Credit: ILGA Europe

On Thursday 11 May 2023, ILGA Europe released the latest Rainbow Europe Index, a benchmarking tool that highlights the progress and setbacks of individual European countries regarding the legal situation of LGBTIQ+ people.

Luxembourg had previously held third place for three consecutive years, but fell to fifth place last year and has lost two more places this year, with a score of 68%, landing it in seventh place. According to national LGBTIQ+ organisation Rosa Lëtzebuerg, Luxembourg’s fall in the ranking is not the result of a deterioration in legislation, but rather a consequence of a near standstill in legislative work. Rosa Lëtzebuerg noted that there have been no notable advancements in legislation and no new bills have been introduced in parliament to strengthen the rights of LGBTIQ+ people in Luxembourg over the past 24 months.

Rosa Lëtzebuerg highlighted a few urgent demands during the past year which have not yet been implemented, such as the prohibition of surgeries on children with variations of sex characteristics without their informed consent or the automatic recognition of parenthood for same-sex couples. The organisation also lamented that the implementation of a ban on conversion therapies has not been addressed as a necessity yet. It also argued that Luxembourg has not yet established any legal framework in the category of intersex bodily integrity and has accordingly scored no points in this area.

Despite setbacks in some countries, the Rainbow Europe Index 2023 shows that progress in the legal recognition and equality of LGBTIQ+ people in Europe is possible, according to Rosa Lëtzebuerg. Spain, for instance, recently introduced comprehensive legislation for the legal recognition of gender on the basis of self-determination, and Belgium rose four points in the ranking due to the inclusion of gender identity and sex characteristics as aggravating factors in its penal code.

On the other hand, countries such as Serbia and Turkey, where the freedom of assembly of LGBTIQ+ people is restricted, as well as the increasing anti-trans rhetoric in many countries, received a negative mention. In the United States, over 492 laws have been introduced in states such as Texas, Tennessee and Florida that could cause significant harm to the lives of trans people, noted Rosa Lëtzebuerg.

Rosa Lëtzebuerg, as a national advocacy group for queer people, participated in the data collection for Luxembourg. The association stressed that, in addition to public support for socio-cultural and socio-educational institutions, such as the Rainbow Center and the Centre LGBTIQ+ CIGALE, progress in legal equality must not be neglected.

In the run-up to the parliamentary elections in October 2023, Rosa Lëtzebuerg has pledged to provide all parties with a catalogue of demands detailing the priorities of the queer community in Luxembourg. The association described the Rainbow Europe Index 2023 results as a call to action.