Council of Europe: “Manif pour Tous[1]” and “Tackling discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity” in the program on 26 and 27 June.

HREFrom Gregor Puppinck, PhD, director of the European Centre for Law and Justice.

On June 27th, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE Strasbourg) will discuss a draft resolution and recommendation entitled « Tackling discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity » (Doc. 13223) submitted by the socialist Norwegian deputy Håkon Haugli. This document is primarily intended to reinforce the prevention and repression of social hostility towards homosexuality (homophobia) in order to change mentalities, policies and legislation.

The day before, on June 26th, Mr. Luca Volontè and the ECLJ (European Centre for Law and Justice) organized in this same Assembly a public hearing on the « Manif pour Tous » with special attendance by Ludovine de la Rochère, Béatrice Bourges and representatives of the “Vigils.” During this hearing, guests will have the opportunity to present the message of this social movement after which the repression of this movement will discussed. The ECLJ will release a report compiled of more than one hundred detailed testimonies of police abuses. This hearing will be held before interested MP and before the public from 1 to 2 p.m. (information and registration at before June 24).

In addition, on the evening of Wednesday June, 26, in Strasbourg, the movement of the “Vigil” is organizing a major European vigil open to everyone, with special attendance by Ludovine de la Rochère, Béatrice Bourges, Luca Volontè and other MPs from various European countries who will demonstrate their commitment. They seek to reconnect with the inspiration of the founders of the Council of Europe meditating on, among others texts, the preamble to the Statute of the Council of Europe in which European States declared “their devotion to the spiritual and moral values which are the common heritage of their peoples and the true source of individual freedom, political liberty and the rule of law, principles which form the basis of all genuine democracy”.

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The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe is composed of representatives of the national parliaments of the 47 member States of the Council of Europe (including a French delegation). One of its functions is the adoption of resolutions and political recommendations for the States. The Council of Europe has set the promotion of “LGBT” rights as a political priority. It has adopted a text of reference in this matter (PACE Resolution 1728/2010 and Recommendation 2010/05 of the Committee of Ministers) and created in its bosom an « LGBT Unit » whose mission is to ensure, promote and supervise the implementation of these resolutions and recommendations.

While the texts previously adopted by the Council of Europe promoted equal rights, the draft Resolution and Recommendation to be discussed on June 27th focuses on social equality. A major change of mentality must occur in order for the tackling of discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity. The array of resources recommended are vast: beginning with the recommendation of public figures to participate in gay pride, to the strengthening of the repression of homophobic speeches and acts, through the organization of “public campaigns on equality and diversity” and finally to the training of State officials in this policy. Echoing the policy of the current French government in tackling gender stereotypes in schools, the text invites States to support and initiate projects of “prevention” of homophobia and transphobia by “address[ing] to and involving students, teachers and school staff.”

Regarding “homophobic speech,” the draft resolution requests that it be called “hate speech” and punished more harshly as such, while also recognizing that “there is no universally accepted definition of the expression “hate speech” (§ 61). This creates uncertainty in regards to the limitations of freedom of expression which this concept could itself justify (similar to the concept of Islamophobia).

More specifically, the text of Håkon Haugli forcibly condemns and calls for a « repeal » of the Russian laws on the “propaganda of homosexuality amongst minors” and similar laws adopted or under discussion in the Ukraine and Moldova. These laws prohibit “propaganda of same-sex relationships aimed at children,” that is to say the promotion, including through the media, of “propaganda of homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexualism and transgenderness amongst minors.” Mr. Haugli can build on the Commission of Venice, a body of expertise from the Council of Europe, which rendered on June 18, 2013 an opinion that, after an analysis of these laws, condemned their application and requested their repeal (Opinion 707/2012 – CDL-AD (2013) 022). This opinion, noting that homosexuality is a sexual orientation protected on the same terms as heterosexuality which stresses in particular that of “‘public morality” [i.e.] the values and traditions including religion of the majority and ‘protection of minors’” that are invoked by Russia, can not justify these laws (§ 78). According to this opinion, the only acceptable prohibition is limited to sexually explicit and obscene contents, regardless of sexual orientation.

If, on the one hand, the report lamented “a worrying setback” of LGBT rights in Eastern Europe, it congratulated on the other a “significant progress” in other countries where there exists “the recognition or strengthening of rights for LGBTs in the areas of adoption, civil partnership and marriage, and the introduction of stronger measures against homophobic and transphobic speech and violence.”(Para. 95) In fact, this cultural divide is increasing in proportion as the West becomes more libertarian and Eastern Europe tries on the contrary to reconstruct itself culturally. The Council of Europe is one of the first victims of this cultural divide because, as rooted in Western Europe, it is no longer able to bring about unity amongst its 47 member states regarding these social issues. Increasingly, it oscillates between paralysis and the struggle for power. Where as the spirit of consensus long ruled, as in the Committee of Ministers and in the European Court of Human Rights, division and confrontation are now present, extending between radically divergent positions. Russian law on the protection of minors serves as an example of this hostile spirit in that it is the exact opposite of the French policy against gender stereotypes in schools.

This East-West divide, replicated itself in a second cultural division within every country in the West. The French social movement born around the « Manif pour Tous, » by its size and politico-cultural dimension, indicate that France has not completely acquired a libertarian mentality. Because of its size, it fits inline with recent major social movements (colored revolutions, Arab Spring, Spanish and Greek Indignados) but with a message of cultural overhaul rather than revolution. The role of European institutions and of the drafted resolution must be understood in this context of cultural conflict. Håkon Haugli in his report illustrates this cultural conflict, stating that “[i]n Ukraine, adopting a comprehensive anti-discrimination law [thus including non-discrimination based on sexual orientation] is part of the conditions that the European Union has set for the conclusion of an association agreement.”

