European Parliament's Resolution on Racism and Homophobia is Welcome, Timely and Needed
On 15 June 2006, the European Parliament adopted a resolution on the increase of racist and homophobic violence in Europe. ILGA-Europe welcomes this resolution and joins the European Parliament's call to the Finnish presidency to intensify work on the 2001 Council Framework Decision on combating racism and xenophobia and to explicitly extend it to homophobic, anti-Semitic, Islamophobic and other types of offences motivated by phobia or hatred based on ethnicity, race, sexual orientation, religion or other irrational grounds.
The last time the European Parliament debated homophobia in Europe was just at the beginning of this year. Not much has changed since; in fact, we are witnessing even greater expressions and manifestations of homophobia in many countries
. Polish leaders continued to make false and humiliating accusations against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people; the Polish Education Minister dismissed an official for publishing a guide on human rights that the Minister saw as the guide too gay friendly; and just yesterday the Latvian Parliament in a demonstratively provocative manner ignored the authority and the law of the European Union by rejecting a legislative proposal to include sexual orientation in the anti-discrimination provision of the Labour law as required by the EU Employment Equality Directive.Riccardo Gottardi, Co-Chair of ILGA-Europe Executive Board, said: "We all heartedly welcome this resolution and the determination of the European Parliament to address homophobia and other forms of prejudice and discrimination in the European Union."
There is a significant number of statements, resolutions and declarations by various EU institutions and officials. We believe it is now the time to take very concrete and serious actions to make it clear to everyone in the European Union that homophobia and other forms of discriminations are not accepted and will be dealt with in the most serious manner.We urge Finland who takes up the EU Presidency on 1 July 2006 to actively engage in work on the Framework Decision on combating racism and xenophobia to incorporate the EP's recommendations. We also encourage the European Commission to take immediate legal actions against those member states which deliberately resist implementation of the EU requirements of discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation.