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February 11, 2015

In a special event to mark LGBT History Month, author Peter Dobson discussed his new biography of one of London's iconic gay artists.

Stepney, in the London borough of Tower Hamlets, is perhaps not an obvious place to be marking LGBT History Month, but this is the neighbourhood where Cornelius McCarthy lived and worked.

Born in Stepney in 1935, McCarthy grew up here in East London. Although he travelled extensively and eventually moved to East Anglia, it was clear that he never forgot his links with Stepney, it's historic buildings, and its people.

February 11, 2015

Highest appeals court denies that gay couples have the right to get married

Italy's highest appeals court has rejected same-sex marriage.

The Cassation Court has said there is nothing in the Constitution that requires the government to extend marriage rights to LGBTI people.

However, it did say same-sex couples should have the same rights as unmarried Italian opposite-sex couples.

The Constitution states: 'All citizens have equal social dignity and are equal before the law, without distinction of sex, race, language, religion, political opinion, personal and social conditions.'

February 9, 2015

You'll always have Paris – so what about somewhere else?

Paris, Venice, Rome – the list of archetypal romantic locations is well-worn. This year, why not treat your loved one to something a little different? 

From Scotland to Sweden, we count down seven of the world's most surprisingly romantic getaways, for Valentine's Day and beyond…

February 2, 2015

A poll has revealed that although most Italians now support civil unions, many remain opposed to gay marriage or adoption – while being in favor of legalizing prostitution

A public poll carried out in Italy has found that opposition to same-sex marriage has risen in the past 12 months and that many in the country remain opposed to the idea of gay adoption, reports ANSA.

January 29, 2015

Mayor hopes the capital's example will lead to full marriage equality

Rome yesterday (January 28) recognized gay civil unions by approving the establishment of a civil union register for same-sex couples.

The city council voted in an amendment saying that gay marriages contracted abroad are to be automatically transcribed into the newly created register.

Mayor Ignazio Marino hailed the controversial move a 'historic milestone' and thanked all the councilors who voted for the registry.

January 21, 2015

Travel search site's new guides also encompass Barcelona, Berlin and New York

Travel search site momondo.co.uk has launched a new series of comprehensive city guides for iPhone users – that are completely free to download and use.

Following on from momondo's popular iPad app, the guides will encompass 11 cities around the world: Amsterdam, Bangkok, Berlin, Barcelona, Copenhagen, Lisbon, London, New York, Paris and Rome, with more cities to be added throughout the year.

January 9, 2015

Proposal was made in Rome

Michael Sam is engaged to his long-term boyfriend Vito Cammisano – the man he famously kissed when he became the first openly gay footballer to be drafted into the NFL.

The proposal was made in Rome, a source confirmed to Page Six, but it is unclear who popped the question.

Sam, 25, and swimmer Cammisano have been traveling in Europe since December 30, ringing in the new year in Spain and seeing the sights in Italy.

In an Oprah special aired last month, Cammisano said their relationship was just like anyone else's.

December 24, 2014

From art to architecture, Germany's oldest large town packs a cultural punch

At this time of year, the crowds come to Cologne mainly for the Chocolate Museum and for its Christmas markets – but there’s so much more to discover on the Rhine river.

A gentle city where lovers leave their love locks on a bridge and Cologne Cathedral (a World Heritage Site) makes you dream of ancient times, Cologne is also a city with some of the best museums in Germany. Meanwhile hipster and indie areas like the Belgian Quarter demonstrate how far Germany has evolved from lederhosen, sausage and beer stereotypes.

December 9, 2014

Also says same-sex marriage has 'not crossed our minds'

Pope Francis says the Catholic Church must help parents faced with the 'somewhat unusual situation' of having gay children

He wants the parents to stand by those children but as far as those children growing up and being able to marry someone of the same sex, the Pope says that's not something church leaders have even discussed.

November 14, 2014

Another senior figure in the church has lashed out at gay people who wish to marry and start families

A Catholic Cardinal in Italy has said this week that gay couples that wish to have children are undermining traditional families and are ‘irresponsible’.

Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, who is the Archbishop of Genoa and the President of the Italian Bishops Conference, is regarded as a senior figure in the church.

Addressing a meeting of Italian bishops in Umbria on Monday, he spoke out against same-sex civil unions, saying that they ‘confuse people’, especially if children are involved.

‘It is irresponsible to weaken the family by creating new forms.’

October 19, 2014

Mayor Ignazio Marino on Saturday performed the first ever ceremony of its kind at the city hall in the Italian capital sparking anger from the interior minister and the Roman Catholic Church

On the same day bishops in the Roman Catholic Church voted (118 to 62) to remove language that was earlier hailed as a historic warming of attitudes towards gay people, the mayor of Rome transcribed 16 same-sex couples’ marriages onto the city’s registers on Saturday although the predominantly Catholic country does not allow for the recognition of such unions.

The 11 male and six female couples were legally married abroad.

October 18, 2014

'Personally I would have been very worried and saddened if there hadn't been these ... animated discussions ... or if everyone had been in agreement or silent in a false and acquiescent peace'

Catholic bishops failed to pass paragraphs supporting a more tolerant attitude toward gays.

Senior church officials were in Rome for the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the Family. The softer stance toward LGBTI Catholics could not gain the required two-thirds majority to pass.

October 14, 2014

Church does not want to create 'the impression of a positive evaluation' of same-sex relationships

The Vatican has backtracked a bit on a document leaked this week which stated that a gay Catholics' orientation should be 'valued' and that they have 'gifts and qualities' to offer parishes.'

The interim report from the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the Family in Rome also stated that same-sex couples can give 'precious support' to one other.

