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January 15, 2015

Health Ministry advises driving bans will only be given out in extreme conditions

Russia will allow trans people to drive.

Following a legal decree saying all people who suffer from a 'mental disorder' should stay off the road, a government official has said being trans is not enough of a 'disability'.

Last week, the government announced that anyone suffering from a 'sex disorder' would be ordered to give up their driving license.

January 15, 2015

Finnish Olympian Ari-Pekka Liukkonen came out publicly as gay in February of 2014 at the height of his career to protest the treatment of LGBTI people in Russia and he has now been named Sports Role Model of the Year

Finland has recognized its most prominent openly gay athlete as a national sporting role model during an annual sports gala recognizing the best sporting achievements for 2014.

25-year-old Finnish swimmer Ari-Pekka Liukkonen came out as gay in February to protest the treatment of LGBTI people in Russia ahead of the Sochi Winter Olympics in what many said was a brave mood for an athlete at the top of their career.

January 11, 2015

Warns that the ban 'risks exacerbating an already hostile climate against LGBTI in Russia', calls for immediate removal of ban

The Council of Europe's human rights commissioner, Nils Muiznieks, has criticized Russia's new law on road safety that prohibits transgender people from obtaining a driver's license to be 'ridiculous' and 'unlawful'.

January 9, 2015

Erasure frontman on his travel heaven and hell – from sexy skiing holidays to being robbed in the Canaries...

What's been the most random destination you've visited?
I would have to say Japan but it was a long time ago. It's bizarre not being able to read or write or ask for directions to anywhere.

Where has been your best holiday and why?
My best holiday is just going to my house in Mallorca and chilling. Whenever I'm in Tampa, it's always very laid back and the food is great.

January 8, 2015

Listed among the 'mental disorders' that also include fetishism, exhibitionism, compulsive gambling and stealing

Russia has banned transgender people from getting drivers licenses.

The government is blaming too many road accident for the move that lists being transgender as one of the 'mental disorders' that should prevent people from driving.

Other 'disorders' include fetishism, exhibitionism, voyeurism, compulsive stealing, and 'pathological' gambling, according to the BBC.

January 5, 2015

One was treated at hospital for his injuries

A group of Russian thugs stormed a gay club on 3 January, injuring several people there on a night out.

The unknown number of men bypassed the security at Fantom in Togliatti, a city in southwestern Russia.

At least one of the customers was hospitalized with serious injuries, local media reports, with at least three recieving medical care after being attacked.

Police say they currently have no suspects.

Konstantin Golava, a local gay activist, demanded a full investigation into the crime and to finally bring homophobic thugs to justice.

December 19, 2014

'If I were to go, I would possibly be imprisoned or beat up or stoned to death'

Openly gay footballer Robbie Rogers has slammed FIFA for its ‘insane’ decision to stage the next two World Cups in Russia and Qatar.

The LA Galaxy midfielder Thursday (17 December) said the decision put gay players and fans at risk if they traveled to the two countries for the competitions in 2018 and 2022.

'I would never pressure anyone into speaking about the issue but it is absolutely insane,' he told Sky Sports.

December 16, 2014

'We found 20 teenagers there that were practically having sex on the stage'

A notoriously homophobic lawmaker raided a gay club in St Petersburg on Saturday night after complaints from parents that their underage children were 'trapped' in the venue.

Vitaly Milonov stormed a fetish party at Central Station club with a film crew from a local news site, the Moscow Times reported.

December 16, 2014

This happened in February, and the effects are still being felt today

The Sochi Winter Olympics 2014 will go down in history as the event that made gay rights not just an issue to discuss, but the center of a civil rights firestorm.

Even though it happened in February, the reverberations of the protests are still being felt as we reach the end of the year.

December 14, 2014

‘The Olympic Committee had a huge responsibility in Sochi and they didn't stand up for human rights,’ says Anja Paerson

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has been slammed for not supporting and defending LGBTI athletes.

Swedish skier Anja Paerson made the comments when reflecting on the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia in which many gay athletes and spectators did not feel safe in the wake of the Russian ‘gay propaganda’ law.

Paerson, who is now retired, felt the IOC did not do enough to stand up for gay athletes.

December 12, 2014

Take Me To Church has been streamed more than 87 million times

A protest song against Russia's 'gay propaganda' laws is Spotify's most streamed single in 2014.

Take Me To Church by Irish singer Hozier has had more than 87 million streams to date on the music platform.

Also nominated for Song of the Year at the Grammys, the gay rights anthem has also logged more than 40 million views for the video version on YouTube.

The video shows a young gay couple fleeing an angry mob in Russia.

December 10, 2014

App's Best of 2014 Awards find Clinton 'Straight Ally of the Year' and Vladimir Putin 'Enemy of the LGBT Community'

Hillary Clinton has not yet formally announced her candidacy for President of the United States but she can already count on one block of voters.

Grindr users voted the former Secretary of State, US Senator and First Lady the 'Straight Ally of the Year' in the app's third annual Best of Awards.

In contrast to the support Clinton received, Russian President Vladimir Putin was voted 'Enemy of the LGBT Community' - no doubt for his championing of Russia's anti-gay propaganda law.

