LGBTI equality and human rights in Europe and Central Asia

May 2015

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No. 237. May, 2015. In this issue...


Bias motivated speech

Bias motivated violence

Bodily integrity

Data collection

Equality and non-discrimination

EU enlargement


Freedom of assembly

Foreign policy

Public opinion

Notice board




Annual Conference 2015 - Registration is open

We are more than excited to invite you to the 19th ILGA-Europe Annual Conference which will be held in Athens, Greece, from 28 October – 31 October 2015 under the theme “Many voices, One movement- Together, mobilised for a just society”. Registration is now open! Also note that you are able to apply for scholarship and submit ideas for workshops.

Find it all on our website

Rainbow Europe 2015 launched

Steadfast, committed leadership and visible equality trailblazers are necessary ingredients for advancing LGBTI equality according to the latest Rainbow Europe package, released today (Sunday, 10 May 2015) by ILGA-Europe. Our 2015 Rainbow Map, Annual Review and brand new Rainbow Europe web module all showcase the power that committed leadership to LGBTI rights can wield.

Read more about the launch here
Check out the new interactive Rainbow Europe web module

Time for reflection - ILGA-Europe statement on IDAHOT, 17 May 2015

International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia 2015 gives us a valuable opportunity for reflection, according to ILGA-Europe Executive Director Evelyne Paradis. “The fact that year after year, we are able to celebrate great strides in advancing LGBTI equality and to acknowledge governments which set new standards, is in itself a source of inspiration and motivation for all in the European LGBTI movement.”

Read ILGA-Europe's statement here

Capacity Building Seminar on LGBTQ activism and Intersex

IGLYO (International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Youth and Student Organisation) and ILGA-Europe are happy to invite you to participate in a capacity building seminar on LGBTQ activism and intersex. The event will take place in Berlin, Germany, from Friday 3 July to Sunday 5 July. Deadline for applications: 1 June 2015.

Read more about the capacity seminar here

European Equality Gala - A night in support of the European LGBTI movement

On 24 June, ILGA-Europe will host the first European Equality Gala in Brussels. Over 200 high profile guests from the world of activism, politics and entertainment will celebrate the European LGBTI movement's recent achievements. Speakers already confirmed include Frans Timmermans (First Vice-President of the European Commission), Helena Dalli (Maltese Minister for Civil Rights), and equality activists from across Europe.
Read more about the event here


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Bias motivated speech

Armenian court rules against hate-spreading newspaper

On 14 May, the Court of General Jurisdiction of Kentron and Nork-Marash Administrative Districts of Yerevan partially satisfied a claim by LGBTI organisation “Nor Serund” (“New Generation”). Representatives from the organisation filled a law suit against the newspaper Iravunk after it at several occasions spread hate towards LGBTI individuals in Armenia.

Read more about the ruling here

Leader of Moldova’s Socialists bolster homophobia and transphobia in 2015 local elections campaign

The Chairman of the Party of Socialists of the Republic of Moldova and member of Parliament, Igor Dodon, perpetuates homophobia and transphobia in the recent political commercial released within the 2015 local elections campaign. In the commercial the politician accuses the pro-European coalition of “destroying our traditional and moral Christian values” while showing faces of Moldovan LGBT activists marching in the 3rd LGBT Pride March for Equality, which took place in Chișinău on IDAHOT, 17 May.

Read more on the website of Gender-Doc M


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Bias motivated violence

Violent attacks on trans sex workers in Turkey

Since the beginning of May 2015, ILGA-Europe have received reports of violent attacks on trans sex workers. Coverage of the issue in mainstream media or news reports remains scant so we are almost entirely dependent on our Turkish member organisations for information..

Read more about the violent attacks here

Launch of Trans Murder Monitoring 2015

Transgender Europe’s Trans Murder Monitoring project – initiated in April 2009 in order to systematically monitor, collect and analyse reports of homicides of trans and gender diverse people worldwide – launches an update for IDAHOT 2015 so as to assist activists worldwide in raising public awareness of hate violence against trans and gender diverse people.

