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Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity

Strasbourg, 29.04.2010 – At the end of a debate on discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) today called on European States to guarantee "legal recognition of same-sex partnerships only when national legislation envisages such recognition" and provide for the possibility of "joint parental responsibility" for each partner's children “bearing in mind the interests of children”.  

While pointing out that the eradication of homophobia and transphobia "requires political will" in member States, the adopted text also asks that legislation and practice guarantee the right of transgender persons to "official documents that reflect their preferred gender role" and the right of access to gender reassignment treatment.

On the basis of the report drawn up by Andreas Gross (Switzerland, SOC), the parliamentarians also voiced concerns about violations of the freedom of association and of expression of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) persons in a number of Council of Europe member states and about "hate speech by certain politicians, religious leaders and other civil society representatives".