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Rainbow Cities newsletter
10th 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
Global agenda for inclusive cities does not recognise LGBTQ citizens
Factsheet: What can we learn from European LGBT friendly cities?
Same-sex civil unions in Bologna
rainbow cities network still growing
Over the last year the Network was happy to welcome a grand number of 11 new cities in their midst: Beşiktaş-Istanbul (Turkey), Bologna (Italy), Bruges (Belgium), Brussels (Belgium), Esch-sur-Alzette (Luxembourg), Hamburg (Germany), Leuven (Belgium), Oslo (Norway), Paris (France), Parma (Italy), Ripollet (Spain).

On 1 October 2016 the Rainbow Cities Network consisted of 29 members from 15 countries. During the last annual meeting, in August 2016 in Amsterdam, the member cities exchanged practical approaches on refugees, trans and intersex policies, seniors and archives. The host city of the annual meeting, the City of Amsterdam, invited Rainbow City Mayors, Deputy Mayors and City Council members for a parallel meeting and site visits to several Amsterdam LGBTI projects and organisations. Since the annual meeting coincided with EuroPride, RCN members could network with other international guests during several events.

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.
Global agenda for inclusive cities does not recognise LGBTQ citizens
The UN’s New Urban Agenda calls on nations around the world to create safer, more inclusive and sustainable cities – but a group of countries including Russia, Iran and Saudi Arabia successfully excluded LGBTQ rights. The United Nation’s New Urban Agenda, a manifesto for better cities meant to influence global urban policy was agreed at the Habitat III conference in Quito earlier this month, has not acknowledged LGBTQ rights. This is not an omission that has gone unnoticed.
Factsheet: What can we learn from European LGBT friendly cities?
Cities and local policies play an important role in promoting the social inclusion and safety of LGBT people. Local policies can consist of targeted approaches and activities to combat prejudice, discrimination, intimidation and violence on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Movisie, the Netherlands centre for social development, developed a factsheet, which offers suggestions for inclusive local policies to make LGBT people feel supported, safe and resilient in society.
Same-sex civil unions in Bologna
In Italy, same-sex civil unions have been recognised by Law No. 76, enacted on May 2016. The City of Bologna, by Mayor Merola's wish, has established that civil unions shall be celebrated in the City Hall’s Red Hall; the same hall where civil marriages have been always held. Since July 2016, same-sex couples can book a date for the ceremony.

The City of Bologna had already been establishing the transcription of same-sex marriages celebrated abroad into the local registry of civil unions since 2014.
Eleven good practices in Europe on LGBT+ inclusive education
20 participants from all over Europe shared knowledge and expertise on LGBT+ inclusive education during a seminar in Poland. They used experiential learning and non-formal methodologies, which resulted in a booklet which describes 11 best practices. The best practices range from interactive exercises to multi-year projects and the creating of an LGBT office in a university. Organisations from Cyprus, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Slovakia and Turkey shared their practical initiatives.
Barcelona Municipal Plan for Sexual and Gender Diversity presented for approval
The Councillor for Feminism and LGBTI of the Barcelona City Council, Ms. Laura Pérez Castaño, will present the Municipal Plan for Sexual and Gender Diversity - Measures for LGBTI Equality 2016-2020 for approval to the October Plenary Session of the City Council. The plan contains 200 actions involving thirty departments and directorates of the Barcelona City Council. It incorporates a vision of sexual and gender diversity and was drawn up in response to Law 11/2014 to ensure the rights of LGBTI people and to eradicate homophobia, biphobia and transphobia.
18 October: Equal Treatment Day in Mexico City
To commemorate 18 October, the Day of Equal Treatment in Mexico City, and as the main activity of October, the Equal Treatment Month campaign, Mexico’s City Council to Prevent and Eliminate Discrimination organized the forum CDMX-BERLIN: Homophobia, Racism and Football. In this event, personalities of the sports media, representatives of the Berlin State office and civil organizations participated to discuss these issues in this popular sport and suggested solutions to eradicate such practices.
Sexual orientation and gender identity on the agenda of care institutions
In the Netherlands, four organisations are working together to improve the situation of LGBT seniors under the name Pink 50+. One of the partners, Vilans, the Dutch expertise centre for long-term care, compiled a list of practical tools to increase the attention for sexual orientation and gender identity in the care and welfare system. Most tools are aimed at professionals working with and for seniors. Vilans described interventions, instruments and activities with, for and about LGBT seniors, most of them directly applicable to the work floor situation. In the overview ‘good practices’ are listed in English (from UK, USA, Canada, Australia) and some in German and Spanish. Pink 50+ hopes to inspire municipalities and institutions to raise awareness and execute inclusive policies for LGBT seniors in the care and welfare system.
Mannheim stands up for transgender employees and citizens
As part of its active LGBTI policy, the City of Mannheim takes action against the discrimination of its transgender employees and citizens. As a sign of this commitment, this year the Mannheim City Hall will fly Transgender Pride Flags on the occasion of the Transgender Awareness Week, being the first municipality in Germany to do so. Concomitantly, the exhibition “Trans* at Work” will be on display at the city hall, November 14.-25., together with different events aiming to educate and empower. More information can be found on the LGBTI dedicated website of the City of Mannheim.
Barcelona: 25 years after the murder of transsexual Sonia Rescalvo Zafra
A ceremony in memory of the transsexual Sonia Rescalvo Zafra was held on 6 October 2016 in Barcelona Ciutadella Park. Ms. Rescalvo Zafra was murdered 25 year ago by a group of Neo-Nazis in this park because of her gender identity. This year, the homage was organized by the Barcelona City Council together with the LGBTI Municipal Council of Barcelona, the Platform of LGBTI Organizations of Catalonia and the Trans*forma la Salut Platform.

Copyright photo: Laia Ventayol (Gayles.tv)
Annual report International Family Equality Day: celebrations in 74 towns in 36 countries
Since 2012, IFED has been celebrated on the first Sunday in May all over the world. Family diversity becomes visible on that day. The Annual Report introduces the organisations involved and it highlights the activities in the different cities and countries. The 6th International Family Equality Day will take place on Sunday, 7 May 2017 under the motto “LOVE MAKES A FAMILY”.
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