10th Regional ILGA Conference
for Eastern, Southeastern and Central Europe

Conference Report

Ljubljana, Slovenia
August 8-11, 1996

The 10th Regional ILGA Conference for Eastern, Southeastern and Central Europe was organised and hosted by ŠKUC Roza klub, Magnus and LL


Letters to the organising committee
Conference program
Workshop minutes List of Participants
Participants of the Women's Workshops
List of Organisations
Organising Committee's Press Releases



The State Assembly of the RS
The President

Mr. Aleš Pečnik
ŠKUC Magnus, LL, Roza klub

Dear Sir:

I thank you for your invitation to the 10th Regional ILGA Conference. The State Assembly has holidays in August, and for this reason the majority of MPs is on vacation then. I myself am leaving on vacation few days before your conference's opening, so unfortunately I can not join you, but I do wish you successful work. Please relay my best regards to the participants of the conference.

Jožef Školč


Day \ Time 9:00-10:30 11:00-12:30 14:00-15:30 16:00-17:30
Fri, 9 Opening Plenary Country and organisation reports How to do a safer sex workshop
Lesbian visibility Lesbian organising and exchanging
Fundraising for GLB organisations ILGA Phare and Tacis projects
Sat, 10 Self-help groups of people living with HIV/AIDS Gay and lesbian marriage Trip to Piran
GLB Internet
Gay games
Sun, 11 The place of political power struggle on the agenda of gay and lesbian movement; Working with governments Closing Plenary
ILGA and Eastern Europe
Long-term relationships: Pro et contra


Country and Organisation Reports

Moderator: Zoran Pavasovič
Minutetaker: Jen Wang











Lesbian Visibility

Facilitator: Marian Bakker
Minutetaker: Louise Smits

Images and their importance:

Often lesbian photography is erotic. But it is also important to show daily life and not only young and beautiful lesbians but also of older ones, handicapped ones, etc.

The facilitator showed several photobooks as examples and asked participants of the workshop what kind of pictures they like.

Responses were:

Lesbian Organising and Exchanging

Facilitators: Suzana Tratnik, Nataa Sukič
Minutetaker: Katarina Doberšek
Number of participants: 16

Problem with young lesbians in building a network between different countries, going on conferences, publishing literature. It seems that only older women work on the future of lesbian progress. Most of the younger ones just want to have fun.

Novi Sad: a small group of 15 lesbians. They put an advertisement in a paper. They were meeting in a cafe, but it was uncomfortable because it was a straight cafe. They organised a party strictly for lesbians with invitations. The problem is how to get more women, to make them stop hiding. Lesbians from Belgrade help them. Things are getting better. They haven't published anything yet. They have e-mail and wish to keep contact with others.

Croatia: Most of the lesbians don't want to have contacts with others. There's no place where they could meet (no bars), politics is not on their side - it's not allowed by law to have bars. Especially now, after the war, there seems to be stagnation. Government (like in a police country) makes opinion about everything, they control media, etc. They believe that if someone from the West would push on the government then things might change. They don't know what is the real opinion about lesbian between people - because of the control it seems everybody thinks the same way as it is said on TV or from the government.

They all agree that gay and lesbian movement is stronger now than before the war in ex-Yugoslavia, except in Croatia, where it is harder to live than before the war because of religion, which is now - after the war - stronger than ever.

Holland: In small places there are same problems as everywhere, but in larger cities everything is better, you can live as a lesbian without problems from outside.

London: There are still problems, it's hard to fight for rights. There's big difference between gays and lesbians. Gays have more privileges. It's very popular to be gay now in big cities.

Slovenia: LL publishes magazine Pandora, lots of younger lesbians are trying to make some progress.

Kasandra is a feminist lesbian group. They would like to open women's/lesbian bar. The difference between LL and Kasandra is that the latter doesn't work with gay men, whereas LL does.

Modra is a feminist group which includes lesbians but not with the goal of promoting lesbians, only feminist things.

Fund-raising for GLB Organisations

Facilitator: Zoran Pavasovič
Minutetaker: Moran Soruz
Number of participants: 12

The facilitator had an introduction of EU funding projects in Central and Eastern Europe - Phare and Tacis programs for non-governmental organisations and LIEN program for NGO's. He explained conditions and procedures of applying for funds.

He handed out written materials for micro and macro projects with addresses and deadlines for applications.

Fund-raising from local community: Collecting ideas and addresses of funders and how to raise money.

Hand out a list of potential funders.

A recommendation for UNAIDS: Influence local governments to spend more money on HIV/AIDS prevention in the gay scene.

