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No. 214, June 2013 - in this issue...



Bias motivated violence


Equality and non-discrimination


Foreign policy

Freedom of assembly

Freedom of expression


Police and law enforcement

Notice board


Register now for the ILGA-Europe Annual Conference 2013

The registration is now open for the ILGA-Europe's Annual Conference 2013 which will take place in Zagreb on 24-27 October 2013. The theme of this year's conference is Family matters! Reaching out to hearts and minds, and we are proud to already announce prominent keynote speakers.

Strategic Plan Meeting in Athens

On 1-2 June, ILGA-Europe's Board, staff and representatives of member organisations met in Athens to discuss the next Strategic Plan for 2014-2018. The Strategic Plan 2014-2018 will be adopted at the Annual Conference 2013 in Zagreb in October.

Study visit to Council of Europe for LGBT activists from Eastern Europe

At the end of June, ILGA-Europe organised a study visit to Council of Europe (CoE) for 7 LGBT activists from Russia, Moldova, and Ukraine. The goal of the study visit was to give activists an opportunity to get acquainted with the structure of CoE, to familiarise them with different internal working instruments and better understand procedures within this European institution. 

ILGA-Europe joins the European Year of Citizens’ Alliance

ILGA-Europe has joined the European Year of Citizens Alliance (EYCA), an open network of European and national civil society organisations in connection with the European Year of Citizens 2013.


New EU law on asylum procedures

Since 2008, the European Union has been revisiting its Directives and Regulations on asylum. On 12 June 2013, this process came to an end with the adoption by the European Parliament of recast versions of the EU asylum Procedure and Reception Conditions Directives, as well as of the Dublin III regulation. ILGA-Europe's reaction: welcomed progress, but more improvements are needed.

Bias motivated violence

Sexual orientation included as a ground in amended hate crime legislation in Slovakia

On 22 May, the Slovak parliament adopted several amendments to its Criminal Code. Punishments for extremism and related crimes have been specifically defined in the amended code, with the wording of the law changed to specifically include sexual orientation among the possible motives for hate crimes. This move was welcomed by the LGBTI community as “the most significant accommodating step of the Slovak government so far”. However the move was also critised for not include gender identity at the same time.

LGBT Centre in FYR Macedonia attacked during film screening

On 22 June, Skopje’s LGBT Centre was attacked as a group of LGBT activists were watching a movie inside for the annual Pride celebrations. The LGBT centre in the capital of FYR Macedonia had already been attacked earlier this year, but without anyone inside.

Ukrainian Ombudsman urges to toughen penalties for hate crimes on LGBT people and to withdraw homophobic laws

The Ukrainian Parliamentary Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms. Valeriia Lutkovska, recommended adding sexual orientation to the articles of the Criminal Code which provide for enhanced responsibility for crimes motivated by intolerance. It is mentioned in the annual report on the state of human and civil rights and freedoms in Ukraine published on the Ombudsman's website.


ILGA-Europe at EU Enlargement event "Human Rights of LGBT people, equal treatment and fight against discrimination"

The European Commission sponsored event ‘Human Rights of LGBT people, equal treatment and fight against discrimination’ took place in Belgrade on 17-19 June. The event brought together government officials, equality bodies, national human rights institutions and LGBT organisations from all Western Balkan countries, Turkey and Iceland. ILGA-Europe has provided extensive input at the preparation and implementation stages of this event. During the event different stakeholders shared country good practices, challenges ahead and suggestions for ways forward. There was a strong consensus about the need for regional initiatives and a platform for best practice sharing, particularly between different stakeholders in the Western Balkans.

Equality and non-discrimination

President of Ukraine highlights an appreciable role of the LGBT movement

A few months before the Vilnius Summit of the Eastern Partnership the President of Ukraine, Viktor Fedorovytch, sensationally highlights an appreciable role of the LGBT movement in Ukraine.

ILGA-Europe at LGBT Youth & Social Inclusion Conference in Dublin

On 17 June, ILGA-Europe co-organised a conference with the Irish youth LGBT organisation BeLongTo. The conference identified LGBT youth as one of a number of key groups within society likely to experience social exclusion and clearly identified seven areas where this exclusion can happen. The aim of the conference was to identify key actions to promote the social inclusion of LGBT youth at an EU level.


Groundbreaking Danish law on rainbow families

A vast majority of the Danish parliament has passed amendments the Children's Act to include rainbow families in regards to parent recognition et al. The left-center government elected in 2011 introduced the same-sex marriage last year, and the new law is a follow-up on this.

Romania's new constitution bans same-sex marriage

An amendment to Romania's new constitution, backed by Romanian Members of Parliament and the Orthodox Church, defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman alone.

German Constitutional Court gives same-sex couples equal taxation rights

On 6 June, the German Federal Constitutional Court ruled on Thursday that a taxation law, which did not extend to homosexual civil unions, went against the German Constitution's rule of equality. In its decision, the court said there were no "objective reasons for unequal treatment [of same-sex couples]."

