Organisers Forced to Cancel LGBT Christian Forum in Yerevan, Armenia Amidst Violence and Death Threats
The European Forum of LGBT Christian Groups and the “New Generation” Humanitarian NGO (Yerevan, Armenia) are forced to announce the cancellation of this year’s Forum of LGBT Christians of Eastern Europe and Central Asia that was due to take place in Yerevan on 15–18 November 2018. We are deeply distressed and disappointed that political violence, death threats, and vandalism directed at LGBTI people are constituting a genuine threat to the safety of our participants.
Response to the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Memo to Government Agencies
The European Forum of LGBT Christian Groups was shocked and saddened by the news that the US Department of Health and Human Resources has issued a memo to Government Agencies proposing that gender and sex are one, and that they are “determined on a biological basis”, if necessary supported by genetic evidence. There can only be male and female. Such a rigid viewpoint rules out any possibility of recognition of those with variant gender identity and could also affect some people with intersex conditions.
Council of Europe Grants European Forum Participatory Status
We are very happy that the European Forum of LGBT Christian Groups (EF) has been granted participatory status in the Council of Europe.
The Council of Europe is the continent’s leading Human Rights organisation. All 47 member states have signed the European Convention of Human Rights. With this decision, the Council affirms that listening to the perspectives of minorities is crucial when dealing with questions of Human Rights. The EF is now among the 300 plus international non-governmental organisations (INGOs) that have been granted participatory status, giving a voice to LGBT people of faith.
Paying a Visit to the Council of Europe
Well, that was a very interesting and informative experience. It had been in my agenda for quite some weeks, but, for a long time, it was not clear exactly what I was going to do in Strasbourg for the European Forum on 22 and 23 April. It is probably illustrative of ordinary European Forum members like me trying to find their way into the wonderful world of the larger and more important European institutions that, in the long run, can be helpful for the cause of LGBT Christians/believers. I was invited by our project coordinator Florin Buhuceanu as a member of the Political Advocacy Working Group of the Forum.
Freedom of Expression for LGBT People in St. Petersburg
The parliament of St. Petersburg wanted to pass a law against "propaganda of homosexualism..." forbidding any form of the self-expression of LGBT people towards persons under 18 years including any form of sexual education in school dealing with LGBT issues or public demonstrations like Gay Pride marches.
International protest has stopped the parlament accepting this law. The European Forum has written a letter to Vadim Tulpanov, the Chairman of the Legislative Assembly of St. Petersburg.