|When:||13. 8. from 14.00 till 16.00 h.
|Where:||New Town Hall, Karlovo náměstí 1, Praha 2|
|Organised by:||Prague Pride|
In the Czech Republic you won’t find a politician who went through a voluntary coming-out. Why? Is it a question of personal choice or because of a hostile environment towards respect and diversity in Czech political parties? What is it like in other parts of the world? Is the electorate entitled to know the partners of those they vote for or is it their personal business?
The Debate is in english and on invitation only. The debate will be streamlined at www.praguepride.com
Participants of the discussion panel:David Cicilline – Democratic Congressman of the US Congress
U.S. Congressman David N. Cicilline was first elected mayor of the City of Providence in 2002 and re-elected in 2006. When Cicilline was elected in 2002, Providence became the first state capital and the largest American city with an openly gay mayor. During his eight years in office, a formal city ethics code was implemented, as well as a nationally recognized afterschool program. Additionally, the city saw the influx of $3 billion in new investments, and enjoyed the lowest crime rates in more than four decades. In 2010, after former U.S. Representative Patrick J. Kennedy announced that he would not seek re-election, Rep. Cicilline sought to win that seat. A focal point of Cicilline’s campaign was to get Rhode Islanders back to work, and to protect social service programs for seniors and families. On January 5, 2011, after winning the general election, he was sworn in as a United States Representative and immediately began advocating on behalf of his constituents, with a heavy emphasis on helping small businesses, manufacturers, families, and seniors. As one of six co-chairs of the LGBT Equality Caucus, Cicilline has consistently been a strong voice for LGBT rights in the House of Representatives by serving as a co-sponsor of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and the Respect for Marriage Act, as well as joining an amicus brief urging the Supreme Court to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act and provide for full marriage equality. In addition, Cicilline has helped lead the fight against anti-LGBT bullying in schools by co-sponsoring the Safe Schools Improvement Act and the Student Non-Discrimination Act to ensure that all children are able to attend school in a safe, welcoming environment. Earlier this year, he also joined 20 of his colleagues in co-signing a letter urging the Boy Scouts of America to overturn their ban on LGBT youth and adults.
Mike Freer – Conservative Member of the British Parliament
Mike Freer is the Member of Parliament for Finchley and Golders Green, having been elected in May 2010 with a majority of just under 6,000. Born in Manchester and educated at Chadderton Grammar School, Oldham and St Aidan’s School Carlisle. He attended the University of Stirling studying Accountancy and Business law. He has lived in Finchley for twenty five years and previously represented Finchley Church End as a local Councillor and serving as Leader of Barnet Council between 2006 and 2009. Mike is a Vice-President of the All Party Parliamentary Group Against Anti-Semitism and co-chaired the first backbencher debate on this issue. He is also a Member of the APPG on Islamaphobia and a Trustee of the Holocaust Memorial Day. He is a member Conservative Friends of India, Conservative Friends of Israel, Conservatives for Cyprus. Mike is also the Chairman of London Conservative MPs and has recently been appointed as Advisor to the Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party on LGBT issues. Mike has been at the forefront of the recent legislation on Same Sex Marriage, his speech was widely acclaimed as influencing other Parliamentarians on the subject. He has also been vocal in arguing for quality for gay men in health provision. Before entering politics Mike spent most of his career in retail banking for Barclays Bank plc as well as some time with Deloitte & Touche as a management consultant. He has a good history of voluntary and community work which included being treasurer of the Barnet Tsunami Appeal, Chairman of Barnet Multi-faith forum, former hospice and a ‘meals on wheels’ volunteer.
Mark Verheijen - Member of Parliament for the Dutch Liberal Party VVD.
Mark Verheijen holds a masters degree in philosophy and history from the catholic University of Nijmegen, the Netherlands. Born and raised in the province of Limburg in the southern part of the Netherlands, he started his career in politics when he was 21 years old as a member of the municipal council in the small town of Grubbenvorst. Later on, he became the leader of the VVD in the city of Venlo. At the time, he combined local politics with working as a management consultant/adviser for Deloitte & Touche. After the local elections in 2006 he gave up his career in the private sector for a full time-job in politics. As Alderman and deputy-mayor in Venlo he was responsible for Economic and Financial Affairs. In 2011 he joined the Regional Executive in Limburg als Regional Minister (again for economic and financial affairs). Furthermore, in 2011 he acted as temporary chairman for the VVD in the Netherlands. A year and a half later, Verheijen was elected as a Member of Parliament. He currently is the spokesperson for European Affairs as well as deputy-chairman of the committee for Economic Affairs.
Gustav Slamečka, manager and politician
Slamečka graduated from University of Pittsburgh (USA) with focus on finance management and accounting, Czech Management Center Čelákovice (Czech Republic) and Faculty of service and tourist economics in Banská Bystrica (Slovakia).
Slamečka hold top management positions in companies Integrames, s.r.o., Nevada and ABN – AMRO Bank. He was Director of the the State Fund for Transport Infrastructure. From 2009 he was Deputy Minister for Transport and from 8 May 2009 till 13 July 2010 he was Minister of Transport. In July 2011 he was elected a Chairman of the Board of Directors of ČD Cargo.
Sylvie Lauder is a member of the Respekt weekly team since October 2004. Earlier she was working for Lidove Noviny for three years. She writes mainly about domestic politics, about Czech foreign relations and European issues. At Respekt she works for the Czech Republic section.
The host of the debate is Merryn Johns, the Editor-in-Chief of Curve magazine
Merryn Johns is the Editor-in-Chief of Curve magazine, America’s best-selling monthly newsstand magazine for lesbians. She was previously the founding Editor-in-Chief of Bound magazine, the first international travel and lifestyle magazine for lesbians. Merryn is a regular speaker and panelist at national and international events on the topic of lesbian culture, politics, media, and travel. Originally from Sydney, Australia, Merryn is based in New York City and explores numerous travel destinations each year, reporting on them for Curve.
Information on the accessibility of toiletsToilets are not wheelchair accessible