January 26th, 2012
Yesterday the President of the European Parliament and dozens of Members gathered in support of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people's rights. MEPs reiterated their commitment to mark the middle of the current mandate.
After the event, a total of 184 Members of the European Parliament had signed ILGA-Europe's Be Bothered Pledge, a 10-point manifesto first launched during the 2009 European elections. Signatories from 23 Member States and six different political groups committed to upholding the rights of LGBT people in their votes.
Support for the LGBT Intergroup in the European Parliament also increased. Several MEPs joined the Parliament's second largest intergroup, with 127 members from 22 Member States and 5 political groups.
Martin Schulz MEP, President of the European Parliament, addressed MEPs declaring his support for the pledge and declared that "as the President of the European Parliament, you can count on me to join the fight for the goals of equality laid out in the Be Bothered Pledge."
Ulrike Lunacek and Michael Cashman MEPs, Co-presidents of the LGBT Intergroup in the European Parliament, commented: "We are pleased so many colleagues turned up, and of course that our new president added his important support. LGBT rights are gathering ever more allies from across the political spectrum, and the next two and a half years will be crucial to achieve much-needed progress in Europe."
Martin K.I. Christensen, Co-Chair of the Executive Board of ILGA-Europe, continued: "We are very pleased that MEPs increasingly support the human rights of LGBT people. So far the Be Bothered! Pledge has been signed by MEPs from all but one political group. Europe is witnessing an increase of extreme and intolerant views. Therefore MEPs' support and commitment are crucial for keeping the EU free from extremism, hatred, and discrimination."
*: ILGA-Europe is the European region of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association
I agree with the main thrust of the petition.
I am signing this declaration as a further manifestation of Partit Nazzjonalista's commitment to combat all forms of discrimination, including on the basis of sexual orientation.
Our party has already expressed this commitment in Government by transposing the relevant EU legislation on non-discrimination into local legislation and we remain committed to support initiatives taken at the level of the European Parliament aimed at combatting discrimination.
We also remain committed to our party's 2008 electoral pledge to propose legislation that will protect couples in cohabiting relationships.
Likewise, we remain committed to our views on the definition of marriage and of the rights of children as enshrined in our national legislation and we consider these to be matters that lie within the competence of individual Member States.