European Parliament renews call for anti-discrimination laws for LGBT people

Staff Reports

STRASBOURG, France — The European Parliament has formally called on countries in the European Union to find an agreement on the draft legislation — proposed more than three years ago — to outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation across the EU.

The Parliament on Tuesday voted twice to adopt a resolution which notes that “the Member States should, as a priority, agree and adopt as soon as possible the proposal for a Council directive on implementing the principle of equal treatment.”

The draft horizontal anti-discrimination Directive would forbid discrimination based on religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation in access to goods and services, education, and access to social benefits. It still requires approval from all 27 EU Member States. Germany and others have refused any dialogue on the draft law, despite examining the proposals since July 2008.

The resolution also calls on the [European] Commission to continue to support the overcoming of technical difficulties [between Member States] in order to ensure that a swift agreement is reached,” point out it would help Europe achieve employment and stability targets for 2020.

Raul Romeva i Rueda MEP, Vice-president of the LGBT Intergroup, welcomed the vote:

“These two votes show the European Parliament remains firmly committed to non-discrimination,” said Raul Romeva i Rueda MEP, Vice-president of the LGBT Intergroup, who welcomed the vote. “We fought long and hard for this proposal, and we will outlast retrograde governments that use fallacious arguments to delay equality. It’s in Europe’s DNA to protect minorities, and we will eventually get there.”

Sophie in ‘t Veld MEP, another Vice-president of the LGBT Intergroup and responsible for the text on behalf of the ALDE group, remarked:

“Like the eurozone crisis, fundamental rights in the EU are weakened by huge national deficits and little enforcement of European rules,” said Sophie in ‘t Veld MEP, another Vice-president of the LGBT Intergroup, who was responsible for the text on behalf of the ALDE group:

“Just as we need stronger governance and sanctions for our economy, we need stronger governance and sanctions for fundamental rights. Member States must defend equality as urgently as the stability of the euro: both are absolutely vital,” she said.

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