news blog

This NELFA news blog contains current information concerning rainbow families, important LGBTIQ* news in general and it summarises recent activities of NELFA Board members or member organisations. You find older entries in our newsletters.

BERLIN, 18-19 November 2020: NELFA was invited to a major digital conference of the German EU presidency – #lgbticonferenceberlin2020. President Eleni Maravelia and Board member Björn Sieverding contributed to the panel “Challenges and Steps Ahead: Towards the full recognition of Rainbow Families Across the European Union?”. Read more. (collage: NELFA)

BRUSSELS, 12 November 2020: NELFA President Eleni Maravelia took part at the official launch of the first-ever EU Commission’s LGBTIQ Equality strategy. It contains a range of proposals concerning rainbow families in cross-border situations, for example the review of the freedom of movement guidelines and a “horizontal legislative initiative” in 2022 for the mutual recognition of family relations within the EU. NELFA is impressed by the strong strategy and grateful to all people involved. At the same time, we perceived worrying news fro Hungary. Read NELFA’s press release. (photo: www.pes.eu)

BUDAPEST, 11 November 2020: Hungary’s government has proposed legislation that would essentially ban adoption by same-sex couples. The foreseen constitutional amendment says Hungary “protects children’s right to the gender identity they were born with,” and provides “education in accordance with the values based on Hungary’s constitutional identity and Christian culture.“. Read more here or here. (photo:Council of the European Union)

VILNIUS, 09 November: The new leading coalition in Lithuania with former Minister of Finances, Ingrida Simonyte, wants to introduce a new civil union law. The details are not clear yet, but the plan is to open this possibility for straight and same-sex couples. Lithuania is actually one of six EU countries that don’t have any LGBTIQ* partnership right. Read more in this German online article. (photo: Rokasdarulis/wikipedia)

MADRID, 06 November: The Spanish media platform “freeda” published a nice interview with Gabriel who is a young man raised by two gay dads. One of his fathers is NELFA’s Board member Jesús Santos Homobono (Galehi). Gabriel was already several times a real ambassador for rainbow families. Read and see more. (photo: freeda_es)

HAMBURG, 05 November: The German newspaper “Die Zeit” just published a very interesting map where exactely in the country, same-sex marriages were concluded. According to the study, Cologne is Germany’s top-address for LGBTIQ* wedding ceremonies – but there are also some surprising regions. Have a closer look here. (photo: Die Zeit)

BERLIN, 04 November: The German umbrella organisation for boys, male adults and fathers – Bundesforum Männer – just turned ten years old and published an anniversary brochure. NELFA Board member Björn Sieverding (LSVD) was invited to write an article about the struggles of gay daddies. Find the brochure here and the article here. (photo: Björn Sieverding)

VALETTA, 28 October: NELFA’s Maltese member MRGM reacted on articles in the newspaper “Times of Malta”. In an opinion piece the author stated that “homosexual acts are not only harmful to the individuals who engage in them but also to society at large”. And the day after, the newspaper tried to better the situation with an editorial – but it failed. Read more. (photo: MGRM)

BUCHAREST, 28 October: The EU Commission has started an infringement procedure against Romania because of the non-implementation of the Coman judgment from 2018 (the term “spouse” includes same-sex spouses under EU law). It’s a success of NELFA’s supporting member Asociatia Accept. Read more. (photo: Accept Romania)

VATICAN, 21 October: Pope Francis gave an interview for the documentary film “Francesco” (directed by Evgeny Afineevsky) and he made a historic quote regarding LGBTIQ* rights: “Homosexual people have a right to be in a family. They are children of God and have a right to a family. […] What we have to create is a civil union law. That way they are legally covered. I stood up for that.” Read more. (photo: Guglielmo Mangiapane/Reuters)

TALLINN, 19 October: The Estonian Greens have started a petition to amend the Family Act, to stop discrimination against LGBTIQ* couples and families. Goals are i.e. to achieve marriage equality (“union between two adults, regardless of their gender”) and equal treatment for same-sex parents. Within a month, the campaign collected more than 35.000 signatures. Read more. (photo: Mana Kaasik)

COPENHAGEN, 18 October: NELFA will be partner of Worldpride and Eurogames 2021 in the capital of Denmark. This will mean that rainbow families will be highlighted during the celebrations. The Board of NELFA is involved in the preparation of the programme. We will inform as soon as possible about further details. You can update yourself via the official Worldpride 21 Facebook page, including very nice pics and videos. (photo: Worldpride Copenhagen)

