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Cross-party support expected for MEP anti-homophobia resolution

May 24, 2012 3:16 PM

Liberal Democrat European justice & human rights spokeswoman and London MEP Sarah Ludford is hopeful of strong cross-party support for a resolution in the European Parliament today against homophobia in Europe.

The resolution highlights laws in Eastern European countries such as Russia, Hungary, Lithuania and Latvia restricting public information about LGBT issues and the banning of Pride marches. It deplores hate speech, violence and murder against gay people.

The resolution calls on the European Commission and Member States to ensure that same-sex couples enjoy EU free movement rights without discrimination.

Sarah Ludford, Vice President of LGBT+ Liberal Democrats , commented:

"It is absolutely shocking that blatant homophobia persists in EU countries as well as in the wider Europe, and that LGBT people are dying through hate crimes despite the professed commitment to European human rights standards. A culture of homophobic intolerance driven by fear has no place in modern Europe.

"While we look forward to World Pride in London, Riga's Baltic Pride is threatened with cancellation and Budapest Pride only just survived an attempted police ban. Laws against homosexual 'promotion' or 'propaganda' interfere outrageously with free speech."

"I look forward to strong support for this resolution from centre-right MEPs. Progress based on cross-party agreement can be rapid, as the UK has shown. We have a Tory Prime Minister who once backed 'section 28' and who now supports Lib Dem plans for equal marriage, helping make the UK top in Europe for LGBT human rights."