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No. 215, July 2013 - in this issue...


Bias motivated violence


Equality and non-discrimination


Foreign policy

Freedom of assembly

Freedom of expression


Human rights defenders

Legal gender recognition

Police and law enforcement

Notice board


Annual Conference 2013: first Conference Mailing and prominent keynote speakers

Earlier this month, the first official conference mailing for the ILGA-Europe Annual Conference 2013 in Zagreb was sent out with more detailed information for participants. This year’s conference will be addressed by Ivo Josipović (President of the Republic of Croatia), Stavros Lambrinidis (European Union Special Representative for Human Rights), Tamara Vonte (State Secretary of Slovenia) three members of national Parliaments: Tine Acketoft (Sweden), Esther Benbassa (France), Wanda Nowicka (Poland) and anthropologist Miguel Vale de Almeida. In addition we are awaiting confirmation of high-level representatives of the United States’ State Department and the European Commission.

Strategic Communications Training held in Brussels

ILGA-Europe organised a training on strategic communications in Brussels on 28-30 June. The participants where LGBTI activists from Albania, Greece, Cyprus, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Macedonia, Italy, Russia, Moldova, Ukraine, Lithuania, Serbia and Turkey.


Bias motivated violence

Bosnia adopts LGBT-inclusive hate crime law

Bosnia & Herzegovina adopts LGBT-inclusive hate crime legislation

Bosnia & Herzegovina’s House of Representatives recently adopted hate crime legislation that is inclusive of gender identity and sexual orientation. This is the first time for Bosnia & Herzegovina to introduce hate crime into its federal Criminal Law. Republic of Srpska and Brčko District have introduced hate crime regulation in their Criminal Laws already in 2010.

ILGA-Europe condemns violence at first Pride in Montenegro

On 24 July, LGBTI activists and their supporters staged the first Pride March in Budva, Montenegro. The participants of the March were subjected to physical violence, incitement to killings and other verbal abuse by about 200 protesters. Some participants were injured and a number of protesters were arrested.

Two trans women murdered in Turkey within a month

Within a month, two individual cases of murder of Turkish trans women have been reported -rising the death toll of trans people to 4 in 7 months. 24-year-old trans woman was found stabbed to death at her home in the Kuşadası district of the Aegean province of Aydın on 9 July. On 29 July, a trans woman was found killed in her apartment in downtown Istanbul (Beyoğlu).

Russian LGBT young people publicly bullied and tortured

LGBT teens are being lured on social media before they are kidnapped by neo-Nazis and tortured in Russia. According to Spectrum Human Rights Alliance, they are using the Russian version of Facebook, VK.com, to lure unsuspected victims through personal ads.

Attack by alleged neo-Nazis follows Pride event in Budapest

After participating in the Pride event in Budapest, three individuals was attacked by a group of some 30 “uniformed neo-Nazis” near Budapest’s Nyugati railway station. The Hungarian police have launched an investigation of the violent case, however no arrest have been done yet.

Participants of St Petersburg Pride event attacked

On 29 June, participants of the St. Petersburg LGBT Pride Parade were attacked with vulgar verbal abuse, beating and pelting them with stones and smoke bombs. Police officers at the site failed to act adequately in order to prevent the violence, leaving the demonstration’s participants in the position of having to defend themselves. Many of them with minor or significant injuries. At least seven people were later hospitalised by ambulance.


Two new good initiatives by public authorities in Portugal and in France

Two new good initiatives within the field of education and bullying: in Portugal, a campaign against homophobic bullying has just been launched with support from the Portugese government. It comprises a short video, definitions, useful links and recommendations to victims, parents and teachers. In France, the Minister of Education had commissioned a report on homophobic and transphobic school bullying in September 2012. The report has just been released. It provides interesting analysis on homophobia and transphobia in school and lists actions already undertaken in European countries and abroad.

Equality and non-discrimination

Happy 5th anniversary of the equal treatment directive proposal!

