Want to view this email in a browser? - click here

EURO-Letter banner

No. 225, May 2014. In this issue...


Bias motivated violence




Freedom of assembly

Freedom of expression


Legal gender recognition

Notice board


A quarter of elected European Parliament committed to LGBTI equality

187 (25%) newly elected members of the 751-seat European Parliament have signed ILGA-Europe’s European Elections 2014 Come Out Pledge, committing themselves to advancing human rights and LGBTI equality over the next five years.

Rainbow Europe 2014: Europe’s score on LGBTI human rights remains average

2013 was a year of widening contrasts for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex people in Europe, from marriage equality and legal gender recognition on one hand, to new forms of criminalisation of LGBTI people through the spread of anti-propaganda laws.

Final report: 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. 

Read more about the final report here

Registration for the Annual Conference is now open

The ILGA-Europe Annual Conference is taking place in Rīga from 9-11 October 2014. Find here the pre-mailing with information about registration, speakers and important dates.

Job opportunity with ILGA-Europe: Finance and administration officer

ILGA-Europe is currently looking for a Finance and administration officer. Closing date for receipt of applications: Monday 16 June 2014, 10.00 CET.

Training on Financial Management and Administration, April 2014

On 28-29 April 2014, ILGA-Europe organised training on Financial Management and Administration in Budapest for 20 LGBTI activists from NGOs from all across the Europe. 

Bias motivated violence

ILGA-Europe: police failed in a homophobic violence incident in Croatia

ILGA-Europe, the AIRE Centre and International Commission of Jurists submitted a submission to the European Court of Human Rights on a case which addresses the failure of the police to treat seriously homophobic violence against a lesbian in Croatia. The intervention seeks to assist the Court by providing an overview of the prevalence and nature of homophobic and transphobic hate crimes in Council of Europe member states, and by presenting a survey of international, EU and comparative law on the procedural and substantive obligations of member states to investigate such crimes, including a possible bias motive, and, when determining sanctions, to take proper account of the bias motive.


IGLYO holds Roundtable on socioeconomic status

On 29 April, ILGA-Europe participated in held the first roundtable in IGLYO's 2014 Roundtable Series on Intersectionality. Representatives from the European Federation of National Organisations working with the Homeless (FEANTSA), the European Youth Forum, Avvocato di strada (Bologna, Italy), LGBT Youth Scotland, and RFSL Ungdom (Swedish LGBTQ Youth Organisation) met to discuss the intersections of sexual orientation, sexuality, gender identity and expression, youth, and socioeconomic status.


Capacity-building seminar on using a norm-critical approach in education

ILGA-Europe and IGLYO (International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Youth and Student Organisation) co-organised a seminar on the use on norm-critical approach in education in Stockholm from 4 to 6 April 2014.


Austrian lesbian couple excluded from child fostering

The Austrian Administrative Supreme Court has confirmed the ban on child fostering for same-sex couples in the state of Lower Austria. The couple which had been refused to be adopted on the list of potential foster parents would have no right at all to challenge this exclusion from the list. Their application has been rejected on the basis that they cannot conceive a child together and therefore they would be unable to build up a parent-like relation to a child.

German parliament adopts weak adoption law for same-sex couples

On 22 May, the German parliament adopted a new law which aims to allow same-sex couples in a civil union to legally adopt their partner's adopted child. However the German LGBT organisation, LSVD, heavily criticised the move calling it “that the parliament just did what they had to do after a judgment of the German Constitutional Court, and that the parliament should have granted full common adoption as the new adoption law still discriminates same-sex couples and their children”.

French Court denies second-parent adoption rights to lesbian couple

A French court in Versailles denied second-parent adoption rights to a lesbian couple, on the basis of them becoming parents through medically assisted reproduction in Belgium which is only allowed to different-sex couples in France.

