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Discrimination against homosexuals

Recommendation 924 (1981)

Parliamentary Assembly
Assembly debate on 1 October 1981 (10th Sitting) (see Doc. 4755, report of the Committee on Social and Health Questions). Text adopted by the Assembly on 1 October 1981 (10th Sitting).

The Assembly,

1. Recalling its firm commitment to the protection of human rights and to the abolition of all forms of discrimination ;
2. Observing that, despite some efforts and new legislation in recent years directed towards eliminating discrimination against homosexuals, they continue to suffer from discrimination and even, at times, from oppression ;
3. Believing that, in the pluralistic societies of today, in which of course traditional family life has its own place and value, practices such as the exclusion of persons on the grounds of their sexual preferences from certain jobs, the existence of acts of aggression against them or the keeping of records on those persons, are survivals of several centuries of prejudice ;
4. Considering that in a few member states homosexual acts are still a criminal offence and often carry severe penalties ;
5. Believing that all individuals, male or female, having attained the legal age of consent provided by the law of the country they live in, and who are capable of valid personal consent, should enjoy the right to sexual self-determination ;
6. Emphasising, however, that the state has a responsibility in areas of public concern such as the protection of children,
7. Recommends that the Committee of Ministers :
7.1 urge those member states where homosexual acts between consenting adults are liable to criminal prosecution, to abolish those laws and practices ;
7.2 urge member states to apply the same minimum age of consent for homosexual and heterosexual acts ;
7.3 call on the governments of the member states :
a to order the destruction of existing special records on homosexuals and to abolish the practice of keeping records on homosexuals by the police or any other authority ;
b to assure equality of treatment, no more no less, for homosexuals with regard to employment, pay and job security, particularly in the public sector ;
c to ask for the cessation of all compulsory medical action or research designed to alter the sexual orientation of adults ;
d to ensure that custody, visiting rights and accommodation of children by their parents should not be restricted on the sole grounds of the homosexual tendencies of one of them ;
e to ask prison and other public authorities to be vigilant against the risk of rape, violence and sexual offences in prisons.