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EU declaration on homophobia falls

May 23, 2007 1:20 PM
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3 out of 10 MEPs backed the declaration

A European Parliament attempt to tackle homophobia in the EU has fallen after 239 out of 785 members of the European Parliament have signed a declaration (similar to an early day motion in the House of Commons) against homophobic bullying. While this represents the welcome support for gay rights from 30% of all MEPs, there were not enough signatures for it to move on to the next stage.

Liberal Democrat MEP Baroness Sarah Ludford, who sits on the European Parliament's intergroup on gay and lesbian rights, said, "While this result clearly signifies that combating homophobic bullying is more than a marginal issue for MEPs, we must work harder to make a majority understand the degree of misery and exclusion it can cause and why it is an important equalities matter at European as well as national level."

"Recent statements from the Polish education minister about preventing the 'propagation' of homosexuality in schools - shades of section 28! - show how far we still have to go to get Europe-wide action to stop discrimination."

The declaration called for the European Parliament to expand its campaign against discrimination, and to actively encourage member states to support their gay communities, and for schools across Europe to formulate a plan for fighting homophobia, highlighting the effects bullying can have on victims.