The principles of dignity and non-discrimination are deeply embedded into European values, yet when it comes to the rights of LGBT, there is a clear division between Western and Eastern Europe. Most of Western Europe has championed the freedom to marry as a bellwether of progress towards equality, whereas in Eastern Europe the LGBT community experiences anything from mild intolerance to hostile rejection and violence. Eastern Europe needs a champion of change and the Czech Republic is the one.
Prague, the Czech Republic, Vienna, Austria, Ljubljana, Slovenia, Vilnius Lithuania, Dublin, Ireland
Europe is significantly divided. Western Europe is enacting marriage equality, Eastern Europe proposes anti-gay laws. The challenge we are facing in Eastern Europe is a mix of historical heritage, tradition and church influence. LGBT are an invisible minority for most of Eastern Europeans with whom they cannot identify. Most importantly we miss a role model, a country that would “de-westernize” the concept of LGBT rights and would open the hearts and minds of the people living in the region.
Our general aim is to introduce marriage equality in the Czech Republic by 2020 and to battle the prejudice of LGBT rights being a “western concept”. We will send a signal and change the convictions of many living in the region. We will become a beacon of hope for millions of Eastern European LGBT people. Our particular aim is to make LGBT a visible minority for Eastern Europeans to show their faces and their stories. Our aim is to change the hearts and minds of Eastern Europeans towards LGBT.
1. We will run a massive public awareness campaign that will increase the existing support for marriage equality in the Czech Republic to the extent that politicians will not be able to ignore it and will enact marriage equality. The campaign will be based on deep personal stories of LGBT people, their families and friends, with the goal to introduce us as next door neighbors, colleagues, family members - to make us real.
2. We will run a European public awareness activities – presenting personal stories of LGBT couples from different parts of Europe and their reception by their society and state they live in - through open air photo exhibition, stories in major newspapers and Pride voices talk show presented, during pride festivals in major cities across Europe.
The primary target group is Eastern European LGBT. The Czech Republic has currently the biggest potential to adopt marriage equality legislation. 49% of the general public expressed its support to such a change in recent public opinion survey. Through adopting marriage equality in the Czech Republic we will de-westernize concept of LGBT rights and add blood to veins of activists around the region to intensify their fight for equal rights, the same way as the Irish referendum activated us.
“Love and unity”. Europe experiences times of growing populism, racism and hatred. Negative attitudes and inhuman behavior are omnipresent across the continent. Our project brings a positive topic to the public discourse. Our project focuses on love, a virtue that every human understands and needs. The project also aims at unifying Europe in respect to LGBT people. Campaigns for marriage equality are held in more than one European country, the project unites them through activities and message.
Funding requested from Advocate Europe
Major expenses will go for the European dimension – making LGBT a visible minority. We will organize a photo open air exhibition in 5 major cities across Europe. We will organize and broadcast a Pride voices talk show in 5 major cities across Europe and we will publish stories of LGBT from the photo exhibition in major newspapers in 5 countries across Europe. We will work closely with our pride partners – Baltic Pride, Ljubljana, Warsaw, Vienna, Berlin, Hamburg, Bratislava