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LGBTI rights: We’re queer, we’re here and … is equality near?

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More and more countries are legalising same-sex marriage and adoption, or reforming gender recognition laws, but significant legal differences still exist amongst EU member states. Moreover, maybe granting rights and protections isn’t really enough.


How can we ensure that LGBTI persons feel equal within the EU?

Should we continue to focus our efforts on legislation, such as filling the gaps in EU anti-discrimination law?

How do we make sure that awareness raising actions such as campaigns against hate-speech or employment discrimination, or supporting education initiatives in schools are effective?

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The European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS) has selected some of its resources to provide young people like you with background information and insights linked to the topic above.

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02 October 2020

Stop funding member states or regional states who do not respect human rights, there for lgbt+ rights. EU must apply restrictions to those who don't value human rights.

Jorge C.
02 October 2020

Jorge, from Portugal, 30 years old.

Firstly, a bigger effort should me made to establish the democratic separation of powers (legislative, executive and juridical), as well as free press and right to vote freely and anonymously, as undisputed condition for being part of the European Union and staying in it.
Secondly, the right to live, exist, have access to health care, security and a job for every citizen should be emphasised and there should be economical consequences to those countries who actively undermine those right of any of its citizens. Following this policy there should be also a combined effort to promote or give value to organisations or projects that try to minimize the gap of equality of rights between all citizens.
Third and final point, although in some countries there already programmes for educating future generations on the many aspects that make and celebrate each one of our experiences, as well as some training of both political and security institutions, there is still a lack of strong anti-corruption and accountability procedures to ensure that individuals who discriminate or instigate violence towards minorities are both punished and rehabilitated into social and civil life in the multicultural and multinational reality that is our beautiful Europe.

10 September 2020

I agree on the principle to enforce countries who don't legalize same-sex marriage to do so, but I'm wondering if it won't feed the anti-EU feeling in those countries ? We know that most conservative countries in EU and the most nationalist countries in the union often are the same.

My opinion is that it shouldn't come from above, from the head of European Union, but the EU should support and protect the LGBT+ movements from these countries to have their voices heard and to make society move forward. If it comes from the people, the state of law principle would be at its most valuable and respected level.

06 August 2020

I find it important that people should be presented with glimpses of variety on everyday life. For example, no advertising includes anything but a heterosexual couple, a happy family and some children.
Some pan-european broadcasted short vidéos or some billboards can be quite helpful in making an idea more familiar.

Conn McCarrick
21 May 2020

My name is Conn McCarrick and I'm a young queer person from Ireland. It's great to see a diversity of opinions in the comments below, and I welcome any and all comments!

In regard to LGBTI+ rights, I would like to see a more consistent application of the European Convention on Human Rights. Personally, I feel like the margin of appreciation doctrine, has been overly relied on by states that continuously violate the ECHR and confine the LGBTI+ community to the shadows. I would like to see more consistency from the Court in Strasbourg in how civil marriage, adoption, military service and healthcare issues are dealt with in their jurisprudence.

There's been a number of landmark cases over the years and these definitely represent a significant advance in the progress of LGBTI+ rights. However, there is still so much to do in terms of Trans rights, hate crime legislation, LGBTI+ homelessness, acess to PrEp and ending Intersex surgery on newborns. I definitely feel like the institutions of Europe could do more for the community in these specific areas and bring about less discrimination due to a person's sexual orientation.

This week, we just celebrated the international day against homophiba, biphobia, interphobia and transphobia all around Europe. It was a great day. It's worth celebrating how far we've come over the past few years. However, we still have SO much more work to do for LGBTI+ equality and that is definitely worth remembering too!!

28 April 2020

When it’s about decision making on themes related to sexual diversity, individual member states must keep the authority, as far as their laws
don’t contradict core European values. And I know there could be a lot of discussion about the interpretation of these values related to the
rights of sexual minorities. However, what’s currently happening in some eastern member states, should definitely be unacceptable.

