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No. 217, September 2013 - in this issue



Bias motivated speech

Bias motivated violence



Equality and non-discrimination


Freedom of assembly

Freedom of expression

Police and law enforcement

Notice board


Annual Conference 2013 - just around the corner

In less then a month, the ILGA-Europe Annual Conference 2013 is kicking off in Zagreb. Over 250 participants will gather from 24-27 October 2013. The theme of this year's conference is Family matters! Reaching out to hearts and minds. This conference is organised in association with the Zagreb organising committee ILGA-Europe Conference 2013. The committee includes the Croatian LGBTI organisations Kontra, Iskorak and Rišpet.

ILGA-Europe in a Hangout to #AskBarroso

On 12 September, ILGA-Europe got the opportunity to ask European Commission President Barosso a direct question on LGBT issues in European Union during a Google+ Hangout organised by Euronews.
Check out ILGA-Europe's question and Barosso's answer here (from 21:30)

ILGA-Europe's statement on Celebrate Bisexuality Day

Since 1999, 23 September is a “Celebrate Bisexuality Day”. This occasion is an opportunity to address the particular issues bisexual people face and also to raise the awareness about bisexuality and to celebrate the diversity of and differences within the LGBTI communities.

Human rights violations documentation training in Lisbon

On 6-8 September 2013, ILGA-Europe organised a training on human rights violations documentation in Lisbon for LGBTI activists from Armenia, Georgia, FYR Macedonia, Greece, Portugal and Russia.

Mediterranean Network Meeting in Malta

On 13-14 September, ILGA-Europe organised a network meeting for activists from Mediterranean countries in Malta. Participants came from Malta, Cyprus, Turkey, Albania, Greece and Italy. During the meeting the participants met with Hon. Helena Dalli MP - Minister for Social Dialogue, Consumer Affairs and Civil Liberties.


16 Greek LGBT organisations: Terminate the detention of a gay Iranian refugee seeking asylum

16 Greek LGBT organisations joint forces and called for termination of the detention of an Iranian refugee seeking asylum on the grounds of sexual orientation and asked Greece to respect EU legislation and case laws on asylum.

Bias motivated speech

Event: Responding to hate speech

On Tuesday 8 October, the European Parliament's Intergroup on LGBT Rights will host an event on legal and policy responses to homophobic and transphobic hate speech in Europe. Co-organised by ARTICLE 19 and ILGA-Europe, the seminar will introduce a new policy briefing:Responding to “hate speech” against LGBTI people. This seminar will take place in Strasbourg, and will be open to the public. Guests must register online before 3 October.

Bias motivated violence

Amnesty International urges EU to combat homophobic violence

A new report from Amnesty International states that the European Union (EU) and its member-states are failing to tackle homophobic and transphobic hate crimes and to protect all individuals from discrimination, harassment and violence.

Italian anti-homophobia law proposal critized as being 'useless'

Italian LGBT organisations are unsatisfied with a proposed anti-homophobia law proposal that passed in the lower Chamber of Deputies, arguing the proposal's freedom of speech protections still allow discriminatory transgressions. The law proposal still need to be discussed and approved by the Italian Senate.

Rare hate crime conviction in Denmark

An attack on a trans-woman that occurred over the summer in central Copenhagen led to a successful hate crime conviction. Hate crime convictions are rare in Denmark. A 2011 report by the Danish Institute for Human Rights lists only a handful of other hate crime cases that went successfully to court with a conviction. 


New anti-bullying procedures for primary and post-primary schools launched in Ireland

On 13 September, the Irish government launched new Anti-Bullying procedures for all primary and post-primary schools which all schools must implement. The procedures and guidelines fully incorporate addressing and preventing homophobic and transphobic.

Study visit to the UK: Staff training for sexual orientation and gender identity equality in post school education

The three day study visit programme is for education and vocational training specialists and decision makers. It is organised by the Forum for Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Equality in Post School Education. It will run from 9-11 June 2014 and be based in Cheltenham, UK. Deadline for applications: 15 October 2013.


European Parliament Committee rejects report on discrimination at work

The European Parliament Committee on Employment and Social Affairs rejected a draft report on discrimination at work, judging it was imbalanced and weakly worded. The Committee had taken the initiative of reporting on the implementation of Directive 2000/78, which prohibits discrimination on grounds of religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation at work across the European Union.