Foreign policy

Protection of LGBTI human rights officially part of EU foreign policy

On 24 June, the Foreign Affairs Council of the European Union adopted Guidelines To Promote and Protect the Enjoyment of All Human Rights by Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) Persons.The Guidelines is a comprehensive legally binding document which will provide instructions to EU institutions and Member States on how to progress on human rights of LGBTI people in dealing with third countries and at international fora. They prioritise actions around combatting discriminatory laws and policies, LGBTI-phobic violence, and the promotion of equality and non-discrimination. The Guidelines are the first ever EU policy document explicitly referring to intersex people.

Freedom of assembly

5 days before taking over EU Presidency, Lithuania fails to guarantee freedom of assembly for LGBTI people

On 26 June, the Vilnius City Council refused to grant permission to the organisers of the Baltic Pride March 2013 to march in the requested venue. The organisers submitted their request to march on the city’s main avenue during the Pride March, which is scheduled to take place in Vilnius on 27 July, many months ago; the city refused the grant permission to hold the event at the requested venue without offering an alternative.

Sofia Pride postponed over security concerns

The Bulgarian capital’s LGBT pride parade scheduled for Saturday has been canceled by authorities due to fears that extremists may mar the event. The parade has been canceled on the insistence of Sofia municipality and the Interior Ministry, the organisers say.

Freedom of expression

Russia adopts homophobic federal law banning propaganda of ‘non-traditional sexual relations’

On 11 June, the Russian State Duma adopted a federal ban on propaganda of 'non-traditional sexual relations'. ILGA-Europe in the strongest possible manner condemns this homophobic federal law.

Venice Commission: 'Homosexual propaganda’ bans should be repealed

On 18 June, the Venice Commission (the European Commission for Democracy through Law) published its opinion on existing or proposed laws banning ‘propaganda of homosexuality’ in Russia, Ukraine and Moldova, and said that such laws should be repealed as “statutory provisions prohibiting ‘propaganda of homosexuality’ are incompatible with the ECHR and international human rights standards”.

ILGA-Europe at seminar on “Anti-propaganda laws” in the European Parliament

On 4 June, the European Parliament's Intergroup on LGBT Rights organised a seminar to discuss the worrying trend of “anti-propaganda laws” in Eastern Europe, mainly Russia and Ukraine. Several experts and policy-makers took the floor among them ILGA-Europe's Executive Director, Evelyne Paradis.

Strong reactions after adoption of 'anti-propaganda' law in Russia

European political leaders and NGOs have been condemning the adoption of the homophobic law, "propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations" among minors, in the Russian Duma. Find here the statements, recommendations and resolutions from:
Thorbjørn Jagland, Council of Europe's General Secretary
Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs
Recommendation from Parlimentary Assembly of the Council of Europe
Resolution from the European Parliament

Håkon Haugli, PACE rapporteur on LGBT issues
Joint NGO statement to PACE


EU supports proposal to work on health and well-being of LGBTI people

On 29 May, the European Union was united behind a strong position at the Executive Board of the World Health Organization (WHO) on the need to address health issues of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex (LGBTI) people.

Police and law enforcement

Extensive police profiling against trans people and unlawful detention of lawyer of trans organisation

On 5 June, the lawyer Electra Koutra, President of the Hellenic Action for Human Rights and Greek Helsinki Monitor legal counselor, was unlawfully detained in Thessaloniki when she tried to defend a trans person who had been arbitrarily caught and abusively detained in that police station, for the third time in four days after incidents of police profiling operations targeting trans people.

Notice board

New database on Universal Periodic Review

The Sexual Rights Initiative has recently launched a Universal Periodic Review (URP) Sexual Rights database. The UPR database allows you to access and search all the sexual rights related recommendations and references made during the Universal Periodic Review through several categories including: State under Review, Source of Reference, Type of Reference and Thematic Issue, using either the basic or advanced search options.

EU Commissioner Viviane Reding receives anti-award from Finnish LGBTI organisation Seta for disappointing attitude

The Finnish national LGBTI human rights organisation Seta awarded the EU Commissioner for Justice, Citizenship and Fundamental Rights Viviane Reding along with the whole Commission with Seta´s annual anti-award called the "Rat of Honour".

ENAR Foundation Awards - celebrating the contributions to a racism-free Europe

The ENAR Foundation organises for the second time the Awards Gala for projects and actions contributing to the achievement of a racism-free Europe. The prizes go to an Individual, NGO, Public authority, Businesses (SME and large scale), Researcher and Public figure that are contributing to a diverse Europe. The applications must be received before the 31 August 2013.

Two innovative legal tools for researchers

International Commission of Jurists has launched two new innovative legal tools: the Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity UN Database and the Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity Legislative Database. The UN Database gathers all the SOGI-related doctrine and jurisprudence of the UN human rights system in one searchable database, and the Legislative Database is the result of a year-long pilot project in collaboration with the International Human Rights Program at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law, where student researchers gathered and analyzed laws from twenty-four countries in all regions of the world. Each country is introduced with a legislative overview.
Find the UN Database here
Find the Legislative Database here


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.