Author Archive LGBTI Liberals of Europe


According to the recently unveiled findings of the EU Fundamental Rights Agency’s survey on the experiences of LGBTI people in Europe, more LGBTI Europeans are now open about who they are but fear of violence and discrimination remain high. 

Compared to the results of the 2012 surveys, little progress has been made, with huge differences among countries: Despite the steps forward made by some EU Member States, in some areas, the situation got even worse, with clear attacks on the human rights of LGBTI people in countries like Poland and Hungary.

“The recent developments of LGBTI rights in Europe show a growing need for the EU and its Member States to put in place effective measures protecting the human rights of LGBTI people,” state the European Centre-Right LGBT+ Alliance, LGBTI Liberals of Europe, and Rainbow Rose.

“We call for:

  • An ambitious EU LGBTI Strategy that contains clear and measurable commitments.
  • The development of comprehensive anti-discrimination standards covering all aspects of life, including explicitly on the grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics, applicable throughout the EU.
  • The inclusion of LGBTI rights in all EU monitoring exercises on Democracy, Rule of Law and Fundamental Rights, including in the context of Article 7 procedures and the upcoming Commission’s Annual Rule of Law report.
  • Ensuring equal rights for Rainbow Families and their children across the EU, including free movement rights.

We also call on: 

  • Member States to ban medical interventions — unless they are life-saving — on intersex children with variations of sex characteristics until fully informed consent is possible.
  • Member States to adopt a legal gender recognition procedure based solely on self-determination without requiring either mental health diagnosis or forced sterilization.
  • The Commission, the Council, and the Parliament to update and adopt the Horizontal Equal Treatment Directive, to extend protection against discrimination beyond employment in the EU and all Member States.
  • The Commission and European Parliament to pursue sanctions towards Member States that do not comply with the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.
  • The European Parliament to use all tools at its disposal to demand that Member States increase their efforts on combating LGBT+ discrimination, developing, adopting and implementing corresponding legislation, policies and action plans.”

This statement is co-signed by LGBTI Liberals of Europe, Rainbow Rose & the European Centre-Right LGBT+ Alliance

A success for Baltic Pride 2019!

About 10000 marched at BalticPride in Vilnius on 08/06/19. LGBTI Liberals of Europe was invited by SILC to discuss LGBTI policies in Europe.

Statement on the next EP elections

In an increasingly polarised climate, with anti-gender and far right movements on the rise, core EU values are being called into question. It is thus ever more important to express a strong and explicit commitment to human rights. In order to reconnect to EU citizens and reinstate their trust in the European project, in EU policy-makers and institutions, the celebration of the differences of all EU citizens should be at the core of any pro-EU party manifesto, including the ALDE Party one and the ones of all liberal parties at a national level. In times of increasing threats against the very values the Union was founded upon, a strong commitment to human rights is crucial.

LGBTI Liberals of Europe therefore hopes to see this commitment strongly voiced in the guiding documents for the upcoming legislature, and thus enshrined in the continued work of the European Union.

As such, we subscribe to the five key asks, developed by ILGA-Europe, to the EU institutions under the next legislature:

  1. Championing, engaging, promoting and protecting the human rights of LGBTI people in both internal and external EU policies, including the adoption of a comprehensive and well-defined strategy for action for the European Commission on LGBTI rights, following form the list of actions on LGBTI rights, ensuring consistency of the EU voice on these rights throughout its actions at all levels and in all contexts.
  2. Ensuring that the EU is a strong advocate for the human rights of trans and intersex people, and supporting Member States in developing, adopting and implementing corresponding legislation, policies and action plans.
  3. Placing key emphasis on the development of comprehensive anti-discrimination standards covering all aspects of life, including explicitly on the grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics, applicable throughout the EU, as well as including this as a condition for third countries in partnership or association agreements with the EU.
  4. Ensuring full freedom of movement for all EU citizens, including same-sex couples and their families.
  5. Being a strong defender of the rule of law and fundamental rights, including civil society space and human rights defenders.

Reflection of the above asks in the ALDE Party manifesto, and the ones of all liberal parties at a national level, would contribute to strengthening the commitment of the EU to the human rights of LGBTI people across Europe and beyond at a time when the movement is facing increasing external threats.

Each employee must be treated equally regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and sex characteristics.

