Attacks on LGBTI people are attacks on equality and democracy

On the eve of the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, Violeta Tomic (Slovenia, UEL), General Rapporteur on the rights of LGBTI people, made the following statement:

“On 17 May, there is plenty to celebrate for the rights of people of diverse sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions, or sex characteristics in Europe. Anti-discrimination laws are becoming more inclusive; legal gender recognition procedures are being simplified; same-sex couples are better recognised in many national laws; and awareness of the needs and rights of intersex people is growing.

But homophobia, transphobia and biphobia still affect LGBTI people throughout Europe, in all fields of life. Hatred and prejudice are expressed not only in violent attacks or hate speech by individuals, but also in laws and public policies that entrench inequalities, in political speech and referendums attacking the rights of minorities – and sometimes, in state-sponsored attacks against LGBTI people.

The anti-gender movement is not only putting women’s rights in danger: it harms anyone who challenges gender stereotypes and “traditional”, gender-based roles – especially LGBTI people. In stirring up moral panic and scapegoating people on the grounds of their sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression or sex characteristics, anti-gender movements deny these persons’ humanity and dignity. They undermine equality, and they place democracy itself at risk.

In a fair and just society, no one is left behind.

The European Convention on Human Rights applies to everyone.

Today, more than ever, let us stand up for justice and protection for all.”