The President of the European Parliament along with dozens of MEPs joined togeter yesterday in support of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people's rights.
To mark the mid-way point of their five-year mandate, the members of the European Parliament gathered together for a two-day event organised by the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association – Europe (ILGA Europe) and the LGBT Intergroup.
The aim of the event was to remind MEPs to uphold the rights of gay, bisexual and trans people in the European Union.
Following the event, 184 MEPs signed ILGA Europe's Be Bothered Pledge.
Martin Shulz, President of the European Parliament declared his support to the attending MEPs, saying: 'As the President of the European Parliament, you can count on me to join the fight for the goals of equality laid out in the Be Bothered Pledge.'
Launched in 2009, the Be Bothered Pledge aims to rally support from human rights among MEPs. The 10-point pledge calls on parliament members to uphold LGBT rights in Europe and across the world, combat homophobia through criminal law and incrase transgender people's rights.
Ulrike Lunacek and Michael Cashman, MEPs and co-presidents of the LGBT Intergroup in the European Parliament, said of the meeting: 'We are pleased so many colleagues turned up, and of course that our new president added his important support.
'LGBT rights are gathering ever more allies from across the political spectrum, and the next two and a half years will be crucial to achieve much-needed progress in Europe.'
Martin KI Christensen, co-chair of the executive board of ILGA Europe, commented: 'We are very pleased that MEPs increasingly support the human rights of LGBT people.
'So far the Be Bothered Pledge has been signed by MEPs from all but one political group. Europe is witnessing an increase of extreme and intolerant views. Therefore MEPs’ support and commitment are crucial for keeping the EU free from extremism, hatred, and discrimination.'