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European Parliament condemns consideration of anti-gay laws

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  1. The European Parliament needs to endorse marriage equality as a fundamental human right before lecturing anyone on LGBT rights and dignity. How are people supposed to believe all this rhetoric if, at heart, the EU remains silent on the basic right of two people of the same sex to get married?

    Come on MEPs, try and keep up with President Obama!

    1. Why are you comparing apples and pears? Obama may support marriage equality but Congress, on the whole, does not.

      And let’s deal with issues one at a time. How can you have marriage equality when even the basic freedom of expression isn’t secured?

    2. Scott Lovely 29 May 2012, 12:40pm

      Try and keep the horse and carriage in the right order. Marriage equality is totally off the spectrum for people that have been fed so much nonsense about homosexuality and told that the real facts are just propaganda. Just getting them to look at the real facts from professionals must be difficult enough if they have been taught by the American hate groups, not just to ignore it, but to ban anyone from hearing it.

      1. So Lucius and Scott Lovely, are you saying that marriage equality should not be considered a basic human right and that it is, in essence, something of a luxury commodity? Surely it’s best to establish the principle of equal rights at the level of the European Parliament first and let that act as a solid platform for facilitating improved practice across individual member states.

        1. Yes, marriage is usually grouped together with other social rights. It’s a contract and it’s ludicrous to equate it with freedom of speech, expression, conscience…

  2. Paddyswurds 29 May 2012, 11:36am

    I think we should know or find out who the 105 who voted against or who abstained as soon as possible so those who are homophobic can be exposed and measures taken to ensure their seats go to non homophobic MEPs in future……..

  3. Scott Lovely 29 May 2012, 11:53am

    So how do these misconceptions about “homosexual propaganda” arise? Often deliberate lies from hate groups in America. They are trusted and believed simply because they claim to be religious.

    If you go to Archbishop Cranmer blog comments you will also see their concoctions about ” death threats” repeated, dreamed up so that hate groups could try and keep illegal funding secret, repeatedly ignoring court orders across America to disclose details.

  4. Bruno (LGBT Intergroup/European Parliament) 29 May 2012, 12:02pm

    Hi everyone,

    Todd, the marriage equality issue is included in the resolution (see paragraph 9: “Considers that LGBT people’s fundamental rights are more likely to be safeguarded if they have access to legal institutions such as cohabitation, registered partnership or marriage, …”).

    Paddyswurds, you can see how MEPs voted on this page (very useful for any vote in the European Parliament): http://bit.ly/LB31wA

    1. Thanks Bruno – very helpful.

      From the UK, Dianne Dodds of the DUP voted against – not abstained, voted against. The only other UK representatives to join her were from the BNP.

      A further reminder – that won’t surprise anyone living there – that Northern Ireland is forty years behind the rest of the UK on these issues.

    2. Thanks Bruno! Glad to see that the subject gets a mention but this doesn’t say that marriage is a fundamental right in and of itself does it? It only states that marriage safeguards other fundamental rights. Also, it makes marriage sound like an option, one that is rhetorically pitted against (‘or’! – disgraceful!) ‘cohabitation’ and ‘registered partnership’. I think, actually, paragraph 9 is really quite sloppy. How can second-best options really safeguard LGBT rights when they are specifically designed to separate LGBTs from the rest of society? One of the main reasons that marriage equality is on the political agenda, at least in the UK, is because the Civil Partnership Act of Segregation is not perceived as providing equal dignity to LGBTs. I think MEPs need to think a lot more about this and take a lead on facilitating marriage equality across Europe as a fundamental human right in and of itself.

    3. Michael Cashman didn’t vote, is that right?

    4. Keith Farrell 29 May 2012, 5:56pm

      Thanks this is a real eye opener, If these people are elected, then they must not be re elected. seems only 3 were NO, well what do you expect from a bigot. 7 don’t understand the question, they need to be sent back to school. and so many of them were just too lazy to get up of their fat asses and say YES. these are the real problem people, they are only there for the money. When will they realize that we are all created equal or would they rather serve someone like Hitler and sit back to watch us all murdered.
      Sometimes I get so sad, I wonder if any of mans history will ever get through the thick skulls of those who decide our rights. come one people if you want to represent us, do your job, make sure everyone gets the same rights

  5. laws banning ‘gay propaganda’ are in conflict with article 10, 11, 14 and possibly 17 of european convention on human rights and article 19 of universal declaration of human rights. these laws should be challenged in echr

    1. Scott Lovely 29 May 2012, 12:44pm

      Their bans on pride marches have been ruled illegal, but they still get banned. You also need to get the governments to see reason, combined with any that are in the EU facing sanctions.

      1. anti gay propaganda law doesnt affect only gay prides but also gay rights, education process, cultural and public events, cinemas and theaters, tv and radio programs etc. it wants ‘gay aspect’ to be pushed to the margins of society, make it invisible. thats why it needs to be challenge politically and legally asap

  6. Full UK roll of shame:

    Voted against:
    BNP (Andrew Brons; Nick Griffin)
    DUP (Dianne Dodds)

    Voted “abstain” or were present but didn’t vote:
    Ulster Unionists (Jim Nicholson)
    5 Conservatives (Robert Atkins; Philip Bradbourn; Emma McClarkin; Anthea McIntyre; Geoffrey van Orden).

