Plenary summary : Anti-discrimination directive, LGBTI rights in Uganda and in Indonesia

During its second October plenary session, the European Parliament adopted two urgency resolution addressing LGBTI rights, in Uganda and in Indonesia. MEPS also had a debate on the need for a horizontal anti-discrimination directive in presence of the Council and the Commission.

The need for a horizontal anti-discrimination directive

On Tuesday 22 October, the European Parliament held a debate on « Taking forward the Horizontal Directive ». The debate took place ahead of the EPSCO meeting on 24 October, which focused specifically on enhancing anti-discrimination in the EU.

Many MEPs hightlighted the many gaps in protection against discrimination in the EU, such as based on sexual orientation, and the urgent need to fill those with an EU Directive. Indeed, the project, proposed by the European Commission in 2008, has been stalled ever since.

Situation of LGBTI persons in Uganda

On Thursday 24 October, the European Parliament adopted an urgency resolution on the situation of LGBTI persons in Uganda.

In this resolution, the EP :

– expresses its « deep concern at the resurgence of the anti-homosexuality bill in the Ugandan political debate » (para. 1)

– « strongly condemns Simon Lokodo’s rhetoric for fuelling homophobia and hate » (para. 1)

– reiterates its fierce opposition to all forms of discrimination based on sexual orientation as well as any incitement to hatred and violence towards LGBTI people (para. 1)

– condemns the recent killing of Brian Wasswa (para. 7).

The EP also notes that President Museveni’s spokesperson denying any intention by the government to propose a new bill (para. 2), but highlights the high level of discrimination and violence towards LGBTI people in Uganda and the lack of legal protection – contrary to Uganda’s international commitments.

Finally, it calls on the EU to use political dialogue through the Cotonou Agreement to support Uganda in decriminalising homosexuality and offering full protection to LGBTI people (para. 11).

Read the full resolution here.

The proposed new Criminal Code of Indonesia

The European Parliament also an urgency resolution on the proposed new Criminal Code in Indonesia on 24 October.

In the resolution, the EP expresses its concerns on the text which would, among others, criminalise extra-marital sexual relations, which would de facto criminalise same-sex relations (para. G). It calls on Indonesia to protect the rights of LGBTI people, address the high levels of violence they are subjected to and engage in dialogue with civil society stakeholders (para. 5).

It also « Highlights the importance of including binding and enforceable provisions on respect for human rights in the EU-Indonesia Free Trade Agreement that is currently being negotiated » (para. 15)

Read the resolution here.