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Gay Slovenia

| May 28th, 2016 | No Comments »

Intro: Slovenia, a former Yugoslavia republic, is a small pretty country of mountains, fertile pastures and picturesque villages. Old town Ljubljana looks storybook. History stretches back to Roman times. Having escaped the horrors of the 90’s Balkan wars for the most part, the citizens here have moved forward with modest prosperity. Homophobia exists of course but it has not been violent or virulently religious. Gay activists work busily and quietly to push for more complete partnership recognition and registration. Also see: Gay Slovenia News & Reports 2000 to present Gay Slovenia Photo Galleries   By Richard Ammon Updated May 2016   Progress and Peace If you read the Slovenia News & Reports page on this site, you will see a progressive country that has allowed civil partnerships since 2006. More recently, the Constitutional Court ruled that the country’s law on inheritance and succession discriminates same-sex couples and required that it

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Gay Hungary (Budapest)

| April 25th, 2016 | Comments Off on Gay Hungary (Budapest)

Intro: Budapest is a ‘miracle’ city of world class cultural venues, orderly, efficient transportation, reliable peaceful (right-wing) governance, manicured parks, breezy free-thinking cafes, gourmet restaurants, palatial hotels, heroic monuments and palatial thermal baths. The miracle is that the freedom, independence, capitalism, and beauty of today have survived and grown far beyond the chaos and centuries of war, persecution, invasion, holocaust, fascism and communism to become a world-class metropolis. Included in that freedom  is a LGBT scene that is mostly alive and well. Also see: Gay Hungary News & Reports 1999 to present Hungary Photo Galleries By Richard Ammon November 2006 Updated April 2016   Gay Budapest: Háttér Society Along with the great art, great food and great cafes, and I also paid a visit  to the humble and anonymous offices of Háttér LGBT association which, like the struggle of David vs Goliath, is still powering along since 1995 advocating for

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Portugal – Lisbon 1

| February 12th, 2016 | Comments Off on Portugal – Lisbon 1

Portugal, Lisbon 1 Lisbon is a huge open-air walking museum of history, culture, modern buildings, great monuments, beautiful harbor and exquisite food. It’s busy even in the shoulder seasons for good reason: prices are affordable. Renting a car is the only way to go to see the grand vistas, roadside flowers, the mountain snow, high altitude stone houses, historic ports, endless cafes, ancient castles, great universities and the unique castles in the town of Sintra. Lisbon has a population of about 552,000 and is one of the major economic areas on the continent, with a growing financial sector and one of the largest container ports on Europe’s Atlantic coast.    

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Portugal – Lisbon 2

| February 12th, 2016 | Comments Off on Portugal – Lisbon 2

Lisbon is a huge open-air walking museum of history, culture, modern buildings, great monuments, beautiful harbor and exquisite food. It’s busy even in the shoulder seasons for good reason: prices are affordable. Renting a car is the only way to go to see the grand vistas, roadside flowers, the mountain snow, high altitude stone houses, historic ports, endless cafes, ancient castles, great universities and the unique castles in the town of Sintra. Lisbon has a population of about 552,000 and is one of the major economic areas on the continent, with a growing financial sector and one of the largest container ports on Europe’s Atlantic coast.   RSS:

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Portugal – Porto City

| February 4th, 2016 | Comments Off on Portugal – Porto City

Intro: Porto is an adventurous city of hills, rivers, bridges, old town pavements, many churches some with decorated with magnificent exterior blue and white tiles; it’s a city that makes port wine, of course. There is a medieval Ribeira (riverside) district with narrow cobbled streets that wind past old merchants’ houses and plenty of cafes.  The city is the second largest in Portugal and is home to a fine university founded in 1911 that focuses on science & medicine.  

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Gay in Putin’s Moscow: Why the City is Pinker Than You Think

| December 6th, 2015 | Comments Off on Gay in Putin’s Moscow: Why the City is Pinker Than You Think

    LGBT nights are easy to find and Grindr reaches into the heart of the Kremlin itself. But two years after the law banning ‘homosexual propaganda’, can being gay in the Russian capital really be much fun? By Chris Michael, Judith Soal and Maeve Shearlaw The Guardian 13 June 2015 http://www.theguardian.com/cities/2015/jun/13/gay-putin-moscow-life-nightlife-clubbing-law-lgbt     “Moscow is like a small European city in the mid-90s,” says Anton Krasovsky. “Everybody knows everybody. Everybody knows who’s gay, even if nobody’s out.”   Well, not nobody. In 2013, when the Duma was debating a new law outlawing “gay propaganda”, Krasovsky was a beloved Russian TV personality, working for a news channel he’d co-founded called Kontr TV. At the end of a wide-ranging discussion on the proposed legislation, Krasovsky said, on air: “I’m gay. And I’m just as much a human being as President Putin, or Prime Minister Medvedev, or the members of the Duma.”

