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Tens of Thousands of Anti-gay Demonstrators March in France for 'Family Values' - VIDEO

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In a follow-up to last year's wave of anti-gay protests in France, tens of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Paris and Bordeaux Sunday to rally for so-called "traditional family values" and against surrogacy medically assisted pregnancy.

AFP reports the rally was organized by the "Manif pour Tous" ("Protest for Everyone") - the group responsible for last year's anti-gay grassroots movement in the country. The group estimated some 500,000 people took part in the demonstration. Police however claimed 70,000 were present in the capital. In Bordeaux, police said 7,500 people turned out for the march while organizers said 30,000.

Said one demonstrator speaking to Euronews:

"A man meets another man. They see each other for two weeks, they get together, and suddenly they have a child. They separate and then what becomes of the child? It's the same for a woman. Two women together isn't normal. God created a man and a woman."

Watch a Euronews report on the rally, AFTER THE JUMP...

The AFP adds:

An Ifop poll for the Atlantico website on Sunday showed that less than a third (31 percent) of French people were behind the values of the demonstration.

All outThe "All Out" gay rights organisation called for a counter-demonstration "for equality of all couples and families", but drew only a few hundred people under the rain in a central Paris square, Place de la Republique.

An Internet petition it launched, however, attracted more than 200,000 signatures by Sunday.

[top photo via Facebook]

Continue reading "Tens of Thousands of Anti-gay Demonstrators March in France for 'Family Values' - VIDEO" »


Go On A Gender Non-Conforming Journey Of Acceptance With Hollysiz's 'The Light' Video: WATCH

Hollysiz

The new music video from Hollysiz, for the wonderful song "The Light," relays a sad-then-beautiful story of one father's journey toward embracing his gender non-conforming child. In just under four minutes an entire dramatic arc is etched; what could have felt formulaic and passé turns out to be affecting and realistic. And the uplifting ending will have you cheering! 

"The Light" is off Hollysiz's new album, My Name Is, to be released in early October.

Check it out, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Go On A Gender Non-Conforming Journey Of Acceptance With Hollysiz's 'The Light' Video: WATCH" »


French Court Simplifies Assisted Reproduction for Lesbian Moms

6a00d8341c730253ef019b00262017970b-800wiThe AP reports: France's highest court has ruled that same-sex parents can adopt children born in other countries by assisted reproduction.

France has a law that limits assisted reproduction to heterosexual couples who have been together for two years. This has driven many gay couples to go abroad for assisted reproduction. 

Until now, in such cases only a child's birth mother would be legally acknowledged as a legal parent, but now the other partner will be able to adopt.

Last year, France legalized gay adoption and gay marriage, but kinks such as this one are still being ironed out for same-sex French parents.


EU Advocate General Urges European Court of Justice to Drop Gay Blood Donation Ban

Sein-schlussantrag-ist-meist-ein-praejudiz-generalanwalt-paolo-mengozziFrance is reconsidering its lifetime ban on gay men donating blood following a legal assertion that the policy amounted to widespread discrimination. The current law states that “persons whose sexual behaviour puts them at high risk of acquiring severe infectious diseases that can be transmitted by blood.”

Paolo Mengozzi, Advocate General of the European Court of Justice, made his case beginning with the fact that the current law does not clearly define “sexual behaviour.” In barring men who have or have had sex with men from participating in blood drives, Mengozzi went on to argue, the practice fostered discrimination based on sexuality and gender.

While Mengozzi expressed that he felt as if the EU’s prohibition was, in fact, meant to protect the public, its stipulations are currently too broadly defined.

The disproportionate focus on the sexual histories of gay men, he said, came at the cost of taking the time to screen populations whose behaviors, sexual and otherwise, posed more significant risks. Mengozzi’s views are in no way a binding decision for the court as a whole, but it’s common for the opinions of advocate generals to reflect a general shifting in consensus.

 


New Senate Bill Would Create Special Diplomatic LGBT Envoy, Promote Equality Abroad

A bill introduced to the Senate on Thursday by Massachusetts senator Ed Markey (D, right) aims to create an LGBT envoy to promote equal rights abroad. The bill is backed by over twenty other democrats, and although it faces a difficult approval process, it is an exciting step toward LGBT-related diplomacy, particularly given the recent upswing in anti-gay violence in countries ranging from France to Uganda. The official title of the bill is "The International Human Rights Defense Act."

EdMarkeyBuzzfeed reports:

“For the United States to hold true to our commitment to defending the human rights of all people around the world, we must stand with the LGBT community in their struggle for recognition and equality everywhere,” Markey said in a statement to BuzzFeed. “By fostering a coordinated effort across the federal government and relevant agencies, we can meet the enormous challenge before us and work to ensure equality for all people around the globe.”

In addition to creating the envoy’s office, the bill would direct the State Department to “devise a global strategy” to prevent discrimination and violence against LGBT people and coordinate with LGBT-rights advocates in other countries and in international organizations.

If the bill were to pass, it would be a firm indication of a shift in American diplomacy, away from the George W. Bush era, when the U.S. blocked prioritization of LGBT rights in the UN. Though President Obama does not have the best track record with the LGBT community, including a continued refusal to sign the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, he could have the chance to create the envoy post without a congressional vote. 

Currently, twelve human rights organizations are endorsing the bill, including the American Jewish World Service and the Council for Global Equality. 

We will keep Towleroad readers posted as the bill is discussed in Senate.


Têtu Magazine Says 'Mister Gay' Beauty Contestant Can Compete Even if He is a Racist

MrGayMayMatthieu Chartraire, the 22-year-old selected by readers of France's Têtu Magazine to be "Mister Gay May," has been caught in an online racism scandal. Chartraire aired his negative thoughts about people of different races on Facebook and then posted a video of a white woman being attacked by a black man; "This is why I would vote for FN," he wrote, referring to an far-right-leaning, anti-gay political party.

Out.com reports:

The magazine issued a statement on its social media platforms to condemn Chartraire's political views, saying "The fight against homophobia can't be separated from the fight against any other form of discrimination."

However, Chartraire will still be able to compete for the title of Mister Gay 2014, in December. "It's in his right to vote for FN, even if we don't share his beliefs," said Têtu editor-in-chief Yannick Barbe in a Facebook reply. "This is a beauty pageant, and our readers' vote was only based on a single criterion! He only stands for himself, and certainly not for the gay community. (Excluding him) would be censorship, and the best way to victimize him."

I believe it is safe to say that his good looks are trumped by a less-than-desirable attitude. Racism doesn't look good on anyone.

Photo via Têtu.


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