LibLink: Giles Goodall – The EU has made strides towards LGBT equality but discrimination and isolation remain common

Over on Pink News, Giles Goodall, Lib Dem European Parliamentary candidate for South East England, argues that the EU has played a key role in strengthening LGBT rights, and can continue to have a positive impact on the challenges that remain.

Here’s an excerpt:

On LGBT rights, voters face an important choice in May Equality is a European value, and over the years the EU has become a strong advocate for LGBT rights. We have the EU to thank for Europe-wide laws prohibiting discrimination in the workplace and providing special protection for victims of homophobic and transphobic crime. EU pressure has changed the lives of millions of LGBT people for the better in its newer member states in central and eastern Europe, where homosexuality was still a criminal offence as recently as the 1990s.

Of course that doesn’t mean that all is rosy for LGBT communities in Europe. An EU survey last year found that fear, isolation and discrimination are still all too common. Two out of three LGBT people reported hiding their sexuality when they were at school (68% in the UK), while 60% were bullied or called names. 26% of people said they had been attacked or threatened with violence in the past five years. In the UK, the figure was even higher, at 31%.

As a candidate in May’s European elections, I have made equality issues a priority. I want the EU to remain a strong force for LGBT rights and to do even more in the future. That’s why I’m backing ILGA-Europe’s Come Out 2014 European Election Pledge and committing to fight for equality if I’m elected as an MEP.

You can read the rest of Giles’s piece here.

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One Comment

  • Paul In Twickenham 24th Jan '14 - 7:19pm

    I once had the opportunity to bring Sarah Ludford to my (then) workplace to talk to our LGBT group about the work the EU was doing to promote equality. Sarah gave an excellent presentation that received great feedback, and people were particularly interested in hearing about the implications of EU rules relating to the freedom of movement of labour and how a gay or lesbian couple who are civil partnered (or now perhaps married) would be treated in other jurisdictions if they relocate because of a work opportunity for one of them.

    Can I suggest that while discussing improving equality for LGBT people in other EU nations is important, people might also be interested in understanding how EU legislation can improve the opportunities in their own lives?

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