European Parliament has voted to ensure every country in the continent must guarantee equal rights for LGBTI people today (4 February).
The directive, put forward by the European Commission, ‘strongly condemns’ homophobia and transphobia in the EU, and is intended to reduce discrimination in the grounds of belief, age, disability, sexual orientation, and gender identity.
Despite opposition from religious and other conservative groups, a clear majority approved the report. 394 politicians voted in favour, with 176 against.
The International Lesbian Gay Bisexual Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) has been calling for such a roadmap for many years.
‘Today’s vote is particularly important as the religious extremists, anti-choice and other ultra-conservative groups organised a massive sabotage campaign against this report,' said ILGA-Europe Executive Director, Evelyne Paradis.
‘Fortunately, the European parliamentarians demonstrated their clear commitment to the EU fundamental principle of equality, and non-discrimination and dignity for all.’
Co-Chair of ILGA-Europe’s executive board, Paulo Côrte-Real said he is looking forward to working with the European Commission, and EU Member States to make sure the EU will adopt this roadmap.
Ulrike Lunacek, MEP and report co-author commented: ‘LGBTI people face serious problems in Europe today. Despite progress made in some countries, discrimination, violence, and harassment continue to occur,”
“Some argued that this would give special privileges to LGBT people. But holding a partner’s hand without fear of being beaten up is no privilege – it’s a human right.’