VENICE, 14 October: A court ruled in favour of a lesbian couple from Verona. Their two children will be recognised as siblings. According to (former) Italian law, the children would remain legal strangers, because they were born by different mothers and same-sex parenthood is not (directly) accepted. This is already the second time that a court ruled in that way. Read more. (photo: www.gay.it)

DUBLIN, 07 October: An Irish lesbian couple who conceived through Reciprocal IVF have today become the first to receive their declaration of parentage by the State in Bray District Court. Ranae von Meding, CEO of Equality For Children, shared, “This will come as a huge relief to those who have become parents to their children through this method of Assisted Human Reproduction. It is one more family who finally have security and recognition for their children.” Read more. (photo: www.gcn.ie)

SOFIA, 07 October: NELFA Board member Denitsa Lyubenova informed the community about a new case of a stateless Bulgarian child, born in Spain. The Court in Sofia didn’t recognise the Spanish birth certificate stating two mothers. The case itself is sad, but NELFA’s member organisation Deystvie was able to get some questions referred to the European Court of Justice. It will be the first time that the EU court in Luxemburg decides on familial ties of LGBTIQ* parents and their children in a cross-border situation. We consider this as a huge step forward! Read a factsheet of the case. (photo: Deystvie)

BRUSSELS, 07 October: NELFA and the LGBTIQ* petition platform All Out just published a relaunch of their campaign “freedom of movement for rainbow families” – after EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s major statement concerning the mutual recognition of familial ties in her latest State of the Union. The campaign is now also available in other languages: German, Italian, French and Spanish. (collage: All Out)

BRUSSELS, 03 October: COFACE Families Europe just issued its newsletter and this time, NELFA Bord Member Björn Sieverding (LSVD) contributed with a commentary on the recognition of rainbow families in the EU. NELFA is supporting member of COFACE. You can find the article here. (photo: COFACE)

MOSCOW, 02 October: Russian authorities have warned of the arrest of gay men who have fathered children to surrogate mothers. Commenting on a long-running criminal case to state media, a source in the country’s Investigative Committee equated LGBTIQ* surrogacy to baby trafficking. It was an offence for men with “non-traditional orientation” to provide sperm for in vitro fertilisation, the source asserted. Read more in this article. (photo: AFP via Getty Images)

BRUSSELS, 29 September: NELFA has started a drawing competition for its membership. Every rainbow family organisation is invited to find its winners and send the scanned pictures by October 25th via email to: info@nelfa.org. The prizes are Creatable World Dolls – donated by Mattel. The drawings will be sent to Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission to thank her for her recent support for rainbow families in cross-border situations! (collage: NELFA)

BRUSSELS, 29 September: NELFA took part in the 13th European Forum on the Rights of the Child, which was held online until 1st of October 2020. In panel debates and workshops on inclusive education or fundamental rights, also LGBTIQ* issues were discussed. NELFA provided its expertise and will do it in the process of developing the EU #ChildGuarantee and the LGBTI equality strategy. (graphic: EU Commission)

BRUSSELS, 17 September 2020: NELFA, is lastingly impressed by the recent State of the Union speech of Commission President in Strasbourg and her clear support for the LGBTIQ* community, especially in Poland. Particularly, Ursula von der Leyen said, “The Commission will soon put forward a strategy to strengthen LGBTQI rights. As part of this, I will also push for mutual recognition of family relations in the EU. If you are a parent in one country, you are a parent in every country.” For the first time, a President of the EU Commission takes a clear stance on rainbow families and their legal recognition in all Member States. NELFA takes note of this important remark with great satisfaction. Read our press release. And you can find some current cases of rainbow families in cross-border struggles and background information. (graphic: NELFA)

COPENHAGEN, 11 September 2020: NELFA has a new full member from Denmark – LGBT komiteen! It’s a lobby organisation and the committee itself currently consists of three long-term LGBT activists: Tina Thranesen, Martin Iversen Christensen and Søren Laursen. Most recently, on 22nd of August, LGBT komiteen informed about historic legislation initiatives, launched by the government. For example: same-sex parents with children conceived at home can be recognised automatically upon birth and trans parents will be recognised according to their gender. (graphic: LGBT komiteen)

BRUSSELS, 01 September 2020: NELFA has applied successfully for new Erasmus+ project. It is entitled “Rainbow Families 2020 – Together For a Better Future” and is dedicated to the empowerment of NELFA, to strengthen its educational activities for the well-being of rainbow families in a (possibly) non-welcoming environment. Partners of this project will be the consultancy “In Dialogue” and our Croatian full member “Dugine obitelji“. More info soon here. (graphic: NELFA)

BUCHAREST, 14 August 2020: There is a new trial to define the term “family” in the Romanian Constitution as connection between man and woman (by ignoring existing diversity: from single parents with kids up to rainbow families). A referendum in 2018 failed, now it’s obviously a group of politicians that ignores all hard-won progress and started a legislative initiative against diversity. NELFA’s supporting member Accept Romania says the only intention would be to seed hate against LGBTIQ*.

