The project is designed to take action on the top priority topic for 2014-15 anti-discrimination work identified by grassroots religion and belief (R&B) organisations at the ENORB Assemblée Générale in 2013: the interface between religion and belief (R&B) and LGBT rights. The project is summarised below:
Project 1 – Building Communities of Trust
The project was designed following a jointly organised exploratory seminar by ENORB and ILGA and the subsequent setting up of a joint Task Group. The Task Group aims to work in both communities:
- To promote equalities and take action against discrimination and hate crime on grounds of religion and belief and against LGBT communities at European and local levels
- To increase mutual understanding and build alliances between these communities based on a new narrative of human rights and shared values
- To develop materials aimed at contributing to long-term shifts in attitudes to human rights on these issuesacross Europe.
- Joint ENORB/ILGA European seminar on the topic of LGBT Rights and Freedom of Religion/ Belief
- At least five meetings/seminars in member states, plus exploratory visits to further European countries where there is local demand
- A report and sample materials suitable for use in similar initiatives in other member states
- ENORB/ILGA Seminar – February 26-27, 2015. The seminar in Brussels,will bring together some 50 participants from ENORB and ILGA member organisations, equality bodies and EU/European institutions, with the aims of agreeing a human rights basis for a joint position statement and programmes of action in member states. Organisation and fundingwillbecarried out by ENORB, and plannedby the Joint Task Group.
- Meetings/Seminars in member-states. These will be organised in collaboration with local organisations, in order to support local initiatives on R&B and LGBT issues, withsmallfunding support whereneeded and in collaboration withequality bodies where possible. Where there are no existing national R&B networks focusing on anti-discrimination and equalities work, the project team will support the formation of such networks, and similarly with local LGBT networks, if required. Interest in holding seminars has already come from UK, Netherlands, Spain, Romania, and Italy.
- Project Background
The project goals are:
1. To develop a model and methods to reduce discrimination and hate crime and increase collaboration and mutual understanding between religion/belief (R&B) and LGBTI organizations and communities, using both top-down and bottom up approaches, specifically:
i) A European Seminar in Brussels on the interface between two strands of EU Fundamental Rights and Anti-Discrimination policy: freedom of religion and belief and LGBTI rights.ii) Initial exploratory meetings in five European countries building on existing links (eg interfaith & LGBTI structures, Christian/Muslim forums) to explore both the sources of conflict, and the shared experiences of hate crime and discrimination, in each community;
iii) Joint meetings/seminars in the 5 selected countries between R&B and LGBT members, to develop relationships, mutual understanding, and possibilities for joint cooperation and/or solidarity;
- To develop pilot materials for a new narrative of mutual understanding and solidarity between these communities, based on shared human rights, non-discrimination and common values, to be used in future joint campaigns in countries across Europe. These will include leaflets and seminar materials.3. To reduce perceived tensions between the human rights basis for R&B and LGBTI movements;4. To promote increased EU and member state commitment to equalities legislation and its implementation on all grounds, and specifically on R&B & LGBTI rights and freedoms.
- ENORB recognizes that this is a sensitive project in a difficult area, and therefore will focus the use of funds on visits for meetings/seminars in member states, and also on subsidised attendance to the European seminarfor those from smaller and underfundedorganisations from EU countries, especially from those parts of Europe where these issues are especially acute.