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no. 222. February 2014. In this issue...


Bias motivated speech

Bias motivated violence


Equality and non-discrimination

EU enlargement


Freedom of expression


Legal gender recognition

Notice board


Want to join the ILGA-Europe staff team?

ILGA-Europe has currently new people to join our staff team in Brussels. Check out the follwowing open positions here: Advocacy Director (deadline 28 February), Programmes and Policy Officer - temporary position (deadline 14 March), Consultant (deadline 11 March) and Internship (deadline 28 February)

Come Out for LGBTI Equality

During the European election campaign, Come Out, ILGA-Europe will roll out four focus areas: Come Out for LGBTI Equality, Come Out for Human Rights, Come Out for Europe and finally Come Out to Vote. 

Bias motivated speech

Spanish cardinal probed for inciting homophobic hate

Spanish prosecutors have opened an investigation into newly chosen Spanish Cardinal Fernando Sebastián Aguilar after the Spanish LGBT rights organisation, COLEGAS, accused him of hate speech for calling homosexuality a "defect".

Bias motivated violence

Videos of organised violence against LGBT people in Russia

Two videos on organised violence by vigilante groups against LGBT people in Russia have been launched this month. The videos provide graphic evidence. During the last month serveral homophobic attacks and murders have happened across Russia.
Read about the incidents and murders in our web section on Russia here
Video by Human Rights Watch
'Hunted' by UK TV channel, Channel 4

Life in prison for homophobic murder case in Turkey

On 10 February, the 9th hearing of the Rosin Cicek case who was killed by his father and uncles because of his sexual orientation took place in the Diyarbakir Third Criminal Court for Aggravated Crimes. The uncles were sentenced to life in prison and the father was sentenced to aggravated life imprisonment.

Homophobic murderer gets life imprisonment in Hungary

On 10 February, The Regional Court of Appeal of Debrecen upheld an earlier decision of a lower level court, and sentenced a defendant to life imprisonment for murdering an elderly gay pharmacist out of homophobic motive. The case is the first known murder case in Hungary where the courts found homophobic hate an aggravating circumstance.

Call for submissions: OSCE Hate crime report 2013

ILGA-Europe will soon start preparing our global submission to the OSCE/ODIHR, in view of their annual report on hate crime in 2013. As all NGOs can submit reports, you can also write directly to the ODIHR and send them a submission.


New resources on education and bullying

In late January, IGLYO (International LGBTQ Youth and Student Organisation) launched a series of materials on education. The resources demonstrates the widespread problem of homophobic and transphobic bullying, and they present approaches that prove effective in tackling bullying in an educational setting.

Study on how to address sexual diversity in education

Researchers from Universidad Complutense de Madrid launched the results on of the study "Diversity and integration in schools" which focuses on experiences and best practices for addressing sexual diversity in education and the integration of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students and families at Spanish primary and secondary schools.

Cooperation on education issues between trade unions and LGBT organisation in Spain

On 21 February, a number of Spanish trade unions in the education area signed a cooperation agreement with the FELGTB, one of ILGA-Europe’s Spanish members to address sexual and gender diversity. They agreed to work together to promote human rights and tolerance and tackle discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity. To achieve this, they will plan awareness-raising campaigns, training of schools’ staff and celebration of the international day against homophobia and transphobia.

European courses on sexual diversity and education

GALE (The Global Alliance for LGBT Education) has have prepared a number of courses on sexual diversity education, which can be funded under Erasmus+. Each course is 4 days and one or two days come-back meeting. The courses should be done in another county than your own to get it funded. If your application is accepted by the EU, your own contribution is about € 180 for both travels and courses, while the EU will pay all travel, accommodation, food and course fees.

Equality and non-discrimination

European Parliament calls for EU LGBT Roadmap

On 4 February, the European Parliament adopted a report calling on the European Commission to adopt an EU Roadmap tackling homophobia, transphobia and discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity (Lunacek Report).

The EU leaders have spoken: EU has to step up its work on LGBTI equality

Participants of a debate organised by ILGA-Europe on 12 February 2014, which brought together high-level representatives from the five main European political parties, agreed that the current EU’s efforts to ensure LGBTI equality are not enough and highlighted specific steps the European Union need to make.

Russia decried for homophobic ill-treatment of children

On 5 February, the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) released the Concluding observations on the implementation by the Russian Federation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The Committee agreed that there are violations of rights of children based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

The Games are over - Fight goes on

The Winter Olympics in Sochi provided an opportunity for the LGBT community and human rights activists to expose Russia’s discriminatory policies. During the Games, many human rights defenders were detained for protesting, but the fight goes on - after Sochi.
See an overview of the arrests during the Games

New resource: Sexual Diversity and the Sochi 2014 Olympics

Sexual Diversity and the Sochi 2014 Olympics: No More Rainbows examines Russia's 2013 anti-homosexual laws and their implications for the Sochi 2014 Olympics. Helen Jefferson Lenskyj argues that Putin's Russia and the International Olympic Committee wield power in similar ways, as evident in undemocratic governance, fraudulent voting processes, hypocrisy and absence of accountability.

EU enlargement

MEPs take stock of LGBT rights in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia and Montenegro

On 6 February, the European Parliament adopted three of its annual reports on the EU accession process for Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and Montenegro. Last month, MEPs already examined the situation in Serbia and Kosovo.


Slovakia must reject the homophobic proposal to redefine marriage in the constitution

Next week the Slovak Parliament will start its new session and one of the legislative proposals registered for discussion is to amend the Constitutional definition of marriage to limit it exclusively to ‘a man and a woman’.

