De Jong: EU member states must make headway in recognition of homosexual civil partners

13 November 2013

De Jong: EU member states must make headway in recognition of homosexual civil partners

Today SP Euro-MP Dennis de Jong received the first copy of a report on religion and homosexual rights in Europe produced by the NGO Human Rights Without Frontiers (HRWF). ‘This report demonstrates that religion can lead either to discrimination against lesbians, homosexuals, bi- and transsexuals (LHBTs) or to respect for these groups of people,’ says De Jong. ‘The European Union could be giving a good example by promoting respect. I want the member states to recognise that people of the same sex belong together if they have married or entered into a civil partnership in another member state.’

Dennis de JongThe report from HRWF calls on religious leaders not to sow hatred and points to the positive role they can play in spreading acceptance of homosexuality within religious communities. ‘That religious leaders could go further and thus provide their faith communities an important inspiration is proved by the example of the openly homosexual imam Muhsin Hendricks from South Africa,’ De Jong notes. ‘Prior to the report’s presentation today he will share his experience of his own coming out within the Islamic community. His organisation The Inner Circle is at the same time working in an increasing number of countries to advance acceptance of homosexuality within Islam.’

In De Jong’s view there’s work to be done not only by the member states but also within the European Parliament. ‘You have people wandering around here who aren’t famous for their respect for LHBTs,’ he reminds us. ‘Consider Marine Le Pen, for example. These could learn a great deal from this report and from the imam’s actions.’

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