We have both stories and statistics proving that LGBT people’s fundamental rights are not respected, that discrimination and violence exist in the EU today. Actually, we have enough proof and knowledge not to wait and further investigate before measures are presented. Today, on the International Day against Homophobia and transphobia (IDAHO), the Fundamental Rights Agency, presented a report with more statistics, combined with proposals on further measures, both on European and national level. For example, 47% of the 39 000 LGBT respondents in the agency’s survey, answered that they had experienced discrimination or harassment on the grounds of sexual orientation in the year preceding the survey. Hopefully, this report will convince more people that we need the use the information we have got already.
Yesterday, ILGA Europe published the annual review and map of the human rights situation for LGBT people in Europe. It indicates some progress in Europe, but also clearly shows the huge differences between countries, also within the EU. In several countries, gays and lesbians enjoy the right to get married. Recently such a law has been adopted in France. The degree of violence and harassments varies between Member states, but exist everywhere. A lot remains to be done. None of the EU Member States are “done”, all of them can do more, including the European institutions.
It is totally unacceptable and incompatible with the fundamental values that the European Union are built upon, that citizens are subject to discrimination, violence and harassment and excluded from legislation that would protect them and their families. We do not need to get bogged down in statistics, but rather thoroughly examine what we can do to improve the situation.