March 2011 - no. 187
ILGA-Europe’s 15th Anniversary: Jackie Lewis, member of the ILGA-Europe board 1996-2006 and reserve member 2006-2007
The second personal testimonial in the celebration of the 15th Anniversary of ILGA-Europe is from another founder of ILGA-Europe, Jackie Lewis.
Read the testimonial here.
New ILGA-Europe project - Rainbow Europe: ILGA-Europe Annual Report on the Situation for LGBTI People in Europe.
In the beginning of 2012, ILGA-Europe will publish the first annual report on the situation for LGBTI people across Europe covering the year of 2011. This is a very challenging but exciting project and also a great opportunity for all our members and friends to take active part. Don’t stand by - join this exciting journey!
Read more here about the new project from ILGA-Europe.
100th International Women’s Day 2011 marked with a video statement
On the 8 March the women of the current Executive Board of ILGA-Europe looked back on women’s involvement in the LGBTI movement since 1996, as ILGA-Europe is celebrating its 15th anniversary.
Check out the video statement here.
Judgment on gender equality on pension and insurance cost from Court of Justice of the European Union
The Court of Justice of the European Union ruled that unequal cost to insurance and pension due to gender is discrimination. Insurance companies can no longer use gender as a ‘risk factor’ in their assessment of the premium. This will automatically extends to trans people and to the cost of insurances that trans people were so far asked to pay.
See the Press Release of the CJEU here
See the BBC report here
ILGA-Europe calls on Moldovan parliamentarians to adopt an inclusive anti-discrimination law and refrain from hateful statements
The Moldovan Parliament is debating an anti-discrimination law which in its current form provides protection against discrimination on various grounds, including sexual orientation. The draft law was approved by the Moldovan government and is now in the hands of parliamentarians.
Read the media release here about the concerning and increasingly volatile situation in Moldova.
The new Programme for the Irish Government contains major new commitments to further progress for lesbian and gay people
The new programme includes a commitment to address omissions in civil partnership legislation relating to children and a commitment to consider provisions for same sex marriage in the proposed Constitutional Convention. The Programme for Government also contains commitments to address homophobic bullying in schools.
Read more about the new programme on the website of GLEN
Read the Programme here
LGBT rights part of EU accession conditions for Turkey and Montenegro
On 9 March 2011 the European Parliament adopted two resolutions on Turkey and Montenegro’s progress towards joining the European Union. The Parliament said that more steps are required to bring the two countries in line with EU standards in the field of non discrimination.
Read the media release from the European Parliament’s Intergroup on LGBT Rights here.
Austrian Constitutional Court: No Justice for Gay Policeman
Back in 1976 a long-serving and highly decorated constable was discharged on the basis of having been convicted under Austria’s infamous anti-homosexual offence. The Constitutional Court refused to deal with the case. Rechtskomitee LAMBDA now hopes for the Administrative Supreme Court.
Read more the case here.
Statement on International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination from ILGA-Europe and shadow report on racism in Europe from ENAR
ILGA-Europe marked the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on the 21 March 2001 with a statement to fully support the efforts towards eliminating all forms of discrimination on the grounds of race, ethnicity and religion and tackling prejudices towards ethnic and religious minorities. On the same day, ENAR (European Network Against Racism) launched their shadow report on racism in Europe.
Read the statement from ILGA-Europe here.
Read media release about the shadow report on racism from ENAR here
Landmark judgment on the rights of persons living with HIV/AIDS
On 10 March 2011 the European Court of Human Rights held that refusing a residence permit to a foreign national solely on the basis of their HIV-positive status amounted to unlawful discrimination. This landmark case is a significant boost to the rights of persons living with HIV/AIDS (‘PLHIV’) in Europe, as the judgment contains two important ‘firsts’: not only has it explicitly recognised that PLHIV are protected as a distinct group against discrimination in relation to their fundamental rights; but it has also recognised that PLHIV are a ‘vulnerable group’ and any restriction of their rights attracts a higher degree of scrutiny on the part of the Court.
Read more about the judgment on the website of Interights
Unique statement from the United Nations calls to end violence, criminal sanctions and related human rights violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity
On Tuesday 22 March 2011, the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva delivered a Joint Statement that called on States to end violence, criminal sanctions and related human rights violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and urged the Human Rights Council to address these important human rights issues. This statement was delivered on behalf of a broad grouping of 85 States from all regions of the world.
Read more about the historic UN statement here.
Hungarian Court Rejects Appeal in Sexual Orientation Harassment Case
The Metropolitan Court of Budapest rejected yesterday an appeal against an earlier decision of the Hungarian Equal Treatment Authority which fined a cable television company for harassing one of its employees due to his alleged sexual orientation.
