Rainbow Rose has been officially part of the Party of European Socialists (PES) family since 2006. It was an initiative led by Tijs Broeke and Joyce Hamilton from the PvdA LGBT network.
In the late 90s and in the first half of the current decade, several groups of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) leftwing activists started to cooperate, while the first civil partnership and marriage laws were adopted throughout Europe.
Since then, progress has been achieved in many countries across Europe, always with the strong back, and often under the leadership, of socialists and social democratic parties and governments.
(Previous Rainbow Rose logo)
From 2006 onwards new EU countries such as the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovenia also adopted the recognition of civil partnerships which Rainbow Rose played an active role in championing at a European level.
At the same time Rainbow Rose and its members have raised awareness on crucial issues such as the right of transgender people to be free from medical harassment and for gender transition to be recognised across Europe.
The 2009 European election campaigns was an important step in the long road for equality, with Rainbow Rose playing an active part to support candidates who committed to championing LGBTI rights, this included a particular focus on raising awareness and support for a shadow directive against all discrimination in all sectors of social and economic life, and committed to improve the mutual recognition of all kinds of registered couples and families in Europe.
This resulted in unanimous support from the PES for the directive
After a number of years inactive, Rainbow Rose was re-launched at a meeting in Marseille at the Europe Pride 2013, co-hosted by HES (French LGBTI sector the French Socialist Party (PS).
30 LGBTI socialist activists from 12 countries gathered and it was decided to create a committee and work programme to build Rainbow Rose.
Rainbow Rose official adopted its statutes and procedures at its General Assembly (GA) in 2013 in Brussels.
At the GA in 2013 PES Women President Zita Gurmai said:
“We have to make sure LGBTI groups are on the right side, – which is the left side. Discrimination, in so many areas of life needs to be ended, which will take time, but there is a way to speed it up, to make it happen sooner rather than later. We need a PES Commission President and we need more LGBTI MEP’s in the S&D group to make our voices even louder. Rainbow Rose will be key to this.”
The 16 funding LGBTI structures that made up Rainbow Rose committed to fight against all types of discrimination based on sexuality, gender and identity and adopted a programme to campaign for LGBTI rights at the 2014 EU Elections.
Rainbow Rose’s Statutes (PDF) are registered under French association law (1901).