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No. 224, April 2014. In this issue...


Bias motivated speech


Equality and non-discrimination


Freedom of expression


Legal gender recognition

Notice board


European Elections - just around the corner

There are less than a couple of weeks before EU citizens are able to cast their votes for the next European Parliament. During April we focused on the third pillar of our campaign - Come Out for Europe. Have a look here. Last week we published the first weekly update on our Come Out campaign. Since the update, the total number of signatures has increased even further - today we can proudly count over 700 candidates to the European Parliament who have signed our Come Out pledge. Remember...Come Out and vote!

Reporting hate speech in the #EP2014 campaign

In March, ILGA-Europe and ENAR (European Network Against Racism) launched an Appeal for an election campaign free from discrimination and intolerance, urging European parties to condemn discriminatory or intolerant remarks during the European Parliament election campaign. An online form was launched, enabling the public to report discriminatory or intolerant incidents during the campaign. This report compiles submissions
received so far.

Meeting with Commissioner Malmström on Ukraine

On Monday 5 May, we met with Commissioner Cecilia Malmström together with Ukrainian LGBT organisations to discuss LGBT human rights in Ukraine in the context of the visa liberalisation action plan.

Bias motivated speech

ILGA-Europe's position on how to combat hate speech

ILGA-Europe has been developed a set of key demands and a position to combat manifestations of homophobic and transphobic intolerance and prejudice in Europe, including incitement to discrimination, hostility and violence


Call for submissions for essays from LGBT educators

Are you a LGBT educator and want to tell your story? Share your experiences for a new book to be published in 2015 by Beacon Press. Essays can be of any length well as any format (prose or poetry). For those who wish to be anonymous pseudonyms can be used. The deadline for submissions is 1 August 2014.

Equality and non-discrimination

ILGA-Europe: EU should keep pressure on Ukraine to adopt inclusive anti-discrimination protection

The recent events in Ukraine have brought the European Union to an unprecedented situation during which Member States decided to speed-up various association measures in support of democratisation processes taking place in the country. One of these measures is the acceleration of the visa dialogue, through which visa-free travel between the EU and Ukraine should soon become a reality. This is an important development for citizens as it allows for free movement and thereby has the potential of bringing societies closer together.

New report: State of democracy, human rights and the rule of law in Europe

The Council of Europe launched their report on State of democracy, human rights and the rule of law in Europe. The report lists a large number of concrete challenges to human rights,
democracy and the rule of law in Europe, and recommends actions to meet them. A chapter has been dedicated to discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity, page 50.

Council of Europe: Europe takes major step forward to protect women’s rights

As Andorra became the 10th country to ratify the Council of Europe's Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, the treaty – which required 10 ratifications to enter into force – will become applicable on 1 August this year. Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland praised its application, stressing how the convention pulls together judicial reform, victim support and monitoring to eradicate violence against women. The Convention includes lesbian, bisexual and trans women.

Joint article in EurActiv: Breaking through the rising tide of conservatism in Europe

By Evelyne Paradis, Executive Director of the European LGBTI association (ILGA-Europe), and Michael Privot, Director of the European Network Against Racism (ENAR): Looking at the state of public discourses and political debates in European countries today, there are indeed many reasons to be concerned with candidates feeding on fears and frustrations to win votes.


Malta adopts same-sex civil union law

On 14 April, the Maltese parliament adopted same-sex civil union law thus making Malta the 22nd European country to legally recognise same-sex unions and 10th country in Europe to allow same-sex couples to jointly apply for child adoption.

Georgia: do not enshrine homophobia in the constitution

In early April, Georgia’s Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili became the latest European politician to propose a ban on same-sex marriage in the country’s constitution.

European Parliament calls on free movement for all families

The European Parliament adopted on 3 April 2014 a non-binding resolution on justice, freedom and security in Europe, which emphasised the principle of the freedom of movement of all families.

Gender-neutral cohabitation on the Estonian parliament’s agenda

The Estonian parliament is due to discuss a cohabitation proposal that regulates the financial, inheritance, and care and visitation rights for cohabiting couples regardless of their gender.

Northern Ireland reject marriage equality again

The campaign for marriage equality in Northern Ireland appears headed for the courts after the Assembly of Northern Ireland rejected a proposal on marriage equality for the third time in 18 months. Northern Ireland remains the only part of the United Kingdom where same-sex marriage is not permitted in law.

Freedom of expression

Thundeclap action: Protect LGBT Free Expression

On 17 May, the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, ARTICLE 19, IDAHO Committee and IFEX are launching a Thunderclap to join thousands of voices together to demand that these freedom of expression rights be respected. Join the Thunderclap.
Add your voice to the social media storm for LGBTI rights this 17 May


Consultation report on health now online

During 2013, ILGA-Europe carried out a consultation in the area of health. The extensive data collection was done within the ILGA-Europe membership. The full report is available to ILGA-Europe’s members only. To receive it, please contact Sophie Aujean, Senior Policy and Programmes Officer, sophie@ilga-europe.org

Legal gender recognition

New report: License to Be Yourself: Laws and advocacy for legal gender recognition of trans people

Open Society Foundations has launched the report License to Be Yourself: Laws and advocacy for legal gender recognition of trans people. The report documents some of the world’s most progressive and rights-based laws and policies that enable trans people to change their gender identity on official documents. It shares strategies that activists have successfully used in a variety of global and legal contexts.

Irish documentary: My Transgender Journey

On 16 April, the Irish TV channel, TV3, aired the documentary Irish Lives: My Transgender Journey. The documentary gives an up-close and personal account of three trans people's journeys and explores what it is like to live in a country that does not fully accept them.
The documentary can be viewed online here

Trans Aid in Croatia: Why the trans* movement in Croatia is celebrating

By Arian Kajtezovic, Trans Aid, Croatia: Four years ago, a 14-year-old boy and his mother began fighting for his right to live like any other teenager. He was as his peers in many ways, except that his important papers, such as his birth certificate, marked him as female. Thanks in part to hormone therapy, friends and strangers alike knew him as the boy he really was. But to the government, his school, and the medical system he was marked as a girl. Fortunately, he was luckier than most trans* youth in Croatia as his mother supported him and dedicated her life to fighting for her son’s right to live in accordance with his gender identity.

Notice board

Job opportunity: enthusiastic (part-time) Freelance PR/Press Agent for ORAM

ORAM is currently looking for an enthusiastic (part-time) Freelance PR/Press Agent with experience in the field of refugees and/or LGBTI, and with outstanding skills in traditional press coverage and social media (English, French a plus) to join the dynamic team of social change makers. Please have a proven successful track record of significant placements in either or both of the above fields. Start date: ASAP. Contract: 2 months, possibility of continuation. Interested? Write to ariel@oraminternational.org, and have a look on the website of ORAM http://www.oraminternational.org/

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.