Which toilet shall I use today?

A hotel in Cavallino, Italy has created a storm with its unusual toilet icons, three to be precise – a woman, a man, and a “gay” man.

Several Italian dailies and media outlets commented that three toilets was even two too many in an era where unisex facilities are increasingly popular.

Associazione LeA, the Italian LGBT rights lobby, released a statement denouncing the negative attitude.

https://www.thelocal.it/20170814/hotel-with-separate-gay-toilet-icon-causes-uproar

German gay marriage legal, but faces legal challenge

The President of Germany, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, signed the “marriage for all” bill into law on Thursday. The new law will come into effect after 1 October 2017.

The final step in the legalisation of gay and lesbian marriage comes three weeks after the country’s Bundestag approved the law at the end of June.

The law was controversial, and was rushed through both houses of parliament before the summer break.

Lawmakers who are opposed to “marriage for all” have threatened to have the legality of the new law checked by the Federal Court of Justice, which is Germany’s highest court.

The main change between civil partnerships and marriage equality in German law means same-sex couples will be able to jointly adopt children.

http://www.dw.com/en/german-president-signs-gay-marriage-bill-into-law/a-39795137

Malta said Yes

As predicted a week ago, last night Malta’s parliament legalised gay marriage.

Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat praised the passage of bill, which his Labour Party had vowed would be the first legislation it would bring forward after winning a second term in a snap parliamentary election in June.

“I think it is a historic vote,” said Muscat. “It shows that our democracy and our society is maturing, has reached an unprecedented level of maturity and it is a society where we can all say we are equal.”

http://www.politico.eu/article/malta-legalizes-gay-marriage/

Malta to say Yes

Malta is on the verge of legalising gay marriage after the government brought forward legislation to scrap gendered references to marriage in the country’s laws. Gendered terms such as “husband”, “wife”, “mother” and “father” will be removed from the country’s Marriage Act and other laws and be replaced with gender-neutral terminology.

It will also become legal for gay couples to adopt children.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/malta-gay-marriage-same-sex-legalise-gendered-word-ban-legislation-law-a7822226.html

Germany said Yes

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The Bundestag | Bundestag | 17126

The German Bundestag voted by 393 to 226 to legalise same-sex marriage, days after Chancellor Angela Merkel dropped her opposition to a vote.

The reform grants couples full marital rights and allows them to adopt children.

The German legal code will now read: “Marriage is entered into for life by two people of different or the same sex”, AFP news agency reported.

Well done Bundestag.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-40441712

Turks fire rubber bullets at Pride

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Reuters | 17120

Turkish police squashed the LGBT pride march in Istanbul after organisers pressed ahead with the event despite the third ban in as many years by the authorities.

Police with riot shields and helmets sealed off the entrances to Istiklal Street, citing security concerns after threats from an ultra-nationalist group.

Police fired rubber bullets to disperse one group and officers with dogs chased Pridegoers.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/istanbul-pride-riot-police-turkey-lgbt-rights-march-dogs-rubber-bullets-tear-gas-a7807656.html

Hopes rise for gay marriage in Germany

Angela Merkel told an event organised by a magazine that her party’s opposition to gay marriage may be over and that German MPs should be allowed a free vote in the Bundestag.

The German chancellor said she felt aggrieved that debate was mainly carried out along party lines and that she hoped it would be “headed towards a conscience vote”.

It is widely believed the Bundestag would legalise gay marriage in a free vote on the issue.

Until recently, there have been no significant advances in Germany for gay and lesbians for some time.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jun/27/angela-merkel-signals-u-turn-on-gay-marriage-in-germany

At last, justice in Germany

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Nazi era gay prisoners with their pink triangles | Public domain | 17116

After decades of lobbying, Germany’s parliament has voted to quash the convictions of 50,000 gay men sentenced for homosexuality under the Nazi-era law known as article 175 of the penal code that remained in force after the second world war.

An estimated 5,000 of those found guilty under the statute are still alive, and can now clear their names.

Gay men convicted under the law are also to receive a lump sum of €3,000 and an additional €1,500 for each year they spent in prison.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jun/22/germany-to-quash-convictions-of-50000-gay-men-under-nazi-era-law

Human Rights Court ticks Russia off

Europe’s top human rights court ruled on Tuesday that Russia’s prohibition of “the promotion of homosexuality” discriminates and violates freedom of expression.

The prohibition became Russian law in 2013.

The case was brought to the court by three gay activists in Russia.

The European Court of Human Rights found that “the very purpose of the laws and the way they were formulated and applied” was “discriminatory and, over all, served no legitimate public interest” and ordered Russia to pay the men a total of 43,000 euros in damages.

The three activists who sued were Nikolai V. Bayev, 42; Aleksei A. Kiselev, 33; and Nikolai A. Alekseyev, 39. They had staged demonstrations from 2009 to 2012 in the cities of Ryazan, Arkhangelsk and St. Petersburg, carrying banners stating that homosexuality is natural, and not a perversion. They were arrested and fined.

Face to face

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AFP | 17101

France welcomed its first gay refugee from Chechnya on Monday on the same day French President Emmanuel Macron pushed Russian leader Vladimir Putin to investigate the treatment and imprisonment of transgender and gay people in Chechnya, which is led by pro-Kremlin leader Ramzan Kadyrov.

Russian leader Vladimir Putin visited Paris to hold talks with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron and to open a French and Russian exhibition. Mr Macron said that Putin had promised “the whole truth”.

“I had the chance to bring up how important it is for France to respect all people, all minorities and all sensibilities in a civil society,” he said, as Mr Putin stood beside him listening to the translation.

“President Putin told me… he had undertaken several initiatives on the subject of LGBT people in Chechnya with measures aimed at establishing the whole truth about the activities of local authorities,” Macron said at a press conference with Putin after talks in Versailles. “I spelled out France’s expectations very precisely.”

Mr Macron warned Mr Putin that he would monitor further civil rights violations of gay people in Chechnya. The pair of leaders shook hands for the cameras in front of the Palace of Versailles, but their body language appeared tense.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/emmanuel-macron-vladimir-putin-gay-rights-chechnya-russia-france-syria-conflict-civil-war-assad-a7762591.html

https://www.thelocal.fr/20170530/france-takes-in-refugee-from-chechnya-as-macron-presses-putin-on-gay-rights