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No. 202, June 2012 - in this issue...














Registration is now open for the ILGA-Europe Annual Conference 2012

The registration is open for the 16th ILGA-Europe Annual Conference “Advancing LGBTI equality in challenging economic times”, to be held in Dublin 18-21 October 2012.    
Read more about the Annual Conference here

ILGA-Europe is looking for a Programmes & Policy Officer

Do you want to work with LGBTI issues and be responsible for coordinating capacity building / advocacy projects at regional and pan-European level for an international non-governmental organisation based in Brussels? Have a look here for a challenging and exciting job opportunity. Closing date for receipt of applications: Friday 6 July 2012 (17.00 CET)
Read more about the job opportunity here

3rd Mediterranean Solidarity and Networking Meeting, Istanbul, 14-16 June 2012

On 14-16 June 2012 ILGA-Europe organised 3rd Solidarity and Networking Meeting in Istanbul, Turkey which hosted around 30 participants from Albania, Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Malta and Turkey. This year’s event included a 2 day interactive training on Advocacy and a one day session on Hate crimes –legal framework and documentation.

Two publications now available online

You can now download two publications from ILGA-Europe: Human Rights and Gender Identity: Best Practice Catalogue (written in co-operation with Transgender Europe) and a Turkish translation of "Make It Work: Six steps to effective LGBT human rights advocacy".
Read more and download the two publications here  

ILGA-Europe supports OSI statement on 'Strengthening the Protection of Human Rights in Europe'

ILGA-Europe supports a joint statement led by the Open Society Institute on "Strengthening the Protection of Human Rights in Europe" which is calling for a reform and a strengthening of the European Court of Human Rights.
Read more about the statement here


New publication on gender-related asylum claims in Europe

The report from consists of a comparative analysis of law, policies and practice relating to gender issues across nine EU Member States (Belgium, France, Hungary, Italy, Malta, Romania, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom) and recommendations towards integrating a gender perspective in European asylum systems.
Read more about the publication here


Bias motivated violence

Inclusive hate crime legislation adopted in the Maltese Parliament

The Maltese Parliament adopted a bill which extends the scope of the hate crime legislation from race and creed to also include sexual orientation and gender identity. 

European Commission against Racism and Intolerance condemns homophobic incidents in Armenia

The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance of the Council of Europe expressed their concern about recent events in Armenia, involving leading political figures openly condoning homophobic violence.
Read the statement here


Homophobic mob and inadequate police protection force LGBT Film Festival to cancel the final day

On the second day of the Side by Side LGBT Film Festival in Novosibirsk, Russia, organisers and audience came under serious threat from a homophobic mob of aggressive youths. Due to inadequate police protection the organisers therefore chose to cancel the last day of the festival for security reasons.

Data collection

Survey showes high level of homophobia among young people in Montenegro

A survey carried out in 32 high schools in Montenegro showed that 46% of students interviewed thinks that homosexuality is a disease, 45.92% of students interviewed don’t agree with the claim that homosexuals have the right to express their sexual orientation and 35.36% of students interviewed think that the state should work on repelling of homosexuality.


New publication on education and homophobic bullying from UNESCO

UNESCO’s Section of HIV and Health Education recently published the publication The Good Policy and Practice in HIV and Health Education Series - Booklet 8: Education Sector Responses to Homophobic Bullying.
Read more the new publication here



New research: Talent to Change for

The study ‘Talent to Change for’ by Workplace Pride reports exclusion of LGBT employees like the inability to come out at work, homophobia and transphobia, lack of visibility, exclusion from international mobility and harassment.
Read more about the new reseach here


Equality and non-discrimination

New EU thematic report on discrimination against trans and intersex people

The European Commission has just published a report focusing exclusively on the situation of trans and intersex people, a first of its kind by any international institution.
Read more about the new publication here

National Commission for the Promotion of Equality in Malta to include sexual orientation and gender identity

