NELFA input

BRUSSELS, 15 December 2018: Reseacher Roberta Messina (ULB) has been awarded at a conference in Canada for her recent study concerning same-sex adoptive families. NELFA’s member organisations Galehi, Homoparentalités and apgl contributed to the study. Read more of her findings here (in English) or here (in French). (photo: Roberta Messina).

BRUSSELS, 12 October 2018: ILGA-Europe, TGEU, and OII Europe have just published the second review report of the Council of Europe Recommendation on LGBT Rights. The Recommendation was established in 2010 and first reviewed in 2013. You can read both summary report and individual country reports here. NELFA contributed to the document and endorses the complete work. (picture: ILGA-Europe)

GENEVA, 09 October 2018: The IFED Network launched the new Annual Report of the International Family Equality Day 2018. The 7th IFED was held last may in 48 countries and 111 cities. The motto was “Children’s Rights Matter” and drew attention to the dire fact that in most parts of the world, children with LGBTIQ* parents do not enjoy the same rights as children in traditional families. (photo: IFED Network).

STRASBOURG, 19 September 2018: The Committee on Equality and Non-Discrimination (Council of Europe, CoE) just approved a fantastic report and preliminary draft resolution for the Parliamentary Assembly (debate to be expected on 10th of October). It claims on full support for rainbow families in all CoE Member States!! Read more here.

VIENNA, 29 August 2018: EU citizens have the right to move freely from country to country, but in practice pitfalls exist when it comes to receiving residence permits or social assistance, finds the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA). The latest report presents a comparative overview of the application of the Free Movement Directive (2004/38/EC) across the 28 Member States based on a review of select case law at national level.

COLOGNE, 02 August 2018: NELFA’s full member LSVD in Germany published a new training manual, entitled “Sind nicht alle Familien bunt?” (translation: “All families are colourful, aren’t they?”). The document is one result of a common project with the Federal Ministry of Family Affairs. It serves to support qualified personnel to deal with rainbow families adequately and to provide expert advice. You can download the manual here (in German).

LOS ANGELES, 19 July 2018: According to a new study (Nanette Gartrell, Williams Institute California), young adults raised by lesbian moms show the same mental well-being as those who grew up with heterosexual parents. The findings (New England Journal of Medicine), come from the largest, longest-running study to track development of kids in “planned lesbian families” (since the 1980s!).

NASHVILLE, 11 July 2018: Christopher Carpenter and his research team (Vanderbilt University, USA) have documented evidence that legalising same-sex marriage has improved access to health care for gay men in a study released as a National Bureau of Economic Research working paper. This is one of the first studies to examine the effect legal marriage has on the health of LGBT individuals. Read more here.

ROME, 28 June 2018: A new study (by Prof. Roberto Baiocco, PhD, and colleagues of Sapienza University of Rome) reveals that children raised by LGBTIQ* parents are just fine. And that gay fathers seem to be particularly good! Read more here.

LISBON, May 2018: Ana Macedo from Portugal is a mother of FIVE children and recently published her own rainbow families website, entitled “OurKidsAreAllright“. It is really a huge work! Ana is still searching for input, for example from gay dads! If you have any idea to contribute, please write an Email directly to:

LOS ANGELES, 18 April 2018: The Williams Institute is dedicated to conducting independent research on sexual orientation and gender identity law and public policy. This time, researchers analysed findings from several surveys to develop the LGBT Global Acceptance Index. The work is entitled “Polarized Progress: Social Acceptance of LGBT People in 141 Countries”. Read more here.

LEIDEN, March 2018: Kees Waaldijk is professor of comparative sexual orientation and one editor of the comprehensive LawsAndFamilies Database. He produced the connected publication “Extending rights, responsibilities and status to same-sex families: trends across Europe” for an important conference in Copenhagen (Council of Europe), with the participation of two NELFA delegates – Jesús Santos and his 15 year-old son Gabriel.

VIENNA, 18 January 2018: The European Union Agency For Fundamental Rights (FRA) published a new report, entitled “Challenges facing civil society organisations working on human rights in the EU”. It acknowledges that the issue of shrinking civil society space is widespread. The report gives a range of practical suggestions on how the Member States can better the situation.

