THE Association of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender of Benidorm (ALGTB), and Benidorm Town Council, marked Gay Pride Day with the deployment on the balcony of town hall of a seven metre long rainbow flag that is the Association’s emblem. Tourists from this collective spend 60 per cent more than hererosexual ones in the holidays, €130 compared to the €80 average, according to Turespaña.
The event was also used to highlight Benidorm’s participation in the up and coming International Gay Business and Tourism Exhibition being held in Torremolinos (Malaga) this October. The promotion highlighted on this day was known as ExpoGays Benidorm, and has the support of all the town’s business groups.
Expogays this year was looking to promote support to launch a citizens’ initiative asking the European Union to end discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation in terms of legal recognition of gay marriage, and in particular the discrepancies that exist between the varying states of the European Union.
The organizers’ goal is to collect one million signatures of support throughout the continent. For those interested, the signature collection campaign will be carried out electronically, via the internet, at the website www.peticiongay.com.
The European Union, in an effort to promote democracy, has an initiative whereby any cause that can raise a million signatures from E.U. citizens has the legal right apply directly to the European Parliament to amend legislation.
Laudable stuff, and (see article Fogueras Aftermath on Beaches) for those of you wanting to bone up on your knowledge of E.U. rules, this right has recently been enshrined in European law with European Commission approval on February 16 2011, under Regulation (EU) No. 211/2011 of the European Parliament, and the Council on Citizens’ Initiative. ExpoGays are campaigning for harmonisation of marriage rights for all couples throughout Europe.
Most E.U. states have some form of recognition of gay rights in marriage, varying from full marriage to legally binding civil partnership.
However certain states still do not give any recognition to such and it is this anomaly this is what the petition is intending to address.
The list of usual suspect, E.U. countries to avoid, if you are gay and are contemplating marriage, are predictable to an extent given their geographical and religious positions, and are Bulgaria, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Cyprus, Malta, Greece, Italy and the three Baltic states Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
By Paul Deed