I’m really in doubt about the statement that changes in the social construction would be a disaster for society. I agree with the view
that you could recognize some sexualization in our societies, and there are disadvantages of it for sure. But this is not directly related to
the relationships and behaviour of sexual minorities in general. Moreover, in general same-sex relationships aren’t less durable and perfunctory
than relationships between a man and a woman.

It’s true that in a lot of the member states religion plays a key role in society. But religion and religious institutions aren’t always opposed to
equal rights for sexual minorities. For example, as I’m a religious person too: my church has got gay priests and same-sex couples have the
possibility to marry in my church.

Emily Gleave
27 February 2020

As a Young Gay Girl in Ireland I believe that Same-Sex relationships and Trans relationships be taught in schools as still in this day and age people in Ireland who were one of the first countries to legalise same-sex marriage are bigoted

27 February 2020

I think in the schools there should be programs that would talk about sexual freedom and orientation, so the kids can start thinking with their own criteria or discuss what they think. If the EU includes these contents in the schools, maybe next generations will grow up more free and respecting the rest. Also it will improve the tolerance in some countries that are less tolerant with the people of the LGTB community.

27 February 2020

The EU should stop with the promotion of the destruction of the traditional family unit. By definition you cannot make LGBT feel equal because they are going against the very institution of the family. The greatest perversion of the modern west is the promotion of the LGBT movement, which in less than a few years has completely suceeded in destroying the institution of marriage and now is seeking to corrupt young children aswell through adoption. A child who does not have a father and mother raising them is tragic, and whether this be through divorce or death of a parent we as a society should do everything in our power to try and fill the void left behind. But to allow homosexuals to adopt children and raise them in a confused household is child abuse. All the statistics show that homosexual raised children suffer from higher rates of depression, mental health issues, physical abuse and are more likely to identify as homosexual themselves. This is wrong in every way and shouldn't be allowed

The idea of Europe was to benefit and protect the European people. The sexualisation of children by teaching them about non hetro sexual relations and the destruction of the family institution is against the European interest and should be stopped

06 December 2019

I'm against same-sex marriages, but it's good to legalise official homosexual partnerships. It's matter of worldview so this decision belongs only to the governments of individual member countries. You mustn't punish for another opinion. I'm definitely against the adoption of children by homosexuals and I think, the transsexuals are mentally ill. Agreement of countries declaring they agree to be by law not-confessional is terrible idea, because most of the society in a given country can be associated with a given religion. Moreover, changes in the social construction would be a disaster for society. If a pair of lovers want to develop their intimate relationships, no matter what orientation they are, they should not move it to public space, because it causes the sexualization of society which is already visible nowadays and this is not a positive effect for society.
That's my opinion and thanks for reading.

Milana Nikolova
06 December 2019

I am also from Bulgaria and I agree with this idea. If Bulgaria and other CEE countries want to be part of the EU and the international society in general, they should be able to uphold the values of such organisations. The fact that most people in these countries are against same-sex marriage should not be a reason to rob us LGBT+ people of our human rights. This is not democracy, this is the tyranny of the majority.

Astrid Galván Torralba
13 November 2019

I think it is important to continue with the initiatives such us educating people from your ages in sexual orientation. Also, LGTBI+ law enforcement is a must but I think should be done in a way that religious beliefs cannot place any effect to this type of laws. Therefore, it is important to make sure that the state members are not-confessional states. Moreover, it will be useful to make state members such as Poland to sing an agreement declaring they agree to be by law not-confesional. Moreover, by singing this agreements with time this countries would be more and more expose to multiple ways of love, hence this would make a change in the social construction of those cultures which will manifest in a more open minded people and a better quality of life and equality for those who are now oppressed by their own government and society.

Georgi Georgiev
13 November 2019

My name is Georgi Georgiev, twenty years old, from Bulgaria. Bulgaria as well as other Eastern European countries has not yet legalised same-sex marriages. My idea is that the European Court of Justice should enforce all member states to legalise the same-sex marriages + adoption and all the privileges that the heterosexual couples have. And it should enforce it whether or not these countries agree, like what happened in the US in 2015.
Thank you!

Tommaso Parlatore
10 November 2019

More equality!