Current Affairs

European Parliament rejects gay discrimination claims

Marc Shoffman November 30, 2006
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The European Parliament’s Bureau has rejected accusations that it has ignored anti-discrimination policies regarding sexual orientation.

The department was criticised by the International Lesbian and Gay Association after a draft resolution of the European Parliament’s Secretariat, the administrative arm of the political body, had initially included sexual orientation, but was later amended.

Deborah Lambillotte, co-chair of ILGA-Europe Executive Board said: “We are more than surprised by such a decision. The omission of sexual orientation by the Parliament seems to be matching recent bad scores on diversity, equality and anti-discrimination by some of the member states.

“The principle which is now an integral part of the EU body of law and compulsory for the member states was completely disregarded and ignored by a disgraceful vote by the European Parliament’s secretariat.”

But at a meeting on the issue this week, the Bureau said it was committed to combating all discrimination, “It cannot be understood as in any way sanctioning discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation or indeed on any other grounds, such as genetic features, language, religion or belief, political or other opinion, membership of a national minority, property birth or age, none of which are specifically mentioned in its ‘Statement of Principles’, but all of which are enshrined in basic EU law.

“The Bureau reaffirms its – and Parliament’s – commitment to combating all kinds of discrimination and to the principles of non-discrimination set out in the EU Treaties, the Charter of Fundamental Rights and the Staff Regulations of the European Union.”

The resolution details anti-discrimination principles within the workplace of the European Parliament.

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