Estonian cohabitation law proposal could be postponed until Autumn

The law proposal which has received wide praise as well as criticism, regulates financial, inheritance, and care and visitation rights for cohabiting couples, regardless of their gender. However the Estonian government is yet to reveal its stance on the subject, it is increasingly likely the proposal will not be passed before parliament heads for its summer break in mid-June.
Read more about the law proposal here

Moving Forward; The Rights of Rainbow Families

ILGA-Europe member, Cara-Friend, is organising a Europe-wide conference in Belfast on Thursday 5 June 2014. The conference will bring together rainbow families, European and local Government Officials, NGOs and all those concerned about the rights of rainbow families. 

Freedom of assembly

The March for Equality "Time to be yourself" successfully held in Moldova

On 17 May, the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia, the GENDERDOC-M Information Centre held the March for Equality titled „Time to be yourself!” More than 150 participants marched shouting slogans supporting equality, carrying rainbow flags, banners and blowing whistles.

Freedom of expression

Council of the European Union adopts the EU Guidelines on Freedom of Expression online and offline

On 12 May, the Council of the European Union adopted the EU Guidelines on Freedom of Expression online and offline, thus bringing a new addition to the family of EU Human Rights Guidelines. With these guidelines, the EU reaffirms the pivotal role that freedom of opinion and expression play in a democratic society. ILGA-Europe welcomes the adoption of the Guidelines given the increase in limitations in respecting the freedom of expression of LGBTI people observed globally.

ILGA-Europe's IDAHOT 2014 statement: Right to Freedom of expression continues to be violated

Evelyne Paradis, Executive Director of ILGA-Europe, said: “At the occasion of IDAHOT 2014 we express concern about increased violations of the Freedom of expression of LGBTI people in many European countries by public authorities. This is very worrying trend which not only discriminatory against one particular group of people, but threatens the basic democratic fabric of society.”

IDAHOT 2014: recap of events and statements

International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia 2014 was dedicated to Freedom of Expression of LGBTI people. Events took place all over the world and several world leaders made strong statement in support of the day.

Experts find tolerance promoting fairy tales harmful to minors

The Lithuanian Office of the Inspector of Journalist Ethics concluded that two fairy tales that promote tolerance for same-sex couples are harmful to minors and should be marked by the index “N-14”. According to experts, stories written by the Lithuanian author Neringa Dangvydė violate the Law on the Protection of Minors against the Detrimental Effect of Public Information by “encouraging the concept of entry into a marriage and creation of a family other than stipulated in the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the Civil Code of the Republic of Lithuania”. In addition, the experts consider them to be “harmful, invasive, direct and manipulative”.


Call for participants to consultation of LGBTI youth on HIV-AIDS

ILGA-Europe, UNAIDS and IGLYO (International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Queer Youth and Student Organisation) are jointly organising a consultation of LGBTI youth on HIV-AIDS in Geneva, 15-16 July 2014. The aim is to raise awareness of LGBTI young activists on HIV-AIDS and on the need for joint work with HIV-AIDS activists. The deadline to send application is the 29th of May.

Legal gender recognition

Council of Europe Commissioner: A boy or a girl or a person – intersex people lack recognition in Europe

Nils Muižnieks, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, issued an Human Rights Comment on intersex people's lack of recognition in Europe. He urged governments in Europe to review their current legislation and medical practices to identify gaps in the protection of intersex people and take measures to address the problems.

Notice board

Several opportunities to work with IGLYO

IGLYO (International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Queer Youth and Student Organisation) currently has several opportunities for you to become involved in the work of the organisation. From becoming part of the leadership of the LGBTQ movement as a board member to attending an exciting consultation held with UNAIDS and ILGA-Europe.

New sign up for Euro-Queer mailing list

Euro-Queer is an activist runned mailing list for pan European LGBTI news and updates. A while ago, the Euro-Queer mailing list were moved to another system and with new administrators. They have now set up a system where you can easily sign up.

Sofia Pride Art Week

This year’s edition of Sofia Pride Art Week is organised and coordinated by GLAS foundation. The Sofia Pride Art Week has been happening for two years in a row preceding the most massive public gathering in support of human rights in Bulgaria – the Pride parade. The purpose of the Art Week is to showcase the beauty, diversity and achievements of the LGBT community to the broad audience. For a first time this year central top locations like the garden in front of the National Library and the main city shopping street will be included in the Art Week’s program.

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.