GERMANY, 14 August 2020: Finally, good news from Germany. A new (long-expected) bill – announced by the Minister of Justice, Christine Lambrecht (SPD) – wants equality for lesbian couples with children! They should be recognised as legal mothers from birth of their child – an adoption won’t be necessary anymore. The bill will be now discussed in the government. Read more. (photo: Westend61/Imago Images)

BERN, 12 August 2020: The Council of States in Switzerland needs more time to review the marriage equality bill – the final decision is to be expected in winter (and not in autumn as planned). LGBTIQ* activists have reacted with disappointment. But they are still confident that there will be a sustainable law in the end. Read more. (photo: Jean-Baptiste Burbaud)

WARSAW, 08 August 2020: NELFA stands with nonbinary activist Margot Szutowicz who has been placed in pretrial detention, in the latest example of Polish authorities’ anti-LGBTIQ* actions. Forty-eight other people, from a crowd of supporters, were also briefly detained, insulted and humiliated. Read more and see some pictures. Our NELFA member FTR in Poznań experiences an increasing number of hate crime incidents, also against members of rainbow families. We sharply condemn any kind of hostile comments and actions against the entire LGBTIQ* community. (photo: Rafał Milach)

PRAGUE, 03 August 2020: The marriage equality campaign in the Czech Republic is in a sort of holding pattern. The Parliament had this topic already on the agenda, but a final vote is still missing. Meanwhile, the initiative jsme fér has started an online petition campaign. You can see a video with campaign leader Czeslaw Walek here. (photo: jsme fér)

PARIS, 01 August 2020: It’s still not law – but a good step forward… the National Assembly adopted the bioethics bill, the flagship measure of which is the opening of medically assisted procreation (PMA) to all women (means: also singles and lesbian couples). The Senate will discuss the bill most probably at the end of the year. Read more. (photo: web24.news)

GDANSK, 29 July 2020: NELFA is happy with Azara and her Polish mothers from Mallorca. For a long time, the girl remained stateless (see NELFA’s All Out campaign). The reason is that Poland doesn’t recognise any foreign birth certificate stating joint motherhood. Azara couldn’t get citizenship and a social security number (PESEL). But, after months of struggles and many efforts of LGBTIQ* activists and lawyers, the city of Gdansk issued at least a PESEL. Read more. (photo: Alena Shumchyk)

WARSAW, 13 July 2020: Poland’s presidential election has been won by Andrzej Duda who is backed by the right-wing Law and Justice party (PiS). The anti-LGBTIQ* politician said in his campaign that he aims to add a ban on adoptions by same-sex couples to the Constitution. Quote: “To guarantee the safety and a correct education for children, and for the Polish state to safeguard their rights, I think there should be such a provision”. Read more here. (photo: Reuters)

DUBLIN, 09 July 2020: Jenna and Mary are among the first Irish same-sex couples to both be legally recognised as the parents of their child. The commencement of parts Two and Three of the Child and Family Relationships Act has given the courts jurisdiction to make retrospective declarations of parentage for children born through donor-assisted human reproduction prior to May 4 2020. At the moment, this only covers certain families. Read more. Another recent article describes the problems many Irish families still face. (photo: gcn.ie)

GENEVA, 07 July 2020: The Global Interfaith Network had invited to a very interesting webinar, entitled “The Respect and Recognition of Diverse Families in Times of a Global Pandemic”, with former NELFA President Maria von Känel and Moderator Caroline Ausserer (who was NELFA Board member, too). See it here. (graphic: Global Interfaith Network) 

BRUSSELS, 07 July 2020: NELFA held a webinar to explain how EU citizens – respectively rainbow families and LGBTIQ* organisations – can submit a petition to the European Parliament. The webinar is part of a broader campaign to accompany a recent survey among EU Member States about freedom of movement struggles for LGBTIQ* parents and their children. The aim is to push the EP’s Committee on Petitions to take care of this topic. Read the full NELFA presentation. (graphic: NELFA)

