Monday, 29 December 2014

Times: MUT satisfied with Church explanations on engagement of school staff
Monday, December 29, 2014, 16:04

The Malta Union of Teachers said today that it had had a fruitful meeting with Bishop Charles Scicluna, administrator of the Maltese archdiocese, about a draft document on the engagement of staff in Church schools, and as a result directives of industrial action in Church schools have been suspended.

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Pink News: ganda’s anti-gay President might not like this Christmas present
24th December 2014, 12:35 PM by Nick Duffy [Reader comments]

President Museveni might not be thrilled with his gift

A dating site has sent the Ugandan president a book on homosexuality in animals for Christmas.

German dating site Gleichklang gifted Yoweri Museveni – who signed off on Uganda’s harsh anti-gay law earlier this year before a court struck it down – a copy of ‘Biological Exuberance – Animal Homosexuality and Natural Diversity’.

Pink News: US: Lesbian couple marry after 72 years together
8th September 2014, 12:04 PM by Joseph Patrick McCormick [Reader comments]

The couple married on Saturday after 72 years together (image: Pinterest Marissa Mae Kidd)

A lesbian couple in the US state of Iowa have married, after being together for 72 years.

Vivian Boyack, 91, and Alice Dubes ,90, met in Yale, and then moved to Davenport in 1947.

They exchanged vows in the First Christian Church in Davenport on Saturday, accompanied by family and friends, reports the QCTimes.

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

It Gets Better: There's just one story to be told: An interview with Maltese LGBT Activist Romina Tolu


Romina (or Mina) Tolu is one of the founding members of WE ARE, an LGBTQQI youth and student organization in Malta, a small island country in the Mediterranean Sea. She is currently serving as the communications officer on the executive board of the INTERNATIONAL LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL, TRANSGENDER AND QUEER YOUTH AND STUDENT ORGANIZATION (IGLYO), a European-based organization that aims to empower and enable the representation of LGBTQ youth and student issues around the world.

IGBP: Can you tell us a little bit about your background?

Romina Tolu: I’m 23 and I’ve been involved in LGBT activism since I was about 19, when I got involved at University. My sister’s girlfriend at the time and her friends were trying to start a group at University. It was going to be the first proper LGBT group at the University of Malta, which is the only university we have in Malta and it caters to over ten thousand students. They tried to rope me into it and at first I was quite shy and I was like, “No, no, no. I’ll support you but I’ll be distant”. But then my sister tried to convince me by buttering me up and saying, “You know we need your skills! Your face doesn’t need to be shown anywhere. We just need you to design a few posters, write a few blog posts and that’s it”. So I told her, “Ok in that case I’ll consider it”, and I went along to the first meeting. Then, once the group was officially set up and we had to do our statutes, we needed a certain amount of people on the board. That’s when I was roped into being communications officer for the organization because there was no one else to fill in that role. In the end my sister managed to convince me. So that’s how I got involved in LGBT activism. It was almost “sister coercion”, which is great actually. I am very grateful that it happened because it has brought me to where I am today.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

All Out: Urgent Olympic vote - we won!

We did it! The International Olympic Committee (IOC) just took the final step to protect all lesbian, bi and gay athletes and fans. Today they announced that they will be changing Principle 6 of the Olympic Charter to include 'sexual orientation.' And it happened because of you.

Monday, 8 December 2014

Independent UK: Doctor killed himself after mother asked him to seek 'gay cure'
FRIDAY 05 DECEMBER 2014 by Matt Watts

A Harley Street doctor killed himself by jumping from his luxury penthouse apartment after his mother asked him to seek “a cure” for being gay, an inquest heard.

Dr Nazim Mahmood, fell four storeys to his death from the balcony of his £700,000 flat in a mansion block in West Hampstead, London, in July.

An inquest at St Pancras Coroners’ Court heard Dr Mahmood had told his mother he was gay and was in a 13-year relationship with his fiancée, Matthew Ogston, just days before his death.

Times: Gender identity bill should be guided by ethical principles - Church
Saturday, December 6, 2014, 12:39

The Archbishop's Curia

While the bill on gender identity is a step in the right direction, it is important that it is guided by ethical principles, the Church said in a position paper.

