EP Declares the EU an LGBTIQ Freedom zone

Sebastien PIRLET © European Union 2019 – Source : EP

The European Parliament voted yesterday to declare the whole European Union an LGBTIQ Freedom zone. The resolution, on which 492 MEPs voted in favour, 141 voted against and 46 abstained, comes as a response to the declaration of LGBTIQ-free zones in over a hundred Polish regions, counties and municipalities and is intended to put political pressure on states with illiberal tendencies.

The resolution is mostly a symbolic gesture and urges the European Commission to use all tools, including infringement procedures, the Article 7 procedure which allows the EU to suspend rights of Member States, and the newly adopted regulation to protect the EU budget. ‘The Commission welcomes and supports the European Parliament’s intention to declare the EU and ‘LGBTIQ freedom zone’’ says Helena Dalli, EU Commissioner for Equality. ‘Our strategy aims to ensure that LGBTIQ people are safe and have equal opportunities to participate fully in society and thus reach their full potential. The Commission has started implementing this new strategy to guarantee that each measure included in it will materialise in the coming five years.’

The resolution also mentions the deteriorating situation in Hungary where the town of Nagykáta banned ‘the promotion of LGBTIQ propaganda’, and the national Parliament adopted constitutional amendments that further restrict the rights of LGBTIQ people. ‘LGBTIQ persons everywhere in the EU should enjoy the freedom to live and publicly show their sexual orientation and gender identity without fear of intolerance, discrimination or persecution, and authorities at all levels of governance across the EU should protect and promote equality and the fundamental rights of all, including LGBTIQ persons’, MEPs concluded after yesterday’s meeting. 

Vote Results:

Take into account that some MEPs may not vote in line with their groups and the following results reflect the parties’ majority stance.

In favour: EPP, Renew, S&D, The Left, Greens
Against: ECR, ID
Abstained: –

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