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Thousands of right-wingers march in Paris, yelling `Jews, get out of France!`

France's Republican party, the UMP, and the country's religious right, have opened a Pandora's box of intolerance.

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03
Feb
2014

Gay men having more unprotected sex: CDC

blood, gay news, Washington Blade, unprotected

More men are reportedly ‘serosorting’ — that is, those who are uninfected have sex only with other men who are uninfected. (Photo by Daniel Gay via Wikimedia Commons)

NEW YORK — Federal health officials are reporting a sharp increase in unprotected sex among gay U.S. men over the past decade, a development that makes it harder to fight the AIDS epidemic, the New York Times reports in a piece widely syndicated by other media outlets such as the Boston Globe.

The same trend recently has been documented among gay men in Canada, Britain, the Netherlands, France and Australia, heightening concerns among public health officials worldwide, the article said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of men who told federal health investigators that they had had unprotected anal sex in the last year rose nearly 20 percent from 2005 to 2011. In the 2011 survey, unprotected sex was more than twice as common among men who said they did not know whether they were infected with HIV, the Times reports.

Being tested even once for HIV is associated with men taking fewer risks, whether the test is positive or negative, health experts say. But the most recent survey found that a third of the men interviewed had not been tested in the past year.

The findings are worrying because “unprotected anal intercourse is in a league of its own as far as risk is concerned,” Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, director of the CDC, said on Nov. 27 according to the New York Times as the figures were released.

The data, published in the agency’s “Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report,” do not explain why unprotected sex has risen so rapidly, but a leading hypothesis, Frieden said, is that more men are “serosorting” — that is, those who are uninfected (“HIV seronegative” on lab reports) try to have sex only with other men who are uninfected.

03
Dec
2013

More than 100,000 protest French marriage law

An anti-gay marriage rally in Paris in January drew more than 350,000 people. (Photo courtesy of Xavier Héraud/Yagg.com)

An anti-gay marriage rally in Paris in January drew more than 350,000 people. (Photo courtesy of Xavier Héraud/Yagg.com)

More than 100,000 people marched through the streets of Paris on Sunday in opposition to France’s new same-sex marriage law.

Police said an estimated 150,000 same-sex marriage opponents took part in the protest in the French capital. La Manif Pour Tous, the group that led the campaign against the same-sex marriage law, said in a press release the march drew one million people.

French television reported authorities arrested 231 people who clashed with police at the end of the march.

“Despite all of the government’s attempts to intimidate, this protest will go down in history as an immense success,” La Manif Pour Tous said. “It was the ‘great shock of hope’ that France needs.”

President François Hollande on May 18 signed his country’s same-sex marriage bill into law after the French Constitutional Council rejected a challenge to it. The measure received final approval in the French National Assembly last month amid growing concerns the rhetoric against it had sparked a spate of anti-gay attacks across the country.

Vincent Autin and Bruno Boileau of Montpellier are expected to become the first gay couple to tie the knot in France on Wednesday.

“Loving and committed gay and lesbian couples should be able to get married no matter who they are or where they live,” Andre Banks, executive director of All Out, a group that rallied support for the French same-sex marriage law. “We are so happy that France has made the world a freer and more beautiful place for gays and lesbians.”

Neighboring Belgium and Spain are among countries in which gays and lesbians can legally marry.

Gay couples in Uruguay and New Zealand will be able to tie the knot in August once their country’s same-sex marriage laws take effect.

Brazil’s National Council of Justice on May 14 ruled registrars cannot deny marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

The Colombian Senate last month overwhelmingly rejected a same-sex marriage bill. Gays and lesbians will be able to legally register their relationships in the South American country on June 20 if lawmakers fail to act upon a 2011 ruling from the nation’s highest court that mandated them to pass legislation within two years that extends the same benefits heterosexuals receive through marriage to same-sex couples.

The British House of Lords next month is slated to debate a measure that would extend marriage rights to same-sex couples in England and Wales.

27
May
2013

Same-sex marriage opponents disrupt French Open final

Same-sex marriage opponents on Sunday interrupted the men’s final of the French Open in Paris.

The French newspaper Le Monde reported a shirtless man wearing a white mask who had “the rights of children” written on his body ran onto the court holding a flare during the final match between Spanish tennis stars Rafael Nadal and David Ferrer. Four protesters also unfurled banners inside Roland Garros Stadium that criticized French President François Hollande and said in English that “with help, France ridicules the rights of children.”

“This kind of thing is regrettable but it has been taken care of remarkably by our security staff,” said tournament director Gilbert Ysern in a statement.

“It was a very quick moment,” said Nadal — who went on to win the match, and his eighth French Open title since 2005. “I felt a little bit scared at first because I didn’t see what was going on. I just saw a guy with some fire and I got a little scared at the first second. But then I saw it was one of these things that nobody can prevent.

“I want to thank very much all the security guys. They did amazing work. They were very courageous what they did so I just want to say thank you very much to them.”

