European Parliament asks for EU LGBTI roadmap in landmark report

Today, the European Parliament adopted a non-binding recommendation for a future EU roadmap against homophobia and discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Roberta Metsola and Ulrike Lunacek MEPSThe report adopted today “strongly condemns” homophobia and transphobia in the European Union. MEPs ask the European Commission, Member States and EU agencies to “work jointly on a comprehensive multiannual policy to protect the fundamental rights of LGBTI people”, also known as a roadmap or a strategy.

Such strategies already exist in the field of Roma integrationdiscrimination on the basis of disability, and gender equality.

For the European Parliament, this strategy must address discrimination in the fields of employment, education, health, goods and services, free movement, freedom of expression, hate crime, asylum, and foreign relations.

A clear majority (394 in favour, 176 against) approved the report, which benefited from broad support across the political spectrum.

Despite vocal opposition from religious and other conservative fundamentalists, supporting votes came from all five main political groups EPP, S&D, ALDE, Greens/EFA and GUE/NGL. Some in the ECR group also supported the text.

Ulrike Lunacek MEP, report author and Co-President of the LGBT Intergroup, commented: “LGBTI people face serious problems in Europe today. Despite progress made in some countries, disrimination, violence and harassment continue to occur in all 28 Member States.”

“Some argued that this rwould give special privileges to LGBT people. But holding a partner’s hand without fear of being beaten up is no privilege—it’s a human right.”

“Broad cross-party support has shown Parliament’s determination on this issue. The Commission will have to answer with something else than silence.”

Roberta Metsola MEP, spokesperson for the EPP group on the report and Member of the LGBT Intergroup, added: “Both this report and the broad support it received send a strong message to our societies that discrimination against LGBTI persons is simply unacceptable, and must be addressed.”

“The text strikes the right balance and fully respects the principle of subsidiarty. I am proud to have supported it.”

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Image credit: © European Union