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No. 233. January 2015. In this issue...



EU Enlargement

Equality and non-discrimination


Freedom of association

Freedom of expression

Hate speech


Notice board


Upcoming training! Financial Management and Funds Administration: towards Sustainable Change

ILGA-Europe is calling for participants to a 3-day training on “Financial Management and Funds Administration: towards Sustainable Change” taking place on 31 March -2 April 2015 in Budapest, Hungary.

Nigel Warner included in New Year’s Honours List 2015

On the 30 December 2014, it was announced Nigel Warner, ILGA-Europe Advisor on Council of Europe, was included in the New Year’s Honours list. The awards recognise an individual’s outstanding personal achievement, service or bravery and are usually presented by the reigning British monarch, following advice from the government. Nigel was awarded an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) for his tireless work in support of the LGBTI community, both in Europe and internationally.


Gender identity in the Portuguese Labour Code

On 19 January, the Portuguese Parliament voted for the inclusion of gender identity as a protected ground of discrimination in the field of employment. Gender identity will now be added to sexual orientation and several other grounds in the non-discrimination clauses of the Portuguese Labour Code.

EU Enlargement

Interview: if EU leverage is less powerful, governments make no effort to protect LGBTI people

Earlier this month, our member organisation in Bosnia & Herzegovina, Sarajeco Open Centre, published an interview with  Lilit Poghosyan, Senior Programmes & Policy Officer, on LGBTI rights in Europe and EU Enlargement.

Equality and non-discrimination

2015 off to a positive start with engaging human rights roundtable

On 9 January, ILGA-Europe and our NGO partners took part in a roundtable discussion with newly appointed European Commission First Vice-President Frans Timmermans.This was our first chance to meet with Mr Timmermans personally, in what will be a regular series of dialogue meetings, and a wide variety of fundamental rights topics were on the agenda. 

Russia’s “trans driving ban”: Trans people have not been purposefully targeted

On 29 December, the Russian government enacted a decree that set out a list of medical conditions and diagnoses leading to full or partial limitation of the right to drive a vehicle.The decree referred to a list of diagnoses from the new ICD-10, the World Health Organization’s revised classification list for mental and physical diseases and disorders - where gender identity disorders appears. Media all over the world reported on the "trans driving ban", however trans people have not been purposefully targeted by the decree.

International Holocaust Remembrance Day: Call for stronger commitment to fighting racism, anti-Semitism, discrimination and xenophobia​

On International Holocaust Remembrance Day 27 January, 70 years after the liberation of Auschwitz, civil society organisations working on anti-racism and anti-discrimination issues1 are joining forces to raise awareness about this dark period of history and commemorate the victims of the genocide perpetrated by the Nazi regime against Jews, Roma, people with disabilities, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people and other groups that have been persecuted and deprived of their rights and dignity because they did not fit the Nazi ideology.

Being Trans in the EU - Comparative analysis of the EU LGBT survey data

The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) has published two related survey reports: EU LGBT survey – European Union lesbian gay, bisexual and transgender survey – Results at a glance (2013) and the EU LGBT survey – European Union lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender survey. Main results (2014). In this current analysis, FRA found that, with few exceptions, trans respondents indicate the highest levels of discrimination, harassment and violence amongst LGBT subgroups. 

Research: The impact of LGBT emigration on economic indicators of Armenia

"Public information and Need of Knowledge” and “Socioscope” Societal Research and Consultancy Center NGOs prepared a report about the LGBT emigration impact on economic indicators of Armenia. The purpose of the project was to study the impact of LGBT emigration on economic indicators of Armenia during 2011-2013 as a result of discrimination against the LGBT community and to reflect those changes in a long-term perspective.


Austrian Contitutional Court struck down adoption ban

On 14 January, the Austrian Constitutional Court struck down the adoption ban on the basis of discrimination of same-sex couples and on the basis of violation of the best interests of the child. It is the first court in Europe striking down a ban on joint adoption of same-sex couples.