It said that while the bill promoted “an inclusive culture of recognition between human beings” and sought “to address the needs of a category of people who very often find it socially hard and painful in trying to deal with a fundamental dimension of their own self-identity... it is important to recognise the complexity of the problem and be guided by a set of ethical principles”.

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Times: LGBTI community awards ceremony
Sunday, December 7, 2014, 00:01

[Click on the image to enlarge.]

Mr and Mrs Licari (Parent Award), Darren Anthony Galea (Proposal Award), Winston J. Zahra (Radisson Hotels for Employer Award), Equal Opportunities Minister Helena Dalli (Politician Award), Neil Falzon (Humanitarian Award), Prime Minister Joseph Muscat (Politician Award), Ira Losco (Entertainer Award), Mina Tolu (Student Award), joint winner with her sister Louisa, Luke Dimech (Sports Person Award) and Mr and Mrs Sammut (Parent Award).

The inaugural National LGBTI Community Awards took place at The Xara Lodge.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Independent UK: World AIDS Day 2014: This is what HIV looks like

When Hunter Charlton was diagnosed with the virus aged 20, he was overcome with grief, believing he would be dead within 10 years. As he learnt more, the anguish turned to anger – at the ignorance that still causes fear and stigma for so many like him
Sunday 30 November 2014 by HUNTER CHARLTON

In a single moment, my life was irreversibly altered. The doctor’s reassurances washed over me in a haze: it was as if he was trying to communicate with me in a language I could not speak. There can be no single correct way to break this sort of news; in retrospect, I think his light-touch approach was misjudged.

Monday, 1 December 2014

Malta Today: 74% of Malta’s HIV cases are male

57% of the HIV cases recently registered in Malta were due to heterosexual contact, while 31% of them were due to homosexual contact.
30 November 2014, 7:45pm by a Staff Reporter

74% of the 300 new HIV cases that were registered in Malta in the last 10 years were male, statistics from the Health Department show. In 172 (57%) instances, the virus was transmitted through heterosexual contact, while in 92 (31%) instances the virus was transmitted through homosexual contact. 10 instances were due to drug instances while one was due to haemophilia.

47 of these infected people ended up suffering from AIDS.

“Everyone who is sexually active is in risk of HIV infection,” Gabi Calleja, President of the Malta Gay Rights Movement told Sunday newspaper Illum. “The stigma of HIV and AIDS is problematic because it can keep people back from seeking the help and care that they need.”

“We are exploring the possibility of setting up a support group for people suffering from HIV/AIDS as part of the services offered by the Rainbow Support Service, and we hope that the health services will collaborate with us in this initiative.”

Sunday, 30 November 2014

aditus: Our Director awarded for his LGBTI rights work!
30th November 2014

[Click on the image to enlarge.]

Last night Neil (Director) [Falzon] was honored with an award for his work in the area of promotion of the rights of LGBTI persons. The Malta Gay Rights Movement organized Malta’s first LGBTI Community Awards, recognizing the commitment of various personalities and professionals towards supporting LGBTI rights.

Neil was awarded the Human Rights award category, with mention of his work in protecting the most vulnerable members of society, including refugees.

Background news can be read here.

YouTube: Conchita Wurst in Malta at the Malta Song for Eurovision 2014-2015


PBS: 8 things you didn’t know about Alan Turing
BY REBECCA JACOBSON November 28, 2014 at 1:56 PM EST

Alan Turing and colleagues working on the Ferranti Mark I Computer, 1951. Photo by SSPL/Getty Images

An English mathematician, logician and cryptographer, Alan Turing was responsible for breaking the Nazi Enigma code during World War II. His work gave the Allies the edge they needed to win the war in Europe, and led to the creation of the computer. On the PBS NewsHour tonight, Jeffrey Brown interviews Benedict Cumberbatch about his role as Turing in “The Imitation Game.”

Turing took his own life in 1954, two years after being outed as gay. Homosexuality was still a crime in Great Britain at the time, and Turing was convicted of “indecency.” He died from eating an apple laced with cyanide. He was only 41 years old.

