S&D Group: EU must do more in the fight for LGBTI rights
The S&D Group has adopted a position paper outlining its approach to LGBTI rights. The paper calls on the EU and member states to do more to ensure these rights are protected both within Europe and around the globe.
S&D Group president Gianni Pittella said:
"Today is the international day against homophobia, transphobia and biphobia. The S&D Group has been at the forefront of the fight for LGBTI rights across Europe and around the world over the past few years. Important steps have been made in tackling discrimination and on ensuring marriage equality. However, much remains to be done at the EU level. It is a disgrace that almost 80% of young LGBTI people have received negative comments or bullying at school due to their sexuality or gender identity. We have got to continue to work to change attitudes and fight any kind of discrimination. In the position paper we have adopted we outline clear priorities of what needs to happen at an EU and national level to address these issues.
"We are very clear - equal rights are not a negotiable principle. It is not acceptable that in 2016, many people in civil partnerships or same-sex marriages do not have that status recognised when they move or travel to other EU countries. This is a bar to free movement of people and the EU must act to stop this form of discrimination.
S&D Group vice-president Tanja Fajon added:
"Although we have seen progress in the last few years, EU citizens still face discrimination based on their gender identity. In particular transgender people still have their rights trampled on - with requirements for medical intervention or forced sterilization still conditions for gender reassignment in some countries. This is an outrage and a clear breach of fundamental rights, the EU cannot remain silent on issues such as this.
"As well as promoting LGBTI rights in the EU, we must do more to protect these rights in dealings with third countries. Europe must show courage and become a global leader again in this, both by providing asylum for those facing discrimination on the basis of their sexuality and ensuring the situation of LGBTI people is taken into account in all external policy actions."