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France: Country Signed Agreements With Ten European Nations to Ban Gay Citizens From Marrying

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013

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France apparently has some long-standing agreements with ten other nations that bar French wedding officiants from marrying binational couples when one of the couple comes from those countries. Gay Star News reports:

France has signed agreements with several countries saying any ex-patriots would be banned from marrying under the new ‘Marriage for All’ law. The 10 countries are Algeria, Bosnia & Herzigovina, Cambodia, Laos, Montenegro, Morocco, Poland, Serbia, Slovenia, Tunisia as well as the region of Kosovo. All of the countries do not allow same-sex marriage and the estimated LGBT population of these countries is roughly 15.3 million people. These people would be stopped marrying their French same-sex partner. According to Radio France Internationale, agreements were signed decades ago but are coming into force in 2013.

A harsh reminder that we are still a long ways away from full equality, in spite of the advances of the last year.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in France.

Poland: Prime Minister Gives Up on Civil Unions Bill, for Now

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

PolandProgress on LGBT rights has slowed to a crawl, as PM Donald Tusk admits that opposition to the effort is just too strong to proceed at this time. Pink News reports:

This week Mr Tusk said civil unions legislation could not be rushed, and expressed concern that the legislation would have to be properly worded, in order to fit with Poland’s constitution. The Polish constitution protects opposite-sex marriage, and some have interpreted this as meaning that same-sex unions could not be legalised. “The worst thing that could happen would be a bill that the Constitutional Tribunal found unconstitutional,” he said. “Today I don’t see any chances for a majority to be found in the Sejm over the next 10-15 years that would want radical solutions.”

Sad, but not surprising, in a country that had just 16% support for marriage equality as of January.

Poland: New Poll Shows Poles Disagree With Walesa on Gays

Monday, March 11th, 2013

PolandJust last week, Activist and Former Polish President Lech Walesa said gays in parliament should have to sit in the back, or behind a wall, and claimed that 95% of Poles agreed with him. Not so fast, as Pink News reports:

The new poll carried out by the Homo Homini research institute found that only 31% of Polish people agreed with Lech Walesa’s remarks, as opposed to the 95%, which he claimed. The survey found that 59% of Poles did not agree with Walesa’s statement, with 10% saying they did not know.

This is especially surprising given the low level of support marriage equality received in Poland in a recent poll. Surprising but gratifying.

Poland: Gay, Trans Lawmakers Move to Front of Parliament; Walesa Refuses to Apologize

Monday, March 4th, 2013

PolandSome updates in the Lech Walesa story – after he made his anti gay comments the other day, gay and trans lawmakers responded. Towleroad.com reports:

Janusz Palikot, the leader of progressive party Palikot’s Movement, reacted by promoting the party’s gay lawmaker, Robert Biedron, and transgender lawmaker, Anna Grodzka, to the front row for a three-day session starting Wednesday. In Poland’s Parliament, the front row, which is closest to the Speaker and gets the most TV attention, is generally for party leaders and senior lawmakers. The Cabinet sits in a separate section. Palikot said he will also seek a resolution asking Walesa to “change his manner of speaking.”

Europe Online reports that Walesa remains unapologetic:

Former Polish president and labour union leader Lech Walesa has refused to apologize for controversial comments about the proper place for homosexuals in society, the PAP news agency reported Monday. “I only said they should have the status appropriate for them based on their percentage (of the population),” he said.

It’s so sad to see the fall of such an icon.

Poland: Seriously? Lech Walesa Wants Gays to Sit in the Back, or Behind a Wall

Sunday, March 3rd, 2013

We did not expect this. Lech Walesa, hero of the Polish labor hero and human rights activist, thinks gays should be at the back of the bus. Well, almost. Gay Star News reports:

According to Polskie Radio, Lech Walesa was expressing his views on same-sex civil partnerships in Poland when he went on a homophobic tangent. ‘Homosexuals should sit on the last bench in the plenary hall, or even behind the wall, and not somewhere at the front,’ said the 1983 Nobel Peace Prize winner. He added: ‘A minority can not impose itself on the majority. They must know they are a minority and adapt themselves to smaller things’.

