Standing up for gay rights in some EU states is riskier than in others, as shown by events in Poland .
The European Parliament is set to vote this Wednesday on a resolution against homophobia.
Conservative EPP euro-deputy Roseline Bachelot speaks for the Intergroup for gay and lesbian rights:
“We have seen the emergence of worrying declarations from people in the highest office in Poland — the president of the republic, the prime minister — and in many countries in Europe, we have seen men and women politicians take clearly homophobic positions.”
Official intolerance, socialist co-author of the parliament’s report in the matter Martine Roure says, is simply a flagrant breach of common EU agreements:
“Article 13 of the Treaty of Nice is very specific; everybody signed it. Now, the population may not be read-up on a treaty but the authorities are informed. They signed the treaty. We have the Charter of Fundamental Rights — things are clear. And even if culturally we have different approaches
where fighting discrimination goes we must all have the same criteria.”
Michael Cashman, also a socialist, wrote the report along with Roure. Both have proposed amendments for the vote on the resolution. He argues that the need to stop discrimination trends is urgent:
“This issue is deeply personal. I am a homosexual, I asked the chamber yesterday: why should I, just because I am a gay man, why should I be denied my human rights? I would argue this is not just of primary concern for people if they are gay or if they are lesbian; it’s about people who actually believe in defending diversity — challenging homophobia, challenging hatred, challenging discrimination.”
While some EU member states have achieved a lot in ensuring sexual orientation discrimination is eliminated, others are holding out or even regressing.
Last June, the European Parliament adopted a report on the protection of minorities which urged that same-sex marriages which are legal in some member states recieve recognition in all of them.