In recognition of its commitment to family, sexual and gender diversity, the city was accepted as a new member in the “Rainbow Cities Network” (RCN) in September 2020. The network of rainbow cities - the "Rainbow Cities Network" - is an international association of cities that are committed to the acceptance of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, transgender, intersexual and queer people (LGBTTIQ). RCN coordinator Manuel Rosas Vázquez informed the Heidelberg municipal council on Tuesday, September 22, 2020, in the Committee for Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities about the commitment to membership.
“Those who are 'different' unfortunately have to struggle with prejudices in many places. The city of Heidelberg wants to contribute even more actively to reducing resentment towards sexual and gender minorities. Here in Heidelberg tolerance and cosmopolitanism are lived. The fact that we have now succeeded in becoming a member of the Rainbow Cities Network is of enormous importance, especially in today's world. This is a clear commitment to diversity, ”said Mayor Prof. Dr. Eckart Würzner.
Diversity, cosmopolitanism and equal opportunities are central components of sustainable and future-oriented urban development for the city of Heidelberg. In recent years, Heidelberg has taken decisive steps to strengthen LGBTTIQ. A selection:
Round table: The members of the “Round Table on Sexual and Gender Diversity” have been advising the city administration since 2016. The committee strengthens cooperation and exchange between the city and the many active LGBTTIQ institutions and initiatives as well as the queer network of Heidelberg.
Protection against discrimination: In the course of the application, the city of Heidelberg set itself the goal of further strengthening the protection against discrimination and the visibility of LGBTTIQs. The municipal office for equal opportunities works with the members of the round table as well as experts from the Heidelberg School of Education and the University of Heidelberg. The main aim of various projects is to counter homophobia and trans * hostility in school, at work and in public spaces.
Advice: A counseling center was set up by PLUS Rhein-Neckar e. V. established in Heidelberg. PLUS also offers school workshops on LGBTTIQ topics with the Power Up project.
Youth meetings: For LGBTTIQ young people, the youth group Queer Youth was created in the youth meeting place in Kirchheim.
Queer Festival Heidelberg: The annual Queer Festival Heidelberg is to receive even more support in the future. With over 8,000 visitors, it is the oldest and largest of its kind in Germany.
Christopher Street Day: The city has been supporting Christopher Street Day of the CSD Rhein-Neckar for many years. The rainbow flag is hoisted at Heidelberg City Hall during the CSD.
Dyke * March Rhein-Neckar: To promote lesbian visibility, the city of Heidelberg has been supporting the Dyke * March in Heidelberg for several years. In 2020 the Open Dykes * action weeks took place.
Trans * Action Weeks Rhine-Neckar: Every year in November, the cities of Heidelberg and Mannheim host the Trans * Action Weeks Rhine-Neckar. The aim is to sensitize and educate about trans * people and the diversity of gender identities and their forms of expression.
IDAHOBIT *: Heidelberg supports the International Day against LGBTTIQ hostility every year.
Mayor Wolfgang Erichson, initiator of the “Round Table on Sexual and Gender Diversity”, was delighted with the admission: “I have been involved in the interests of the LGBTTIQ community all my life. This has also been the case since I took office in Heidelberg. So I'm very happy that the city's good work over the past few years is bearing such great fruit. "
More information on the commitment of the City of Heidelberg to the topic of anti-discrimination is available on the Internet here.