BARCELONA, 06 July 2020: NELFA President Eleni Maravelia (FLG) informed about the difficult “freedom of movement” for rainbow families within the EU and why NELFA is lobbying for solutions. The Catalan Pride Radio “ORGULL” broadcasted an interesting interview. It was entitled: “Problemes per viatjar a Europa si ets família LGBT”. (photo: orgull.cat)

STRASBOURG, 06 July 2020: The European Court of Human Rights just informed the Polish government about official complaints concerning the non-recognition of same-sex partnerships and marriages in the country. A good step forward – in difficult times. One case is about a gay couple. They decided to get married in Spain, but the authorities of one partner’s home country Poland rejected the request to issue a necessary document. Read more. (photo: kph.org.pl)

ZAGREB, 5 July 2020: The capital of Croatia experienced its first Pride Ride event. An intense celebration of LGBTIQ* rights with the necessary social distance in these corona times.Around 500 people on bikes took part, inter alia activists of NELFA’s member Dugine obitelji. You can find a range of very nice impressions in this gallery. (photo: Ponosni Zagreb)

BERLIN, 3 July 2020: The Federal Council in Germany has rejected a law that would worsen the situation of families with two mothers. It’s about new adoption rules and mandatory consultations. As long as two mothers cannot become legal parents from birth, the new rules would mean an additional burden. NELFA’s member LSVD issued a press release. (photo: LSVD)

MOSCOW, 2 July 2020: NELFA is sad about the recent political development in Russia. Nearly three-quarters of voters have opted to back an amended constitution that reinforces a ban on same-sex marriage… and enables President Putin to stay in power until he is 83. Read more in this article. (photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images)

PODGORICA, 1 July 2020: Great news come from Montenegro – where partnership legislation passed with a vote of 42 for and only 5 against. The country is now the first one from the Balkan region EU accession countries to recognise same-sex couples. The bill was first rejected in August 2019 after being met with strong resistance by the Serbian Orthodox Church, the largest religious community in the country. Read more. (graphic: OutRight Action International)

AMSTERDAM, 30 June 2020: The Second Chamber in the Netherlands voted for an amendment in article one of the constitution (Grondwet) to anchor LGBTIQ* rights for the future. The organisation COC Nederland fought more than 20 years for this change. The bill was already prepared in 2010 and it will still take a while until the amendment can be approved (to be expected in 2021). Read more here [in Dutch]. (photo: COC Nederland)

BARCELONA, 28 June 2020: NELFA’s full member organisation FLG celebrated its Family Pride 2020. Although the coronacrisis made the event very difficult, many rainbow families came (with their masks!) and perpuated themselves in a big, colourful poster with drawings and pictures. You can find a range of photos in this FLG gallery. (photo: Eleni Maravelia)

BRUSSELS, 27 June 2020: 57 million internet users took part in Global Pride 2020. The online event was a replacement for many Pride parades that couldn’t take place due to the coronacrisis. In celebration of Global Pride, ILGA launched its World Map on Sexual Orientation in 20 languages. Read more here. For rainbow families, there are still many legal gaps – a day before Global Pride, Brussels Times had published a corresponding testimony of Dan Sobovitz. (photo: Global Pride)

BRUSSELS, 15 June 2020: NELFA has published a new tool concerning the freedom of movement of LGBTIQ* people (with children) and the complaint procedure in the EU. Our main aim is to encourage rainbow families to bring their cross-border struggles to EU level, to raise awareness and to find solutions. NELFA currently asks its membership to petition the European Parliament. Our Spanish member FLG just issued such a complaint. Read more in our section legal service. (graphic: NELFA)

ROME, 11 June 2020: Some years ago, a group of close friends in Italy have decided to found Boundless Rainbow Love, a thematic LGBTIQ* page that addresses issues such as disability and gender equality. This time, writer Katya Parente interviewed NELFA Board member Björn Sieverding about the Network’s advocacy efforts at EU level. Read more (in Italian). (photo: Boundless Rainbow Love)

BERN, 11 June 2020: It’s an important step forward concerning marriage equality in Switzerland! The National Council (a chamber of the Parliament) has voted for same-sex marriages and an equal access to fertility treatment for lesbian couples! The next important decision will take place in the second chamber, the Swiss Council of States. Read more. (photo: parl.ch)

