Gay Life in Portugal

“Gay Life in Portugal” is a struggle but it’s alive and well. Portugal is an example of a culture that is not afraid to lean into the future of humanity. Despite old cultural habits, legal challenges and archaic religious beliefs this small country with an enormous history of world dominion has grabbed the mantel of future humanism and said yes to the newest social phenomenon of gay marriage, an idea that revolts most of the world but entices Portugal to take on the challenge of change.

Gay Life in Albania

Introduction: Albania is a mixed situation for gay and lesbian citizens. On one hand, in February 2010, the Parliament of Albania unanimously approved an all inclusive anti-discrimination law which bans discrimination in on the grounds of various characteristics, including sexual orientation and gender identity. However, on the negative side, according to BalkanInsight.com, “…ingrained attitudes among the public leave Albanian gays and lesbians on the fringes of society. They face intolerance, physical and psychological violence – often from the police – and discrimination in the workplace.”

The result is frustrating and risky for LGBT citizens who want to move ahead to a progressive “Gay Life in Albania” of better human rights but are caught in retrograde religious (Muslim and Catholic) opinions and resistant old traditions. Add to these the ever-present hostility of neo-Nazi extremists who fight any effort of gay Europeans to display Pride in public. The new new Albanian anti-discrimination legislation is intended for joining the European Union, whose members are required to adopt comprehensive anti-discrimination legislation. This received a big welcome gesture from humanists but angered the homophobes. So Albania is making strides to emerge into the 21st century while most people are rural poor who know little more than their own potato gardens.

Kurdish, Gay and Proud in Diyarbakir

An interview with a Kurdish Leader of Hebûn LGBT activist group Introduction Diyarbakir city is the capital of the Diyarbakır Province in eastern Turkey. The population is about 1,600,000. Kurds are the predominant population today. Other groups include Turks, Assyrians, Armenians, Arabs and Yazidis. Kurds rarely make it onto the international media, and that’s even

Gay European-Union News & Reports 2011

Combating sexual orientation discrimination European Group of Experts reviews legislative measures taken by the Member States of the European Union to combat sexual orientation discrimination Book URL for Lesbians in Christian church in Europe EGAT – European Aids Treatment Group 1 Discrimination sexual orientation and gender identity in Europe 1/11 2 Euro Parliament blasts Iran on gays

A Whisper of Beauty in Denmark

Around the world are countless breathtaking photo-ops that get swamped with tourist cameras, including mine–the Taj Mahal, Eiffel Tower, the Christus statue above Rio, China’s Great Wall, and so on. Then again, there are also countless small moments where unexpected images of beauty suddenly appear at unforeseen times and places. Sometimes they are intimate and

Copenhagen Day Trip to Malmo, Sweden

Across the Oresund Sound from Copenhagen is Malmo, Sweden, a twenty-minute train ride away. Malmo is the third most populous city in Sweden after Stockholm and Gothenburg. In 2008, its population was 628,388. Women have officially been given permission to swim topless in public swimming pools of the city. This was decided unanimously in the

Denmark’s Royalty

The Danish Monarchy is the constitutional monarchy of Denmark and its overseas territories. It is considered to be the oldest monarchy in the world. The present Queen is Margrethe II. As a constitutional monarch, the Queen is limited to non-partisan, ceremonial functions. The ultimate executive authority over the government of Denmark is still by and

Christiania Village in Copenhagen

Christiania Village Christiania is an 81-acre city within Copenhagen (see Stories, News & Photos) founded in 1971 by ‘alternative’ people–hippies and others seeking a freer lifestyle and a place to live. They invaded and took over an unused military compound against much government resistance. It’s been a forty year off-and-on struggle to keep the authorities

A Homophobia-Free Zone in Copenhagen

By Richard AmmonGlobalGayz.comJanuary 22, 2011 A recent extended stay in Copenhagen allowed me to explore with some depth this pretty, efficient and tolerant city on the north coast of Europe. Denmark is a highly gay-tolerant country compared to most others in the world, with more than two dozen LGBT (gay) venues, organizations and festivals throughout

Gay and Straight at the Malmo, Sweden Train Station

By Richard AmmonGlobalGayz.comJanuary 11, 2011 (1/11/11) Imagine this: arriving at the Malmo, Sweden train station (30 minutes east from Copenhagen) for the first time and looking around at the kiosks, cafes, ticket offices, bustling commuters. Nothing unusual–until I wandered into the variety store (called Interpress, a la 7-Eleven) and beheld a blizzard of print–probably a

On Visiting Copenhagen in Winter

By Richard AmmonGlobalGayz.comJanuary 7, 2010 Snow fell three inches yesterday with fine white ground coat across the park in front of my apartment. On the other side of the park is a leafy evergreen cemetery which is really an extension of the park. It’s a fine time to take a walk across the mono-colored land

Random Images of Moscow

Moscow is the capital of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia and the world. Moscow is the most populous city on the continent of Europe and the seventh largest city proper in the world. The population as of  January 2010 was 10,562,099. Since the

Moscow Subways and the Bombing of March 2010

Moscow has some of the most elegant Metro subway stations of any country, ranging from modernistic art deco interior designs to more ornate baroque-looking walls to huge stained-glass walls. This gallery displays a few of the many styles. During the morning rush hour of March 29, 2010 two suicide bombings were carried out, about 40

Three Famous Burial Grounds

The three famous cemeteries portrayed here contain the remains of Russia’s most notable artists, politicians, military leaders, elite class members and the Czars–including the reburial of the last Czar, Nicholas and his family who were assasinated in 1918 and finally reburied in St Petersburg in 1991. More inspiring are the sites of the great artists

Leo Tolstoy’s Estate Yasnaya Polyana

Yasnaya Polyana was the home of the writer Leo Tolstoy, where he was born, wrote War and Peace and Anna Karenina, and is buried. Tolstoy called Yasnaya Polyana his "inaccessible literary stronghold,". It is located 12 kilometres (7.5 mi) southwest of Tula, Russia and 200 kilometers (130 miles) from Moscow. In 1921 the estate formally became

Random Views of Cologne 2010

Cologne is Germany’s fourth-largest city (after Berlin, Hamburg and Munich), and is the largest city  within the Rhine-Ruhr Metropolitan Area, one of the major European metropolitan areas with more than ten million inhabitants. It is one of the oldest cities in Germany, having been founded by the Ubii in the year 38 BC. The name

Rhine River Castle Cruise 2010

One of Europe’s most picturesque trips is a boat ride down (north) on the Rhine River, from Rudesheim to Koblenz, part of the ‘Middle Rhine’ (from Mainz to Cologne). Between these two destinations there are about twenty-five castles and more charming villages. Tour boats share this part of the river with large cargo barges, cross-river