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No. 209, January 2013 - in this issue...



Bias motivated speech

Bias motivated violence


Equality and non-discrimination


Freedom of expression

Police and law enforcement

Notice board


European Court judgment against sexual orientation discrimination

In its judgment in Eweida and Others v. United Kingdom, issued on 15 January, the European Court of Human Rights affirmed that the right to act in accordance with one’s religion may be limited in order to protect others from discrimination based on sexual orientation. The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), ILGA-Europe and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) welcome this decision and especially the Court’s recognition that preventing sexual orientation discrimination is an important and legitimate purpose that justifies restrictions on freedom of religion.

Project on monitoring progress in 16 countries towards implementation of the Committee of Ministers' Recommendation on LGBT Rights

The Council of Europe agreed that it would review implementation of the Recommendation by member states in 2013. To support this review, ILGA Europe has been coordinating a project with NGOs in 16 Council of Europe member states preparing reports on how far the Recommendation has been implemented in their country.

Call for grants applications: development of national litigation strategy on LGBTI issues

ILGA-Europe is calling for applications for grants by member organisations from Council of Europe member states to enable them to conduct a project to develop their capacity for conducting strategic litigation.

Roma, LGBT and disability organisations stand together on International Holocaust Remembrance day

On 27 January, the international community marked the International Holocaust Remembrance Day. The day reminds us of the millions of Roma, Jewish, homosexual, persons with disabilities, political opponents, Jehovah witnesses and other victims of the Holocaust and it is also a poignant date in the calendar to celebrate the lives of those who survived. Read the joint statement here.

Destination>>Equality on education

ILGA-Europe has published our latest "Destination>>EQUALITY" magazine with a focus on education and LGBTI issues.
Download and read the magazine here


First trans person granted asylum in Denmark

In the autumn of last year transgender woman Fernanda Milán from Guatemala was refused asylum. But after protests from an asylum Initiative;the T-Refugee Project, and a number of individual campaigners, her case was reexamined by the Refugee Board. She was granted indefinite leave to remain in Denmark as an official refugee on the 26 November 2012, recognised under the UN Refugee Convention.

Bias motivated speech

Homophobic statements by political leaders in Georgia

In October, 2012 parliamentary elections took place in Georgia. The winning coallition, while featuring some moderate and liberal leaders, can be safely described as non-sensitive to LGBT issues. The Georgian LGBT organisation, Identoba, has collected evidence of the homophobic remarks.

Bias motivated violence

ILGA-Europe calls on the Government of Kosovo to react after violent incidents

Following violents incidents, ILGA-Europe sent an open letter to the Government of Kosovo. On 14 December 2012, the launch of the Kosovo 2.0 magazine on ‘Sex and sexuality’, which contained articles on LGBT activism and human rights work in the Western Balkans, was disrupted by mob violence. Two days later, on the 16 December, Pristina-based LGBT organisation Libertas, which is a member of ILGA-Europe, was attacked by a group of violent extremists who have beaten up one member of the community. They entered inside the premises of the community centre, threw tear gas and created havoc. 

Gender identity in the Portuguese Criminal Code

The Portuguese Parliament approved a revision of the Criminal Code which enshrines "gender identity" as a category of discrimination that requires attention by the law.

Sexual orientation and gender identity not grounds for hate crimes in Greece

Greek LGBT people who suffer homophobic and transphobic attacks will have no access to the new specialized Hate Crime Units, because Greek lawmakers have willfully omitted all reference to sexual orientation and gender identity from the new “anti-racist” Presidential Decree, contravening EU directives and ignoring Human Rights Watch recommendations.

