Rainbow Digest March 2023

Bulgaria still rejects Baby Sara’s citizenship, EU countries support infringement against Hungary, and much more…

 

Help transform realities for LGBTI communities across Europe and Central Asia.With your support we can do more. Make change happen here.

No. 330. March 2023. In this issue…

ILGA-Europe

Decriminalisation

Equality and non-discrimination

Freedom of assembly

Freedom of expression

Freedom of movement

Participation in public, cultural and political life

Notice board

 

ILGA-Europe

Our Executive Director announces her departure

The team at ILGA-Europe are deeply sad that our beloved ED Evelyne Paradis will be leaving us, but we know she will go on to do more world changing work, after the brilliant job she did leading our team. We know it will be a smooth transition, but this is emotional for us. “I’ve come to my decision with great serenity and calm knowing that ILGA-Europe is in such a solid and healthy position and that everything is in place for the leadership transition to be done smoothly,” says Evelyne Paradis as she announces her decision to step down from her role at ILGA-Europe after 13 years.
Read Evelyne’s letter.
Read ILGA-Europe Board’s response.
 

New call for project proposals: Addressing LGBTI homelessness in the EU

ILGA-Europe published a new call for project proposals addressing LGBTI homelessness in the European Union. With this programme, we’ll be working to enhance and advance the work of LGBTI organisations with considerable existing expertise in the field of homelessness. With this work, we’re seeking to sustain the vital work of understanding the root causes and forms of LGBTI homelessness, and advocate for improving access of LGBTI communities to services and housing in the EU.
Read more and apply before 1 May.
 

New podcast episode on trans inclusion in the women’s movement

Our new episode of The Frontline podcast focuses on the ways in which actors in the women’s movement are actively inclusive of trans women, questions the exclusionary narrative that dominates much of the media, and how this dominant narrative is both being driven by and playing into the hands of anti-democratic forces. With us to investigate the exclusionary narrative and look at it from the more prevalent inclusionary perspective, are Caroline Hickson, Tanya von Knorring and Marion Böker.
Listen to the podcast on your favourite platform.
 

New resource on tackling anti-trans narratives: top tips from trans groups

On 20 March, we published a new report on trans groups’ tips to tackle anti-trans narratives on The Hub, ILGA-Europe’s resource sharing centre. In 2021, 11 trans groups across 14 different countries took part in the Creating Opportunities programme by ILGA-Europe in cooperation with Transgender Europe. First through learning from each other, then from experts in media relations, audience strategy, messaging research and artivism, the participants undertook experiments in responding to the anti-trans narratives spreading across the region.
Read more on the resource card.
 

New Skills Boost session on effective fundraising campaigns in times of crises

On 4 April, we will hold the second Skills Boost session on effective fundraising campaigns targeted at individual donors. These practices are applicable to any campaign but particularly in times of crisis. ILGA-Europe’s Partnerships Manager, Anna Shepherd will answer questions about individual fundraising, both in times of crises and during regular work.
Read more and register for the session.
Read our blog post about fundraising in times of crisis.

Decriminalisation

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights called on Uzbekistan to decriminalise same-sex relations

On 15 March, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk issued a press release after his visit to Uzbekistan. The Commissioner mentioned encouraging legislation to decriminalise same-sex relations, in line with Uzbekistan’s international human rights commitments. He also assured the Uzbek Government about the willingness of his office to assist the country to change its legislation criminalising HIV transmission in all circumstances.
Read more.

Equality and non-discrimination

6 April is the deadline for EU states to support the infringement against Hungary

The European Commission has confirmed that member states still have until 6 April to confirm their written support for the EC infringement procedures against Hungary at the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), targeting the 2021 law discriminating against LGBTI people and the disclaimer imposed on a children’s book regarding LGBTI content. So far 9 member states have given their support to the case.
Read more.
 

ECRI published a new report on Hungary

On 9 March, The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) released a scathing report on Hungary, calling for efforts to address political hate speech, protect the bodily integrity of intersex people, re-instate legal gender recognition, review laws adopted under the “state of emergency” and repeal its so-called “anti-propaganda” law.

Freedom of assembly

One person with LGBTI symbols was detained at the women’s march in Bishkek

On 8 March, people who attempted to join the International Women’s Day march in Bishkek with LGBTI symbols were removed from the march by the police. One of them was detained and later was released, but the police imposed fines on the person for “disobeying the law enforcement”. Hundreds of people marched across Bishkek, the capital city of Kyrgyzstan.

Attacks against LGBTI people following police’s ban on events in Bosnia and Herzegovina

On 18 March, LGBTI activists were violently attacked by a group of hooligans in Banja Luka, the administrative center of Republika Srpska in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The attack happened after local police banned the film screening and a panel discussion about the human rights of LGBTI people, citing security concerns. ILGA-Europe said that “it shows clearly how politicians are inciting hatred against LGBTI people and refusing their international human rights obligations to protect from violence and ensure fundamental freedoms for all people”.

Freedom of expression

A new anti-LGBTI propaganda law has been initiated in Kyrgyzstan

On 17 March, MP Jamila Isaeva of Kyrgyzstan initiated an “anti-LGBTI propaganda” legislation. She proposed to amend the existing law on protecting children from harmful information and expand the definition of “harmful information” as “any information that denies traditional family values, propagates for non-traditional sexual relations, and any information that spreads disrespect to parents and other family members”. The first attempt to introduce a similar bill in 2015 failed as the initiative saw a very strong and united resilience from the LGBTI movement.

Freedom of movement

Bulgaria’s Supreme Court rejects Baby Sara’s Bulgarian citizenship

On 1 March, the application for a Bulgarian birth certificate for a child of two mothers, one of whom is a Bulgarian citizen, was rejected by the country’s Supreme Administrative Court, despite an opposite ruling from The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU). In December 2021, the CJEU ruled that it is contrary to the fundamental rights guaranteed by Articles 7 and 24 of the Charter for Baby Sara to be deprived of the relationship with one of her parents when exercising her right of free movement or for her exercise of that right to be made impossible or excessively difficult on the ground that her parents are of the same sex.

Participation in public, cultural and political life

Zhanar Sekerbayeva became first openly LGBTI candidate in elections in Central Asia

On 19 March, Zhanar Sekerbayeva, co-founder of Feminita and feminist and LGBTI activist ran in municipal elections for the Almaty City Council. This is the first time an openly LGBTI person was a candidate in an election in Central Asia. Her election campaign centred around women’s rights including rights of marginalised women, which she announced at the women’s rally on 8 March. Although she did not secure a seat in the Almaty council, Zhanar’s candidacy was exemplary of the growing visibility of LGBTI people in Kazakhstan.

Notice board

ILGA World launched their database with key data on the human rights situation of LGBTI people worldwide

ILGA World launched their database, an online knowledge base on laws, advocacy opportunities, human rights bodies and news related to sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics worldwide. You will be able to access the information on the Database in two ways: either through each of the areas or, in a cross-cutting way, by jurisdiction. Each of the 193 UN member States and 47 non-UN member jurisdictions have their own profile, where you will find all the information relevant to each of them.
Access the database.

New call for funding for community-based organisations working on HIV combination prevention

European AIDS Treatment Group (EATG) launched a call for applications from community-based organisations in Europe and Central Asia for funding for the translation or production of a community-informed, population-specific informational resource material related to HIV combination prevention. Up to 5000€ (VAT included) of funding is available for community-based organisations working within the field of HIV combination prevention.
Read more and apply before 12 April.

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