EU launches LGBT protection strategy as homophobia rises in east

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11/12/2020

The European Union’s executive Commission launched its first strategy to protect the rights of LGBT people on Thursday, a challenge to right-wing governments in Poland and Hungary that have become increasingly homophobic in the past year. The Commission said LGBT people were facing growing discrimination in Europe, even as most people in the bloc were becoming more accepting of gay rights. “We will defend the rights of LGBT people against those who now have more and more appetite to attack them from this ideological point of view,” EU Commission Vice-President Vera Jourova told a news conference. “This belongs to the authoritarian playbook and it does not have a place in the EU.” The Commission launched its LGBTIQ Equality Strategy, defining the term as “lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, non-binary, intersex and queer”. According to survey figures cited by the commission, 43% of LGBT people last year said they felt discriminated against, up from 37% in 2012. That increase came even though 76% of EU citizens said lesbians, gays, and bisexuals should have equal rights to heterosexuals, up from 71% in 2015.

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