Read more on the website of Transgender Europe


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Bodily Integrity

Iceland's Ombudsman comes out to support bodily integrity of intersex children

Intersex children should make their own decisions on surgery or hormonal treatment when they have reached the age and development to make an informed decision. This is part of a written opinion by the Ombudsman of Children in Iceland regarding surgery on intersex babies. .

Read more about the written opinion here


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Data collection

Launch of Gay Happiness Index

PlanetRomeo launched its Gay Happiness Index which is based on a worldwide survey in which 115,000 gay men from 127 countries were questioned. The survey was provided in 25 languages and targeted at all users of the PlanetRomeo platform (about 1.8 million). These users are all 18 years or older and mainly gay or bisexual men.

Read more about the index here


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Equality and non-discrimination

IDAHOT 2015 – Pride events, statements and reports on intersex issues

Activists and allies across Europe celebrated International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia on 17 May 2015. With so many activities and events happening, it can be difficult to keep track of them all and ILGA-Europe have put together a list of activities to give you an overview of IDAHOT 2015.

Read more about IDAHOT 2015 here

Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights and Fundamental Rights Agency publish milestone reports on intersex

The experience of intersex people in Europe was placed centre-stage in May 2015 with the publication of two major research reports. Launched during the European IDAHO Forum in Montenegro, papers from the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights and the EU Fundamental Rights Agency show that more needs to be done to protect intersex people against human rights violations.

Read more about the reports here

Commissioner Jourová committed to LGBTI action plan in 2015

Speaking at the European Parliament’s LIBE Committee on 26 May, Vera Jourová reiterated her support for an LGBTI action plan. The Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality responded to MEP’s questions by reaffirming her commitment to developing an LGBTI plan during 2015.
Read more on the website of the European Parliament's Intergroup on LGBTI Rights

ILGA State-Sponsored Homophobia Report 2015

Europe can certainly be proud to be a continent with not a single country criminalizing consensual same-sex acts between adults. And while the human rights situation of LGBTI people is very diverse and uneven in Europe, the world-wide pictures remains even more polarized and in 76 countries being gay, lesbian or bisexual is still a criminal offence.

Read ILGA World statement launching their annual State-Sponsored Homophobia report 2015

Trans Rights Europe Map 2015 launched

Transgender Europe’s latest Trans Rights Map and Index reveal a severe lack of protection for trans people throughout Europe. Sterilisation is still required in 23 European countries before legal gender recognition is granted and only 13 countries provide trans people with explicit protection from hate crime.

Read more about the map here

International Conference of LGBT’s parents in Ukraine: understanding, acceptance and support

Parents, relatives and friends who support LGBT people in their struggle for equal rights met in Kiev in April 2015. Speakers included Elena Globa, head of parents’ initiative TERGO, who welcomed representatives from more than 10 countries to the international conference, the first of its kind in Ukraine. 

Read the conference report here.

ENAR Shadow Report and video on racist crime in Europe

Racist crime in the EU- until when? This is the question posed by ENAR in their recent shadow report on racist crime in Europe. The report covers 26 European countries and highlights the need for better monitoring, reporting and sanctioning of racist crime. A campaign video was also launched in May to coincide with the shadow report’s publication.

Watch the video here


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EU enlargement

European Parliament asks Bosnia-Herzegovina and Albania to step up efforts on LGBTI rights

Lawmakers in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Albania should do more to advance LGBTI rights, according to MEPs. The European Parliament adopted annual progress reports on both countries in May. These reports detail the achievements made in EU enlargement countries over the past twelve months as well as outlining the equality measures that still require implementation.
Read more about the progress reports here


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Irish people overwhelmingly approve marriage equality

On 22 May 2015, the Irish public voted to introduce marriage equality by an overwhelming margin. Over 62% of those who turned out to vote expressed their support for equal marriage rights. By holding this successful constitutional referendum, Ireland became the first country in the world to introduce marriage equality by popular vote.

