The European Parliament wants all-around equality for LGBT people

The European Parliament has just adopted its annual report on equality between women and men in the European Union. The text looks at recent advances in gender equality, and includes several recommendations for LGBT rights.

Sophie IN 'T VELD MEPThe report, drafted by Sophie in ‘t Veld MEP, acknowledges that “families in the European Union are diverse” and include “different-sex and same-sex parents […] who deserve equal protection under national and European Union law”.

The Parliament also “regrets the implementation by some Member States of restrictive definitions of ‘family’ in order to deny legal protection to same-sex couples and their children”.

Among other countries, Lithuania, Romania and Hungary recently adopted laws that seek to define ‘family’ in a discriminatory way.

Sophie in ‘t Veld, author of the report and Vice-president of the LGBT Intergroup, explained: “I don’t know what it is about Europe that allows us to recognise bread as bread and cheese as cheese when they go from the Netherlands to Germany, but not love as love. Conservative colleagues keep trying to cage same-sex families in their own country. But freedom of movement is for everyone in the EU, and equality will prevail.”

In the field of hate crime, the Parliament has also urged the Commission “to include homophobic and transphobic violence and harassment in its action programmes against gender-based violence”.

Finally, the Parliament has called on the Danish Presidency of the EU to unblock the proposed horizontal anti-discrimination Directive; suggested enforced cooperation between countries who have same-sex unions to facilitate the free movement of couples within their territory; and repeated its call for an EU Roadmap for Equality on Grounds of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity.

Michael Cashman MEP, Co-president of the LGBT Intergroup in the European Parliament, concluded: “These sweeping recommendations repeat what we’ve known since the last European elections in 2009: this parliament stands for full equality for LGBT people. In particular the anti-discrimination Directive and a future LGBT Roadmap—like current roadmaps on gender equality or for Roma people—will bring exhaustive and long-lasting equality measures.”

Updated on 16/03/2012