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No. 203, July 2012 - in this issue...













Check out the 1st mailing for the ILGA-Europe Annual Conference 2012

Earlier this month, ILGA-Europe distributed the first mailing in prior of the Annual Conference in Dublin which is taking place on 18-21 October 2012.  

Call for applications: 2012 Intersex Forum

The second forum on intersex organizing will take place in Stockholm from 9-11 December 2012. 

Bias motivated violence

New Hungarian Criminal Code sanctions homophobic and transphobic hate

The President of Hungary signed the new Hungarian Criminal Code on 13 July 2012, which specifically includes references to sexual orientation and gender identity in its provisions on hate speech and hate crime and skips degrading terminology on same-sex sexual relations. The law will enter into force on 1 July 2013.

Members of the European Parliament endorse basic rights for crime victims across the EU

All crime victims will get the same basic rights across the EU and an assessment of their specific needs under a directive agreed by Parliament and Council and backed by the civil liberties and women's rights committees in the European Parliament. The agreed text will be voted in plenary on 12 September 2012. The Council will also have to give its green light. Once the new rules are adopted, EU countries will have three years to transpose them into their national laws.

Two gay men hospitalised after homophobic attack

Two gay men were hospitalised after a violent incident in a bar in the Belgian town, Aalst. The perpetrators of the attack were two brothers aged 20 and 28, and newspapers reported that they were both under the influence of alcohol and were on the lookout for gay men to attack. 

Delegates of PACE condemn Armenian politicians after they condoned LGBTI-phobic violence

Certain Armenian politicians openly condoned an arson attack on a LGBT friendly bar in Yerevan was firebombed in May 2012. A written declaration from Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) calls upon the Armenian authorities to publicly repudiate such statements.

Nationalist group attacks trans Pride parade in Istanbul

An ultranationalist group attempted to attack participants in Turkey’s third trans Pride parade in Istanbul’s central Taksim Square on 24 June, but police stopped the group before anyone suffered serious injuries.

Next OSCE hate crime report: call for submissions

ILGA-Europe submitted a report to the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in March, in view of their annual report on hate crime in 2011. This work has been made possible thanks to national submissions. OSCE is now opening a call for complementary submissions. If this is relevant, then send an email to Joël Le Déroff, Senior Policy and Programmes Officer (joel@ilga-europe.org) with your contributions by 1 September 2012.


New resource: 'Towards GLBTQ Equity in Schools: Teachers as Counter-heteronormative Agents'

'Towards GLBTQ Equity in Schools: Teachers as Counter-heteronormative Agents' presents research on the possibilities and limitations to foster teacher empowerment and promote LGBTQ educational equity in schools. The context of the research was the GLBTQ Educational Equity (GLEE) Project funded by European Union.


Call for tender: European Commission - Study on mental health in the workplace in EU and EEA/EFTA countries

The European Commission has issues a study service contract to establish the situation in EU and EEA/EFTA countries on Mental Health in the Workplace. The study should also evaluate the scope and requirements of possible modifications of relevant EU Safety & Health at Work legislation and elaborate a guidance document to accommodate corresponding risks/concerns, with a view to ultimately ensure adequate protection of workers mental health from workplace related risks. Note deadline for receipt of bids: 24 August 2012.

Equality and non-discrimination

First EU Special Representative for Human Rights appointed

The Council of the European Union appointed Stavros Lambrinidis as its first Special Representative for Human Rights. Stavros Lambrinidis is an attorney, a former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Greece and a former Vice-President of the European Parliament. Between 2004 and 2009 he served as Vice-President of the Parliament's Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee. Earlier in his career he was Chairman of the Committee for Human Rights in the Bar Association of Washington, D.C..

ILGA-Europe’s statement on the adoption of the EU Strategic Framework and Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy

On 25 June 2012, the Council of the European Union adopted a human rights package consisting of the EU Strategic Framework and Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy.


Conservative majority in the Polish parliament refuses vote on civil partnerships

Members of the Polish parliament voted overwhelmingly against including two draft bills on civil partnerships among the topics for debate in the current parliamentary session.

