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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

Organizers insist on holding 'some kind of action' on 30 May, despite Moscow police dispersing any attempts at public meetings

Moscow Pride will be banned again this year, Moscow town hall announced on Thursday.

‘We have warned the organisers that the demonstration will not be authorised,’ news agency Ria Novosti quoted Alexey Mayorov, acting as the mayoral spokesperson.

According to French news agency AFP, he has also warned the organizers of the risks they take should they ignore the ban.

May 18, 2015

GSN speaks to artists from across Europe as they spread LGBTI love

Huge crowds watched as artists from 40 participating countries walked the red carpet for the opening ceremony of the Eurovision Song Contest yesterday.

They were entertained by a live orchestra as they saw the stars arrive, including last year's winner Conchita Wurst, at the Rathaus in Vienna, Austria.

Gay Star News was there and talked to the most fabulous performers as they arrived at the star-studded event.

Artists send a message of peace, love and hope to the LGBTI community through song. Yes, even from Russia.

May 17, 2015

Conchita, Dana and all the LGBTI Eurovision heroes

As Austria welcomes everyone to Vienna to celebrate 60 years of the Eurovision Song Contest, we take a look back at some of the LGBT stars who have made Eurovision what it is today.

1 CONCHITA WURST

Undoubtedly the biggest success of recent times was the 2014 winner Conchita Wurst of Austria.

Against a backdrop of vicious verbal attacks from several East European countries, Conchita stormed to victory in Copenhagen receiving maximum points from 13 countries and even points from voters in Russia, Albania and Azerbaijan.

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

New bill would close loophole that allowed trans woman to wed her girlfriend

Russian lawmakers Tuesday (12 May) introduced a bill to ban transgender people from getting married.

Gay marriage is already banned in the country. But the proposed amendment to the family code would prohibit marriage between 'persons of the same gender (as identified at birth), including in cases of gender change, either before the marriage or at the moment of marriage.'

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 11, 2015

As IDAHOT approaches, Ugandan gay rights activist Tony Kitara reflects on the past, present and future of homophobia in his country

I am a gay man from an endemic homophobic nation - Uganda.

In order to 'fit' in society, I had to conceal my sexuality from a very young age. There's a lot of stigma in the general population, often characterised by familial rejection, violence, blackmail, mental torture, physical torture. Therefore, I work for the social justice and liberation of the LGBTI community in my country.

May 3, 2015

Police prevents anti-gay legislator Vitaly Milonov and his supporters from blocking the gay contingent

A gay rights contingent prominently marched alongside 90,000 other activists in a massive rally on Labor Day along Nevsky Prospect, St Petersberg's main street.

The state-funded RT news site noted that the marchers were from all colors of the political spectrum, from the ruling United Russia party to Communists and various small opposition groups.

April 30, 2015

Many were annoyed, but not THAT annoyed

When people woke up to find their iTunes had 'gifted' them a U2 album, many were annoyed.

But one Russian lawmaker is on a mission to stop Apple from ever doing anything similar again, claiming the company was distributing 'gay propaganda' to minors.

Alexander Starovoitov, a member of the right-wing LDPR party, said youths were 'corrupted' after they received U2's new album Songs Of Innocence in September 2014.

April 29, 2015

St Petersburg MP Vitaly Milonov vowed to avoid more 'ugly insults to millions of Russian families in the future'

Russia will shut down a registry office after it gave a gay couple a marriage license.

The Palace of Marriages on the Griboyedov Canal in St Petersburg, where one of the first ever gay couples married in the country, will have to close on 1 September of this year.

Last November, Alyona Fursova and Irina Shumilova arrived at the registry both wearing white wedding dresses and carrying bouqets.

April 14, 2015

'If Vladimir Putin can ride shirtless on a horse then I think we can hold hands'

Engaged couple Jared Milrad and Nathan Johnson were thrilled to be among the Americans featured in the official video kicking off Hillary Clinton's campaign for president.

But the couple, together since 2008, were not thrilled when they found out they are the reason why the video has been slapped with a warning label in Russia.

Russia's Dozhd TV channel put an age 18 and over label on the video because of Russia's anti-gay propaganda law which makes it illegal to 'promote' homosexuality to anyone under 18.

April 13, 2015

Looking to travel abroad for surrogacy? Mark Heppinstall, of family law solicitors, Irwin Mitchell, explains the options for UK parents

Surrogacy arrangements are becoming ever more popular.

Although official statistics remain hard to come by, recent research suggests that people from the UK are statistically the most likely of our European counterparts to enter into commercial surrogacy arrangements abroad.

The legal position varies widely from country to country and there is little consistency across different legal jurisdictions.

March 14, 2015

The gay-friendly furniture giant says some articles in its Ikea Family Live magazine could be viewed in Russia as gay 'propaganda'

Swedish furniture giant Ikea has announced the closure of the Russian edition of its Family Live magazine to avoid violating the country's anti-gay propaganda law, the BBC reports.

