Latest EU survey on discrimination includes sexual orientation and gender identity

The European Commission has published its latest survey on discrimination in the EU, including on grounds of sexual orientation and for the first time gender identity. No significant change has been recorded in the last three years.

Eurobarometer 2012 on discrimination46% of respondents across the EU think gay, lesbian and bisexual people face discrimination, while 46% think they rarely or never do. Similarly, 45% across the EU think transgender people face discrimination, and 42% disagree.

However, respondent in the 27 countries depart from these even responses with discrimination perceived as high as 77% towards LGB people in Cyprus, or as low as 16% in Bulgaria for transgender people.

The Eurobarometer only measures perception of discrimination, and doesn’t establish factual levels of discrimination or violence faced by LGBT people in the EU.

Overall, no significant change was measured since 2009, despite some countries featuring less perceived discrimination (Sweden, Romania, Latvia, Luxembourg, Poland), and some more (Cyprus, Slovakia, Greece, Slovenia, Belgium).

Members of the European Parliament have welcomed these new results. Sirpa Pietikäinen, Vice-President of the LGBT Intergroup, reacted: “I’m happy to see that citizens feel increasingly comfortable with LGBT persons overall, even mildly at 0.1% across the Union.”

“Of course there are both positive and negative evolutions in individual Member States, but in the long run I am convinced the European Union has a beneficial effect for the acceptance of LGBT people.”

Raül Romeva i Rueda, also Vice-President of the LGBT Intergroup, concluded: “We welcome the inclusion of gender identity in the Eurobarometer for the first time. The data shows that perceived levels of discrimination are the same for trans people as for lesbian, gay and bisexual people.”

“We count on the Commission to consider this data carefully when following up on their recent trans and intersex report.”

In the first half of 2013, the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights will publish results from its LGBT equality survey, featuring actual levels of discrimination in the EU and Croatia.

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