Commissioner praises LGBTI Pride marches31/08/17Culture
Nils Muižnieks, Council of Europe (CoE) commissioner for human rights, has praised the Pride marches in Europe as a testament to the progress toward acceptance of the equal rights of lesbians, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) persons.
In the vast majority of European countries, and elsewhere in the world, crowds have been uniting to celebrate recognition and increased respect for the human rights of LGBTI persons.
However, obstacles still remain.
In his latest human rights comment published today (31 August) Muižnieks said that whilst there has been increased visibility and equality wins for LGBTI persons, there has also been a backlash in recent years.
He said: “Across Europe, we still see discrimination, intimidation and persecution.
“While LGBTI persons enjoy greater protection in many European countries than ever before, they still struggle to enjoy basic freedoms and rights in environments where homophobia and transphobia are widespread.
“The situation is exacerbated when intolerant attitudes among the population seem to receive official sanction.
“The human rights compliant approach would be to enact explicit prohibitions against discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity and to take effective action to identify, investigate and punish hate crimes and hate speech. Instead, we have seen some cases where laws actually restrict the rights to freedom of expression and assembly of LGBT persons.
“Promising practices show us how to get to a place where LGBTI persons can live free from fear and hate. We need to keep moving forward.”