March 3, 2015

Russia is furious that United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon ordered that all UN employees in legally recognized relationships should have equal partner benefits regardless of where they are working

The Russian Government has warned it may intervene at the United Nations to stop gay and lesbian employees of the UN receiving equal partner benefits regardless of the laws of the country they are working in.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon issued an administrative order in June last year so that all UN employees who were in relationships that had been legally recognized by a member state could receive equal benefits no matter where they were working.

February 27, 2015

The men claim they stabbed the man after he sexually propositioned them

Two men have been arrested near Saint Petersburg, Russia, over the murder of a gay man. 

The body of a 38-year-old man who had been stabbed 26 times was found on Monday night in a town in the Vsevolozhsk region of Russia. 

Police have arrested two men – aged 20 and 21 – this week in connection with the murder, which officials believe took place following a heavy night of drinking. 

February 27, 2015

The club's management are being investigated after an anti-LGBTI group sent complaints about them to the local prosecutor's office

A lesbian nightclub in Russia is under investigation after a picture of its owner kissing another woman went viral.

Last month, the owner of the club, only identified as Kseniya, and her partner were sat in front of St Petersburg lawmaker Vitaly Milonov on an Aeroflot flight from Moscow.

Milonov, an outspoken critic of gay rights, was instrumental in the creation of Russia's infamous anti-gay propaganda law. 

February 17, 2015

Scott Lively is currently on trial for crimes against humanity

Abiding Truth Ministries pastor and author of The Pink Swastika, Scott Lively, is upset that the media label him ‘anti-gay’ because of his years of actively campaigning against the rights of LGBTI people.

Lively is currently being sued in the US Federal Court by Ugandan LGBTI activists over his role in convincing Ugandans to pass strict laws further criminalizing gays and lesbians and he has praised Russian leader Vladimir Putin over his regime’s laws against so-called ‘homosexual propaganda.’

February 12, 2015

A colleague's offensive comments on gays prompted the actor to reveal his sexuality 

The American star of a hit Russian sitcom has risked his career by coming out as gay.

Odin Biron stars as Phil, an American doctor trying to negotiate his life in Russia, in one of the country's most popular TV programmes, a medical sitcon somewhat similar to Scrubs called Interns.

The actor, born and raised in Minnesota, has been the shows’s star for the past four years and felt the need to come out after his co-star, Ivan Okhlobystin, made offensive comments.  

February 12, 2015

'A modern-day Romeo and Juliet story'

This is a picture of Jon and Alex, a gay couple in Russia during a quiet moment.

And this incredibly initmate and atmospheric image won the World Press Photo of the Year 2014 today (12 February).

Photographed by Danish photographer Mads Nissen, it is part of a larger project called Homophobia In Russia highlighting what life is like for the LGBTI community under anti-gay laws.

February 8, 2015

Gay singer has recently pledged to do more to help LGBTI rights

Sam Smith has said he will never perform in Russia over its anti-gay laws.

The gay British singer said he would boycott any concert or gig in Russia because of the country's treatment of LGBTI people.

It comes as fellow British singer Robbie Williams could get fined for performing in St Petersburg in April after he made a joke that he was '49% gay'.

February 6, 2015

Anti-LGBTI activists have held a rally in Bishkek where they claimed gay people were linked to pedophiles as lawmakers prepare to debate the controversial piece of legislation again

A controversial bill that would ban ‘homosexual propaganda’ will be debated by the Kyrgyzstan parliament before the end of the month in the latest step in the former Soviet Central Asian nation to pass a similar law to the one passed by Russia in 2013.

The Kyrgyz bill would see people imprisoned for up to a year for disseminating ‘propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations,’ including journalists who cover LGBTI issues in a positive light.

February 5, 2015

The London-based singer shares her travel stories with Gay Star News

Born in Zambia, Rozalla Miller began pursuing a musical career when she moved to Zimbabwe as a teenager.

It was 1991 when Rozalla stormed the world's music charts with her massive hit 'Everybody's Free'.

'Everybody's Free' has become a dance anthem, remixed and re-released on a regular basis across the decades.

Now living in London, Rozalla continues to make music and continues to tour and perform around the world.

We caught up with her recently to share some feel-good travel stories. 

February 3, 2015

Author of the country's gay 'propaganda' law hides behind his tablet

Photos of two lesbian activists kissing in front of the author of Russia's gay 'propaganda' law have gone viral in the country after they were posted on social media Sunday (1 February).

One of the women, only identified as Kseniya, explained that they were sat in front of St Petersburg lawmaker Vitaly Milonov on an Aeroflot flight from Moscow.

'Who’s that in the background??? MILONOV! And we don’t give a fuck! We’re flying to our favorite club, Infinity,' she wrote on Instagram, referring to the lesbian club she heads.