Plenary summary: persecution of minorities on the grounds of belief or religion, resolutions on Western and Sahelian Africa, impact of war in Ukraine on women and Article 7(1)TEU on Poland and Hungary

EP Plenary

During its May I plenary session, the European Parliament Plenary debated and voted on several files that relate to the human rights of LGBTI persons: 

Persecution of minorities on the grounds of belief or religion

On Monday, Members of the European Parliament debated the report on Persecution of minorities on the grounds of belief or religion (rapporteur: Karol Karski, ECR). The report was adopted on Tuesday.

The text of the report, among others, affirms the Parliament’s unwavering commitment to promoting and protecting the rights of persons belonging to belief or religious minorities everywhere in the world and condemns in the strongest terms all persecution, violence, incitements to violence and acts of terrorism targeting any minority on the grounds of belief or religion, or the lack thereof. In particular:

  • 22.  Condemns all acts of or incitements to violence, persecution, coercion and discrimination against individuals on the basis of gender or sexual orientation, including by religious leaders or based on religious or belief motivations; stresses that the defence of ‘tradition’ or ‘public morality’ cannot contradict, in any instance, international human rights provisions to which states must adhere; […] expresses deep concern about the misuse and instrumentalisation of belief or religion to impose discriminatory policies, laws, including criminal laws, or restrictions that contradict and undermine the rights of LGBTIQ people, women and girls and restrict access to basic services, such as education and health, including sexual and reproductive rights, criminalise abortion in all cases, criminalise adultery or facilitate religious practices that violate human rights; calls for the repeal of the relevant policies, laws or restrictions that are often translated into national legislation as secular restrictions;
  • 37.  Calls on the EU and its Member States to strengthen legal and institutional protection mechanisms to secure the human rights of members of belief and religious minorities and of any person in a vulnerable situation, including women and girls, persons of different ethnicities or castes, elderly and disabled people, migrants, refugees and internally displaced persons, and LGBTIQ persons, so that they are fully protected on the basis of their fundamental rights and are not subjected to discrimination because of their belief or religion;

Watch the plenary debate here.

Consult the results of the roll-call final vote here (page 385-386) (final votes (637): +496, -28, o113).

Threats to stability, security and democracy in Western and Sahelian Africa

On Wednesday, Members of the European Parliament debated the resolution on  Threats to stability, security and democracy in Western and Sahelian Africa. The resolution was adopted on Thursday.

The resolution strongly condemns the violence and loss of life in West Africa and the Sahelian region, including abuses committed in the context of military operations, and expresses concern over the increased instability in the Sahel, which undermines the security and stability of the countries concerned and which has profound regional and international consequences. Additionally:

  • 21. Calls on national authorities across the region to decriminalise sexual activity between people of the same sex and to ensure the rights of the LGBTI population; stresses that people fleeing persecution for being LGBTI must be entitled to international protection in the EU;

Watch the plenary debate here.

The impact of the war against Ukraine on women

On Thursday, Members of the European Parliament debated the resolution on the impact of the war against Ukraine on women. The resolution was adopted on Thursday.

The resolution stresses the following:

  • 4. Stresses that any kind of discrimination, including on the basis on nationality, residence status, belief or religion, race, colour, ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, socio-economic background, genetic features, disability or language is unacceptable and must be actively prevented;
  • 22. Stresses that the needs of women experiencing intersectional discrimination due to their racial or ethnic background, disability, nationality, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, including those having experienced sexual violence, are taken into account, notably by providing safe and appropriate reception or care arrangements and ensuring that there is no discrimination at border crossing points;underlines the need to collect and analyse disaggregated data by gender, age, disability, nationality and point of destination (if known) with a view to supporting short- and long-term planning of appropriate services and facilities; […] calls on Member States to guarantee of their protection in the implementation of the TPD;
  • 28. Recalls the difficult situation of and obstacles to transgender persons including trans women or transgender and intersex women with the male gender marker in their passports, who are prevented from fleeing Ukraine; recalls that transgender people whose identity documents do not correspond with their identity cannot pass through internal checkpoints and may be excluded from civil protection measures; points out that reception camps set up for them by volunteers and civil society lack the capacity to house everyone; stresses that transgender persons have difficulties to access hormonal treatments; recalls that such treatments and other specific medicines for transgender and intersex people are classified as essential by the WHO and thus should be included in humanitarian aid packages; calls on the Commission, therefore, for EU financial support and coordination help in this regard; calls on the EU to ask Ukraine to simplify the procedures to allow these women to flee Ukraine; calls on EU Member States to provide appropriate medicines and medication after these women have crossed the border;

Watch the plenary debate here.

Consult the results of the roll-call final vote here (page 97-98) (final votes (570): +462, -19, o89).

Ongoing hearings under Article 7(1) TEU regarding Poland and Hungary

On Tuesday, Members of the European Parliament debated the resolution on Ongoing hearings under Article 7(1) TEU regarding Poland and HungaryThe resolution was adopted on Thursday.

The text states:

  • 4. Reiterates the intrinsic link between the rule of law, democracy and fundamental rights and reminds the Council and the Commission of Parliament’s long-standing call to include the persistent violations of democracy and fundamental rights everywhere in the Union, including attacks against media freedom and journalists, minorities, migrants, women’s rights, LGBTIQ+ people’s rights, and freedom of association and assembly, when assessing the situation of the rule of law in the Member States;
  • 16. Recalls the findings of Parliament’s missions […] which describe various breaches by Hungary and Poland in the field of democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights, especially regarding the independence of the judiciary, media freedom, attacks against civil society actors and the further deterioration of LGBTIQ+ people’s rights and women’s rights, and the alleged use of Pegasus spyware; calls on the Council to make full use of these findings in its work on the Article 7(1) procedures;

Watch the plenary debate here.

Consult the results of the roll-call final vote here (page 59-60) (final votes (632): +462, -133, o37).

For a complete list of all texts (and specific paragraphs) in this legislature touching upon LGBTI issues, check our List of resources available here.

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