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Tired of the Mykonos crowds? Visit Paros instead!

There is no denying that Mykonos has changed a lot over the years. If you think it is a little too busy for your liking now, you might want to go somewhere else. Paros might just be your new perfect destination.

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Everyone has a holiday in the Greek islands on the travel bucket list. The islands if the Aegean Sea are all so different and they call many types of travelers back over and over again. One of the most popular islands is Mykonos. With its famed beaches and amazing nightclub scene, it attracts religious holiday-makers back who are happy to visit no matter how popular it has become.

However, there is no denying that Mykonos has changed a lot over the years. If you think it is a little too busy for your liking now, you might want to go somewhere else. Paros might just be your new perfect destination.

All Walks of Life

One of the best things about Paros is that it attracts people from all walks of life. Both the young and the old love to visit here and marvel at the stunning beaches and picturesque towns. Other islands like to play up a certain niche whereas Paros is happy to sit back and simply be. If you are someone who likes to do a little bit of everything on your holiday, you won’t have to compromise here.

Privacy When You Need It

Trying to find the perfect villa Paros can offer you is easier than you might suspect. This island is packed with perfect getaways which you can rent for complete privacy. There is something truly wonderful about being able to escape back to your villa after a long and busy day. BlueVillas offers a fantastic selection of private villas which you can take advantage of. They range from the ideal villa for a honeymooning couple to large complexes suited for big groups of friends or bug families.

Whether you want to be right in the action in the middle of town or somewhere a little more secluded, you will be able to find it. Take the time to find the right villa for your needs and you will find that everything else for the holiday just falls into place.

History Lovers

If you are heading to Greece to indulge in a passion for its history then you are going to want to check out Paros. This is one of the best islands for getting in touch with the Ancient Greeks and you are going to be spoiled with choice for things to do.

The first thing you should visit should be the amazing archaeological museum. This has exhibits dating back to the Neolithic age and can tell you lots about what life was like on the island throughout history. You should also make sure to check out the Panagia Ekatontapiliani church, a 4th century Byzantine church and a destination you should visit even if you are not that big on history. Also make sure that you visit Paroikia for the 13th century castle which offers fantastic views.

Nightlife

Some people love to jump in and out of bars on their holiday. If you are in the mood for a party when you are away, you can definitely find it on Paros. This island really knows how to hearken back to the days when Greek tourism was uncomplicated and cheap.

You will be able to find plenty of things to do on Paros from foam parties to all-day dancing on the beach. Head to either Paroikia or Naoussa for a good time that never stops.

Hit the Water

One of the best ways to see the Greek islands is from a boat and Paros is no exception to this. From the sea, you will be able to navigate your way around the coast and discover some amazing hidden nooks and inlets.

If you are into water sports, you will also find that Paros is a haven for all types of activities. With kitesurfing, kayaking, windsurfing and more, you could easily spend an entire holiday out on the water having a good time. Don’t forget to check out some scuba equipment too; the underwater sites are just as amazing as those you can find on land.

Having a boat also allows you just that little bit more freedom. If you want to head across to Antiparos, the island next door, you can explore at your leisure with your own boat.

Consider Paros Today

Paros has a timeless quality about it which many enjoy. It often feels like you are stepping back into the era of quiet Greek tourism before the islands became such holiday hotspots. If you feel like the more popular islands like Santorini and Mykonos are just getting too crowded for your liking, Paros might be able to offer you something special. Take a look at what the island has to offer you and consider heading there for your next holiday. You never know what might make you fall in love with the place.

Travel

Norway to prioritize LGBT refugees

Norway will be prioritizing refugees who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender. This move is said to be in recognition of the persecution experienced by LGBT refugees on the grounds of their sexual orientation.

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Norway will be prioritizing refugees who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT). This move is said to be in recognition of the persecution experienced by LGBT refugees on the grounds of their sexual orientation.

This will be the first time that members of this community will be given priority both as a group and individuals when Norway selects for transfers. But the new rules will only apply for the transfer of refugees from one asylum country to another for permanent resettlement.