LOS ANGELES, 27 November 2017: International experts released an important supplement to the groundbreaking Yogyakarta Principles (drafted in 2006), a universal guide to human rights related to sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics (SOGIESC) which applies to all United Nations member states. Find the Yogyakarta Principles Plus 10 here.

WARSAW, 3 November 2017: NELFA’s full member Sateenkaariperheet (seated in Helsinki) recently elaborated a first comprehensive survey concerning the well-being of Finnish children and adolescents (7-18 years old) who live with LGBTIQ* parents. The findings are (expectedly) positive. An abstract was presented by Sateenkaariperheet’s Executive Director Juha Jämsä in Warsaw. Find the corresponding document on NELFA’s website.

NEW YORK, 27 October 2017: Vitit Muntarbhorn, the first Independent Expert on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, who recently resigned for illness and family reasons, presented his 2nd report at the UN General Assembly. He stated that LGBTIQ* “people around the world are suffering horrific violations of their human rights and immediate action is needed to stop it.” Read more.

MELBOURNE, 23 October 2017: The Medical Journal of Australia published a comprehensive study which dismantled a key argument of the anti-marriage campaign in Australia that children require both a mother and a father to succeed. The review found children raised in rainbow families did as well as their peers. Read more here. AND… find another (positive) US survey on the following website.

STRASBOURG, 12 October 2017: The Council of Europe (CoE) has adopted a resolution on the human rights of intersex people (the first one of its kind). It was based on a detailed report by rapporteur Piet de Bruyn. Read the press release here. (Fittingly, Germany’s Federal Constitutional Court ruled that there must be a third gender option for birth registration). Read more here. (Photo: CoE)

BRUSSELS, 9 October 2017: A new study found that LGBTIQ* people still experience inequality and discrimination in the healthcare sector. Researches, experts, and activists in LGBTIQ* health conducted a state-of-the-art review study and 12 focus groups in six Member States in the context of the EU funded pilot project Health4LGBTI. Read more about the findings here.

LEXINGTON, 16 August 2017: A new study of Rachel H. Farr (psychologist) found that there are “no significant” differences in adoptive families with heterosexual or LGBTIQ* parents. The university writes, “Informative to ongoing debates about same-sex parenting, our findings indicate that among children reared by lesbian, gay, and heterosexual parents, gender-typing appears to be similar”. Read more here. (Photo: University of Kentucky)

BRUSSELS, 15 June 2017: Ten movement leaders and experts charted the use of family in recent years of progressive activism. The result of a survey, a conference and consultations with key organisations (NELFA was also involved) is a new guide for activists and funders under the motto: “Using family as a frame in social justice activism”.

LEIDEN, 19 April 2017: The trend of legal recognition for gay and lesbian couples in Europe is broadening. More and more rights are becoming available to same-sex partners. These are the main findings of the research led by Kees Waaldijk, Leiden University’s professor of comparative sexual orientation law. Parenting rights remain more controversial. All this and much more has now been documented in the LawsAndFamilies Database.

GENEVA 19 April 2017: The first Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, Vitit Muntarbhorn, has provided the advance edited version of his initial report to the Human Rights Council. Its resonant message is “diversity in humanity, humanity in diversity”. Read the current OHCHR document here.

MINNEAPOLIS, 7 December 2016: The National Council on Family Relations (NCFR) published a new policy brief, entitled “Lesbian and Gay Parents and their children” (written by Charlotte J. Patterson and Abbie E. Goldberg). It provides an overview of findings from social science research, as well as recommendations for policies to help lesbian and gay (LG) parent families to thrive. Read it here.

CAMBRIDGE, 23 January 2017: Susan Golombok, Director of the Centre for Family Research at the University of Cambridge published (with others) a new study: “Parenting and the Adjustment of Children Born to Gay Fathers Through Surrogacy”. And one key result is: “Overall, the study found the children of both gay fathers and lesbian mothers to show high levels of psychological adjustment and to have positive relationships with their parents”.

BRUSSELS, 2 February 2017: The European Parliament adopted a report (533+, 41-) demanding the automatic recognition of domestic adoption orders across EU Member States. The report stipulates that the recognition should happen without discrimination, including on the basis of the parents’ sexual orientation. You will find the full report here, and the statements of the European Parliament’s Intergroup on LGBT Rights here.

