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No. 232. December 2014. In this issue...



Bias motivated speech

Bias motivated violence


Equality and non-discrimination


Freedom of association


Legal gender recognition

Participation in public, cultural and political life

Notice board

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Season's greetings from ILGA-Europe

2014 has been an eventful year for ILGA-Europe and the European LGBTI movement. Despite the challenges we all face, we have made great progress and, together, we are more than ever leading change for LGBTI people in Europe.

Human Rights Day 2014: human rights matter 365 days a year

Human rights matter everyday. In the week around the 10 December, Human Rights Day, ILGA-Europe posted a Vine video explaining why human rights matter 365 days of the year. We focused on five different issues: discrimination in education, violations against trans people, violence against LGBTI people, discrimination at workplace and the legal struggle for LGBTI families.

Training on 'Reframing messages, affirming common values'

On 15-17 December, ILGA-Europe organised a training on ‘Reframing messages, affirming common values: Rethinking communications to achieve sustainable change’ in Brussels.

EU study visit for LGBTI activists from Western Balkan and Turkey

On 1-3 December 2014, ILGA-Europe organised a EU study visit for LGBTI activists from Western Balkans and Turkey.

Training on Strategic Litigation

On 28-29 November, ILGA-Europe organised a two-day training on strategic litigation in London. The focus was on freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, hate crimes and hate speech. The training aimed to enhance our members capacity to use litigation in this field of basic human rights, and gave the participants lots of opportunities to share information and best practices.


CJEU steps in to protect the rights of asylum seekers

A ruling from the Court of Justice of the European Union which insists on respect for the dignity and private lives of asylum seekers is a welcome development according to ILGA-Europe.

Bias motivated speech

Latvian President Andris Bērziņš: homosexuality should not be “advertised and imposed”

On 18 December, during an interview to the conservative newspaper “Neatkarīgā” (“Independent”) answering a question regarding to the upcoming EuroPride 2015 in Riga Latvian president Andris Bērziņš stated that homosexuality should not be “imposed and advertised,” and called it a “road to nowhere.”

Bias motivated violence

ILGA-Europe Seminar: Stepping Up the Fight Against Hate Crimes

On 10 December 2014, over 50 representatives from LGBTI organisations from across the EU, national governments, European institutions, civil society and the academic world gathered in Brussels to discuss how to step up the fight against hate crimes.

Human rights violations and hate crimes documentation training

On 28-30 November 2014, ILGA-Europe organised a training on human rights violations and hate crimes documentation in Vilnius for LGBTI activists from Belarussian LGBTI human rights organisations.


Event at the European Parliament on bullying and discrimination in schools

On 16 December, ILGA-Europe held an event at the European Parliament in Strasbourg on the role of the EU and the Council of Europe in tackling bullying and discrimination in schools.

Data-collection of LGBTI discrimination in education

As a result of the latest selection process within the ILGA-Europe Documentation & Advocacy Fund (under the call XIII - data-collection of LGBTI discrimination in education), the Advisory Board decided to award 8 grants to the following organisations: Bilitis (Bulgaria), PROUD (Czech Republic), TENI (Ireland), COGAM (Spain), Trans-Fuzja (Poland), House of Diversity and Education (Lithuania), MGRM (Malta), TransFuzia (Slovakia). All projects selected for funding are to be implemented in 2015. The projects focus specifically on data-collection of discriminatory practices, including bullying, faced by young LGBTI people in the area of education and ways to overcome them in respective countries.

Equality and non-discrimination

Joint statement on EU equal treatment law: time for Member States to act!

As EU Member States’ representatives prepare for 11 December’s EPSCO Council, organisations representing millions of EU citizens at risk of discrimination, including women, persons with disabilities, younger and older people, LGBTI persons, members of ethnic, religion and belief communities as well as persons with a migration background, call on them to show clear commitment on the proposed Horizontal Directive on equal treatment.

Regrettable signal for human rights protection in European Union

On 18 December, the Court of the European Union delivered an Opinion which came out negatively on the draft agreement on the accession of the European Union to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. ILGA-Europe finds it as a regrettable signal for human rights protection in European Union.

Human Rights Commissioner Muižnieks concerned about the situation for LGBTI people in Hungary

On 16 December, the Council of Europe Commissioner for human rights, Nils Muižnieks, published his report on Hungary, which includes references to LGBTI rights. The Commissioner states that he is concerned at the deterioration of the situation as regards racism and intolerance, in particular targeting Roma, Jews, LGBTI persons, asylum seekers and refugees, as well as the poor and homeless persons.


Poll shows rising support for marriage equality in Ireland

A recent poll shows that more than 80 per cent, after undecided excluded, would vote in favour of marriage equality in the upcoming Irish referendum. The referendum is planned to take place in the spring of 2015.
Read more about the poll here


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Freedom of association

Russia: Shrinking the space and increasing the stigma

ILGA-Europe is very dismayed to learn that one of its member organisations has become the first LGBTI group to be listed as a so-called ‘foreign agent’ under Russia’s notorious legislation. Rakurs, an Archangelsk-based organisation dedicated to LGBTI rights, was recognised as a ‘foreign agent’ by the Russian Ministry of Justice on Monday (15 December 2014).


World AIDS Day 2014: Let us stand united with anyone living with HIV/Aids

ILGA-Europe marked the World Aids Day 2014 by underlining that HIV/AIDS prevention and care is the responsibility of all: LGBTI people, activists and their allies.

Roundtable on LGBTI Health in Paris

On 28 November 2014, ILGA-Europe organised the first Roundtable on LGBTI Health in Europe. The French Ministry of Social Affairs, Health and Women’s Rights accepted to host the event.

Legal gender recognition

Irish government publish gender recognition proposal

On 19 December, the Irish government published the Gender Recognition Bill 2014. The Transgender Equality Network Ireland (TENI) reacted by saying that they "are very disappointed that this Bill does not go further in protecting the rights of trans people in this country."  The proposal will be debarted in the Houses of the Oireachtas (the National Parliament of Ireland).The government has indicated its 'firm intention' to introduce the bill into the Houses of the Oireachtas early in 2015.

Participation in public, cultural and political life

Latvian Foreign Minister on Twitter: I am proud to be gay

In November, the Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs announced that he was proud to be a gay man in a Twitter post. The announcement is thought to be breaking a barrier in Eastern Europe’s socially conservative political arena.

First openly gay mayor Robert Biedron elected in Poland

The election of Poland’s first openly gay mayor has been applauded in a country known for conservative Catholic values.

Notice board

Job opportunity with ILGA World - UN Programme Officer

ILGA World is looking for a UN Programme Officer (full-time position) for its secretariat based in Geneva. In consultation with the UN Programme and Advocacy Manager, the post holder will be responsible for ILGA World’s work on the UN Human Rights Treaty Bodies. Deadline for applications: 5 January 2015.

Job opportunity with Kaleidoscope Trust - Executive Director

The Kaleidoscope Trust, based in London, is looking for an Executive Director who will drive and lead their work and grow the organisation in the next phase of its development. Deadline 5 January 2015.

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.