Libya LGBT activist receives asylum in Germany

By : MICHAEL K. LAVERS of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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An LGBT rights activist from the Libyan city of Benghazi has received asylum in Germany.

The activist, who asked the Washington Blade not to publish his name, on Monday said during an exclusive interview from Berlin that he arrived in Germany in May.

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German lawmakers approve same-sex marriage bill

By : MICHAEL K. LAVERS of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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German lawmakers on Friday approved a bill that will extend marriage rights to same-sex couples.

The measure passed in the lower house of the German Parliament, which is known as the Bundestag, by 393-226 vote margin with four abstentions.

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German Parliament set to vote on same-sex marriage

By : Wire Report
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BERLIN (AP) – The German Parliament plans to vote June 30 on whether to legalize same-sex marriage, only days after Chancellor Angela Merkel backed off her conservative party’s long-standing refusal to budge on the issue.

The German news agency dpa reported June 28 the Parliament’s legal committee had given its OK for the vote to take place Friday.

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Germany starts granting humanitarian visas to Chechen gays

By : Wire Report
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BERLIN (AP) – Germany has begun granting gays from Chechnya special visas on humanitarian grounds following reports that gay people are being tortured and killed in the Russian republic.

The Foreign Ministry told The Associated Press June 8 that the first man arrived in Germany on June 6 and four other applications for humanitarian visas are being reviewed.

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Putin and Merkel spar in Russia over Chechnya, election meddling

By : Wire Report
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MOSCOW (AP) – During a tense appearance with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Russian President Vladimir Putin denied on Tuesday that Moscow ever interferes in elections in other countries.

Speaking during a joint news conference following talks at his Black Sea residence, Putin said accusations of meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election were “simply rumors” that were being used as part of the political fight in Washington. He also denied interfering in European elections.

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German Cabinet OKs plan to annul homosexuality convictions

By : Wire Report
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BERLIN (AP) — Germany’s Cabinet on Wednesday approved a bill that would annul the convictions of thousands of gay men under a law criminalizing homosexuality that was applied zealously in post-World War II West Germany.

The decision also clears the way for compensation for those still alive who were convicted under the so-called Paragraph 175 outlawing sexual relations between men.

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Germany’s first openly gay high court judge speaks at University of Michigan

By : Staff Report
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ANN ARBOR, Mich.- At the University of Michigan’s bicentennial colloquium Jan. 30, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor and Justice Susanne Baer from Germany’s highest court had a conversation about what universities will look like in the upcoming years, referencing the issue of classism, which Baer said she believes affects the future of universities the most by hindering diversification.

“The moral of class manifests itself differently and is located within different segments of the population,” Baer said. “Money matters but shouldn’t matter as much when it comes to education.”

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Turkish police use tear gas at Pride parade

By : Wire Report
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Istanbul (AP) – Police in Istanbul used tear gas and detained activists who gathered June 26 to issue a statement to mark gay pride week after authorities banned their rally in the city. At least 19 activists were rounded up, organizers said.

Dozens of activists assembled on Istanbul’s main pedestrian street to publicly read a statement marking the end of the gay, lesbian and transgender pride week and to denounce the ban. Several of them were detained however, before they could speak. Turkish police later used tear gas and rubber pellets to chase activists from side streets.

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Screened Out – Eddie the Eagle

By : Stephen Miller
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Taron Egerton, Hugh Jackman

There aren’t any surprises in the Olympic biopic Eddie the Eagle. In fact, “Eddie” Edwards’ story – as it’s slightly modified from fact here – plays a lot like Cool Runnings, in more ways than one. It’s the ’88 Winter Olympics, and champions who never really had a chance somehow capture the audience’s admiration of the underdog. The world falls in love.

Within its rote plot, Eddie does a nice job of aping ‘80s “glory” pics, with a synthesized soundtrack, loopy camera shots, typical plots, and broad characters that would’ve felt perfectly comfortable in 1988. If audiences know that this sort of long-shot athletic story is what’s being sold, they’re going to love what they buy.

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Veteran receives honorable discharge 50 years after being kicked out of Army for being gay

By : Wire Report
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Columbus (AP) – An 82-year-old Ohio veteran has received an honorable discharge a half century after the Army kicked him out for being gay.

Donald Hallman of Columbus requested a reversal of his 1955 “undesirably” discharged status after President Barack Obama repealed the military’s “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” rule in 2010.

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Screened Out – Labyrinth of Lies

By : Stephen Miller
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Andre Szymanski , Alexander Fehling, Fritz Bauer

It’s amazing to think that anyone could ignore the history of Auschwitz, where over 1.1 million people were exterminated. After the brutalities of WWII and the miraculous financial turnaround of the late 1950s, Germany wanted to do just that – forget. Ex-Nazis hung up their uniforms and quietly slipped back into civilian society. They and the rest of the country hoped that the past would stay in the past.

Labyrinth of Lies is an earnest German-language film about the investigations that brought famous Nazis out of hiding and to trial in the early 1960s. This time, Germans prosecuted Germans, ripping open old wounds.

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Germany will let parents leave gender boxes blank on birth certifcates

By : Staff Report
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Starting Nov. 1, Germany will become the world’s first country allowing parents to not choose a gender on their newborns’ birth certificates, The Huffington Post reports.

The German law aims to recognize intersex individuals and newborns without clearly determinable genitalia, in the hopes of easing the pressure for parents to determine a gender immediately at birth, and avoid making the wrong decision in this early time.

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