Read more about the harassment case in Hungary here
ILGA-Europe’s reaction to the European Commission’s proposal on property right of married and registered couples: cautious welcome
The European Commission launched a communication proposing two regulations dealing with property rights for bi-national married and registered couples. These proposals do not encroach on EU Member States sovereignty on domestic family law matter, but merely provide a framework for the applications of existing law on property regimes alone.
Read the reaction from ILGA-Europe here.
The Liechtenstein Parliament adopts same-sex partnership law
The Parliament of Liechtenstein adopted unanimously the law on registered partnership for same-sex couples. The law will most likely enter into force in September 2011.
Read about the same-sex partnership legislation in Liechtenstein.
Isle of Man same-sex couples get right to enter civil partnership
Same-sex couples on the Isle of Man will get the right to enter a civil partnership after a new law was signed in Tynwald, the parliament of Isle of Man. It gives them the same rights as married couples regarding inheritance, pensions and tax allowances. The law comes into effect on 6 April 2011.
Read more about the civil partnership on Isle of Man here.
Registered partnership debate renewed in Latvia – society at large remains homophobic
Mozaika, Latvian alliance of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans people and their friends, is currently finalising the draft law and conducting consultation with various political parties and civil society organisations. However, latest public opinion poll reveals that Latvian society remains hostile towards LGBT people and legal recognition of same-sex partnerships.
Read more about the development and the latest poll in Latvia here.
Article on same-sex families in Lithuania wins third prize in EU Journalist Awards
The winners of the EU Journalist Awards 2010 were announced on 21 March, and the third prize went to Rasa Navickaitė from Lithuania for her article on the experiences of same sex couples raising families in Lithuania.
Read more about the prize here.
ILGA-Europe joins “Facing Facts!”
“Facing Fact!” is a two-year project coordinated by CEJI - A Jewish contribution to an Inclusive Europe. It has been successful in securing a grant in the frame of the European Commission’s Fundamental Rights and Citizenship programme. ILGA-Europe has become an associated partner of the project, together with our member organisation COC Netherlands and other NGOs.
Read more about the project here.
Concerns over proposed changed to new European treaty on violence against women
Last minute efforts are being made to unravel key provisions in the Council of Europe’s Draft Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence. Such moves are particularly shocking, given that these proposals come very shortly before final adoption of the treaty, and after two years of detailed negotiation.
Read more about the proposed changes here.
Austrian Constitutional Court: Incitement to Hatred Against Homosexuals Remains Legal
The Constitutional Court of Austria defended the lack of protection against discrimination based on sexual orientatio. The case will be taken to the European Court of Human Rights by Rechtskomitee LAMBDA.
Read more about the ruling here
Croatian priest sentenced after hate speech
A Croatian priest was given a three-month suspended jail sentence for hate speech he had published on his blog about Belgrade's 2010 Gay Pride violence.
Read more about the sentence of the Croatian priest here .
Lithuania ignores European court decision and proposes to ban gender reassignment
Lithuanian conservative parliamentarians led by the chairman of the Committee on Health Affairs registered a proposal to amend the Civil Code with a prohibition of gender reassignment surgery. LGL (Lithuanian Gay League) expressed strong concerns about the legislative initiative which if adopted would clearly contravene the Lithuania’s obligations under the European Convention of Human Rights.
Read more about the development in Lithuania here
"Week against Homophobia" will take place in Russia for the fifth time
Russian Week against Homophobia will be held from March 28 to April 3, 2011 for the fifth time. Week against Homophobia is an annual campaign, which aims to direct the attention of state and society to the prevalence of discrimination against people of homosexual orientation and transgender people.
Read more about the Week against Homophobia in Russia here
ILGA-Europe Pride Event Calendar updated for 2011
Last year ILGA-Europe introduced an online calendar of pride events all over Europe. 148 pride events have been added to the calendar for 2011, which again makes it the most extensive pride event calendar in Europe.
Check out the Pride Event calendar here.
First Comprehensive Guide to European Non-discrimination Law Launched
The Handbook on European Non-Discrimination Law, published jointly by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) and the European Court of Human Rights, is the first comprehensive guide to European non-discrimination law. It is based on the case law of the European Court of Human Rights and the European Court of Justice.
Read more about the guide here.
Volunteers wanted for the ILGA World Conference in Stockholm in 2012
Leading up to the world conference RFSL is planning to use the opportunity to increase the education of adults in Sweden, within and outside of the LGBT community, on human rights, sexuality and gender issues from a global perspective. Note the deadline 31 March 2011.
Read more about the volunteer opportunity.
Equality and Justice Conference – 12-13 May 2011
Two-day international conference closing the Equal-Jus.eu Project and will address fundamental rights and anti-discrimination law in relation to sexual orientation and gender identity. The focus will be on the European legal system (at the regional, national, EU and Council of Europe levels) and on relevant international and comparative law. Prominent speakers will address the audience during plenary sessions, while presentations and discussions on specific topics will take place in parallel symposiums. Registration deadline: 27 April 2011.
Read more about the conference here.
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