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No. 204, August 2012 - in this issue...










Register for the Annual Conference 2012 before 9 September

The ILGA-Europe Annual Conference 2012 is taking place in Dublin on 18-21 October. Speakers addressing the conference will include the Deputy Prime Minister of Ireland, Eamon Gilmore, Council of Europe Human Commissioner for Human Rights, Nils Muižnieks, Latvian Minister for Welfare, Ilze Viņķele and Hungarian Member of the European Parliament and former Minister of Foreign Affairs Kinga Göncz. A great variety of workshops will be offered, including workshops bringing a perspective on how the LGBTI movement can deal with contemporary challenges around promoting human rights in times of economic difficulty. A number of skill-building workshops will be offered. The hosting committee is working hard together with ILGA-Europe to make the 16th Annual Conference an unforgettable experience.

Support activists coming to the ILGA-Europe Annual Conference

ILGA-Europe want to make sure more people from countries where being an LGBTI human rights defender remains challenging and sometimes even dangerous can attend our Annual Conference. Our scholarship programme supports activists from Central, Eastern and Southern Europe, but also for instance trans and intersex groups. Their participation and your financial support is not just an investment in them individually, this is an investment in the capacity of their organisations and the European LGBTI movement as such. Strengthening local and national grass-root organisations has direct and impact on progressing equality at European level. Your donation, however large or small, makes a difference.

Tender for a Researcher and Writing Expert, Annual Review 2012

The ILGA-Europe Annual Review of the Human Rights Situation of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex People is ILGA-Europe’s flagship publication. It provides an annual authoritative statement of the legislative, political and social developments relevant to LGBTI people in Europe over what happened in the last calendar year. It reports on and documents the human rights situation during the period 1 January – 31 December in all 49 European countries and the 4 International/European institutions. ILGA-Europe is looking for a Writing Expert to work on compilation of information (including fact-checking), writing and editing of the 49 country chapters. Deadline of applications: 24 September 2012, 17:00 CET

ILGA-Europe invited to Amsterdam Pride 2012

ILGA-Europe was invited to take part in the Dutch government's events during the Amsterdam Pride on 4 August 2012.


Asylum seeking trans woman faces deportation despite evidence of transphobic violence in her home country

A case about a trans woman from Guatemala who was denied asylum in Denmark surfaced during the Copenhagen Pride celebrations in mid-August with an article in the Danish newspaper, Politiken. ILGA-Europe is questioning her denial of asylum, and is urging the Danish authorities to reconsider her case.

Statement on pending preliminary rulings by CJEU regarding alleged persecution on the ground of sexual orientation

ILGA-Europe issued a statement on three requests of preliminary rulings by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) on the interpretation of Directive 2004/83/EC in the case of alleged persecution on the ground of sexual orientation.

Bias motivated violence

Homophobic incident in central Athens

Two young men were the target of a homophobic attack in central Omonia Square in the early morning hours of Sunday, 26 August 2012. As they waited for a bus, two men passing on a motorcycle asked them if they were gay. When they replied “yes,” the two men got off their bike and proceeded to brutally beat them. The two gay men were injured, but fortunately not seriously.


European Court agreed to examine homosexuality ban in Northern Cyprus 

The European Court of Human Rights has agreed to examine a legal challenge against the Northern part of Cyprus due to continued failure to repeal a law criminalising homosexuality. The application was filed in Strasbourg in February 2012 by the Human Dignity Trust.


Football manager's homophobic remarks referred to EU Court

The Court of Justice of the European Union has been asked for a reference for a preliminary ruling in a case of homophobic remarks from a known Romanian football manager as a direct or indirect discrimination in employment.

ILGA-Europe at The Nordic LGBT Workplace Forum

One of the themes at The Nordic LGBT Workplace Forum, which took place in Stockholm in August, was how to combine a human rights based approach to diversity strategies. Representatives of a number of major Nordic companies, such as IKEA and SwedBank and international companies with Scandinavian subsidiaries such as Hewlett Packard, KPMG and Microsoft.

Equality and non-discrimination

France adds “sexual identity” to the protected grounds of discrimination

On the 31 July 2012, the French National Assembly adopted an amendment that adds “sexual identity” to the protected grounds of discrimination in French law.

UN point out weaknesses in Lithuania's human rights record

The United Nations (UN) Human Rights Committee urges Lithuania to proceed with the investigation of the alleged hosting of the CIA secret prison, step up efforts against domestic violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Public hearing at the European Court of Human Rights in four cases concerning freedom of religion

The European Court of Human Rights will be holding a public hearing on Tuesday 4 September 2012 at 9.00 on the admissibility and merits in the following cases: Chaplin v. the United Kingdom, Eweida v. the United Kingdom, Ladele v. the United Kingdom and McFarlane v. the United Kingdom, concerning four practicing Christians’ complaints that UK law did not sufficiently protect their rights to freedom of religion and freedom from discrimination at work.


Draft law in Malta regarding in vitro fertilisation called ‘inherently homophobic’

The Malta Gay Rights Movement has hit out at Malta's draft law for the regulation of in vitro fertilisation, claiming the Embryo Protection Bill is discriminatory against same-sex parents and "inherently homophobic in nature".

