Socialist MEPs have today strongly criticised signs of increased homophobia in certain EU member states.
Speaking in advance of a debate in the European Parliament, Socialist Group coordinator on civil liberties, Martine Roure, said: "There is increasing concern in Europe at violent homophobic acts along with a noticeable reluctance of certain member states to address discrimination aimed at gay people. The European Union is based on humanist values. The Charter of Fundamental Rights forbids any kind of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation."
Michael Cashman, a socialist member of the Civil Liberties Committee, said: "Homophobia damages every single one of us. It breeds on misinformation and prejudice and in extreme circumstances homophobia and hate speech cost people their lives. As socialists we seek the goal of equality and social justice for all, including lesbians, gay men and bisexuals."
Apart from the Charter of Fundamental Rights, the socialist MEPs cite the EU Treaty and legislation, the European Human Rights Convention and rulings of the European Court of Human Rights in support of their case.
Parliament's motion condemning homophobia has been signed by all the major political groups. Today's debate will be opened by a Commission statement.
Source: PES Group