Homophobia! Begone!

The 17th of May marks the International Day Against Homophobia. This is the day when human rights activists, NGO’s, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender/Transsexual and Queer (LGBTQ) organisations and young greens all over the world protest against homophobia in an attempt to raise awareness about the worldwide existing discrimination of LGBTQ persons.

This day is of utter importance to the Federation of Young European Greens (FYEG). Despite efforts by most European countries, homophobia is still on the rise within the borders of Europe, a fact acknowledged by all European LGBTQ organisations. As Europeans, we oppose human rights violations against LGBTQ persons outside our borders. However, European governments still deport LGBTQ refugees, even though their life may be in danger in situations of re-patronisation to their country of origin.

Having said that, FYEG does not believe the situation within Europe is perfect; it is less than perfect. For example, gay prides in Poland and the Baltic states still have to deal with neo-fascist movements that ry to influence public opinions against LGBTQ persons. This is scandalous in face of the European spirit of tolerance, understanding and freedom.

The Federation of Young European Greens ask that there is an immediate halt in sending LGBTQ refugees back to their countries of origin. Europe must be an example of acceptance and tolerance and this is one of the ways we can show our support for the threatened LGBTQ communities in the world who live in a state of repression and/or fear.

In reaction to rising xenophobia tendencies, the European Union Agency for the Fundamental Rights (FRA) was established in March 2007. Sadly, we see they have not received any directives nor funding for them to be able to support the Member States in their battle against discrimination. We therefore ask that the European Union acts now and provide the means for the Human Rights agency of the EU to start working properly. If the EU wants to spearhead discussion and actions in relation to human rights, the EU must lead by example, acting within its own borders.

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