Under Norway’s previous guidelines, vulnerable women and children were given priority.

According to State Secretary for Integration Affairs in the Ministry of Education, Grunde Kreek Almeland: “It is unfortunately the case that in many countries it is not the case that you are free to love whoever you want. In almost 70 countries, homosexuality is criminal and those who violate norms of gender and sexuality can be subjected to persecution and discrimination in their home country.”

And so “we are now changing the guidelines for the work with transfer refugees so that people who are queer should be given priority.”

Migrant refugees are persons who are normally registered as refugees with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). It is UN that promotes the applications for the resettlement refugees, and the UDI decides which of them is allowed to come to Norway. In 2020, the Norway decided that the quota for resettlement refugees will be 3,000 people.

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Sudan lifts death penalty and flogging for gay sex

Sudan has lifted the death penalty and flogging as punishment for gay sex after approximately four decades of hardline Islamist rule. This much-needed development follows the toppling last year of autocrat Omar al-Bashir, who had been in power since 1989, with the new government pledging to lead the country to democracy.

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Small step; though one that’s long time coming.

Sudan has lifted the death penalty and flogging as punishment for gay sex after approximately four decades of hardline Islamist rule. This much-needed development follows the toppling last year of autocrat Omar al-Bashir, who had been in power since 1989, with the new government pledging to lead the country to democracy.

Same-sex relations remain criminalized in many arts of Africa and the Middle East. Sudan was one of six countries – aside from Iran, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Nigeria and Somalia – that imposed the death penalty for gay sex.

Under Sudan’s old “anti-sodomy law”, gay men faced 100 lashes for the first offense, five years in jail for the second, and the death penalty the third. But the punishments have been reduced to prison terms from five years to life.

The legal amendment re gay sex was part of other reforms announced by the Sudanese justice minister, which also included plans to decriminalize apostasy or the abandonment of a religion; permitting non-Muslims to consume alcohol; banning female genital mutilation; and allowing women to travel with their children without a permit from a male relative.

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Malaysian minister advocates for trans people to be arrested and re-educated

In Malaysia, the Religious Affairs Minister caused a stir after he gave “full license” to Islamic authorities to arrest and “educate” transgender people. Minister Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri announced via Facebook that he’d given the country’s religious police, a.k.a. called JAWI, “full licen(s)e to carry out its enforcement actions” against transgender people.

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Religious extremists in positions of power?

In Malaysia, the Religious Affairs Minister caused a stir after he gave “full license” to Islamic authorities to arrest and “educate” transgender people. Minister Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri announced via Facebook that he’d given the country’s religious police, a.k.a. called JAWI, “full licen(s)e to carry out its enforcement actions” against transgender people.

He similarly said that the authorities should subject transgender people to “religious education” in a bid to “return them to the right path”.

“Islam is a religion that wants to educate,” the Facebook post stated. “We will work towards coordinated efforts from all agencies under the religious affairs wing in the prime minister’s department.”

Local LGBTQIA organizations are, rightfully, calling out the minister’s hateful stance.

For instance, in a statement, SEED Malaysia stated that the minister’s bigoted comments would “fuel hatred” against the country’s transgender community. “The transgender community in Malaysia already face continued persecution by the state and broader society… The statement by Dr. Zulkifli and the threat of arrest will drive the transgender community further into hiding. This will deteriorate the communities’ access to basic rights even more.”

This is worth noting: Malaysia is a predominantly Muslim country, and it forbids homosexuality under its Islamic laws. The country’s secular laws also criminalize gay sex.

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Netherlands to remove gender from identity cards

By 2024 or 2025, gender identity will no longer be contained in Dutch national identity cards. This move is expected to counter-check the potential harms caused by gender declaration – e.g. harassment, discrimination and violence – particularly when there is no justification to publish a person’s legal gender at all.

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By 2024 or 2025, gender identity will no longer be contained in Dutch national identity cards.

This after the Minister of Education, Culture and Science, Ingrid van Engelshoven, announced the decision in a letter to the House of Representatives. This move is actually part of a broader plan from the Ministry, which also includes limiting “unnecessary gender registration”.

