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Content about Geography of Europe

February 27, 2014

The capital of the Netherlands caters to all tastes, from the educational to the hedonistic

I wanted to get a taste for Amsterdam's wild side, so naturally the first thing I did was visit the red light district.

I went down a cramped alleyway and found a little bar with flashing arrow lights and went in. After paying a few euros to a towering bouncer, I timidly walked down the stairs into what looked like a dungeon. Once turning the corner I was pleasantly surprised to see a very rammed and lit-up bar, run by naked girls.

I could not complain. They were dressed in nothing but impressively high stilettos, strutting up and down the bar.

February 17, 2014

Leave convention behind with these two intimate weekend tours in Iceland full of adventure, comfort and rare sights. One tour is just for gay men and the other specifically for lesbian travelers

Iceland’s Kvosin Hotel in downtown Reykjavik calls their smallest room ‘normal’.

The queen-sized bed, Aveda grooming products and compact living room presented in eye-catching Icelandic design are anything but ordinary. Then again, for the foreign traveler, much of Iceland can seem anything but ordinary.

Whether you’re hunting for Northern Lights, pouring yourself into the milky warm waters of the Blue Lagoon or embracing Iceland’s distinctive nature through bird watching or glacier climbing, you’ll soon discover Iceland truly is out of this world.

February 17, 2014

Founder of GayMadeira.com Tobi Hughes shares his favorite spots for enjoying this idyllic island

For a small island, Madeira has some major claims to fame.

The smallest of three islands off Portugal’s coast holds the record title for the world’s biggest fireworks show.

Madeira is also home to (arguably) the world’s most attractive football player: Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Atlantic island with a Mediterranean climate is a short hour and a half flight from Lisbon, and with a reputation for world-renowned wines and out of this world landscapes, Madeira has plenty to offer the LGBTI traveler.

February 10, 2014

Rainbow Reykjavik, Iceland’s winter pride festival, lived up to its name by showing me Iceland’s gayer side of life

The whale’s penis is taller than me.

At 5’6” tall, I am living proof of the adage 'great things come in small packages,’ but standing next to the 5'7" whale penis I knew there was no adage that would save me from a few jokes.

Even the polar bear chained to one of Reykjavik’s most popular shops seemed to snicker at me as I struggled to take a selfie with him/her.

The Icelandic Phallological Museum isn’t specifically gay, but bring in the 65 gay men and lesbians attending Rainbow Reykjavik, and the puns are just too easy to pass up.

February 7, 2014

Russian police busy enforcing country's anti-gay propaganda law during Olympics - see video

At least 10 LGBTI activists were arrested in Moscow on Friday by Russian police as they sang and waved Rainbow Pride flags in a snow-covered Red Square to protest the country's anti-gay laws.

The group continued to sing the Russian national anthem and wave their flags as police struggled to put them into vehicles - at times dragging them.

The demonstration took place on the same day as opening ceremonies for the 2014 Winter Olympics were taking place in Sochi.

January 27, 2014

The Rainbow Flame will be light up Potsdamer Platz as a direct challenge to homophobic hatred in Russia and around the world

When the Olympic Flame is being lit during the opening ceremonies in Sochi on 7 February, another flame will light up the skies: The Rainbow Flame will keep burning for everyone to see during the entire two weeks of the Winter Games – right in the heart of Berlin, at Potsdamer Platz.

The German based LGBTI activist group Enough is Enough has already caused a most welcome worldwide havoc as they – in cooperation with Germany’s GQ magazine – started the much seen and applauded #mundpropaganda campaign.

January 13, 2014

With temperatures warmer than New York (thanks polar vortex), conditions ideal for Northern Lights and the fact you can swim outside everyday, rain or shine, Iceland is the place to go during the winter

Winter in Iceland means magical snowfalls and crisp breezes, but the season is also ideal for appreciating the country’s iconic waterfalls, geysers, hot springs to the fullest.

The rugged and novel geography make Iceland one of the most unique destinations to travel to, offering a beautifully serene respite in nature other tourist hot spots wish they could achieve.

December 18, 2013

The Danish city proves taking Christmas seriously need not be expensive or overbearing

December in London, and in other big cities I've been to, often feels like a suffocating vice grip to make you feel 'Christmassy'.

