Finland Announces Plan To Join NATO, Sweden Expected To Follow

Finland has announced plans to join NATO
(image via Depositphotos)

Russian President Vladimir Putin has made clear in failed negotiations with leaders in Ukraine he did not want Ukraine to join NATO. According to reports, he didn’t want the military alliance that includes the UK, France, Spain, Italy, Poland and more, to get closer to Russian borders.

But now, it seems Putin is going to get exactly what he didn’t want. Continue reading “Finland Announces Plan To Join NATO, Sweden Expected To Follow”

Swedish Pop Star Darin Comes Out: ‘I’m Proud To Be Gay’

Swedish pop star Darin (image via Instagram)

Darin Zanyar, one of Sweden’s best-known pop stars with seven #1 albums since he came to fame on Swedish Idol in 2004, has come out as gay in a post on Instagram.

The singer/songwriter, who generally goes by the single name moniker Darin, shared his post during Stockholm’s annual Pride celebration.

“Everyone in the world should be able to be proud and accepted for who they are,” wrote Darin on Instagram. “I know how difficult it can be. Took me a while, but I am proud to be gay. Happy pride!”

Here’s Darin’s latest single, “En säng av rosor,” which translates to “A Bed of Roses.”

 

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News Round-Up: May 26, 2020

Francisco José Alvarado (via Instagram)

Some news items you might have missed:

Washington Post: Costa Rica became the latest country to legalize same-sex marriage early Tuesday when a ruling from its supreme court went into effect ending the country’s ban. Costa Rica is the first country in Central America to make marriage equality the law of the land.

13WMAZ: A married youth pastor in Georgia created a wild story about being kidnapped to cover up his family learning he’d hired a male prostitute to meet him at a local motel.

Reuters: The AFL-CIO, the largest U.S. coalition of labor unions, endorsed Democrat Joe Biden for president on Tuesday, promising to launch an effort to beat Republican President Donald Trump in the Nov. 3 election. The group represents 55 unions and 12.5 million workers.

Instinct Magazine: Francisco José Alvarado (top photo), a 30-year-old doctor from Spain, beat COVID-19 and became Mr. Gay World 2020. This year’s competition was canceled, but the organizers decided Alvarado – who was the runner-up in 2019 – should be given the title for as this year’s global ambassador for LGBTQ rights.

AlterNet: In late March, when every other European country was in lockdown to stop the spread of the coronavirus, Sweden’s officials decided that Swedes could be relied upon to follow sanitation guidelines themselves. Restaurants, shops, and recreational spots were allowed to stay open. As of May 19, Sweden had more coronavirus deaths per capita than any other country in Europe.

The Daily Beast: The Justice Department informed lawyers for Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) there will be no insider trading charges filed against Loeffler. The senator and her husband, New York Stock Exchange chairman Jeffrey Sprecher, have denied that their sales of millions of dollars in stock – made shortly after a closed-door Senate intelligence briefing on the coronavirus in early January – had anything to do with that information.

Talking Points Memo: A new study produced by business school profs at Columbia and University of Chicago suggests that viewing Fox News is strongly correlated with ignoring social distancing guidance during the first weeks of the COVID19 epidemic and is in fact driving that non-compliance.

Social Media: The Bidens paid tribute to the nation’s veterans on Memorial Day, appearing in public at a wreath-laying ceremony near his Delaware home. Over the weekend, Biden took a swipe at Donald Trump’s golf habit tweeting, “The presidency is about a lot more than tweeting from your golf cart. It requires taking on the ultimate responsibility for the biggest decisions in the world. Donald Trump simply wasn’t prepared for that. I promise you I will be.”

 

Study Shows Suicide Rates Dropped Significantly After Marriage Equality

Stock photo of two men kissing after being married

Stock photo of two men kissing after being married

A new study shows suicide rates among LGBTQ people in Sweden and Denmark fell significantly after same-sex marriage was legalized in the Scandinavian countries.

From The Guardian:

The joint study by the Danish Research Institute for Suicide Prevention and researchers from Stockholm University compared suicide rates for people in same-sex and heterosexual relationships in the periods 1989-2002 and 2003-16.

Denmark became the first country in the world to allow same-sex civil partnerships in 1989, with neighbouring Sweden following six years later. Same-sex marriage, now authorised in 28 countries, became legal in Sweden in 2009 and Denmark in 2012.

The researchers found that between the two periods, the number of suicides among people in same-sex unions fell by 46%, compared to a decline of about 28% in the number of suicides by people in heterosexual relationships.

Annette Erlangsen, the lead author, suggested that along with other gay rights legislation, same-sex marriage may have reduced feelings of social stigmatisation among some homosexual people. “Being married is protective against suicide,” she told Thomson Reuters Foundation.