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Bosnia Activists Hope EU Bid Will Help End Anti-LGBT Violence

| December 1st, 2015 | Comments Off on Bosnia Activists Hope EU Bid Will Help End Anti-LGBT Violence

“Most people keep their sexuality a secret. There is lots of discrimination here.” Gay campaigners are hoping that Bosnia’s bid to join the European Union, which has put its human rights record under greater scrutiny, will lead to change.   By Morgan Meaker Associated Press Thomson Reuters Foundation December 1, 2015 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/bosnia-lgbt-community_565dca9ae4b08e945fec99b3?ir=Gay%2BVoices%253Fncid%253Dnewsltushpmg00000003   Sarajevo, Bosnia Ivan has not told his parents, or many friends, that he’s gay. “I want to tell them, of course,” he said. “Every person on this planet needs to share nice things from his private life; to say ‘I’m happy, I have a boyfriend’.” Now in his 20s, Ivan has known he was gay since he was a child but in Bosnia, where attacks on LGBTI [lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual and intersex] people are common despite mounting pressure for the government to tackle discrimination, he doesn’t feel he can be open about his sexuality. Gay campaigners

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Portugal – Coimbra University and Town

| July 5th, 2015 | Comments Off on Portugal – Coimbra University and Town

Coimbra was the capital of Portugal (from 1131 to 1255). Still visible today are Roman artifacts such as the aqueduct and the cryptoporticus (a semi-subterranean gallery with vaulted ceiling). The most outstanding feature in the city is the University of Coimbra founded in 1537. It is the oldest academic institution in the Portuguese-speaking world. The campus buildings were classified as a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 2013.    

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Portugal – Obidos Town

| July 1st, 2015 | Comments Off on Portugal – Obidos Town

Obidos is an ancient walled Roman town that was taken over by the Visigoths from the north in medieval times. These rulers fell to the Arab Moors in the 9th century and were in turn defeated by a Portuguese army led by the first king of Portugal Alfonso Henriques in 1148. It has been been in Portuguese hands ever since. It is a picturesque walled town capped with a castle (now a hotel). Narrow stone lanes lead to numerous other hotels and restaurants and shops. Outside of town is the famous and ancient Church of Santa Maria, unusual for it five-sided shape. It was the site of the marriage of King Afonso V to his cousin, Princess Isabella of Coimbra in1441 when they were both children aged 9 and 10. Politics started early then. It is still an active church–with no chairs or pews.  

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Gay Greenland–Past and Present

| May 5th, 2015 | Comments Off on Gay Greenland–Past and Present

Intro: Greenland is a model of how the whole world could be if we removed politics and religion from human rights; peaceful and tolerant with no guns, no gay marriage bans, no radical fairies and no radical clergy.   By Richard Ammon Globalgayz.com May 2015 I wasn’t sure if I should include Greenland in this website. Gay life there is almost a non-event, but not for lack of a LGBT presence; we are everywhere. There has been a modest Gay Pride march since 2010  suggesting an organization that makes it happen. But mostly because the ‘scene’ is so low key, small, non-violent, integrated into the larger culture; there is no public drama or news worthy events to stir up the media. When the historic 1996 same-sex partnership registration law came into effect in Greenland–by a Royal Danish Decree on 1 July 1996–it slipped in as quietly as a starlit night.

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Northern Spain: Barcelona to Veruela Monastery

| April 14th, 2015 | Comments Off on Northern Spain: Barcelona to Veruela Monastery
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Portugal – Sagres Town Photos

| April 13th, 2015 | Comments Off on Portugal – Sagres Town Photos

Sagres was founded in the 15th century. Other than its coastal location for a fort and a lighthouse it was of little importance. It remained an independent municipality until 1834 with barely 400 inhabitants. Its most famous resident was Prince Henry the Navigator who started a nautical school that supported Portuguese commercial explorations around the world. Today it is a modest tourist destination with fine beaches and dramatic cliffs that drop vertically into the ocean.        

