Παρασκευή 4 Απριλίου 2014

NELFA aisbl Board

The Network of European LGBT Families Associations (NELFA) was created informally on 1 May 2009 to bring together the associations of European lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender parents and their children under one European umbrella organization to represent the interests of LGBT / Rainbow Families. NELFA was incorporated under Belgian law as an international non-profit association (AISBL) on 12 March, 2012. Official NELFA headquarters are located in the Rainbow House in Brussels.

Currently, the Board of NELFA is composed of the following members:

Maria von KÄNEL
Regenbogenfamilien, Switzerland
PresidentMaria launched the petition "Equal Opportunities for all Families" in association with the Swiss gay/lesbian umbrella associations LOS and Pink Cross. She is a co-founder and Vice-President ofthe Swiss Rainbow Families Association.

The idea to create a special day once a year to celebrate and highlighting the diversity of families all over the world came to her in the course of her ongoing work on behalf of LGBT family rights. The "International Family Equality Day" will be celebrated yearly in Europe, Israel, Japan the US, Canada and around the world on the first Sunday of May.

Maria has been with NELFA since its inception in 2009. She became a Board member in March 2012 and stayed actively involved in the Board until March 2013. Reelected in the AGM 2014 in Maastricht as NELFA Board member.

Maria has been in a registered partnership since 2007, when Swiss law first started recognising same-sex partnerships. She lives near Zurich with her wife and their two children.

Her wishes for the future are: mutual recognition of registered partnerships within the EU and other European countries as the next step toward full legal recognition for rainbow families.

Other mandates in Switzerland:

Working group (for an independent human rights institution in Switzerland):
The NGO platform humanrights.ch

Founding member of the non-partisan LGBTI policy working group
(which includes politicians from across the political spectrum)

Social Democratic Party: 
Commission on sexual orientation and gender identity

LSVD/ILSE, Germany
Dr. Lisa Herrmann-Green is a psychologist specialised in lgbt psychology. Lisa is mother to three "Wunschkinder" ages 16, 12, and 10, who are amongst the first children born to lesbian parents in Germany. Born and raised in the USA, Lisa now resides with her family in southern Germany where she has lived for the past 22 years.
Aside from a research focus on lgbt families, she is a family therapist and provides private counseling for rainbow families in Germany and Switzerland.
She is active in international/national/regional organisations for lgbt families such as NELFA, LSVD (since the mid 1990’s) and ILSE and is the advisor to the Swiss Association of Rainbow Families on psychosocial issues. Lisa joined NELFA at its second meeting in September 2009 and happily stuck with and contributed to its development ever since. In March 2012 Lisa became a Board Member of NELFA.
Lisa is also committed to striving for change in the interests of lgbt families through her research and by educating family-oriented resources. She has authored scientific pieces on lesbian parenting and lesbian usage of reproductive medicine as well as applied material, such as a children's book explaining alternative conception.

Famiglie Arcobaleno, Italy
Angelo is a Children’s Lawyer. He comes originally from Uruguay. He holds an LLB(Hons) from the University of Technology, Sydney. He qualified as a solicitor in Australia in 2005 and started his career with the Crown Solicitor's Office in Sydney working in Community and Children's Law before moving to the UK. He was a translator and interpreter before becoming a lawyer.
Angelo’s work involves representing Social Workers in care proceedings, where children need to be removed from the care of their biological parents because they are at risk of significant harm; in adoption cases and in other proceedings involving children. In 2007, Angelo was granted a scholarship from the Italian government to undertake a Master in Children's Law at La Sapienza University in Rome.  His research focused on children in same-sex families and the inadequacy of Italian Law to deal effectively with these ‘non-traditional’ families. This triggered Angelo’s involvement with the Italian Rainbow Families Association, Famiglie Arcobaleno, of which he is a member. In March 2012, Angelo became a NELFA Board Member/Secretary.
When APGL invited activists in May 2009 to Paris for a three-day meeting, Angelo represented Italy. He came up with the acronym NELFA in that meeting, an acronym that could be easily pronounced in almost every language.
Angelo enjoys playing the piano, reading, and also same-sex dancing. He has competed in the Out Games, Euro Games and Gay Games’ same-sex dance-sport competitions.
Angelo looks forward to being a dad one day.