Read more about the referendum here

Draft law in Russia to limit marriage rights of trans people

On 12 May, a draft law was tabled to the State Duma in Russia. Its text in the current version seeks to prohibit different-sex marriage for and with trans persons. It suggests to refer to sex of intending spouses as assigned at birth when determining whether their marriage can be registered. It is unclear when and if the draft law will be scheduled for a vote. .

Read the text of the draft law on the website if the Russian State Duma (in Russian)

Cyprus government makes significant step towards equality for all families

The Cypriot government moved towards equality for all couples with the approval of a civil partnership bill. Despite promises made over two years ago to introduce such legislation, Cypriot families are still waiting for recognition. The bill is now awaiting final approval from the parliament.

Read more about the partnership bill here

Petition for marriage equality in Germany

LSVD Bundesverband has started a marriage equality petition addressed to Chancellor Merkel. In the wake of Ireland’s positive referendum result, our German member organisation has called on the government to "End discrimination! Follow the Irish example and open marriage for lesbian and gay couples!"

Read more about the petition here


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Freedom of assembly

Strong words now require real action in Georgia following ECtHR ruling

In 2012, an IDAHOT march coordinated by our Georgian member organisation Identoba was disrupted by violent counter-demonstrators. Three years later, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that the police failure to adequately protect the march was a breach of participants’ rights under Article 3 (prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment) and Article 11 (freedom of assembly and association) of the European Convention on Human Rights.
Read more about the ruling here

Pride event banned in Montenegro

In the days before the country hosted the European IDAHO Forum, police in Montenegro banned an ‘academic walk of pride’, deeming the march too risky. The walk of pride was due to take place in the city of Nikšić in front of the university’s philosophy faculty, in protest against this faculty’s decision not to host a debate on LGBT rights.

Read more about the ban here


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Foreign policy

MEPs condemn attacks against Kyrgyz LGBTI activists

Physical attacks carried out against LGBTI activists working in Kyrgyzstan have been condemned by MEPs. Several people were threatened and injured at an event marking IDAHOT 2015. This follows an attack on the office of LGBTI NGO Labrys several weeks ago.

Read more about the attacks here


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Public opinion

New poll on attitudes to homosexuality in Russia shows growing unacceptance

A nationwide survey carried out by the Levada Centre has shown that public attitudes towards LGBT people in Russia are becoming more hostile. The poll sampled the views of 800 people in both urban and rural settings and found, for example, that 77% of those surveyed supported the anti-propaganda law.
Read more about the poll here

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Notice board

Internship with Transgender Europe

Transgender Europe is looking for a full time (100%, 40h per week) Intern. The duration of the internship is 3 months. The place of work is Berlin, Germany. Deadline for applications: 23 June, 17.00 CET.

Read more about the internship here

Job opportunities with IGLYO

IGLYO, International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Youth and Student Organisation, is currently recruiting for two positions: Finance & Administration Assistant and Web & Communications Intern. Deadline for applications is: 1 June, 12.00 CET.

Rind more about the job opportunities here

Job opportunity as Legal Policy Analyst with Migration Policy Group

Migration Policy Group is currently looking for a maternity leave replacement for the anti-discrimination legal policy analyst for a 5 months duration. The selected candidate should be able to start as of 27 July 2015 and the contract will end on 26 December 2015. Deadline for applications: 5 June.
Read more about the job opportunity here

European Commission launches Action Grants to support projects on non-discrimination

The European Commission just launched a call for proposals based on the “Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme”. Projects contributing to national, regional, or local anti-discrimination policies and to the promotion of equality are most welcome. This call will notably fund activities on data collection, research, legislative monitoring, training, awareness raising activities, etc. Do let us know if you send a proposal on LGBTI issues - email Michael Cerulus, Senior Policy Officer.
Read more about the call here

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