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Portugal – Sintra Town and Palaces

| April 13th, 2015 | Comments Off on Portugal – Sintra Town and Palaces

Sintra is a fairyland town in the mountains and forests west of Lisbon. Here monarchs and wealthy people built extravagant castles and palaces in the 18th and 19th centuries. Today the whole area is a sprawling outdoor museum of lifestyles and architecture long past.  

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Portugal – Evora Town Photo Gallery

| April 12th, 2015 | Comments Off on Portugal – Evora Town Photo Gallery

Evora is one of the oldest cities in Europe. Here are remnants of very ancient civilizations of 7500 years ago as well as Roman temple ruins and Spanish 18th century churches.

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Portugal – Estremoz

| April 11th, 2015 | Comments Off on Portugal – Estremoz

Estremoz is a modest town in central Portugal with a population of about 15,000. The area has seen human habitation since pre-historic times. Over the centuries various conquering armies and of  Romans, Visigoths , Moors and Muslims have occupied  the land at various time. All are gone now and a modern republic of Portugal has coalesced there since the 13th century. Estremoz is internationally known for its multi-colored marble strains. There is so much marble around Estremoz that it is used everywhere; even the doorsteps, pavements and the cobble stones are made out of marble. It has an everyday life with cafes, small hotels, a central common, a military cavalry outpost and a restored castle that’s now a luxury hotel.  

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Portugal, Mertola

| April 10th, 2015 | Comments Off on Portugal, Mertola

The town of Mértola has around 2800 inhabitants. It is located on a hill by the Guadiana River and its strategic location made it an historic important fluvial commercial port from ancient antiquity through the period of Islamic domination (711-1238). Among the vestiges of its past, Mértola’s main church was the only medieval mosque to have survived in Portugal.  

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Gay Life in Modern Portugal

| April 9th, 2015 | Comments Off on Gay Life in Modern Portugal

A few days in Lisbon is enough to whet one’s appetite for more of this vibrant, stylish, culinary-dense, historic and trendy city. It’s also in the forefront of Gay Life in Europe.   By Richard Ammon GlobalGayz.com March 2015 (most photos by GlobalGayz.com)   Lisbon is alive with countless cafes serving up a thousand menus of pastries, espresso, sea food–indeed, any and every type of edible swimmer from squid to prawns, all fish, clams and lobsters. Along the noisy cobblestone streets run luxury sedans, sports cars, motorcycles, tourist-laden tuk-tuks, buses, trolley cars, long yellow city buses, and endless tourist vans and buses. Pedestrian-only streets are scattered across the city, up an down the seven hills. The enormous passenger and cargo port disgorges goods and visitors among the towering cathedrals, basilicas, parish churches, hilltop fortress, museums, charming local plazas and countless luxury hotels and small hostels with 10×10 rooms. The streets

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Portugal – Sagres Town

| March 10th, 2015 | Comments Off on Portugal – Sagres Town

Sagres is a town in the southwest coastal corner of Portugal. The population in 2011 was 1,909. The town overlooks some of the Algarve’s most beautiful scenery. There is an ‘end-of-the-world’ feel with its sea-carved cliffs and empty desolate fortress high above the ocean. It is historically associated to Portugal’s impressive nautical past, but today there is only a reminder statue of Henry the Navigator. . Its appeal lies mainly in its sense of isolation (in contrast to the dense Algarve), as well as fine beaches. It has a laid-back vibe and charming cafes and bars.  

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Gay Life in Ukraine 2012-14

| October 16th, 2014 | Comments Off on Gay Life in Ukraine 2012-14

Introduction There are many fronts in the universal struggle for gay rights and LGBT equality. Some of these fronts are violent, some are passive, some are out and proud and colorful while others are underground. All of them involve courage, stealth, strategic planning, public relations, political lobbying and greater or lesser amounts of money. In 2012 Ukraine the efforts for “Gay Life in Ukraine” are no less strained and courageous. Yet, despite Orthodox Catholic opposition, homophobic skinheads, political bigotry and a conservative society, the ‘International Forum of LGBT–Festival Kiev Pride2012’ (one of 19 LGBT groups that form the larger ‘Council of LGBT Organizations of Ukraine’)–tried to stage a Pride Parade and Festival in May 2012. It was cancelled by the authorities who feared violence. In was to be a test whether Ukraine was ready or not for the European Community with its tolerant human rights standards. It was not. For LGBT

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Gay Ukraine After the Revolution: Life is Dangerous

| August 2nd, 2014 | Comments Off on Gay Ukraine After the Revolution: Life is Dangerous