Estonia floats idea of recognition of same-sex partnerships

The Justice Ministry of Estonia's new strategy document on civil partnerships would allow same-sex couples to register their partnership but same-sex couples would not be allowed to apply for adoption of children.

Cohabitation Bill in Malta to feature registration of same-sex couples

The Cohabitation Bill will provide for some rights to same-sex couples, and will provide for registration of same-sex couples. Registered couples would also enjoy next of kin rights, such as hospital visitation rights when such rights are limited to immediate family.

Important decisions of the German Federal Constitutional Court

Germany's Federal Constitutional Court recently published two important decisions concerning registered same sex couples. Beginning of August the top court once again made clear that civil servants, judges and soldiers living in a registered same sex partnership have to be treated equally to married heterosexual couples: Bonuses have to be paid retroactively until 1 August 2001, the day when the German partnership law came into effect.

France confirms marriage equality by 2013

French Prime Minister Jean Marc Ayrault has said a bill concerning marriage equality and adoption for same-sex couples will be passed to the French Senate in October 2012.

Notice board

Job opportunity: Policy Office for ENAR

Our partner in Brussels ENAR (European Network Against Racism) is recruiting a full-time Policy Officer - Deadline for applications: 10 September 2012.

Internship opportunity at Interights: Trans Rights in Europe

Interights is pleased to invite applications for a three-month funded internship starting 1 October 2012, for a lawyer / academic working on Trans Rights in Europe.The three-month internship will begin on 1 October 2012 and will be based in London. Deadline for applications: 3 September 2012.

"This is my home now", premiere of the documentary, 13 September, Brussels, Belgium

The European Women’s Lobby, the European Network of Migrant Women, the Conseil des Femmes Francophones de Belgique and the Nederlandstalige Vrouwenraad are inviting to the European Premiere of the documentary film This is My Home Now by Saddie Choua on Thursday 13 September at 19.30 at the Galeries Cinema, Brussels. The film follows the stories of three women of migrant background living in the Europe. While struggling for their equal rights, these women, like so many others, enrich their host communities in myriad ways.

National LGBT Health Summit 2012, 13-14 September 2012, Canterbury, United Kingdom

Established in 2006, the LGBT Health Summit is a unique UK event that brings individuals and organisations from across the UK together to debate and discuss LGBT health issues. The Summit is entrusted each year to a different organisation or consortium chosen by the incumbents via a bidding process. The 2012 Summit will be held in Canterbury, Kent at the University of Kent on 13th & 14th September.

"Trans and intersex people - Challenges for EU law", 26 September 2012, Brussels, Belgium

The European Parliament's Intergroup on LGBT Rights and The Green in the European Parliament are organising a seminar about trans and intersex people and the challenges in EU law on Wednesday 26 September 2012 13.00-15.00 in Brussels.

More details will come up soon on the website of the European Parliament's Intergroup

"Is freedom to debate becoming freedom to hate?", 27 September 2012, Brussels, Belgium

The debate organised by Open Society Institute Brussels will mark the retirement of Aryeh Neier, celebrating his two decades as President of the Open Society Foundations. Aryeh Neier has been an activist and campaigner for human rights since his student days in the 1950s. His distinguished career includes being president of the American Civil Liberties Union and founder of Human Rights Watch. His new book "The International Human Rights Movement: A History" will be available at the event. Two other distinguished human rights campaigners and experts will open the debate: Emma Bonino, Vice-President of the Italian Senate and former Commissioner and MEP, and Nils Muižnieks, Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe and former Latvian minister. RSVP pearly.raynal@osi-eu.org by 14 September 2012. Registration is mandatory.

"Mainstreaming gender equality: concepts and instruments", 5-16 November 2012, Turin, Italy

The course aims at promoting gender equality in the world of work, by introducing participants to gender concepts, and moreover by providing them with an adaptable set of conceptual and information tools to bring gender equality concerns into the mainstream of labour-related development activities and in their everyday work, whether it be in a trade union, entrepreneurial, governmental or non-governmental environment.

"Keep the Faith: promoting inter-religious and inter cultural dialogue in the LGBTQ youth sector", 30 October - 4 November 2012, Brussels, Belgium

IGLYO (International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Youth and Student Organisation) is organising the conference “Keep the Faith: promoting inter-religious and inter cultural dialogue in the LGBTQ youth sector”. Deadline for applications: 3 September 2012 at 17:00 CET

Read more about the conference and apply here

"Advancing Gender Training to Support Effective Gender Mainstreaming", 13-14 November 2012, Vilnius, Lithuania

On 13-14 November 2012, EIGE (European Institute for Gender Equality) is holding a European conference ‘Advancing Gender Training to Support Effective Gender Mainstreaming’ in Vilnius, Lithuania. The conference will bring together: the representatives of institutions that commission gender training, gender trainers, researchers and gender equality experts. It will provide an opportunity to exchange practices on gender training with the view to improving knowledge of policy makers to effectively mainstream gender.


ILGA-Europe Rainbow Digest is published by ILGA-Europe - the European Region of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans & Intersex Association

ISSN 1998-8117
Editor: Mehmet Akin
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This publication has been produced with the financial support of the Rights Equality and Citizenship (REC) programme 2014-2020 of the European Union. The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of ILGA-Europe and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Commission.