European Union Hub
A massive survey of 93,000 Europeans taken by The European Union's Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) and released to coincide with the International Day Against Homophobia, which is today, shows that most LGBT Europeans are living in fear.
Check out the results of the survey in an interactive map.
According to the data collected, LGBT people start facing difficulties early at school, where they regularly experience bullying and harassment. For this reason, anti-bullying policies should be developed and implemented and teachers should be trained about how to better tackle bullying against LGBT students.
FRA research also shows that LGBT people face discrimination in many other walks of life, including work, housing, social services, and in access to goods and services. About half of all respondents had personally felt discriminated against or harassed in the year before the survey because they were LGBT.
Morten Kjaerum: “What is even more worrying is that LGBT people are frequently victims of hate crime and harassment. About a quarter of all respondents said they had been attacked or threatened with violence in the last five years. High levels of under-reporting were also detected: just 22% of the most serious violent incidents against LGBT people in the five year preceding the survey were reported to the police.”
These experiences of hate and discrimination result in LGBT people living in fear: two thirds of the respondents across all EU Member States were scared of holding hands in public with their same-sex partner. For gay and bisexual men this rose to about 75%.
Watch the FRA's video about the survey and a BBC report, AFTER THE JUMP...
Andy reported Tuesday on the police attack on and subsequent arrest of 44 gay activists in Harare, Zimbabwe, who were meeting peaceably to discuss past infringements of their rights by police. The activists were members of Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe, or GALZ:
“Four police officers attempted to gain entry into the premises before calling for back up where about fifteen (anti) riot squad members descended on the office and effected arrest. Thirty one men and thirteen women members were detained overnight at Harare Central Police Station on 11 August 2012.”
Galz claimed that some of the police officers appeared drunk and assaulted most of the members using baton sticks.
“Police, some of them visibly drunk, assaulted most of the members using baton sticks, open hands and clenched fists before detaining them without charge. Such use of force is in direct contradiction to the Global Political Agreement,” Galz said.
Now, Zimeye reports that both the American embassy and the diplomatic delegation from the European Union have condemned the assault:
“The targeting and abusive treatment of non-governmental groups by members of the police is deeply disturbing part of life in Zimbabwe,” the US Embassy in Harare said.
“Too often, the Zimbabwe Republic Police becomes an instrument of political violence for use against citizens exercising their democratic rights, rather than maintaining its proper role of the people’s protector and guardian of law and order.”
The EU welcomes President Mugabe and Prime Minister Tsvangirai’s recent public calls for peace and for people to avoid resorting to violence. We encourage all Zimbabweans to join these unambiguous calls against violence and violations of human rights.
Zimbabwean president-for-life Robert Mugabe has famously declared that gays and lesbians are "worse than dogs and pigs." He's also insisted that homosexuality violates womens' rights and leads to the eventual extinction of the species, and he once jailed a fellow politician for suggesting he, Mugabe, might be gay.
Like the United States, with its federalist laws and Defense of Marriage Act, the European Union lacks unity when it comes to LGBT rights. One nation may recognize same-sex nuptials or the adoption of a partners' children, but others won't, leaving countless couples in legal limbo, the New York Times reports.
One story of discrimination abroad:
Brad Brubaker, an Ohio native, met his British partner, Paul Feakes, in California in 1995. Mr. Brubaker moved to London and eventually acquired British citizenship. They entered a civil partnership, identical in all but name to marriage. Three years ago they moved to Italy and decided to open an art gallery in the Tuscan seaside town of Pietrasanta.
Italy did not recognize their partnership. In contrast to the normal treatment for married couples working together, they were forced to register the gallery in Mr. Brubaker’s name alone, while Mr. Feakes had to be listed as an employee — with a contract and payroll and all the costly extra paperwork that entailed.
“That’s when we realized the discrimination of it,” Mr. Brubaker said. “People think Europe is so far ahead, and I guess in some ways it is. But it’s not quite there yet.”
The debate overseas parallels the one we hear here in the States: right wingers fear new marriage and family laws encroach on native, often religious traditions and constitutes an overreach of state power.
