The French government have announced that October 31st is the date when a draft law authorising equal marriage will be approved by government ministers.
There had been widespread political and religious opposition, to the bill however Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault insisted there would be no backtracking on a manifesto promise by President Francois Hollande in an interview with local French news agency AFP.
More than 1,200 French mayors and deputy mayors have signed a petition opposing the government’s plans, with many of them warning they will not preside over same-sex ceremonies. Whilst that number may seem significant, it represents less than one percent of French mayors.
Last week, Francois Lebel, a district mayor in Paris who had previously married former President Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife Carla Bruni, said that he would not conduct marriages for same-sex couples and suggested the measure could open the door to the approval of polygamous or incestuous unions. Although quite how such a move would allow the ‘door to be opened’ is beyond all legal, moral and political understanding.
Prime Minister Ayrault said the draft legislation will include provision for married gay couples to adopt children but the right will not be immediately extended to unmarried gay couples.
On Tuesday the Ukrainian Government moved a step closer to an outright ban on homosexuality by agreeing a bill that will effectively silence the whole Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered community in the country.
They approved the first reading of a horrifically homophobic legislation that would make it a crime to speak publicly about homosexuality in a positive way, punishable by a hefty fine or a 5 year jail term.
The shock draft bill received approval from 289 of the 350 lawmakers and will have to pass a secondary parliamentary hearing, currently scheduled for 16th October. If the bill passes and Vikto Yaukovych – the Ukrainian President signs the bill into law, any pro-gay talk will be outlawed under the term of spreading ’homosexual propaganda’. This basically means that no positive mention of gays can be made in any media outlet, gay magazines would also face prosecution along with publications and leaflets that promote safe sexual health between gay people.
New legislation which will be introduced into the French Parliament that will allow gay couples to marry could be on the cards as early as October this year. This would fulfil a campaign pledge by the new French President, Francois Hollande and will also allow gay couple the right to adopt.
Prime Minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault, had previously announced in parliament that gay couples would be permitted to marry and adopt children in 2013. However, he spoke to members of the Socialist Party on Saturday: ‘In October, we will send a bill to the National Assembly and the Senate to allow same-sex couples to marry. It would also allow them to form families and adopt children.” he said and the bill will be introduced to both houses of French Parliament in October, both of which will have to approve the bill, after a debate.
If approved, France will join several other countries in the European Union that legally recognise proper same-sex marriage. This comes on the back of some seriously heavy objections from the French Catholic Church, which has not been quiet in its objection to equality.
Eight gay rights activists were arrested in St Petersburg yesterday (July 7), under a law banning ‘homosexual propaganda’.
Three people were arrested in a park and a further five were arrested at the Smolny complex as they attempted to hold gay pride rallies. The rallies were protesting a law, passed in March, that bans the promotion of gay and trans identities among minors.
The campaigners were originally granted permission to hold the event, but it was revoked by city officials at the last minute. The law punishes anyone promoting ‘homosexual propaganda’ with a fine of 5,000 roubles (£107). Nikolai Alekseev was the first person arrested for violating the law back in May and was fined 5,000 roubles, reports PinkPaper.
Three Muslim men have been found guilty of stirring up hatred by handing out leaflets that said Islam "punished" homosexuals with the death penalty.
Ihjaz Ali, Kabir Ahmed and Razwan Javed handed out the pamphlet, called The Death Penalty?, which showed an image of a mannequin hanging from a noose and quoted Islamic texts that said capital punishment was the only way to rid society of homosexuality.
They were convicted at Derby Crown Court of distributing threatening written material intending to stir up hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation.
It is the first prosecution of its kind since legislation came into force in March 2010.
Mehboob Hussain and Umar Javed, who were also charged with the same offence, were found not guilty by the jury.
The leaflets were given to people outside a mosque and posted through letterboxes in the Normanton area of Derby.
Razwan Javed, Kabir Ahmed, Ihjaz Ali will be sentenced next month
The men admitted distributing the flyers but denied they were "threatening" or designed to cause trouble for homosexuals.
Bobbie Cheema, prosecuting, said that "many people" had complained to police about receiving the leaflets, which were distributed in the run-up to a gay pride event in the city in July 2010.
Gay people who received the leaflets were horrified. One man, who didn’t want to be named, told Sky News: "They incite violence and I would even say it’s incitement to murder. It lists various methods of executing homosexuals from burning alive, stoning, hanging or being thrown from a tall buidling and I felt that was directed at me.
"My initial thoughts were that I was actually being targeted by an individual, it really was quite frightening, it’s a very very scary image, especially when you realise what the message is," he said.
During the trial the court heard that one gay man was so frightened by the leaflets that he left his home for a week.
Another man, who wished to remain anonymous, told Sky News: "I’m still looking when I’m walking down the street to see if someone is following me or when I go to bed I think, ‘is someone going to do something to my letterbox?’ It’s just a nightmare. You can’t sleep at night, it’s a big worry."
Taxi driver Ali, of Fairfax Road, who the prosecution said was believed to be the main organiser and supplier of the leaflets, was found guilty of four counts of distribution on July 2 and July 4.
Ahmed, who is married with a nine-month-old daughter and lives in Madeley Street, and Razwan Javed, of Wilfred Street, were convicted of distribution in the area of the mosque on July 2.
Judge John Burgess, Honorary Recorder of Derby, adjourned sentencing until February 10.
Gay rights campaigners in Poland yesterday condemned a court ruling allowing a far-right group to formally register a ‘no gay sex’ symbol as its official logo.
A judge allowed the small National Rebirth of Poland (NOP) party to register the homophobic symbol in a little noticed decision at the end of October.
The symbol – a stylised representation of gay sex with a red line crossing it – has provoked horror among gay rights campaigners in the country.
After an extended tour of international film festivals, Andrew Haigh’s pitch-perfect gay love story comes home to Britain festooned with praise and weighed down with acting awards for newcomers Tom Cullen and Chris New, reports the UK’s Metro paper.
Organisers of Belgrade’s gay pride parade, which provoked violent riots last year, announced on Friday plans to hold a new march on October 2.
Jovanka Todorovic, a member of the special organising committee, confirmed the date at a heavily guarded press conference, saying further details would be announced later.