Because the “LGBT issue” specifically targets the definition of individual freedom more specifically in the link between nature and culture, it has become a symbol of a profound cultural conflict permanently dividing Europe. Far from the ideal of the founding fathers of the Council of Europe, the European “spiritual and moral values” are again in crisis and are overshadowed by the power struggle.

The European Centre for Law and Justice is an international, Non-Governmental Organization dedicated to the promotion and protection of human rights in Europe and worldwide. The ECLJ holds special Consultative Status before the United Nations/ECOSOC since 2007.

The ECLJ engages legal, legislative, and cultural issues by implementing an effective strategy of advocacy, education, and litigation. The ECLJ advocates in particular the protection of religious freedoms and the dignity of the person with the European Court of Human Rights and the other mechanisms afforded by the United Nations, the Council of Europe, the European Parliament, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and others.

The ECLJ bases its action on “the spiritual and moral values which are the common heritage of European peoples and the true source of individual freedom, political liberty and the rule of law, principles which form the basis of all genuine democracy” (Preamble of the Statute of the Council of Europe).

European Centre for Law and Justice
4, Quai Koch
67000 Strasbourg, France
Phone: + 33 (0)3 88 24 94 40
Fax: + 33 (0)3 88 24 94 47

[1] The law opening marriage for same sex couples was often presented as being “the marriage for everybody” (mariage pour tous). Therefore the social movement against this law baptised itself “demonstration for everybody,” in French: Manif pour Tous.”

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Europe : Young people’s access to fundamental rights

HRERapporteur : Mr Luca VOLONTÈ, Italy, EPP/CD

Origin: Reference to committee: Reference 3921 of 30 November 2012. Reporting Committee: Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media. See Doc. 13156. Opinion approved by the Committee on 22 April 2013.2013 – Second part-session

Read the conclusions of the committee

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France: Beaten by police and imprisoned for his opinons

HREJune 19, « Nicolas », 22, the first protester of the anti-gay-marriage law was sentenced to two months in prison for an imaginary rebellion.
No initial offence could be proved, the arrest was without legal basis and imprisonment appears to be that young « Nicolas » is the first political prisoner of M. Hollande’s French government.
Following this event, the French rallied to protest. Large gatherings were organized in Paris and all French cities from Friday until Sunday to show their indignation?  The protesters also expressed their concerns vis-à-vis their government’s views on gay marriage, their need to impose Gestation For Others, Medically Assisted Procreation and Gender Theory for schools.nicolasNew ! Follow us on twitter
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France : French People organise themselves against the French government reppression


following hundreds of complaints by French demonstrators against police repression (including children and old people), not reported by most of the media, the French people have organized themselves against oppression with the website : which means « freedom for everybody ».

This website explains : « After so many arrests (and custodial arrests), which are currently happening, especially since 26 May 2013 during which the protest movements against the bill « Marriage for All », « la manif pour tous » wishes to identify all arrests that seem unfair and for which there have been no subsequent criminal prosecutions against demonstrators.This site aims to help the victims of these arrests to testify and give all the information relating to their arrest, in the heading at the top right « I bear witness. » This statistical work is essential in order to show the full extent of the harshness of this repression and to denounce police abuse and more generally, the state. »

We hope that the French government will recognise the danger posed by their recent action against human rights and welcome the establishment of this site and take notice of the statistics and comments posted thereon.

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France : Freedom of conscience in danger

HREThe french organisation « Civic Forum of Hope » (« Forum Civique de l’Espérance ») supports the Arcangues mayor and his council.

In refusing to apply the law of « gay marriage » in this little corner of France, the Mayor of Arcangues Jean-Michel Colo is exposed to « significant sanctions, » according to Interior Minister, Manuel Valls.

The two men who want to marry, and whose case was rejected, received the support of the Defense Committee of Gay Rights, Idhao (International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia), chaired by Alexandre Marcel Gard. The latter decided to lodge a complaint against all the members of the council of Arcangues.

We call on all our supporters to show their support  for Jean-Michel Colo by writing to or

The Civic Forum of Hope, including « Humans Rights in Europe », will provide legal, financial, political and media support for the mayor and council of Arcangues.

We hope that the fundamental value of « freedom of conscience », underwritten by Francois Hollande (before being redrawn by his « Liberal-libertarian » entourage) is still effective in France, and that this country remains a free country.

Because there are above the laws of the republic laws, when they are immoral, they should not apply.

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France : denunciation of police brutality to the Council of Human Rights at the United Nations

HREFull denonciation : watch the video

On June 6, 2013 at the seat of the United Nations in Geneva, on the occasion of the process of the Universal Periodic Review of France, the ECLJ, represented by its director, Grégor Puppinck, addressed the Council of Human Rights in order to denounce the ongoing police brutality against the manifestation in favor of the family and the rights of children.

The recent events demonstrate in particular the grave abuse of the use of force and of the process of arrest and of identity checks against the protestors. With regard to custody by the police and abuse of identity checks, it is about a structural problem, also denounced by other NGO’s, and which must be resolved. As for the police violence, the victims must be able to have legal recourse against the authors of these violent actions.

Grégor Puppinck’s intervention in the 24th Meeting of the 23rd Regular Session of Human Rights Council, denouncing police brutality in France against the demonstrators opposed to same-sex marriage.

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France : Police hunt people who wear « prohibited sweatshirt »


FRANCE – We invite you to watch this video in which a lawyer releases 4 young girls arrested by the police just because they were wearing a T-shirt with the motif,  « la manif pour tous ».

« La Manif pour tous » is an organization promoting the necessity for a child to have a father and a mother, and therefore they are in conflict with the new law on gay marriage.

The French government have said nothing about these arrests.

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