In our latest Podcast, BBC LGBT Correspondent, Ben Hunte sat down with us to talk about the relationship between the media and LGBTI issues, why some stories get all the attention to the detriment of others, the rise of anti-trans voices in newspapers and broadcasting, and ways we might get the real diversity of LGBTI stories picked up. Read more, and listen below!

Ben Hunte was appointed the first ever BBC News LGBT Correspondent in 2019

Ben Hunte is having a problem with his rescue dog, Roxy. We’re sitting down to record an interview over Zoom, Ben talking from his London apartment, and there’s a slurping noise going on in the background.


As Hungary introduces a draconian new anti-LGBTI law, ILGA-Europe have been receiving a huge volume of requests for information about how to support the Hungarian LGBTI community in the face of such a ruthless attack on their fundamental rights and freedoms. Here we list five concrete things you can do to support LGBTI people in the first EU country to introduce Russian style anti-propaganda legislation.

Viktor Orbán, Prime Minister of Hungary. Credit: European Parliament

Today, the 8 July 2021, the new anti-LGBT legislation comes into force in Hungary. This legislation bans the “portrayal and the promotion of gender identity different from sex at birth, the change of sex and homosexuality” for persons under 18 in the Child Protection Act, the Act on Business Advertising Activity, the Media Act, the Family Protection Act and the Public Education Act (see more in our June press release).

The reaction has been widespread, with condemnations from all parts of society, as well as international and European institutional voices speaking out against it. At ILGA-Europe, we have been receiving…

In moments like these, where even our former allies are using us to advance their own political goals, pride and its value become ever clearer.

Photo: Margaux Bellott / Unsplash

Pride is protest and a celebration of our diversity. This June has brought a complex moment into focus — with a pride march returning to Warsaw just days after Hungary passed an “anti-propaganda” law banning the teaching of anything LGBTI-related in schools, as one governing party in Spain re-took control of the legal gender recognition law reform process from a politician who blocked the process for months and herself holds so-called “gender critical” views and a storm of online hate rocks LGBTI activists in Albania, and as the grip of the pandemic loosens in some parts of the region while…

The Hungarian parliament has recently passed an anti-LGBTI bill censoring communication about LGBTI people to under-18s. This means that LGBTI-related content will be banned in schools and children’s media, and from public spaces. Viktor Orban’s government claims this bill will protect children, but the truth is that it’s an attack on children’s rights as well as the rights of LGBTI people. Here’s why.

Credit: Taylor Heery / Unsplash

Since June 15 2021, when Hungary adopted new legislation censoring communication about LGBTI people to minors, strong reactions and support for LGBTI communities have come from all around the world. The President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen called Hungary’s new bill “a shame” and promised punitive action. European Commissioners for Justice and the Internal Market sent a letter to the Hungarian Justice Minister, raising concerns over the potential breach of the EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights.

While the statements by heads of states and Ursula von der Leyen, as well as the official letter by the European…

The COVID-19 pandemic and the political responses to it have hit already beleaguered LGBTI asylum seekers in Europe particularly hard. We report on the alarming impact.

Credit: Kyle Glenn / Unsplash

“The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted everyone, but not everyone has been impacted has been impacted in the same way,” said moderator Luna Liboni at the opening of the first panel of the ‘COVID-19 and Queer Asylum Symposium’ on April 29. This is particularly true in the case of LGBTIQ persons seeking asylum and refugees in Europe, a community who already faced a double stigma and discrimination in host countries before the health crisis started.

“The EU has been too slow in the context of COVID-19,” said Professor of Law Nuno Ferreira at the symposium. …

On 5 June 2018, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) issued a landmark judgement against Romania, recognising that the term spouse includes same-sex spouses under EU freedom of movement laws. Three years later, Clai Hamilton, spouse of Romanian citizen Adrian Coman, has not been granted residency yet. Now they’ve brought the case to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). Here, Adrian Coman talks about the original case, and his hopes with this latest development.

Adrian Coman and Clai Hamilton. Photo by Rudolf Costin

When Adrian Coman and Clai Hamilton first met, they did not know that the love they’d found would ultimately change the lives of rainbow families in the European Union. In 2010, while working at the European Parliament in Belgium, Adrian married Clai, a US citizen living in Brussels. Two years later, they decided to move and settle together in Adrian’s home country of Romania.

However, the Romanian authorities chose not to follow EU laws and refused to recognise their marriage, so Clai was not able to apply for a residence permit. Almost a decade on, the situation remains the same.

To mark #InternationalSexWorkersDay on June 2, we talked to Sabrina Sánchez, trans migrant sex worker based in Spain, on her journey, the pandemic and why sex workers rights are central to the LGBTI movement.

Courtesy of Sabrina Sánchez

Sabrina Sánchez can say she’s mostly happy. Happy and tired. Last month, she attended the Trans United Europe conference in Amsterdam, supported by the No One Left Behind fund from ILGA-Europe. Just before our conversation she was at another meeting and later on the same day, she’s participating in an event organised by the Primavera Sound festival in Barcelona, the topic is “this sort of gentrification of sex workers’ aesthetics in music”. Finally, the Spanish Supreme Court has recently recognised the right of sex workers to unionise, thanks to the pledge of Spain’s Sex Workers Organisation (OTRAS). …

Published on May 17, ILGA-Europe’s Rainbow Europe Map & Index 2021 reveals a disturbing stand-still on LGBTI human rights across Europe. But what are the reasons for this deadlock, small advancements and worrying regressions, and navigate more maps on LGBTI rights in the region.

ILGA-Europe’s Rainbow Europe Map 2021

For the first time since ILGA-Europe published its first Rainbow Map in 2009, which benchmarks every European country on the legal and policy situation of LGBTI people, we have seen no positive change in 70% of the region.

The reasons behind the stand-still

It would be easy to blame COVID-19 for the almost complete lack of legal progress, but the reality is far more complex. Although the global health crisis has certainly played a role, we already reported a growing stagnation of LGBTI rights last year, before the pandemic spread in Europe. Besides, it was clarified in Europe that a difficult health context shouldn’t be…

Across Europe, the rights of rainbow families are divergent, yet every European country has one thing in common: legal protection for LGBTI parents and their children is stalling. To mark International Day of Families 2021, we look at the situations and challenges for rainbow families across the region.

Photo credit: Robin Worrall / Unsplash

“Rainbow families exist whether you like it or not,” says Bjorn Sieverding from the Network of European LGBTIQ Families (NELFA) in one of our latest podcast episodes, from a season we created about rainbow family rights in Europe. Over the last 30 years, legal recognition of rainbow families has hugely advanced, but usually in the face of strong opposition. …

As ILGA-Europe launches a re-granting programme to strengthen the capacities of European and Central Asian LGBTI organisations in the current landscape of rising anti-LGBTI forces, we share three core tactics to develop in the face of groups who strategically attack our rights and lives.

Photo credit: Unsplash / Brian Kyed

Anti-LGBTI forces are diverse and widespread, and yet largely united in their efforts to limit the rights of, encourage discrimination against, and negatively affect the day-to-day lives of LGBTI people. Their tactics are instantly recognisable: spreading harmful misinformation about LGBTI people and their lives; initiating and feeding into smear campaigns against LGBTI activists; attacking funding of LGBTI movement; campaigning against progressive laws; and lobbying for discriminatory policy and legislation. And that’s just some of their strategies.

As a result, activists across Europe and Central Asia are dealing with waves of anti-LGBTI attacks on an everyday basis. They face it when…


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