This move is expected to counter-check the potential harms caused by gender declaration – e.g. harassment, discrimination and violence – particularly when there is no justification to publish a person’s legal gender at all.

Gender identity will, however, remain on Dutch passports due to European Union regulation.

The removal of information that used to be deemed “important” from IDs is not actually new.

Various countries, for instance, already exclude personal characteristics, such as race, religion or marital status, which could cause more harm than good.

The Netherlands is not the first EU country to do this. In 2013, Germany recognized indeterminate sex by permitting babies born with no clear gender-determining anatomy to be put on the birth register without a male or female classification.

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Thailand could become first Southeast Asian country to legalize same-sex civil partnerships

Thailand’s Cabinet approved a draft bill that will legally recognize same-sex civil partnerships while giving greater rights to same-sex couples. If/when passed into law, this could be the first for any nation in Southeast Asia; and the second in Asia to allow for the registration of same-sex unions after Taiwan legalized marriage equality in 2019.

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The rainbow rises in Thailand.

Thailand’s Cabinet approved a draft bill that will legally recognize same-sex civil partnerships while giving greater rights to same-sex couples. If/when passed into law, this could be the first for any nation in Southeast Asia; and the second in Asia to allow for the registration of same-sex unions after Taiwan legalized marriage equality in 2019.

This is a major step, but to clarify, it doesn’t endorse same-sex “marriage(EMPHASIS OURS). Instead, the Civil Partnership Bill allows same-sex couples to legally register their union.

The draft bill defines “civil partners” as “couples born with the same sex”. To register, couples must be at least 17 years old and at least one of the pair must be a Thai citizen; meaning that – similar to Taiwan’s law on this – foreign same-sex couples will not be able register their partnership in Thailand.

Those under the age of 17 must get permission from their parents/legal guardian.

Under the draft bill, same-sex couples will be allowed to adopt children, claim inheritance rights, and jointly manage assets such as property for the first time. However, partners would not be entitled to the same financial benefits that heterosexual couples get from the state.

The bill also covers rules for separations – e.g. unions could be ended by death, voluntary separation or court order.

While the Cabinet’s approval is a major development, process-wise, this is far from over as the draft bill still needs to go through a public hearing and then the House of Representatives (HOR) will debate and vote on it. If HOR passes the bill, it will then will go to the Senate for another vote.

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City in Massachusetts officially recognizes polyamorous relationships

The city of Somerville in Massachusetts in the US passed an ordinance that officially recognizes polyamorous relationships by no longer limiting the number of people included in domestic partnerships.

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#LoveisLove

The city of Somerville in Massachusetts in the US passed an ordinance that officially recognizes polyamorous relationships by no longer limiting the number of people included in domestic partnerships.

With this, Somerville becomes one of the first cities in the US to officially recognize polyamorous relationships.

This move was actually a result of a few subtle language shifts – e.g. instead of defining a relationship as an “entity formed by two persons,” the ordinance now defines it as an “entity formed by people”; replaces “he and she” with “they”; and replaces “both” with “all.”

The City Council passed the ordinance on June 25; and on June 29, Mayor Joe Curtatone signed it into municipal law.

Polyamory is usually defined as the practice of having multiple consensual intimate relationships, and is often described as consensual non-monogamy. Relationships can be sexual or romantic, and are not gender-specific. Polyamorous relationships are diverse and can look different depending on the family. Sometimes it means having a primary relationship and seeking casual intimacy, and sometimes it means involving a third or fourth (and so on) person in building a family structure.

Photo by ATC Comm Photo from Pexels.com

This is important: It is illegal in all 50 American states to be married to more than one person, which is known as polygamy, not polyamory. Polygamy is tied to marriage (and is also gendered); and does not reference romance, intimacy or even consent.

Polyamory, meanwhile, refers to different kinds of arrangements — e.g. when a married couple has regular outside partners. Prior to this ordinance, there was no legal framework in Somerville for polyamorous families to share finances, custody of children or the rights and responsibilities that come with marriage.

Somerville is now in the process of changing the application to include space for more than two partners.

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