The National Commission for the Promotion of Equality remit which previously covered only gender in all spheres and race outside of employment has now been significantly expanded to include not just sexual orientation and gender identity but also religion and age. 
Read more about the development in Malta here

Commissioner for Human Rights: 'Silencing voices against homophobia violates human rights'

Statement from Nils Muižnieks, Commissioner for Human Rights, on the so-called "propaganda laws" and hate-speech/violence. The Commissioner is moreover calling the States to "keep or drive LGBTI issues back into the closet, states must fulfill their human rights obligations to all and help counter public prejudice."
Read the statement from the Commissioner here


Marriage equality in Denmark

After being the first country in the world to introduce registered partnership in 1989, the Danish Parliament with a vast majority passed a gender neutral marriage legislation on 7 June, which came into force 15 June 2012.  

FRA: Registered partners should have the same property rights as spouses under EU law

The Fundamental Rights Agency of the European Union has said that European Commission proposals to facilitate couples’ free movement may not be in line with the Charter of Fundamental Rights.
Read more about the opinion from FRA on the website of the European Parliament's Intergroup on LGBT Rights

Change in attitudes to put recognition of same-sex couples on political agenda in Malta

Malta is joining in the shift in attitude that has spread over Europe in accepting the reality of same-sex families. A recent survey found that 60% of 18- to 34-year-olds agreed with the introduction of marriage equality.

Estonian court: refusal to issue civil status certificate prior same-sex marriage abroad is invalid

An administrative court in Estonia has ruled against a decision by a local authority which had denied issuing a civil status certificate to an Estonian citizen who wished to enter a same-sex marriage abroad.
Read more about the ruling here

Majority of Scots support marriage equality

According to a poll a majority of Scots think that same-sex couples should have the right to marry. A majority also think that religious organisations should be able to decide whether to conduct same-sex marriages.
Read more about the poll results here

Lithuanian Parliament one vote short from approving constitutional amendment on family definition

The Lithuanian Parliament came very close to passing a constitutional amendment equating family with marriage and parenthood, an initiative seen by many as discriminatory against unwed partners and same-sex couples. 
Read more about the voting here

Article about a bi-national lesbian couple and the struggle to be recognised awarded first prize

First prize in the 2011 EU Journalist Award 'Together against discrimination' was awarded to Margus Haav from Estonia for his article "How to find the one and only Maria" which focuses on the problems that can occur when same-sex couples are not recognised.
Read more about the winner here

Freedom of assembly

LGBT organisation won a case against city authorities in St Petersburg

A local court in St Petersburg ruled the recent bans of peaceful LGBT demonstrations on the grounds of the "propaganda law" as unlawful.

Sofia Pride: The Bulgarian Orthodox Church implicitly backs calls for violence against Pride March

The Bulgarian Orthodox Church has according to the Sofia Pride organisers silently endorsed violence against the LGBT Pride March after a priest from the provincial town of Sliven called for the stoning of participants.

European Court: Moldova’s ban on LGBT demonstration violated human rights

The European Court of Human Rights ruled that Moldova had violated GENDERDOC-M’s rights to peaceful assembly and to be free from discrimination when it denied the LGBT organisation to hold a peaceful demonstration in front of the Moldovan Parliament.
Read the joint media release by International Commission of Jurists and ILGA-Europe here

Split Pride march held under heavy security

Hundreds of people in the Croatian city of Split marched in a Pride parade under heavy security to avoid a repeat of last year's violence. About 500 people, including some government ministers, took part in the march, police said, with around 900 policemen patrolling it.

Moscow LGBT Pride banned for 100 years

The Moscow City Court upheld a district court’s decision to ban LGBT pride events in Moscow for the next 100 years.