WARSAW, 10 June 2020: The election campaign of President Duda in Poland has started and it includes an anti-LGBTIQ* narrative. Duda wants to be re-elected with an agenda “to defend the children from LGBT ideology” in education. His “Family Charter” sees marriage as union between men and women only and excludes same-sex couples from adoption. Read more. (photo: G. Jakubowski/KPRP)

MOSCOW, 08 June 2020: Since some days, a homophobic video goes viral. It’s about a fake “gay adoption” to promote the planned same-sex marriage ban in Russia. Read more. In the meantime, YouTube blocked the TV commercial because of hate speech. But you can still find it, i.e. in this German article. And we share this twitter flashmob of artists who redesigned the rainbow family – with love, joy and pride! (photo: LGBT discussion group on Facebook)

BRUSSELS, 05 June 2020: Two years ago, Adrian Coman and Claibourn Hamilton made LGBTIQ* history. The European Court of Justice ruled in their favour, same-sex spouses are covered by the freedom of movement Directive. However, Romania still has problems to implement the Coman jugdment and many legal gaps for rainbow families in the EU remain. The EP’s Intergroup on LGBTI Rights urges the EU Commission to take action. Read more. (photo: Accept Romania)

BRUSSELS, 01 June 2020: Within the last month, major studies were published – by the Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA), ILGA-Europe, Transgender Europe and the EU Commission. They are all related to rainbow families and their rights. NELFA tried to summarise the main results and to give some added value. You can find our new overview here. (graphic: NELFA)

RIGA, 01 June 2020: Good news from Latvia! For the first time, the Social and Employment Matters Committee of the Parliament has decided to start an official consultation into the drafting of an (LGBT) life spouse partnerships bill, which will take place over the summer. Latvia is still one of six countries within the European Union without any recognition for same-sex partners. Read more (in Latvian). (photo: delfi.lv, Saeimas administracija)

PARIS, 30 May 2020: Deputies, organisations, lawyers, doctors and other public figures have started a joint call for a new bioethics law debate from September. The discussions in the Parliament about fertility treatment for single women and lesbian couples were postponed due to the coronacrisis. Before the calendar got mixed up, the law was expected to be adopted in May 2020. Read more (in French). (photo: AFP).

BERLIN, 28 May 2020: The German Parliament (Bundestag) just decided on new rules for adoption procedures. There will be more mandatory consultations. Unfortunately, it deepens the discrimination of rainbow families: For lesbian couples with children it’s already a burden to undergo a stepchild adoption to become legal parents. With the new law it becomes more difficult. Read more about the debate and reactions of activists (in German). (photo: Bundestag)

OSLO, 26 May 2020: The Parliament in Norway just decided to allow egg donation and assisted insemination for single women. The decision in Storting took place after an unusual alliance of three opposition parties. Assisted reproductive techniques were already available for (same-sex) couples. Read more (in Norwegian). (photo: Havard Gronli, NRK)

DUBLIN, 23 May 2020: Ireland’s LGBTIQ* community  is celebrating the fifth anniversary of the successful Marriage Equality referendum – the first one in the world. Voters were asked whether to add to the Constitution that “marriage may be contracted in accordance with law by two persons without distinction as to their sex”. The proposal was approved by more than 62 % of voters. You find some nice photos under #MarRefMemories. (photo: GCN)

BUDAPEST, 19 May 2020: The Hungarian Parliament overwhelmingly voted to end legal gender recognition for trans people. Article 33 was ballooned into power, the latest legislation sworn in under Prime Minister Orbán’s emergency power measures (due to the coronacrisis). It stipulates that gender should be defined as “biological sex based on primary sex characteristics and chromosomes”. This tramples the rights of trans and intersex people. Read more. (photo: Riccardo Pareggiani, NurPhoto)

BRUSSELS, 15 May 2020: NELFA celebrates the International Day of Families. The COVID-19 pandemic brings into sharp focus the importance of investing in social policies protecting the most vulnerable individuals and families. The UN state, “It is the families who bear the brunt of the crisis, sheltering their members from harm, caring for out of school children and at the same time continuing their work responsibilities”. Watch a nice video of our member FLG. (graphic: NELFA members)

BRUSSELS, 14 May 2020: In light of the COVID-19 crisis, the ILGA-Europe Rainbow Map 2020 shows we have come to a pivotal moment for LGBTI people’s human rights. There has been no positive change in 49% of countries. Countries are still moving backwards, as existing protections are disappearing. And: There were only a few positive changes for rainbow families. Read ILGA’s press release, the Rainbow Map and the Index. (graphic: ILGA-Europe)

