In response to the repeated rights violations by some Polish local authorities against LGBTIQ+ people and the multiplication of “LGBT-free zones” on the territory, the Members of the European Parliament adopted on Thursday 11th of March a Resolution declaring the EU a “freedom zone”.
Although there were a few refractory people, the vote in Parliament was broadly supported. The Resolution, which is highly meaningful, was passed with 492 votes in favour, 141 against and 46 abstentions. This came a day after the Secretary of State for European Affairs Clément Beaune was banned from accessing one of the 88 Poland “LGBT-free” zones. These municipalities had pledged to stop supporting actions that promote tolerance towards LBGTIQ+ people and had suspended financial support for NGOs fighting for their rights.
“Being yourself is not an ideology”
The Commission also supported the Parliament’s Resolution. Ursula von der Leyen tweeted: “You are at home in the EU. The EU is an LGBTQI freedom zone“. More than words, the Commission has put in place strong measures to combat these fundamental rights violations. It has initiated infringement procedures, frozen the payment of EU funds (therefore conditioned by respect for the rule of law) for these areas and triggered Article 7 of the TEU, admitting “the existence of a serious and persistent breach by a Member State” of EU values. The final word will then lie to the European Council, which is expected to decide unanimously on the issue soon and possibly take binding measures against Poland.
Hungary is also pointed out
Hungary is not to be outdone either. The Hungarian city of Nagykáta generated a resolution against the “dissemination and promotion of LGBTIQ propaganda”. This was followed by a parliamentary resolution adopting deeply dehumanising constitutional amendments restricting the rights of LGBTIQ persons. These include the non-recognition of the existence of transgender and non-binary people in the country and the restriction of their right to a family life.
Much remains to be done against the repeated discriminations and persecutions against LGBTIQ+ people in these countries. POUR LA SOLIDARITE-PLS welcomes the measures taken by the European Parliament and the Commission and calls on authorities at all levels of government to join this struggle for equality and for the full guarantee of fundamental rights of all individuals.