Guardian: Rise in number of violent homophobic crimes being reported to police

Figures reveal that 19 forces have recorded more violent homophobic offences so far in 2014 than in whole of last year
The Guardian, Wednesday 26 November 2014

Gay rights charities said that while it was encouraging that more people were reporting hate crime, many victims felt silenced by abuse on the street. Photograph: Christopher Thomond

Some of the UK’s biggest police forces have recorded a rise in the number of violent homophobic crimes this year, according to new figures.

Hundreds of assaults on gay and lesbian people have been reported to police so far in 2014 – including more than 300 in London alone. Gay rights charities said that while it was encouragingthat more people were reporting hate crime, many victims felt silenced by abuse on the street.

Saturday, 29 November 2014

News Book: 'Huwa ovvju li persuni omosesswali għandhom post fil-Knisja'
Yendrick Cioffi - 21/11/14 11:00 PM

M’hemmx għalfejn insaqsu jekk persuni omosesswali għandhomx ikollhom post fil-Knisja. Dan m’għandux ikun ovvju?

Din kienet il-mistoqsija li poġġa r-rappreżentant ta’ Drachma LGBT Chris Vella waqt dibattitu organizzat mill-Għaqda Studenti tat-Teoloġija (Għ.S.T) dwar koppji tal-istess sess u d-definizzjoni tal-familja fid-dawl tas-Sinodu tal-Isqfijiet li seħħ ix-xahar li għadda.

Times: Law jailing gays for life approved
Friday, November 21, 2014, 14:43 by PA

The president of Gambia has signed a bill into law that calls for life imprisonment for some homosexual acts, the latest African country to codify harsh penalties for the gay community.

A copy of the legislation indicates that President Yahya Jammeh signed it on October 9, though no government officials have yet publicly notified the country of the new law.

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Independent: Nationalist Party still to review loopholes in gender identity legislation
Kevin Schembri Orland, Tuesday, 4 November 2014, 14:00

The opposition will be discussing the Gender Identity Bill within the Parliamentary group, PN MP Claudette Buttigieg said yesterday.

Ms Buttigieg is currently reviewing the Gender Identity Bill and her advisors are reading through the document.

Friday, 14 November 2014

Pink News: This student’s response to being attacked for kissing his boyfriend is truly inspiring
8th November 2014, 7:20 PM by Nick Duffy

A student who was the victim of a homophobic attack has been praised for a defiant message he posted after the incident.

Cole Ledford, an undergraduate student at Ohio State University who appears on reality show Extreme Couponing, was attacked on Thursday while with his boyfriend, Jerad.

Despite taking a punch to the face and being left with a black eye, the student posted a defiant rebuttal to Twitter.

View image on TwitterView image on Twitter

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Pink News: Interview: Lord Cashman on Thatcher’s hair, returning to EastEnders and equalising the age of consent
7th November 2014, 5:57 PM by Anastasia Kyriacou, PinkNews Exclusive

Michael Cashman has had an extensive career, from appearing in EastEnders to becoming an MEP, but has an ambitious road ahead continuing the fight for equality.

PinkNews’ Anastasia Kyriacou caught up with the newly appointed Labour peer and global LGBTI envoy, to talk about performing the first gay kiss in British soap history, how he veered from EastEnders into politics and his direct impact on Tony Blair’s decision to address the ban on homosexuals in the army.

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Independent: I DO Inspired by vintage. The couple Emmanuel & Stephen [includes Civil Union Video]
Friday, 7 November 2014, 12:15Last update: about 23 hours ago
Emmanuel Xuereb, 41, TV Programmes Producer and Chef, and Stephen Aquilina, 49, TV Programmes Producer. Photos Kitz Klikz by Keith Darmanin and Etienne Farrell
Emmanuel and Stephen's relationship spans over the past 17 years so they did not hesitate to apply for a Civil Union when the bill was passed last April.
"We both felt it was the next step in our relationship for a long time, however, the lack of a law acknowledging gay relationships was a stumbling block. Once the law was introduced, it was time for us to go for it," Emmanuel told I Do. In fact, they submitted their application on the same day the law was passed.

