Today is the International Day Against Homophobia, and in parts of RFE/RL’s broadcast regions, activities were marked with conflict.
# Despite Georgia’s recent positive ranking in gay rights by the Brussels-based NGO ILGA Europe, gay rights activists in Tbilisi scuffled with counterprotesters associated with the Union of Orthodox Christian Parents. (Watch Radio Tavisupleba’s video of the protests.)
# Would-be protesters in Belarus were thwarted by Minsk authorities who repeatedly denied their requests for permits to demonstrate, citing “technical” reasons and repair work near the locations.
#The social stigma attached to homosexuality is hardly unique to Azerbaijan. But as Daisy Sindelar reports, while Baku readies to host Eurovision — an event that has featured numerous gay participants — its stance on sexual minorities is coming under fresh scrutiny.
As severe winter weather wreaks havoc across Europe, Azerbaijan is also dealing with heavy snow and ice. In preparation for the Eurovision song contest in the spring, Baku authorities have ordered widespread renovations, including repaving some sidewalks with marble, but that has led to unexpected dangers for pedestrians. (RFE/RL’s Azerbaijani Service)