Current Affairs

MEPs celebrate landmark new LGBT protections in European Parliament

Joseph McCormick June 10, 2015
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In a landmark vote, the European Parliament has demanded to include LGBT rights in a future EU gender equality strategy.

The current strategy for equality between women and men runs out at the end of this year. The report voted yesterday, is the Parliament’s input for the gender equality strategy 2016-2020.

Specifically on LGBT issues, the parliament has made several changes to its strategy, including the below:

  • Asks to ensure the full legal recognition of a person’s preferred gender, which is vital for trans and intersex persons and to work towards full depathologisation of trans identities, including in childhood
  • Demands an inclusive definition of families, including families with LGBT parents in labour and family law
  • Calls on the Commission to tackle prejudice against LGBT persons in schools
  • The Parliament reiterates its call to adopt a separate strategy on LGBT rights. It also calls on the Council to adopt a Directive that would outlaw discrimination on the basis ofinter alia sexual orientation, in education, social protection and access to goods and services

Ulrike Lunacek MEP, Co-President of the Intergroup on LGBTI Rights, commented on the change, saying: “The message of the Parliament is clear: It is time for the Commission to take leadership on gender equality and LGBTI rights.”

“The attempt by EPP and ECR to delete all LGBTI content shows just how out of touch they have become with today’s society. Thankfully, the Parliament rejected their attempts, and voted in favour of the original report.”

All LGBT content was threatened by an alternative resolution as well as numerous split and separate votes, demanded by the conservative and right-wing groups EPP and ECR.

Maria Noichl MEP, author of the report and Member of the LGBTI Intergroup, added: “Misogyny, homophobia and transphobia are still widespread in Europe, and there is a lot that the EU still needs to do to make equality a reality.”

“I am very glad that the Parliament affirmed its full commitment to gender equality and LGBTI rights. It is now up to the Commission to ensure that the final strategy reflects this progressive input.”

More: Europe, European Parliament, LGBT, protections, vote

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