International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia: more efforts needed to fight discrimination

The International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia on 17 May is a moment to bring attention to the continued discrimination, fear and violence faced by the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) community across the globe.

As every year, the European Commission will light up its Berlaymont headquarters in rainbow colours the evening before, in support of the LGTBI community. Ahead of the International Day, Věra Jourová,Vice-President for Values and Transparency, said: “No one should be scared to walk down the street holding hands with a loved person. Europe will always stand up for your fundamental rights and freedoms.

We are a Union of equals.” Helena Dalli, Commissioner for Equality, said: “The coronavirus crisis is having an increased impact on the LGBTI community, some of whom require protection against domestic violence by homophobic parents or housemates, or have difficult economic and employment situations that are deteriorating further due to the economic impact of the crisis. I want to see a European Union where no one suffers because of who they are, rather celebrated because of it.”

High Representative Josep Borrell has also issued a declaration on behalf of the EU, available here. The EU Fundamental Rights Agency has published the results of its survey on hate crime and discrimination against LGBTI people. The survey shows that LGBTI people are now more open about who they are.

Nevertheless, the level of fear, violence and discrimination still remain high in the society. The report underlines the need to improve the social acceptance of LGBTI people and combat discrimination. The European Commission will present a new comprehensive LGBTI+ equality strategy in 2020.

Commissioner Dalli will also participate in the live chat on LGBTI+ equality in times of coronavirus today at 5pm. The chat will be available to follow live on EbS.

Christian Wigand –