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Gay rights "inconsistent across Europe" says EU report

When it comes to rights for the GLBT community, there are still big differences in attitude and rights across the 27 countries which are part of the European Union. That's the conclusion of the EU's Fundamental Rights Agency, which has just delivered its latest report to the EU Parliament.

Some things have improved since 2008, when they last surveyed what member states were up to. "In Poland, Romania and Bulgaria pride marches were held successfully for the first time. In contrast, in Lithuania the 2010 Baltic pride was threatened with cancellation at short notice, and in Latvia the right to organise marches continues to be challenged by elected officials despite several court rulings annulling attempted bans." The agency says it's clear that the rights of LGBT persons are being restricted or neglected in some countries, and that this creates an uneven landscape in the protection of LGBT rights throughout Europe.

"LGBT people in some EU member states still suffer from violations of their basic fundamental rights to safety, peaceful assembly and are restricted in their ability to move freely across the EU," said ILGA-Europe Executive Director Evelyne Paradis.

FRA Director Morten Kjaerum says that the research "identified positive developments as well as areas where either little has changed since our last study in 2008, or has changed for the worse. For instance, an increased number of EU Member States recognise the right to marriage to same-sex couples to marry while others do not recognise this right. This, in turn, has legal and practical implications for citizens wanting to move between EU countries. Negative attitudes and stereotyping appear as common roots for inaction or negative developments observed in a number of Member States in our report".

ILGA-Europe agrees. "Some member states are single-handedly blocking the adoption of a new anti-discrimination directive which would level up the protections available to various communities, including LGB people, from discrimination in the areas of EU competence highlighted by the FRA report."

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Tags: Bulgaria, Europe, ILGA-Europe, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, eu, gay pride, gay rights

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