On 2 July, Social Platform issued a media release on the 5th anniversary of the equal treatment directive proposal, which has been stalled in the Council of the European Union. In the last five years no progress at all has been made in the EU to protect people against discrimination on the grounds of age, sexual orientation, disability and religion or belief.

Call for participants to study session: Equality in Action

IGLYO and Transgender Europe are co-organising the study session “Equality in Action: Mobilising LGBTQ youth around the Council of Europe Recommendation on measures to combat discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity”. The study session is organised in cooperation with the Youth Department of the Council of Europe, and will take place in the European Youth Center in Strasbourg from 22 to 28 September 2013. Deadline for applications: 4 August, 2013 (midnight CET)

Lithuanian EU Presidency: setting the record straight on LGBTI rights

One of the leading EU media, EU Observer, brought an ILGA-Europe op-ed following the kick off of the Lithuanian EU Predidency. "The EU is one of the leading voices on LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex) equality, but Lithuania is way out of tune. Vilnius' EU presidency began with a controversy on LGBTI issues when its head of state, Dalia Grybauskaite, faced tough questions from MEPs and media on Baltic Pride. Its EU chairmanship is a chance for Lithuania to take concrete steps to tackle discrimination."


England & Wales say “I do” to marriage equality

On 15 July, England and Wales became the 10th European jurisdiction to introduce marriage equality as the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill was approved in the final reading by the House of Lords.

EU Ombudsman: Commission was right to host an exhibition on LGBT rights

The European Ombudsman ruled in favour of the European Commission, which had been criticised for hosting in 2011 an exhibition by ILGA-Europe calling for equal rights for LGBT people and their families. The Ombudsman said this was fully within the Commission’s powers.

Lesbians and single women to be refused public-funded assisted reproduction in Spain

Lesbian couples and single women will be excluded from the right to assisted reproduction techniques such as artificial insemination and in vitro fertilization, according to proposals on new basic services offered under the public health system sent to regional health departments by the Spanish Health Ministry.

European Parliament expresses concern about the legal situation for same-sex families in Hungary

On 19 June, the European Parliament adopted a report on the situation of fundamental rights: standards and practices in Hungary which expressed concern about the "repeated changes to the legal order restricting the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, for instance by seeking to exclude same-sex couples and their children, as well as other varied family structures, from the definition of 'family' in the Fundamental Law; stresses that this runs counter to recent European Court of Human Rights jurisprudence and fuels a climate of intolerance vis-à-vis LGBT people"

Foreign policy

PACE calls on Morocco to decriminalise homosexuality

In a resolution on the Evaluation of the partnership for democracy in respect of the Parliament of Morocco, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe stressed the importancy of Morocco to decriminalise homosexuality. The Moroccan Penal Code criminalises consensual sexual relations between persons of the same sex, with penalties of between six months and three years in prison.

Freedom of assembly

Baltic Pride in Vilnius: a success 

Despite attempts from the Vilnius City to hinder the Baltic Pride to go ahead as planned, several hundres participants marched on the main avenue on 27 July. Police provided sufficient protection blocking the counter protesters to interphere the march. However with the exceptions of some eggs being thrown by the end of the march, no other violence occured.


Freedom of expression

Moldova must strike down law banning ‘homosexual propaganda’

On 23 May, the Parliament of Moldova introduced a new article “Public activities with negative impact on minors” in the Code of Administrative Offences which is almost identical to the recently adopted Russian law banning the dissemination of information on lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex issues and threatens the very existence of LGBTI movement.

Landmark Turkish court ruling: LGBT-phobic language is not freedom of speech

Setting an important legal precedent, Istanbul’s Criminal Court issued a landmark ruling against a religious Turkish newspaper for its use of anti-LGBT language, saying it illegally offended LGBT people.

Russian LGBT Network statement: "Winter Olympics - We should speak up, not walk out"

The Russian LGBT Network released on 30 July a statement on their stands on the widespread discussed boycotting of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games.


