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GANYMEDES – The Movement for Equality of Homosexual Citizens in the Slovak Republic, registered with the Interior Ministry of the Slovak Republic since June 1990,   A D V E R T I S I N G
is a nongovernmental organization representing sexual minorities in Slovakia. Its mission is to promote and protect the rights and interests of the homosexual citizens
     
in Slovakia, with the aim of reaching full legal and actual equality of homosexual minority in the Slovak society. Mailing List News:


GANYMEDES – The Movement for Equality of Homosexual Citizens in the Slovak Republic, registered with the Interior Ministry of the Slovak Republic since June 1990, is a nongovernmental organization representing sexual minorities in Slovakia.

Its mission is to promote and protect the rights and interests of the homosexual citizens in Slovakia, with the aim of reaching full legal and actual equality of homosexual minority in the Slovak society.  After twelve years of existence, the organization’s diverse activities are known also among the gay and lesbian organizations abroad.  Ganymedes is a co-founder of SOHO in the Czech Republic.

Among other events, Ganymedes has organized:

·        In 1992:  The 6th Regional Conference of ILGA (International Lesbian and Gay Association) for Eastern and South-Eastern Europe

·        In 1992:  The 9th Annual Conference of IGLYO (International Gay and Lesbian Youth Organization); Ganymedes is a member of IGLYO

·        In 1994: The 12th EFCGLG (European Forum of the Christian Gay and Lesbian Groups)  

Ganymedes took part in a number of international conferences organized by the gay and lesbian organizations, as well as various AIDS prevention seminars and workshops.  In addition to the political activism and facilitation of various cultural events concerning homosexual minority in Slovakia, Ganymedes also took part in the HIV/AIDS prevention campaigns.

 

Already in 1992, Ganymedes has founded the first official Help Line for gays and lesbians in Slovakia, which existed until 1998.  Due to governmental institutions’ lack of interest in the concerns of gays and lesbians, Ganymedes has not succeed in the recent years to secure any office space or funds for projects, and this has impinged on our activities.  Despite these limitations, however, we have organized numerous social and sporting events, summer vacations, popular disco boat-trips on Danube, Mr. Gay Slovakia competitions (annually, in the past nine years); Miss Travesty Slovakia competitions (annually, in the past three years), and many other social events for gays and lesbians in Slovakia.

·        Since 1997, Ganymedes has focused primarily on political work. The first legislative proposal of the Registered Partnership (RP) Law pertaining to same-sex couples was drafted by our attorneys, and submitted to Slovak government representatives in May 1997, however, with no response.

·        In 1998 we addressed eleven political parties in Slovakia, as well as the Prime Minister Meciar, with a request to support our proposal. However, our request was again completely ignored by the Slovak government.

·        In 1999, Ganymedes was first to react against the discriminatory statements in the proposal of the inter-governmental treaty between the Slovak Republic and the Vatican.

·        In February 2000, Ganymedes again submitted a request for a support of the legislative proposal of the RP Law pertaining to same-sex couples in accordance with a recodification of the Civil Code 17 by the Parliamentary Committee of the NR SR.

·        In the beginning of May 2000 Ganymedes, together with other nongovernmental organizations -- HaBiO, Altera, Museion, H-plus, and CKKISM, cofounded an informal initiative representing homosexual, bisexual and transsexual citizens of the Slovak Republic, under the name the Initiative Otherness – Coexistence Without Discrimination of Sexual Minorities (in Slovak: Iniciativa Inakost/ IN IN).

In the summer 2000, the Initiative Otherness initiated a media discussion about the need to establish the Registered Partnership Law in our legislation, and about potential threats of the inter-governmental treaty between the Slovak Republic and the Vatican that would concern sexual minorities.  Ganymedes began to decisively shape the agenda of the Initiative Otherness and proposed a unified strategy for the interaction of the gay and lesbian organizations with the Slovak government, the Parliament, and the state authorities, with the goal of complete acceptance of all citizens with a different sexual orientation.

·        In 2000, Ganymedes, as part of the Initiative Otherness, organized two press-conferences; it also coorganized a specialized seminar and a legal conference devoted to the discussion of the legislative proposal of the RP Law, followed by the drafting of the Registered Partnership Law pertaining to same-sex couples.

·        In 2001, Ganymedes was awarded funding for the project “It is Normal to Be Different” by NPOA (Nadacia pre podporu obcianskych aktivit), under the financial sponsorship of PHARE programme.  The main objective of this project, completed between April and December 2001, was to initiate an open and positive discussion of the theme of homosexuality, to lobby for the Registered Partnership Law pertaining to same-sex couples, and to achieve a legislative prohibition of any form of discrimination based on sexual orientation.

As a part of this project, in cooperation with Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, Ganymedes put together a publication of the papers presented at the seminar and the conference devoted to the Registered Partnership Law, titled “Together Towards the Institution of the Registered Partnership in Slovakia.” This publication has been distributed to the major libraries nationwide and to all political representatives of the NR SR (the National Committee of the Slovak Republic).

The proposal of the Registered Partnership Law pertaining to same-sex couples was presented to the NR SR by a group of seven representatives from various political parties on the 9th of October 2001.

Ganymedes also lobbied for the legislative implementation of the term “sexual orientation” into the Article 12, Paragraph 2 of the Slovak Constitution, known as anti-discriminatory clause, and including the Work Code and the laws regarding the Public and the State Service.

As a part of the project “It is Normal to Be Different,” in cooperation with three organizations of the Initiative Otherness (Altera, Museion and CKKISM), Ganymedes organized two press-conferences, the training of the activists from the above mentioned organizations, and three Gay and Lesbian Pride Marches in the streets of Bratislava, Banska Bystrica and Kosice.  During the Pride Marches, we distributed thousands of handouts that aimed to introduce in a positive view the concerns of the gay and lesbian activists in Slovakia, and our justified proposals to modify the existing legal norms in accordance with the resolutions and recommendations of the European Parliament concerning the prohibition of any forms of disrimination based on sexual orientation.

In November 2001, Ganymedes was the main co-organizer of the 5th Gay Film Festival Slovakia 2001—the film festival with the lesbian and gay themes, which for the first time in its short history took part in two Slovak cities: Bratislava (November 5-11, 2001) and Banska Bystrica (November 16-18, 2001).  This event, organized under the patronage of the Initiative Otherness Coexistence Without Discrimination of Sexual Minorities, was co-organized by Ganymedes, Film Club 901 Bratislava, The Center for Communication, Coordination and Integration of Sexual Minorities, and Art Kino Banska Bystrica. The Festival offered screening of 18 movies, 9 short films, and 9 documentary films, and was attended by more then four and a half thousand viewers.

 

To learn more about the 5th Gay Film Festival Slovakia 2001, go to http://gfest.host.sk

In January 2002, Ganymedes launched a project “Q Archive” – the documentation and information center for the lesbian and gay community in Slovakia.  The work on this project is planned for 14 months, until the year 2003, and the main goal of the project is to document and archive all forms of the lesbian and gay activities in Slovakia since 1989, including the period of the CSFR.

This project is funded by PHARE Access Programme, from the grant awarded to Ganymedes by the Commission of the European Union in the Slovak Republic.

To learn more about this project, go to Q-archiv. .





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