European Parliament raises the rainbow flag but EU must do more to protect LGBTI people

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n the occasion of the international day against homophobia, transphobia, and biphobia, S&D MEPs have called for greater EU action to protect LGBTI people in Europe and around the world.
 
S&D Group vice-president responsible for LGBTI issues, Tanja Fajon, said:
 
“Today, for the first time, the rainbow flag will fly alongside the flags of the EU member states outside the European Parliament. This maybe only a symbolic gesture but it represents something important, that we stand united with LGBTI people in Europe and around the world who are still discriminated against because of their gender identity and sexual orientation. Our Group will remain at the forefront of the fight for LGBTI rights across the globe.
 
“People around the world still face violent discrimination because of who they love. Europe must show courage and become a global leader in protecting LGBTI rights around the world. The EU must both provide asylum for those facing discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation and ensure the situation of LGBTI people is taken into account when dealing with third countries.”
 
Daniele Viotti, co-president of the Parliament’s intergroup on LGBTI issues, added:
 
“Over the past few years we have taken important steps forward in promoting marriage equality and tackling discrimination. However, this must be true across Europe. We urgently need all EU member states to recognise civil partnerships and same-sex marriages, so citizens have their status and rights protected when they move to another EU country. This is a clear bar to free movement of people that the EU has a duty to tackle.”
 
“While we have seen progress in some areas, many transgender people are still treated as second class citizens within EU countries. In some countries, medical intervention or forced sterilisation are still requirements for legal gender recognition. This is a clear breach of these citizens’ fundamental rights and something that the EU urgently needs to act on.”
 
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