VIENNA, 14 May 2020: The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, FRA, just published its long expected second LGBTI survey report. It is entitled “A long way to go for LGBTI equality”. With 140,000 respondents, it is the largest ever survey on hate crime and discrimination against LGBTI people. 14 % of those questioned raise children.Unfortunately, the results for rainbow families are based on a small number of responses and therefore statistically less reliable. Read FRA’s press release and watch a corresponding video.  (graphic: FRA)

LONDON, 07 May 2020: NELFA Board members took part at a webinar of the European Network on Statelessness (ENS) and the European Parliament’s Intergroup on Children’s Rights. It was entitled “Birth registration and the prevention of statelessness in Europe”. Regularly, NELFA raises awareness of certain cases with stateless children because of the non-recognition of birth certificates stating two mothers. Find some shared documents during the webinar: A study of the Council on Refugees and Exiles, an ENS briefing paper and the statelessness index. (photo: Björn Sieverding)

BRUSSELS, 05 May 2020: Finland is preparing a new Parental law and the government could be a real trendsetter – with a comprehensive multi-parenting law. Together with ILGA-Europe we wrote a letter to Prime Minister Sanna Marin to address the needs of rainbow families in the new law. NELFA’s national member Sateenkaariperheet ry in Helsinki issued a corresponding press release. In the Netherlands, a promising bill was watered down last summer. Actually, the government collects online comments. (graphic: Sateenkaariperheet ry)

DUBLIN, 04 May 2020: From today, many lesbian couples in Ireland get joint parenthood when they become mothers. The final parts of the Children and Family Relationship Act 2015 come into force. But who will be covered by the law and what steps are involved in obtaining legal parental recognition? NELFA’s member organisation LGBT Ireland gives the necessary insights. (graphic: LGBT Ireland)

GENEVA, 03 May 2020: The International Family Equaity Day was celebrated in 62 countries and 152 towns. NELFA members from all over Europe contributed with nice films, photos, drawings (especially family trees). The EP’s Intergroup on LGBTI Rights issued a statement. This year’s motto was “Family Diversity in Education”. You can find a lot of input in social media with the hastag #IFED2020. (collage: NELFA – with contributions from Spain, Germany, Hungary and Belgium)

BRUSSELS, 30 April 2020: How to start a complaint for breach of EU law? How to raise awareness about cross-border problems of a rainbow family? This was discussed during a webinar with ILGA-Europe and high-level legal experts, i.e. from France, Romania, UK, and the EU Commission. NELFA took part with several Board members. You can already find some useful advice here and on ou legal service webpage. (photo: Björn Sieverding)

ZAGREB, 29 April 2020: The Croatian Rainbow Family Organisation Dugine obitelji (with NELFA Secretary Daniel Martinovic) met up with President Zoran Milanović to discuss recent LGBTIQ* topics and how to advance rainbow family rights together. One hot potato in the country is the question of LGBTIQ* foster care. See a recent film of the German public broadcaster ZDF about the couple concerned, Ivo+Mladen. Another ZDF-report on “Jane – My rainbow family” was published on Croatian TV. Religious extremists tried to avoid this via a petition. (photo: www.predsjednik.hr)

PARIS, 28 April 2020: Reportedly, a French-Tunesian gay couple were able to get their marriage recognised in the North African country and mentioned on the Tunisian man’s birth certificate – as is customary – according to the LGBTIQ* organisation Shams. However, the government in Tunis has immediately denied the recognition. Homosexuality is illegal in Tunisia and punishable with up to three years in prison. Read more in this article. (photo: Shutterstock)

BELGRADE, 23 April 2020: NELFA’s full member ERA (the LGBTI Equal Rights Association) is an umbrella organisation for Western Balkans and Turkey. A lot of governments in the regions still don’t care too much, but the rainbow families movement is gaining momentum. ERA is highlighting the topic in April 2020 and just published a special edition of their newsletter concerning LGBTIQ* parenting. Read it here. (photo: Dugine obitelji)

BRUSSELS, 23 April 2020: Despite the current corona-challenges, the International Family Equality Day (IFED) will be celebrated on the 3rd of May 2020. The motto is “Family Diversity in Education”. Like in the past, all (rainbow) families are invited to take part and… to take action! The IFED Network in Geneva is collecting inclusive educational material and encourages rainbow families to send pictures and drawings of family trees and/or other colourful pictures. More information in NELFA’s current Facebook notice. (graphic: NELFA/IFED Network)