While the decline is certainly welcome news, the researchers noted that the suicide rate for people in same-sex relationships is still more than twice that of people in opposite-sex marriages.

A 2018 report that compared data from 35 studies across 10 countries showed LGBTQ people are at least three times more likely to attempt suicide than straight people of the same age.

News Round-Up: June 29, 2018

Bremen Menelli

Some news items you might have missed:

• InstaHunk Bremen Menelli is a lean, mean, coffee-drinking machine. #HappyFriday!

• Did you know that song you line danced to in elementary school gym class, at weddings, graduations and Bar Mitzvahs is about a vibrator?

• Oreos goes for the good stuff for Pride Month:

• Sweden is set to have the first LGBT-certified sports stadium where all staff at the 7,200-capacity multi-use arena will be trained in LGBT issues in order to create a welcoming environment. Additionally, all toilets and dressing rooms will be adapted so that there are accessible options for all athletes and spectators, regardless of their gender identity, including gender neutral toilets where possible.

The Flash star Keiynan Lonsdale got trolled on Twitter recently for wearing a dress to the MTV Awards earlier this month where he snagged the award for “Best Kiss” for his liplock with Nick Robinson in Love, Simon.

But Lonsdale handled the homophobe with style, and shared one of the benefits of his sartorial choices: “Allows the balls to breathe and therefore will chill ya out.”

• What to watch this weekend? The critics are raving about the new Hugh Grant BBC mini-series, A Very English Scandal. Starting today the 3-part series is available on Amazon, and according to the reviews, it’s fantastic.

Trump Denounces “What Happened In Sweden” (That Didn’t Happen)

Yesterday, during President Trump’s “campaign rally” in Florida, eyebrows were raised when Herr Trump referenced terrorist attacks around the world and included Sweden in the list. Not just “included,” but lingered on the issue.

“We’ve got to keep our country safe,” Trump said during the rally in Melbourne, Florida. “You look at what’s happening in Germany, you look at what’s happening last night in Sweden — Sweden, who would believe this?”

From the New York Times:

Nothing particularly nefarious happened in Sweden on Friday — or Saturday, for that matter — and Swedes were left baffled.

Mr. Trump did not state, per se, that a terrorist attack had taken place in Sweden.

But the context of his remarks — he mentioned Sweden right after he chastised Germany, a destination for refugees and asylum seekers fleeing war and deprivation — suggested that he thought it might have.

“Sweden,” he said. “They took in large numbers. They’re having problems like they never thought possible. You look at what’s happening in Brussels. You look at what’s happening all over the world. Take a look at Nice. Take a look at Paris. We’ve allowed thousands and thousands of people into our country and there was no way to vet those people. There was no documentation. There was no nothing. So we’re going to keep our country safe.”

Contrary to Mr. Trump’s allegations, nearly all of the men involved in terrorist assaults in Paris on Nov. 13, 2015, in Brussels on March 22 last year, and in Nice, France, on July 14, were citizens of France or Belgium.

From the former Swedish Prime Minister:

UPDATE – President Trump clarifies he was repeating something he saw on TV:

Sweden’s Måns Zelmerlöw Wins Eurovision 2015

Måns Zelmerlöw of Sweden has won Eurovision 2015 with his performance of “Heroes.”

But the winner of the grand, over-the-top annual song competition ran into a bit of trouble with the LGBT community last year when he said LGBT couples should not be parents while appearing on a TV cooking show.

The 28-year-old claimed it “isn’t equally natural for men to want to sleep with one another” and branded homosexuality an “avvikelse” (abnormality), according to WiWiBloggs, before quickly adding that “there isn’t anything wrong with it at all”.

Zelmerlow later clarified his remarks in a statement, apologising to “all who take offence”. “I believe and hope that the vast majority know that I respect differences and all forms of love,” he said.

Supporters blamed the food and drink on the TV show that caused him to “misspeak.”

Zelmerlöw seemed to show support for the LGBT community as he accepted his award last night:

‘I have so much to say… I’m so extremely happy,’ he said as he accepted the award, according to the BBC.

‘We are all heroes, no matter who we love, who we are or what we believe in.’

Eurovision Song Contest: Sweden’s Robin Stjernberg – “You”

Sweden’s entry this year in the Eurovision Song Contest.

Great hook to the chorus, and great vocals by Robin Stjernberg. Could be a contender here…

Last year’s Melodifestivalen winner, Loreen, ended up winning Eurovision with her smash hit Euphoria. Due to that win, the finals for the Eurovision Song competition will be held in Sweden this year.

Malmö, Sweden’s third largest city, will play host to the show in May.