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No. 226, June 2014. In this issue...


Bias motivated speech

Bias motivated violence



Equality and non-discrimination


Freedom of assembly

Human rights defenders

Legal gender recognition

Notice board


Getting ready: Annual Conference 2014

The ILGA-Europe team is getting ready for our Annual Conference taking place in Rīga, Latvia, from 9 to 11 October 2014. A lot of important deadlines are coming up. So make sure to be ready, and check out the first conference mailing for important documents and deadlines - and remember to register!

Study visit to Council of Europe for LGBT activists from Eastern Europe

In June, ILGA-Europe organised a study visit to Council of Europe (CoE) for 7 LGBTI activists coming from Russia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia. The goal of the study visit was to give activists an opportunity to get acquainted with the structure of CoE, to familiarise them with different internal working instruments and to better understand procedures within this European institution. The study visit lasted three full days (23­–25 June) and was planned in such a way that it coincided with the Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) of CoE session.

Bias motivated speech

Orthodox Bishop in Moldova fined for homophobic statements

A court in Moldova has fined an Orthodox bishop for publicly insulting members of the country's LGBT community and ordered him to publicly apologise. 

Bias motivated violence

Ulrike Lunacek attacked during Vienna Pride

ILGA-Europe and ENAR (European Network against Racism) condemned the attack on Ulrike Lunacek, member of the European Parliament, at Vienna Pride on 14 June.


Council of Europe recommendation on the rights of older people

The Committee of Ministers adopted a recommendation to member States on the promotion of human rights of older persons on 19 February 2014.

ILGA-Europe at the Annual General Meeting of the European Forum of LGBT Christian Groups

ILGA-Europe's Co-Chair, Gabi Calleja, attended part of the European Forum of LGBT Christian Groups Annual General Meeting in the end of May, where she participated in a panel discussion focusing on both on the role of ILGA-Europe with regards to the interrelation of LGBTI issues and religion as well as the role that the Christian Forum could play within ILGA-Europe. Gabi Calleja also presented the work of the internal ILGA-Europe Diversity Working Group and Action Plan in addressing any prejudice towards LGBTI Christian Groups internally.

Training course: Reconciling Religion, Gender & Sexual Orientation

CEJI - A Jewish Contribution to an Inclusive Europe, is facilitating a 5-day training course on the subject of 'Reconciling Religion, Gender and Sexual Orientation'. The course takes place from 28 September to 3 October in Brussels, Belgium


Conference on tackling homophobic and transphobic school bullying

On 10-11 June, in Athens, ILGA-Europe organised jointly with the Greek organisation, the Smile of the Child a conference on tackling homophobic and transphobic school bullying, partly held under the auspices of the Greek Presidency of the EU.

ARES - Artistic Education System for Social Inclusion of young Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Adults

ARES is an European consortium with partners from Italy, Netherlands, Estonia, Poland and the UK working to rise awareness of the national and local communities and to develop a wider transnational discussion on how cultural media can help shape a more tolerant society for young adult lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgenders. Read more in the press release here

Equality and non-discrimination

European Commission moves Ukraine closer to visa-free travel

The European Commission announced on 30 May that Ukraine will move to the second phase of the Visa-Liberalisation process. ILGA-Europe recognizes efforts made by the Ukrainian government in recent months to strengthen anti-discrimination protection and welcomes the European Commission’s efforts to speed-up efforts that should eventually lead to visa-free travel for Ukrainian citizens to the EU. At the same time, ILGA-Europe expresses concern about the potential danger that the Ukrainian government will not be able to implement its commitments around strengthening anti-discrimination mechanisms. 
Read more about the move towards visa-free travel for Ukraine


Marriage equality in Luxembourg

On 18 June 2014, 56 out of 60 Luxembourg members of parliament voted for opening marriage and adoption rights to same-sex couples. It has been a long journey for the law, which was first introduced in parliament in May 2012.

ILGA-Europe condemns discriminatory constitutional amendment in Slovakia

On 4 May 2014, the Slovak Parliament adopted a constitutional amendment which now defines marriage as a “unique bond between a man and a woman”. 102 parliamentarians supported the amendments and only 18 votes against.

Legal Affairs Committee of the Finnish Parliament rejecting marriage equality

The Legal Affairs Committee of the Finnish Parliament rejected the introduction of marriage equality legislation for same-sex couples in Finland.The Finnish Parliament will vote on the matter in the Autumn.