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Times: Conchita Wurst coming for the Malta Eurovision Song Contest
Saturday, November 8, 2014, 07:38

Conchita Wurst, winner of last year's Eurovision Song Contest, will be coming to Malta for an appearance at the Malta Eurovision Song Contest on November 22.

The announcement was made yesterday on Xarabank, when the above video was revealed.

The contest in Malta is hosted by PBS.

Youtube: Girls going wild in red light district

This is the first video I am posting which is not related to gay (LGBT) issues, but I think that its message is very important and should make us think about what happens behind the scenes. It left me speechless - P. Attard

Published on 4 Apr 2012

So you think you will dance? Sometimes things are not what they seem. Men, women and children are trafficked - tricked, forced and exploited in the sex industry. Awareness campaign created by Duval Guillaume Modem and produced by monodot in support of STOP THE TRAFFIK. Visit to get involved. Music: a-shja by Raveyards vs. DJ Uinkxxx

Thursday, 6 November 2014

MGRM: LGBTI Community Awards Nominees
07/ 10/ 14

The announcement of the LGBTI Community Awards 2014 this past Monday has garnered much interest both in print and social media. Four questions have been repeatedly posed.

What was the reasoning behind each nominee choice?

Why was the category Spiritual/Religious Person included?

Why is Bishop Scicluna, someone who has been outspoken in his opposition to equal treatment of LGBTI persons, a nominee?

How does the MGRM view the Catholic Church?

How has the LGBTI Community reacted?

Please find our responses below:

What was the reasoning behind each nominee choice?

Collating the input from both the public and committee voting, here are the reasons for nomination of each nominee for each of the ten awards

Why was the category Spiritual/Religious Person included?

Monday, 3 November 2014

Malta Today: Nominees for first LGBTI Community Awards announced

Malta Gay Rights Movement to organise first edition of first LGBTI Community Awards later this month
3 November 2014, 11:01am by Staff Reporter

Clockwise from top left; Gabi Calleja, Luke Dimech, Charles Scicluna and Ira Losco

What do Auxiliary Bishop Charles Scicluna, pop singer Ira Losco and Prime Minister Joseph Muscat have in common? They have all been nominated for the first ever LGBTI Community Awards.

The awards ceremony will be held on 29 November and Scicluna, Losco and Muscat are among the 20 nominees in the running for six separate awards.

Sunday, 2 November 2014

All Out: The CEO of Apple did what?

 Have you seen this news
Tim Cook explained why his coming out is important, not just to him but to millions of people around the world. He said: “If hearing that the CEO of Apple is gay can help someone struggling to come to terms with who he or she is, or bring comfort to anyone who feels alone, or inspire people to insist on their equality, then it’s worth the trade-off with my own privacy.”
We need more leaders like him with the courage to take a stand for love and equality. 

Times: Yawn! Here we go again
Tuesday, October 21, 2014, 11:39 by Alison Bezzina

Can you imagine if a multi million dollar global company had to declare that no matter how good its female employees are, no matter how qualified they get, no matter their experience, their skills and talents, and no matter how hard they try, they will never, ever, ever be promoted to the highest echelons of the organization, simply because they’re female?

Now imagine if in addition to this blatant and baseless gender discrimination, the same organization came out and stated that its gay employees are not entitled to the same benefits or treatment as the rest because, they are intrinsically disordered.

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Times: Changes to gender identity will be made by notarial deed under new proposal
Wednesday, October 29, 2014, 18:10

A public consultation on a new Gender Identity Bill was issued by the government this evening as the Bill was given a first reading in Parliament.

Public Dialogue Minister Helena Dalli explained that the government was proposing to regulate the procedure for change of legal gender for minors and adults alike.

At present, she explained, changes to documents on gender could only be made after gender reassignment surgery. However, the law would henceforth provide that, even without surgery, it shall be the right of everyone to request the Director of Public Registry to change the recorded gender and, or first name in order to reflect that person’s self-determined gender identity.

