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LGBTQ discrimination in Europe increasing: EU survey

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LGBTQ discrimination in Europe increasing: EU survey

A major EU survey has revealed that LGBTQ discrimination is increasing in Europe with six in ten or 62 percent of the community afraid to hold hands in public.

The study, which interviewed 140,000 LGBTQ people across Europe, also showed that 43 percent of them have been discriminated against in 2019.

This is an increase of six percent from a previous survey done in 2012. For transgender people, six in ten had experienced discrimination, up from 43 percent.

LGBTQ discrimination on the rise

The survey was conducted by EU’s Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) and is the largest of its kind ever carried out on hate crime and discrimination against LGBTQ people.

The survey also shows how LGBTQ people in every European country still face difficulties, and how LGBTQ equality in Europe still has a long way to go.

People from EU’s 27 member states, including the United Kingdom, North Macedonia, and Serbia, participated in the study.

In the foreword of the study, FRA director Michael O’Flaherty wrote: “The results show little progress over the past seven years.”

“Imagine being afraid to hold your loved one’s hand in public, skipping office banter to avoid divulging with whom you share your life, choosing the long way home to side-step potentially hostile ground, or enduring ridicule every time you show your personal identification,” O’Flaherty noted.

He urged policymakers to take note of their study and do more to actively promote full respect for rights of LGBTQ people.

LGBTQ discrimination by the numbers

According to the survey, two in five respondents said they’d been harassed in the year before they took part in the survey. Likewise, one in five transgender or intersex people said they were physically or sexually attacked.

A third of LGBTQ people admitted they had trouble making ends meet. Many of them said they encountered discrimination in areas like finding housing and obtaining medical treatment.

What’s more, only very few said they would report harassment to authorities. In Romania, this was as low as four percent, and in Hungary, five percent.

In France and Poland, a majority of the respondents said they felt intolerance has increased in their respectdive countries.

In the UK, 24 percent said they were almost never open about their LGBTQ identity, while 52 percent said they felt their government was effective against anti-LGBTQ attitudes.

“More worryingly, we have recently witnessed within the EU anti-LGBTI incidents such as attacks on prides, the adoption of ‘LGBTI ideology-free zone’ declarations, fines for LGBTI-friendly advertisements and others,” said Helena Dalli, European Commissioner for Equality.

Push for LGBTQ equality continues

However, around 70 percent of respondents in Ireland and Malta said intolerance had declined in their respective countries.

In the UK, the average life satisfaction of members of the LGBTQ community was 7.5 out of ten. Likewise, only nine percent reported feeling discriminated against when looking for work.

“While progress has been made for some parts of the community, these findings clearly show that we still have a long way to go,” Alison Camps, the co-chair of Pride in London, said in a statement.

“We must also remember that the great strides in equality that some of us enjoy today are not shared by everyone in our community,” Camps said.

Meanwhile, Dalli said: “Everybody in the European Union should feel safe and free to be themselves.”

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