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European Court Rules Transgender People Must Divorce for Gender Recognition in Many Countries

Thursday, July 17th, 2014

Europe MapIn a terribly disappointing ruling, the European Court of Human Rights says countries that do not have marriage equality laws can force transgender people to divorce before recognizing their gender, or prevent them from marrying.

Gay Star News reports:

Married trans people living in countries without same-sex marriage must divorce if they want their true gender recognized, the European Court of Human Rights has ruled. Heli Haemaelaeinen, a Finnish trans woman, lost her case yesterday (16 July). She was told she can only have her female gender recognized if she divorces her wife. The ECHR ruled there is no obligation on states without gay marriage laws to marry two people of the same gender if one of the partners is transgender. The couple, married in 1996 and have a 12-year-old child, wanted to stay together and be married.

Can you imagine being asked to make the choice between being identified as a man or a woman or being able to be married to your partner?

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Wurope.

Latvia: Has Country Reached the Tipping Point on LGBT Rights?

Thursday, February 6th, 2014

Latvia - Apple Maps

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Local gay activist Kaspars Zalitis thinks so, and hopes change will come soon to the European country.

SDGLN reports:

Zalitis recalls the early years of Gay Pride festivities, such as in 2006 when 70 or so LGBT people bravely marched in the Riga Pride Parade under the guard of hundreds of police officers outfitted in riot gear as 3,000 angry agitators hurled human excrement, holy water and rotten tomatoes at them. In following years, authorities put up fences and forced Pride participants into a “zoo” like environment where the homophobes and haters – an unholy alliance of neo-Nazis, right-wingers, ultra-nationalists and Christian fundamentalists — surrounded them shouting anti-gay slogans and tossing objects into their midst.

By 2012, Zalitis says, the fence came down and the opposition grew less violent. “We didn’t have to walk in the ‘zoo’ anymore,” he said. That same year, Riga won its bid to host Europride 2015. The international event, featuring artistic and sports activities in addition to the Pride Parade, debuted in London in 1992, and has since been staged in cities such as Berlin, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Paris, Stockholm, Vienna, Madrid, Manchester, Oslo and Hamburg.

Just as LGBT rights are slowly marching across the South here in the US, they are also making their way into former communist block countries in Eastern Europe.

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Europe: High Court Rules That Civil Unions Must Carry Equal Benefits to Marriage

Thursday, December 12th, 2013

Europe: Twenty Seven Different Interests on Gay MarriageThe European Union’s high court just ruled that countries that don’t give same-sex couples for marriage equality must offer the same benefits under civil unions or civil partnerships.

Edge Boston reports:

The EU Court of Justice ruled Thursday in the case of Frederic Hay, a French bank worker who was denied the extra leave and bonuses given to married employees after he entered into a civil pact with his male partner. At the time, French law restricted marriage to people of different sexes. The European Court called Hay’s situation “direct discrimination based on sexual orientation.” French law and the bank’s collective bargaining agreement have changed since. But a court spokesman said Thursday’s ruling now sets an EU-wide standard.

So is this ruling a step forward for Europe’s same-sex couples? Or an excuse for countries to sidestep full marriage equality? Or both?

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Europe.

Europe: Parliament Votes For Equal Divorce Rights For Gay and Lesbian Couples

Thursday, September 12th, 2013

Europe: Twenty Seven Different Interests on Gay MarriageThe European Parliament took another step toward full equality for its gay and lesbian citizens with a vote Tuesday.

Gay Star News reports:

The European Parliament has passed resolutions urging that couples in registered relationships have the same legal options as those as married couples if the couple move countries in an overwhelming vote. Last year the European Commission proposed draft laws that aimed to simplify the way a couple would split their assets, due to death or divorce, between European member states. The regulations mean that married spouses who moved to another European country would have been able to choose which national law most suited them when dividing their assets.

With more and more states and countries allowing marriage equality, divorce is bound to move to the forefront of LGBT rights issues.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Europe.

Europe: European Union Upgrades LGBT Rights

Tuesday, June 25th, 2013

European Union FlagThis just in from Europe – the Council of the European Union just upgraded their guidelines for the treatment of LGBT citizens. Towleroad.com reports:

The Council of the European Union, which previously adopted a non-binding toolkit to promote LGBT human rights, has upgraded their guidelines in order “to promote and protect the enjoyment of all human rights by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) persons.” The new document is binding and represents a huge step forward in international human rights law. The EU Intergroup on LGBT Rights reports: Today the EU’s 27 foreign affairs ministers adopted a ground-breaking global policy. The LGBTI Guidelines instruct EU diplomats around the globe to defend the human rights of LGBTI people.