Activist Globa Bogdan, who had his hopes for Kiev Pride dashed this year, says the culture of machismo threatens LGBT Ukrainians.   By Thom Senzee July 09 2014 The Advocate (http://www.advocate.com/world/2014/07/09/kiev-activist-life-dangerous-lgbt-ukrainians) (Photo right: activist Globa Bogdan at Baltimore Pride 2013 ) For Bogdan Globa, founder and executive director of Tochka Opory|Fulcrum, an LGBT rights advocacy organization in Ukraine, the dream of celebrating LGBT Pride the way he saw it done in America seems farther away than ever following the cancellation of Kiev’s 2014 March for Equality last week. Yet this young gay activist remains determined and optimistic in a country he sees as intoxicated with machismo after having stood up to its behemoth neighbor to the north, Russia. However, that bravado is making it harder than ever to be an LGBT Ukrainian. Globa, whose organization includes a project similar in mission to PFLAG called TERGO, and his mother, Olena Globa,

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Best Gay Nude Beach in Ukraine: Simeiz Village

| October 17th, 2013 | Comments Off on Best Gay Nude Beach in Ukraine: Simeiz Village

Below is an article from the Ukrainian gay newspaper ‘Our World’ praising the attractions of this heavenly beautiful place. Introduction The fame of Simeiz (located on the Crimean peninsula, near the city of Yalta) as a gay resort goes as far back as to the 70s, when homosexuality was still criminally prosecuted and hundreds of Soviet gays were jailed each year. In part due to its remoteness from main tourist attractions of the Republic of Crimea haunted by happy heterosexual families, Simeiz used to be (and so remains) the most flamboyant gay beach of the former Soviet Union. In terms of infrastructure, it has not much to offer as compared to Sitges in Spain. Simeiz’s fame has spread rapidly around the world. Today in summer you can find here gays from Moscow and Kiev, USA and Holland, UK, France, Australia and Belgium. Gay Black Sea Area Simeiz is a spa

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Russian Gay Activist Speaks Out 2013

| October 2nd, 2013 | Comments Off on Russian Gay Activist Speaks Out 2013

Gay City News October 2, 2013. By Doug Ireland Nikolai Baev, 38, (photo right)  is a veteran Russian gay activist born and raised in Moscow. He founded the first gay group in the city of Novosibirsk when he was a university student there, and is one of the original organizers of the efforts to stage the banned Moscow Gay Pride. Baev has been on the front lines of the most militant wing of the Russian gay movement’s work. As one of the handful of Russian queers brave enough to speak out in the media, Baev has again and again defied official repression. Nikolai Baev address his nation’s draconian new law, the value of boycotts, and the status of organizing Baev is the complainant in a lawsuit challenging a repressive, “no-promo-homo” law passed in 2006 in the city and region of Ryazan that came in response to the first Moscow Gay

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Belgium Gay Life and the Out Games 2013

| September 15th, 2013 | Comments Off on Belgium Gay Life and the Out Games 2013

A remarkable double event in Antwerp as it hosted the OutGames 2013 and the affiliated Human Rights Conference themed ‘From Safe Harbor to Equality’.   By Richard Ammon GlobalGayz.com September 2013 Being There There was nothing quite like it before or since. As I stepped off the streamline train from the Brussels airport into the high steel and glass arches of the Antwerp train station I was faced with a huge red canvas billboard: “Antwerp welcomes you to the World OutGames 2013“. (photo right) It was a familiar sign in a foreign place; familiar from the previous two Outgames (Montreal 2006; Copenhagen 2009). Now it was Belgium’s turn to sponsor one of the world’s biggest sporting events and an important gay human rights conference themed ‘From Safe Harbor to Equality’. Outside the station collecting in pairs and groups I watched ‘obviously’  gay folks heading across the busy square among an

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Antwerp, Belgium World OutGames Human Rights Conference

| August 10th, 2013 | Comments Off on Antwerp, Belgium World OutGames Human Rights Conference

August 4-7, 2013 Preceding the OutGames is an international Human Rights Conference that brings together hundreds of LGBT activists and human rights leaders to present papers, hold seminars and give speeches. At the end of the conference a declaration of rights is composed and published.      

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Antwerp, Belgium World OutGames Opening Ceremony

| August 10th, 2013 | Comments Off on Antwerp, Belgium World OutGames Opening Ceremony

August 2, 2013 The OutGames opening ceremony was modest compared to previous years. It was held outdoors in an open area next to the harbor. It was rather crowded as thousands of athletes from 25 countries assembled to hear the speeches and music.      

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