Despite opposition, Parliament takes stock of LGBT equality in new report

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Today the European Parliament adopted its annual report on fundamental rights in the European Union. The report includes an extensive overview of the situation for LGBT people, and recommendations to reach European equality standards laid down in the Charter of Fundamental Rights.
Among other recommendations, MEPs ask that Member States guarantee the freedom of movement of same-sex couples, their families, and transgender persons. They also call for EU measures addressing transphobic and homophobic hate crime, and to ensure that LGBT asylum-seekers are granted relevant protections.

The report also urges Member States to finally adopt the horizontal anti-discrimination directive, which would ban discrimination in education, social protection and the provision of goods and services. The text was put forward in 2008, but has remained unexamined by Member States ever since.

MEPs also repeated previous calls on Member States to review legal gender recognition procedures, as 14 of them still impose compulsory sterilisation for transgender people. They commend the European Commission for their commitment to stop considering transgender individuals as mentally ill within the World Health Organisation.

Finally, the Parliament reiterated its call for an EU roadmap against homophobia and discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity, repeating a call made earlier this month.

Louis Michel MEP, author of the report and Member of the LGBT Intergroup, reacted: “Regrettably, homophobia and transphobia are still widespread in Europe, and there is a lot that the EU still needs to do when it comes to LGBT equality.”

“However, I am pleased the Parliament has, for the third year in a row, shown its commitment to fundamental rights by adopting this very inclusive and comprehensive report. It underlines that fundamental rights are there for all to be enjoyed, not just for some.”

Monika Flašíková-Beňová MEP, Member of the LGBT Intergroup and shadow rapporteur for this report, added: “I was shocked that the EPP again submitted an alternative text, proposing to delete several paragraphs on LGBT equality, for instance on the freedom of movement for LGBT families, transgender rights, LGBT asylum seekers and the need for a horizontal anti-discrimination directive.”

“Thankfully, the Parliament voted against their resolution and in favour of the original report.”

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