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No. 229, September 2014. In this issue...



Bias motivated speech


Equality and non-discrimination


Freedom of assembly

Freedom of expression


Human rights defenders

Legal gender recognition

Notice board


Just around the corner: Annual Conference 2014

Only a week before LGBTI activists from member organisations together with policy makers, representatives of institutions and other allies start gathering in Rīga for the ILGA-Europe Annual Conference 2014. The programme, workshop description and presentations of the speakers are all online.

European Parliament starts hearings of Team Juncker

On Tuesday 29 September, the European Parliament started the hearings of the team of Commissioners put forward by the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker. The hearings will last until the 7 October and the final team of Commissioners is planned to be appointed in the end of October. ILGA-Europe met with some European Parliament committees coordinators and has been working together with partner organisations to make sure that questions related to LGBTI people and anti-discrimination are included in the questions to the Commissioners designated. All this to make sure that the upcoming European Commission will commit to fight towards LGBTI equality in all areas.

Find here more information about the process of the hearings

Upcoming training: Reframing messages, affirming common values: Rethinking communications to achieve sustainable change

ILGA-Europe is inviting you to apply for a communications training ‘Reframing messages, affirming common values: Rethinking communications to achieve sustainable change’ on 15-17 December 2014 in Brussels. Deadline for applications: 6 October.


New publication package: towards an LGBTI sensitive EU asylum system

ILGA-Europe launches two new complementary publications related to asylum and LGBTI issues in the EU. In the last three years, new EU legislation has been adopted with improved provisions related to sexual orientation and gender identity persecutions. The two publications are available for download, and will not be printed.

Bias motivated speech

Gender identity and sexual orientation included in the new Greek anti-racist law

The Greek parliament adopted of the so-called “anti-racism” law in the Greek Legal System which includes both sexual orientation and gender identity in the definition of violence or hatred instigated crimes.

Upcoming conference: Building partnership in tackling cyberhate

The International Network Against Cyber Hate and the Belgian Interfederal Centre for Equal Opportunities are organising on 20 October a conference on cyberhate. The conference will address the dierent roles several actors can have in the fight against cyberhate (hate speech online). Three panels will successively explore good practices coming from three fields involved in the fight against cyberhate: police and justice, media and internet companies, international and civil society organisations. 


Call for proposals: data-collection of LGBTI discrimination in education

ILGA-Europe announces the 13th call for proposals within its Documentation and Advocacy fund. This call will specifically focus on data-collection of discriminatory practices, including bullying, faced by young LGBTI people in the area of education and ways to overcome them. The fund is supported by the government of the Netherlands and an anonymous donor.

Deadline for applications: 20 October 2014.

Budapest school fined for discriminating against child with lesbian mothers

The Hungarian Equal Treatment Authority found the Kispest Waldorf School liable for unlawful discrimination by rejecting the application of a boy after his mother told the school he was raised by two women. The Authority ordered its decision to be made public and issued a 50.000 HUF fine.

Equality and non-discrimination

A huge victory for the global LGBTI movement

After three years since the first historic resolution on violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, the United Nations Human Rights Council reiterated its stand against violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity on 27 September in Geneva. The resolution sponsored by Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Uruguay and 42 other co-sponsors, passed with 25 votes in favour, 14 against and 7 abstentions.

Upcoming EU conference: Tackling sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination: next steps in EU and Member State policy making

On 28 October 2014, the Italian Presidency of the Council of the EU, in cooperation with the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) and the General Secretariat of the Council will host the high-level conference “Tackling sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination: next steps in EU and Member State policy making”. The event will take place in the Council of the EU premises (Justus Lipsius) in Brussels.

ILGA-Europe supports #DeliverNow campaign

ILGA-Europe supports European European Women's Lobby's campaign to put the EU Maternity Directive back on the Agenda.


Being an LGBT parent as an experience of democracy and active citizenship

Between 1 August 2012 and 31 July 2014, the five national NGOs Famiglie Arcobaleno (Italy), ILGA Portugal (Portugal), Kosmos Horis Polemous Kai Via (Greece), Sateenkaariperheet (Finland) and Swiss Rainbow Families Association (Switzerland) were partners in an EU Grundtvig project on the topic “Being an LGBT parent as an experience of democracy and active citizenship”. The partner countries’ aim for the project was to empower LGBT parents to exercise active citizenship in the cause of equality and dignity for their families.

