Hundreds of thousands marched in Paris over the weekend, protesting President Francois Hollande’s plans to legalize gay marriage and adoption by gay parents, which the president promised during his campaign.
March organizers said 800,000 people gathered at the Champ de Mars park at the Eiffel Tower, while police put the number at about 340,000, according to the Guardian.
PHOTOS: Paris protesters march against gay marriage, adoption
Posted at 12:00 PM
GlobalPost took a look at couples from around the world where gay marriage is now legal.
See the rest of the slideshow here.
Posted at 11:00 PM
TEL AVIV, Israel — Gloria Gaynor’s anthem “I Will Survive” is never out of place in a gay setting, but something about it was different on this particular night.
The words were coming through in Arabic instead of English, the uplifting disco beat resounding against the ancient walls of the club housed in a mixed neighborhood where the Arab city of Jaffa blends into the edges of modern Tel Aviv.
Conflict still rules the region, a complex and bloody dispute about land, history and religion decades in the making, but at the Palestinian Queer Party, music takes precedence and peace rules the room.
Held every six weeks or so, the party demonstrates what is possible with gays in charge, say those who attend.The majority of the crowd at the party are gay Palestinians living within the borders set after Israel’s victory over Arab forces in 1948 — officially called Arab-Israelis — but about a third are Israeli Jews. West Bank Palestinians have also been known to cross the separation wall to mingle and dance here, risky a trip as that might be. Once they are among fellow gays, these Palestinians can often hide from Israeli authorities in plain sight.
“If gays were controlling the world, we wouldn’t have any more war,” says Yoni Schoenfeld, the openly gay editor-in-chief of Bamahane, the official magazine of the Israeli Defense Force (IDF), sitting in his office in Tel Aviv and commenting unofficially.
Tel Aviv has been voted the most gay-friendly city in the world and has even been called the “Mecca” for gay Palestinians, but rights advocates say the good press is actually a mask covering Israel’s treatment of Palestinians in general, considered by many human rights organizations and observers to be a persecuted group.
(Continue reading — Gay Palestinians caught in the middle of the conflict)
Posted at 1:05 PM
TOKYO, Japan — In one respect, the decision by Tokyo Disneyland to allow a gay couple to hold their “wedding” at the theme park is a sign of progress in a country that has, until recently, largely ignored the issue of same-sex unions.
But some campaigners have argued that leaving it to Mickey Mouse to give his blessing to Koyuki Higashi and her partner, Hiroko Masuhara — in a strictly symbolic ceremony — is also a mark of how far Japan has to go before it affords the same rights to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community as it does to heterosexual couples.
Tokyo Disneyland condoned this and all future same-sex ceremonies after receiving an enquiry from Higashi. Cue a confused response from a subsidiary, Oriental Land Company, which licenses the name and characters from Disney in the US.
Posted at 10:51 AM
Posted at 3:04 PM
Mickey Mouse has given his blessings to same-sex couples wanting a fairytale wedding at Tokyo Disney.
When Koyuki Higashi, 27, called to ask about getting married to her female partner at the Tokyo Disney Resort, a member of the staff reportedly said there would be no problem, as long as they dressed “like a man and a woman,” explaining that having two brides in wedding dresses or two grooms in tuxedoes would create “repercussions” among the visitors who would be watching, reported AFP.
Japanese newspaper Mainichi reported that when Higashi posted the exchange on Twitter, it triggered a backlash, with people disappointed in Tokyo Disney’s response.
Posted at 3:13 PM
Argentina’s Senate passed a new gender identity law 55-0, making the country one of the most advanced in the world in terms of gender rights.
According to The Washington Post, Argentina’s law is the first to give citizens the right to change their legal gender without first changing their bodies.
Justus Eisfeld, co-director of Global Action for Trans Equality in New York, told The Washington Post, “The fact that there are no medical requirements at all — no surgery, no hormone treatment and no diagnosis — is a real game changer and completely unique in the world. It is light years ahead of the vast majority of countries, including the U.S., and significantly ahead of even the most advanced countries.”
Posted at 9:25 AM
MOSCOW — A couple of weeks ago, when I was trying to decide whether to pin a pink triangle to the lapel of my black overcoat, Sergei Kondrashov was detained by police in the street of Russia’s northern capital with a banner saying, “A dear family friend is a lesbian. My wife and I love and respect her … and her family is just as equal as ours.”
Police officers thought his banner was illegal under the new St. Petersburg law against “gay propaganda.” This law — which purports to protect minors from “gay propaganda” by ensuring that any public act exhibiting or supporting homosexuality that a minor might see is rendered illegal — went into effect in March. St. Petersburg is the fourth Russian region to enact such a law. The laws are so broad and vague that someone could be arrested for anything from holding a rainbow flag to running a helpline for gay teenagers.
Continue reading — Russia: Is wearing a pink triangle a crime?
Posted at 11:26 AM