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European Parliament urges nine member states to recognize gay couples

European Parliament urges nine member states to recognize gay couples

The European Parliament has urged nine EU member states to ‘consider the possibility of offering’ gay couples ‘cohabitation, registered de facto unions and marriage.’

MEPs on Tuesday (8 September) voted in support of a report on fundamental rights in the EU, which contained a number of LGBTI recommendations. Several amendments to curtail the scope of the report were rejected.

One of the adopted resolutions ‘considers that LGBTI people’s fundamental rights are more likely to be safeguarded if they have access to legal institutions such as cohabitation, registered partnership or marriage.’

The parliament said it ‘welcomes the fact that 19 member states currently offer these options, and calls on other member states to consider doing so.’

The nine EU countries without with gay marriage or civil unions are Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Slovakia.

MEPs also called on member states to impose penalties on public office holders who insult or stigmatize LGBTI people and encouraged the adoption of workplace diversity and non-discrimination policies, as well as official recognition of gender change.

LGBTI rights group ILGA-Europe welcomed the vote.

‘Today’s report is a clear evidence of the European Parliament’s ongoing commitment to hold EU institutions and member states accountable when it comes to human rights. We need the Parliament to remains this driving force for human rights in the Union.’ said executive director Evelyne Paradis.

‘We welcome that the report contains a number of specific actions for the European Union to put its work on LGBTI human rights in a strategic frame. We are advocating for an EU LGBTI strategy and glad to see our vision of how LGBTI human rights should be dealt with in the EU is shared by the European Parliament.’