Freedom of assembly

Belgrade Pride 2014: a 'milestone'

The Serbian LGBTI community held successfully a Pride march in Belgrade on Sunday 28 September in what has been described as a “milestone” in the country's history. The participants were able to walk and celebrate along a two-kilometre stretch in the nation’s capital without incident. Reports say up to 1,500 people joined the pride event, which was flanked by several thousand anti-riot police. It was Serbia’s first Pride event since 2010 without any bans or violence.
Read more about the Pride event here

QueerFest in St. Petersburg faces continued attacks and closures

Court reaffirms that police discriminated when banning the Budapest Pride March in 2012

On 18 September, the Regional Court of Appeal of Budapest upheld the decision of the lower court and declared that the Budapest Police committed direct discrimination and harassment based on sexual orientation when banning the Budapest Pride March in April 2012. The case was launched by Háttér Society and an individual, who were represented in court by the Hungarian Helsinki Committee. The decision is binding.

Freedom of expression

Lithuanian media watchdog decides that LGBT rights video is harmful to children

On 24 September, the Lithuanian Office of the Inspector of Journalist Ethics informed the Lithuanian Gay League (LGL), that LGL's social video ad about LGBT families is detrimental to minors and therefore must be restricted.

Russia's Constitutional Court upholds "homosexual propaganda" ban

On 25 September, Russia's Constitutional Court ruled that a controversial law banning "propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations" among minors is not in breach of the Russian Constitution.


WHO proposes to remove “gender identity disorder” from the mental and behavioural disorders

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has proposed in their ICD 11 beta draft (look under section 7) to remove "gender identity disorder" as mental and behavioural disorders. Moreover the WHO proposes a ”gender incongruence” category under the new section 6: ”Conditions related to sexual health”. Not labelling trans people as mentally ill anymore will be an important step forward and will help to reduce stigma. However the WHO experts did not follow the recommendation of trans activists to drop the diagnosis of gender inconguence in childhood completely from the draft. Transgender Europe and other trans organisations urge the WHO to remove the childhood diagnosis completely from the ICD 11 as it is an unnecessary category before final adoption at the WHO General Assembly in 2017.

ILGA-Europe supports European HIV testing week

ILGA-Europe is supporting this year's European HIV testing week from 21-28 November 2014. The testing week offers a second opportunity for partners across Europe to unite for one week to help more people become aware of their HIV status.

Human rights defenders

Training on security issues in Istanbul

In the end of August 2014, ILGA-Europe organised training on security issues in Istanbul for 12 LGBTI activists from human rights NGOs from Eastern European countries. The training was organised within the program “Dignity for All” on protecting LGBTI human rights defenders with support of the Heartland Alliance.

Legal gender recognition

ECHR publishes its updated factsheet on gender identity issues

European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has put online a fully updated factsheet on gender identity issues, with the subtitle 'from the Rees case to the Christine Goodwin case' referring to the gradual shift over the years - often used in teaching about the Convention - in the Court's views on the issue.

TGEU presents Europe-wide Gender Recognition Campaign at EU Agency

On 27 August, Transgender Europe held a public event "Being Trans* in Europe" at the premises of the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) in Vilnius, Lithuania. The Europe-wide Campaign Access All Areas! Gender Recognition Opens Doors. will be presented, followed by a panel discussion with distinguished international and local human rights experts.

NGOs urge Finnish Prime Minister to adhere to Human Rights Standards

Transgender Europe, ILGA-Europe and Amnesty International have written a joint open letter to the Prime Minister of Finland, Alexander Stubb, urging him to ensure that Finland's gender recognition legislation fully complies with international human rights standards.

Norwegian Ombud decides forced sterilisation is discrimination

On 9 September, the Norwegian Equality Ombud Sunniva Ørstavik decided that forced sterilisation, necessary for a change of gender marker, is discriminatory. The Equality Body found that the responsible Ministry of Health could not provide substantive arguments to uphold the sterilization requirement, but referred to an practice established since the 50s.
Read more about the decision here

Notice board

Vacancy for an Event and Conference Coordinator – based in Riga (2,5 months, start mid-October)

Social Platform – the largest European civil society alliance is organising a two day Networking visit ahead of the Latvian EU Presidency in mid-December. They are looking for an Event and Conference Coordinator based in Riga to assist them in the organisation of a public conference with European and Latvian civil society organisations.
Read more about the opportunity here

Call for Expert Consultant Trans and Employment in the European Union

Transgender Europe, TGEU, is looking for a Consultant to draft a publication on the basis of a project, which aims to assist the European institutions, responsible authorities, equality bodies and trans rights activists to better monitor the implementation of Gender Equality Directives, identify protection gaps in national legislation, document progress in improving legal protection, develop policy solutions, learn from examples of other member states (transferring knowledge). Deadline for applications: 6 October.

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.