Council of Europe speaks out against continuing LGBT discrimination
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe is to debate and vote today on a report on equal rights for Europe's LGBT community. The report includes recommendations for the legal recognition of same-sex relationships and the adoption of children in homosexual relationships. Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg has called for full equality of marriage marriage as part of DELGA's Marriage Without Borders campaign.
MEP for London Sarah Ludford, who is Vice Chair of the Liberal Democrat LGBT group (DELGA) and an active member of the European Parliament lesbian & gay rights intergroup, said:
"This is an important step towards really implementing the equal rights and opportunities embedded in the European Convention on Human Rights. It is disgraceful that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people across our continent continue to face deep-rooted prejudice and discrimination despite nearly 60 years of European human rights measures. If we can't fix bigotry at home, we can't fight it effectively in the wider world.
"Areas the Parliamentary Assembly wants addressed include legal recognition of same-sex relationships and partners' 'next of kin' status, and the right for same-sex couples to be joint guardians and adopt each other's children. These are very important issues with sensible solutions. The EU, which represents the most 'advanced' 27 states of the Council of Europe membership, should also be looking seriously at what it can do to make progress on them."