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No. 230, October 2014. In this issue...


Equality and non-discrimination

EU Enlargement


Freedom of assembly

Freedom of expression


Legal gender recognition

Notice board


Annual Conference 2014 concluded in Rīga

The ILGA-Europe Annual Conference 2014 brought together 321 LGBTI activists and their supporters from all corners of Europe. 37 workshops gave us insights on various topics relevant for European LGBTI movement together with 2 panel discussions where we had a chance to listen to interesting perspectives from 11 keynote speakers and activists.

Job opportunity with ILGA-Europe - Human Ressource and Administration Officer

ILGA-Europe is currently looking for a Human Resources and Administration Officer. Closing date for receipt of applications: Monday, 17 November, 2014, 10.00 CET.

Short-term job opportunity with ILGA-Europe - Administration Officer

We are looking to employ an Administration assistant for a period from mid-November 2014 until February 2015 to work with the staff team in Brussels.

ILGA World Conference kicked off in Mexico

ILGA World 27th Conference, “De-colonizing our bodies,” is the second to take place in Latin America and the first in Mexico. The Conference is being held from 27-31 October 2014, in Mexico City.

Equality and non-discrimination

ILGA-Europe on Team Juncker: hopeful

On 22 October, Jean-Claude Juncker, the president-elect of the European Commission, got his team of Commissioners approved by the European Parliament. ILGA-Europe had closely been following the hearings of the designated commissioners, and the outcome was to a certain degree promising. Notably Commissioner-designate for Fundamental Rights and First Vice-President Frans Timmermans and High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President Federica Mogherini both showed a profound commitment to LGBTI equality and non-discrimination. The Commissioner-designate for Justice Vĕra Jourová explicitly supported a long wished for LGBT EU roadmap in her written answers after the hearings, and Commissioner-designate for Health Vytenis Andriukaitis committed himself to fight for discrimination against trans people in the field of healthcare. The Juncker Commission will officially start working 1 November.
Find more information about the Juncker Comissioner here

First ever LGBTI human rights conference at the Council of the European Union

On 28 October, the first ever high level conference addressing the issues of LGBTI people’s human rights was hosted at the Council of the European Union, the highest decision making institution of the European Union.

LGBTI children have the right to safety and equality

On 2 October, the Council of Europe’s Human Rights Commissioner, Nils Muižnieks, published the Human Rights Comment LGBTI children have the right to safety and equality.

ILGA-Europe meets the current EU Justice Commissioner

On 14 October, Evelyne Paradis, our Executive Director, and Katrin Hugendubel, our Advocacy Director, met Martine Reicherts, current EU Justice Commissioner, to discuss further EU actions to advance human rights of LGBTI people.

Catalonia passes anti-discrimination law to fight LGBT-phobia

On 2 October, the regional government in Catalonia (Spain) adopted a new law which aims to protect LGBT people from any form of discrimination in all pheres of life, and eradicate LGBT-phobia.

Slovak Constitutional Court decides homophobic referendum will go ahead

On 28 October, the Slovak Constitutional Court ruled that Slovakians will be called to vote to speak out over a set of questions seeking to limit the rights of LGBT people and seeking to inhibit sexuality education.

EU Enlargement

Extensive coverage of LGBTI issues in the 2014 progress reports and EU Enlargement Strategy

The European Commission launched its yearly progress reports on the candidate countries to the European Union. As in previous year, the Commission has extensively covered LGBTI rights in its progress reports and made vigorous demands to the countries in the Strategy. ILGA-Europe is content that the European Commission is consistently taking onboard LGBTI issues within the EU Enlargement process.


Estonia becomes the first country of the former USSR to legally recongise same-sex families

On 9 October, the Estonian parliament approved gender neutral cohabitation law which provides most of rights and protections associated with marriage also to non-married cohabiting couples regardless of the partners’ gender.

Italian Prime Minister promises a proposal on civil unions for same-sex couples

The Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi announced earlier this month to put forward a proposal on civil unions for same sex couples. The promised proposal would also aim to make it possible for same sex couples to apply for second parent adoption. The news was hesitantly welcomed by LGBTI organisations in Italy since similar promises in the past did not find its way to the table.
Read more about the promise here

Freedom of assembly

European Parliament condemns Russian clampdown on NGOs

On 23 October, the European Parliament adopted a resolution which strongly condemned the intensified clampdown on Russian civil society. The resolution specifically addresses the recent actions to dissolve the 2009 Sakharov Prize winning Human Rights organisation Memorial. Furthermore, it condemns the strengthened Foreign Agents Law.

Freedom of expression

Lithuanian Gay League complains to European Commission after censorship

On 29 October, the Lithuanian Gay League turned to the European Commission over restrictions in Lithuania to air a pro-LGBT social ad. Earlier this month, the LGBT rights organisation turned to court, asking it to cancel a conclusion by the Office of the Inspector of Journalist Ethics that the social ad, aimed at raising LGBT-awareness, must be restricted due to detrimental effects on minors. The court refused to hear the complaint, stating that the conclusion was only of a recommendatory character.


The International Action Day for Trans Depathologisation 2014

19 October is the International Action Day for Trans Depathologisation. ILGA-Europe welcomed in a statement the proposal by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to remove the notion of "gender identity disorder" from the International Classification of Diseases.

Coming up: European HIV testing week

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

Survey: Understanding the impact of smart phone apps used by men who have sex with men on HIV prevention in Europe

Terrence Higgins Trust and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control are inviting stakeholders to take part in a survey on “Understanding the impact of smart phone apps used by men who have sex with men (MSM) on HIV prevention in Europe.” This survey is for any stakeholder, staff member, or volunteer who undertakes HIV prevention work with MSM in Europe.

Legal gender recognition

Civil liberties minister in Malta launches Gender Identity Act

On 29 October, the Maltese government launched draft law that allows trans people to have their self determined identity respected by law. The Gender Identity Act was presented in the Maltese Parliament by Social Dialogue and Civil Liberties Minister Helena Dalli who also launched a one-month public consultation process.

Notice board

Job opportunity with Equinet: Communications Officer

Equinet, the European Network of Equality Bodies, seeks to recruit a Communications Officer to provide effective communications and information services to Equinet’s members on issues relevant to the European equal treatment and non-discrimination agenda, and to support and contribute to the work of the Brussels-based Equinet Secretariat. Deadline of applications: 3 November.

Job opportunity with EDF: Director

EDF, European Disability Forum, is seeking a dynamic director to provide strategic management of EDF in its policy-making, campaigning and information roles. A strong commitment to and experience in the work of the human rights of persons with disabilities, exceptional staff, administrative and financial management organisation and team-building skills are required for this position. Deadline for applications: 10 November.

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.