ILGA-Europe is looking for researcher

ILGA-Europe is looking for researcher on priorities and needs of LGBTI rights organisations in the area of health. Deadline for applications: 1 September.

PACE resolution on Equal Access to Health Care explicitly includes trans people

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) called in a recent Resolution for equal access to health care for trans people. “The Assembly notes that inequalities in access to care, including mental health care, particularly affect vulnerable groups, including…transgender persons.”

ILGA-Europe meets Tonio Borg, EU Commissioner for Health

On 11 July, ILGA-Europe’s representatives met with Tonio Borg, EU Commissioner for Health to discuss the issues of LGBTI health within the EU competencies.

Human Rights Defenders

Call for participants: 3rd International Intersex Forum in Budapest

The 3rd International Intersex Forum will take place in Budapest, Hungary from 29 November to 1 December 2013. The main purpose of the Forum is to assist the formation of the global intersex movement. Deadline for applications: 16 August.

Legal gender recognition

Coming up! Two events on legal gender recognition of trans people

ILGA-Europe and Transgender Europe have the pleasure to invite you to both or either one of two events taking place in Berlin in September and October regarding the legal gender recognition of trans people. Deadline for applications: 12 August.

Lithuania slammed as it fails to implement ruling on gender reasignment treatment

With a written declaration, 20 members of the Parlimentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) critised Lithuania for its failure to implement the European Court of Human Rights judgment on access to gender reassignment treatment, saying this prolongs inhuman treatment of trans people in the country. In 2007, the European Court of Human Rights ruled in L v Lithuania that clear procedures for access to gender reassignment need to be installed. On March 23 2013, the Lithuanian Parliament gave initial support to an Civil Code amendment that would result in prohibition of gender reassignment surgery in the country.

PACE urges a total ban on coerced sterilisation or castration ‘in any way for any reason’

The Parlimentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) urged in a resolution the Council of Europe member states to revise their laws and policies to ensure that “no one can be coerced into sterilisation or castration in any way for any reason”.

Law proposal on legal gender recognition launched in Ireland

Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton presented the law proposal on 18 July, and added that the issue had been “left unaddressed for far too long”, referring to a 2007 High Court judgement which said Ireland was in breach of human rights obligations by not recognising trans people.

Police and law enforcement

Trans people in Thessaloniki become victims of police harrassment

The police in Thessaloniki has been carrying out a series of ungrounded arrests of trans people according to the Greek Transgender Support Association. The trans organisation stresses that the police behaviour during the arrests was offensive, humiliating and that it was intended to undermine the dignity of trans people. 

Notice board

Job opportunity - Executive Coordinator at IGLYO

IGLYO, the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Youth and Student Organization, is looking for a full-time Executive Coordinator. Deadline for applications: 12 August (midnight CET).

Call for authors for an ENAR publication on “The Positive Impact of Systematic and Comparable Equality Data Collection”

European Network Against Racisme, ENAR, is currently seeking author(s) to draft the ENAR publication on the positive effect of equality data collection. This publication is part of ENAR’s project on Equality Data Collection. Deadline for applications: 15 August.

Research opportunity - Expert to conduct research and analysis on responses from trans people

The EU Agency for Fundamental Rights is looking to contract an expert to conduct research and in-depth analysis of their major LGBT Survey with regard to the responses of those who identified as trans people. Deadline of application: 12 August.

FRA tender on Equality and Diversity evaluation

The European Union's Agency for Fundemental Rights (FRA) is calling for tenders. The purpose of the tender is to carry out an equality and diversity evaluation to assess how and to what extent the contracting authority's current working environment, organisational structure, policies, practices and procedures ensure that the equality and diversity of its staff can be taken new steps forward. Deadline for submission of tenders: 29 August.

New UN website on LGBT issues: Free & Equal

The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has launched a new 12-month public information campaign to raise awareness of homophobic and transphobic violence and discrimination and to promote respect for the rights of LGBT people.


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.