EU Defends LGBTIQ Rights in Its First Ever Equality Strategy

The European Commission unveiled proposals to defend the rights of people who identify themselves as “lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, or questioning.”

The LGBTIQ measures are part of the first-ever equality strategy from the European Union’s executive arm, laying out targeted actions for the coming five years, including a push for all EU nations to follow.

“Everyone should feel free to be who they are -- without fear or persecution,” Vera Jourova, EU vice-president for values and transparency, said in a statement on Thursday. This is what Europe is about and this is what we stand for.”

The move comes as some EU nations attract criticism for their policies. Poland has put in place LGBT-free zones while Hungary has proposed legal changes to enshrine religious doctrine and ban same-sex couples from adoption.

The commission called on all 27 EU nations to adopt an equality strategy, saying that even in countries with a wide acceptance and support for equal rights, “it has not always translated into clear improvements in LGBTIQ people’s lives.”

The EU’s plan promises targeted actions, such as legal protection against discrimination at work and hate crime and help cross-border recognition of rainbow families.

The EU strategy is adopted “at a time where we are witnessing the erosion or back-sliding of fundamental rights in some member states,” the commission said.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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