ILGA Phare and Tacis Projects

Facilitator: Andy Quan
Minutetaker: Andy Quan
Number of participants: 12

An explanation of the ILGA Phare/Tacis Lesbian and Gay Anti-Discrimination project was given including the process of application, a history of the project, the main objectives and activities during the project and some of the successes and failures.

Participants were asked what aspects of the project they wanted to discuss. Some of the following were discussed:

It was suggested that future projects can focus on conflict resolution.

Groups interested in Phare/Tacis projects are advised to make informal enquiries to the administrative office. Applications might be co-ordinated through the European Regional Secretariat.

Participants in the project mentioned some of the main successes of the project, for example, Triangle in Moscow being able to reach out to lesbians and gays throughout Russia and to work at a political level rather than just social. Also, media success.

In Lithuania, there was success in media and publications, as well as political work. It was a beginning for lesbian and gay movement. Unfortunately, both groups are uncertain of continuing the projects through the lack of funds. Latvian successes include an increase in skills in project-working, in practical work and general activity. Visibility was increased. Services to the gay and lesbian community were established (e.g. phone line). They were also able to carry out many ideas they had. They believe they will continue their work through additional funding sources.

Self-help Groups for People Living with HIV/AIDS

Facilitator: Kurt Krickler
Minutetaker: Piotr Brodacki
Number of participants: 9

Self-help group: non-professional, to discuss problems of different kinds like AA. It doesn't need bureaucracy, can be a self-help organisation with magazines etc.


Types: Confidentiality to encourage honesty, keeping confidentiality, open for women, for HIV negative people (e.g. partners), no need of self-declaration (anonymous)

Situation in Moscow: a lot of refugees from post-Soviet countries, epidemic in Ukraine (3000 infected at first, 6000 after 4 months). Moscow, St. Petersburg: transmission mostly among gays. Other cities: medical injunctions. Officially it is now a problem in Russia. 2000 HIV positive people in Russia, 15 million people tested every year (official data). Mixed self-help group, doctor and psychological counselling, mostly gay. 3 HIV/AIDS organisations in Moscow, they are afraid to cooperate with (unofficial) gay organisations. "We and You" got a grant from Soros Foundation, starting in 1991.

Estonia: Officially there are 62 HIV positive persons (transmission mostly by gay sex). HIV information centre gets no support from the government and is open every day. Bad experience with psychologists - they changed too often. Gays only, registered organisation. Grants from: Private (Estonian and Swedish positive group), charity launches, from Estonian charity organisations. Meetings: once a week, 50-60 participants, help-line. Governments: officials are changing attitude.

Slovenia: Magnus has no self-help group. Government does very little.

Poland: Self-help group mostly operated by "Be With Us". Helpline 24 hours a day. Supported by government and UNDP (United Nations). Officially: 4000 HIV positive, 400 AIDS patients, 900 new infections in 1995, only 600 of them are gay. 70% of HIV positive are drug addicts.

How to attract people:

Gay and Lesbian Marriage

Facilitator: Kurt Krickler
Minutetaker: Andreas Ott
Number of participants: 19

Marriage for homosexuals causes strong reactions among (conservative) heterosexuals and among (progressive) homosexuals.

Registered partnership could be another word/expression (like in Scandinavia). We will not get marriage (=equal rights) in the near future. Partnership laws in Scandinavia do not include adoption rights, insemination, marriage in church, partnerships of foreigners.

Hungary has another solution (equal rights for non-married couples, straight and gay).

Discussions about gay and lesbian marriage/partnerships is going on in many European countries - West and East (Netherlands, Switzerland, Belgium, Sweden, Italy, Slovenia). Finland seems to be the next country. Iceland was the first country to allow common custody of (partner's own) children.

Denmark, the first country with registered partnerships, is now fighting for adoption rights.

Every country has different situation (Austria for example has adultery laws: adultery is still punishable).

Situation in USA: Hawaii might legalise gay/lesbian marriage as the first state. Other states decided they will not recognise these marriages. "Defence of Marriage Act" (=DOMA) was accepted in the House of Representatives. Clinton is in favour of DOMA.

Parliament in the Netherlands voted for gay/lesbian marriage. The government is (still) against it.

Strong discussion within the gay/lesbian movement. But more and more move towards marriage, i.e. equal rights, including the word marriage. This will also change marriage from a traditional / patriarch / church institution to some new contents (which scares conservative groups). Partnership laws might mean less rights!


