‘Crimes against homosexuals are going unpunished, and governments and schools are not taking abuse of homosexuals seriously enough.’ – An EU study says homophobia is harming lives across Europe.
The EU Fundamental Rights Agency says people treated badly are often afraid to speak out, and do not necessarily report abuse to authorities. It recommends anonymous reporting of homophobic crime, citing existing pilot projects. Discrimination has involved asylum authorities not believing that applicants were persecuted in their own countries based on their sexuality. People may shy away from seeking health care where their sexual orientation itself is considered a sickness. While gay events have been attacked in several Central and Eastern European countries, the Vienna-based human rights watchdog cites positive attitudes too. Non-heterosexuals have the most rights in Belgium, the Netherlands and Spain, although acceptance wins notable mention in France, Austria and Sweden. The study said stereotyping reinforces the misconception that sexual orientation is only about carnal relations.