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

iNews Malta: Persuna transesswali fil-konvenzjoni tal-PN: “Astensjoni oħra mhix għażla”
Albert Gauci Cunningham | 12:52 | 25.10.2014

Waqt il-Konvenzjoni tal-Partit Nazzjonalista li kompliet dalgħodu, Alex Mangion, persuna transgender, wera t-tama li fl-Att dwar il-Ġeneru (Gender Identity Bill) li se jkun qed jitressaq għall-vot fil-Parlament, il-PN ma jerġax jastjeni, bħalma għamel fil-vot dwar l-Unjoni Ċivili. “Jien tad-demm u l-laħam. Meta tiġi l-Gender Identity Bill, astensjoni oħra mhix għażla,” sostna Mangion.

Huwa spjega kemm kien ibbuljat fl-iskola u kemm kellu problemi kull darba li seta' kellu bżonn affarijiet mill-aktar bażiċi. Kompla jgħid li bl-Att dwar il-Ġeneru “ħajjitna tinbidel għax ma jkollniex għalfejn nistaħbew. Jien ma tlabtx biex insir hekk; in-natura għamltini hekk. Kunu konxji minnha u nitlobkom li tifmhuna biex ngħixu ħajja aħjar. Ninsab ċert li se tgħinu biex ikollna drittijiet aħjar,” temm jgħid Mangion għall-aprovazzjoni ta’ dawk preżenti.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Times: Gozo Bishop ‘could have been happier’ with Synod
Tuesday, October 21, 2014, 09:46

Gozo Bishop Mario Grech would have been a happier man had the Synod of bishops retained the original text of a document on the Church’s relationship with gay people.

“I am happy with the document but I could have been happier with the outcome,” he said when contacted in Rome, where he attended the Synod.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

BBC News: Catholic synod: Gay rights groups 'disappointed'
19 October 2014 Last updated at 01:32 GMT

Out of media player [Video].
BBC's James Reynolds: This synod shows the Pope faces serious internal opposition

Catholic gay rights groups say they are disappointed after bishops rejected a call for wider acceptance of gay people, which had the Pope's backing.

Times: Change in bishops' attitude to gays welcomed
Wednesday, October 15, 2014, 14:50

Drachma, the group for gay people and their parents, has welcomed the 'positive developments' in the Catholic Church with regard to gay people as evidenced in the Bishops' Synod, currently meeting in Rome.

It noted that the synod in its document Relatio featured a change in the tone, language and terminology used, possibly reflecting a change in the hierarchy’s attitude towards LGBT persons, their relationships and towards children of same-sex families.

President’s Foundation for the Wellbeing of Society: Counsultation meeting


The President's Foundation for the Well-Being of Society would like to invite members of your Ngo for a consultation meeting. All the necessary information is present in the letter attached. I hope that you encourage your members to attend so we can discuss together what promotes or hinder their well-being.

Please note that the consultation meeting regarding the 30-40 age group was merged with the one concerning 20-30 and will take place on the 12th of December.

Best Regards
George Douglas Saliba

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

St James Cavalier: True Love Lies
18, 19, 23, 24, 25, 26, 30, 31 October, 1, 2 November 2014 at 8PM

Ticket Prices: €18,
Concessions: €15,
23 and 30 October shows : €12

Author: Brad Fraser
Production: Unifaun Theatre Productions
Director: Toni Attard
Certification: 16+
Cast: Ray Calleja, Jes Camilleri, Pia Zammit, Joe Azzopardi, Bettina Paris

Times: Bishops publish new policy on gays
Tuesday, October 14, 2014, 07:47 by PA

Video: Reuters

Catholic bishops signalled a radical shift in tone over accepting gays into the church, saying they had gifts to offer and their partnerships, while morally problematic, provided homosexual couples with "precious" support.

In a preliminary report, released during a Vatican meeting on family life called by Pope Francis, the bishops, including Gozo bishop Mario Grech, also said the church must welcome divorcees and recognise the "positive" aspects of civil marriages and even Catholics who cohabitate.

Monday, 13 October 2014

Times: Updated - Vatican document challenges Church to change attitude to gays
Monday, October 13, 2014, 14:31

Updated - Adds audio comments by Gozo Bishop Mario Grech who is taking part in the Synod.

In a dramatic shift in tone, a Vatican document said today that homosexuals had "gifts and qualities to offer" and asked if Catholicism could accept gays and recognise positive aspects of same-sex couples.

