The European Parliament has joined to say homophobic crime and speech should be outlawed in the EU.
Adopting a non-binding resolution today (14 March), the six main political parties have said every member state must define anti-gay speech and violence as hate crime.
All 27 member countries and Croatia, who will join the European Union on 1 July, have had high penalties for discrimination against race, age, disability and religious beliefs since 2008.
Speaking to Gay Star News, Bruno Selun, Secretary to the European Parliament’s intergroup on LGBT rights, said the parliament’s statement of intention could lead to a change in the law in three to five years.
He said: ‘Homophobia and transphobia are breach of our human rights.
‘As the European Parliament is based on values of courtesy and respect, homophobia and transphobia fly in the face of that.
‘It’s just a matter of holding on to our European values.’
The LGBT Intergroup and European Commission are currently working on a survey of LGBT people’s lives in the EU and Croatia.
Sophie in’t Veld MEP for the Netherlands and VP of the LGBT Intergroup said: ‘Once these results are published, it will be up to [European Commissioner for Justice] Viviane Reding to translate them into effective change across EU policies.
‘I’m expecting the survey’s 93,000 respondents will have underlined how much hate they face, encouraged in some countries by political and religious leaders.’
The results will be published on 17 May, the International Day Against Homophobia.