Hommen, a group opposed to France’s same-sex marriage law that Hollande signed last month, also posted a picture onto its Twitter page that shows five shirtless men holding flairs and unfurling a banner from the top of the stadium that urged the French president to resign.

Police say they also detained six more demonstrators who were found at the neighboring court where the Legends tournament was taking place, according to Reuters.

The first gay couple to legally marry in France tied the knot in the city of Montpellier on May 29, but same-sex marriage supporters maintain rhetoric against the law has sparked anti-gay violence across the country.

France 24 on Sunday reported a skinhead who allegedly beat Clément Meric, an 18-year-old left-wing activist who campaigned for the country’s same-sex marriage law, to death outside a Paris subway station last week will face manslaughter charges. Opponents of nuptials for gays and lesbians routinely clashed with French authorities during protests in the weeks and months leading up to the National Assembly’s final approval of the same-sex marriage bill on April 23.

Police on May 26 arrested more than 200 people who clashed with police at the end of an anti-gay marriage march in Paris.

Charles Roncier, a gay blogger who is an assistant editor for the website VIH.org, told the Blade last week that La Manif Pour Tous and other same-sex marriage opponents are “out for blood” because “they lost the fight.”

“The political climate has definitely been altered by the months of homophobic protests,” he said. “We can say that far-right extremists feel more confident than ever to demonstrate, appear on [television] to spread their hate speech, especially after the tolerance the traditional… right-wing showed towards these extremists.”

10
Jun
2013

France gayest homophobes strike again

France's gay-hating far-right yet again bares all for the cause, though it's not clear WHICH cause.

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29
Jul
2013

Woman targets gay parents with breastfeeding service

breastfeeding, gay news, Washington Blade

Answer for Gay parents? A French woman is offering to breastfeed infants of gay male couples. (Photo by Bigstock)

LONDON — A 29-year-old French woman in the Paris suburb Boulogne is offering to breastfeed infants of gay male couples, the London Daily Mail and several other media outlets reported this week.

The woman, who has not been identified, bills herself as a “young mother in good health” who can “offer up to a dozen feeds a day.” She charges 100 Euros ($134) per day. Her ad is on e-loue, a site offering goods and services for rent. She asks for “serious inquiries only,” the Mail and other agencies report.

Although it’s illegal to sell breast milk in France, her billing it as a service rather than a product may allow her to get around the law, care2.com reports.

14
Aug
2013

Russian propaganda ban author’s anti-gay tirade: Gays rape kids, commit all hate crimes

In crazy interview with French TV, gay "propaganda" ban author says gays are pedophiles, commit all hate crimes.

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23
Sep
2013

Paris to host 2018 Gay Games

Eiffel Tower, Paris, France, gay news, Washington Blade

‘Paris proposed a wide range of sports in quality venues,’ Gay Games announced on Monday. (Photo by Waithamai; courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

The Federation of Gay Games announced on Monday that it has selected Paris, France as the site for its 2018 quadrennial international sports competition – Gay Games X – that’s expected to attract more than 10,000 spectators and athletes.

The announcement came at a ceremony in Cleveland, Ohio, which is the site for Gay Games IX set for Aug. 9-16, 2014. Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson, a strong backer of Cleveland’s winning bid for the games four years ago, was given the honor of making the announcement.

A statement released by the FGG says the organization’s board of directors and international delegates representing LGBT sports groups from countries throughout the world voted Monday to select Paris as the host city following a lengthy process of reviewing bids from five cities.

Earlier this year, Orlando, Fla. and Amsterdam, Holland were eliminated from contention, leaving Paris, London and Limerick, Ireland as finalists leading up to this week’s vote.

“The international delegates and board of directors of the Federation of Gay Games voted at the end of a three-day meeting featuring site inspection reports, question-and-answer sessions, committee reviews and, a highlight of the event, the oral presentation by each bidding organization,” a statement issued by the FGG says.

“Paris proposed a wide range of sports in quality venues, many of which offer good visibility for the event,” the statement says. “French LGBT sport organizations already have a great deal of experience hosting international multi-sport tournaments, and their LGBT community presents outstanding cultural events…And of course Paris is a great destination to visit or revisit,” it says.

The statement adds that the French team promoting the bid came with “demonstrable political support, including Minister for Sport Valerie Fourneyron and five-time Olympic fencing medalist Laura Flessel, who were part of the presentation team.”

The statement praised organizers of the bids from London and Limerick, saying the quality of their bids was “superb.”

Les Johnson, the FGG’s co-chair for external affairs and a delegate for Team D.C., a coalition of D.C.-area LGBT sports groups, said he expects as many as 500 attendees from the D.C. area to participate in next year’s Gay Games in Cleveland.

Johnson said that D.C., which lost its own bid to host the Gay Games to Cleveland four years ago, decided not to bid this year for the 2018 games.

“I believe Washington, D.C. decided not to bid due to our relative geographical closeness to Cleveland,” Johnson told the Blade.

Others involved with Team D.C. have said it would be highly unlikely for the FGG to select a city from the same country for two successive Gay Games.