Lesbian couple challenges joint adoption ban in Austrian Constitutional Court

As part of the current litigation offensive by Rechtskomitee LAMBDA (RKL), Austria´s LGBT-rights organisation, a lesbian couple from the state of Upper Austria applied to the Constitutional Court to strike down Austria´s ban on joint adoption by same-sex couples.

Gender-neutral cohabitation bill survives first vote in the Estonian parliament

The draft Cohabitation Act which will give same-sex couple cohabitation rights will be discussed when Estonian parliament reconvenes in the autumn after surviving a bid to defeat it in the first reading.

Constitutional court in Italy: no to mandatory divorce when changing legal gender

On 11 June, the Constitutional court of Italy made a judgment in favor of a trans woman in a case on mandatory divorce when changing her legal gender. The judgment has a lot of consequences for the entire italian LGBTI community. 

Conference: RIGHTS ON THE MOVE – Rainbow families in Europe

Rights on the move – Rainbow families in Europe is the international conference closing the research project with the same name. The conference will look at European legal obstacles and solutions for rainbow families, i.e. families where the couple and the parental roles involve non-heterosexual, trans or intersex persons moving and residing within the EU. 

Read more about the conference here

Freedom of assembly

LGBT History made in Cyprus

The first Pride March in Cyprus was held on 31 May 2014. It was a historic day for a country that now achieves a crucial moment of visibility for LGBT people. It shows the strength of the mobilisation for equality in Cyprus and the need to affirm that LGBT rights are human rights. It is also a historic moment for the European Union: all EU countries will now have had Pride marches. 

Human rights defenders

ILGA-Europe joins civil society statement: Stop targeting Hungarian NGOs!

Since its re-election, the Hungarian government launched a campaign attacking the credibility of Hungarian NGOs and are striving to gain controlling power over their funding distributed independently from the government.

OSCE: Guidelines on the Protection of Human Rights Defenders

OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-Operation in Europe) has launched a set of guidelines on protection of human rights defenders. The guidelines are informed by key international instruments relevant to the protection of human rights defenders, and do not set new standards or seek to create “special” rights for human rights defenders but concentrate on the protection of the human rights of those who are at risk as a result of their human rights work. As such, the guidelines aim to contribute to promoting equal protection of human rights for all.

Legal gender recognition

Denmark: landmark gender recognition act

On 11 June 2014, the Danish parliament, Folketinget, passed two acts on gender change. The first, a gender recognition act, sets free the change of legal gender: To change the registration of gender in the Civil Registration System a person must file an application with the Ministry for Economic Affairs and the Interior stating the wish to change gender. Six months later, the application must be reconfirmed by the applicant. Secondly the registry will be updated. No requirements of castration, sterilisation, psychiatric diagnosis, assessment, certificate from health professional, or real-time experience living in the preferred gender. But instead a very simple, transparent administrative procedure.

Notice board

Job opportunity: Policy Officer at ENAR

ENAR (European Network Against Racism) is looking for a Policy Officer. The Policy Officer will be responsible for implementing specific areas of the policy strategy, as developed within ENAR’s annual work plan and as outlined by the Deputy Director of Policy. Deadline for applications: 22 July 2014 at midnight CET.

Job opportunity: Media and Public Relations Officer at Social Platform

Social Platform, the Platform of European Social NGO's, is looking for an experienced professional to further develop our media profile and successfully publicise all aspects of their work. Under the supervision of the Director, the officer will be responsible for the public relations, media and communications of Social Platform.

Deadline: 15 July at 17.00 CET.

5th European Transgender Council closes as success

The 5th European Transgender Council “Trans*: Safe & Equal!” took place in start May in Budapest. 200 delegates met to discuss, strategise and network over how to improve safety and equality for trans people. ILGA-Europe participated in a workshop on depathologisation of trans identities where Transgender Europe's position on the issue was presented and discussed.

Undocumented, not illegal: new campaign advocates for accurate terminology in all EU languages

With the slogan “Words Matter!” the Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants (PICUM) has launched its leaflet on accurate terminology when referring to undocumented migrants including reasons why not to use the term ‘illegal migrant’ and instead the recognised ‘undocumented’ or ‘irregular’ migrant as well as providing a lexicon with translations of the latter terms in all EU languages.

Activist-in-Residence programme

The Activist-in-Residence program invites LGBTQI activists from the Baltic Region, Russia and Eastern Europe that use art and culture in their work with human rights. The program is open for all artistic or cultural expressions, such as video, writing, photography, painting, drawing, performances, theater and interdisciplinary expressions. The program covers travel expenses and accommodation and a small scholarship/per diem. Deadline for applications is 15 Jule. The residency period is November 3-16, 2014 in Visby, Sweden.

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.