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'On 17 May and every day, we stand firm against LGBTI-phobia' says PACE committee

LGBTQ Progress Pride with intersex inclusion flag

On the occasion of the International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia, Interphobia and Transphobia (17 May 2022) the PACE Committee on Equality and Non-Discrimination, meeting in Stockholm on 12 May 2022, adopted the following statement:

“Over recent years, significant progress has been made towards making equal rights a reality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people throughout Europe. Although the picture varies widely, overall, hate crime and anti-discrimination laws have been strengthened and legal gender recognition procedures have been simplified. The bodily integrity of intersex people has started to be better protected and the rights of rainbow families are increasingly recognised.

Yet too many LGBTI people still live in fear today – fear for their lives, their bodies and their rights. Physical attacks, vilification by political and religious leaders, virulent anti-LGBTI and anti-gender movements, as well as the persistence of practices such as so-called 'conversion therapy', forced sterilisations of trans people and genital mutilation of intersex children remain an all too familiar reality. Some political parties and governments, instead of fighting discrimination and inequality, have blatantly instrumentalised existing prejudices in society for political gain, causing deep harm to LGBTI people.

The need for parliamentarians to stand firm against LGBTI-phobia has never been clearer. On the occasion of the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia, Biphobia and Interphobia, 17 May 2022, we reaffirm that everyone should have the right to live their life freely and authentically, in an inclusive world, without prejudice, stigma or harm. The fight to achieve LGBTI equality must continue, today and every day of the year.

We are proud to welcome the creation, within the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, of a new Parliamentary Platform for the rights of LGBTI people in Europe. Now, our members can join forces to promote full and effective equality for LGBTI people on our continent. We look forward to the Platform starting its activities in the coming weeks and months."