TV & Radio
Citizens’ rights - 18-01-2006 - 14:26
MEPs urge Member States to ensure respect for same-sex partnerships
Member States need to ensure that "same-sex partners enjoy the same respect, dignity and protection as the rest of society" urged MEPs in a resolution condemning homophobia in Europe.
Following "a series of worrying events which has recently taken place in a number of EU Member States, (...) from banning gay pride or equality marches to leading political and religious leaders' inflammatory/hate/threatening language (...)", MEPs strongly condemn discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. They also urge the Commission to start infringement proceedings against those Member States that fail to implement the directive on equal treatment in employment and occupation, and to consider the use of criminal penalties in cases of violation.
The Commission is also asked to put forward proposals guaranteeing the freedom of movement of "EU citizens and their family members and registered partners of either gender". One of the main complaints of homosexual associations and NGOs is that registered homosexual couples from Member States where same-sex marriages or partnerships are legal loose all their rights as official partners - most importantly the right of family reunification - when they move to another Member State which does not recognize same-sex couples.
EU countries should also enact legislation to end discrimination faced by same-sex partners as regards inheritance rights, property arrangements, tenancy, pensions, tax, social security. Finally, Parliament urges Member States to step up the fight against homophobia through education and to fully recognise homosexuals as targets and victims of the Nazi regime.
REF.: 20060113IPR04270 Contact:
The European Parliament: Homophobia in Europe Vote
UK Gay News has extracted from various official sources the Joint Motion for a Resolution and the actual votes of MEPs on the Resolution so that those interested can read on one page the relevant information on this vital vote to gays and lesbian throughout the European Union.
For detailed information in all the official languages of the EU, visit the European Parliament website and select the language required.
1. RC - B6-0025/2006 - Homophobia in Europe - Resolution 18/01/2006 12:50:15
JOINT MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION
The European Parliament,
– having regard to international and European human rights obligations, such as those contained in the UN conventions on human rights and in the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms,
– having regard to European Union provisions on human rights, and notably to the European Charter of Fundamental Rights, as well as to Articles 6 and 7 of the Treaty on European Union,
– having regard to Article 13 of the Treaty establishing the European Community which invests the European Union with the power EU to adopt measures to combat discrimination based, inter alia, on sexual orientation, and to promote the principle of equality,
– having regard to Directive 2000/43/EC and Directive 2000/78/EC prohibiting direct or indirect discrimination on grounds of racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation,
– having regard to Article 21 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, which prohibits 'any discrimination based on any ground such as sex, race, colour, ethnic or social origin, genetic features, language, religion or belief, political or any other opinion, membership of a national minority, property, birth, disability, age or sexual orientation',
– having regard to Rule 103(4) of its Rules of Procedure,
A. whereas homophobia can be defined as an irrational fear of and aversion to homosexuality and of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people based on prejudice, similar to racism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism and sexism,
1. Strongly condemns any discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation;
2. Calls on Member States to ensure that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are protected from homophobic hate speech and violence and ensure that same-sex partners enjoy the same respect, dignity and protection as the rest of society;
3. Urges Member States and the Commission to firmly condemn homophobic hate speech or incitement to hatred and violence, and to ensure that freedom of demonstration – guaranteed by all human rights treaties - is respected in practice;
4. Calls on the Commission to ensure that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in all sectors is prohibited by completing the anti-discrimination package based on Article 13 either by proposing new directives or by proposing a general framework, covering all grounds for discrimination and all sectors;
5. Urges Member States and the Commission to step up the fight against homophobia through education – such as campaigns against homophobia in schools, in universities and in the media - as well as through administrative, judicial and legislative means;
6. Reiterates its position with regard to 'Year 2007 - Equality for All' that the Commission must ensure that all forms of discrimination referred to in Article 13 of the Treaty and in Article 2 of the Decision establishing the Year are addressed and dealt with equally, as referred to in the European Parliament's report on the proposal for a decision of the European Parliament and the Council on the European Year of Equal Opportunities for All (2007) - Towards a Just Society, and reminds the European Commission of its promise to closely monitor this matter and to report to Parliament;
7. Urges the Commission to ensure that all Member States have transposed and are correctly implementing Directive 2000/78/EC (establishing a general framework for equal treatment in employment and occupation) and to start infringement proceedings against those Member States that fail to do so; in addition, calls on the Commission to ensure that the annual report on the protection of fundamental rights in the EU includes full and comprehensive information on the incidence of homophobic hate crimes and violence in Member States;
8. Calls on all Member States to take any other action they deem appropriate in the fight against homophobia and discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and to promote and implement the principle of equality in their society and legal order;
9. Welcomes steps taken in several Member States recently to improve the position of LGBT people and resolves to organise a seminar for the exchange of good practice on 17 May (International Day against Homophobia);
10. Reiterates its request that the European Commission put forward proposals guaranteeing freedom of movement for Union citizens and their family members and registered partners of either gender, as referred to in Parliament's resolution of 14 October 2004 on the future of the area of freedom, security and justice;
11. Calls on the Member States concerned to finally fully recognise homosexuals as targets and victims of the Nazi regime;
12. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to Commission and to the Governments of the Member States and candidate and applicant countries.