Equality and non-discrimination

Ukrainian Commissioner for Human Rights offers EU alternative mechanism to protect 'sexual minorities'

UN: Russia agrees to protect LGBT people

The official delegation of Russia announced their willingness to take all required measures to prevent homophobic hate crimes and discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation at the 24th UN Human Rights Council. However, they dismissed the recommendations to abolish the so called ‘propaganda of homosexualism’ laws. All such obligations will be fulfilled by Russian authorities during the next four years.

Weak response from IOC. “Fully satisfactory,” completely out of place wording by IOC chair

According to the International Olympic Committee, then it doesn't have the authority to intervene in Russia's law banning gay propaganda and is convinced there will be no discrimination against athletes or spectators at the Winter Games in Sochi.

Lithuanian parliament to discuss amendment saying criticism of homosexuality is not discrimination

The Lithuanian parliament has opened discussions of the amendment to the Criminal Code which spells out that criticism of homosexuality should not be viewed as discrimination.


European Parliament: “All international couples should enjoy the same property rights”

On 10 September, the European Parliament adopted two amended resolutions with the aim of simplifying the legal procedures regarding property regimes for bi-national married couples and registered partners. The resolutions ensure that all bi-national couples are treated equally irrespective of their sexual orientation.

NELFA to Commissioner Reding: ensure true freedom of movement for LGBT parents and their children in the EU

The Vice-President of the Network of European LGBT Families Associations (NELFA), Juha Jämsä, delivered on 24 September, in Helsinki, Finland, a public petition on behalf of NELFA’s 21 national member associations asking for true freedom of movement for LGBT parents and their children in the European Union.

Russian Duma to debate taking children from same-sex couples

A law proposal that proposes stripping same-sex couples with children of their parental rights was introduced in the lower house of the Russian parliament.

Marriage equality initiative proceeds to Finnish parliament with 162,000 backers

A petition calling for marriage eqaulity in Finland has collected more than 162,000 signatures. The Finnish parliament must consider any such petition that garners at least 50,000 certified adult signatures. The “Tahdon2013” (“I Do”) campaign surpassed that number on its first day in March 2013.

Freedom of assembly

Serbian authorities ban Belgrade Pride

ILGA-Europe strongly condemned the decision of the Serbian authorities to ban Belgrade Pride March, which was scheduled to take place on 28 September, for the 3rd year in a row. Stefan Füle, Commissioner of Enlargement, also reacted on the ban, calling it 'a missed opportunity to show respect for fundamental rights'. After the ban became official, Serbian LGBTI activists carried through a peaceful protest without any incidents of violence.

Freedom of expression

Lithuanian Ethics Office: censorship of Baltic Pride TV ads did not violate any laws

The Lithuanian Office of the Inspector of Journalist Ethics, an agency established under the supervision of the country's parliament, ruled that the state-run Lithuanian Radio and Television did not violate any laws when it decided to limit public broadcasting of two television ads promoting the Baltic Pride march in July, 2013.

Police and law enforcement

First training for police officers on LGBT human rights in Bosnia and Herzegovina

The first ever training for the police officers of Canton Sarajevo on hate crime – criminal acts on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity, which will take place on 23 and 24 September in Konjic. The goal of this training is to sensitize police officers to the problems of LGBT people and the need to fully implement and protect the human rights of LGBT people in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Notice board

SOLIDAR Silver Rose Awards 2013

The SOLIDAR Silver Rose Awards were launched in 2000 to celebrate individuals and organisations who contribute to social justice and solidarity in Europe and throughout the world. This year's SOLIDAR Silver Rose Awards ceremony will take place on Wednesday 16 October 2013 in the European Parliament in Brussels. Register before 9 October 2013.

Event: Under Pressure - LGBT Rights in Russia

The Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung offices European Union and Russia are organising an event on 16 October with activists of three Russian leading LGBT organisations (LGBT Network, LGBT Film Festival Side-by-Side and Coming Out) and ILGA-Europe on the complicated political and juridical situation, keep struggling for the rights of the LGBT community in Russia. The event is taking place in Brussels.

Video: LGBTIQ Voices shOUT! - opinions and views from young LGBTQ activists

Check out the video of young lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people LGBTQ discussing the reasons for their activism. These young people were part of the 'Equality in Action' Study Session, organised by IGLYO (International LGBTQ Youth and Student Organisation) and Transgender Europe.


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
Contact us

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.