The city of Milan approves civil union register

The muncipality of Milan decided to form register in which different-sex couple and same-sex couples can be entered. Registering a civil union will afford access only to municipality-supplied services. It will not confer the right to inherit or receive a survivor’s pension, benefits that are reserved for married couples and guaranteed by national laws.

Belgian Constitutional Court enhances adoption rights co-mothers in two landmark judgments

In two landmark judgments of the Belgian Constitutional Court, both from 12 July 2012, the adoption rights of divorced lesbian couples with children were improved significantly.

Alert regarding misleading research published in USA claiming that lesbians and gays make bad parents

A research paper has recently been published in the USA entitled “New Family Structures Study,” written by Mark Regnerus (of the Department of Sociology and Population Research Center at the University of Texas). Its findings claim to show that children brought up by lesbian or gay parents have significantly worse outcomes than those brought up in traditional heterosexual families.

Freedom of assembly

Historical Pride events in Belgrade

The Republic Ombudsman’s office in Belgrade, displayed a rainbow flag on the International Pride Day. This historic event started a day of LGBTI celebration in Belgrade with the first peaceful Pride Parade in Belgrade a few hours after the flag raising.

Successful Budapest Pride 2012 under heavy police protection

ILGA-Europe took part in Budapest Pride 2012 which successfully took place on 7 July under heavy police protection due to violence in previous years.

Activists arrested at Pride events in St. Petersburg

The St. Petersburg authorities thwarted an attempted Pride event by arresting the two organisers. The arrests came despite previous appeals to the authorities to allow the rally to go ahead. Four other activists were detained later the same day during a series of one-man protests near City Hall of St. Petersburg.

Pride events held peacefully despite a recent violent incident

Pride events in the cities of Oulu and Tampere took place without incidents. Security had been stepped up after a pepper gas attack on a LGBT event event in Oulu only a few days earlier.

Freedom of expression

Joint briefing about legislative proposals and laws banning “homosexual propaganda”

A joint briefing paper by The International Commission of Jurists and ILGA-Europe aims to provide an overview of the laws. It analyses the potential impact, places these laws in a human rights framework, and finally provides recommendations to national policy-makers and activists and international organisations on how to deal with these developments.

Protest against Ukrainian initiative to ban 'homosexual propaganda' 

On the 2 July 2012, ILGA-Europe organised a protest against the proposed law in Ukraine to ban ‘homosexual propaganda’ outside the Ukrainian Mission to the European Union in Brussels.

Delegates of PACE condemn human rights violation of LGBT people in Russia

Delegates from the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) signed a written declaration on violations of the rights of LGBT people in Russia - not only condemning the ban of “homosexual propaganda", but also the injuries to LGBT activists during a demonstration in St Petersburg, the banning of the Moscow pride march for the seventh successive year and the arrest of activists, the suppression of a demonstration by thugs in Novosibirsk which was unimpeded by police, the abandonment of LGBT film festivals in Kemerovo and Novosibirsk in the face of threats of violence, obstruction by the authorities and refusal of the police to provide protection.

New homophobic law in Ukraine registered

A new 3rd homophobic law was introduced to Ukrainian Parliament earlier this month.

Russian human rights watchdog to check ban on 'homosexual propaganda'

Members of the state institution the Public Chamber which oversees the activities of the state, have expressed that the laws targeting 'homosexual propaganda' are limiting freedom of expression. It is suggested if the laws are not repealed as being anti-constitutional, a precise formula on what can be considered propaganda should be introduced.

73 prosecuted for violating the ban on 'homosexual propaganda in St. Petersburg

Police in St. Petersburg have so far prosecuted seventy-three people for violating the recent ban on 'homosexual propaganda' which was introduced four months ago.

Expert workshop on “Protecting Freedom of Expression While Fighting “Hate Speech” Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity”

On 10 July, ILGA-Europe organised an expert workshop together with the organisation Article 19 in Brussels entitled “Protecting Freedom of Expression While Fighting “Hate Speech” Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity”. The workshop was devised for dialogue between specialists in the field, journalists, the European Commission, European Commission against Racism and Intolerance of the Council of Europe and the office of the Commissioner for Human Rights, representatives from the European Parliament and other Brussels-based equality networks.