Gay Games

Facilitators: Louise Smits, Patrick Wellage
Minutetaker: Andy Quan
Number of participants present: 6

A presentation and discussion took place about the preparations for Gay Games 1998 in Amsterdam. Of special interest to Eastern, Central and South-eastern European activists is that a number of scholarships will be available for athletes from this region. People are encouraged to start organising and training to come and participate. There is no need to be a professional athlete. Participation is the most important part.

GLB Internet

Facilitator: Zoran Pavasovič
Minutetaker: Zoran Pavasovič
Number of participants: 3

The main purpose of the workshop was to give some information about how to use Internet. First we looked where and how to find free software.

When we found and downloaded all the software we began navigating the Internet. We found some computers on Internet which allow the user to search through databases on the Internet. We found a lot of documents, some of them useful, most of them not. The conclusion of the first part would be that the weak point of the Internet is that it doesn't hold the data on the relevance and the quality of information.

The second part of the workshop was how to use (or take advantage of) Internet for the purposes of each organisation. We found out that we can send information about organisation, press releases, invitation for events to different newsgroups and with e-mail (listservers).

What we didn't do but would be good to know is where to find information on fund-raising. The address on which to look for this information is:


The Place of Political Power Struggle on the Agenda of Gay and Lesbian Movement;

Working with Governments

Facilitators: Bogdan Lešnik, Henning Mikkelsen
Minutetaker: Scott Long
Number of participants: 12

The facilitator discussed the different roles and self-perceptions of gay and lesbian movements in Eastern and Western Europe and invited participants to describe the place of gay and lesbian organisations in political life and space in their countries.

Poland: Some impact has been had. The draft constitution contains a non-discrimination clause on sexual orientation, partly because of sympathetic contacts with the Democratic Alliance (former communists) and (at first) president Walesa's office. Most other parties are silent.

Croatia: Little progress; human rights don't interest the government and gays and lesbians stand for everything the government hates. LIGMA invited political parties to a round table and only the ex-communists attended. There is general political apathy among gays and lesbians, and other minority groups reject alliances.

Slovakia: You can pressure politicians into talking with you, but no change results. Ganymedes gets no money from the government except a small contribution toward the coming gay and lesbian film festival.

Slovenia: Contacts with parties and other political groups. Started with cultural events, alliances with peace, feminist and green movements. After the transition, though, these groups lost political power. The media has been supportive; small events get big publicity. Sexual orientation was not included in the non-discrimination clause of the constitution despite lobbying, but non-discrimination law was passed without direct lobbying but almost secretly. The movement rejects registered partnership in favour of marriage rights.

Romania: Criminalisation of homosexuality prevents any strong movement from developing. Gays and lesbians have worked largely through existing human rights organisations. There is little effective contact with politicians.

Hungary: Common-law marriage rights were granted in 1994 by the Constitutional Court, largely due to European models (the Roth resolution) but with almost no lobbying from gay groups. Groups had some input into the final drafting of the new law.

Difference between Eastern- and Western-European gay movements:

Participants pointed to larger number of people out of the closet in the West, the existence of gay business and subculture in the West, political opportunity and a history of political practice in the West, and religion: Catholicism in the East vs. Protestantism in the West.

A chat of the progress of lesbian and gay movements has developed: from community-building to developing political contacts. General advice for movements: use the resources that are available.

How should gay movements respond to HIV/AIDS?

Long-term Relationships: Pro et Contra

Facilitators: Moran Soruz, Jadran Aleksič
Minutetaker: Louise Smits
Number of participants: 5

Long-term relationships: are they possible? How do you define a relationship? Does it work? Under what conditions?


If you feel that in spite your efforts the relationship doesn't work, step out of it.

You should talk from the beginning what kind of relationship you want to have. Create a relationship which works for you.

Your relationship can change, grow with it. A relationship is about agreement, co-operation, honesty, setting your priorities: what is acceptable for me and what is not.


Advantages: Conclusion: Be aware of the warnings but be open for the possibilities (advantages).

Closing Plenary

Facilitator: Andy Quan
Minutetakers: Zoran Pavasovič, Andy Quan

1. Recommendations from workshops

The following workshops took place without specific recommendations: The following workshops offered the following resolutions which were accepted by consensus:

Fund-raising for GLB organisations:

ILGA and Eastern Europe: Gay Games: Long-term relationships:

2. A recommendation to Western-European activists

was offered at the final plenary to encourage the activists to travel to Eastern Europe and help locals fight the discrimination and make gay and lesbian community in Eastern Europe more visible.

3. Country and organisation reports

which should be published in the Conference Report should be received by the organising committee before September 15, 1996.