HELSINKI, 20 April 2020: Same-sex marriages and joint adoptions are possible in Finland since 2017. Three years later, the first same-sex adoptions have taken place. According to NELFA’s full member Sateenkaariperheet ry, a female couple and a male couple have both adopted infants in the capital city region. In Finland, thos decisions are made by a special working group and this procedure can take several years. Read more. (photo: newsnowfinland.fi)

WARSAW, 16 April 2020: Polish MPs have voted to delay two bills that – if approved – would have further restricted access to abortion and ban sex education. The controversial pieces of legislation are now sent back to committee stage. The sex education bill would impose a penalty of up to three years in prison for teachers who provide sex education to children. Supporters had stated that sex education would “familiarise” children with homsexuality and would be used by the “LGBT lobby” to achieve “radical goals” like gay adoption. Read more. (photo: Michal Fludra/NurPhoto via Getty)

SARAJEVO, 16 April 2020: Bosnia and Herzegovina takes first small steps towards recognising same-sex relationships. The so-called Federation, one of the country’s semi-autonomous political entities, will obviously draft legislation to regulate the rights of LGBTIQ* couples – for the first time. The procedure includes also a meeting with rainbow activists. Read more. (photo: Elvis Barukcic/AFP via Getty)

POZNAN, 06 April 2020: After the cancellation of NELFA’s Annual General Meeting (due to the coronavirus) the Board remains hopeful. New date for our weekend in Poland with seminar, film show, and the meeting with local rainbow families is now 25-27th of September 2020. Organiser is Fundacja Tęczowe Rodziny (FTR) and this is the program. (graphic: NELFA)

BRUSSELS, 02 April 2020: NELFA just co-signed a letter of the US-NGO Men Having Babies (MHB). It was sent to relevant Congress and Senate members and raises awareness of rainbow families in dramatic situations due to the corona-crises. National restrictions (i.e. in the USA) prevent them from travelling or from taking care of their newborn children (through surrogacy). Read the full letter here. NELFA issued a communiqué with details in late March. (photo: Getty Images)

BRUSSELS, 28 March 2020: NELFA has a new Board! Today, the Annual General Meeting took place online – due to the coronavirus. We have now 12 Board Members from nine countries. Eleni Maravelia (Spain) remains President. Vice President is now Dominique Boren (France), Christoph R. Alms (Germany) is elected Treasurer and Daniel Martinovic (Croatia) will continue as Secretary of the Board. All AGM documents were approved with a vast majority. (photo: Giovanni Fantoni)

BRUSSELS,  23 March 2020: The coronavirus pandemic leaves (rainbow) families in dramatic cross-border situations. Dozens of singles and couples (with medical fertility treatment abroad or conducting surrogacy journeys out of Europe) experience critical times because of current restrictions. NELFA tries to raise awareness of these struggles and issued a communiqué with details. In the meantime, gaystarnews and pinknews have reported on the facts and the US American organisation Men Having Babies MHB offers a new webpage with help. (graphic: NELFA)

ANDORRA LA VELLA,  20 March 2020: The ruling government of the small country has drafted a bill that would also recognise same-sex marriage. Its likely to become law in summer. LGBTIQ* people have already the possibility to enter a civil union (since 2014), even joint adoption is already possible. Read more. (graphic: Getty Images)

BRUSSELS, 20 March 2020: It’s a great development at EU level for rainbow families in cross-border situations! The EP’s Intergroups on LGBTI Rights and Children’s Rights just joined forces and issued a common letter to Equality Commissioner Helena Dalli (with support from NELFA!). More than 60 MEPs call for a better recognition of LGBTIQ* parents and their children whenever they exercice their freedom of movement within the EU. Read the full letter here. (graphic: NELFA)

BRUSSELS, 12 March 2020: Due to the coronavirus pandemic and ongoing restrictions across Europe, the NELFA Board decided to cancel the upcoming rainbow families weekend in Poznań, Poland (27-29 March 2020). Seminar, film and local families gathering will be postponed, possible alternative date is 25-27 September 2020, but we still need to confirm this. The Annual General Meeting on 28th of March will be held online! Members will be informed separately with further details. Read more. (graphic: NELFA)

FRANKFURT, 06-08 March 2020: Several NELFA (Board) members joined the 3rd edition of the Euro LGBT Family Law Institute meeting. It was a wonderful occasion for an exchange of current struggles and future ideas how to advance the rights of LGBTIQ* people and their families. 16 legal experts from many European countries (and the USA) attended the meeting in the German banking hub, some followed the discussions online. NELFA thanks Diana Adams for the organisation of this yearly highlight and is grateful to all participants for their bravery! (photo: Diana Adams)

