Newsletter 3/2016

Words from Secretary General

We relaunched Rainbow Rose three years ago. Hard, inspiring and volunteering work brought our organization to be the most important and influential LGBTI political organization. And this is possible because of teamwork, within our political family but also together with our important networks all along Europe. Everyone one of you and all together we make the fight for a better and equal Europe which worths to live in.

Saludos socialista,
Jose A. Santoro
Secretary General of Rainbow Rose

Malta at forefront of progressive push for LGBT rights

Read our joint press release with Sergei Stanishev President of the Party of European Socialists and Zita Gurmai President of PES Women for ‪#‎IDAHOT2016‬ highlighting the great work of Maltese PM Joseph Muscat and its government and other progressive reforms by our sister parties. Also another opportunity to highlight the LGBTI paper by Socialists and Democrats Group in the European Parliament.

13235386_1026266474117422_79122587840864697_oEuropean Parliament: adoption of S&D LGBT-paper

Have a look to the ambitious position paper by the Socialists and Democrats Group in the European Parliament on LGBTI topics! An important position within our political family reminding that LGBTI rights are still at the top of our agenda and there is still a lot to be done at EU level, and at other level of government. It is the result of a great collaboration with Rainbow Rose and all the MEPs and the leadership and staff of the S&D group!

European Parliament: Training delivered to S&D assistants and secretariat

joelOn 29 April, Rainbow Rose delivered a training on gender and LGBTI people’s rights to 20 S&D Group advisors and MEP assistants. The leading NGOs ILGA-Europe and TGEU took part to the training, which focused on the gender dimension of LGBTI people’s experience of discrimination and LGBTI rights activism. A special attention was paid to the development of a full understanding of the situation of trans people in Europe.

IDAHOT Forum in Copenhagen

IDAHOT (International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia) European Conference took place in Copenhagen. This year’s topic has been Social Acceptance and Labour Market for LGBTI people. This high level political conference brought together European Ministers, European Institutions and NGOs to debate and exchange about LGBTI policies.

ILGA Europe presented the Rainbow Europe Map for 2016 which gives the first position to Malta for the great progress and good policies implemented in the country. We are proud of the work made by the Labour (PES) Minister Helena Dalli with the strong support of idahotthe Prime Minister Joseph Muscat.

Rainbow Rose also met with MP Mogens Jensen at the Danish Parliament, former Minister and Deputy Chairman from 2015 of Socialdemokraterne (PES). Mogens has been very involved and is a strong supporter of Rainbow Rose for many years now!

The Dutch Minister for Education and Culture Jet Bussemaker from PvDA (PES) also attended the conference as representative of the current Dutch presidency of the Council (member states).

We also had the chance to exchange points of view and listen to the demands of Danish NGO’s representatives. They have a long history on the fight for LGBTI rights.

The Finnish maternity law citizen initiative

aitiysRainbow Rose with Finnish S&D MEPs demanded a change of the Finnish maternity law. The national Citizen Initiative proposes that a new Maternity Law should be passed, in connection to that, small changes to the existing laws are proposed, in order to accommodate the new Maternity Law. The citizen initiative collected more than 50 000 signatures and therefore it will be pushed forward to the parliament.

This new law would secure the rights of the other mother in the same sex relationships, where a child is conceived via fertility treatment. It would also secure the child’s legal status with the other mother, would there be any medical complications with the birth mother. Read more on our press release.

Finally compensation to forced sterilization in Sweden  

For a long time compulsory sterilization was mandatory in Sweden for those who underwent gender reassignment treatment, which stopped in 2013.

“Since then the Social Democrats in parliament demanded a public apology and financial compensation for those affected”, said Sören Juvas, President of HBTS.

“It is a shame for a democratic country like Sweden to perform sterilizations. I am happy and proud that our government is now officially apologizing and is providing financial compensation, although it can never excuse what was made”, says Jonas Gunnarsson, National Member of Parliament and General Rapporteur on the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in the Council of Europe.

Lithuanian LSDP 120th anniversary 1st of May

Rainbow Rose was represented by Mia Sundelin, our vice president, at the Party congress. Unfortunately we felt very unwelcomed and it was not possible to address properly the LGBTI issues and more broadly human rights topics. We also met with enthusiastic activists from the party willing to set up a LGBT group, but blocked by the latviaparty leadership. The party congress also adopted a family part which includes a very conservative definition of family, more conservative than in its previous manifesto, sending a wrong signal for LGBT persons in Lithuania. Mia also met with LGL (National Lithuanian LGBT organisation) in order to prepare our presence in the next Baltic Pride (18 June).

Rainbow Rose visited HBT-Socialdemokrater and West Pride in Gothenburg

Last weekend Rainbow Rose board visited the Swedish Social democratic LGBT network (HBTS) in Gothenburg. We used the time for a Rainbow Rose board meeting in order to prepare the upcoming events and work. We also had an inspiring joint-boards meeting with HBTS, where we worked in small groups on different topics.

13450051_10209129903661010_8331068726179878312_nOn Saturday afternoon our president Aurélien and our vice-president Mia took part in a panel discussion on LGBT and Europe together with Jonas Gunnarsson (Swedish MP and LGBT rapporteur in the Council of Europe) at the Pride Park. Afterwards Rainbow Rose was warmly welcomed at the party office of the Social Democrats in Gothenburg. The mayor Ann-Sofie Hermansson and the minister for infrastructure Anna Johansson talked about how the situation in Gothenburg totally changed – now being the most LGBTI friendly city in Sweden.

On Sunday there was the big parade of West Pride. Rainbow Rose marched and demonstrated together with the Social Democrats, HBTS, the Social democratic youth and the Unions.

It was a successful weekend for both Rainbow Rose and HBTS – again thanks a lot to them for the fantastic hospitality!

Tragic shooting in Orlando, Florida

Our thoughts are with the victims of orlandoOrlando who suffered the worst result of other’s fear, hate and intolerance against the LGBTI community. More to come on this topic in our next newsletter.

Upcoming events

24-26 June: Istanbul Pride

We are supporting banned demonstration and Turkish LGTB activists and NGO’s with a Social Democrat delegation.

8-9 July: S&D Conference in Torino

Organized by Daniele Viotti and participation on Torino Pride.

23 July – 7 August Euro Pride, Amsterdam

Rainbow Rose and PvDA/Pinknetwerk will organise a conference on Friday 5th of August and the parade with our comrades on the boat on Saturday the 6th of August.

Save the Date – Rainbow Rose GA in Paris from 4th to 6th November 2016!

Thanks to our member structure HES for hosting the upcoming general assembly of Rainbow Rose in Paris, France.rrga16