European lawmakers want to declare EU as ‘LGBT freedom zone’
The European Parliament is favoring a resolution that will declare the entire 27-member European Union as an “LGBT freedom zone.”
The European lawmakers are pushing this resolution in reaction to local authorities in Poland adopting largely symbolic resolutions declaring their towns as being free from the alleged “LGBT ideology” since 2019.
LGBT rights activists say these discriminatory designations target the LGBT community and have led to these towns being known as “LGBT-free zones.”
EU as an LGBT freedom zone
The resolution was pushed by a cross-party group in the European Parliament, the LGBT Intergroup, with the debate and vote scheduled for this week.
Liesje Schreinemacher, the vice chair of the group and a Dutch lawmaker, pointed out that this month marks the second anniversary when the first Polish town passed an anti-LGBT resolution.
“Since then over 100 places in Poland followed– a disgrace on European soil,” Schreinemacher said.
EU Equality Commissioner Helena Dalli lauded the move, citing LGBT people have been coming under increasing attack from political and religious conservative leaders.
“This has led to increased scapegoating of (LGBT) persons, who are for instance framed as a threat to children. The EU must be a freedom zone for all of us, without exception,” Dallli said.
Meanwhile, lawmaker Sophie in ’t Veld said: “Hate speech kills, and the Polish so-called LGBTI-free zones are symbols of hatred. And they are terrible city marketing, by the way.”
Poland warns EU for overstepping
This proposed resolution didn’t go well with Poland’s conservative ruling party, with one lawmaker, Ryszard Legutko, calling those who support the resolution as the “radical left.”
Legutko also denounced the debate, calling it “ideological madness.” He further said EU was overstepping its jurisdiction with the resolution.
He defended Poland, saying that marriage is based on the union of a man and a woman, which is enshrined in their constitution.
“It is our right to defend families. We cannot have this right infringed upon,” he said.
The move by Polish towns to declare “LGBT-free zones” have cost the country, as the EU and Norway have cut off funding to some of these towns.
The resolutions pushed by the local authorities are supported by or associated with the ruling Conservative Law and Justice party.
LGBT freedom zone to affect Hungary
The proposed resolution could also affect Hungary as it declared that fundamental rights of LGBT people have been “severely hindered” in that country.
Hungary has instituted a de facto ban on legal gender recognition for trans and intersex people.
in a statement, Schreinemacher said, “From Portugal to Bulgaria, from Cyprus to Finland, the Parliament will stand for the rights of LGBT persons and will not forget that backsliding on these rights is legitimising LGBT-phobia.”
Meanwhile, Swedish lawmaker Malin Björk said, “This resolution is a political signal to the anti-LGBT actors in Europe that their acts of hate and discrimination are intolerable.”
Only two member states of EU– Germany and Malta– have presently banned the controversial “conversion therapy.”