Songs are constantly wormed into your ear so you're sick of it, buying presents is like a court ordered service, and all of the parties and dinners feel like a never-ending battle to keep fit while simultaneously guzzling fizzy wine and munching on mince pies.

December 10, 2013

Rainbow Reykjavik turns up the heat in January with a Blue Lagoon pool party, a Golden Circle tour and a Masquerade Ball in celebration of the global LGBTI community

There’s a reason Lady Gaga, Yoko Ono and the producers of hit TV series Game of Thrones come to Iceland.

With its rugged terrain shaped by geothermal activity, progressive LGBTI laws like marriage and adoption thanks to the people’s emphasis on family, an internationally renowned pop/folk music scene claiming the likes of Bjork and Sigur Ros… Iceland is a world all it’s own.

December 6, 2013

National University of Ireland Galways has been attacked for not protecting the 'religious liberty' of students who wanted to cure their gay classmates

A Catholic group has been suspended from an Irish university over posters saying ‘I’m a child of God. Don’t call me gay.’

The National University of Ireland, in Galway (NUI Galway) suspended the Legion of Mary as a college society after they allegedly distributed the homophobic posters.

Up to 70 complaints were made against The Courage Community, a Legion of Mary linked group responsible for the posters pasted up in the university’s library.

November 27, 2013

A holiday discount at the chic Hotel Rival (owned by Benny Andersson of ABBA fame) is one of the many ways to enjoy the city’s best Christmas markets, designer shops and foodie stops

The style capital of Stockholm is one of the world’s most LGBTI friendly cities.

With Christmas markets galore, December is the perfect time to visit for holiday shopping and a spot of indulgence.

Stockholm is a beautiful city of 14 islands connected by bridges, and winter transforms the region into a true wonderland - the city takes on a romantic feel as the the water ices over around the city, announcing the season's arrival.

November 26, 2013

The mayor of Madrid has been accused of trying to destroy the city’s annual LGBTI pride week after the city fined the event’s organizer hundreds of thousands of dollars over noise code violations

The conservative Mayor of Madrid has been accused of trying to shut down Europe’s largest LGBTI pride event after the organizers of the Madrid Pride Week were slugged with noise code violation fines worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Ana Botella, the wife of former Spanish Prime Minister José María Aznar, passed a new public noise code in 2011 under which the event has been fined four years in a row, forcing organizers of the annual event to go to court to try to have them dismissed.

November 26, 2013

The LGBT event will attract 200,000 visitors to the Swedish capital

Stockholm was announced as the host of LGBT sporting event EuroGames in 2015 today (26 November).

More than 200,000 visitors are expected to flock to the Swedish capital for one of the biggest LGBT events in the world.

Held between 5-9 August 2015, the event will offer exhibitions, activities, attractions and lectures alongside its sporting events, many of which will be free.

‘Stockholm is known worldwide as an open, welcoming destination,’ Regina Kevius, Stockholm’s Sport Commissioner, said.

November 14, 2013

Gay Star News today announces (14 November 2013) our media partnership with Pink Icelandand Rainbow Reykjavik

Icelandair and Pink Iceland, with the support of the City of Reykjavik and Reykjavik Excursions are staging the 3rd annual Winter Pride Festival from 30 January – 2 February 2014 and we’re thrilled to be involved.

Rainbow Reykjavik offers a great mixture of nature, activities, culture, music and nightlife – what more could you ask for?

November 14, 2013

Luxembourg City mayor Xavier Bettel will become the world’s third openly gay or lesbian national leader after his Democratic Party did unexpectedly well in October elections

Luxembourg City mayor Xavier Bettel looks set to become the world’s third openly gay or lesbian national leader after he was picked to negotiate the next governing coalition by ruling monarch Grand Duke Henri.

Bettel’s centrist Democratic Party did unexpectedly well at elections last month, putting him in position to negotiate to form government in coalition with Luxembourg’s Greens and Socialists parties.

October 18, 2013

Gay Star News heads to Stockholm for Pride and wonders how a city so close to St Petersburg could be so different

It only takes an hour to fly from Stockholm in Sweden to St Petersburg in Russia, and the two countries couldn't be more different.

In one, sexuality is so free and open that public masturbation just became legal.