Equally Healthy – survey on sexual orientation and gender identity in medical education

IGLYO (International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer Youth and Student Organisation) is currently researching how issues relating to the health of LGBTQ young people are covered in medical curricula. Moreover, they want to gain understanding of the knowledge of medical students in relation to sexual orientation and gender identity. If you are involved in medical education please help IGLYO by completing the survey, or by encouraging your friends and contacts to fill it in. Respondents do not have to identify as a LGBTQ person to take part.

New resource: "Realizing Sexual And Reproductive Rights: A Human Rights Framework"

The new resource from Amnesty International sets out the link between human rights and the improvement of sexual and reproductive health and explains how the Programme of Action, if effectively implemented, would contribute both to the realisation of human rights and to better development and population indicators.

Legal gender recognition

Trans law proposal allows documents but not gender reassignment surgery

The Lithuanian Ministry of Justice has proposed that persons who have undergone gender reassignment surgery be issued with new identity documents upon presentation of a medical statement without the need to apply for such documents through the court. At the same time it proposes that gender reassignment surgery shall not be regulated by a separate law. Mr. Antanas Matulas, Chairman of the Committee on Health Affairs in the Lithuanian Parliament, has expressed concerns that separate regulations would legitimize “supernatural” and “immoral” surgeries in Lithuania. Meanwhile human rights advocates argue that if such proposals are put into practice, the situation of trans persons could become even worse.

Notice board

Seminar on EU Gender Equality Law

The seminar will provide an overview of the content of the gender equality Directives as interpreted by the European Court of Justice in its large case law on this topic. Certain key subjects and topical issues will be dealt with, such as the concepts of direct/indirect discrimination, harassment and sexual harassment; the burden of proof; the scope for positive action measures; the principle of equal pay for work of equal value; the protection of pregnant workers and the reconciliation of professional, private and family life.

Call for applications: the Human Rights Advocates Program at Columbia University

The Program is designed for lawyers, journalists, doctors, teachers, social workers, community organisers, and other human rights activists working with NGOs on issues including sexual and gender-based violence, domestic violence, minority rights, LGBT rights, disability rights, labor rights, migration, health, HIV/AIDS, social exclusion, environmental justice, and corporate social accountability. Completed applications are due by 16 November 2012.

Call for papers: Queer sexualities, nationalism and racism in the new Europe.

The Weeks Centre for Policy and Social Research is hosting a one-day conference on Friday 19 October 2012 with academic contributions from a range of disciplines (including sociology, human geography, area studies, anthropology, and politics). The deadline for submissions is 15 August 2012.
Read more about the conference here

Conference: (Re)Thinking Diversity

The aim of this conference is to advance knowledge about diversity by disseminating new research and best practices and by encouraging the evolution of new ideas, themes and questions. Karlshochschule International University aims to enrich the dialogue between academics and practitioners, who often approach diversity from different perspectives. The conference will adopt an international and interdisciplinary approach to address the theme in greater complexity.

Open call for participation in the Fundamental Rights Platform

The Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) is pleased to invite non-governmental organisations and other civil society institutions in the field of fundamental rights at national, European or international level to apply to participate in its Fundamental Rights Platform (FRP).

Job opportunity: Administration and Finance Officer at Social Platform

Social Platform in Brussels is seeking an experienced Administration and Finance Officer with an excellent understanding of Belgian systems and procedures to ensure the smooth running of the Secretariat. The deadline for reception of applications is 5 September 2012 at 17.00 CET.

Article: 'LGBTI Rights in Eastern Europe: Between Hope and Despair'

Following the the launch of the ILGA-Europe Annual Review 2011 in May 2012, Open Society Foundations, issued an article which examines the state of LGBTI rights in Eastern Europe.

Amnesty International petition: discrimination and violence against women

Following the European Commission’s declaration that 2013 will be the year of Europe’s people and their rights, Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding launched an online consultation on the obstacles people face in trying to exercise their rights. Amnesty International has criticised the absence of any reference to violations of key fundamental rights, and has released a summer petition for signatures, which aims to press Commissioner Reding to strengthen the role of human rights.


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.