    Diversity is a powerful resource for companies and should be cherished and managed rather than discouraged. In this way companies can improve the wellbeing of their employees and increase efficiency and profit at the same time. Public employees are still employees and should be treated the same way. Therefore, LGBTI people must be able to serve openly in the military and all other police forces.

All countries should protect LGBTI people from discrimination

    LGBTI people mustn’t be discriminated against on the basis of their sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and sex characteristics.

    As liberals we believe that positive measures – such as education and training on LGBTI people and rights, which increase reciprocal comprehension and tolerance – are more effective than the criminalisation of discrimination per se. Such measures are also the best antidote to the abuse of civil, administrative or, even worse, penal sanctions in this field. Among these positive measures some are particularly important:

  • Training of public officers – prioritising employees in the departments of Justice, Home Security, Labour, Health and Education – journalists and athletes;
  • Anti-bullying programs in all schools;
  • The creation and empowerment of an equality body truly independent from the government;
  • The creation of adequate data collection and monitoring mechanisms on hate crimes, discrimination and incitement to discriminate, hostility or violence, involving NGOs.

    As liberals we are aware of the possible tension between the right of access to goods and services and the right to freedom of contract, but we feel that the former should prevail when it comes to the ascribed characteristic of the person.

All countries should protect LGBTI people from violence

    As liberals we consider violence based on sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and sex characteristics as unacceptable as violence based on any other ascribed characteristic of the person.

    As liberals we believe that the penal law should not be used symbolically by passing manifesto-laws which merely serve abstract and ideological functions: “the penal law shouldn’t lie dormant values with the threat of the sword [by threatening penal sanctions], but should protect values already lay dormant through dialog and consent.” (Fornasari, 2008)

Everyone should be able to speak their minds including LGBTI people

    In 2 countries (Russia and Lithuania) the so called “propaganda” of homosexuality is illegal and others countries are currently looking at passing similar laws. In many more countries it’s illegal to hold LGBTI events. As Liberals we strongly believe that freedom of assembly and freedom of speech are at the core of an open and free society, which are the main conditions conducive to success in strategies against prejudice. We advocate for LGBTI events to be allowed everywhere and LGBTI people to freely speak their minds in public.

    The same principle applies to whoever may express thoughts against LGBTI people. As liberals we believe that censoring controversial views is counterproductive and would risk turning homophobes into martyrs of free speech.

    Having said that, in limited circumstances the State – according to international treaties such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, signed by 168 parties – has to prohibit incitement to discrimination, hostility and/or violence against LGBTI people.

Nobody should be punished, incarcerated or sentenced to death for loving someone of the same gender and LGBTI people fleeing those countries must be welcomed and protected.

    In 70 countries it is still illegal to have a same-sex relationship and in 7 of them they risk the death penalty. As liberals, we recognise that sodomy laws, and not homosexuality, are relics of the colonial era. We therefore advocate the EU and CoE to use all diplomatics means at their disposal to pressure all those countries to repeal laws that criminalise homosexuality.

    LGBTI people seeking refuge must be welcomed and protected from the discrimination they may face from the welcoming community and their own community of origin.

    Persecution based on sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and sex characteristics need to be considered grounds for seeking asylum. Receiving countries need to have fully trained personnel to deal with LGBTI refugees and must make sure LGBTI refugees are protected from possible violence and discrimination coming from the receiving society and the community of origin.

Each individual is entitled to freely make decisions about their lives and bodies – Self-determination

    The individual is at the core of liberal thinking. As liberals, we believe that the State is there to empower individual freedoms and protect the individual from other institutions (such as families), not to protect the individuals from themselves.

    Trans people have a right to self-determination as everybody else and are the ones who know best who they are. No doctor or judge should get to assess a person’s gender identity. This also includes young people since the right to self-determination and recognition before the law does not know any age limit. Therefore, self-determination must be the ultimate goal for adults and children of all legal gender recognition processes and abusive requirements, such as sterilisation, must be removed.

LGBTI people must have equal access to health care

LGBTI individuals and same-sex couples must have equal access to all medical techniques and procedures available, including IVF and surrogacy.

    Health care providers must be fully trained to cater for the needs of LGBTI patients. Body integrity is a fundamental human right and intersex children must not undergo surgery unless it’s necessary to save their lives.

    The State must implement polices to prevent the spread of all STIs.