4. Next year's conference

A discussion took place on whether a conference should take place every year. A suggestion was offered that conferences could be held less often, such as every two years. It was also suggested that conferences could be held involving smaller regions, such as the Balkans, or the Baltics. There were more people in favour of yearly conferences, and due to the offer by Moscow's Triangle group to organise the conference for next year, participants agreed to lend their support to the idea of a conference next year.

The proposal involved either a conference in Moscow or possibly in the South of Russia, near the Black Sea. Conference participants ask the organisers that the conference be held in Moscow, which will be easier to travel to and a familiar location for some. Triangle was asked to publish information early so that people needing visas can arrange them.

Triangle will look for funds for the conference, and will schedule it for the same time as an All Russian lesbian and gay conference. It is proposed to be held in late July or early August.

The following recommendations were offered:

5. To conclude the plenary, each participant was asked to offer their comments and thoughts on the conference

For many participants, the conference was an excellent opportunity to meet other activists face to face and exchange ideas and make friends.

Disappointment was expressed that the conference was small, and that there were problems with workshop attendance. More workshops on HIV/AIDS were also desired. Western European activists were pleased to see the development of the movement in this region and to be able to come to the conference and exchange experiences.

The conference organisers were thanked for their work in preparing the conference and taking care of all of the participants so well. Aleš Pečnik was given special thanks for his hard work.


List of participants is excluded from this version of the conference report and is available only to participants by email.

Participants of Women's Workshops

Participants of women's workshops (ťLesbian visibilityŤ and ťLesbian organising and exchangingŤ) made a separate list of participants because not all of them were registered at the conference.

The list is excluded from e-version of the conference report and is available only to participants by email.


ACCEPT - The Bucharest Acceptance Group
c/o Apador-CH
Calea Victoriei nr. 120 Sector 1
Tel/Fax: +40-1-312-4528

AIDS Information and Support Center
Eha street 8
EE-0001 Tallinn
Tel: +372-2-451-822
Fax: +372-2-476-051

Arkadija, Labris
Tiršova 5a
11000 Beograd
Tel: +381-11-645-328
Fax: +381-11-645-798
Email: zenski_centar@zamir-bg.ztn.apc.org

Center Triangle
P.O. Box 7
105037 Moscow
Tel/Fax: +7-095-163-8002
Email: triangle@glas.apc.org

ESPO - Estonian Body-Positive Group
Narva mnt 48
EE-0001 Tallinn
Tel/Fax: +372-2-427-011

Federation of Gay Games 1998
P.O. Box 300, 008
Denver, Colorado 80203
Tel: +1-303-871-8483
Fax: +1-303-871-8978

P.O. Box 3
83000 Bratislava
Tel/Fax: +427-395-796

Homosexuella Liberaler
P.O. Box 45090
S-10430 Stockholm
Tel: +46-8-314-127
Fax: +46-8-304-730

Hosi Linz
Schuberstr. 36/1
A-4020 Linz
Tel: +43-732-609-898

Hosi Wien
Novaragasse 40
A-1020 Wien
Tel: +43-1-216-604
Fax: +43-1-545-1310
Email: hosiwien@via.at

81 Kolenmarkt
1000 Brussels
Tel/Fax: +32-2-502-2471
Email: ilga@ilga.org

Institut für Sozial- und Präventivmedizin
Sumatrastr. 30
CH-8006 Zürich
Tel: +41-1-257-6649
Fax: +41-1-257-6962

Labrys - Novi Sad
Radnička 35-b
21000 Novi Sad
Tel/Fax: +381-21-623-155

Lambda Warsaw
Ul. Krakowskie Przedmiescie
09-927 Warsaw 64
Tel: +48-22-628-5222 (Tue, Wed, Fri, 6pm-9pm)

Latvian Association for Sexual Equality
P.O. Box 460
LV-1001 Riga
Tel/Fax: +371-722-7052
Email: lasv@com.latnet.lv

Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement
Oxford House
Derbyshire str.
London E26Hb
Tel: +44-171-739-1249

Lesbian Connexion/s
Kloveniersburgwal 21C
NL-1011 JV Amsterdam
Tel: +31-20-627-2045

P.O. Box 488
11001 Zagreb

Lithuanian Gay League
P.O. Box 2862
2000 Vilnius
Tel/Fax: +370-2-239-282

Lithuanian Movement for Sexual Equality
P.O. Box 720
LT-2038 Vilnius
Tel: +370-2-655-940

My i Wy
Grafsky per 4/6
129626 Moscow
Tel/Fax: +7-095-216-6594

ŠKUC Magnus, LL, Roza klub
Kersnikova 4
SI-1000 Ljubljana
Tel: +386-61-130-4740
Fax: +386-61-329-185

