Messages from EU leaders on the International Day Against Homophobia
On the 17th May 2010, the International Day Against Homophobia, leaders from the European Council, the European Parliament and the European Commission have issued strong messages condemning homophobia.
It is the first time that 3 top-level EU leaders address homophobia jointly and unequivocally.
Herman van Rompuy, President of the European Council
The President of the European Council, the EU institution representing 27 national governments, issued a written statement on the International Day Against Homophobia, affirming the EU’s commitment to refuse discrimination on any grounds.
[…] discrimination on the basis of gender and sexual orientation has ceased to constitute a political cleavage, and is enshrined in the EU’s founding act and statement of values. It is something that distinguishes Europe from many other parts of the world.
We are inspired by the sense for human dignity and the uniqueness of each person. Everyone deserves equal chances in life.
Jerzy Buzek, President of the European Parliament
The President of the European Parliament declared: “Homophobia is a clear breach of human dignity that questions fundamental rights; and thus, it must be strongly condemned.”
President of the European Parliament on the International Day Against Homophobia: Video message from Jerzy Buzek, President of the European Parliament, on the 17th May 2010 — the 6th International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO). Also see the subtitled video message at ILGA-Europe.
Viviane Reding, European Commissioner for Fundamental Rights
Viviane Reding, Vice-president of the European Commission and Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship, also issued a statement condemning homophobia as “a blatant violation of human dignity”, “incompatible with the principles on which the EU is founded”.
European Commissioner for Fundamental Rights on the International Day Against Homophobia: Video message from Viviane Reding, European Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship, on the 17th May 2010 — the 6th International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO). Also see the subtitled video message at ILGA-Europe.
Update: Baroness Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the European Union
Catherine Ashton also issued a written statement on the 17th May. It reads:
I, on behalf of the European Union, reaffirm the principle of non-discrimination which requires that human rights apply equally to every human being regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity.
European parliamentarians welcome the initiative
Co-presidents of the European Parliament’s Intergroup on LGBT Rights Ulrike Lunacek and Michael Cashman welcomed the initiative, and congratulated all 3 EU leaders on their renewed commitments.
They declared: “We are indeed very pleased that the highest authorities of the 3 core EU institutions have come out against homophobia today. Their statements are exemplary, and clearly show one thing: in 2010 in the European Union, the fundamental rights of everyone, including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, have ceased to divide mainstream political parties and can be considered an integral part of the European Union’s foundations recognised across the mainstream political spectrum.”
“We unreservedly congratulate President Herman van Rompuy, President Jerzy Buzek and Vice-president Viviane Reding.”