Parliament human rights report addresses LGBTI criminalisation, trans rights and same-sex unions

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Last week, the European Parliament voted its annual report on human rights in the world. The report takes account of the situation of human rights, including of LGBTI people, and makes recommendations accordingly.

European ParliamentThe report contains strong language on the rights of LGBTI people. Particularly, the Parliament

  • Expresses concern that “78 countries still criminalise homosexuality, including 10 which provide for the death penalty . . . and that 20 countries still criminalise transgender identities.” It calls to continue raising this in dialogues with third countries, and to support organisations defending LGBTI rights;
  • Addresses anti-propaganda laws by welcoming the annulment of the Moldovan law, and calling on other countries to follow their example;
  • Calls on the Commission and WHO to act towards ending listing of trans identities as mental illnesses and to introduce quick, transparent and accessible legal gender recognition procedures based on the person’s self-determination;
  • Highlights that sterilisation requirements for legal gender recognition should be treated and persecuted as a breach of the right to bodily integrity and of sexual and reproductive health and rights;
  • Encourages the EU and Member States to “reflect on the recognition of same-sex marriage or same-sex civil union as a political, social and human and civil rights issue”

A paragraph condemning referendums limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples and highlighting negative developments in Croatia, Slovakia, Macedonia, Lithuania and Russia, was watered down from the initial draft through an amendment by the centre-right European People’s Party.

Daniele Viotti MEP, Co-President of the LGBTI Intergroup, reacted: “The EU has a key role to play in promoting and protecting human rights, which includes the rights of LGBTI people. In the debate about the report High Representative Mogherini emphasised this again, saying human rights are not a priority, but the priority of external relations of the EU.”

“The adoption of this report by a wide majority sends a clear message from MEPs to step up efforts to effectively protect all LGBTI persons’ rights.”

Isabella Adinolfi MEP, Vice-President of the Intergroup on LGBTI Rights, added: “I strongly welcome this report, which confirms that LGBTI rights are human rights.”

“Now it is key to be consistent in applying this both within the EU as well as in our outside relations.”

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Photo credit: © European Union 2015 – European Parliament

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