European Region of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association

July 2015

No. 239. July 2015. In this issue...

ILGA-Europe

Bias motivated violence

Civil society space

Education

Employment

Equality and non-discrimination

Family

Foreign policy

Health

Legal gender recognition

Notice board


ILGA-Europe

 

Annual Conference 2015 - register and book your flights

The Annual Conference approaches, which this year will be held in Athens, Greece. Registration closes 31 August (midnight, CET) and we encourage all those interested in attending to make arrangements quickly as flight prices rise closer to the date. The programme this year is impressive: so far we have confirmed Mr. Thorbjørn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe; Jessica Stern, Executive Director of IGLHRC; Mike Jackson from LGSM and others as speakers. See you in Athens!
 

Looking back: first European Equality Gala

Did you miss out on the first European Equality Gala in June? Do not despair, we have gathered some of the highlights in a short video from the evening.
 

Capacity-building seminar on LGBTQ activism and intersex

On 3-5 July, ILGA-Europe and IGLYO (International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Youth and Student Organisation) gathered 18 LGBTQ activists from all over Europe for a capacity building seminar on LGBTQ activism and intersex. The seminar took place in Berlin.

Bias motivated violence

 

Joint Statement: recent attacks on LGBTI people in Turkey

ILGA-Europe joined a group of NGOs in a statement to the Turkish government to express our grave concern about the lack of a political response over recent attacks, discriminatory treatment and incitement to violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex people in Turkey.

Civil society space

 

Strategising event on shrinking civil society space

On 16-17 July, ILGA-Europe organised a 1.5 day strategising event on shrinking civil society space with members from Armenia, Georgia, Hungary, Lithuania, Macedonia, Russia, and Turkey. In addition to discussions on LGBTI organisations' experiences of declining civil society space, participants had an exchange with international organisations and donors working on the issues, as well as with representatives of the European institutions.
Read more about ILGA-Europe's work on skrinking space here

 


Education

 

Youth empowerment: how to build GSAs in school?

COC-Netherlands and ILGA-Europe are jointly organising a capacity-building seminar on supporting youth to start GSAs (Gay-Straight Alliances) in schools. The seminar will take 6-8 November 2015 in Amsterdam. Deadline for applications: 1 September.
Read more about the event here
 

EU education ministries discuss how to enable safe and inclusive schools

On 25-26 June, officials from education ministries across the European Union met with a number of ILGA-Europe member organisations in Lisbon.ILGA-Europe was organising the meeting, which was the 3rd annually consecutive. During the Irish and the Greek EU presidencies (Dublin 2013 and Athens 2014), similar meetings explored how policy makers, teachers and NGOs could together address homophobic and transphobic school bullying.This meeting focused in particular on good practices in Ireland and Malta.

Employment

 

First Danish judgment on discrimination of a trans woman in employment

An employer was found guilty to have discriminated a trans woman based on her gender identity and gender expression. This is the first legal case concerning discrimination of a trans person in employment. Gender identity and gender expression are not specifically mentioned in Danish equal treatment and non-discrimination legislation and a proper court decision was lacking. The employer was sentenced to pay a compensation of DKK 30.000 (approx. EUR 4.000) to the trans woman.
Find more information about the judgment here

Equality and non-discrimination

 

Joint appeal: Overcoming Germany’s blocking of the proposed Equal Treatment directive

Six years on from the introduction of the horizontal Equal Treatment directive, major hurdles still need to be cleared before the law can be adopted. Several member states are delaying the introduction of a law to protect people across Europe from discrimination outside the labour market. Somewhat puzzlingly, Germany is the main culprit. While other member states name problems they have with the actual text of the directive, Germany even refuses to enter into negotiations on the content, despite having a similarly broad anti-discrimination law of their own since 2006.
Read the joint appeal to the German Federal Government here
 

Malta introduces its first national LGBTIQ action plan

On 20 July, the Maltese Prime Minister Muscat, Minister Dalli and the LGBTIQ Consultative Council launched a national LGBTIQ action plan for 2015-2017. With this new step, Malta is now on the 2nd place on our Rainbow Europe ranking with 85%.

