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No. 210, February 2013 - in this issue...



Bias motivated speech



Equality and non-discrimination


Freedom of assembly

Freedom of expression

Human rights defenders

Notice board


Job opportunity with ILGA-Europe: Finance Manager

ILGA-Europe is currently looking to employ a Finance Manager. Closing date for receipt of applications: Monday, 18 March 2013 (17.00 CET)

ILGA-Europe project 'Step up!' concluded

In January 2010, ILGA-Europe started the project Step up! Stronger LGBT movements for equality in Western Balkans. The project was concluded in the start of 2013, and a summary of the final report of the project is now available.

Swedish Minister for European Union Affairs met ILGA-Europe

On 20 February, Birgitta Ohlsson, the Swedish Minister for European Union Affairs, visited ILGA-Europe and met with our board and staff members.

Workshop with Youth Sexual Awareness for Europe (YSAFE)

On 9 February, ILGA-Europe was invited to do a workshop session on advocacy at the Annual Meeting of the Youth Sexual Awareness for Europe (YSAFE) - the youth network of the IPPF European Network.


New ILGA-Europe publication: Guidelines on the transposition of the Asylum Qualification Directive

In 2011, the European Union adopted the recast Qualification Directive (2011/95/EU) setting out rules governing minimum standards on conditions under which international protection is granted as part of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS). The purpose of these guidelines are to identify the relevant parts of the Directive for applicants for international protection persecuted because of them being LGBTI. This publication will help national policy makers and NGOs to work towards a full implementation of EU law in this area.

Trans woman wins important asylum case in Denmark

After a long battle with the Danish asylum authorities, a trans woman from Guatemala was finally granted asylum. Danish LGBT organisations call the case groundbreaking as it sets precedents for furture asylum cases of trans people.

Wedding of an Ugandan same-sex couple highlights Sweden asylum "lottery"

An Ugandan same-sex couple exchanged vows in a crowded church in the north Stockholm suburb of Järfälla in early February. However one of them is now facing a possible deportation to Uganda where he will most likely be procecuted.

Bias motivated speech

LGBT film screening violently interupted by right wing extremists

On 20 February, a cultural event at the Museum of the Romanian Peasant as part of the LGBT History Month was violently interrupted by a group of right wing extremists who burst into the cinema and occupied it, as it was suppose to screen the American LGBT movie The Kids Are Alright.


Conference: Tackling homophobic and transphobic bullying in school - the role of teachers, school leaders, NGOs and policy maker

On 20 February 2013, ILGA-Europe in association with the Irish EU Presidency hosted the first ever EU level conference addressing homophobic and transphobic bullying in schools. The conference brought together EU, UNESCO and national policy makers, unions, teachers, and NGOs to jointly debate and look for methods of tackling these forms of bullying. The conference was opened by Ruairi Quinn, Irish Minister of Education and Skills. This aim of the conference was to raise awareness about homophobic and transphobic bullying, their detrimental effect and engage various players in the field of education to exchange the best practices. 
Read more about the conference, find presentations and pictures here


European Committee on Social Rights finds Turkey in breach of its obligations under the European Social Charter

The European Committee on Social Rights has ruled that Turkey is in breach of its obligations under the Social Charter on account of its failure to provide protection against sexual orientation discrimination in employment, and its treatment of LGB people in the Armed Forces.

Fired lesbian newspaper editor wins discrimination lawsuit

Helsinki Appeals Court imposed the fine on Kai Telanne, chief executive of Alma Media, one of Finland’s largest media companies. The lesbian woman was hired as editor of a newspaper in 2008, but Telanne cancelled the contract before she started work, when he realised that  the lesbian woman's registered partner is a woman.

Equality and non-discrimination

ILGA-Europe calls on EU-Ukraine summit to raise the issue of discrimination against LGBTI people in Ukraine

On 25 February, the 16th EU-Ukraine Summit took place in Brussels. The main focus of this summit was Ukraine’s reform agenda, linked to the possible signature of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement. ILGA-Europe called on the European Union to remind the Ukrainian authorities that respect and protection of basic human rights including the rights of the LGBTI people in Ukraine is an integral part of the Agreement.

It Gets Better project for LGBT youth in Moldova 

A new project aimed at preventing suicide contemplation and attempts among LGBT youth in Moldova, as well as at providing them free psychological and legal support, was launched on 5 February. It represents a local adaptation of the U.S.-based It Gets Better Project and the main platform is the website – www.egali.md – meaning „the equal‟ in Romanian language.