    The MEPs who proposed the motion didn’t vote (by convention), including 3 UK reps (Cashman, McMillan-Scott, Moraes).

    Fiona Hall (LibDem) is very pro-gay but didn’t vote (not sure why).

    UKIP abstained en masse of course (as did Nicole Sinclaire, ex-UKIP).

    UKIP abstains in most votes because they do not believe the European Parliament has a right to speak for the member states.

    But I would like to see them challenged on the substance of this motion: Do they believe that anti-gay legislation in these countries is wrong? Do they believe that the British national government should lobby these countries to change their policy?

    I think their answer might well be No.

    1. Thanks for that understanding. I didn’t realise that Michael Cashman was unable to vote by convention thank you.

    2. Robert in S. Kensington 29 May 2012, 2:27pm

      Both UKIP and BNP don’t even support equal marriage in the UK, so this comes as no surprise.

  7. GingerlyColors 29 May 2012, 1:33pm

    Russia, Moldovia and the Ukraine are not in the European Union and therefore do not fall under the jurisdiction of the European Parliament. However they are still members of the Council of Europe and subject to the European Court of Human Rights and it is those bodies that can use leverage to improve things in those countries. I have been critical of the ECHR in recent postings and that has got me a few thumbs downs from fellow correspondents but I do stand by my beliefs that the EHCR should be preventing discrimination against minorities living within Europe, not entertaining people who come in from outside in order to spread hatred. The EHCR was set up to prevent a repeat of the attrocities commited during World War II but sadly it did not stop the Slob and his henchmen in Serbia from carrying out a few attrocities of their own during the break up of Yugoslavia.

    1. well, there are political views and human rights and having former shouldn’t affect latter. echr was established to arbitrate between member state and its citizens using european convention on human rights that member states agreed to abide by

    2. Robert in S. Kensington 29 May 2012, 2:29pm

      And let’s not forget, the ECHR doesn’t even support equal marriage or that gay people have a right to marry.

      1. ‘…Article 12 of ECHR provides a right for women and men of marriageable age to marry and establish a family.

        Despite a number of invitations, the Court has so far refused to apply the protections of this article to same-sex marriage. The Court has defended this on the grounds that the article was intended to apply only to different-sex marriage, and that a wide margin of appreciation must be granted to parties in this area…’

  8. human rights are guaranteed by european convention on human rights not by european union, shows how much you know

    1. More to the point, several of these states are petitioning for membership…

  9. Marriage not a right? really? Then how does it happen? Lottery?

  10. “so they can make their own legislation, which I fully support.”

    Ahhhh, did the ECHR kicking the religious muppets out upset you? http://strasbourgobservers.com/2012/02/14/anti-gay-hate-speech-vejdeland-and-others-v-sweden/

    I like this bit best:- “A unanimous Court has ruled that Sweden did not violate the right to freedom of expression: the criminal conviction of the applicants for distributing leaflets that contained offensive statements about homosexuals did not breach the Convention.”

    Hmmm. A delight to read, eh?

  11. There are other countries in Europe that need support for LGBT rights such as Finland, Greece, Italy, Poland. Especially in Finland homophobia remains at large and people are suffering because of it. Our (Finland’s) current president is just another ass kissing conservative who will do nothing for LGBT rights.

  12. Spanner1960 29 May 2012, 7:38pm

    Haven’t the EU got enough to do without poking their noses in other countries affairs?

    Much that I condemn these countries human rights attitudes, particularly when it comes to LGBT issues, I would have said the EU has enough to contend with sorting out it’s own members without chucking brickbats at all and sundry.

  13. Kornelijus Norvidas 29 May 2012, 7:42pm

    I live in Lithuania. Can EP to help me or others LGBT people here? I think, no – its just impossible. One historic resolution more or less – homophobic climat still strong as it was 10 years ago, even stronger. Its something strange to be gay in Eastern European country like this – as looking at the Pride behind window glass, very near. And can not break it – no chance to go in the street. No now, at least.

    1. Gintare Zaksaite 30 May 2012, 12:27pm

      Incidentally, I believe that we can do at least something small to help that, however only as a group, not individually, protests, lobbying, handing out leaflets and other sources of awareness. If you, or anyone else are interested, please add me on facebook – Gintare Zaksaite. I am looking for people who are Lithuanian, from Lithuania, can speak Lithuanian and/or generally recognise that the hateful ignorant homophobic attitudes are wrong, and would like to get involved, or do something constructive about it. Nothing concrete as of yet, but would love to discuss with people who are as passionate about these issues as I am.

  14. Gintare Zaksaite 30 May 2012, 12:20pm

    Finally people has taken notice of the Baltic countries and their medieval attitudes! I believe that the situation there is graver than most people think, the media, instead of being objective or informing people, have massive homophobic content, intended to make people believe all sorts of nonsense about homosexuality. In my experience, sadly, people believe this, as there are not enough alternative sources, so why should they know better? In the Soviet times, homosexuality, paedophillia and anything else not-heterosexual has been lumped into one, and so people of older generation especially hold strong attitudes. The only way I can see to counteract this, is to promote awareness and educate people, challenge their ignorant beliefs, and I think that the influence of the European Union is the first step toward that.

    @ Kornelijus. Sadly, the abuse and hateful attitude are just too common there, and my heart goes out to you, who has to suffer them.

  15. And what if member states do not comply with the EU Pariament directives? What then?

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