Call for submissions: OSCE hate crime report 2012

ILGA-Europe will soon start preparing our global submission to the OSCE/ODIHR, in view of their annual report on hate crime in 2012. As all NGOs can submit reports, you can also write directly to the ODIHR and send them a submission. However, ILGA-Europe will prepare a comprehensive submission on all the countries on which we collected information on incidents that happened in 2012. As a result, you can also choose to us (joel@ilga-europe.org) all relevant information on incidents reported in 2012, and we will include them in this global submission, also indicating that your organisation is a co-submitter along with ILGA-Europe. In this case, please send your input with this information by Monday 15 March 2013. The country-by-country information you have will be precious. As this is a yearly report, only incidents reported in 2012 can be considered.
Have a look at previous annual reports on hate crime from OSCE/ODIHR here


First final verdict for severe discrimination at the workplace based on sexual orientation in Serbia

The Court of Appeals in city of Novi Sad gave its final verdict which confirmed discriminatory behavior and the severe discrimination against M.A. (25) from the Serbian city of Vršac by his colleague Dario K. (26) from Vlajkovac (place near by Vršac). The discrimination lasted continuously for several months at the workplace in a private company in Vršac where both men worked.

Equality and non-discrimination

Belgian Senate adopts resolution on Yogyakarta Principles

On 6 december 2012, the Belgian Senate passed a resolution regarding the Yogyakarta-principles. The resolution, that came at the instigation of Senator Piet De Bruyn (Flemish Nationalist Party), was approved unanimously (53 votes for, 0 against and 0 abstentions).


French marriage equality bill clears first parliamentary vote

France’s marriage equality bill cleared its first and main hurdle Saturday when the French parliament overwhelmingly approved the most important article of the new law, redefining marriage as an agreement between two people of different or same sex.

Civil partnership voted down in the Polish parliament 

In January, a conservative draft law introduced by the ruling party in the Polish parliament was lost by 17 votes along with two liberal bills presented by the opposition. 

Freedom of expression

ILGA-Europe extremely concerned by approval of Russian draft law to ban “homosexual propaganda”

ILGA-Europe is extremely concerned by the approval by the Russian federal parliament (State Duma) of a draft legislation aimed at banning “propaganda of homosexuality” in Russia.

Statements against the federal homophobic draft law in Russia

The homophobic draft law in Russia, which was voted through in the first hearing in the Russian Duma, has stirred international attention. International and national representatives have been expressing deep concern, and the cities of Milan and Venice in Italy have suspended their twinning relation with St Petersburg. Read some of the reactions here, and let us know if your government, city council or others have spoken out.

Police and law enforcement

Reaction to illegal conduct of Split Police from Croatian LGBT organisations

Two Croatian LGBT organisations, Kontra and Iskorak, sent out a media release "intended to raise public awareness about the scandalous and illegal conduct of the Split Police" following several incidents in Split.

Notice board

LGBT Unit present on the website of the Council of Europe

In January, the LGBT Unit of the Council of Europe got its own section on the Council of Europe's website. The section is a very good ressource of the work of the LGBT Unit which is the first unit in the Council of Europe that carries LGBT in its title.

Join One Billion Rising to end violence against women

On 14 February, one billion women and those who love them will dance, rise up and demand an end to violence against women. There are events all over the world and Europe.
Find and join an event hear you

Internship opportunity at European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights

Internships at European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRAI) aim to provide interns with an understanding of the objectives and activities of the Agency, a practical experience and knowledge of the day-to-day work of the FRA and the possibility to put their learning into practice and contribute to the Agency's mission. The deadline for applications for the present round is Monday, 25 February 2013, 13:00 CET.

OHCHR's Practical Guide for Civil Society: Human Rights Funds, Grants and Fellowships

This Practical Guide - the fourth in the series of practical guides for civil society - provides a brief description of funding sources, grants and fellowships administered by or with the participation of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). The purpose of the Guide is to provide guidance to prospective applicants interested in these funds and programmes to further contribute to the promotion of human rights in their own countries and worldwide.
The Practical Guide is available in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish here

Call for candidates for the Jos Brink Award 2013 and LGBT Emancipation Innovation Award 2013

The Dutch Government Minister Bussemaker is appealing for candidates to be put forward for the 2013 Jos Brink Award and the Innovation Award for Gay Liberation. The Jos Brink Award is an oeuvre award and an accolade given in recognition of the work of a person, group or institution that has made a useful contribution to the liberation of gay men and women, bisexual men and women, and transgender people (LGBT people). Deadline of submission of candidates: end of February 2013.

Call for applications: Program of Advanced Studies in Human Rights and Humanitarian Law

The Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law has announced the opening of the application period for the Program of Advanced Studies on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law that will be offered from 28 May to 15 July 2013. 


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.