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May 24, 2015

Amnesty International say Northern Ireland is the 'last bastion of discrimination' and its laws are a 'badge of shame'

Northern Ireland is facing increasing pressure over its stance on same-sex marriage after Ireland voted Yes in Friday’s (22 May) referendum.

Unlike in the rest of the United Kingdom, Northern Ireland still prohibits same-sex marriage;  England, Wales and Scotland legalized it last year.

Last month was the fourth time the Northern Ireland Assembly rejected a motion, initiated by Deputy First Minister Martin McGuiness, to hold a referendum for same-sex marriage - with 47 votes in support and 49 against.

May 23, 2015

About 20 men disrupted an IDAHOT event last week shouting threats over the fence before breaking the lock on the gate and breaking through a door to enter the cafe

Transgender Europe (TGEU), a transgender advocacy group, has condemned the actions of the local police and anti-gay protesters who disrupted and threatened participants at an International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT) event held in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan last week.

May 23, 2015

'If that's not Jesus giving the "Yes" vote then I don't know what is!’

Ireland today (23 May) once more proved that marriage equality does not cause floods or earthquakes of biblical proportions.

Rainbows shone in the sky, hours after the No-campaign admitted defeat and congratulated the Yes-campaign on what looks to be a landslide victory, prompting one user to call it ‘gayest day’ Ireland ever

A popular tweet claiming a double rainbow was sitting in the Dublin sky turned out to be originally posted while people were going to the polls on Friday by user @karltims.

May 22, 2015

Dating app Hornet launches first gay Eurovision survey

Users of gay dating app Hornet have chosen Russia's Polina Gagarina as their favorite to win the Eurovision Song Contest on Saturday (23 May) night.

France came in second, followed by Sweden and Italy.

Hornet seemed surprised by the results of its survey.

'One might predict an LGBT bias against certain countries, but gay Russians are voting for their home country without apology,' the company said.

Eurovision is exceptionally popular among gay men has even been called the 'gay Christmas,' but Hornet is the first to poll this audience. 

May 22, 2015

Gay and lesbian marriage is not what you’ve been told

Need to persuade someone same-sex marriage is right? Here are all the popular arguments against marriage equality – busted.

1 Same-sex marriage is a modern invention.

Wrong.

There were same-sex unions in ancient Greece and Rome, some regions of China, such as Fujian, and among Two Spirit people and others in the Native American peoples.

In Europe, there is evidence both the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches blessed ‘brother-making ceremonies’ akin to same-sex marriage.

May 22, 2015

People travel from as far as Abu Dhabi and Bangkok to have their say in today's Marriage Equality Referendum

Hundreds of Irish people are returning home to make their voices heard in today’s referendum on marriage equality.

Irish voting laws allow expats to vote in the referendum, as long as they are in the country on the day of the vote.

In order to not let go of their say, hundreds of people have made their way to Ireland over the last 24 hours – and they are using twitter to express their support.

May 19, 2015

A great place to kick-start your night out

The vibrant gay village in Brussels is centred around Rue du Marché au Charbon. Right in the heart of the action is Le Belgica.

A small, traditional-style bar, this is one of the favorites for locals.

Definitely a great place to kick-start your night out.

Gareth Johnson

May 18, 2015

Herman Kelly, a communications director at the eurosceptic group Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy – who works largely with UKIP MEPs and Nigel Farage – posts anti-gay parenting rant on Twitter

Director of Amnesty International Ireland Colm O’Gorman was embroiled in a vitriolic Twitter spat with Director of Communications for EFDD Group (Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy) Hermann Kelly this evening, as Kelly posted a series of anti-gay parenting messages.

The EFDD is a Eurosceptic grouping within the European Parliament. Just under half of its 47 members are UKIP MEPs, and its co-President is Nigel Farage.

May 18, 2015

A beautiful city that is embracing its past and creating its own future

In the heart of Belgium you will find the city of Mons. Crowned as the European Capital of Culture for 2015, if you ever needed a nudge to visit this part of the world then this is it.

May 18, 2015

Politicians oppose it as LGBTI activists are encouraging people to attend

Only 2.5% of Latvians support EuroPride happening in Riga.

The European LGBTI rights festival is taking place across 15-21 June in the centre of the capital, but fears are rising over safety and the possibility of violence.

Riga won the right to hold EuroPride after Barcelona, Milan and Manchester.

Riga's Vice Mayor Andris Ameriks has also insisted the event should not happen, even though there is nothing the City Council can do to stop it.

He described it as a 'pretentious demonstration of oneself, which does not promote understanding.'

May 17, 2015

80,000 turn out for climactic day of Belgian Pride

There are lots of reasons to visit Brussels – its architecture; its restaurants; its nightlife – but for this visit I was here to experience Belgian Pride 2015, the LGBTI festival known as Pride.Be.

It was clear that the city was enthusiastically embracing the event. The facades of the stunning buildings that surround the Grand Place were awash with rainbow light projections, and there were rainbow flags and banners at every turn.

May 17, 2015

The ideal destination for cocktails and cabaret

In the heart of the gay village in Brussels you will find La Boule Rouge on Rue des Pierres.

This is a large bar that hosts regular cabaret shows that attract a loyal following.

