De Jong: Europe still lags in fight against discrimination against homosexuals

16 May 2012

De Jong: Europe still lags in fight against discrimination against homosexuals

SP Euro-MP Dennis de Jong is ‘extremely unhappy’ about the attitude of the EU member states to the fight against discrimination against homosexuals. De Jong: ‘From Bulgaria and the Baltic States to Belgium and the Netherlands, gays are subject to violent physical attacks. At the same time the EU is doing nothing beyond publishing reports. There’s no real action. That’s unacceptable. I want the member states to come up with a European definition of homophobia and make hate crimes specific punishable offences throughout the EU. And the Commission must put pressure on them to accept the EU anti-discrimination directive.’

De Jong, vice-chair of the LGBT group in the European Parliament, spoke out on the eve of the annual Day Against Homophobia on 17th May. ‘In the Netherlands in 2009-10, violence against gays increased by more than 50%, despite the country being constantly held up as an example,’ said De Jong. ‘In order to reverse this Europe-wide negative trend, member states must improve their cooperation.’

Next week the European Parliament will express its opposition to homophobia in a resolution brought forward by De Jong and others. ‘The problem clearly doesn’t lie in the Parliament,’ he says, ‘it is the EU member states that are being obstructive. It’s at them that the resolution is aimed.’

Together with MEPs from every major group De Jong has recorded a video message to call attention to the fight against homophobia.

Watch the video 'It gets better'

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