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Rainbow Cities newsletter
7th 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 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.

The editor of this newsletter is Juul van Hoof, coordinator of the Rainbow Cities Network.
Rainbow Cities Network still growing
Mexico City’s proclamation as an LGBTTTI friendly city
Do the right thing: What works for the emancipation of LGBT's
Intersex Solidarity Days in Vienna
Rainbow Cities Network still growing
Over the last year the Network was happy to welcome 4 new cities in their midst: Brighton & Hove, Mannheim, Mexico City and Sisli-Istanbul. This brings the total amount of members to 21. During the annual meeting, in November 2015, the cities exchanged experiences and good practices and they discussed collaboration in future projects. Also, the annual overview of the Rainbow Cities’ policies was published. In this overview, many of the members provide information on the specifics and focus of their LGBT(I) policies and it lists the municipal departments and civil society partners they work with.
Ljubljana project receives EPSA 2015 Best Practice Certificate
The project ‘LGBT friendly Ljubljana’ has received the Best Practice Certificate from the European Institute of Public Administration. The city’s activities in the LGBT field were recognized as an example of good practices for other cities. The jury stated that Ljubljana shows the way with its activities how to start and continue improving the quality of life of LGBT people. Since the start of the project Mayor Zoran Janković awarded 14 LGBT friendly certificates. The recipients of the certificate are various public (public institutes, primary school) and private organisations (radio station). The recipients of the certificate commit to an inclusive environment for LGBT staff and LGBT users.
Mexico City’s proclamation as an LGBTTTI friendly city
The government of Mexico City, through its Council for the Prevention and Elimination of Discrimination (COPRED), coordinated and developed the Proclamation “CDMX, Ciudad Amigable LGBTTTI”. Between 21-23 November 2015 many events were organized by the City government: Collective Weddings of 50 same-sex couples, Signing of Letters of Intent with international cities interested in building a joint agenda and a Forum to discuss the different public policies and legislation. International guests attended the events: representatives of Brussels, Buenos Aires, Madrid, Montevideo, Paris, Sao Paulo and Tel Aviv, as well as the coordinator of the Rainbow Cities Network.
Amsterdam: new LGBTI policy established
On 17 December 2015, Amsterdam established its new LGBTI policy for 2015 – 2018. The new policy is aimed at all policy areas: safety, education, youth, diversity, care & welfare, health & assistance, sport, work & economy and art & culture to strengthen the position of LGBTI Amsterdammers and of Amsterdam as an LGBTI city. Also, a new inclusive human resources policy is established. The alderperson for Diversity acts as coordinating administrator and based on information from the various portfolios, provides the City Council with an analysis and annual progress report.
2016 is an exceptional year for Amsterdam. LGBTI highlights are the international conference Transgender Health WPATH and Europride with many LGBTI gatherings, including the annual meeting of the Rainbow Cities Network.
Do the right thing: What works for the emancipation of LGBT people
Over the years, a great number of interventions have been developed to empower LGBT people and to increase social acceptance of sexual diversity and gender identity. Movisie conducted a research project, ‘Do the Right Thing’, on the question to what extent different methods in the field of social acceptance of sexual diversity and gender identity can be scientifically endorsed. The focus was on four strategies within the Dutch context: theatre and film, guessing games, knowledge sharing and dialogue meetings. These strategies or tools are segments of (often larger) LGBT interventions and mostly implemented at schools, elderly care homes, community centres and migrant organisations. The research conclusions and final remarks are published in English, by Movisie.
Intersex Solidarity Days in Vienna
On the occasion of Intersex Solidarity Day (8th of November), the first Viennese Intersex Conference was held from 6th to 8th of November. The 2nd conference day was hosted by the City of Vienna and took place in Vienna City Hall. Intersex* activists from the USA, Great Britain, Russia, Germany and Austria provided lectures, presentations and workshops on important intersex issues. Highlights in the social programme were a movie night, an Intersex Solidarity Party and an intersex* only  „Secret Brunch“. The detailed programme is still available.
Rotterdam: new website for LGBT inhabitants and visitors
The City of Rotterdam launched a new web portal for LGBT inhabitants and visitors. The website GayRotterdam is in both in Dutch and in English and it is the first pink city portal in the Netherlands. Volunteers constructed the site, with support of the local government. The independent website gives information on everything that happens in the city on LGBT subjects: living, working, night life, sport activities, events, etc. It is a good mixture of social issues, nice-to-knows and an activities agenda.
Şişli Municipality starts 1st free and anonymous health service for LGBTI in Turkey
Şişli Municipality aims to improve conditions for LGBTIs and to prevent discrimination. For this reason the municipality has established the “Social Equality Unit”, to monitor and ensure equal municipal services for all, including LGBTIs. More than 1000 LGBTI people have benefitted from the free and anonymous health services of Şişli Municipality since 2015.
4-5 August - Proud In Europe? LGBTI Emancipation in Comparative Perspective
The Amsterdam Research Center for Gender and Sexuality (ARC-GS) of the University of Amsterdam (UvA) will organize a conference during EuroPride to question and compare the state of LGBTI emancipation within Europe. This two-day conference will reflect on different European gains made in the fight for LGBTI rights as well as blind spots and pitfalls encountered on the way. The focus of the conference will be on tracing developments regarding LGBTI politics throughout Europe from various perspectives and disciplines from the social and behavioural sciences, humanities and law. More information on panel and paper proposals, as well as registration details can be found here
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