Germany makes it possible to leave the gender specification in the birth registry open for intersex children

The German Bundestag has decided to make it possible to leave the gender specification in the birth registry open for children who are born without a clear gender. However the intersex organisation, OII Germany, calls the initiative a "bluff package" for intersex people, and is calling for an end to the externally determined gender assignment, the practice of sexed standardisation and mutilation, as well as medical authority of definition on sex.


European Court of Human Rights: ban on same-sex second-parent adoption is discriminatory

The European Court of Human Rights delivered its judgment in the case of X and Others v. Austria (application 19010/07) and ruled that Austria’s Civil Code discriminates against a partner in a same-sex relationship by making it legally impossible to adopt the biological child of the other partner while permitting second parent adoptions for unmarried heterosexual couples.

Denmark goes futher to extend the recognition of same-sex families

The Danish government will enable lesbian couples who get children by artificial insemination with anonyms donors can have the parenthood established at the birth of the child in the same way as heterosexual couples, no matter if they are married or not. There will no longer be any need for step-child adoption. Moreover there will be a new option for a woman, her female partner and a man to plan a family together, where one woman gives birth to a child and the three then decide among themselves if it her partner or the man who will be the second parent.

German Constituional Court: existing adoption laws are discriminatory

The Federal Constitutional Court in Germany delivered a judgment which strenghtens the rights of children in same-sex families. From now on, adopted children in same-sex families finally have the same rights as children in different-sex families.

Lithuanian Liberals support same-sex civil partnerships

Members of the Liberal Movement in Lithuania held a discussion on introducing the institution of partnership, proposing to make it open to same-sex couples as well.

Parliament in Finland may still move on marriage equality

Member of the Finnish parliament is pushing for gender-neutral marriage laws. The proposal  has so far collected 76 signatures from MPs, but it needs 100 to move forward. A public signature collection drive is meanwhile being launched next month.

Turkey attempts to retrieve child from foreign same-sex couple

Turkey recently launched a campaign to retrieve Turkish children in European countries who have been taken from their parents and given to Christian couples, starting the process by taking back children from gay and lesbian couples.

Freedom of assembly

Baltic Pride 2013 organisers in Vilnius appeals restriction to freedom of assembly

On 15 February, the Lithuanian Gay League lodged a complaint before the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court against the unilateral decision by the Vilnius City Municipality to relocate the Baltic Pride 2013 March for Equality from the central avenue in the downtown of Vilnius to rather isolated and inaccessible area on the riverbank. The Court is asked to order the municipal authorities to facilitate the route of the Pride on Gediminas Avenue.

LGBT community in Moldova realised their constitutional right to freedom of assembly

After 15 years of fight, on 14 February LGBT community in Moldova realised their constitutional right to freedom of assembly. The city hall approved the LGBT organisation GENDERDOC-M’s public event and took responsibility of participants’ protection. Upon the conclusion of the march on the Great National Assembly Square, event organisers thanked law-enforcement officers for adequate protection while giving interviews to reporters from different TV channels.

Freedom of expression

Ukrainian campaign launched: Stop Hate

A Ukrainian LGBT organisation and member of ILGA-Europe, Insight Public Organization, has launched a campaign called Stop Hate. The aim of the campaign is to inform society about a threat of adoption of such homophobic laws and to collect as much signatures against censorship and homophobia in Ukraine.

Human rights defenders

Square in central Copenhagen named after LGBT rights pioneer

Axel Axgils Plads - that is the name of a newly renovated square in central Copenhagen after the City Council decided to name it after the pioneer of LGBT rights, Axel Axgil. The Alderman for City Planning, Ayfer Baykal, finds it fitting that the city names a square after one of the pioneers of the LGBT movement.

Notice board

Job opportunity: Researcher (PostDoc) in Comparative Sexual Orientation Law, Leiden University

Leiden University is looking for a researcher for the Project “Legal position of same-sex and different-sex families in European countries”. The (post-doctoral) researcher will play a key role in designing and organising the questionnaire-survey, liaising with the legal experts, checking their data and collecting additional data, entering the data into the database, and in liaising with experts from other disciplines. The researcher will also be gathering and interpreting case law, written law and soft law of European institutions setting minimum standards for this field. And the researcher will be involved in writing the comparative analysis.

Call for participants: “Stop H8: Tackling Bullying in Europe.”

IGLYO (International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer Youth and Student Organization) is calling for participants for the conference “Stop H8: Tackling Bullying in Europe.” The conference will be held in Oslo, Norway from 10 to 16 May 2013 (inclusive of travel).The conference will explore the concept of bullying, as well as provide a forum to discuss personal experiences of bullying and formulate the strategies to tackle bullying in Europe. Deadline for applications: 26 March 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.