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No. 197 - in this issue...












President of the European Parliament signs the Be Bothered! pledge

The President of the European Parliament and dozens of Members gathered in support of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people’s rights at an event on 25 January co-organised by the European Parliament's Intergroup on LGBT Rights and ILGA-Europe.
Read more about the event in the European Parliament here

One in fourth Member of the European Parliament supports the Be Bothered! Pledge 

January 2012 marks the mid-term of the current European Parliament and that is why ILGA-Europe revisited the Be Bothered! campaign from 2009 by organising the Be Bothered! event at the European Parliament on 24 & 25 January 2012. More than 25% of the MEPs have now signed the pledge.
Read more about the successful campaign here


Joint media release - EU leaders must protect discriminated groups in all walks of life

The EU has thrown in the towel about protecting discriminated groups, including lesbian, gay and bisexual people, persons with disabilities, religious minorities, youth and older people. A coalition of European equality and anti-discrimination NGOs calls on the European Commission and the Danish Presidency of the EU to urgently take up this issue.
Read the joint media release here

Last annual report from Hammarberg includes rights of LGBT people

Thomas Hammarberg, Human Rights Commissioner of the Council of Europe, presented the last annual report of his mandate referring also to the rights of LGBT people.
Read the news item from the Council of Europe here

Nils Muižnieks of Latvia elected Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights

Former Minister of Social Integration in the Latvian government, Muižnieks was elected by the Assembly with an absolute majority of votes cast. Muižnieks will take over the office from Commissioner Hammerberg from 1 April 2012.
Read more about the new Commissioner here

Human Rights Watch's report on the European Union

Human Rights Watch highlights increase in intolerance and discrimination in the European Union including the persistence of homophobic and transphobic biases in public opinion, policies, and laws.
Find the more information about the report here


Violent attack on a young lesbian in Malta

A young lesbian was sitting on a bench with her girlfriend in Ħamrun when two young men attacked her and dragged her by her hair because of her sexual orientation.

Austria extends incitement-to-hatred-law to sexual orientation

The Austrian federal parliament voted for the extension of the incitement-to-hatred law to sexual orientation.


Latvian Ombudsman on the partnership proposal: the society is not ready

The Latvian Ombudsman, Juris Janson, delivered an opinion on the partnership proposal drafted by the Latvian LGBT organisation, Mozaika. He is arguing that the Latvian society is not ready to open up the partnership legislation for same-sex couples.

Only 4% of Lithuanians support same-sex partnership

According to a new survey, seven out of ten Lithuanians believe that civil partnership status should be made legal, but only between a man and a woman. Only 4% of the respondents agree with a legal civil partnership model that would apply to both same-sex and heterosexual couples. 

Seimas aims to tie concept of family to marriage

On 21 December, the Lithuanian Parliament (Seimas) accepted a draft amendment to the Constitution which states that “the family is created by a free marriage agreement between a man and woman”.


Joint letter to the Swedish Prime Minister concerning compulsory sterilisation

The Swedish government decided not to remove compulsory sterilisation requirement for trans people. ILGA-Europe and Transgender Europe sent a joint letter to the Swedish Prime Minister.
Read the joint letter here


Education on the agenda for The IDAHO Committee for 2012

The IDAHO Committee has launched a concept note on their focus of this year's IDAHO day on 17 May.
Read more about the concept note here.


Public consultation on measures for improving the recognition of prescriptions issued in another Member State

ILGA-Europe and Transgender Europe jointly submitted input for a public consultation on measures for improving the recognition of prescriptions issued in another European Union Member State. Download the joint submission and read the key concerns here.
Read more about the joint submission here


Finnish governmental official: Finland responsible for fate of LGBT asylum seekers

An EU-funded research (Fleeing homofobia in Europe) suggests Finland has deported asylum seekers to countries where they could be put to death for their sexual orientation. Some have even been told to conceal their sexuality to ensure they remain safe. But a ministry official says responsibility falls on Finland if deportees are harmed in their home countries.

Slovenian authorities denies for the second time asylum for gay men couple from Kosovo

The Slovenian asylum authorities decided not to give a gay men couple from Kosovo asylum for the second time though they had been prosecuted on the ground of homosexuality back in Kosovo.

Launch of BeLonG To’s LGBT Asylum Seekers and Refugees Project

The Irish LGBT organisation, BeLongTo, launched a two year pilot project to increase the safety and quality of life of young LGBT asylum seekers and refugees in Ireland.


Call for proposals - EU Criminal Justice programme

The European Commission has launched a call for proposals for the EU Criminal Justice programme, where there is room for applications in the area of LGBT rights.
Deadline for submission of proposals: 20 March 2012, 12.00 CET
Read more about the call here


Job opportunity -  Administration Officer for Transgender Europe

Transgender Europe is looking for a Administration Officer. Deadline is 6 February 2012.
Read more about the job opportunity here

The Summer Institute for Sexuality, Culture and Politics - 12-30 August 2012

The general aim of the Institute is to gather young post-graduate students, activists, scholars and teaching staff from both Eastern and Western Europe and promote a shared platform for research and trans-disciplinary theoretical reflection on the complex modes of interweaving sexuality, culture and politics, and consequently of exchanging and questioning geopolitically determined discourses in the research of sexualities, gender studies, and queer theory. 
Read more about the institute here

New publication - How to present a Discrimination Claim – Handbook on seeking remedies under the EU Non-discrimination Directives

Useful new publications for NGOs and individuals tackling discrimination cases under the EU law.
Read more here about the publication here

Call for submissions - International contest of short films against homophobia

The Rainbow project connects EU gay and lesbian associations, schools and media professionals promoting the rights of children and young people to their sexual identity and orientation and who fight against homophobia. The project is now seeking submissions of short films produced in the years 2011-2012 made by young people aged 15 -19 years from European countries. The films must be delivered by 11 May 2012.
Read more about the project 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
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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.