European Forum

of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Christian Groups

Breathing in the Spirit of Human Rights - Background of the Advocacy Project

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Background of the Advocacy Project

During recent years, several European institutions and UN bodies have repeatedly reported serious violations of the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, particularly in Eastern Europe. These reports officially make clear that violence and hate crimes, as well as discriminatory laws and practices against LGBT people, are a challenging problem both in Europe and worldwide as well as acknowledged the role of the religious fundamentalism and Religious Right groups in legitimizing and motivating these types of oppression.

Until now, there is no strong international voice of religious LGBT organisations fully equipped to advocate on behalf of LGBT people of faith and to counteract religious based homophobia. The European Forum is the only European actor able to support and galvanize advocacy initiatives on behalf of this constituency, which requires capacity building measures for strengthening its organizational and advocacy capacity.

The experience, degree of maturity, and growing visibility of the European Forum places this civil society organization in a very good position to begin to pro-actively influence decision-making processes affecting human rights issues at the European level from an inclusive Christian and social-justice perspective.

Moreover, as leader of a broad LGBT constituency, the European Forum can help transfer advocacy skills and advocacy arguments to mainstream human rights NGOs, LGBT groups and religious allies with whom they work, articulating a Christian voice in the favour at the LGBT rights at European level. This is the reason why the European Forum sees the need to demand human rights through active lobbying for LGBT human rights within European and international political organisations, by adding a Christian perspective, as well as through lobbying for the full inclusion and equal rights of LGBT people within international Church organisations, by adding an LGBT perspective, so that ultimately every LGBT person in Europe finds a social atmosphere in which he or she is breathing in the spirit of human rights in everyday life.

As the European Forum is a European organisation, the advocacy project has its focus on multilateral European organisations with a special emphasis on the Council of Europe (CoE).