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PES reaffirms its support for IDAHOT

On May 17th we mark once again the International Day against Homophobia Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT). We shouldn’t forget that although we have made a lot of progress in the European Union, often due to legislation passed by our political family, it is still very important to continue to raise awareness and to argue against unreasonable phobias and discrimination. PES Deputy Secretary General Marije Laffeber reinforced this message: “The rights of lesbian, gay, transexual, transgender and intersex people are vitally important to the PES. While on paper all Europeans are entitled to the same respect of human rights and dignity, LGBTI people are one group for whom this has not yet been achieved. Across Europe LGBTI people have access to vastly different levels of respect, rights and freedoms. The PES is determined to change this.”

Especially for transsexual and transgendered people a lot remains to be done. Denmark and Malta have led the way this past year, and are the first EU countries that do not require a mental health diagnosis for transsexual people to have access to the state services they need. They have shown us how other European Union member states could follow. Nevertheless, the anti-discrimination directive outside of work is still blocked by some member states and Rainbow Rose is committed to work closely on this dossier with the PES and partners YES, ESO and PES Women.

This year’s theme of IDAHOT focuses on LGBTI youth. Young LGBTI people are especially vulnerable to discrimination as the acceptance of peers, and of society around them, creates pressures that are difficult. By taking actions such as flying rainbow flags on public buildings around Europe and the world we can show solidarity and acceptance. “This IDAHOT day is also important to remember all activists fighting for equality in Europe, and also around the world, including where homosexuality is still punished by death penalty”, said Aurelien Mazuy, Rainbow Rose President.

The situation of LGBTI people is very important for the PES and we are committed to improving their rights. In the run up to the European elections the PES called for a European Roadmap on LGBTI rights, PES Women President Zita Gurmai today reiterates that call; “We have had progress in some member states this year, thanks to work at the government level, yet some are choosing to regress. We cannot have a two tier Europe when it comes to LGBTI rights, the commission must deliver on a Roadmap.”

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