Europe's most northern cities, which lies just six miles from the Arctic Circle. 

February 23, 2015

Italians respond in the best possible way

Islamic State militants have threatened to take over Rome and throw gay people from the 'Leaning Tower of Pizza.'

The militant group made the threat Saturday (21 February) on Twitter, seemingly unaware of the glaring spelling mistake – or the fact that the tower is 200 miles outside of the Italian capital.

'#We_Are_Coming_O_Rome, we will conquer & establish the justice of #shariah. We will use your leaning tower of pizza to throw off homosexual,' the tweet reads.

'#We_Are_Coming_O_Rome with slaughter,' said a second.

February 23, 2015

Jacobsen Solutions’ Chief of Operations in Europe came out to his boss after he was questioned about having an affair with a member of staff

In 1985, I was responsible for all of our consulting projects in Europe when the Chairman (my boss) asked me to meet him at Heathrow. All the projects were in great shape, so this was unusual.

He said, ‘Let's go for a walk.’ We walked to what was then a mezzanine in Terminal 1. Very quickly he came to the point. He said, ‘Mr. Jacobson, Senior Management has told me that you are having an affair with one of your Project Directors?’ My response was, ‘Really, who would that be?’

February 21, 2015

15 drag queens (and Michelle Visage) stuck on a tour bus in the snow in Cleveland sounds like a bad joke but it actually happened

When we first heard that 15 stars from RuPaul’s Drag Race were going on a Battle of the Seasons Tour we thought there’s bound to be some drama.

But instead of wig-snatching, the drama came in the form of a tour bus and some deep snow.

The queens taking part in the tour revealed on Twitter their tour bus had broken down after becoming stuck in some snow.

The Battle of the Seasons tour bus was heading to the Playhouse Square in Cleveland, Ohio when disaster struck and they were not able to make their 9pm curtain.

February 11, 2015

Read the most hilarious responses to Australia competing in the campest contest ever

Australia is to compete in the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest.

The country, which is not exactly in Europe, will enter an artist, perform and vote on the grand final in Vienna this year.

This is a 'historic opportunity for Australia to be represented on the world’s biggest stage', said Michael Ebeid, managing director of SBS, which will broadcast the live-show in May.

February 9, 2015

Bulgarian law does not consider homophobic motives as hate crime - they are acts of hooliganism 

Bulgaria’s efforts to investigate and prosecute hate crime are deemed a failure in a report Amnesty International published today (9 February).

According to the report, the lack of adequate investigation and prosecution created a climate of discrimination, fear and ultimately violence. Some victims of hate crime do not dare to report their experiences to the police because they fear further discrimination.

February 9, 2015

Irish TV presenter Gay Byrne say he expects the referendum to end in favor of gay marriage 

Veteran Irish TV and radio presenter Gay Byrne has spoken in support for gay marriage in Ireland.

The 80-year-old said same-sex marriage was ‘long overdue’ and gay couples in Ireland should have the same rights as straight people when it comes to marriage. 

‘You must remember, I lived through people walking out of the Late Late Show because we were discussing the possibility of decriminalising homosexuality,’ Byrne told The Irish Times’ Róisín Ingle in her podcast.

February 9, 2015

Unity Party and ruling coalition MP Veiko Spolitis is pushing for Latvia to recognize the relationship rights of unwed couples both gay and straight for the first time

Latvia may become the next Eastern European state to formally recognize the relationships of unmarried couples in a proposal that would see gay and lesbian couples recognized for the first time in the country’s history

Currently gays and lesbians are protected from discrimination in the workplace in Latvia and homosexuality has been legal since it regained independence from the Soviet Union in 1992.

February 6, 2015

Head of Catholic encourages 'everyone to continue their efforts in defense of the family'

Pope Francis is publicly supporting a referendum in Slovakia that bans marriage between same-sex couples and makes it illegal for them to adopt children.

The vote will take place on Saturday (7 February).

During a general audience in Rome on Wednesday (4 February), the head of the Catholic Church said: 'I greet the pilgrims from Slovakia and, through them, I wish to express my appreciation to the entire Slovak church, encouraging everyone to continue their efforts in defense of the family, the vital cell of society.'

February 5, 2015

Memorable, romantic, and disastrous - we swap travel stories with the man whose stage-name was inspired by a Swedish tennis player.

Born in London, Kristen Bjorn seems to have lived and worked in many of our favourite countries around the world.

It was in the late 1970s in San Francisco where Bjorn began his career as a model, actor, photographer, and film-maker, with locations such as Brazil and Australia shaping his work.

We recently caught up with Bjorn and asked him to share some travel stories.

February 5, 2015

An English town of just over 7,000 has claimed it will be the first to keep a rainbow crossing permanently in Europe

Totnes in South Devon could soon be home to Europe’s first permanently painted rainbow crossing.

A pedestrian crossing, painted in rainbow colors to celebrate the LGTBI community, could be installed as early as this summer.

The town council gave their backing to plans presented by Proud2Be, a LGTBI group, to permanently paint a usable pedestrian crossing like the rainbow flag.

The group is claiming it will be the first to have a permanent crossing of its kind in Europe, joining Vancouver and West Hollywood.

February 4, 2015

Also calls it a 'crime against God'

An Italian archbishop has attacked a law banning anti-gay speech, describing it as a 'crime against humanity'.

Luigi Negri, the archbishop of Ferrara-Comacchio, has taken issue with a law the country has enacted to protect LGBTI people from hate crime.

He has also blamed the country's economic crisis on abortions, claiming that it has 'stopped more than six milllion Italians coming into the world'. Italy actually has the fourth lowest abortion rate in Europe, with just over 100,000 in 2012.

February 2, 2015

Anna Grodzka is the first transgender MP in the conservative Catholic country

Transgender lawmaker Anna Grodzka announced Friday (30 January) her bid to become the next president of Poland, breaking fresh ground in the conversative Catholic country.

The 60-year-old told former filmmaker and publisher is backed by the Green Party.

‘Yes, I'll be a presidential candidate,’ she told the Wirtualna Polska website.

Grodzka transitioned in 2009 and was elected Poland’s first transgender MP in 2011.

January 29, 2015

The momondo PR manager on his achingly cool hometown

I've lived here since... November 2005.

I've stayed because... Copenhagen is a capital city that feels like a town, so you get the perks of being in a big city but none of the traffic, noise and hassle – you can ride your bike literally everywhere, all year round. Copenhagen is by far one of the most liveable places that I know of in the world.

January 28, 2015

Welsh politician is under investigation for a comment on the BNP website

A Welsh UKIP politician is under party investigation for endorsing an anti-gay statement on the British National Party website.

Donald Grewar, parliamentary candidate for Newport East, left an approving comment under a statement that described gay people as 'fascist perverts' and 'pedophiles.'

'Well said... sadly this will all come to fruition in the very near future. We need to resist and stand our ground,' he wrote.

A UKIP spokesperson said the party was investigating the matter.

January 27, 2015

UKIP satire helps us relive our childhood

Pugh, Pugh, Barney McGrew, Cuthbert, Dibble, Grub – they will all be there for sure. And Mrs Cobbit the florist is bound to do a roaring trade.

Yes – LGBTI Pride is coming to the most unlikely place in fiction, the ever-so-proper English town of Trumpton.

Trumpton, a stop-motion animation, was first shown on the BBC in the 1960s but repeats meant it entertained and delighted generations of British children.