In the other, having a 'non-traditional' orientation can condemn you for life.

As I prepared to join the tens of thousands flocking to the Swedish capital for Pride back in August I began to realize why Stockholm could challenge for the right to call itself the LGBT capital of the world.

October 12, 2013

According to Russian news agencies, 67 people from both sides have been detained

A gay rights rally in St. Petersburg ended in scuffling.

According to the Associated Press, dozens of gay rights protestors were confronted by approximately 200 conservative and religious activists.

A fight broke out after one conservative activist ripped a rainbow flag out of the hands of a woman.

October 8, 2013

A 29-year-old was kidnapped from his boyfriend’s side, bundled into a car, put through religious rites to ‘cure’ him and found five days later in his family home

Four kidnappers took a young Serbian man from the home he shared with his gay partner, apparently on orders from his family.

MM, aged 29, was bound, put in a car, driven across the border into Montenegro and put through religious rites to ‘cure’ him of being gay.

He was held for a total of five days.

AA, aged 22, alleges a man came to the house where he lives with his boyfriend at 8am on 30 September – a Monday morning. His partner, MM, had already left for work.

October 8, 2013

The couple complains on TripAdvisor and their protest goes viral in Italy, where last week famous entrepreneur Guido Barilla expressed his anti-gay family views

A museum in Tuscany, Italy, has been labelled ‘homophobic’ after a gay couple with a young child were refused a family ticket.

The American couple, from Chicago, complained on TripAdvisor, the travel website, and now their protest has gone viral in Italy.

Last August the two men, with their child, went to the local Etruscan Museum in Volterra, central Tuscany.

They asked for a family ticket but the woman at the till shouted ‘A family is made of a man and a woman’.

October 1, 2013

Irish leader has written to the Gay Games organizers saying potential host city Limerick is a testament to the country's greenery and song

Prime Minister Enda Kenny has backed Ireland’s bid to host the Gay Games in 2018.

The Irish leader has written a letter to the Federation of Gay Games.

While Limerick is competing against Paris and London to host the athletic events, Kenny guaranteed a traditional welcome.

‘The beauty of Ireland’s lush green landscape has been immortalized in paint and in song and Limerick City and its surrounds are testament to that legacy,’ he said.

September 27, 2013

Organizers of Serbia’s Belgrade Pride won’t know until after 4pm today whether they will be allowed to march tomorrow for the first time in three years

Serbia’s Bureau for Coordination of Security Services will meet at 4pm today to decide whether Saturday’s Belgrade Pride march can go ahead.

Organizers say they have made all preparations for the march, but cannot rule out a last minute ban by the government which has been sending hot and cold signals about the event – which has been banned since 2010 after far right thugs rioted in the city, injuring 78 police officers.

August 11, 2013

As host of World Outgames the city of Antwerp proves a lively destination for the world’s LGBT sports teams

Destination: Antwerp. The largest city in Flanders in the heart of Europe.

I love the Eurostar service that connects the UK to mainland Europe. Getting to Antwerp was a breeze, from London St Pancras to Brussels and then an easy connection to Antwerp. There are plans in place to upgrade the fleet of Eurostar trains – personally I’d suggest power sockets at every seat and wifi throughout the train. And perhaps no children under 16 – is that selfish?

August 6, 2013

Lithuania’s Central Electoral Commission has blocked moves by LGBT rights foes to have voters decide whether so-called ‘homosexual propaganda’ should be banned like they are in Russia

The Lithuanian Central Electoral Commission on Monday refused registration for a group trying to institute a Russian style ban on so-called ‘homosexual propaganda,’ - blocking them from collecting signatures for a referendum.

The commissioners ruled five against registering the group, four in favor, with two commissioners abstaining.

The move to institute a ‘homosexual propaganda’ ban is being lead by Kaunas City Council member Gintautas Labanauskas and would ban, ‘any information related with propagation of homosexuality.’

July 24, 2013

Four Dutch citizens threatened, told the court will still charge them for 'propaganda' if police fix the 'adminstrative error'

Four Dutch tourists who were arrested for ‘gay propaganda’ in Russia are now banned for three years.

Despite being told they were free to go back to the Netherlands after being fined, the Russian Federal Migration Service has said they are blacklisted from the country.