EU court advisor: Same-sex couples entitled to residency rights

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A legal advisor to the European Union’s highest court on Thursday said gay couples should receive the same residency rights that married couples have in the European Union.

The Associated Press reported European Court of Justice Advocate General Melchior Wathelet issued an opinion that he said is not about whether European Union countries should extend marriage rights to same-sex couples. Wathelet did say, however, they should extend spousal benefits in a way that does not infringe “on the rights of citizens of the (European) Union and their family members to move and reside freely within the territory of the member states.”

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Montenegro: Pride event urges less violence, more rights

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PODGORICA, Montenegro (AP) – About 200 people have gathered at an LGBT Pride event in Montenegro urging more rights and zero tolerance for violence against gay people in the conservative Balkan country.

Participants held banners with sayings such as “Proud my son is gay” and “My daughter is lesbian” as they marched Saturday through the Montenegrin capital of Podgorica. Police sealed off the area for protection.

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Dozens gather at LGBTQ Pride in conservative Montenegro

By : Wire Report
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POGORICA, Montenegro (AP) – Dozens of people have participated in a LGBTQ Pride event in highly conservative Montenegro where authorities are promising to boost LGBTQ rights as part of efforts to join the European Union.

Hundreds of policemen deployed Dec. 17 in downtown Podgorica, the capital, to prevent possible attacks from extremists. Participants in the pride march carried banners reading “born this way” or “equality for everyone.”

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German official apologizes after derogatory comments

By : Wire Report
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BRUSSELS (AP) – Germany’s European Union commissioner has apologized for making a derogatory reference to Chinese people and for mocking gay marriage.

Early this week, remarks surfaced from Guenther Oettinger, a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative party, referring to “slanty eyes” and also to “obligatory gay marriage” in Germany.

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German EU official criticized over derogatory comments

By : Wire Report
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BERLIN (AP) – Germany’s representative on the European Union’s executive is facing criticism for appearing to make a derogatory reference to Chinese people and mock same-sex marriage.

Guenther Oettinger, a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative party, referred to “slanty eyes” in a speech that surfaced on YouTube over the weekend. He also said “the German agenda doesn’t in any way do justice to my expectations of German responsibility,” listing alongside actual initiatives “obligatory same-sex marriage.”

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Italy joins the rest of Europe in giving legal rights to same-sex couples

By : Wire Report
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ROME (AP) – Italy has joined the rest of Europe in giving some legal rights to gay couples.

The lower Chamber of Deputies voted 369-193 with two abstentions May 11 to approve legislation already passed in February by the Senate.

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Ukrainian lawmakers approve gay rights bill

By : Wire Report
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KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukrainian lawmakers have approved a bill that bans discrimination of gays, key legislation intended to help pave the way for visa-free travel between Ukraine and the European Union.

The 450-seat parliament on Nov. 12 approved the bill with 234 votes. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko hailed parliament’s action as a “historic” move that brought the nation close to its longtime goal of winning the visa-free regime.

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Anti-gay activists attack Montenegro pride event

By : Wire Report
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Budva, Montenegro (AP) – Several hundred people shouting ”Kill the gays” attacked gay activists and clashed with police on Wednesday in a bid to disrupt the first ever pride event in staunchly conservative Montenegro, which is seeking to improve its human rights record as it bids to join the European Union.

Angry assailants threw rocks, bottles, glasses and various other objects – including chairs from local cafes – at several dozen flag-waving gay activists who shouted back ”Kiss the gays.” A shower of stones and bottles also landed on special police securing the gathering in the coastal town of Budva.

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