NELFA press release 25 June 2019


Rainbow Families in Europe: More acceptance through inclusive laws and more exchange! – Two new studies were just presented at a research event in Brussels



The Network of European LGBTIQ* Families Associations, NELFA, is very pleased to share highly interesting results of recent scientific projects. Both were elaborated with researchers of Belgian universities – PhD Tanja Vuckovic Juros from UC Louvain (Université Catholique de Louvain) and Prof. Salvatore d’Amore from ULB (Université Libre de Bruxelles).

Tanja Vuckovic Juros’ TransNorm project focuses on LGB migrants living across two worlds, one in which they can have legally protected families (Belgium and The Netherlands) and one in which that protection is absent (Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia [Central and Eastern Europe – CEE]). Her qualitive interviews with LGB migrants, their parents and siblings give exciting insights. For example, that the birth of children changed a lot in a positive way while same-sex marriage was sometimes more difficult to accept.

PhD Tanja Vuckovic Juros sums up, “People may change their views on family through exposure to possibilities that were not imaginable before. But this conclusion also warrants one important remark. There is no point in waiting for the ‘people to become ready’ to change exclusionary laws and institutions. These two things come together. The only way to move forward, then, is to create and support laws and institutions that fully recognise and protect non-heterosexual families, wherein individual prejudice is no longer implicitly supported.

Salvatore d’Amore’s recent study (et al.) is entitled “Attitudes towards rainbow couples and families across seven European countries”. The sample involved more than 13.000 participants (students who identify themselves as heterosexual; from Belgium, France, Greece, Italy, Poland, Portugal and Spain). They were asked about their opinions about lesbians and gays (LG), same-sex marriage and parenting. One result is that greater religiosity and more traditional ideas about gender roles were associated with less supportive attitudes.

Prof. Salvatore d’Amore states, “More positive attitudes came with a greater satisfaction in relationships with lesbian and gay people in one’s social network, means: the quality of those relationships was paramount. To increase heterosexual’s support of equal rights, community institutions (schools, colleges, universities, religious communities) should create more opportunities to interact with openly LG people and have positive experiences with them.

Both studies were presented at an event in Brussels on 20th of June 2019, co-organised by Tanja Vuckovic Juros, Homoparentalités and NELFA (Rainbowhouse, Salle Lollepot).

The findings were discussed with high-level stakeholders from different institutions and organisations in Europe (Ruta Simelyte, EU Commission/DG Justice; Liz Gosme, COFACE Families Europe; Slaven Klobučar, Égalité [LGBTI+ staff of EU institutions]; Veneta Limberova, Deystvie Bulgaria; Daniel Martinovic, Dugine obitelji Croatia; Inga Rosinska, Homoparentalités Belgium). Please, follow this link to find more information (and pictures) about the event.


NELFA is the European platform of LGBTIQ* families associations, bringing together LGBTIQ* parents and parents-to-be from all over Europe. NELFA currently represents 37 organisations in 30 European countries with more than 20,000 members. NELFA is a member of ILGA-Europe, Transgender Europe and COFACE Families Europe. Website: Leaflet: Newsletter:

Further contacts:

Eleni Maravelia (President): +34 666 862 034
Björn Sieverding (Vice President): +32 498 70 80 75


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©2021 NELFA aisbl 845937097 - Network of European LGBTIQ* Families Associations - Greetings to all LGBTIQ* families, friends, activists out there.

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