ILGA Portugal, Portugal
Luís is the proud father of Georgina (almost 9). He and his Swedish husband Jarl became parents through adoption in the USA in 2005. Luís and family live in Brussels, Belgium in a fairy-tale house, next to a fairy-tale forest.
Luís describes his family as a polyglot, multi-cultural, multi-racial work of love. He believes that a world that does not discriminate against the children of LGBT people is a better world for all children everywhere.
In December 2013, Luís published a children’s book with the support of ILGA Portugal, telling the story of a family very similar to his own. The book is being used by ILGA Portugal to promote family diversity in Portuguese primary schools.
Luís is a long-time member of ILGA-Portugal (the oldest LGBT association in Portugal), and joined their Grupo Famílias Arco-Íris (Rainbow Families) in 2011. He became actively involved in the work of NELFA in October 2011. One of his first tasks was to facilitate the legal incorporation of NELFA under Belgian law. In March 2012, Luís became NELFA Board Member/Treasurer. Luís is also a member of Homoparentalités in Belgium.
He has a university degree in sociology and a post-graduation in education. He works for the Council of the EU.

PICTURE - coming soon
Anne-Marie THUS
Meer Dan Gewenst, the Netherlands
Board Member
Anne-Marie Thus and her wife where the first lesbian couple in the world to get legally married (Amsterdam, 1 April 2001) and they are the proud parents of 2 children aged 12 and 10.
She is co-founder and president of the Dutch foundation of LBGT families "Meer dan gewenst" and for the past 12 years she has been actively involved nationally and internationally in the fight for equal rights for the LGBT community with a special interest in LGBT family law, marriage and children’s rights.

Anne-Marie has been involved with NELFA aisbl as a delegate of "Meer dan gewenst" from day one in 2009. She believes that equality is a right for everybody.

FLG, Spain
Board Member
Jordi is a pediatrician based in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain.
He is a member of FLG, the Catalan LGTB families association, which has more than 400 members.
Jordi and his husband had their son almost 5 years ago through gestational surrogacy in the USA. They got married when they were 30 weeks pregnant! after more than 13 years together. Before their son Joan was born they were already involved in FLG.
Although many goals have been achieved in Spain in the last years, and although his family lives in a safe and gay-friendly city, Jordi has realised the need to continue the fight for the rights of our families in Spain and across Europe.
Jordi is excited to join the Board of NELFA and he hopes he will be able to contribute to our work. He believes that a better world for our kids and families is possible and he is sure that the best is yet to come.

Famiglie Arcobaleno, Italy
Board Member 
Ilaria lives in Bologna, Italy with her wife and their 8 year-old daughter. Ilaria and her wife have conceived their daughter in Belgium and got married in Spain. Italy is currently the only EU founding country with no law for lgbt people. Ilaria is responsible for Famiglie Arcobaleno Emilia Romagna www.famigliearcobaleno.org.
She works as a theater organiser. At present she works with the Gender Bender festival (www.genderbender.it) for which she has co-written a project that has been selected by the European Commission (www.performinggender.eu) and on whose implementation she is busy working.
As a lgbt activist, Ilaria has been organising for many years training events (from nursery to university level), participating in public advocacy meetings, networking among institutions, universities, professionals and associations.
She is responsible for special projects like a children’s theater exhibition on the theme of sexual orientation and gender roles and workshops for children on the same themes using games (e.g. cooking).
Ilaria’s dream is to leave her country (and the world) a bit more welcoming, a bit fairer and a bit more equal than the one she has found.

PICTURE - coming soon

Dominique BOREN
APGL, France
Board Member
Dominique has been involved in LGBT issues for the last 25 years, and more actively so as co-chairman of the LGBT Center in Paris (1999/2002), and since 2010 as co-chairman of APGL. APGL is the French leading LGBT families NGO and a founding member of NELFA (www.apgl.fr).
Dominique is the father of one boy (born in 2011, through surrogacy in Russia).
APGL has had quite a busy time in France over the last 2 years, leading to the adoption of marriage equality legislation in 2013. APGL feels it is time to contribute and share that experience with NELFA by being involved at Board level.

FAmOs, Austria
Board Member
Rita is Italian and lives in Austria since 2007 with her wife, also Italian, whom she married in Norway, and with their ten-month old son, born in the UK. Rita is also a member of Famiglie Arcobaleno (Italy).
Rita has worked for non-governmental organisations on migrant and refugee rights in Italy, and for the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) both in field missions in Kosovo and Croatia, on human rights issues, and in the Secretariat in Vienna, covering relations with other international organisations and countries outside OSCE membership.
Rita looks forward to the possibility of contributing to NELFA's work in improving the situation of Rainbow Families across Europe!

