Parliament demands EU action on LGBTI rights

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Yesterday, the European Parliament adopted a new comprehensive report on fundamental rights in the EU.

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Copyright 2015 ILGA-Europe

Defying an attempt by the EPP group to adopt an alternative report which would have deleted nearly all content on LGBTI rights and other relevant human rights issues, the final report includes an extensive section of the situation for LGBTI people (par. 85 – 92).

For the first time, a parliament report also specifically addresses the human rights violations experienced by intersex people (par. 92). The report condemns medically unnecessary genital surgery on intersex infants and calls on Member States to outlaw such practices.

Genital “normalisation” surgery currently occurs throughout Europe, and is only explicitly forbidden in Malta.

Furthermore, parliament spoke out in favour of making legal gender recognition procedures easier for transgender people, and to review mental health catalogues as to exclude transgender people as being considered mentally ill (par. 89 – 91).

Parliamentarians also highlight that same-sex couples everywhere should have access to marriage or registered partnerships, the effects of which should be recognized across the EU (par. 86).

Lastly, Parliament underlined its demand for the development of a comprehensive action plan/strategy against homophobia, as well as the pending horizontal anti-discrimination directive (par. 44 and 85).

The Rapporteur, Laura Ferrara MEP, Member of the LGBTI Intergroup, reacted: “By this report, the European Parliament has clearly stated that the rights of LGBTI people need to be further consolidated and better protected.”

“Whereas in many countries the situation has improved, we need to ensure that other Member States ensure equal rights too. The Commission has a key role to play here, and this report also calls on them to show political leadership in this regard.”

Ulrike Lunacek MEP, Co-President of the Intergroup on LGBTI Rights and shadow rapporteur on the report, continued: “It is sad that the EPP has again tried to get an alternative text adopted, virtually lacking all content on LGBTI rights.”

“However, good sense prevailed for the majority of MEPs, and I am very glad that the Parliament stood up for the ideals of equal rights and non-discrimination, including for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex people.”

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