An Act of History: Federal President Fischer Awarded Grand Decoration to RKL-President Graupner
12 June 2017
First time Head of State decoration in Austrian history for LGBTI-activism
Celebrating 25 years of Rechtskomitee LAMBDA (RKL), Federal President Dr. Heinz Fischer, has awarded the Golden Medal of Honor for Merits in the Interests of the Republic of Austria to RKL-president Dr. Helmut Graupner. This is the first time in history that an Austrian head of state honors merits against discrimination and for equality of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons by a state decoration.
The Golden Medal of Honor for Merits in the Interests of the Republic of Austria (which resembles a Knight´s Cross of 1class) awarded by Federal President Fischer in 2016 has been handed over in May 2017, thus 15 years after the end of criminalisation. Graupner back then (2002), by proceedings in the Austrian Constitutional Court, brought down the last homophobic criminal offence, infamous Art. 209 of the Criminal Code, and thereby, once and for all, liberated homo- and bisexuals from criminal persecution.
Discrimination: Administrative Supreme Court turns to EU-Court
17 May 2017
Dismissed Gay Policeman
Back in 1975 a long-serving and highly decorated constable had been discharged on the basis of having been convicted under Austria’s infamous homophobe offence, Art. 209 Criminal Code. The disciplinary sanction continues to perpetuate even today: the pension of the man is still cut by 25%. The Federal Administrative Court even in 2016 refused compensation saying the contacts, back then legal for heterosexuals (and today for all), would constitute "one of the most serious violations of duty" and the dismissal therefore not constiutute discrimination.
The Administrative Supreme Court just announced that it has asked the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) for a preliminary ruling (E.B. v BVA). Rechtskomitee LAMBDA (RKL), Austria’s LGBTI civil rights organisation, now hopes for final justice in this case started already eight years ago.