Another step in the right direction…

Europe: Thousands March in Rome, Zagreb for Marriage Equality

Sunday, June 16th, 2013

Gay RightsMarchers in both Italy and Croatia called for marriage equality on Saturday, as the Global Post reports. In Rome:

In Rome, gay, lesbian and transgender activists and sympathisers, dancing on floats to electronic music and waving rainbow flags, held up signs reading “In France I can now get married, when in Italy?” “People’s rights cannot be negotiated. Rome will become the capital of rights. There have been too many attacks in the last few years, too many tragedies of loneliness,” the city’s new centre-left mayor Ignazio Marino said.

In Croatia:

A similar march took place in Zagreb, a day after Croatia’s parliament received a petition signed by one-fifth of the country’s voters seeking a referendum that could rule out same-sex marriage. “We have to show that we love Croatia where we live, but it also has to show that it loves all its citizens,” Marko Jurcic, one of the organisers told the rally at a downtown square after an hour-long march. “For Marriage Equality” read a giant pink banner carried at the head of a column of the Gay Pride marchers, escorted by special police who were however less visible than in previous years.

“Croatia’s parliament received a petition signed by one-fifth of the country’s voters seeking a referendum that could rule out same-sex marriage.” Seriously? That’s an amazing number – anyone hear anything else about this part?

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Italy.

Europe: New Survey of LGBT People Released for IDAHO

Friday, May 17th, 2013

IDAHOToday is the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. Towleroad.com reports on a new study just released for today in Europe:

According to the data collected, LGBT people start facing difficulties early at school, where they regularly experience bullying and harassment. For this reason, anti-bullying policies should be developed and implemented and teachers should be trained about how to better tackle bullying against LGBT students. FRA research also shows that LGBT people face discrimination in many other walks of life, including work, housing, social services, and in access to goods and services. About half of all respondents had personally felt discriminated against or harassed in the year before the survey because they were LGBT.

These experiences of hate and discrimination result in LGBT people living in fear: two thirds of the respondents across all EU Member States were scared of holding hands in public with their same-sex partner. For gay and bisexual men this rose to about 75%.

Then again, Mark and I live in a conservative suburb of Sacramento, and we wouldn’t hold hands here, either.

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Europe: New Rainbow Map Shows How Gay Friendly (or Not) European Countries Are

Thursday, May 16th, 2013

Europe Rainbow MapA European gay rights group has released a new map scoring each country for its gay friendly policies. Joe.My.God reports:

ILGA-Europe has issued its annual overview of LGBT rights. Although it does not yet have full marriage equality, the United Kingdom received the highest rating of the 49 nations in the report, earning a 77% score. Russia got the lowest score at 7%. Via Pink News: Among the EU member states causing major concern are Hungary and Greece. The report notes that the economic crisis in Greece has given a platform to extremist groups, such as the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party, who target minority groups including LGBT activists.

Interesting that the UK gets the highest score, despite not having yet passed a marriage equality bill.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Europe.

Europe: Poll Gauges Support for Same Sex Adoption, Marriage Equality in Seven Countries

Friday, January 11th, 2013

Europe: Poll Gauges Support for Same Sex Adoption, Marriage Equality in Seven CountriesA majority of people in several European countries believe that same-sex couples should be allowed to get married and adopt children, but in France the public is divided, according to YouGov.

It’s latest poll shows a slim majority of French people (51%) are against allowing gay couples to adopt. The findings come ahead of an expected rally this weekend in France against the government’s plans to legalise equal marriage and equal adoption rights.

Support for same-sex marriage is highest in Denmark and Sweden, at 79%, and lowest in France where 47% are in favour of allowing gay couples to wed, while 41% are opposed and 12% say they don’t know.

Authored By Scott Roberts – See the Full Story at Pink News

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European Parliament Pressures Ukraine and Russia Over Anti Gay Laws

Thursday, December 13th, 2012

The European Parliament today adopted two resolutions calling on Russia and Ukraine to abandon their LGBT censorship plans.

The plans in both of the countries could mean fines, or prison sentences for any positive portrayal of the LGBT community in public.

The Ukraine Bill 8711, which received initial approval in October, envisages fines, and prison terms of up to five years for spreading “propaganda of homosexuality”.

Authored By Joseph Patrick McCormick – See the Full Story at Pink News

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To subscribe to this blog, use the rss feed on the right, or use the form at right to join our email list. You can also email us at info@purpleunions.com. Or find us on Facebook. We’re also tweeting daily at http://www.twitter.com/gaymarriagewatc.