The document, prepared after a week of discussions at an assembly of 200 bishops on the family, said the Church should challenge itself to find "a fraternal space" for homosexuals without compromising Catholic doctrine on family and matrimony.

Comments by Bishop Mario Grech [Click here for the audio clip]

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Ways of Love: Joseanne Peregin: “Fears and hopes as a Catholic mother of a gay son – a parent’s perspective”
Pubblicato su 3 ottobre 2014 da GIONATA

Presentation by Joseanne Peregin (President of Christian Life Community, Malta – “LGBT children’s parents’s fears and expectations”) for “The ways of Love”, an International Conference towards pastoral care with homosexual and trans people (Rome, Italy, October 3, 2014).

Never in my wildest dreams would I have ever imagined I would be giving a speech to theologians. But then again, never would I have ever dreamt that one day, I would be the mother of a gay son either. I come from the tiny island of Malta, where everybody knows everyone and most of us are traditional Catholics. I have been happily married for nearly 30 years, and am a proud mother of three children all in their 20s. I have been an active member of the Christian Life Community for over 35 years, 6 of them as president of CLC Malta.

Saturday, 27 September 2014

All Out: Olympic Win

WE WON! The International Olympic Committee (IOC) just announced new human rights rules for host cities. This was their amazing response to our massive campaign in Russia, with our partners Athlete Ally and Human Rights Watch.
From now on, potential Olympics host cities have to sign a legally binding contract that requires them to protect lesbian, gay, bi and trans people – in line with Olympic Principle 6 on non-discrimination.
Here's how we did it:
118,759 of us told the IOC to change their rules for Olympic hosts, with an unprecedented coalition of 40 groups – so no country with harsh anti-gay laws like Russia's could ever host the Games again. We delivered a massive petition and sent thousands of email submissions when they asked for feedback on how they choose host cities.

Pink News: UN: Human Rights Council passes landmark LGBT rights resolution
26th September 2014, 7:20 PM by Nick Duffy

The United Nations passed the resolution (Image: United Nations)

The United Nations Human Rights Council has passed a landmark resolution condemning violence and discrimination against LGBT people.

The resolution expresses grave concern “at acts of violence and discrimination, in all regions of the world, committed against individuals because of their sexual orientation and gender identity.”

Thursday, 25 September 2014

AIDS Alliance: Policy and Advocacy

In many countries, those most affected by HIV - sex workers, people who use drugs, men who have sex with men and transgender people – face criminalisation and discrimination, while services catering to them are often targeted by law enforcement agencies.

Alongside hostile policies, inadequate funding is also a barrier. Governments may be unable to fully fund their HIV response or unwilling to support services for criminalised groups, while many donors are reducing their HIV funding, particularly in middle-income countries.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

All Out: Stop gay 'cures' in China

Anti-gay clinics don't want you to see this video:

After enduring electro-shock therapy at a gay ‘cure’ clinic in China, Xiao Zhen has ignited a global outcry against these dangerous gay 'cures.'
100,000 All Out members signed his petition. Media all over the world are talking about him. Now, the World Health Organization (WHO) has agreed to meet with him in China.
Now’s our chance to make this even bigger. If we share this video and sign Xiao Zhen’s petition we can push the WHO to speak out against these 'cures' for good. Click below to watch his powerful story and then sign Xiao Zhen’s petition:
Click to watch

Thursday, 28 August 2014


28.8.2014 by the Malta Gay Rights Movement

Join us in recognising and rewarding the people you feel contributed most to Maltese society as positive role models from across society, from LGBTI supporters and from our LGBTI community.

All Out: I was in a gay 'cure' clinic

"No one should face the trauma I did at a gay 'cure' clinic.
"When the patient has a gay thought, we electrocute them or inject them with drugs that make them sick." One gay 'cure' clinic doctor in China said this to show what they do to gay people. 
It happened to me. In families like mine, being gay is still seen as something that can be cured, and scam clinics prey on that fear. Now, I want my friends, my family andeveryone in China to understand that being gay is normal.
Dr. Margaret Chan is the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) – an influential international authority who's from China. If we come together by the thousands we could get her to speak out against anti-gay 'cures' – and help convince officials to finally ban them.
Will you sign my petition asking WHO Director Dr. Margaret Chan to speak up now and condemn gay 'cures' in China?