Nothing drives us crazier than seeing a minority or rights activist slam the door behind them on the LGBT community. Sickening.

Poland: Civil Partnership Bills Defeated

Saturday, March 2nd, 2013

PolandWhat is it with Europe this week? First Finland blocks a marriage equality bill in committee, and now Poland blocks not one but three civil partnership bills too. Pink News reports:

Proposed legislation by the ruling Civic Platform Party was rejected by some of its own members, causing the party to become split, reports the Warsaw Voice. The split was between more progressive lawmakers and those worried that the plans were too much for the socially conservative country, in which recent studies have found that 90% of citizens declare themselves Catholic.

Poland’s public support for marriage equality is a dismal 16%.

Poland: Ruling Party Holds Meeting on Civil Unions, Is Sharply Divided

Saturday, February 23rd, 2013

PolandFollowing the recent dust-up between a popular filmmaker and a Polish MP, the Prime Minister has called a meeting of the ruling Civic Platform party to discuss civil unions. The Warsaw Business Journal reports:

Prime Minister Donald Tusk called for unity in his party, Civic Platform, at a meeting with the party’s members of parliament. The meeting was called to discuss the issue of regulations regarding civil unions that could grant same-sex couples rights similar to those of married couples. According to a source quoted by Gazeta Wyborcza, the prime minister said that civil unions are not a matter of MPs’ conscience, but a decision for the party leadership to make.

While it would be a shock to see such legislation passed in Poland’s current homophobic environment, it’s a positive sign that it’s at least being talked about.

Poland: Filmmaker Wants Civil Partnerships for Gay/Lesbian Couples

Friday, February 22nd, 2013

PolandSomething positive for gay rights out of Poland (and yes, we know what a rarity that is) – a Polish filmmaker who was slapped down by a Member of Parliament for pushing civil partnerships spoke out against him, as Gay Star News reports:

Acclaimed Polish film director Agnieszka Holland is speaking out against a member of parliament who said she was only concerned about civil partnerships because of her ‘lesbian daughter’… Poland Radio reports that Stefan Niesiolowski, a Civil Platform MP who believes civil partnerships are unconstitutional, slammed Holland, saying: ‘This declaration means something along the lines of “I’m not bothered about Poland, only my lesbian daughter”.’… Holland responded to both on a differant Polish radio station, saying: ‘Mr Niesolowski’s words did not offend me. Rather than the prime minister apologise to me for Mr Niesiolowski, I would prefer that steps were taken to ensure that such situation is not repeated,’ she said.

Poland is a dismal environment for gay rights and marriage equality – the last poll showed a bare 16% support marriage rights for gay/lesbian couples.

Poland: MP Opposes Mariage Equality – Gays Of No Use to Society

Friday, February 1st, 2013

PolandIn today’s episode of stupid things bigots say, we have this gem from Pink News:

A Polish citizen, Przemek Repetowicz, translated Pawlowicz’s speech during which she said: “After analysing proposals it comes to my mind that the reason for striving for legalising partnerships is mainly a will to profiting from privileges assigned to marriage. Pawlowicz said: “Here I mean such privileges as in taxation, inheritance, housing, management and others that make life simpler. Unfortunately the society cannot sponsor a sweet life to short-lasting, vane [sic] & futile relationships of persons that are of no use whatsoever to society, sponsor only because of a sexual bond between those persons.”

I say Polish gays should take all their value to Polish society and take it somewhere else, and let her see what a drab, boring country Poland would be without them.

Poland: Legislature Rejects Domestic Partnership Bills

Friday, January 25th, 2013

Poland’s lower parliamentary house has voted today to reject three separate draft laws which would have given legal rights to unmarried couples, effectively preventing same-sex couples from receiving any such rights.

The Associated Press has reported that despite the perceived acceptance of the drafts by Catholic Polish community, all three draft laws proposing legal recognition for registered unmarried couples have been voted down by the Sejm, or lower house of the Polish Parliament.

The laws would have allowed unmarried partners to register their relationship in order to ensure inheritance, access to health information, and alimony rights.

Authored By Corinne Pinfold – See the Full Story at Pink News

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