Information on attitudes to and treatment of lesbians [CZE28042.E]

The International Lesbian and Gay Association's ILGA Annual Report 1996 lists the Czech Republic as one of the countries where homosexuality is legal for both men and women, and where there are both gay and lesbian organizations and a gay and lesbian press (n.d., n.p.). However, the Czech Republic is not listed among those countries where laws have been passed banning discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation (ibid.).

According to the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission's IGLHRC Action Alert of November-December 1994, "[l]aws in the Czech Republic are generally liberal in regards to homosexuality" (n.p.).

The October-December 1995 issue of ILGA Bulletin lists the Czech Republic as one of seven countries where "notable campaigns" are under way for "national same-sex partnership recognition" (17).

The Prague Post of 29 November 1995 reported that on 8 November 1995 the government rejected a bill that would have accorded state recognition to same-sex couples. Please see the attached text of the article for information about reactions to the government's decision.

According to a 20 September 1995 Los Angeles Times article on gays and lesbians in eastern Europe, "entertainment listings in Prague, the Czech capital, are loaded with gay hangouts." The article paraphrases Jirina Siklov, a sociologist at Charles University in Prague, to the effect that with the end of communist rule, during which time gays and lesbians had a low profile and had little friction with the general population,

gay men and lesbians stopped keeping to themselves. Now they hold festivals, run counseling centers and appear before parliamentary committees. They distribute literature to schools and demand equal rights and partnership laws ( and, in some cases, have begun talking about the freedom to adopt children.

Nevertheless, according to gay activist Jiri Hromada, "most gay men and lesbians prefer to remain in the shadows." Hromada founded the Czech gay organization SOHO, which "provides everything from a monthly magazine to political lobbying" (ibid.).

A 22 April 1997 article in The Prague Post reported on Apriles, the Czech Republic's only lesbian festival, which had been created by Promluv, one of the two lesbian organizations in the country (the name of the other organization is not mentioned). The previous year's Apriles festival reportedly attracted about 400 participants, including 20 men. The article discusses problems faced by Czech lesbians in relation to legal issues such as same-sex partnership and adoption, Czech lesbians' attitude to feminism, and the agenda for the next Apriles festival. Please see the attached text of the article for more details.

According to a 6 April 1995 CTK National News Wire dispatch, a recent poll by the Institute for Public Opinion Research (IVVM) found that 29 per cent of Czechs polled stated they were "tolerant" of homosexuals. The poll found that Czechs were more tolerant of rich people (41 per cent), people with different coloured skins (42 per cent), people with different political opinions (51 per cent), resident foreigners (61 per cent), the poor and the elderly (62 per cent), people with other beliefs (69 per cent), the young (70 per cent) and invalids (75 per cent). Only Romanies (Gypsies) are mentioned in the dispatch as enjoying less tolerance than homosexuals (13 per cent). The dispatch does not state whether lesbians were included in the definition of "homosexuals" for the purposes of the poll.

For more information on the above-mentioned subject, please consult The Pink Book (under "Czechia"), available at Regional Documentation Centres.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum.


CTK National News Wire. 6 April 1995. "Czechs Most 'Tolerant' Towards Invalids ( Poll." (NEXIS)

ILGA Annual Report 1996. n.d. Brussels: ILGA.

ILGA Bulletin [Brussels]. October-December 1995. No. 4. "More Coupling."

Los Angeles Times. 20 September 1995. Home Edition. Dean E. Murphy. "Out of One Closet ( and Into Another; For East European Gays, Communism's End Has Brought New Freedom and Fears. Both Homophobia and Homosexuality Are More Openly Expressed." (NEXIS)

The Prague Post. 22 April 1997. Julia Gray. "Coming Out With Spring." (NEXIS)

_____. 29 November 1995. Tomas Kellner. "Lidove Noviny: Law Would Not Change Attitudes Toward Homosexuality." (NEXIS)


The Prague Post. 22 April 1997. Julia Gray. "Coming Out With Spring." (NEXIS)

_____. 29 November 1995. Tomas Kellner. "Lidove Noviny: Law Would Not Change Attitudes Toward Homosexuality." (NEXIS)