In a single-line statement, the European Parliament is declaring the European Union an ‘LGBTIQ Freedom Zone’. This sentence captures the positive and inclusive message S&D MEPs sent to all LGBTI+ communities in the plenary debate earlier this afternoon.
The Parliament’s declaration is in response to the institutionalised discrimination facing LGBTI+ people in Poland and Hungary, as well as the rising levels of homophobic hate crime right across Europe. During the debate, S&D MEPs strongly denounced the numerous attacks faced by the LGBTI+ community, like the recent murder of David Polfliet in Belgium, and gave their strong support to LGBTI+ communities and activists fighting every day for a more inclusive Europe.
The European Parliament will vote on the declaration tomorrow (Thursday 11 March), with results expected at 13h00.
Cyrus Engerer, S&D MEP and shadow rapporteur on the declaration, said
“With this historic resolution, we give our support to denouncing the atrocious creation of ‘LGBTI-free zones’ in Poland, an action which risks dragging Europe back to its darkest ages. In this resolution, we are demanding that the Council and Commission take action against any government which goes against EU values, and we denounce all attempts to discriminate against people based on sexual orientation or gender identity and expression or sex characteristics, be it in Poland, Hungary or anywhere else in the EU. Thanks to the Socialists and Democrats, there is strong language in the report on the need to focus on the challenges faced by the further marginalised communities of transgender and intersex persons when they seek to find recognition, dignity and freedom within the EU, as well as a clear call for action.”
Marc Angel MEP, S&D co-chair of the LGBTI-intergroup in the European Parliament, said:
“LGBTIQ rights are human rights. Citizens like everyone else and yet LGBTI+ people face constant discrimination and intolerance every single day, simply as a result of who they love or who they are. At the same time, hate speech and homophobia are crimes sadly on the rise right across Europe. The murder of David Polfliet in Belgium this weekend was a cruel and horrific attack on a gay man, a planned instance of blatant and violent homophobia. However, we need to be hopeful for the future. This is the right time for the European Parliament to send a message that shows Europe is open, free, inclusive, tolerant and willing to fight for the rights of everyone, especially those persecuted as part of a minority. This is the time to say it loud and say it proud: the European Union is an LGBTIQ Freedom Zone.”