Crucial need to support LGBTI communities and fight discrimination
Today (12 Nov. 2020), the European Commission has just released the first ever EU LGBTI strategy to fight discrimination of people because of their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender attributes. For many people in the LGBTI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual/Transgender and Intersexual) community, discrimination is still an everyday reality.
Terry Reintke MEP, Vice-President of the Greens/EFA group and Co-President of the LGBTI intergroup in the European Parliament, comments:
"The LGBTI strategy is being published at a crucial moment, when the community is currently facing repeated attacks in the European Union. The constitutional changes in Hungary are yet another major assault on fundamental rights and LGBTI people. The Polish government is running a hate-lead campaign against the LGBTI community and supports the declaration of whole regions as 'LGBTI-free zones'. The President of the European Commission, Ursula Von der Leyen, must turn her words into action and sanction violations of the rule of law and human rights. These attacks against European values demonstrate the necessity of a well-functioning rule of law mechanism.
"For rainbow-families, it is essential that the mutual recognition of official documents for the protection of children becomes reality. Though, such legislative proposals must fully protect the family life: Not only must the parent-child relationship be recognised across EU borders but also the relationship between parents, especially when is a same-sex couple. Throughout the EU, hate speech and hate crimes are unacceptable. It is crucial that the European Commission brings forward a legislative proposal that explicitly includes gender identity alongside the sexual orientation."
Kim van Sparrentek MEP, Greens/EFA Member of the EMPL Committee and Member of the LGBTI intergroup in the European Parliament, comments:
"These plans are more than necessary: In Europe the rights of LGBTI people are under threat. Half of all of European LGBTI people say they are still discriminated against, and the acceptance of transgender and intersex people remains very low. It's welcome to see the Commission propose the mutual recognition of parental rights across all EU countries. The Commission should also quickly ensure that the rights of LGBTI couples in the EU countries are also mutually recognised.
"We strongly support the Commission's proposal to include gender-based and sexual hate crimes in the list of EU crimes. This makes it clear that we do not accept this anywhere in Europe and defines these crimes and aligned for it. The recommendation for EU countries to submit a national action plan to improve LGBT rights helps can help some countries who are willing to make progress. But for countries such as Poland, where LGBTI rights are increasingly threatened, just asking is not enough, the Commission needs to go further and make receiving EU money dependent on guaranteeing the fundamental rights of LGBTI people.”
More on the LGBTI Strategy can be found on the Commission's site here.