New legal report on homophobia and transphobia in the EU

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Today the European Union’s Fundamental Rights Agency released an updated EU-wide legal analysis: Homophobia, transphobia and discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity. The Parliament had previously asked the Agency to analyse the legal situation for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in the European Union.

Update: Also listen to the LGBT Intergroup Podcast, featuring an interview of the Director of the Fundamental Rights Agency and the Executive Director of ILGA-Europe.

2010 FRA reportThe report presents legal evolutions in fields affecting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in the European Union between 2008 and 2010. It tackles issues such as gender reassignment legislation; non-discrimination and equality inside and outside of the workplace; freedom of expression and assembly for LGBT people; free movement and mutual recognition policies affecting the lives of LGBT people; and asylum policies.

Among other conclusions, the legal study finds that a legal proposal stalemated in the Council of Ministers since 2008 would upgrade protection from discrimination outside of employment in as much as 17 EU countries. The EU Agency also singles out Lithuania for its uniquely retrograde attitude vis à vis freedom of expression. And the report finally concludes that the EU should look into a coherent approach to tackle discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity, such as the EU-wide multiannual Strategy for equality between women and men, or the recently-adopted European Union Disability Strategy.

Michael Cashman MEP, Co-President of the European Parliament’s Intergroup on LGBT Rights, declared: “The Fundamental Rights Agency provided the Parliament with an invaluable tool to assess the legal situation of LGBT people throughout the EU. This report shows the EU might be the world’s most advanced region in terms of legal protection for LGBT people, but also that much more needs to be done for genuine equality!”

Ulrike Lunacek MEP, the other Co-President of the LGBT Intergroup, continued: “Now that we have an updated and objective EU-wide legal snapshot of LGBT people’s fundamental rights, we will keep demanding that the Commission, the Council and Member States take decisive action, such as finally adopting the proposed anti-discrimination Directive.”

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