EU Commission reveals strategy to provide more LGBTQ protections
The EU Commission wants to provide more protection for LGBTQ people in the wake of growing anti-LGBTQ sentiment in Europe.
The European Commission, the EU’s executive branch, unveiled their strategy in tackling discrimination against LGBTIQ people, especially with regard to their employment, and ensuring their safety.
They also want to include homophobic hate crime and hate speech in a list of EU crimes or “Eurocrimes” to protect them from online hate speech.
EU commission to address rising anti-LGBTQ sentiment
These protections will be provided to lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, non-binary, intersex, and queer (LGBTIQ) people, said the commission.
Vera Jourová, the European Commission Vice President for Values and Transparency, said during a news conference in Brussels: “Too many people cannot be themselves without fears of discrimination, exclusion or violence.”
Jourová cited the adoption of anti-gay legislation in Hungary and Poland, the creation of so-called “LGBTIQ ideology-free zones,” and attacks on Pride marches.
Meanwhile, Helena Dalli, European Commissioner for Equality, said, “We are still a long way away from the full inclusion and acceptance that LGBTIQ people deserve.”
Howevero, Dalli said that, “Together with the Member States, I trust we can make Europe a better and safer place for all.”
EU commission following up on president’s address
The commission’s move follows the State of the Union Address of the European Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen, who called out Poland’s LGBT ideology-free zones in her speech last September.
In her address, Von der Leyen defended the LGBTQ community and said: “Being yourself is not your ideology, it’s your identity.” She further said such zones have no place in the European Union.
The strategy laid out will address inequalities and challenges affecting LGBTIQ people, as well as set out targeted actions– including legal and funding measures– for the next five years.
Aside from extending the list of “Eurocrimes” to cover hate crime, the strategy will push recognition of same-sex partnerships across the bloc’s borders.
Jourová said: “Everyone should feel free to be who they are – without fear or persecution. This is what Europe is about and this is what we stand for.”
Strategy to address LGBTQ discrimination in Europe
The commission cited the report by the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights wherein 43 percent of LGBTQ people in the EU said they still feel discriminated last year against 37 percent in 2012.
Based on their strategy, the EU Commission will focus on: tackling discrimination; ensuring safety; building inclusive societies; and leading the call for LGBTIQ equality around the world.
This move will go against the declaration of more than 100 Polish municipalities to declare themselves as “LGBT-free zones.”
Likewise, Polish president Andrzej Duda said that the “LGBT ideology is “more destructive than communist indoctrination.”
Meanwhile, Viktor Orbán’s rightwing government in Hungary is pushing a constitutional amendment that only heterosexual married couples can adopt children.