Rainbow Digest June 2022

530 detainees in Prides in Turkey, anti-LGBTI bill in Romania, 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. 321. June 2022. In this issue…

ILGA-Europe

#UkraineLGBTI

Data collection

Equality and non-discrimination

Family

Freedom of assembly

Freedom of expression

Freedom of movement

Hate crime

Institutional support

Sexual and reproductive rights

Notice board

 

ILGA-Europe

We are looking for a new Grants and Finance Officer

Are you interested in making and managing grants, and supporting LGBTI groups in Europe and Central Asia in building financial management skills? We are hiring for a position of a Grants and Finance Officer. This role merges financial operations and expense verification tasks with capacity building and administration. Remuneration starts from 51 459€ to 57 397€ per year, gross. We also provide a great set of benefits (incl. many aiming at supporting staff who face intersectional exclusions), and manage the work permit process for non-EU citizens.
Read more and apply before 31 August.
Read more about working at ILGA-Europe.
 

We held our Equality Fundraiser 2022

On 28 June, ILGA-Europe hosted our Equality Fundraiser 2022 in Brussels bringing supporters and allies together in solidarity with the LGBTI equality movement in Europe and Central Asia. All funds raised on ticket sales and during the night will go directly towards providing emergency grants to frontline activists in response to the war in Ukraine.
If you missed our Fundraiser event, you can still donate.
 

We launched our brand-new website

On 14 June, after 18 months of planning and work, we introduced our brand-new website. Working together with SOLOS, a communication and image agency based in Portugal, we re-imagined the structure and design of our site to streamline the access to information, express in simpler but more dynamic ways the complex work we do, be closer to visitors and make them feel part of the ILGA-Europe community, and to be connected to and useful for our 600-plus membership organisations across Europe and Central Asia, and other LGBTI activists and allies.
Read more.

#UkraineLGBTI

UN identifies LGBTI people as a group specifically affected by the war in Ukraine

Working alongside ILGA-Europe, the UN High Commissioner for Refugee has published recommendations for humanitarian actors working with LGBTI people affected by the war in Ukraine. ILGA-Europe have worked together with the UN, via its Protection Cluster Ukraine, on a list of recommendations for humanitarian actors and service providers working with people affected by the war in Ukraine, so they can better understand and address the risks faced by LGBTI people staying or fleeing the country.
Read more about the recommendations on our blog.

Data collection

Britons are not polarised over trans equality, study finds

On 16 June, a British research agency More in Common released their new study “Britons and Gender Identity,” an in-depth analysis of the British public’s attitudes to gender identity and trans equality. Based on polling of more than 5,000 people and 20 focus groups, the report finds that the divisive debate is out of sync with the public’s approach to the issue – with only 2 percent thinking ‘the debate about transgender people’ is one of the most important issues facing the country.

Equality and non-discrimination

The anti-discrimination bill is adopted by the Lower Chamber of the Tajik Parliament

After nearly 3 years of nontransparent behind-the-curtain discussions, the Lower Chamber of the Parliament of Tajikistan finally voted for the Bill on Equality and Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination known as the anti-discrimination bill. The early drafts did include sexual orientation and gender identity as protected grounds. It is unclear if SOGIESC is kept in the final text of the bill. Experts and local activists speculate that SOGIESC was removed from the final version. The draft bill was never made accessible for public debates and even now, after the Lower Chamber of the Parliament adopted it, the text of the bill is yet to be published. It is the first anti-discrimination bill in the entire Central Asian region which expands the definition of discrimination in the national legislation according to local media outlets.
 

Organisations worldwide are urging the United Nations to renew IE SOGI

On 17 June, over 1117 civil society organisations from 134 States and Territories delivered a joint global statement calling for the renewal of the mandate of the UN Independent Expert on violence and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI). “A decision by Council Members to renew this mandate would send a clear message that violence and discrimination against people of diverse sexual orientations and/or gender identities cannot be tolerated,” the coalition said in their statement.


Family

Uzbekistan may restrict marriage as a union between man and woman

Uzbekistan is undergoing constitutional reform. At a recent session of the Committee on drafting the amendments to the Constitution, a Member of the Uzbek Parliament Tulkinjon Karimov proposed to specify marriage as a union uniquely between a man and a woman. This proposal was also supported by another MP Alisher Qodirov. In his speech on 21 June the Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev also mentioned this as one of the proposed amendments to the Constitution. In the current version of the Constitution the article 63 does not specify any gender and simply states that “marriage is based on the free will and equality of the sides”. Similar norms were introduced into the Constitution of neighbouring Kyrzgystan in 2017. Meanwhile consensual sexual relations between men in Uzbekistan remain criminalised.


