Award winners 2010


Wieland Speck and Mabel Aschenneller
„Film is near to being an art form and above all a medium for the effective delivery of messages. Wieland Speck and Klaus Mabel Aschenneller use the fascinating power of pictures with exceptional effect. Since 1992 Wieland Speck is Programme Leader of the Panorama Section of the Berlin International Film Festival. From the mid 1970s he has been engaged in many parts of the film and video industry as well as being an author and publisher. The key theme of his work is the emancipation of men, and homosexual identity.

In 1985 he directed his first film; the East-West homosexual love story the “Westler”. This was his most successful film; it has had many revivals and can be viewed as a political statement. It is particularly popular for the homosexual audience. Klaus Mabel Aschnneller is the co-founder and CEO of the non-profit making sponsoring organisation TEDDY e.V.

This organisation was founded in 1997 and established the TEDDY-Award; the “Queer” film prize of the Berlinale (the Berlin International Film Festival). The purpose is to support GLBT film production. For their many years of commitment to emancipation in our society integrated with the aim of overcoming homophobia and hate violence, we award to Wieland Speck and Klaus Mabel Aschenneller this years Tolerantia-Prize.“


Caroline Mécary
“SOS Homophobie has decided that this years Tolerantia-Prize goes to the lawyer Caroline Mécary. In the last 15 years she has worked vigorously as a lawyer to defend the rights of LGBT persons and to have their demands for equality recognised. This dedicated lawyer has campaigned for homosexual marriage and fought for the acceptance of homosexual parents raising children.

Caroline Mécary has secured groundbreaking and fundamental decisions. In 2001 she achieved the first judgement permitting in principle the adoption of children by a same sex pair.

In 2004 she acted as the lawyer for a homosexual couple that were married in France in front of the town Mayor. In 2008 she was successful when representing a lesbian teacher from France at the European Court of Human Rights. The authorities had refused her right to adopt on the basis of the well being of the child. After this, in 2009, a French court allowed two women in France to adopt a child, it had taken 11 years of legal action.

Caroline Mecary is in great demand as a lawyer in France and other countries. Her specialist advice is highly valued. She has published many books and articles on legal issues. She appears regularly on television and radio, and long articles about her have been published in Liberation and Le Monde. She leads a network of the largest LGBT organisations in France called RAVAD. She is also a member of the European wide network of lawyers who fight against discrimination.”


Izabela Jaruga-Nowacka
“Izabela Jaruga-Nowacka supported LGBTQ-Organisations in Poland for many years. She was always available as their lawyer, took part in debates and conferences and was always able to make the meaning of the rights of LGBTQ persons clear.

She took the fight to the opposition and it is her we must thank that the 2005 Warsaw Gay Rights March took place through the streets of Poland’s Capital; the then Warsaw Mayor Lech Kaczynski had originally banned the march. She represented the position of the political left in a strong and authentic way and fought for the rights of minorities and the weak in society. She did this from inner conviction not in order to win votes – she was no politician. For her the rights of the ordinary citizen were the beginning and end of each argument. She supported the recognition of same sex marriage for many years. She wanted to work together with us. In Politics she is simply irreplaceable.

Izabela Jaruga-Nowacka, former vice premier of Poland, died at the age of 59 on 10.04.2010 as a passenger in an air-crash in Smolensk. She belonged to the delegation of the top rank Polish establishment who with Polish President Lech Kaczyński, were travelling to Russia for them commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the Katyn Massacre.”


Imanol Arias
„Born in 1956 in Riaño (León), Imanol Arias grew up in the Basque city of Ermua. As a young man he brought together several off-circuit theatre companies in the Basque Country. In his long-running career he has worked in movies, theatre and television. Among many roles, his most outstanding were in the movies “Laberinto de pasiones” (Labyrinth of Passion), 1982, directed by Pedro Almodóvar; “La Muerte de Mikel” (The mDeath of Mikel), 1984, where he portrayed the suffering endured by a homosexual, and “La flor de mi secreto” (The Flower Of My Secret), 1995, where he worked again for Almodóvar. Imanol Arias has not only been an outstanding actor but also one of the most actively engaged actors in Spain fighting for those in need; he has helped in a large number of campaigns in favour of human rights, and for HiV-prevention. He has also taken part in campaigns supporting the rights of transsexual persons and has been nominated Special Ambassador by the UNICEF.

COGAM deems that his work deserves the recognition of the Tolerantia-Prize 2010 because in this year he has worked even more actively opposing discrimination against LGBT-persons and in general supporting Human Rights. Mr Arias is also engaged in peace initiatives in the Basque Country.