Despite the efforts being put into LGBTI rights across Europe, activists claim that these communities are continuing to be victims of discrimination and hate crimes. Activists have also expressed their concerns that physical attacks, discrimination in education, employment, and healthcare are still a reality for 30.5 LGBTI EU residents who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transsexual or intersexual.
According to Dominik Boren from the Network of European LGBTI Families Association “Due to huge incompatibility in legal regulations regarding LGBTI people across the EU, members of the LGBTI community do not enjoy equal rights as heterosexual citizens
According to Stonewall, a British lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights charity, a fifth of LGBTI citizens in the UK have experienced hate crime the last year. Co founder of the charity Lisa Power said “Over last four years attacks on LGBT people surged almost 80 percent in the UK. One of the reasons is a divisive, xenophobic narrative coming from politics”
In Poland one in three LGBTI people had experienced physical violence over the past five years, “The most threatened are young people aged 18-24, mostly transsexuals, gays and bisexual man. The perpetrators often attack in groups,” said A. Chaber, from the Polish NGO KPH (Campaign Against Homophobia).
A map released by ILGA-Europe revealed figures highlighting the legal rights and protection of LGBTI across the European Union. Its revealed countries with the highest rates of physical and psychological violence against LGBTI communities are Lithuania, Romania, Latvia, Poland, Hungary, Estonia and Bulgaria. These are the same countries that have insufficient laws to ensure their protection.
A report from FRA- The European Agency of Human Rights claims that the protection and rights of LGBTI communities throughout the EU has been steadily improving and that progress has been made. However some countries have seen much slower progress, and more needs to be done to close the gap and ensure legal protection is adequate in all EU member states.
The FRA also reports that more than 50 percent of all LGBTI people in the EU choose not to hold hands in public places for fear being attacked. According to Adela Horakova from Proud.cz, Czech “There are countries in which you may get married one day and be fired the next day because the country doesn’t protect you from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in a workplace. Or you may marry but you will have troubles finding a restaurant to organise a wedding because its owners may refuse you access to their services,”
A statement from the FRA claims that “FRA’s legal analysis of the fundamental rights situation of LGBTI people shows there has been progress in some areas. However, it also reveals persistent barriers that need to be lifted to allow all LGBTI people fully enjoy their rights.”
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