Belgium Hub

Belgians Stage Gay Kiss-In In Front Of Russian Consulate In Antwerp: VIDEO


Over 400 people staged a gay kiss-in in front of the Russian consulate in Antwerp to protest that nation's anti-gay laws, according to LGBTQ Nation. The event entitled "To Russia With Love" was timed to coincide with the end of the World Out Games which were taking place in Antwerp. No doubt the organizers also intended to draw a parallel between those games and the upcoming Sochi Olympics that have drawn so much attention and scrutiny. Protesters called on the IOC to pull the Olympics from Russia given the nation's intolerance for gays and lesbians. The crowd outside the consulate was a diverse group including athletes from the Out Games, prominent Belgian officials who came to show support and at least one notable guest, Yury Gavirkov, Chair of St. Petersburg Pride, who was recently arrested in Russia for his role in attempting to orchestrate that city's pride festival. 

Watch the kiss-in in action AFTER THE JUMP...


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Towleroad Guide to the Tube #1370

GET LUCKY: Dancing to a Daft Punk cover.

ALLEN ROSENTHAL: A survivor of the 'ex-gay' group NARTH speaks out.

OWL: Loves being petted.

BELGIUM: Liberal humanists celebrate 10 years of marriage equality.

For recent Guides to the Tube, click HERE.

Topless Activists Drench Anti-Gay Belgian Archbishop with Water in Anti-Homophobia Protest


A group of topless activists drenched Belgian Archbishop Andre-Joseph Leonard with water yesterday in Brussels, the NY Post reports:

With messages scrawled on their torsos, the members of the group FEMEN crashed Leonard’s planned lecture on blasphemy at ULB university and screamed insults at him while dousing him with water. Leonard, 72, has come under fire for his opposition to gays and a willingness to express it publicly.

“Homosexuality is not the same as normal sex in the same way that anorexia is not a normal appetite,” he said in a Belgian television interview.

More photos (work-unfriendly) here.

You may recall that Leonard was pied in the face by activists a year ago after suggesting AIDS stemmed from the wrath of God and calling it "a sort of intrinsic justice."


Belgian Newspaper Publishers Prove Power Of Print: VIDEO


How many ways can we say that newspapers are on the decline? Not too many more. But as a coalition of Belgian newspaper publishers called Newspaperwork proves, there are still clever ways to show the public (and advertisers) how gripping the shrinking broadsheet can be.

The description from their YouTube video, "6 Things You Can Miss While Reading a Newspaper:"

On behalf of Newspaperswork, the marketing platform for all Belgian newspaper publishers, we gave three top advertisers a free ride in a chauffeur-driven car. So that, for once, they could read their newspaper in peace and quiet. And they kept on reading. Despite the fact that we provided more than enough to distract them...

While their point is clear, the execution may be off: for example, some readers may be interested in seeing a chauffeur remove his trousers. Take a peek for yourself AFTER THE JUMP.

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Belgium to Swear in EU's First Openly Gay Prime Minister, Elio di Rupo

On Tuesday, Belgium will swear in the Euroipean Union's first openly gay Prime Minister, French-speaking socialist Elio Di Rupo:

DirupoDi Rupo, the first Francophone premier in 32 years for the divided nation, will take office as a new Socialist leader among a group of European governments dominated by the center-right.

Di Rupo was due to meet King Albert II Monday evening to give him the names of Belgium's new cabinet ministers, according to people familiar with the matter. According to local press reports, the cabinet will comprise 13 members including Di Rupo. Longstanding finance minister Didier Reynders will be moving to foreign affairs and Steven Vanackere, from the centrist Flemish liberal party, moving to finance.

"My first words are for the citizens" Di Rupo said last week, as he set out the new government's plans, including public sector cuts and new taxes, last week. "I want to thank them for their patience ... together, we need to roll up our sleeves and get this country out of crisis."

A BBC profile on Di Rupo describes his public coming out:

Mr Di Rupo, a homosexual, found his own love life suddenly under scrutiny in 1996 when he was falsely accused of having had sex with under-age males. According to Van de Woestyne, Mr Di Rupo admits that he might have killed himself had he not been totally vindicated in the affair.

Speaking to the author of Elio Di Rupo, A Life, A Vision (French: Elio Di Rupo. Une vie, une vision), he recalled being pursued down the street by a media pack and how one journalist had exclaimed "Yet they say you're a homosexual!"

"I turned around and shot back: 'Yes. So what?' I will never forget that moment... For several seconds there was silence... People were so surprised by my reply they stopped jostling each other. It was a sincere, truthful reply."

His career did not appear to suffer. Three years later, Mr Di Rupo was leader of the Socialist Party and, shortly afterwards, became regional prime minister of Wallonia.

Di Rupo is not the world's first out gay leader. In February 2009, Johanna Sigurdardottir, an out lesbian, became the Prime Minister of Iceland.

Watch: Anti-Gay Belgian Archbishop Hit in Cream Pie Attack


The head of Belgium's Roman Catholic Church, Andre-Joseph Leonard, was hit with cream pies several times on  Tuesday by activists. A clip of the attack was posted by 'The Glooper' who AFP reports has already successfully targeted French President Nicolas Sarkozy and billionaire Microsoft founder Bill Gates.

Leonard AFP adds: "It was filmed Tuesday during a speaking engagement at the Catholic University of Louvain-la-Neuve, near Brussels. It is the second time the archbishop has been targeted. Leonard enraged Belgium's gay community last year when he suggested AIDS stemmed from the wrath of God, labelling the disease 'a sort of intrinsic justice.'"

Leonard has also compared homosexuality to anorexia.

The notation on the YouTube posting suggested that the Archbishop's anti-gay views and views on abortion were being protested, as well as his views on AIDS.

Watch the video, AFTER THE JUMP...

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