Freedom of assembly

At least 530 people were detained in Pride events in Turkey

On 10 June, the students and academics at the METU planned to organise a Pride March on their campus, which was unlawfully banned by the rectorate, and was dispersed by police using teargas and rubber bullets. 38 students were arrested. Planned for 26 June, the Istanbul Pride March was also banned by local authorities and was repressed by police. 373 participants were detained and kept in custody for a night. The same day, 12 were detained at Izmir Pride. According to Kaos GL, there have been 10 official bans and at least 530 detainees during this year’s Pride Month. (Photo by Kaos GL)

Freedom of expression

New draft bill in Romania copies Hungarian anti-LGBTI law

The Romanian Chamber of Deputies is currently deliberating on a draft bill, already tacitly adopted by the Senate in May, which would ban “dissemination by any means of content on deviation from sex at birth or popularization of sex change, or homosexuality” among minors in any environment, such as “family, educational institutions, medical, protection, crime investigation and rehabilitation/detention, internet, media, places of work, sports, community, etc”. This draft law contains a number of amendments which discriminate against LGBTI people. In addition to banning dissemination of information about LGBT people to minors, it aims to freeze the identity of the child, with all its elements, until the age of 18. The bill is similar to the Hungarian law which attracted negative opinions by the Venice Commission, the Human Rights Commissioner of the Council of Europe, 18 EU Member States, numerous EU bodies, institutions and policy makers, and is also similar to another bill that was declared unconstitutional by the Romanian Constitutional Court in December 2020.

Freedom of movement

Complaint filed with EC against lack of free movement for same-sex couples in Hungary

On 7 June, on the occasion of the 4th anniversary of the 2018 CJEU’s Coman Judgement, we and Hungarian LGBTI organisation, Háttér Society filed a complaint to the European Commission because of Hungary’s non-compliance with the judgement. With a complaint already pending on Romania because it has not implemented the 2018 ruling, and is thus disrespecting EU law, proof has also been provided that Hungary also continues to ignore the judgement and is prohibiting freedom of movement for same-sex couples.

Hate crime

European Court ruled that Bulgaria had an inadequate legal response to homophobic murder

On 14 June, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) released a judgement in the case of Stoyanova v. Bulgaria, finding that Bulgaria had an inadequate legal response to a homophobic murder, hence there is no legal protection in the Criminal Code that includes sexual orientation as aggravating factor. The Court found a violation of Article 14 (prohibition of discrimination) taken together with Article 2 (right to life). ILGA-Europe called on the Bulgarian authorities to introduce hate crime and hate speech laws that explicitly cover all bias-motivated crimes based on sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, and sex characteristics.
 

Oslo Pride Parade was cancelled following an attack at an LGBTI bar

On 25 June, a gunman killed two people and injured 21 at an LGBTI bar on the day the city was due to celebrate its annual Pride Parade. The Pride organising group FRI cancelled all events under the auspices of Oslo Pride following a recommendation from the Oslo police. ILGA-Europe shared a message of solidarity with all Norway’s LGBTI community, and the organisers of Oslo Pride, with a message “You are not alone”.
Read more.

Institutional support

Foreign missions’ support increase in Kyrgyzstan

More and more diplomatic missions of EU countries, US and Canada are publicly showing support to the LGBTI community in Kyrgyzstan in the month of Pride. Following the EU Delegation’s statement on May 17, the US Embassy in Kyrgyzstan showed its support to LGBTI people and LGBTI human rights defenders in Kyrgyzstan in June, along with the UK Embassy. This is an unprecedented display of solidarity among certain diplomatic missions in publicly demonstrating support to LGBTI in Kyrgyzstan despite the overwhelming anti-LGBTI discourse in the country.

Sexual and reproductive rights

Joint statement on protecting abortion access in Europe

On 29 June, ILGA-Europe joined the Center for Reproductive Rights, alongside many other organisations calling on European decision makers to remove impediments in access to abortion care. The statement follows the United States Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade, thereby dismantling the US constitutional right to abortion.

Notice board

OHCHR hires for two Human Rights Officer positions

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) is hiring for two Human Rights Officer positions, on the human rights of LGBTI people. These are two fixed term posts based in Geneva. A minimum of five years of progressively responsible experience in human rights, political affairs, international relations, law or related area is required.
Read more and apply before 6 August.

ESWA launches online training toolkit for youth sexual health advocates

On 6 July, European Sex Workers Rights Alliance (ESWA), along with the European AIDS Treatment Group (EATG), and Legebitra will host a webinar to present their e-MPOWER online toolbox for youth-focused online sexual health training programmes. Contents include 20 public materials that are recent, accurate and inclusive in respect to the sexual health and rights of sex workers, people living with HIV, and LGBTQI+ persons.
Read more and register for the launch webinar.