"A general application of the rule of mutual recognition of civil status documents will result in a situation where the political and social choices of some member states would be imposed on all the others," a Christian lobbying group called CARE for Europe said. And yet American conservatives continue to use the word "European" as a political attack.
Respect for gay rights is a requirement for countries hoping to enter the European Union, the European Commission said in a note this week, EU Observer reports:
"Rights of LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender] people thus form an integral part of both the Copenhagen political criteria for accession and the EU legal framework on combatting discrimination. They are closely monitored by the EU commission, which reports annually on the progress made by enlargement countries with regard to the situation of the LGBT community," it said.
The commission note was sent to EUobserver in response to a question born of an interview with an Armenian cleric.
Armenia, a deeply Christian country where church teaching has more authority than in many EU states with Christian roots, is keen to become an EU member.
Rodney King, dead at 47:
The police in Rialto, Calif., said they received a 911 call at 5:25 a.m. Sunday from Mr. King’s fiancée, Cynthia Kelley, who reported finding him at the bottom of his swimming pool. Mr. King, 47, had been living in Rialto, a small middle-class city, for several years.
Police arrived and removed Mr. King’s body from the pool and tried to resuscitate him. He was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead at 6:11 a.m.
On the "gift" of being a gay dad:
When I finally accepted in my 20s that I was gay and that in order to live a life true to myself I had to come out, I knew there were “risks.” When my mother let loose a stream of consciousness list of fears that the world would visit on me for being openly gay – including never finding happiness, or being bashed coming out of a bar with my lover – the one she settled on was “…and you always wanted to be a father.”
It was the thing that broke my heart: the feeling that by coming out, I was giving up the one thing I had always wanted since I was a kid – more than any profession or any pursuit – being a dad.
LZ Granderson breaks down the "super duper evil gay lifestyle" at TEDx.
Ahmadinejad to voluntarily leave politics in 2013 ...
... though Nicholas D. Kristof doesn't think he'll have a choice.
Greek exit polls show pro-stability, pro-bailout parties eeking a narrow lead.
Sandusky should just plead guilty:
Sandusky’s only real hope at trial was that Mike McQueary, the former Penn State quarterback who allegedly saw Sandusky raping a boy in a shower on campus in 2001, would stumble on the stand. He didn’t ...
... If any good can come out of this spectacle of a trial, it will be our increased awareness about why sexually abused children rarely come forward, and how adults, even well meaning ones, can fail them so terribly. But what matters right now is for Jerry Sandusky to admit to the wrongs the evidence unalterably shows he committed. He owes his victims much more. But this, at least, he could give them.
Joy McNair, daughter of astronaut and Challenger-disaster casualty Ronald McNair, discusses honor and remembrance.
Curiosity, NASA's new Mars-bound rover, will land in August and embark on an awesome off-road journey:
The summer landing will be the start of a Martian ... trip that will take months or possibly a year as Curiosity makes its way toward its final destination, the Gale Crater, said Curiosity contributor James Wray, an assistant professor of Earth and Atmospheric Science at the Georgia Institute of Technology.
... [a] new landing destination has been pinpointed with accuracy previously impossible and will shave several months off Curiosity's drive to Gale Crater. Strategically, the new landing site makes sense. But, "the public and scientists will have to be more patient to get the really juicy stuff," Wray said.
The 'juicy stuff' that Curiosity seeks to uncover is evidence of the ability for life as we know it - past or future - on the Martian surface.
Gale Crater was created more than 3 billion years ago when Mars was struck by a meteorite and now houses three miles of sediment, providing the perfect location for such an investigation. Wray said examining Gale Crater will be similar to going through Earth's history by examining the layers of the Grand Canyon and learning, by the thickness and make up of the rocks, if they were once carved by oceans, lakes or air.
"We'll start down at the base, and we'll just climb up as high as we can during the mission and move forward in time in Martian history and see how the environment changed," Wray said.
Club where Chris Brown and Drake got into scuffle is closed indefinitely.
Earnestine Shepherd, 75-year-old body-building grandma. She's fabulous.