We were there on a Thurday night, we drank cherry beer, and sang and danced with LaDiva Live – a drag queen who sings live (and sings well).

A great night out.

May 17, 2015

Deva Özenen could become the country's first transgender MP in the election next month

The Turkish parliament could soon be home to the country’s first transgender MP.

Deva Özenen, the candidate for the recently founded progressive nationalist party, could be making history if she wins the election on 7 June; she is running as one of four LGBTI candidates standing for election in the whole of Turkey.

Her goal is to fight the growing discrimination the Turkish LGBTI community face amidst the country’s growing conservatism and wants to give her voice to the growing equal rights movement.

May 15, 2015

Unsurprisingly, Uganda is at the bottom of the list

Iceland has topped the first Gay Happiness Index with a score of 79 out of 100.

Gay dating network PlanetRomeo ranked countries on three criteria: public opinion, public behavior and life satisfaction.

Three other Nordic countries rounded off the top four – Norway (77), Denmark (76) and Sweden (73) – followed by Uruguay (73), Canada (72) and Israel (71).

May 15, 2015

Xavier Bettel is only the second worldwide leader to marry someone of the same sex

Xavier Bettel, the Prime Minister of Luxembourg, is marrying his partner today (15 May).

He is the first European Union leader, and only the second leader worldwide, to marry someone of the same sex.

Bettel and his partner Gauthier Destenay are set to marry in a private ceremony at Luxembourg's City Hall. Only friends and family are invited, with no press or photographers allowed.

Writing on his Twitter, Bettel said: 'Thank you for your kind messages. We just have one life, live it.'

May 15, 2015

The country's second largest city after Lisbon proves the perfect base for exploring this wine-drenched region. Honey and orange peel-flavoured Port, anyone?

'Would you like to go to Porto for a weekend?' This is a question I've been waiting to hear for years.

Having travelled around Portugal several times, I had never visited the north. The sunny south of the country had always been my first choice but there was something in Porto which was calling me, like the chant of a mermaid.
    

May 14, 2015

The Latvian capital will be playing host to the country's first Pride event in three years and the first Europride to take place in a former Soviet state

It’s not often that you get the chance to be part of history, but that’s exactly what you will be doing if book a trip to Riga, the capital city of Latvia, for the third week in June.

Between 15-21 June, the city will be playing host to this year’s Europride festival, with a Pride parade and park festival taking place Saturday 20 June.

May 14, 2015

The Latvian capital will be playing host to the country's first Pride event in three years and the first Europride to take place in a former Soviet state

It’s not often that you get the chance to be part of history, but that’s exactly what you will be doing if book a trip to Riga, the capital city of Latvia, for the third week in June.

Between 15-21 June, the city will be playing host to this year’s Europride festival, with a Pride parade and park festival taking place Saturday 20 June.

May 13, 2015

Heading to the capital of Latvia? Add these things to your ‘to-do’ list…

Never made a trip to the Baltics? Latvian capital Riga will be the host for this year’s Europride festival in summer (15-22 June 2015) – which is reason enough alone to think about paying the city a visit.

Whether you venture there for that or at another time of year, here are 14 things to see, sample or experience…

May 13, 2015

Heading to the capital of Latvia? Add these things to your ‘to-do’ list…

Never made a trip to the Baltics? Latvian capital Riga will be the host for this year’s Europride festival in summer (15-22 June 2015) – which is reason enough alone to think about paying the city a visit.

Whether you venture there for that or at another time of year, here are 14 things to see, sample or experience…

May 12, 2015

'Welcome to Sweden. Gay since 1944'

Sweden is using gay 'propaganda' to repel Russian submarines.

The Swedish Peace and Arbitration Society (SPAS) installed the Singing Sailor defense system east of Stockholm on 27 April.

The subsurface sonar system sends out the Morse code: 'This way if you're gay.'

It also features a neon sign of a sailor waving a white flag above the text: 'Welcome to Sweden. Gay since 1944' – the year Sweden legalized gay sex.

May 12, 2015

Luxury villas and VIP treatment, if you can this is an amazing way to spend time on this Spanish island

I am really glad that I can still remember my trip to Ibiza.

To be perfectly honest, when I set off to the Spanish island for three days, I was fully expecting to have that first sip of vodka and then as I’d get on the plane back home 72 hours later I’d get sudden memory flashes of sun, dance music, and inevitable regret.

But I was being treated to a five star experience. This wasn’t any old trip to San Antonio along with the beach-sleepers and Inbetweeners, this was unforgettable.

May 11, 2015

'He has turned down requests from celebrity magazines to cover the event'

Luxembourg's openly gay Prime Minister, Xavier Bettel, will marry his partner later this week, according to sources.

Bettel has kept tight-lipped about his wedding plans in order to minimize press coverage in the conservative Catholic-majority duchy, which legalized gay marriage in June.

May 10, 2015

Scotland leaves the rest of the UK and Europe behind while Azerbaijan scores even lower than Russia when it comes to LGBTI equality and human rights

Scotland has been named the most progressive country in Europe when it comes to LGBTI equality.

Following the legalization of same-sex marriage and because of its more progressive policies on intersex equality, ILGA-Europe’s Rainbow Europe Index 2015 places Scotland ahead of the rest of the UK and Europe on LGBTI equality and human rights legislation.