French Parliament Rejects Same-Sex Marriage
France's National Assembly voted 293-222 against legalizing same-sex marriage June 14. President Nicolas Sarkozy's ruling Union for a People's Movement party opposed the measure. In January, France's Constitutional Court upheld the ban on same-sex marriage but said Parliament could change the law if it wanted to. The court ruled that gay and straight couples find themselves in a "different situation" that justifies differing treatment under family law. Polls suggest that some 60 percent of French people support letting same-sex couples marry. The nation has offered civil unions for gay couples for more than a decade, but the unions lack some of the benefits of marriage.
ILGA-Europe Condemns Croatian Pride Violence
Police in Split, Croatia, were both unwilling and unable to protect the June 11 gay pride parade, the European Region of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, and Intersex Association charged June 14.
"ILGA-Europe is appalled by the inadequate actions of the Croatian police, which caused a situation when the participants of the Pride march were forced to march next to the violent crowd," the group said. "Due to such an inadequate police arrangement, the violent hooligans were free to shower the participants of the Pride march with petards, stones, ashtrays and other objects. A number of people were hit, including Linda Freimane, co-chair of ILGA-Europe's Executive Board."
The thousands of anti-gay protesters also hurled bottles, flares, tear gas, eggs, tomatoes, glass, bricks, shoes, paint, cigarette lighters and flowerpots at the 200 marchers. And they shouted, "Kill the gays." Up to a dozen people were injured, including some reporters.
Gay People to Picket Russian Embassy in London
LGBT people plan to protest at the Russian Embassy in London on July 1. They will demand that Russia's voting rights at the Council of Europe be revoked. Despite a European Court of Human Rights ruling this year that Moscow's yearly bans of gay pride violate the European Convention on Human Rights, the city prohibited the march again in May. When a small group of people attempted to defy the ban, 18 of them were aggressively arrested, much the same as in previous years, when the activists also were beaten by anti-gay hooligans and assaulted by religious counterprotesters.