08
Oct
2013

Homophobia Inc. and America’s newest export: Hate (Part 1 of 3)

Radical anti-gay groups are exporting their hate all over the globe, including to Russia, France and Africa.

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11
Oct
2013

European court rules religion cannot justify anti-gay discrimination

European Court of Human Rights, Strasbourg, gay news, Washington Blade

The European Court of Human Rights on Tuesday ruled religion cannot justify discrimination against same-sex couples. (Photo by CherryX via Wikimedia Commons)

The European Court of Human Rights on Tuesday ruled religious beliefs cannot justify discrimination against same-sex couples.

The tribunal in Strasbourg, France, ruled against two British Christians who claimed their employers unfairly discriminated against them because of their opposition to relationship recognition for gays and lesbians and homosexuality.

Registrar Lillian Ladele claimed the Borough of Islington outside London unfairly disciplined her because she refused to officiate civil partnership ceremonies for same-sex couples after the United Kingdom’s civil partnership law took effect in 2005. Gary McFarlane accused the Relate Federation, an English counseling service, of firing him in 2008 because he said he may object to providing sex therapy to gay and lesbian couples because of his religious-based opposition to homosexuality.

“We welcome the ECHR’s ruling,” Relate Chief Executive Ruth Sutherland said in a statement. “We believe that it is further endorsement that Relate acted in an appropriate manner and fully in compliance with the law in the case regarding Gary McFarlane. The ruling supports our view that Relate acted properly and that it was Mr. McFarlane who was in breach of his agreed terms and conditions of employment. For Relate, this case has always been about protecting the right that every Relate client has to impartial, unbiased and empathetic counseling and sex therapy in line with our charitable aims.”

The court also ruled against a nurse who claimed she lost her job at an English hospital because she refused to remove her necklace with a cross. British Airways employee Nadia Eweida received €32,000 in damages after the airline suspended her for wearing a cross necklace to work.

“Today’s judgment is an excellent result for equal treatment, religious freedom and common sense,” Shami Chakrabarti, director of Liberty, a British human rights group, said in a statement. “Nadia Eweida wasn’t hurting anyone and was perfectly capable of doing her job whilst wearing a small cross. She had just as much a right to express her faith as a Sikh man in a turban or a Muslim woman with a headscarf.”

The Religion News Service reported that Alliance Defending Freedom, an American anti-gay organization, said “Christian employees should not be singled out for discrimination,” but categorized the court’s decision to reject the other three cases as “extremely disappointing.”

LGBT rights advocates in the U.K. and across Europe quickly applauded the decision.

“With this ruling, the court has established that freedom of religion is an individual right,” Sophie in ‘t Veld, vice-president of the European Parliament’s LGBT Intergroup, said in a statement. “It is emphatically not a collective right to discriminate against LGBT people, women, or people of another faith or life stance. Religious freedom is no ground for exemption from the law. The court showed conclusively that the principle of equality and equal treatment cannot be circumvented with a simple reference to religion.”

Ben Summerskill, chief executive of the British LGBT advocacy group Stonewall, agreed.

“Today’s judgment rightly confirms that it’s completely unacceptable in 2013 for public servants to pick and choose who they want to serve on the basis of sexual orientation,” he said. “Gay people contribute over £40 billion annually to the cost of public services in this country. They’re entitled to nothing less than equal treatment from those services, even from public servants who don’t happen to like gay people.”

The court’s ruling coincides with the expected introduction of a bill in the British Parliament in the coming weeks that would extend marriage rights to same-sex couples in England and Wales. Scottish lawmakers are expected to consider a similar measure this year.

French legislators on Jan. 29 will begin to debate a proposal that would extend marriage and adoption rights to same-sex couples in France. More than 350,000 people marched through the streets of Paris on Sunday in opposition to the bill.

COC Netherlands, a Dutch LGBT advocacy group, said the European Court of Human Rights’ decision “clears the way” to repeal the exemption to the country’s 2001 same-sex marriage law that allows civil servants to refuse to marry gays and lesbians.

“Now that even the European Court rules against civil servants that refuse to marry gay couples, the way to ending this phenomenon in the Netherlands has been cleared,” COC Netherlands President Tanja Ineke told the Washington Blade. “We call on the Dutch government to take measures to end this phenomenon immediately and put an end to this long lasting debate.”

Tamás Dombos of the Hungarian LGBT advocacy group Háttér noted to the Blade that the Constitutional Court of Hungary has ruled registrars cannot legally discriminate against couples based on their sexual orientation. The country’s domestic partnership law took effect in 2009, but a new constitution with an amendment that defines marriage as between a man and a woman took effect last January.

“We welcome the decision, although the reasoning of the court is quite moderate claiming that national authorities have the power to settle the clash between the two competing claims (non-discrimination and freedom of religion,)” Dombos said in reference to the European Court of Human Rights decision. “So it is questionable whether the decision can be used later to fight national decision that prioritize religious freedom instead.”

16
Jan
2013