Saturday, 9 August 2014

YouTube: Equal Rights are Bigger than Borders

This campaign video was created in Ukraine during a European Project. Our two young people came up with the concept and witht their team filmed it.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Pink News: Could being gay stop employers from hiring you? This study says yes
5th August 2014, 2:25 PM by Nick Duffy

Visibly gay candidates are less likely to get interviews

People applying for jobs are 40% less likely to be offered an interview if they are gay or lesbian, according to research.

The study, conducted by researchers from Anglia Ruskin university, sent nearly 9000 fake job applications to employers across Cyprus.

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Pink News: Activists celebrate striking down of Uganda’s anti-gay law
1st August 2014, 3:22 PM

Activists have celebrated the decision

Activists have celebrated a court ruling invalidating Uganda’s anti-gay law.

Earlier today, the country’s Constitutional Court today struck down the law, finding that the speaker of parliament acted illegally by moving ahead with a vote on the law despite at least three lawmakers objecting to a lack of quorum.

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Pink News: Comment: Chemsex is causing a disproportionate amount of harm for gay men
1st April 2014, 11:46 AM by Monty Moncrieff

The use of crystal meth is on the rise

The Chief Executive of London Friend, Monty Moncrieff, gives his response to a recent study on drug use in the gay community and says chemsex could be contributing to a rise in HIV infection rates.

Last Friday our Antidote team attended the launch of a new report examining ‘chemsex’ trends amongst men who have sex with men (MSM). Chemsex is a term used to describe the use of drugs to engage in sex and is a word increasingly being associated with the trends we see in men accessing Antidote, our specialist LGBT drug & alcohol support service.

Monday, 28 July 2014

Guardian: LGBT retirement home: the end of the rainbow

Europe’s first LGBT retirement home, a modest 80s apartment block in Stockholm, gives gay people a friendly place in which to grow old. It’s the start of a growing trend, discovers Eleanor Margolis

The Observer, Sunday 27 July 2014 by Eleanor Margolis

As you might expect of a Stockholm suburb on a Sunday, not very much is happening in Gärdet. Despite its staunchly liberal values Sweden is a Christian country, and the shops and cafés near the station are almost aggressively shut. Aside from one elderly man puffing on a pipe, the streets are empty. An expanse of identikit 80s apartment block screams “Nordic noir” but doesn’t so much as whisper “gay”. Certainly there is nothing to suggest that this is the setting of Europe’s first LGBT retirement community.

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Sunday Circle: Here come the Brides: Inside Malta's First Civil Union
July 16, 2014 by Philip Leone-Ganado

With the introduction of Civil Unions in Malta last April, same-sex couples can for the first time have their relationships legally recognised. Philip Leone-Ganado meets the very first couple to tie the knot

Kristina Galea Cavallazzi and Clara Borg first met ten years ago, when Clara’s mother, a colleague of Kristina’s, asked her whether she could find summer work for Clara and a friend at the café’ Kristina owned in Attard. Clara, then a law student, started work during the European Championships of 2004 (as Kristina, a self-confessed football fanatic, remembers it) and continued until she finished University – over which time the two grew increasingly close. Eight years later, on Clara’s 30th birthday, the couple exchanged rings, and on June 13 this year they tied the knot during a ceremony at Ta’ Cenc Hotel in Gozo, surrounded by their family and friends.

So far, nothing unusual – except that with their exchange of vows, Kristina and Clara became the very first same-sex couple to enter into a civil union in Malta since the law came into effect last April. “To be honest, it’s not something we thought would ever be possible in our lifetimes,” says Kristina. “But we always said that if the law ever went through, we’d just go for it.”

“We were in Germany on holiday with both our families when the news came through,” says Clara, “and our parents brought champagne over to the table to celebrate. We thought: why wait? At this point in our relationship, there was nothing to think about.” As soon as they could, the couple got in touch with Clara’s cousin, Sarah Young, a wedding planner, and asked for her next availability – which happened to be Friday 13. “That’s a bit…you know,” Clara laughs. “But I said let’s go for it. We always did things slightly differently, so even that was fitting for our relationship.”

