Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Times: EP calls for roadmap to tackle discrimination and homophobia
Tuesday, February 4, 2014, 14:22

The European Parliament has adopted a recommendation for the adoption of an EU roadmap to tackle discrimination and homophobia.

A report adopted with the recommendation condemns discrimination, and calls on the European Commission, Member States and relevant agencies to work on a comprehensive policy to protect the fundamental rights of LGBT people.

During the debate in Strasbourg, Roberta Metsola, the European People's Party spokesperson on the recommendation, said the report sent an important message to society that discrimination against LGBT persons was simply unacceptable.

"The negotiations were very sensitive and we worked hard to ensure that nothing in this text infringes upon the principle of subsidiarity. It is important that we do not give the impression that the EU can somehow decide on issues such as civil unions, marriage, adoption or family structure - these are all strictly left to individual Member States to decide for themselves. No MEP can tell any Member State to introduce new laws on these issues and no MEP has. This report does not touch upon these matters but focuses on the right for people to live free from violence, hatred, harassment and discrimination".

The report specifically does not call for any positive discrimination measures but aims to start the ball rolling to create an equal playing field for all people.

"It is inconceivable that in this day and age, people are still sacked from their jobs because of their sexual orientation or are still the target of hate crimes and harassment because they hold hands walking down the street. People deserve to live their lives without fear," Dr Metsola said.

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