I am delighted with our new plan for gender- and sexual diversity in Bergen. We are demonstrating how we are working for a city that is open, inclusive and diverse. Refugees that are LGBTI are often vulnerable and unsafe – even in European cities. I want them to know they are especially welcome in our Rainbow city.

Erlend Horn, deputy mayor for social affaires and responsible for LGBTI-issues in Bergen

Description of the city

Bergen is the second largest city in Norway and has 280.000 inhabitants. It is situated in the Western parts of Norway and commonly referred to as the 'Capital of the fjords'.


The City Council in Bergen in March 2017 approved The Rainbow City – A plan for sexual- and gender diversity 2017-2021. In this plan we have 25 measures to improve the situation for LGBTI in our city. Over the past decades LGBTI emancipation in Norway has come a long way and this plan is the third municipal policy document aimed at improving the situation for the group. Despite these recent developments surveys show sexualized and homophobic hate speech is common in schools and other social settings. The fight against homophobia has a top priority for our city.
The City of Bergen will meet people with different sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression with respect and knowledge of their situation. It is a goal that municipal employees are aware of the sexual – and gender diversity in our city and the prevailing 'heteronormative' environment in our services. Further we are aiming for providing more “gender neutral” services to our population. In previous plans we have not highlighted the situation for transgender people sufficiently.  


Focus areas

  • Information and visibility of LGBTI emancipation in secondary schools.
  • Being a safe city for LGBTI-refugees and migrants.
  • Being an inclusive employer of LGBTI staff. In 2015 the city has been offering LGBTI-awareness courses to municipal staff in different departments.
  • Combating “sexualized” hate speech.
  • Adapting services to people of all gender identities and gender expressions.
  • Supporting and facilitating LGBTI visibility and celebration of sexual and gender diversity in the city.

Collaboration partners

We are cooperating closely with FRI Bergen og Hordaland (The Norwegian LGBT Association) as well as other relevant NGOs.

Photo: Our mayor Marte Mjøs Persen and deputy mayor for social affaires Erlend Horn with leaders from the NGO Fri – foreningen for kjønns og seksualitetsmangfold.
Photo credit: Andrew Buller