 

Know Your Rights: New guides on trans people’s rights under EU Law

Transgender Europe has launched two guides on EU law, Know Your Rights. The guides provide an overview and summary of EU law that is relevant for trans people living, working, visiting or claiming asylum in the EU. Both guides cover the areas of discrimination in employment, access to and provision of goods & services, crime victim’s rights, and asylum.
Find the two guides here

To the top


Family

 

For the first time, the European court acknowledges right of same-sex couples to be legally recognised

On 21 July, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) unanimously ruled in Oliari and Others vs Italy that Italy’s failure to provide any form of legal recognition for same-sex couples violated Article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights.

 

Armenia to have a discriminatory constitutional provision on marriage

On 15 July, a draft of amendments to the Armenia constitution was published. Among other changes, the amendements are aiming to limit the freedom of marriage to be only between a man and a woman. The draft Constitution is expected to be completed by early August. Subsequently, the draft will be submitted to the President. If approved, it will be introduced to the National Assembly, and then a referendum will be set.
   
 

European Rainbow Families Meeting 2015 to take place in October

NELFA, Network of European LGBT Family Association, is organising its 4th European Rainbow Families Meeting in Oeiras just outside Lisbon in October 2015. The event is hosted by ILGA Portugal.

Foreign policy

 

European Parliament: Neighbourhood Policy to address LGBTI rights


Health

 

Does EU really prohibit fertility treatment for HIV-positive men if they are gay?


Legal gender recognition

 

Historic day for Ireland’s trans community

Wednesday 15 July 2015 was a historic day for trans people living in Ireland when the long-awaited Gender Recognition Bill passed through the Irish parliament. On 3 June, Ireland's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton, announced that, following the agreement of Cabinet, the application process under the Gender Recognition Bill will, for people aged 18 years or more, be based on the person's self-declaration by way of a statutory declaration. The Bill will also no longer contain the controversial 'forced divorce' clause.
 

Polish Parliament makes trans history

On 23 July, the lower chamber of the Polish Parliament (Sejm), passed the Gender Accordance Act, the country's first gender recognition legislation in history. Being part of a long parliamentary procedure and under constant criticism and attacks coming from conservative media, after its initial submission by Anna Grodzka, Poland's first openly trans MP, in May 2012, the Act passed today with an overwhelming result of 252 votes for, 158 against and 11 abstaining. If the Gender Accordance Act is passed by the Senate and signed by the President, it will become law in January 2016.
 

Italian Supreme Court rules against sterilisation requirement

On 20 July, the Italian Supreme Court ruled that medical intervention and sterilisation are not necessary for having one’s gender legally recognised. Although the Supreme Court is an authoritative source for interpreting the law, three cases are pending before the Italian Constitutional Court that will have the final word later this year. The Supreme Court judgment gives hope that after yesterday’s decision there will be no turning back.
 

Intervention in sterilisation cases against France

On 24 July, ILGA-Europe submitted jointly by Amnesty International, ILGA-Europe, and Transgender Europe an intervention in three cases on mandatory sterilisation. The cases (A.P. v. France, Garçon v. France and Nicot v. France) mainly concern the validity of medical requirements imposed on those seeking legal gender recognition, including most prominently permanent sterilisation. They raise the issue of serious violations of the rights to be free from inhuman and degrading treatment, to bodily integrity, to personal autonomy and of reproductive rights, and come against the background of significant developments regarding the legal situation of transgender people in Europe.

Notice board

 

Job opportunity - Health Officer with Transgender Europe

Transgender Europe (TGEU) is looking for a part time (80%, 32h per week) Health Officer with a potential increase to a full time position during 2016. The place of work is located in Berlin, Germany. The Health Officer will be responsible to coordinate and implement TGEU’s activities relating to research and advocacy in health and healthcare both on international level and together with the TGEU membership on national level. Deadline for applications: 20 August (noon CET).
 

Job opportunity - Executive Director with BeLonG To

BeLonG To, Ireland’s national LGBT youth and advocacy organisation, is seeking to recruit a new Executive Director. The Executive Director will hold overall responsibility for the development and implementation of BeLonG To’s strategic plan, giving direction and leadership to the organisation and managing its delivery in line with its philosophy and vision. Deadline for applications: 21 August.