The European Parliament adopted in December a resolution to fight against discrimination and hate speech in the EU, a step forward to guarantee the rights of these people.
Towards the end of 2019, the European Parliament adopted a resolution to fight against discrimination and hate speech in the EU. Discussions were held in Strasbourg in November and the adoption of the resolution took place on 18th December.
The increase in discourse against the LGBTI population in Europe is worrying, as the European Commission stated. Events such as the ones taking place in the Polish city of Białystok, where a march do demand equality was met by verbal and physical violence targeting the participants are of great concern.
The plenary of the EP addressed the issue based on the fundamental values underpinning the European Union that are enshrined in Article 2 of the Treaty and also mentioned in Article 21 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, which prohibit any form of discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender. According to European legislation discrimination, intolerance or violence based on sexual orientation, gender identity or sexual features are simply inadmissible.
The resolution adopted calls on all EU countries, especially Poland, to condemn discrimination against LGBTI people. It also encourages the Republic of Poland to revoke any resolutions that undermine their rights.
Kuba Gavron is an LGBTI activist and the co-author of the Atlas of Hate in Poland, which compiles the anti-LGBTI resolutions, motions, statements and legislation in the country. In his opinion, “these institutional actions are a threat to the LGBTI community and create an ambience of consent towards violence.” On behalf of the Polish LGBTI movement, he called on the European Commission to verify that Poland complies with provisions against discrimination in calls for projects funded by the EU, especially in the education sector.
During the debate, which was tense, Dutch MEP Kim Van Sparrentak, form the Greens / European Free Alliance stressed that “if we here in the EU state so proudly that are united in diversity, but at the same time allow elected officials in Poland to create LGBTI ideology free zones and make kids feel unwelcome in their own community, we can’t say we are doing enough to protect our young people.”
Maximilian Krah, a German MEP from the Identity and Democracy group, reacted by saying: “we talk of hate speech against gay people, but I now have the impression we speak about hate on Poland. The Polish nation is free to decide how they want to organize their lives. God bless Poland and I am sure that Poland is self-confident enough to not get impressed by your words of hate against this State in Europe.”
Julie Ward, a British MEP from the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats, said: “it is very sad that in the year 2019 there are still 71 countries that criminalize same-sex relationships and that people still face prejudice”.