STOCKHOLM, 28 February 2020: Good news from Sweden! The government will examine until June 2021 how rainbow families – who were already established abroad – can be fully recognised, without a new adoption procedure that is currently necessary in some cases. An important step towards freedom of movement!! Read more (in Swedish).(photo: sverigesradio.se)

IMOTSKI, 23 February 2020: At a carnival event in the Croatian city (Bavoka povorka), an effigy of a same-sex couple holding a child was burned at the ceremony to widespread cheers. Many people condemned this action afterwards, politicians have already announced to file a criminal complaint against the organisers (Read more). NELFA is also very worried about this incident and will write a letter to the Permanent Representation of Croatia to the EU in Brussels. (photo: rtl.hr)

BUDAPEST, 20 February 2020: Hungarian’s Prime Minister Victor Orban just issued a memorandum for the European People’s Party (EPP) to fight i.e. marriage equality. He states, “We gave up the family model based on matrimony of one woman and one man, and fell into the arms of gender ideology”. Political scientist Rémy Bonny (Belgium) warns for the impact of this call. Read more. (photo: remybonny.com)

STUTTGART, 19 February 2020: A broad alliance of more than 40 organisations demonstrated against a symposium of the anti-LGBTIQ* movement “Demo für Alle”. Several speakers called on equal rights for rainbow families and promoted diversity. Read a summary of the event here. (photo: Beobachter News)

BRUSSELS, 17 February 2020: NELFA Board member Giuseppina La Delfa (Famiglie Arcobaleno) took part at a conference that was organised by the EU Commission. It was entitled “Preparatory action for a Child Guarantee” and gave an opportunity to discuss with stakeholders the findings of the feasibility study for a so-called Child Guarantee. In a 2015 resolution on reducing inequalities with a special focus on child poverty, the European Parliament called on the Commission and Member States to introduce such an instrument. (photo: EU Commission via flickr.com)

CARRICKFERGUS, 11 February 2020: Robyn Peoples and Sharni Edwards of Belfast made history by getting married – the first same-sex couple in Northern Ireland. The day marks their sixth anniversary as a couple and they had booked a civil partnership ceremony already months before the legislation was passed last summer. When it became clear the first marriages could take place, they changed their ceremony to a wedding. Read more. (photo: Mark Marlow/EPA)

WARSAW, 11 February 2020: There are again sad news from Poland. The Supreme Administration Court (NSA) just confirmed that it is impossible to transcribe a foreign birth certificate stating two mothers. Activists and legal experts hope that LGBTIQ* friendly city offices will enable citizenship and health care for the children concerned – regardless the recent decision. Read more in this article (in Polish). (photo: Dawid Żuchowicz, Agencja Gazeta)

ZURICH, 10 February 2020: Voters in Switzerland have backed a new law to ban homophobia, in a landmark moment for the country’s LGBTIQ* community (Read more). NELFA’s member organisation Dachverband Regenbogenfamilien hopes that this decision will push the current marriage equality campaign and the inclusion of further rights (access to assisted insemination and joint parenthood rights for lesbian couples from birth). Read more. (photo: Dachverband Regenbogenfamilien)

BRUSSELS, 09 February 2020: NELFA took part at the Annual General Meeting of it’s Belgian member organisation Homoparentalités. The group plays a special role for the Network because it’s based in Brussels, means close by the EU institutions. Homoparentalités decided to send a candidate for the NELFA Board election in March. Besides this, a nice children’s programme was organised – for example a book reading with a drag queen from Liège. (photo: Björn Sieverding)

ZAGREB, 07 February 2020: It’s a whirl situation in Croatia concerning foster care possibilities for registered same-sex partners. Only a few days after the refusal of the Social Welfare Centre in Zagreb to accept a gay couple as possible foster parents (Mladen Kožić and Ivo Šegota), the Constitutional Court has finally clarified: same-sex couples have the right to apply jointly to provide foster care. Read more (photo: Dugine obitelji)

BELFAST, 06 February 2020: Sharni Edwards and Robyn Peoples will be the first couple to take advantage of Northern Ireland legalising same-sex marriages next week. The couple announced the news at a press conference with the Love Equality campaign who helped to change the law. Read more. (photo: out.com, Getty Images)

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©2020 NELFA aisbl 845937097 - Network of European LGBTIQ* Families Associations - Greetings to all LGBTIQ* families, friends, activists out there.

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