STRASBOURG, 14 February 2017: The European Parliament adopted a report containing multiple recommendations relevant to the mental health and well-being of LGBTIQ* people. The “Becerra Report” expresses the need for an ambitious new gender-sensitive strategy on mental health, promoting a holistic psychosocial all-of-society approach. Read the full report here and corresponding statements of Transgender Europe (TGEU) and ILGA-Europe.

NEW YORK, 14 September 2016: The newspaper “New York Times” published very interesting data concerning same-sex couples. They call it “The most detailed map of Gay Marriage in America”. The study found, for example, that there is one group whose incomes are far above the rest: same-sex married men with children. Read more of these data here.

BRUSSELS, 19 September 2016: In a report on the implementation of the EU’s Employment Equality Directive, the European Parliament has called for further measures to improve the protection of LGBTIQ* people at work… to “ensure the mutual recognition of partnership status, matrimonial regimes and parenting rights”. Read more here.

STUTTGART, 30 September – 2 October: The German LGBTIQ* organisation LSVD/ILSE group Baden-Württemberg organised a Rainbow Family Seminar with about 145 participants (90 adults and 55 children). NELFA Board member Lisa Green also took part in this event. And it’s a great example for best practice. Have a look at their wonderful detailed documentation with nice pics.

STOCKHOLM, September-October 2016: The FamiliesAndSocieties research project ends in January 2017. The Final Conference was already held, in Brussels on October 18. The coordinator, Stockholm University, provides a website with recent studies or “working papers”. One of them is named: “Sexual orientation, family and kinship in France, Iceland, Italy and Spain”. Read more here.

LEXINGTON (USA), October 2016: University of Kentucky assistant professor of psychology Rachel H. Farr has studied different aspects of family life among heterosexual, gay and lesbian parents and their adopted children. Farr’s most recent research results provides further support that children adopted by lesbian and gay parents are well-adjusted. Read a detailed summary here.

GENEVA, 18 October 2016: ILGA shared the second round of results of the “ILGA-RIWI Global Attitudes Survey on LGBTI People” in partnership with Logo. This is a survey to gather credible data (answers from 96,331 online individuals in 65 countries) on public attitudes to particular issues related to sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression worldwide. It is the largest investigation of attitudes towards LGBTI people ever conducted. Read the document here.

GENEVA, 24 November 2016: The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) published a new brochure, entitled “Living Free and Equal“. It provides an analysis of more than 200 examples of what States are doing to tackle violence and discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people. Find more information here.

STRASBOURG, June 2016: The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe prepared a report and adopted a resolution to guarantee LGBTIQ* people’s rights. To translate the findings into practical information for use by policy makers, the Council of Europe produced a new compendium to combat discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity.

STRASBOURG, 7 June 2016: The Human Rights body of the Council of Europe, the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI), published new country reports which show some hopeful trends, but also give reason for concern as regards  the situation of LGBTIQ* persons – in: AZERBAIJAN, CYPRUS, ITALY, LITHUANIA, FYR MACEDONIA. You will find an overview on the ECRI website. (Photo:

BERLIN, 22 July 2016: In the embassy of Canada to Germany, Julia Ehrt from TGEU (Transgender Europe) spotlighted the new Global LGBTI Resources Report (Global Philanthropy Project and Funders for LGBTQ Issues, June 2016) and called governments to invest more in LGBTIQ* communities. Check out the insightful data, illustrating the growing opportunities for rainbow families worldwide!

BRUSSELS, 5 August 2016: The EU Commissioner of Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, Jourová, presented a (controversial) list of measures to promote equality for LGBTIQ* and their families. She also launched a new social media campaign. The motto is “We all Share the Same Dreams“. For further information just use the two hashtags #ShareYourDream and #EU4LGBTI.

GENEVA, 17 May 2016: ILGA launched the 11th edition of its flagship publication, “State-Sponsored Homophobia“. NELFA thanks for this detailed overview!

PARIS, 17 May 2016: UNESCO published its new report “Out in the Open” at an international meeting of education ministers. The report shows that homophobic and transphobic violence in education is a global problem. NELFA took part in the meeting and shares this concern.


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©2018 NELFA aisbl 845937097 - Network of European LGBTIQ* Families Associations - Greetings to all LGBTIQ* families, friends, activists out there.

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