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Rainbow Cities newsletter
Second edition Rainbow Cities newsletter
The City of Amsterdam, together with the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, has taken the initiative to issue this quarterly newsletter. The editor of this newsletter is Juul van Hoof, coordinator of the Rainbow Cities Network.

The focus is on initiatives, backgrounds and developments with regard to LGBT policy issues at local or regional level. This newsletter is mainly aimed at policy makers and NGO’s operating on the local level. The newsletter originates from the Rainbow Cities Network, of which more information can be found here.
Berlin celebrates 25 years of governmental LGBTI policy
Rainbow nursing homes in Copenhagen
Attention for transgender people at local level
Rome mayor recognizes same-sex marriages
And more ...

2nd Official annual meeting Rainbow Cities Network
On 13 and 14 November, 15 representatives of 11 Rainbow Cities were present at the Network’s annual meeting in the City of Vienna. Councillor Sandra Frauenberger welcomed the international guests and opened the meeting. The cities worked on defining common goals and strategies for the future and dis-cussed the outlines of a Memorandum of Understanding to be signed by current and new Rainbow Cities. The first evening mayor council Kurt Stürzenbecher hosted a reception.

On the second day the cities continued working on the Memorandum and in identifying topics and themes for future meetings. In the afternoon a number of Viennese NGO’s presented themselves briefly after which there was the opportunity for exchange with the international delegates. The meeting ended with a small inner city walk to a restaurant where the Dutch Embassy hosted a reception.

In preparation, all Rainbow Cities drew up summaries of their LGBT policies and initiatives

Berlin celebrates 25 years of governmental LGBTI policy
In 1989 Berlin government established the first German LGBTI Unit within its administration. Since then the LGBTI Unit works on current legal and social issues that are relevant to the life of LGBTI people. Since 2009, the LGBTI Unit of the Berlin State Office for Equal Treatment and against Discrimination coordinates the common actions of the Berlin administration and civil society against 
homophobia and transphobia and promotes the acceptance of sexual and gender diversity.
On December 10th an event is organized to festively look back on 25 years of LGBTI politics of the Senate of Berlin, to recognize the work of the Berlin LGBTI communities, to highlight current priorities and to take a look into the future.
Go to the website of the the LGBTI Unit.
Transgender Network Switzerland received
Equality Prize of the City of Zurich
For the first time since 1997 an LGBTI organisation received the Equality Prize of the City of Zurich. The City Council recognised the unique and professional commitment of the Transgender Network Switzerland (TGNS) for the legal and social equality of trans* people and awarded its legal advice unit with 20’000 Swiss francs in a City Hall ceremony on 17 November 2014.
Read the press release (in German).
Rainbow nursing homes in Copenhagen
The City of Copenhagen is creating a nursing home with a special focus on serving lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender pensioners so they’re not exposed to discrimination in the last years of their lives. While Denmark is ahead in terms of gay rights, it shouldn’t give way to complacency, said Ninna Thomsen, the city’s deputy mayor for health services.
Dubbed the “Rainbow” nursing home, the city-owned centre has 111 two-bedroom apartments. Heterosexuals won’t be excluded, nor will LGBT people advance to the front of any waiting line, according to Thomsen. Personnel will receive special training, and the city will market the facility as geared toward LGBT populations, she said.          Read the full article.
Attention for transgender people at local level
Transgender people are subject to feelings of insecurity and discrimination in many areas of daily life, in particular in their working lives and when looking for employment. Sharing experiences, the opportunity to identify problems and issues and developing new collective solutions are the distinctive features that set the one-year Transgender at Work project apart that was funded by the European Commission and implemented by the Berlin State Office for Equal Treatment and against Discrimination (LADS).

Specific materials for different key persons and recommendations for different areas of work life have been developed, published and disseminated.

Transgender Europe (TGEU) recently also launched a campaign to tackle transphobia. Ordinary things like picking up a parcel, opening a bank account or simply using a personalized public transport ticket can be-come a daily source of difficulty if your gender identity does not match the legal gender that is recorded on your ID card, passport, and other official documents. Violations of privacy, discrimination and violence often take place in the direct surroundings. The campaign, which is also very suitable for the local level, contains factsheets, posters and postcards in 13 languages.

The materials can be downloaded for free via TGEU’s website. 

Rome mayor recognizes same-sex marriages
Rome's mayor recognized the validity of 16 same-sex marriages performed outside Italy, the first such cere-mony in the capital. It sparked an angry reaction from the interior minister and the country's Roman Catholic Church. "Today is a splendid day," Mayor Ignazio Marino said in Rome's city hall where he registered the marriages of 11 male and six female couples who had wed abroad.
Although same-sex marriage is illegal in Italy, some cities have allowed same-sex couples who legally wed in other countries to register their unions in city halls when they return, just as heterosexual couples who marry outside Italy can do.

Read the full article here.
Catalonia passes historic anti-homophobia law
Catalonia’s new anti-homophobe legislation could see offenders fined up to €14,000 for attacks carried out against lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transsexuals (LGTB). The Catalan chamber passed the bill on Thurs-day (2 October) in what has been described as a first in Spain.     Read ILGA Europe’s article.
Istanbul district municipality to provide
anonymous and free health service for LGBTs
In October, the municipality of Istanbul’s Şişli district has launched a free and anonymous health service for LGBT’s as a first in the country where LGBT people are still subject to widespread discrimination. According to the LGBT association KAOS GL, the Şişli Municipality has agreed to provide free examinations and free STD tests every three months. The policlinic allocated for the
service will also allow patients to register with a nickname if they wish to remain anonymous.
Şişli, one of the most central and vibrant areas on the European side of Istanbul, was one of the four munici-palities won by candidates who had signed up to the LGBT Friendly Municipality Protocol ahead of the March 30 elections.
Click here for the full article.
Provide a new perspective in your city
Pride Photo Award is offering cities around Europe the opportunity to present alternative views of sexual and gender diversity to the public. By hosting an indoor or outdoor photo exhibition with stunning images that defy the common stereotypes local governments can challenge prejudices, raise awareness, and send out a strong signal to the public that LGBT’s are welcome at the same time.

For more information on what Pride Photo Award can do to help you, see their website.

City of Zurich to introduce gender identity
and/or sexual orientation in all relevant surveys
The Parliament of the City of Zurich (Gemeinderat) passed the corresponding request (postulate) on September 9, 2014. Surveys carried out by the city administration should include the possibility for respondents to specify their sexual orientation and/or gender identity individually but anonymously. This would allow the City of Zurich
to generate more knowledge about other factors that could possibly affect the lives of the respondents in combination with their gender identity and/or sexual orientation. The City Council (Stadtrat) is obliged to examine the appropriate measures and to present a report on the subject within the next two years.
Postulate (in German).
New study on persons with intersex/dsd
There is growing international political attention for the position of people with intersex/dsd. The Gender & LGBT Equality Department of the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science requested a research into the social situation of people with intersex/dsd in the Netherlands and what problems they may encounter.     The full report, as well as the summary can be found here. 
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