13:45 - EU PARLIAMENT: ACTS ABOUT UKRAINE, YOUTH AND HOMOPHOBIA HAVE BEEN PASSED
(Sir Europe - Strasbourg) - The plenary session of the European Parliament ended today with a number of voting rounds about equal pay for men and women doing the same job, financial support to third countries, democracy and rights in Ukraine, the Opportunities for the Young Initiative. The European Parliament also passed a resolution (an act of no legal value but showing the Assemblys political position) about the Fight against Homophobia in Europe, that had been jointly submitted by the Peoples Party, by the Environmentalist, Leftist, Socialist and Democratic Parties, and by the Liberal Democrats. Along with a due condemnation of any form of discrimination and social exclusion, or even violence and racism, the Act also contains some contrasting points. First of all, the resolution states that homophobia consists of irrational fear and aversion for male and female homosexuality and for lesbians, gay, bisexual and transgender people, based on prejudice, and is comparable to racism, anti-Semitism and sexism. According to the act, this is an attitude that appears in the public and private sphere in many different forms, including instigation to hatred and discrimination, mocking and verbal, psychological and physical abuse, persecution and killing, breach of the equality principle and limitation of rights. (continued)
13:46 - EU PARLIAMENT: ACTS ABOUT UKRAINE, YOUTH AND HOMOPHOBIA HAVE BEEN PASSED (2)
The resolution passed by the EU Parliament includes an unclear, vague passage, stating that homophobia is often hidden by arguments based on public order, religious freedom and the right to conscientious objection. The resolution condemns legal actions or widespread attitudes showing aversion for homosexuals, as, for example, in Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, Lithuania, Latvia, Hungary. Then, the European Parliament confirms its commitment to support equality and non discrimination based on sexual preference. Because of this, the resolution firmly deplores the fact that, within the European Union, the rights of homosexual people are not always fully respected. The member states are urged to protect the rights of homosexual people, and as much the EU Commission as the member states should make sure the Directive 2004/38/Ce about Free Mobility be implemented without discriminations based on sexual preference and should submit measures to give legal value to marital-status documents, based on the mutual recognition principle. In addition - another unclear point -, the Assembly believes that the fundamental rights of homosexual people would be protected better if they had access to such legal institutions as cohabitation, registry union or marriage. Finally, the document praises the fact that 16 member states offer such opportunities and urges the other member states to consider the possibility to provide such institutions too.