the 2009 karl -austria's peter schieder
The second winner of the Karl is President Dr. Peter Schieder of Austria.
President Schieder is one of the most influential parliamentarians in Austria and in Europe. When he became a young MP Austria still had a so-called sodomy law: a total criminal ban on same-sex sexual activity. Mr. Schieder played an essential role in the debate on the repeal of this ban, was a member of the sub-committee of the Justice Committee of Austria’s federal parliament considering repeal, and vigorously supported legalization of same-sex relations, which was accomplished in 1971.
In 2002 Mr. Schieder was elected honorary president of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, the biggest parliament in the world in terms of geographic jurisdiction and population represented. The Parliamentary Assembly has repeatedly condemned discrimination based on sexual orientation as “one of the most odious forms of discrimination.” In his inauguration speech Mr. Schieder made LGBTI-issues one of his priorities in his work as a president of the Assembly.
President Schieder attended the ILGA conference in Lisbon and took over honorary patronage of the 2002 ILGLaw conference in Turin. After that conference he held a joint press conference with ILGLaw at the Council of Europe building in Strasbourg, passionately speaking out for the rights of LGBTI people and against discrimination against them. And when an initiative emerged in the Russian parliament to recriminalize homosexuality, Mr. Schieder immediately voiced his strong opposition and raised international awareness. He also attended the 2009 ILGLaw conference in Los Angeles and thereby expressed his continued solidarity.
ILGLaw is pleased to honour Peter Schieder of Austria with its second Karl.