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It gets better for LGBT citizens - or does it ?

This month’s document is actually a video : released for the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, over 50 EU politicians and leaders from EU institutions have recorded a video message in which they tell LGBT citizens that they are working to make things better, and to put an end to homophobia [1]. In the video, Members of the European Parliament, along with President Martin Schultz, Herman Van Rompuy and EU Commissioners Viviane Reding and Neelie Kroes, amongst others, promise that “it gets better” in 17 different languages.

However, it is clear that there is still much work to be done if it is, indeed, going to get better for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in all European countries. Just a week after the video’s release, on 24th May, the European Parliament adopted a non-legislative resolution condemning homophobic laws and violence in Europe [2].

Concern was expressed over laws or bills which have been passed, or are currently being considered, in EU Member States Hungary, Latvia and Lithuania, and neighbouring countries Russia, Moldova and Ukraine, which are discriminatory to homosexuals. For example, the new constitution introduced in Hungary this year bans gay marriage and on 21st May, anti-gay activists in the Ukraine managed to stop what would have been Kiev’s first ever gay pride march, and assaulted one of the organisers of the event.

Resolutions are all well and good, but the EU needs to take action. It is time for those in the video to stand behind their words and make sure that things do, in fact, start to get better for LGBT citizens across the EU and beyond.

[Photo : It Gets Better by Martha Soukup on flickr, licensed under CC BY 2.0

[1] www.lgbt-ep.eu, Homophobia : European leaders tell young people It Gets Better, http://www.lgbt-ep.eu/press-release...

[2] www.europarl.europa.eu, Parliament strongly condemns homophobic laws and violence in Europe, http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/...

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