Positive developments for lesbian couples in Belgium

On 1 January, a new law came into force in Belgium which allows the non-biological mother in a lesbian couple to be automatically recognised as the legal mother following the birth of their child.

Freedom of association

One more Russian LGBT organisation charged as "foreign agent"

On 28 January, charges were brought against one more Russian LGBT organisation – ‘Maximum’ (Murmansk) for failing to register as a ‘foreign agent’. Consequently, it can lead to the heavy fine.
Read more on the website of the Russian LGBT Network

Freedom of expression

“Anti-propaganda” law in Ukraine withdrawn from the Parliament agenda

Earlier in January, the Ukrainian Parliament withdrew the draft of so-called “homosexuality anti-propaganda” law (8711/0945) from its agenda.
Read more withdrawel here

Russian Samara region keeps explicit ban on “propaganda of transgenderism”

On 27 January, local parliament of the Russian Samara region voted to keep an explicit ban on “propaganda of transgenderism” in the local law “On the protection of minors from harmful information.”
Read more about the ban here

Founder of the project Children-404 found guilty of “propaganda of homosexuality”

The Dzerzhinsky District court of Nizhny Tagil found Elena Klimova guilty of “propaganda of homosexuality”. The founder of the project Children-404, which provides aid for LGBT minors all over the country, was fined 50 000 rubles.
Read more about judgment on the website of the Russian LGBT Network

European Parliament urges Kyrgyzstan to drop anti-LGBTI law proposal

On 15 January, the European Parliament adopted a resolution which calls on Kyrgyzstan to reject a law proposal which would censor information on LGBTI issues. The draft law would punish the dissemination of information “aimed at forming positive attitudes toward non-traditional sexual relations.”
Read more on the website of the European Parliament's Intergroup on LGBTI Rights

Hate speech

Dead threats against Georgian LGBT activists

The director of the Georgian LGBT organisation, Identoba, received death threats on Facebook and phone after he publicly critised the  Christmas speech of the Patriarch of Georgia. A protest was planned in front of Identoba was announced to take place, and the participants of the protest have already stated that they plan to physically attack the organisation, staff and the office. Identoba alerted the Ministry of Internal Affairs to react to this alarming situation. Together with international pressure from examble the Human Rights Comissioner of Council Europe, Nils Muižnieks, reacted on the incident on 9 January, the Georgian members reported that it helped to avoid the potential violent rally. Intimidation and threats against the organisation and primarily its director have been reported to continued.
Read more on the website of Identoba

Lithuanian Member of Parliament warns LGBT activists about “Massacre [as] in Paris”

On 18 January, the Member of the Lithuanian Parliament Algirdas Vaclovas Patackas publicly warned the Board Chair of Lithuanian Gay League that the organisation is “playing with fire” and that its activities might result in a “black, repulsive and totally unacceptable response” similar to that which “happened in Paris.” The statement by the MP was issued as a response to the organisation’s humour-based suggestion to store 10-litas notes as LGBT souvenirs.
Read more on the website of Lithuanian Gay League


New ressource: E-learning on care of gender nonconforming young people

Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and GIRES (the Gender Identity Research and Education Society) have launced an e-learning course to help healthcare and other staff understand the needs of gender nonconforming young people. It is designed for healthcare staff of all levels and disciplines (not just those working in mental health), as well as support staff and those from the private healthcare sector. It is also suitable for people working in education. 
Find the e-learning platform here

European Patients' Forum position paper on discrimination in health

The European Patients Forum launched earlier this month their position paper on discrimination in healthcare with references to sexual orientation
Read the position paper here

Notice board

Location for European Transgender Council 2016  announced

Our friends from Trangender Europe has announced that the next European Transgender Council in 2016 will take place in Bologna, Italy. The event will also be an opportunity to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Transgender Europe.

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.