Baltic Pride 2012: successful transition from ban and violence to celebration and governmental recognition

This year the Baltic Pride successfully took place in Riga, Latvia. During the last years, the Baltic Pride was one of a few problematic Pride events in the European Union and was accompanied by a number of attempts by the authorities in Latvia and Lithuania to ban the event as well as violent attacks and mass scale protests by the opponents of the human rights of LGBTI people.
Read more about Baltic Pride 2012 here

Freedom of expression

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights speaks out about "propaganda laws"

Navi Pillay, High Commissioner for Human Rights of the United Nation, expressed her concern about the so-called "propaganda laws" in Ukraine, Moldova and Russia and in her opening speech at the Human Rights Council 20th Special Session in Geneva.
Read the High Commissioner's speech here

Ukrainian LGBT organisations calls for action against the adoption of a ban on "homosexual promotion"

Three Ukrainian LGBT organisations are calling for action by organising “Stop Homophobia in Ukraine” demonstrations in front of embassies of Ukraine on 2 July or 3 July.

Lithuanian MPs propose to ban propaganda of same- sex relationships

Lithuanian MPs has proposed to enshrin in the Constitution a provision that "family is the result of marriage and parenthood. The propagation of homosexual relations is banned. Homosexual individuals must not adopt children."

Legal gender recognition

Iceland adopts a new comprehensive law on trans issues

On June 11th the Icelandic Parliament, Althingi, unanimously adopted a new comprehensive ‘Law on legal status of individuals with Gender Identity Disorder‘. The new law was first and foremost meant to amend administrative procedures, to improve practices regarding sex reassignment surgeries and to improve procedures regarding name change and registration with the National Registry.

Notice board

ILGA World Conference 2012: details announced and scholarship process now open

XXVI ILGA World Conference will take place in Stockholm, Sweden, from 10 to 16 December 2012. The theme of the conference is “Global Rights, Global Respect".
Read more about the ILGA World Conference 2012 here

Job opportunity: Europe Lawyer at Interights

Working with the Legal team, the Lawyer will develop and implement Interights’ thematic work in the Europe region with primary focus on the South Caucasus, in order to advance the legal protection of international human rights through strategic litigation and other means of legal intervention. Deadline: 25 June 2012.
Read more about the job opportunity here

Job opportunity: Head of Operations at The European Institute for Gender Equality

The Head of Operations will lead and manage the Operations Unit by defining and monitoring progress in reaching the expected results, ensuring the delivery of outputs and outcomes agreed upon in the Institute’s work programme. Deadline: 16 July 2012 at 23:00 Eastern European Time.
Read more about the job opportunity here

Conference: The human face of the European Union: Humane enough?, 20 July 2012

The EU is recurrently criticised for not having been able to distance itself sufficiently from its roots in economic integration. Both academic and popular discourses promote the idea that the EU consistently favours market values over social concerns and human rights. The current economic and monetary crisis and the way EU institutions and leaders have dealt with it, have strengthened this common perception. To what extent these discourses hold some truth in them is, however, contentious. Is the EU truly an organisation that lacks humaneness, in the sense of compassion and sympathy for those affected? In this workshop, this question will be explored by analysing how well the balance between economic/corporate and social/human interests has been struck in different EU policy fields.
Read more about the conference here

Conference: LGBT History Month – Engaging Hearts and Minds, Changing Attitudes: Training & Development Programme, 3-9 September 2012

Call for applications for a training and development programme, aimed at LGBT and cultural organisations in Europe. LGBT History Month is an international celebration of LGBT life and culture which takes place every February. The event is a part of a 2 year project and the organisers are looking for new LGBT NGOs to join in spreading the international reach of LGBT History Month. Organisations within the 27 EU member states are invited to send their application. These organisations will take part in a week long training programme, with further development actions to be carried out in their own countries in the run up to February 2013.Deadline for applications: Friday, 29th June, 2012
Read more about the event here

Check out the LGBT section on the website of Council of Europe

The Council of Europe have a section solely about LGBT issues on their website. ILGA-Europe is recommending to check out this useful section, and is calling our member organisations and others to include a link on websites in order to promote the important work from Council of Europe.
Check out the CoE LGBT section here


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.