LGBTI equality and human rights in Europe and Central Asia

June 2017


Do you like receiving our Rainbow Digest? You can support ILGA-Europe's work with a donation

No. 262. June 2017. In this issue...




Equality and non-discrimination


Freedom of assembly

Freedom of expression

Hate crime

Hate speech

Legal gender recognition


The situation in Chechnya as it stands

The violence directed at (perceived) gay and bisexual men was carried out with the direct involvement of local authorities, this pressure extended outside the borders of the Chechen Republic, and it led over 100 people to seek assistance from LGBTI organisations. These are just some of the latest observations from the Russian LGBT Network. In addition, several people have fled the country to Lithuania, Germany and a number of other countries for security issues.
Read more here

Make a difference by donating

The cruelties in Chechnya lead many people to question what they can do to support. One thing you can do is to make a donation!  ILGA-Europe opened up a fund to support the victims of the situation in Chechnya. Money will be used to enable people working on the ground directly to help the victims of these violations. We also need you to mobilise – get in action to demand action! Activists all over the world have been standing up, called for action and sent warm solidarity to the victims in Chechnya. We need to keep speaking up.
Read more about what you can do here


Dive into the theme of the Annual Conference 2017

CHANGE! Communities Mobilising, Movements Rising- In this year’s theme we want to see how the success of the equality for LGBTI people depends on the active engagement of the others. During the Conference, we want to explore how we can create a stronger bottom-up movement by strengthening local communities and we want to ask ourselves how we put the needs and strengths of our own community at the centre of our work.
Explore the theme here, and register to join us for thought provoking discussion in Warsaw in November

Will you help bring an activist to ILGA-Europe’s Annual Conference?

Concerned about inclusion and intersectionality in the LGBTI movement? At ILGA-Europe we don’t want these to be just buzz words. We want to include as diverse a pool as activists as possible in the Annual Conference – in terms of region, faith, ethnicity, ability, and social & economic status. You can help us achieve that. Donate to our Diversity Fund today and help us provide a conference scholarship to an activist with fewer opportunities. 
Read more about how you can help here

European Equality Gala 2017 – another success!

The third European Equality Gala was another fabulous success, from captivating speeches to a real buzz on the dancefloor. Our annual fundraising drive is open for another two weeks. This means that anything you donate before 15 July will be matched by generous friends. So seize the opportunity and double your impact.  Join hundreds of others in standing with the European LGBTI movement by making a donation of any size. Your support allows us to react quicker when the rights of LGBTI communities are being violated, provide training to even more activists, and provide grants to activists doing amazing work across Europe. This opportunity closes on 15 July, so act now and double your impact on the European LGBTI movement.
Make a safe online donation now
See pictures from the evening here

New re-granting scheme for the LGBTI movement in Georgia: Stronger movements - Confident steps to social change

ILGA-Europe believe that for positive social, legal and political change to happen in Georgia, the LGBTI movement needs support. This support would mean they could better respond to challenges and opportunities that arise. ILGA-Europe encourage and sustain LGBTI strategic and collaborative advocacy work in Georgia during 2017-2018 through the current re-granting programme and capacity building . Organisations or groups in Georgia who are carrying out activities supporting the rights of LGBTI people are eligible under the current call for applications. Deadline for applications is 6 July 2017 at 18.00 CET.
Read more about the re-granting programme here

Apply for upcoming training: Communicating and framing for social change

ILGA-Europe are inviting you to apply for Communicating and framing for social change, a participatory training to be held on 15-17 September 2017 in Brussels, organised in collaboration with the Public Interest Research Centre (PIRC). In this workshop, you will: Learn about the role of communication, values and framing in social change; Learn new tools for framing and strategic communications, including analysis and creative activities; Explore what this means for your LGBTI groups and organisations (whether in communications, campaigning, fundraising, community organising, working with allies, or advocacy). Deadline for applications is 6 July 2017 at 18.00 CET.
Find more information about the training and how to apply here 


Conference on workplace diversity in Brussels

On 23 June, the 11th Workplace Pride International Conference took place in Brussels. A full programme with workshops on everything from the media's role in increasing workplace diversity, how civil society and businesses can work together, and making sure that no-one gets left behind in the LGBTI inclusion discussion. ILGA-Europe are delighted to have been part of this day of building bridges between organisations representing employers, employees, governments and civil society.
Read more about the conference on the website of Workplace Pride

GAP Turkey branch forced a gay staff member to resign

A gay male staff member in one of GAP’s Istanbul branches was confronted with homophobic pressure and forced to resign.  Turkish LGBTI organisations and activists made a joint statement explaining that the staff member had a high performance for 10 years and got many promotions in the international apparel brand. The statement emphasised that once the sexual orientation of the staff member got known, he had faced mobbing and sexist remarks such as “be a man”.
Read more about the case here
More about Turkey on

Equality and non-discrimination

Conference: Being Roma and LGBTI, at the crossroads of discrimination

On 8-10 June, a conference on “Being a Roma and LGBTI, at the crossroads of discrimination” brought together representatives of the Council of Europe institutions and bodies, regional organisations and NGOs. They discussed the issues of multiple discrimination faced by “minorities within minorities”, namely LGBTI persons within the Roma community who are affected by the cultural clash between sexual orientation and gender identity on the one hand, and Roma traditions and societal expectations governing gender roles, on the other hand. Evelyne Paradis, ILGA-Europe’s Executive Director, was invited to speak as a panel speaker at the conference.
Read more about the conference here

