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Catalonia, Spain Introduces Powerful Hate Crime Law to Protect LGBT People

SpainThe parliament of Catalonia, an autonomous community in Spain, has passed a law to fight anti-gay violence. Specifically, the law targets attackers of the LGBT community with fine — maximum €14,000 (~$17,500).

Pink News points out that, despite that Spain is one of the gay-friendliest countries in Europe — having same-sex marriage for almost 10 years — this law is a response to a report in July that said the majority of Spain's hate crime in 2014 was motivated by sexual orientation, with 452 identified cases. (All this is not to mention suspicious, recent bar raids by police.)

Opponents of the bill include Spain’s conservative Popular Party, which says the law makes it so the burden of proof will be shifted — that those accused of homophobia will have to prove their innocence.

Said Popular Party spokesperson Dolors López:

Why isn’t there an anti-discrimination law for immigrants or ethnic minorities[...]You can’t come up with a specific law for every group suffering discrimination [...] This law grants the LGBT collective an extraordinary system of protection that other groups don’t enjoy.


Spanish Senator Blames Gays For €1 Trillion National Debt

Luz Elena Sanin

Luz Elena Sanin proves that the U.S. has no monopoly on hyperbolic wingnuttery in politics. During a discussion of Spain's national debt, the senator from Ceuta blamed the previous prime minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero for racking up over €1 trillion with "favors" to the gay community

Sanin didn't elaborate on what, precisely, those favors were, just that the government had been subsidizing homosexuals. Normally this is where the party would circle the wagons and double-down to defend the outrageous statements made by one of their own, but unlike the GOP Sanin's conservative Popular Party wasted no time in distancing themselves from her toxic remarks. MP Francisco Marquez, a Popular Party congressional representative from Ceuta, said Sanin's words in no way reflect the positions of the Popular Party.


Miss Spain Comes Out Via Instagram, Becomes First Openly Gay National Beauty Queen

Yurena2

Reigning Miss Spain Patricia Yurena posted an intimate photo with her musician girlfriend Vanesa Cortes via Instagram last week, becoming the first openly gay national pageant queen in the process.

Yurena followed up her "Romeo and Juliet" captioned photo with another picture with Cortes on Friday as well as a message thanking fans for their support. 

"I published the picture completely spontaneously and in an impulsive manner. Thank you for all your support," Yurena tweeted.

New York's Daily News adds that Yurena also won the crown in back in 2008 and might be the last national beauty queen from Spain after the company that runs the pageant filed for bankruptcy in 2013. 


Sitges Pride Is A Million Times More Fun Than Your City's Pride - VIDEO

Sit_a

If you’ve ever been to Barcelona you may have heard of Sitges, the gay-friendly beach town less than an hour away. The city’s seafront promenade, art deco architecture and nightlife make it a popular tourist spot, and its annual Pride event looks raucous enough to challenge even the rowdiest American Pride.

Someone at the Sitges tourist board has done their homework and made a Sitges Pride promotional video touting the event’s fifth anniversary that's chock-full of cute guys, poolside steaminess, pop music, flashy drag-queens, and fishbowl booze. The event's stage show also has imitations of Michael Jackson, Cher and the Black-Eyed Peas.

Marketing or no, it still looks like a hella good time.

Watch the video AFTER THE JUMP…

Screen Shot 2014-08-04 at 12.53.57 PM

Continue reading "Sitges Pride Is A Million Times More Fun Than Your City's Pride - VIDEO" »


Millions Hit Streets of Madrid for LGBT Pride, Including Conchita Wurst: VIDEO

Madrid

More than a million people took to the streets of Madrid, Spain yesterday for one of Europe's largest LGBT Pride celebrations, Expatica reports:

ConchitaTens of thousands crammed one of the Spanish capital's broad central avenues, the Paseo del Prado, in the early evening to the din of drums and whistles in a parade scheduled to last seven hours.

Organisers expected more than a million people at the evening parade, the main event in five days of festivities by defenders of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights.

The festival kicked off on Wednesday night with an open air appearance by Conchita Wurst, the bearded Austrian transvestite who won the Eurovision song contest in May. That was followed on Thursday by an annual highlight of the festival: men in high heels and dresses raced on foot through Madrid's gay district, Chueca, cheered on by crowds.

Wurst sang on Friday evening alongside various Spanish stars at a concert in the Vicente Calderon stadium, home to Atletico Madrid football club.

Watch highights from Madrid's Pride parade and part of Conchita's appearance in which she sings "And I'm Telling You", AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Millions Hit Streets of Madrid for LGBT Pride, Including Conchita Wurst: VIDEO" »


Spain’s LGBT Leaders Receive First-Ever Reception from Newly Enthroned King and Queen

On Tuesday, Spain’s LGBT community leaders were welcomed at the royal El Pardo palace – marking the first time the country's monarchy has ever granted LGBT leaders such a reception.

Screen Shot 2014-06-24 at 11.28.46 AMSpain’s newly enthroned King Felipe and Queen Letizia (right) met with Boti Garcia, president of Spain’s State Federation of Lesbians, Gays, Transsexuals and Bisexuals, and José María Núñez-Blanco, president of LGBT rights group the Triangle Foundation - along with representatives of 350 other organizations, The Local reports.

García admitted that she had been surprised to receive the invitation, noting: "We have asked more than once for meetings with the vice president of the government and he's never even answered."

The queen was more attentive to the leaders than the king, according to local media. The Local adds:

"We felt that our message had been listened to and understood, " said García.

She said that she had asked the queen to defend the human rights of people who may be persecuted for their sexual orientation in countries that the royal couple visit while performing official duties.

García added her hope that the meeting would "go beyond mere protocol" and lead the royal couple to adopt a "proactive defence" of human rights.

Spain's gays get first ever royal reception [the local]


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