EU leaders mark the International Day Against Homophobia And Transphobia

// 17 May 2010

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IDAHO logoToday, Monday 17th May 2010, the 6th International Day Against Homophobia And Transphobia marks the exact 20th anniversary of the World Health Organisation’s decision to remove homosexuality from its list of illnesses on the 17th May 1990.

Leaders from the European Council, the European Parliament and the European Commission have issued strong messages condemning homophobia and transphobia. It is the first time that three top-level EU leaders have addressed homophobia and transphobia jointly and unequivocally.

Herman van Rompuy, President of the European Council, the EU institution representing 27 national governments, has issued a written statement affirming the EU’s commitment to refuse discrimination on any grounds, and affirming that “discrimination on the basis of gender and sexual orientation has ceased to constitute a political cleavage, and is enshrined in the EU’s founding act and statement of values.” [Direct link to PDF of the full statement by Herman van Rompuy]

Jerzy Buzek, President of the European Parliament, issued a video message reaffirming the commitment of the European Parliament to combat any form of discrimination, including homophobia. The President of the European Parliament declared: “Homophobia is a clear breach of human dignity that questions fundamental rights; and thus, it must be strongly condemned.” [Direct link to video message from Jerzy Buzek]

Viviane Reding, Vice-president of the European Commission and Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship, also issued a statement condemning homophobia and transphobia as “a blatant violation of human dignity”, “incompatible with the principles on which the EU is founded”. [Direct link to video message from Viviane Reding]

Co-presidents of the European Parliament’s Intergroup on LGBT Rights, Ulrike Lunacek and Michael Cashman welcomed the initiative, and congratulated all 3 EU leaders on their renewed commitments.

“We are indeed very pleased that the highest authorities of the 3 core EU institutions have come out against homophobia today. Their statements are exemplary, and clearly show one thing: in 2010 in the European Union, the fundamental rights of everyone, including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, have ceased to divide mainstream political parties and can be considered an integral part of the European Union’s foundations recognised across the mainstream political spectrum.”

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Edited To Add: The IDAHO website has been hacked, apparently, and can now be found at this address instead: www.dayagainsthomophobia.org.

Links in this post have been updated.

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