The 2009 Award Winners (in Berlin)

Germany:

Hans-Wolfram Stein, teacher of economics and political science at the Walliser Straße school complex in Bremen, has been greatly committed to addressing the problem of homophobia and hate crimes in his school. His exemplary action has helped to make a positive change to the positions and attitudes on the part of both students and teachers towards homosexuals. The research project launched in collaboration with the students from the 2HH 07/5 class was conducted by Stein at his school over the course of nearly a year and is an outstanding milestone in the effort for scholastic educational and preventative work in Germany.

The result of his exemplary project work: "It was possible to destroy homophobic attitudes in many, if not all, areas. In the field of democratic law, the number of persons speaking out for equal rights has shown a sharp increase. Most notable is that now every student in the class stands behind the following statement: "We should all fight against the discrimination against homosexuals." The results of the work also serves as a model for other students wishing to address the topic of homophobia.
Above all, the success of this project is owing to the commitment and persistence demonstrated by Hans-Wolfram Stein. And this prize should also recognize the commitment of the students who together with Hans-Wolfram Stein made the project a reality.

France:

Paris Foot Gay was founded in 2003 as the first football club in France and which is explicitly and equally open to both heterosexual and gay football players and takes a self-confident position against discrimination and homophobia. The club aims to change discriminatory attitudes and make it clear that a gay man also has the right to play football without having to hide his identity. In turn, this should underscore the right to be different and combat prejudices. Paris Foot Gay seeks to strengthen the liberation of gays and therefore promote the coming out of gay athletes so that this group is able to find an equal place in the world of sports—a goal well worthy of support as homophobia still remains very prevalent in the world of athletics.

By combating homophobia in football, Paris Foot Gay is also sending a powerful message to the entire society that sports reach an altogether broad audience. Most notably, this makes it possible to reach youth since they are especially receptive to prejudicial attitudes. With the Tolerantia Prize we would like to thank this non-government organization for its dedication to such an important issue.

France:

Vikash Dhorasoo, born on 10 October 1973 in Harfleur (Seine maritime), is a French football player with an international career behind him. In the 1997-1998 and 2003-2004 game seasons he was the best player in the French national league. From 2002 to 2003, Dhorasoo played in Lyon and led his team during these two seasons as the French national league. In 2006 he was part of the French national team, which took part in the Football World Championship in Germany. Last year marked the end of his career.

Dhorasoo, married and father of two daughters is the patron of Paris Foot Gay, a football club founded to fight against homophobia in stadiums. He is the only French national player to date who has taken a public position on this issue.
The fact that a heterosexual man of color supports Paris Foot Gay is testament to a great respect for human rights, in particular the equal rights of LGBT associations.

Poland:

Prof. Zbigniew Hold is a lawyer, expert in criminal law and human rights, professor at the Jagiellonen University in Cracow and chair of the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights. He stood before the European Court of Justice for Human Rights in Strasbourg to represent the Foundation for Equal Rights (Fundacja Rowności) as well as the members of the Polish LGTB organizations who brought an action against the ban against the Equal Rights Parade (Parada Rowności) in Warsaw in 2005. The legal dispute was concluded with a precedent judgment which declared illegal any law used to prevent peaceful demonstrations from taking place.

In 2006 he represented four lesbian women before the district court in Posen, who had taken legal action against town council members belonging to the Polish right-wing party, PiS. In 2005 PiS members had compared homosexuality with bestiality, necrophilia and pedophilia. The precedent was concluded with an agreement. The functionaries of the PiS party were required to apologize to those affected and officially declared that they had no intent of insulting anyone in particular.
Professor Zbigniew Holda has been continually involved in the protection of human rights, including for sexual minoritie.

Spain:

Juan Fernando López Aguilar, born June 10, 1961 in Las Palmas (Grand Canary), studied law at the University of Granada in addition ot political science and sociology at the Complutense University in Madrid. In 1988 he was awarded a Master of Arts in Law & Diplomacy from the Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy in Massachusetts. The professor of constitutional law at the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria has already been awarded the Jean Monnet Prize for Law and European Integration.

In 1983 López Aguilar joined the Spanish Socialist Worker's Party, PSOE. From 1990 to 1993 he served as parliamentary advisor to the Minister of Justice. From 1993 to 1996, Aguilar served as chair of the office of Minister Jerónimo Saavedra in the ministries for public administration and education. Since 1996, López Aguilar has held a seat as a representative in the Spanish parliament. In 1999 he was the top candidate of the PSOE for the presidency of the government of the Canary Islands. Since July of 2000 he has served as Secretary for Public Freedoms and the development of autonomous regions in the managing committee of the PSOE.

During this time and thanks to his active oversight, the Spanish government made a legislative proposal to the parliament for governing the civil registry of same-sex pairs, which was passed on 28 July, 2005. His active engagement for equal rights is an honor for which the Spanish LGBT movement is greatly deserving.

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