Marriage equality in Scotland

Scotland became the 11th jurisdiction in Europe to equalise marriage on 4 February after Members of the Scottish Parliament voted by 105 to 18 in favour of the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill. The first same-sex weddings could take place this autumn.

Ban on adoptions by same-sex couples in Lithuania would breach international law

The lawyers of the Lithuanian parliament, Seimas, maintain that the amendments proposed by the Order and Justice party’s MP Petras Gražulis to ban adoptions for homosexual people would run counter to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.

Gender-neutral marriage law proposal reaches parliament in Finland

On 20 February, the Finnish parliament had the first debate on introducing gender-neutral marriage. Some 166,000 Finns signed the citizens’ initiative that forced the issue onto the agenda—but more than 42,000 have signed a petition opposing any legislative changes.The matter has been considered before, when 76 MPs signed a previous proposal. That attempt fell at the committee stage thanks to opposition from Finns Party, Christian Democrat, Centre and National Coalition MPS.
Read more about the possiblity of gender-neutral marriage in Finland here

Strong support for marriage equality in Ireland

Almost two thirds of Irish people do not believe that those who oppose same sex marriage rights are homophobic, a new poll has revealed. And three quarters would support the introduction of same sex marriage if a vote on the issue was held tomorrow. The Cabinet has committed to hold a referendum on same sex marriage before the summer of 2015.
Read more about the findings of the poll here

2014 European Family Conference: Different Families - Same Schools

The Network of European LGBT Families Associations (NELFA) will be organising its 2014 European Family Conference in Cologne, Germany, between 1 and 4 May 2014. This year's conference is dedicated to "Different Families - Same Schools". Registration opens 5 March.

International Family Equality Day

On 4 May, LGBTQ family organisations from around the world will join together for the third time to increase the international visibility of LGBTQ families. The motto of the event is Welcoming Family Diversity!

Get married during Eurovision in Copenhagen

This year Denmark is celebrating the 25th anniversary of same-sex civil partnership. In this historically context, the City of Copenhagen are offering all same-sex and different-sex couples (Danes and foreigners) to tie knots during the Eurovision Song Contest in May 2014.

Freedom of expression

Russian court: LGBT youth support group founder not guilty of promoting homosexuality

On February 21, Dzerzhinsky district court of Nizhny Tagil passed a judgement to terminate the case brought up against journalist Lena Klimova who was accused of homosexual propaganda to minors over the internet through her support group, Children 404.


Constitutional Court of Georgia lifts blood donation ban

Georgia’s Constitutional Court upheld the claim of applicants who challenged the conformity of the Order of the Minister of Labor, Healthcare, and Social Protection with human rights and fundamental freedoms as enshrined in the Constitution of Georgia. The Court ruled that the orders of Ministry that regulate the right to blood donation were unconstitutional. The applicants claimed that the Ministry’s view of “Homosexualism” was discriminatory and that it didn’t allow gay men to become blood donors.

Launch of European Professional Association for Transgender Health

The European Professional Association for Transgender Health (EPATH) has been officially launched. EPATH aims to provide a network for professionals who are isolated in their work.

Legal gender recognition

Access All Areas! Recognition Opens Doors

On 10 February, Transgender Europe launched the Europe-wide campaign Access All Areas! Recognition Opens Doors urging decision makers and European societies to recognise the serious human rights violations trans people face in their every day lives.

New resource: The state decides who I am: Lack of legal gender recognition for transgender people in Europe

Amnesty International launched a report which casts a light on the reality trans people face everyday. The report focuses on seven European countries; Denmark, Belgium, France, Ireland, Germany, Norway and Finland where the rights of trans people in different ways are being denied.

Social Charter Committee asks member states about coerced medical treatment

Following ILGA-Europe's work last year submitting around 25 shadow reports on the rights to health and trans rights, the Social Charter Committee of the Council of Europe has issued a blanket request to all participating states to provide information on whether they require coerced medical treatment as part of gender legal recognition. There will be no immediate results as member states have up to 4 years to reply, but exercising pressure like this across the 47 states could contribute quite a lot in the long-term, especially as the implication is that states will be found in violation of the Charter if they admit to requiring medical treatment. This is the question which the Social Charter Committee has put to all member states: “The Committee asks States Parties whether legal gender recognition for transgender persons requires (in law or in practice) that they undergo sterilisation or any other invasive medical treatment which could impair their health or physical integrity."

Notice board

Upcoming event: 2009-2019: 10 years of LGBT rights – Successes, Failures, Challenges

On Wednesday 5 March, ILGA-Europe will speak in the European Parliament at a discussion between Members of the European Parliament, NGOs and EU institutions about the EU’s recent achievements and upcoming challenges in advancing LGBT rights.

The Big March against cyberbullying

On 11 June, Beat Bullying and COFACE (Confederation of Family Organisations in the EU) will stage a big online protest against bullying. The expectation is that hundreds of thousands of people will march across global websites to help put an end to cyberbullying.

Summer School for Sexualities, Cultures, and Politics

IPAK Center and Faculty for Media and Communications, Singidunum University, Belgrade is organising Summer School for Sexualities, Cultures, and Politics. The 2014 Summer School will take place at the Faculty of Media and Communications in Belgrade, from 18-24 August, 2014.

Learn more about European elections

Why is the European Elections important? Where can I find more information? What about the European Parties and their manifestos? What other election campaigns are out there? ILGA-Europe has built up a section within our Come Out campaign, where you can find information about the European elections in May 2014. 

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.