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EU gives added protection to gay hate crime victims

European Parliament passes directive ensuring protection for victims of crime based on their sexual orientation, gender identity or 'gender expression'
Gay MEP Michael Cashman says new EU directive on hate crimes sends 'strong signal'

Gay hate crime victims are to be given more protection under EU law.

Today (12 September) the European Parliament agreed on a directive which ensures victims assistance and protection on the basis of gender, gender identity or expression and sexual orientation.

It is the first time EU law mentions gender expression, which refers to the way someone expresses their gender, including dress, speech and mannerisms.

Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Antonyia Parvanova, who co-authored the report, said: 'I am proud that the parliament agreed certain victims of crime, such as women, children, or LGBTI people, deserve particular attention and should be entitled to specific protection measures, based on their needs.

'The parliament has been united behind this suggestion and stood firm in convincing member states in the Council of the European Union to accept it too.'

Gay MEP Michael Cashman, co-president of the European Parliament’s Intergroup on LGBT Rights, added that the European Union has sent a 'strong signal' that victims of hate crime deserve 'special attention'.

He said: 'All these victims, as well as their friends and families, know how devastating hate crime can be. It is Europe’s responsibility to protect them.'

EU member states have three years to adopt the laws on a national level.

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