Interparliamentary group on LGBTI Rights to be established in Macedonia

A new interparliamentary group on the human rights of LGBTI people has been established in the parliament of FYR Macedonia. A first meeting of those interested, civil society (including the LGBTI Support Center and the Helsinki Committee of FYR Macedonia), international community and donors was held on 22 June to begin talks about getting this group started, its aims and an action plan. Currently six MPs from different political parties have committed to join this group. Work will continue throughout the summer to identify the best way forward, a model for cooperation with civil society, other allies to join the group, as well as to forge links with the international community. ILGA-Europe was pleased to be present for this landmark meeting to introduce the Rainbow Map tool, to provide links to the EU level, as well as to support both civil society and the interested politicians in kicking off this historic initiative.
More about FYR Macedonia on

New OECD report and dedicated LGBTI web section

OECD has published a paper which presents an overview of the socio-economic situation of LGBTI people, primarily in OECD countries. Also OECD has launched a dedicated section on LGBTI inclusiveness.
Find the report and the LGBTI section here

Calls for project proposals from the European Commission

The European Commission has launched several new calls for NGOs working on non-discrimination and hate crime. Ranging from gender-based violence, to non-discrimination, hate crime, and online hate speech, this might provide for interesting opportunities.
Find the calls here


Germany finally says Ja - Bundestag votes for marriage equality!

New resource: Using family as a frame in social justice activism

In 2016–2017, ten movement leaders and experts from the LGBTI, women’s rights and progressive faith movements charted the use of family in recent years of progressive activism. They engaged with 200+ experts, movement leaders, activists, scholars and grant makers through a survey, a conference and consultations with key organisations. The guide is first and foremost for social justice activists: activists, organisers, leaders in civil society, non-governmental organisations and movements working for human rights, equality and the rule of law.
Read more about the guide here

Reclaiming Family Values Launch Webinar: Learn how to reclaim family values

The webinar will introduce the new guide "Using family as a frame in social justice activism", and show why progressive activists and funders should make family more central in their work. Join on 6 July for 60 interactive minutes with fellow progressive grant makers and activists.
Details: Thursday 6 July, 10:00am (East Coast) / 4:00pm (Central European Time), Duration: 60 minutes, including time for live questions.
Register for the webinar here

Platform created in Romania to support the rights of rainbow families

100 non-governmental organisations, civic movements and citizens from Romania created a platform called "RESPECT. The Platform’s objective is to stop an amendment to the Romanian Constitution that would restrict fundamental rights and liberties by redefining the legal definition of "family." ACCEPT, member of ILGA –Europe is among the initiators of the initiative.
Read more about the platform here
More about Romania on

Freedom of assembly

PrideWatch2017 on Istanbul Pride: ban and arrests

Skopje Pride Weekend a success

On 22 June, at the National Gallery, Skopje Pride Weekend 2017 was officially opened by the Macedonian Minister of Culture. This was the first time that a minister attended and  ILGA-Europe were thrilled to be there for this historic moment as part of #PrideWatch2017. The weekend of cultural events, seminars and performances passed without incident and with record numbers of attendees from both Skopje and beyond.
See more on the website of Skopje Pride Weekend’s Facebook page here
More about FYR Macedonia on

Freedom of expression

Russian ‘propaganda’ law breaches human rights - first judgment of its kind

In a landmark judgment, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has ruled that Russia breached the rights of LGBTI activists, who had complained about the effects of the country’s infamous ‘anti-propaganda’ legislation. This is the first time that the ECtHR has made a ruling in relation to the federal law which bans public statements in relation to ‘sexual minorities’.
Read more about the judgment here
More about Russia on

Hate crime

New resource: Policing Hate Crime against LGBTI persons: Training for a Professional Police Response

The Council of Europe has launched a new manual “Policing Hate Crime against LGBTI persons: Training for a Professional Police Response”.  This manual is designed for police trainers, investigators, managers, hate crime officers and frontline police officers working in countries across the Council of Europe. It builds on Council of Europe standards and its purpose is to provide assistance, information and appropriate tools for conducting trainings on hate crime against LGBTI persons, to help improve law enforcement officials’ substantive knowledge on hate crime against LGBTI people and strengthen their capacity and practical skills to investigate such hate crimes.
Read more about the manual here

Come Forward: Empowering and Supporting Victims of Anti–LGBT Hate Crimes

Bringing together NGOs and official partners to tackle hate crime against LGBT persons – this is the aim of the transnational project Come Forward, implemented in 10 European countries by a group of 22 organisations. ILGA-Europe is an associated partner in the project. In June, the project website was launched. It features sections on activities and resources developed in the project. It will provide access to information about the delivery of 44 in–country trainings, publications and other information.
Read more about the project here

Legal gender recognition

Two trans men obtain legal gender recognition in Lithuania

In April and May, two Lithuanian trans men successfully defended their right to legal gender recognition. On 7 April, the Vilnius City District Court obliged the Vilnius Civil Registry to change personal identification documents by applicant M.V. with the view of obtaining legal gender recognition without undergoing the compulsory gender reassignment surgery. On 2 May, the same Court ruled that the Vilnius Civil Registry should change the gender marker and personal identification number for the applicant T. K.
Read more on the website of LGL