SP starts summer action against homophobia on holiday

17 May 2011

SP starts summer action against homophobia on holiday

Homophobia and discrimination on the basis of sexuality remain major problems within the European Union. The European Parliament sees frequent discussion of the issue, but often this results in no more than general statements.

The SP group in the European Parliament is attempting to gather practical examples of discrimination against LGTB (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) people who have themselves been the victim of homophobia during their holidays away from home in other parts of Europe, or have noticed this happening to others. The action is supported by the Netherlands’ leading gay newspaper and organisation for homosexual rights. “We will be making digital cards that people can send to us recounting their experiences,” says SP Euro-MP Dennis de Jong. “The cards will be available through the websites of participants.”

De Jong’s hope is that the action will provide him with sufficient information to enable him to persuade the incoming Polish EU presidency of the need for a European Anti-Discrimination directive. The directive was agreed by the European Parliament several years ago, but the member states have made no progress in discussions of the proposal. “The current Hungarian presidency has paid it no attention,” explains De Jong, “so I’m pinning my hopes on the Poles, who take over on July 1st. Practical examples will enable me to demonstrate that this isn’t a theoretical problem, but something which means that every day in Europe LGBT people can be the victim of discrimination.”

It’s no coincidence that the action was announced today, 17th May being the International Day Against Homophobia, when throughout the world attention turns to the continuing struggle against discrimination.

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