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Comment: Why Liberals will always fight for LGBT rights in Europe

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  1. The EU can do nothing for LGBT rights. The Lisbon treaty forbids it.

    The EU should be dissolved.

    1. Karen Melchior 5 Dec 2013, 7:47pm

      Calvin that is absolutely untrue. Talk with the people at ILGA Europe, and they will explain how the process of joining the EU has helped LGBT rights in many European countries.

  2. Georg Friedrich 5 Dec 2013, 3:58pm

    Nice. Now focus on increasing violation of gay rights in Lithuania, please. Before its not too late and this country has not became another Russia, just in the EU.

  3. He fails to mention how the EU should react to Croatia’s disgusting referendum on minority rights.

    He shouldn’t talk the talk unless he is willing to walk the walk.

    And Ireland will have a referendum on minority rights as well.

    If that referendum fails as well then what should the EU do?

    If the EU is unable or unwilling to defend the LGBT civil right to marriage then I think he is simply spouting waffle to get elected.

    1. Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union
      Article 9
      Right to marry and right to found a family
      The right to marry and the right to found a family shall be guaranteed in accordance with the national
      laws governing the exercise of these rights.

      1. So effectively if Croatia decides to ban marriage between Croats and Serbs (and the Croatian right wing is demanding a referendum to reduce the civil rights of the ethnic Serbian minority in Croatia) that will be OK.

        Or if Hungary decides to ban Roma people from marrying non-Roma people that’s OK too.

        Sorry – I don’t buy it.

        LGBT rights are the ONLY minority rights that are subject to the individual will of the EU states.

        What does Giles Goodall propose to do to change this?

        1. It doesn’t matter. The European Court of Justice has already ruled that member states
          can regulate gay marriage as they see fit.

          1. So effectively when Giles Goodall claims that he will defend our rights he is lying because our rights are not absolute anywhere in Europe.

      2. Frank Boulton 7 Dec 2013, 9:19am

        Calvin, the difficulty with the right to marry under Article 9 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European is that it is limited by the phrase “in accordance with the national laws governing the exercise of these rights.”

        The UDHR has more teeth:

        “Article 16
        1, Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.

        2. Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.

        3. The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.”

        The UDHR is easier to call to the support of marriage equality, because it declares the right to marry to be inalienable, to be made with “free and full consent” and is not limited by nationality.

  4. If LGBT rights are subject to a popular vote does he think that other minority group rights should also be subject to a popular vote.

    Croatian right wing parties are proposing a referendum on reducing the civil rights of the Serb minority still in that country.

    If no action is taken against Croatia for its decision to allow LGBT rights be dependent on a vote then surely the rights of other minority groups are also fair game right?

  5. Libs? Who are they?

  6. The Croatian referendum is unfortunately a step backwards, but the Croatian liberals (part of the government) were opposed to it and campaigned against the constitutional amendment. They’ve also said they’ll continue with their plans to introduce same sex partnerships (not full marriage) nevertheless – which would still represent considerable progress for LGBT people there.

  7. Steve: I think it’s important to clarify what the EU can and cannot do, and to distinguish between legal actions and political ones. The EU can act to tackle discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and has done so (the 2000 Employment Equality Directive, which prohibits discrimination against LGBT people in the workplace). The European Commission proposed to extend this protection beyond the workplace, but it’s since been blocked by a minority of countries. One thing we can do is campaign to change their minds so this proposal becomes law.

    The EU has no say over equal marriage legally speaking (this is a purely national responsibility) – but it can do things to make things easier for same-sex couples travelling around Europe, for example.

    Of course there’s a lot more that can be done by politicians and campaigners at the political level – which is why liberal campaigners want to work together to bring political pressure in countries like Croatia and Lithuania to improve life for LGBT communities there.

    We need to be realistic about what we can achieve, but by working together we can achieve more.

  8. The German Liberals (FDP) voted against same-sex marriage in their own country. Liberal parties in government right across the EU (including Britain) are imposing austerity on their people, which is having a disproportionate impact on LGBT youth. Sorry, I don’t buy this childish partisan rubbish.

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