October 11, 2014

US Cardinal Raymond Burke’s comments came in an interview during the Pope’s Synod of the Family in Rome, in which he also commented on the ‘aggressiveness of the homosexual agenda’

A leading Vatican cardinal has given an interview in which he says parents should not allow their children to have contact with gay people who engage in ‘wrong, evil’ and ‘intrinsically disordered’ relationships.

Cardinal Raymond Burke’s comments come during Pope Francis’ Synod of the Family in Rome, in which senior catholic figures have gathered from around the world to discuss family issues, including same-sex marriage.

October 2, 2014

Horseback rides, foodie markets and private wine cellar parties are just a few ways Winerist takes wine tasting to the next level

The only thing more delicious than wine, is pairing a wine tasting experience with local food and culture from the region.

Whether you’re into deep, robust reds or sparkling bubbles, wine tasting should be a fun and approachable experience.

Winerist, founded by two wine-loving women from Moldova, elevates the wine-tasting experience by putting guests in the hands of the coolest wine-related guides, restaurants and hotels, and putting together exciting packages for oenophiles (aka lovers of wine).

September 24, 2014

Sushant Divgikar is a housemate in the country's version of Big Brother

Mr Gay India has said he hopes to change perceptions of LGBTI people while on the country's biggest reality TV show.

Bigg Boss is the Indian version of Big Brother and always has a representative from the LGBTI community.

Model Sushant Divgikar placed in the top 10 at this year's Mr Gay World in Rome.

He told the Indo-Asian News Service before entering the house, 'I think I can sensitize the people about my community by being the face of LGBT community in Bigg Boss.'

September 15, 2014

Leader of the Catholic Church has married 20 'modern' couples. While they were all straight, it could still signify a change

Pope Francis has redefined marriage within the Catholic Church, blessing 20 couples at the Vatican that would have been banned under previous doctrine.

He welcomed 40 people from different social backgrounds, including a man about to enter into his second marriage and a woman with a daughter from a previous relationship, to St Peter's Basilica in Rome yesterday (14 September).

The mother, Gabriella Improta, said she did not feel 'worthy or able to meet the requirements of a good Catholic couple'.

September 1, 2014

Oliviero Toscani – the photographer responsible for some of the controversial Benetton advertising images in the 80s and 90s – has threatened to take action over a political party misappropriating one of his images

A famed Italian photographer has reacted with anger after a right-wing political party in Italy used one of his photos, without his permission, to condemn the concept of gay couples adopting children.

August 31, 2014

Stuart Hatton Jr, from the UK, was announced as Mr Gay World last night

The search for Mr Gay World came to an end last night when one lucky man was chosen for the award.

Stuart Hatton Jr, from the UK, took the title at the ceremony in Rome, Italy.

Hatton Jr, from South Shields, wrote a jubilant status on Facebook after his win.

‘I WON MR GAY WORLD!!!’ he wrote.

‘I am still in a complete daze about it and overwhelmed. But this is just the BEGINNING. Now it's time to show the world what we as a global gay community are made of.

August 30, 2014

A court in Rome has approved the step-child adoption of a girl by the female partner of her biological mother

For the first time in Italian history, a court has granted permission for the adoption of a child living with a gay couple. The child is the biological daughter of one of the women, and her partner has been allowed to legally become her co-parent through adoption.

The couple have been living together in Rome since 2003, and the decision was taken by the city’s Juvenile Court. It’s believed that the child was conceived through IVF treatment abroad – where the couple also underwent a marriage ceremony.

August 1, 2014

Sushant Divgikar will represent India at the Mr Gay World competition in Rome this month, becoming only the second Indian to take part in the pageant

24-year-old model and psychology masters degree holder Sushant Divgikar has been named Mr Gay India and will represent his homeland at the 2014 Mr Gay World pageant in Rome this year.

Divgikar was named Mr Gay India on 13 July and on top of counseling young LGBTIs he also hosts a show on the UTV Bindass channel.

Divgikar wanted to compete in the competition last year but was still finishing his degree.

But after applying to become Mr Gay India 2014 he received a call from Mr Gay India 2013 Nolan Lewis telling him he’d won the role.

June 30, 2014

Thousands responded to homophobic attacks and gay suicides in Rome by holding one of the biggest Prides in the city ever

A gang is being accused of throwing faeces at the office of a gay charity in Rome, while shouting death threats against people inside.

Di Gay Project (DGP) in southern Rome was attacked last week, with the crime being reported on Friday.

According to Corriere della Sera, the mob threw excrement and other items, such as wooden boxes and vegetables, at the organization’s office.

Members of the gang, estimated to be aged between 15 and 40, also shouted threats.

June 12, 2014

Alessandra Bernaroli, a banker, says she and her wife deserve to continue their happy marriage of nine years

A trans woman is challenging Italy’s refusal to allow her to stay married to her wife.

Alessandra Bernaroli, a banker, says she and her wife deserve to continue their happy marriage of nine years.

Her wife, also named Alessandra, wishes to remain married.

The Bernarolis, from Bologna in northern Italy, took the case to the courts after their local council ruled they could no longer be identified as married when they tried to renew their identity cards.

The Constitutional Court in Rome will decide on the case this week.

June 9, 2014

200,000 people took to the streets of the Italian capital on Saturday to demand that lawmakers provide the means for same-sex couples to formally register their relationships with the state

200,000 marchers took to the streets of Rome on Saturday to call for Italian lawmakers to finally pass legislation to create civil unions for same-sex couples.

Several civil union bills have been introduced in the Italian Parliament over the last two decades but none has been passed despite a 2010 Italian Constitutional Court ruling that committed same-sex relationships are a ‘legitimate social formation, similar to and deserving homogeneous treatment as marriage.’