On Thursday 11 March 2021 the European Parliament adopted a resolution on the declaration of the EU as an LGBTIQ Freedom Zone (2021/2557(RSP))1. By 492 votes in favour, 141 against and 46 abstentions, MEPs reiterated and furthered the stand they expressed in the resolution of 18 December 2019 on public discrimination and hate speech against LGBTI people, including LGBTI-free zones.
“We highly welcome this resolution and we stand side by side with MEPs in urging the other EU institutions and the Member States to use all the available tools to address violations of the fundamental rights of LGBTIQ+ people”, says Dan Christian Ghattas, Executive Director of OII Europe.
Since March 2019, over 100 regions, counties and municipalities across Poland have adopted resolutions declaring themselves free from so-called LGBTI ideology or have adopted ‘Regional Charters of Family Rights’. Legal developments in Hungary have severely hindered the fundamental rights of LGBTIQ people, namely a de facto ban on legal gender recognition for trans and intersex persons, and a constitutional change neglecting the existence of transgender and non-binary persons and restricting their right to family life.
The resolution further recalls that ‘many Member States lack specific non-discrimination laws which at least adhere to minimum EU standards that protect people from discrimination, hate speech and violence based on sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics’2. It also states that ‘only Malta, Portugal and some regions of Spain have prohibited medical intervention on intersex persons without their consent’, while ‘many Member States continue to follow an approach that is highly medicalised and pathologising’3.
“This resolution is a clear call to stop the suppression of LGBTIQ rights that have become very visible in some European countries, particularly Hungary and Poland, in recent years.”, adds Miriam van der Have, Co-Chair of OII Europe, and continues: “We also congratulate the European Parliament for highlighting again that in most EU member states intersex people are not protected against the ongoing human rights violations they face. Intolerance, discrimination and hatred spread hostility which menaces the society as a whole.”
1 European Parliament resolution of 11 March 2021 on the declaration of the EU as an LGBTIQ Freedom Zone (2021/2557(RSP)), available at https://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/TA-9-2021-0089_EN.html#def_1_6
2 See para. R of the resolution.
3 See para. T of the resolution.