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Europe 'strongly condemns' anti-gay laws

The European Parliament adopts resolution slamming homophobic laws and discrimination in eastern Europe
Alexei Kiselyov was arrested in St Petersburg in April under anti-gay 'propaganda' laws
Photo by GayRussia

The European Parliament has slammed homophobic laws and discrimination in Europe.

The resolution, which was adopted with a majority of 430 for to 110 against, 'strongly condemns any discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity'.

It follows a debate on Tuesday (22 May), where MEPs almost unanimously asked the European Commission and European governments to better protect the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

The resolution particularly blasts recent laws or proposals in EU countries Lithuania, Latvia and Hungary, as well as the Council of Europe member states of Russia, Ukraine and Moldova, which make it a criminal offence to talk positively about homosexuality in public.

These laws and proposals consider 'gay propaganda' any support, tolerance or acceptance of LGBT people and have already been used to arrest and fine citizens, and legitimize homophobia and sometimes violence, as has been the case in Kiev and Saint Petersburg.

Michael Cashman MEP, co-president of the European Parliament’s Intergroup on LGBT Rights, said: 'Homophobia, lesbophobia and transphobia are still a cruel reality for too many in Europe.

'We must take action now. The anti-discrimination directive, the framework decision on hate crimes, the recognition of civil status documents and their effects, these are tangible measures we can take within the next two years.

'We hope Viviane Reding, the European Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship, and the Council will show all the good will they promised in this debate.'

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