Rising populism stokes homophobic hate speech across Europe

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02/02/2020

Homophobic and transphobic rhetoric and other anti-LGBT+ hate crimes are rising across Europe, fuelled by divisive politics and socially conservative groups that also campaign against abortion access, an advocacy group said on Tuesday. Hate speech by political and religious leaders increased in 17 countries, including in countries such as Portugal, Spain and Finland, known for being LGBT-friendly. Homophobic violence also rose across the region, according to a report by ILGA-Europe. Poland’s nationalist ruling party railed against “LGBT ideology” in its re-election campaign last year, while Hungary’s parliament speaker equated gay adoption with paedophilia and Spanish and Finnish politicians criticised Pride marches. “It’s not just countries of eastern Europe where people traditionally think there is more organised opposition – the groups that are opposing LGBTI equality are popping up in more places,” said Evelyne Paradis, the executive director of ILGA-Europe.

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