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Rechtskomitee LAMBDA (RKL) is Austria’s lgbt-rights-organisation. It has been founded in 1991 and is committed to the realization and safeguarding of human rights of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders (lgbt), i.e. the rights to equality, to autonomy and
sexual self-

kissingdot.gif (86 Byte) RKL does political lobbying as well as litigation in the courts. And it offers free legal counselling in all areas of the law related to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender life.

dot.gif (86 Byte) For years RKL fought for the repeal of discriminatory criminal legislation which had substituted the total ban on same-sex contacts in 1971. In 2002 RKL succeeded in getting the last of these anti-homosexual statutes (Art. 209 Criminal Code establishing a discriminatory age of consent for gay sex at 18 as opposed to 14 for lesbian and heterosexual sex) abolished by a judgment of the Constitutional Court. RKL-supported litigation achieved the European Court of Human Rights finding that Art. 209 violated the European Convention of Human Rights and obliging Austria to pay up to now nearly EUR 350.000,-- compensation to the hitherto ten applicants (L. V. vs. Austria 2003, S.L. vs. Austria 2003; Michael Woditschka & Wolfgang Wilfling vs. Austria 2004; F.L. vs. Austria 2005; Thomas Wolfmeyer vs. Austria 2005; H.G. & G.B. vs. Austria 2005; R.H. vs. Austria 2006). You can find those judgments on the website of the European Court of Human Rights.

dot.gif (86 Byte) Since then RKL has been working for rehabilitation and compensation of all the victims of anti-gay persecution under the total ban and under discriminatory criminal legislation. In this respect RKL-supported litigation in December 2005 achieved judgments by the Constitutional Court and by the Administrative High Court ordering the deletion of police data gathered under discriminatory criminal legislation. RKL also supervises gender-neutral criminal legislation for non-discriminatory enforcement.

dot.gif (86 Byte) RKL is pleading for equal rights of same-sex partnerships, including same-sex marriage, and for comprehensive and effective antidiscrimination-legislation.


kissing2dot.gif (86 Byte) RKL produces quarterly newsletter Ius Amandi, which deals with legal and political issues of lgbt-life.


dot.gif (86 Byte) In the 15 years since its foundation RKL has achieved landmark political, statutory and court decisions essential for the rights and freedoms enjoyed by Austria’s lgbt-community today. RKL-president Dr. Helmut Graupner, on that basis, has been honoured with the Gay and Lesbian Award (G.A.L.A.) of the Austrian Lesbian and Gay Movement.


dot.gif (86 Byte) RKL is member of the International Lesbian and Gay Association ILGA. RKL- president Dr. Helmut Graupner, serves as Vice-President of the International Lesbian and Gay Law Association ILGLaw and as the Austrian member of the European Commission on Sexual Orientation Law ECSOL.


dot.gif (86 Byte) There are no anti-homosexual criminal offences anymore in Austria. The age of consent is set at 14, equally for homo- and heterosexual contacts. Since the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights in Karner vs. Austria 2003 and since the repeal of discriminatory partner-benefits in social health insurance by the Constitutional Court in a landmark RKL-supported case in October 2005 unmarried same-sex couples are to be treated on the same footing as unmarried opposite-sex couples. There is however no partnership law and the ban on same-sex marriage is still standing. Legal protection against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is limited and mainly based upon European law.

More information in German



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