December 8, 2014

New rules imply that any host city will have to prove they do not actively discriminate against gay people

The Olympics has taken a huge step forward in protecting gay rights.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) approved Proposal 14 of the Olympic Agenda 2020 to include non-discrimination with regard to sexual orientation in Principle 6 at a vote in Monaco today (8 December).

Principle 6 originally read: 'Any form of discrimination with regard to a country or a person on grounds of race, religion, politics, gender or otherwise is incompatible with belonging to the Olympic Movement.'

December 8, 2014

First time in a decade Nikolay Alexeyev is compensated for his activism

A prominent LGBTI activist has been awarded a paltry $55 in damages after the west Russian city of Kostroma banned a pride parade he organized and two protests against the country's anti-gay law.

A district court Wednesday (3 November) ordered local authorities pay 3,000 rubles ($55) in moral damages to Nikolai Alexeyev, the first time in a decade of activism he has been compensated for moral damages.

December 5, 2014

Russian leader was forced to defend his anti-gay laws in front of the Human Rights Council

President Vladimir Putin has claimed Russia is not homophobic, saying the rest of the world has merely branded the country that way.

The Russian leader has claimed other countries, such as the US, is actually far more homophobic.

He was forced to defend his anti-gay laws, the 'gay propaganda' law and the ban on people from countries with same-sex marriage adopting Russian children. Putin was speaking with representatives of the Human Rights Council and the Commissioner for Human Rights in Russia today (5 December).

December 4, 2014

Was part of silver medal winning team at this year's Olympic Games in Sochi

Canadian figure skater Eric Radford has come out publicly as a gay man.

Radford was part of the team that won the silver medal at the Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia this year.

He and partner Meagan Duhamel a three-time defending Canadian champions in pairs skating and have won bronze at the World Championships the past two years.

Radford had seriously considered coming out before competing in Sochi. It would have been a tremendously bold statement because of Russia's anti-gay propaganda law which had been getting worldwide attention.

December 2, 2014

22-year-old says it’s a call to action for LGBTIs in Eastern Europe

An actor has stripped off to fight homophobia and save an LGBTI Lithuanian movie project.

He hopes You Can’t Escape Lithuania, a queer road movie, will challenge prejudice in the country which has a Protection of Minors law, similar to Russia’s anti-gay propaganda legislation.

November 28, 2014

Vitaly Cherkasov was accosted by a group of men after leaving a courthouse where he had been defending activist Kirill Kalugin

The Moscow Times reports that a human rights lawyer has been attacked whilst leaving a St. Petersburg court.

The lawyer, Vitaly Cherkasov, was employed to defend an LGBT activist and says that one of his assailants is the aide to a local anti-gay lawmaker.

November 28, 2014

Vitaly Cherkasov was accosted by a group of men after leaving a courthouse where he had been defending activist Kirill Kalugin

The Moscow Times reports that a human rights lawyer has been attacked whilst leaving a St. Petersburg court.

The lawyer, Vitaly Cherkasov, was employed to defend an LGBT activist and says that one of his assailants is the aide to a local anti-gay lawmaker.

November 18, 2014

Recommendation comes after heavy criticism for holding 2014 Winter Games in Russia

International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach is recommending that sexual orientation become one of the protected classes listed in the non-discrimination policy of the Olympic Charter.

The IOC underwent heavy criticism for many months leading up to the Sochi Olympics this year because they were held in Russia, a country that has an anti-gay propaganda law.

The policy would be part of Principle 6 of the charter. The proposal will be considered at the full IOC meeting in Monaco on 8 December.

November 18, 2014

'When I think of Russia I think of the secret gay house parties I have been to kissing boys drunk on vodka and caviar'

Transgender rapper Mykki Blanco has penned a love letter to Russia after she was forced to change venue due to a police raid.

Police closed the Solyanka club in Moscow on Friday (14 November), hours before she was scheduled to perform there.

Fans speculated that Blanco had fallen foul of Russia's gay 'propaganda' law but she said the timing was coincidental.

Blanco is the transgender stage persona of Michael Quattlebaum Jr but he identifies as a gay man.

November 14, 2014

Transgender woman married her girlfriend last week

Russian lawmaker Vitaly Milonov is preparing a bill that would require brides and grooms to wear traditional attire after a transgender woman married her girlfriend in a dress last week.

Alyona Fursova and Irina Shumilova married at a St Petersburg registry last Friday both wearing white wedding dresses and carrying bouquets.

November 12, 2014

Maxim Martsinkevich, known as 'Machete', will now be out of jail in under three years

A man who lured gay teens to a home, tortured them and reportedly drove several to suicide will now be free in under three years.

Maxim Martsinkevich, the leader of the anti-LGBTI group Occupy Pedophilia, had his sentence in a labor camp reduced by over two years yesterday at Moscow City Court.

He was not jailed for pioneering the horrific videos in which gay teens are 'punished for their sins', which have been imitated by several others across the country, but for 'hooliganism'.

November 10, 2014

Statue was labled 'homosexual propaganda' after Jobs' successor, Tim Cook, came out publicly as gay

Elton John performed in St. Petersburg over the weekend and had a few things to say about the anti-propaganda laws that discriminate against LGBTI people in Russia.

John blasted the government for their recent removal of a statue of Apple founder Steve Jobs because his successor, Tim Cook, came out publicly as gay last month.