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Participants in last year's LGBT Pride parade in Dublin. Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland
Equality

"Homophobia must not be tolerated in Europe any more" - EU votes to protect LGBTI rights

The EU parliament has proposed a plan to fight discrimination but member states’ laws will be respected.

THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT has voted to draw up a plan to ensure that the fundamental rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people are protected.

The resolution was passed by 394 votes to 176 with 72 abstentions this morning, as MEPs call on the European Commission and EU member states to work together to draw up the roadmap.

It is envisaged that the plan will seek to fight discrimination in areas such as employment, education, health, families and freedom of movement.

“Homophobia must not be tolerated in Europe any more,” said MEP Ulrike Lunacek. “So many of us lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people have lived our lives in fear for too long. Fear of holding hands on the street, fear of being called names, fear of being thrown out of our houses, schools or jobs.”

The resolution states that the laws of individual member states will be respected as part of the roadmap but will be designed to protect LGBTI rights in a manner similar to EU strategies against discrimination based on sex, disability or ethnicity.

The MEPs called for the free movement of individuals and their families to “ensure respect for all forms of families legally recognised under member states’ national laws”.

The rights of transgender persons should also be respected and MEPs have asked member states to “introduce or review legal gender recognition procedures so they fully respect transgender people’s right to dignity and bodily integrity”.

Speaking to Karen Coleman from radioep.ie, Dublin MEP Emer Costello says the resolution passed today in Strasbourg has a clear intention.

“The EU parliament vote sends outs a very strong and clear signal to member states that they have to ensure that their equality legislation is robust enough to ensure that those in the LGBTI community are protected,” she said.

“I think that it is time to move the debate towards ensuring that the LBGT community have the right to marry, to have families and have the right to adoption,” she added in reference to Ireland.

Read: 100,000 people watch Panti video on homophobia in less than two days >

Read: RTÉ receive 847 complaints about Panti appearance and apology to Iona Institute >

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