In light of Saturday’s Pride Parade in Ljubljana, which was the conclusion to several days of festival events for the LGBTIQ+ community, a review of the funding for those who advocate LGBT views shows that the state is indeed generous with its budgetary resources. Namely, one LGBT association alone has been funded with almost 4 million euros, and even kindergartens are among the subscribers to LGBT services, alongside schools.
One of the most well-known LGBT non-governmental organisations is certainly Legebitra, which, according to its official website, works in the fields of “human rights, education, mental, physical and sexual health and advocates for social and systemic change based on respect for sexual orientation, gender identity and/or gender expression.” The association organises a number of educational and social gatherings where activists can meet and exchange their views, and also runs the Legebitra Youth Centre, which is considered to be the first youth centre in the country specialising in LGBT youth.
If we look at the Erar application, an online service which provides insight to the general public, media, businesses and state bodies into the operation of public institutions and state-owned enterprises of the Republic of Slovenia and the spending of public money, we can see that Legebitra has received 434,932.74 euros of taxpayers’ funds in the last year (from June 2022 to the present) – since the Golob government has been in power. Since the association’s establishment (2003) to date, it has received a total of 3,833,282.90 euros in budget funds. By far the largest funder of the Legebitra Information Centre Association is the Ministry of Health, which has transferred an amount of 1,631,643.82 euros to it from 2006 to the present day. Of this amount, the last transfer from the Ministry was in June, in the amount of 12,865.61 euros.
The Ljubljana Municipality is next in terms of money transfers, having transferred a total of 799,610.06 euros to Legebitra from 2003 to the present day. The Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, which is currently headed by the Left party (Levica) Minister Luka Mesec, has transferred a total of 547,520.29 euros to the association, from 2004 to 2023. The Slovenian Government’s Office for Development and Cohesion Policy has allocated 344,076.59 euros to the association in the period between 2015 and 2017. Other contributors include the Foundation for the Financing of the Disabled and Humanitarian Organisations in the Republic of Slovenia, the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport (the Office for Youth of Slovenia), the Ministry of the Interior, the Student Organisation of Slovenia, and others.
What is particularly disturbing for many in this case is that Legebitra’s contributors apparently include universities, secondary and primary schools, and even kindergartens, where we can find, among others: the Vič Kindergartens, Jurij Vega Idrija Secondary School, Kindergarten under the Castle, tVojka Šmuc Izola Primary School, Secondary School Ptuj, Secondary School Kočevje, Hans Christian Andersen Kindergarten, Jelka Kindergarten, Mladi Rod Kindergarten, Pedenjped Kindergarten, Miškolin Kindergarten, Maks Pečar National Hero Primary School, Piran Secondary School, Electrical and Naval School, Kolezija Kindergarten, Galjevica Kindergarten, France Bevk Primary School, Secondary Preschool Education, Grammar School and Performing Arts Grammar School Ljubljana, Ljubljana School Centre for Post, Economics and Telecommunications, Maribor Secondary School of Design, Nove Fužine Primary School, and Louis Adamič Grosuplje Primary School.
Among the LGBTIQ+ organisations and organisations whose activities address LGBTIQ+ issues, this year’s Pride Parade featured, among others, the Pride Parade Association, the TransAkcija (TransAction) Institute, the Out in Slovenia Sports Association and the DrogArt Association.
The Pride Parade Association
According to the official website of the Pride Parade Association, it was founded to “promote the human rights and interests of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer population. The Association operates as a youth-led, voluntary, independent, and non-profit civil society organisation.” Since its foundation in 2010 until today, the Pride Parade Association has received 333,820.44 euros in public funding.
The largest funder of the Pride Parade Association, which has been organising the Pride Parade in Ljubljana since 2009, is the Municipality of Ljubljana, which has so far allocated a total of 89,578.54 euros to the said association, followed by the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport (the Office for Youth of Slovenia), which has allocated a total of 73,887.00 euros, the Employment Agency of the Republic of Slovenia, which has so far allocated 68.887.00 euros, and the Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, which has allocated 42,625.00 euros to the association. Among those who have financed the Pride Parade Association so far are also the Ministry of Public Administration, the Health Insurance Institute of Slovenia, the Kino Šiška Centre for Urban Culture, the Public Fund of the Republic of Slovenia for Cultural Activities, and others. And just like in the case of Legebitra, the list of financers also includes secondary and primary schools. Among the contributors are Danila Kumar Primary School, Domžale Secondary School, Ormož Secondary School, Bežigrad Secondary School, Ptuj Secondary School, Kranj Secondary School, Dr Vito Kraigher Primary School, Šiška Secondary School, the 27th of July Primary School Kamnik, among others.
The TransAkcija Institute
The TransAkcija or TransAction Institute is the first and only trans NGO in Slovenia that enables and (co)creates “trans informing, support, visibility, culture and community building for trans people and their allies in Slovenia.” They provide psycho-social support to LGBIQ+ people and transgender people, organise a wide range of events, run projects and produce publications to educate and raise awareness about the issues of transgender people. They describe themselves as working in line with “the values of transfeminism and the belief that all gender identities are legitimate.” Their website also includes an online transition guide.
Erar reveals that the TransAkcija Institute has received public funds amounting to 73,166.77 euros from 2016 to date. By far the largest amount of funding has been provided by the Municipality of Ljubljana, totalling at 68,320.00 euros. The Ministry of Finance, the Faculty of Social Work of the University of Ljubljana, the Radio-Television Slovenia public institution, the Student Organisation of the University of Ljubljana, the Viški Gaj Kindergarten and the Secondary Preschool Education, Grammar School and Performing Arts Grammar School Ljubljana are among the contributors.
The Out in Slovenia Sports Association
At this year’s Pride Parade, the attendees were also able to learn about the activities of the Sports Association Out in Slovenia, which “offers several activities focused on sport, recreation and socialising, especially for the LGBTI!+ community and supporters, as well as advocacy and participation in projects.” As we learned from their website, their most important and current projects include the projects titled With Football Against Discrimination, Discrimination in Sport, and Pride in Sport.
Since their establishment in 2013, they have received 3,393.30 euros in public funding. The largest contributor is the Municipality of Ljubljana, which has contributed 1,500.00 euros, followed by the Ministry of Finance, with 902.30 euros. Primary schools are not excluded here either. The Srečko Kosovel Primary School contributed 650.00 euros, the Dravlje Primary School 231.00 euros, and the Božidar Jakac Primary School 110.00 euros.
The Pride Parade also featured, among others, the DrogArt Association, a private non-profit volunteer organisation founded in 1999 with the aim of reducing the harmful effects of drugs among young people, and Amnesty International Slovenia, an association dedicated to highlighting human rights violations and educating others about human rights.
The DIH Association
Speaking of NGOs promoting LGBTIQA+ ideology, we cannot forget about the DIH Association, which says that since “2003, they have been striving for the empowerment and well-being of LGBTIQA+ individuals (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer, asexual, aromantic and all those questioning their sexual orientation or gender identity) and communities in Slovenia.” We have already written about them here. Erar reveals that they have received 755,949.84 euros in public funding since 2003. The largest contributor is the Ministry of Health (351,430.16 euros), followed by the Municipality of Ljubljana (284,720.42 euros) and the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport – the Office for Youth (44,539.92 euros).