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EU must lead by example in fighting homophobia worldwide - Ludford

September 28, 2011 4:31 PM
By Sarah Ludford MEP

Liberal Democrat European justice & human rights spokeswoman and London MEP Sarah Ludford has welcomed a resolution approved with a large majority in the European Parliament today on tackling homophobia.

This applauds the first-ever UN resolution on LGBT issues - co-sponsored by 21 EU countries - and calls on the EU to make an even stronger commitment to ending discrimination and violence on the basis of sexual orientation across the world. But the MEPs' resolution also demands that EU governments fully address the findings of a 2010 report by the EU's own Fundamental Rights Agency which highlighted inequalities and discrimination still experienced by LGBT communities across Europe.

Sarah Ludford, who is Vice President of the LGBT+ Liberal Democrats, said:

"The fact that the UN has at last resolved to tackle discrimination and violence directed at LGBT people is cause for some satisfaction. But this is only the beginning. Not only must the EU take an even stronger lead internationally, but it must also eradicate the prejudice and inequality still suffered by gay people on home soil."

"Same-sex marriages and registered partnerships are not yet fully recognised across Europe, gay prides are banned or harassed, and many LGBT people face discrimination in work, housing and education. Meanwhile a new anti-discrimination directive is inexcusably blocked by some Member States. To be credible as a world leader on sexual orientation and equality, Europe cannot afford a patchy record at home."

The draft resolution can be found here: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=MOTION&reference=B7-2011-0523&language=EN

The report, entitled 'Homophobia, transphobia and discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity' by the Fundamental Rights Agency (an EU agency) can be found here: http://fra.europa.eu/fraWebsite/research/publications/publications_per_year/pub-lgbt-2010-update_en.htm

Sarah recently asked a question in the Commission on an EU anti-discrimination law :http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-//EP//TEXT+CRE+20110913+ITEM-017+DOC+XML+V0//EN&language=EN&query=INTERV&detail=2-591-000