Yesterday, President of the European Parliament Jerzy Buzek inaugurated a photo exhibition on European gay prides. The Polish centre-right President addressed Members of the European Parliament, staff and visitors. Mr Buzek said homophobia was “deplorable, because it aims to denigrate people and deprive them of their rights on the basis of their sexual orientation.”
The President of the European Parliament was joined by Members of the European Parliament Ulrike Lunacek and Michael Cashman, Co-Presidents of the European Parliament’s Intergroup on LGBT Rights, and Charles Meacham, author of the photographs.
After the event, Michael Cashman and Ulrike Lunacek reacted: “We are proud to be members of a Parliament that represents 500 million Europeans, and which stands ready to defend the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. The genuine and heartfelt engagement of Jerzy Buzek, a Polish centre-right President demonstrates that homophobia no longer belongs to mainstream EU politics. We are grateful to Mr Buzek and all our colleagues for helping LGBT people live their lives freely, and without fear.”
Since 2006, the European Parliament adopted five resolutions demanding that LGBT people’s human rights be respected in Europe, reminding EU countries that banning pride marches breaches the European Convention on Human Rights. Over 180 European pride marches will take place in 2011, from Iceland to Malta and from Portugal to Russia.
The exhibition contains 20 images by award-winning photographer Charles Meacham, from New York. The photographs will be shown in over 20 locations around the world, starting in the EU Parliament from 9 to 12 May.