Although the couple were aware from the moment they registered that they were making history, they were adamant that their wedding should be no different to that of any other couple: a celebration, first and foremost, of their love. Thanks to Sarah they managed to organise their dream celebration in just six weeks. “Without her it would definitely not have been possible,” Kristina says.

The ceremony at Mgarr ix-Xini (Photography: Ben Camille)

The ceremony took place in the beautiful surroundings of Kantra, overlooking Mġarr ix-Xini. Kristina and Clara both arrived with their parents, and after their parents had taken their seats, the couple walked down the aisle together. The words spoken were similar to those of any other civil ceremony, and after an exchange of rings and vows, the newly-weds joined their friends and family in celebrating the occasion.

“We each danced with our fathers first, then we had a short dance together, and then we called the rest to join in,” Kristina recalls. Clara is quick to add: “Spending two minutes with the spotlight just on us was a bit nerve-wracking, so we tried to make it as short as possible.”

There were, of course, a few personal touches to the evening. The cake-topper, for example, featuring two women, had to be custom-made and flown in from the US. And Kristina had a pair of rainbow-coloured shoes made for the occasion. “Which I wore after we cut the cake, of course,” she cuts in as Clara tells the story.

But as for their aim of ensuring that the evening was first and foremost about their love, that was never in question. “Throughout the whole evening there was this feeling of happiness and love,” says Clara. “Everyone was having a good time and showing their love for us. That was very important to me.”

“I think the magical part of the actual exchange of vows is what will stay with me the most,” Kristina adds. “Remember, people in our situation would not have thought this would be possible. So being able to stand there and say those words and exchange rings in front of our families will remain with me. The party was great, but it could have been any party. That moment will stay with me.”

Both Kristina and Clara admit that they were surprised at how matter-of-fact everyone they encountered in the run-up to the wedding was about the whole affair. And yet in some regards it was a new experience for everyone involved.

“Well, the make-up artists and hair dressers had double the work,” Clara laughs. “They actually commented that usually when they’re doing the bride, they’re wondering whether the groom will like it, whereas since we were both in the room together, we could give feedback as we went along. We also went to the dressmaker together: we chose each other’s dresses and had them done in a way that they would complement each other’s.”

So what does marriage – and the fact of having been able to get married – mean to the newly-weds? “It puts a seal on a relationship that we’ve always lived as a couple,” says Kristina. “We’ve been living together for 4 or 5 years, but if something had happened – if I were in hospital and Clara needed to visit, she shouldn’t need to ask for permission. These things make a difference. As far as our relationship is concerned, nothing really changes. But now we’re recognised as a couple.”

“The process of organising the Civil Union has itself actually brought the families closer,” says Clara. “And to a certain extent, it gave us a feeling of authenticity. For our parents, seeing guests coming over and showing their love was a reassurance that their kids are loved… irrespective of anything else. That helps us, it helps them, and it’s brought us all closer.”

“This wasn’t just a couple getting married,” says Kristina. “It was a couple being able to do so – finally – in their own country. It was a sense of belonging to your roots and being accepted by them, rather than having to run away from them to achieve your dream.”

Telegraph: HIV: 'the WHO is perpetuating gay stereotypes'

The World Health Organisation has recommended that all gay men take antiretroviral drugs to stop the spread of HIV, but surely education - not more drugs - is the answer
10:37AM BST 15 Jul 2014, by Patrick McAleenan

'A more relaxed attitude to HIV is not exclusive to the gay community' Photo: Alamy


Anything else you’d like us to take responsibility for? Famine in Africa? Umemployment statistics? Binge drinking in Magaluf?

Being gay can often feel like the world is against you, and yet again the planet’s HIV epidemic is being firmly placed on our shoulders. I’m talking about the news that the World Health Organisation has announced for the first time that men who have sex with men should take antiretroviral drugs, in a bid to try and contain the growing rates of HIV in gay communities around the world. That’s all men who have sex with men. No mention of men who have sex with women. Are they all suddenly having safe sex?