St. Gay & Lesbian Games Amsterdam 1998
Postbus 2837
NL-1000 CV Amsterdam
Tel/Fax: +31-20-626-1998

World Health Organization
8, Scherflgsvej
DK-2100 Copenhagen
Tel: +45-39-171-557
Fax: +45-39-171-875



On August 8, 1996 on border pass Dolga vas, authorities of Slovene border police rudely denied the entrance to the three participants of the 10th conference of Intemational Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA). Border authorities denied the entrance to one American, one Romanian and one Cameroon citizens under the ostensible reason that they do not posses enough money to enter our country. They all had around 300$ and an official invitation from the organisers (ŠKUC Magnus, LL, Roza klub). Under the statement made by those three participants and sent to the organisers, the authorities were incredibly rude, refused to identify and marked the American participant's passport with "UNIČENO/ANNULE" mark.

The organisers strongly protest against such a behaviour of Slovene police and we demand from the organs in charge the immediate and public explanation, and appropriate measures against the responsible ones.

According to the fact that Slovene public is disturbed by rude procedures of Croatian authorities against Slovene citizens, we expect that in this case the Slovene public will declare themselves against these actions no matter which side performs it.

ŠKUC Magnus, LL, Roza klub
ILGA (lnternational Lesbian and Gay Association)
participants of the conference


On August 10 you published an incorrect information in your newspaper in the article ťProblems already at the borderŤ. We kindly ask you to publish this correction.

The article says: ťPolice from Murska Sobota informed us that the foreign citizen were denied at the border because they only had 300 US dollars all together.Ť Actually, the US citizen and the Cameroon citizen had 300 US dollars each, while the citizen of Romania had approximately 200 US dollars. We don't know if the wrong information is published as a result of editorial's error or as a result of police's misleading public, but we ask you to publish this correction anyway.

The statement that policemen's actions were correct is also untrue. The law may not require policemen to be kind to people, but it does require policemen to introduce themselves when they are asked to do so. The border policeman who denied the ILGA conference participants refused to introduce himself despite US citizen's request.

For this reason we are going to ask the Ministry of Interior to find out which policeman refused to introduce himself and to take appropriate actions against him.

ŠKUC LL, Magnus, Roza klub


Today the 10th Regional International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA) Conference for Eastern, Southeastern and Central Europe ended in Boarding school Tabor. The conference started on August 8. The participants discussed the problems they meet as lesbians and gays.

The official program began on Friday with official opening. The participants were greeted by Brane Mozetič, representative of ŠKUC's sections Magnus, LL and Roza klub, Andy Quan, ILGA coordinator, Henning Mikkelsen, Dunja Kosmač Piškur, state secretary from the Ministry of Health, Mirko Vavpotič from Ministry of Education and Sport's Youth Bureau and Sonja Lokar from Women's Forum of United List of Social Democrats.

Country and organisation reports followed the opening ceremony. The participants introduced legal and social circumstances for gays and lesbians in their countries. Lesbians and gays are discriminated in all countries. In none of the countries represented at the conference consensual sex between persons of the same gender is criminalised, but there are other forms of discrimination: from different ages of consent for same- and opposite-sex relations (Austria, Yugoslavia), to ban on same-sex marriages.

After that, workshops about preparing a workshop on safer sex, about lesbian visibility, lesbian organising, fundraising for gay and lesbian organisations, ILGA's cooperation with Phare and Tacis projects, self-help groups for people with HIV/AIDS, gay and lesbian marriage, gay games, working with governments, Internet, political power struggle between different segments of society, cooperation of Eastern-European gay and lesbian organisations with ILGA and long-term relationships followed.

The participants decided at the closing plenary that the next ILGA Regional Conference for this region will take place in Moscow.

The conference organisers would like to protest again because of border police's actions. The border police at the border pass Dolga vas denied entrance to three conference participants. The police gave misleading statements regarding the incident. According to the police, the three participants had only 300 US dollars all together. This statement is untrue. The citizen of the USA and the citizen of Cameroon had 300 US dollars each, while the citizen of Romania had approximately 200 US dollars. We also cannot agree with the police's statement that the policeman's procedure was correct. The law may not ask the policemen to be kind to people they meet because of their job, but the law requires them to introduce themselves if they are asked to do so. The citizen of the USA asked the policeman to introduce himself, but the policeman rudely refused to do so. We expect from the Ministry of Internal Affairs to take appropriate actions against policemen involved.

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