Pride celebrations in Europe mark 50 years since Stonewall

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MADRID (AP) | European cities celebrated LGBTQ pride on Saturday with colorful parades that also became platforms for political demands and a push back against far-right populist parties.

This year’s events in London, Madrid and Budapest mark the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Inn uprising in New York against police persecution, a turning point in the modern gay rights movement.

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Malta bans conversion therapy, a first for Europe

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VALLETTA, Malta (AP) – Malta has become the first European country to ban conversion therapy, imposing fines of up to 10,000 euros ($10,750) and a jail term of up to one year for offenders.

The Maltese Parliament approved a law Dec. 7 that effectively outlaws any attempts to “cure” gay people of their sexual orientations.

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Gay rights groups build alliances to counter climate of fear

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NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) – Gay rights activists are joining with refugees, ethnic minorities and other groups to beat back forces that are exploiting a climate of fear created by terror concerns, an official with an international gay rights advocacy group said Oct 20.

Joyce Hamilton, Europe co-chairwoman of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association, said allies and partners will be needed to protect human rights in Europe, including gains the LGBT community has made on the continent in recent years.

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AMOUR – featuring Mario Frangoulis, George Perris, and Deborah Myers

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Amour featuring International Stars Mario Frangoulis, George Perris, and Deborah Myers with the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra

Presented by The Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans and the Dr. Phillips Center

Public On-Sale: 10 a.m., Friday, June 10, 2016
Dr. Phillips Center Members get Pre-Sale Access.

Show date: Saturday, October 15, 2016
Show time: 8 p.m.
Tickets start at $35.00
Walt Disney Theater

Three of Europe’s biggest stars come together with the Orlando Philharmonic for one night only. Discovered by Sir Cameron Mackintosh, he is best known for his powerful and charismatic performances. Joining Frangoulis onstage are two international stars. George Perris has performed for sold out audiences around the world and is considered Europe’s next superstar. Soprano Deborah Myers, one of the UK’s most versatile performers, has starred in a variety of musical productions including The King and I, The Pirates of Penzance, and Something Wonderful.

Founded in 1947, Horatio Alger Association honors the achievements of outstanding individuals and administers one of the nation’s largest privately-funded, need-based scholarship programs. Through the generosity of its Members, the Association awards more than $12 million annually to deserving students who have overcome adversity as they pursue their dreams through higher education. In partnership with Members Harvey Massey, Clarence Otis and James Seneff, the Association is proud to present Amour – From Broadway to Puccini.

U.N. creates job to monitor discrimination against LGBTs

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Geneva (AP) — The U.N.’s top human rights body on June 30 decided to appoint an expert to monitor violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, a move applauded by LGBT groups.

In a narrow 23-18 vote with six abstentions, the Human Rights Council called for the creation of a three-year position for an independent expert to look into wrongdoing against gays, lesbians and transgender people. The expert is expected to be appointed at the next meeting of the 47-member, Geneva-based body in September.

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Vienna hosts Europe’s biggest AIDS research charity event

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VIENNA (AP) – Vienna’s central City Hall Square was transformed May 16 into a mythical world of pagan rites and fantastic spectacle as the city hosted its biggest annual party of the year.

The occasion, Europe’s biggest charity event, was serious: raising money for AIDS and HIV research. But as in previous years, the 23rd Life Ball was also a free-for all gala with an emphasis on diversity.

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Gay-themed traffic lights get Vienna in mood to sing

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VIENNA – Gay-themed traffic lights are getting a lot of attention in Vienna as they prepare for an annual multinational singing competition being held in the city on May 23.

Traffic lights in the Austrian capitol have been changed over to reflect images of same-sex couples holding hands and hugging – replacing the usual lone standing figure – as a way to celebrate Vienna’s open-minded attitudes leading up to the Eurovision Song contest.

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European bans on gay men blood donors sometimes OK, says court

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PARIS (AP) — The European Court of Justice ruled April 29 that EU governments may ban gay men from ever donating blood, but only under strict conditions.

The ruling was closely watched by activists and by governments that have lifetime bans on homosexual male blood donors, including the United States.

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Latvia’s foreign minister tweets that he’s gay

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RIGA, Latvia (AP) — Latvia’s foreign minister has announced on Twitter that he’s gay, becoming the first openly gay Cabinet member in the Baltic country.

The announcement by Edgars Rinkevics, 41, was welcomed by gay rights activists as an important step in a part of Europe where lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people often complain of discrimination.

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Before US, gay marriage accepted in parts of world

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LONDON (AP) – The U.S. Supreme Court’s refusal this month to review rulings that overturned bans on same-sex marriage marked a milestone in gay rights in the United States. Around the world, many countries have come to accept such unions as part of the tapestry of everyday life. But there are still pockets of resistance. Here is a look at some countries that have made same-sex marriage common practice:

BRITAIN WAITS, ACCEPTS:

In 1992, five same-sex couples in London applied for marriage licenses in one of the opening salvos of the battle for what campaigners call “marriage equality.”

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