OLKE, Greece
Board Member 
Nicholas is a Greek Lawyer, member of the Athens Bar, practising since 2004. He is currently dealing mainly with Public and Administration Law cases and Human Rights Law cases. His practice has included also advising on the protection of Intellectual & Industrial Property rights and Company & Commercial Law matters and representing clients in litigation and dispute resolution arising from white-collar crime, as well as commercial, contractual and employment related disputes. Nicholas obtained a Degree in Law from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, which included attending the Université Paris-Sud and Institut Catholique de Paris where he followed the Programme Socrates-Gratianus on Church-State Relations and Freedom of Religion in Europe. He also holds an LLM in International Law and Diplomatic Studies, from the Panteion University of Athens. Nicholas is in the process of completing his PhD thesis on “Current Trends in Enforcement of the International Protection of Human Rights: Confrontment of Infringements by Individuals”.
Nicholas is legal advisor of OLKE since early 2013. He also works with other NGOs in Greece. Among them are, “Colour Youth, Athens LGBTQ Youth Community” (legal advisor since early 2013) and “Act-Up DRASE-Hellas”, an NGO dealing with HIV/AIDS prevention issues and the protection of HIV+ persons (legal advisor since early 2010).
He has very good legal knowledge of LGBTI issues in Greece and at European and international level, publishing regularly articles and commentaries on legal developments and judgments on these topics. He was recently selected to participate in a law-training event in Ljubljana, Slovenia, on LGBTI family law named “Rights on the move-Rainbow families in Europe”. Nicholas is also regularly in touch with NELFA’s other Greek member organisation, "Rainbow families of Greece- Ouranio Toxo".  Nicholas looks forward to being a dad one day.

Sateenkaariperheet, Finland
Board Member
Sari is from Finland and a member of the Finnish Rainbow Families Association. She studied early childhood education at the University of Helsinki and worked as a kindergarten teacher and pre-school teacher for several years.
At the moment, Sari is studying for vocational qualification in business and administration and for a year now she has worked on a voluntary basis in Vantaa Shelter Association, where low-threshold activities are developed for women who have been exposed to domestic violence.
Sari lives in Helsinki with her wife Hanna-Kaisa and they have three children: a 12 year-old boy, a 10 year-old boy and a 9 year-old girl. The children live partly with their dad and partly with their mums.

Foundation for Rainbow Families, Hungary
Board Member
Krisztián is from Hungary and is the co-founder of the Hungarian Foundation for Rainbow Families.
At the moment, he is a stay-at-home dad, but he keeps his part-time job as a psychologist and provides therapy to mainly LGBT people.
Krisztián is a certified family therapist, which comes in handy when he has to work with rainbow families.
Krisztián and his husband have been together for 8 years and have two kids, the oldest one is 3,5 years old, and the youngest one is 10 months old.

Sateenkaariperheet, Finland
Board Member
Iina is 42. She is Finnish and is married to a Dutch woman. As ‘rainbow family entrepreneurs’, Iina and her wife run a professional foster-home for 4 challenged kids. Iina and her wife also have one almost 6 year-old child of their own. They live in Mikkeli, eastern Finland.
Iina is a social pedagogue and will be graduating this spring as a family therapist.
Iina has been active in the Finnish rainbow families association ever since she and her family moved to Finland in 2008, and before that she followed more closely the Dutch and Belgian LGBT scene, while living in Breda, Netherlands (since 2000).  


The Network of European LGBT Families Associations (NELFA) elected a new Board at its second Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Maastricht, the Netherlands on 29 March, 2014. The meeting was hosted by NELFA's Dutch member organisation, Meer dan Gewenst.

You can get to know the 13 newly elected Board members of NELFA by visiting our website:

Maria von K�nel, NELFA's elected President said on this occasion, "I am full of enthusiasm to carry out NELFA's mission. We stand for all rainbow families in Europe and our goal is simple: we aim for equality, to end discrimination and to fight for a better future for our children."

Lisa Green, NELFA's elected Vice-President added, "We are very committed to the expansion of our network into Central and Eastern Europe. We are very happy to welcome today the Foundation for Rainbow Families of Hungary as a Full Member".

The new Board of NELFA is particularly committed to making the upcoming European Family Meeting in Cologne, Germany (1-4 May 2014) a success. This year's meeting will be dedicated to rainbow families and schools. Our meeting will also coincide with the celebration of International Family Equality Day (IFED), a rainbow family celebration around the globe.

You can learn more about our European Family Meeting here: http://nelfa.lsvd.de/conference-2014/
You can learn more about IFED here: http://internationalfamilyequalityday.org/
About NELFA:
NELFA is the European platform of LGBT families associations, bringing together LGBT parents and parents-to-be from all over Europe. NELFA currently represents 22 organisations in 15 European countries with more than 10.000 members. NELFA is a member of ILGA-Europe.
For further contacts:
Maria von K�nel � President
+41 79 611 06 71
Lu�s Amorim � Board Member-Treasurer
+32-473 76 50 70

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