Renew Europe welcomes the LGBTIQ Equality Strategy launched by the European Commission on 12 November but warns that in some EU countries, rights are going backwards. The European Commission must go beyond words and act to protect LGBTIQ community, which has been under attack, both from within and outside the European Union.
Sophie in ’t Veld MEP, Coordinator of the Committee of Civil Liberties, reacted:
“The backlash against LGBTIQ people is very real. Whenever authoritarians come to power, the rights of minorities suffer. We have the strategy, now let’s stop the witch hunt! Progress for LGBTIQ rights cannot be taken for granted in Europe, so the fight for equality is needed more than ever. Renew Europe will lead this fight together with activists and civil society.”
Liesje Schreinemacher MEP, Renew Europe’s Vice-Chair of the LGBTI-intergroup in the European Parliament, said:
"Recent developments, such as the appalling initiatives of 'LGBTI-free zones' in Poland and the news from Hungary this week where the government proposed to ban adoption for same-sex couples, continue to show us that the freedom to be who you are and to love whom you wish is sadly still not a given in Europe. We need to take action to ban all forms of discrimination against LGBTIQ people, which is why I fully support these proposals from the European Commission. In light of recent news on discrimination of LGBTIQ students in schools in the Netherlands, I also welcome the Commission's commitments to make teaching environments safe and inclusive for all students. Every person, regardless of their identity, needs to be free to live their life and achieve their full potential."
On 13 November, Renew Europe organised a webinar on the implementation of the new EU LGBTIQ strategy. Among other topics, the panellists discussed how to fight LGBTIQ-phobia across the EU, how to ensure free movement of all rainbow families and how to make the EU a welcoming place for LGBTIQ asylum seekers.