Pro-gay EU motion passed despite 200,000-strong petition
A motion advancing LGBTI issues was adopted by the European Parliament yesterday despite more than 200,000 signatures on a petition in opposition.
The petition warned that the motion would result in rights for some at the expense of rights for all.
The non-binding "EU roadmap against homophobia and discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity" - otherwise known as the Lunacek Report - was passed with 394 MEPs in favour, 176 against, and 72 abstentions.
The report calls on the European Commission to work to fight sexual orientation discrimination.
Similar strategies already exist in the field of Roma integration, discrimination on the basis of disability, and gender equality.
A petition hosted on CitizenGo Europe said: "The EU Roadmap will guarantee freedom of assembly and freedom expression for gay activists and silence critics of homosexuality and LGBT activism under the guise of fighting hate speech and hate crime.
"The Lunacek Report includes a EU-wide veto mechanism for the LGBT community: no future EU legislation will be able to contradict the personal interests of homosexual and lesbian activists. Activists that as of yet represent a tiny minority of the population: undemocratic to say the least.
"In short, LGBT activists seek to gain special privileges, by utilising a strategy of victimization and a false appeal to the universality of 'human rights.'"
Austrian Green MEP Ulrike Lunacek and her allies repeatedly insisted that the report calls for equality for LGBTI persons, not for any special right.
She was quoted by European Voice as saying after the vote: "Some argued that this would give special privileges to LGBT people, but holding a partner's hand without fear of being beaten up is no privilege—it's a human right."
But European Dignity Watch (EDW) has questioned this, saying they "consistently failed to respond to the thoughtful concerns raised by citizens across Europe".
The EDW goes as far as to suggest that: "In the Lunacek Report, the very concept of human rights as the universal recognition of the rights flowing from the inherent human dignity of each and every person has been abandoned."
Speaking on 'Turtle Bay and Beyond', a blog focused on policy and law in international institutions, JC von Krempach said: "By adopting this report, which advocates legal privileges for homosexuals, and at the same time rejecting an alternative motion that called on the EU and its Member States to ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights by all citizens, the Parliament has put a thick question mark behind its claim to be an institution that protects human rights."
Manif pour tous, a French organisation that was formed in opposition to the French Government's decision to legalise same sex marriage, held demonstrations against the report in Paris, Lyon, Warsaw, Budapest, Madrid and Brussels over the weekend.
At each event, they brandished signs that read "Brussels, leave our kids alone".
Many members of the European Conservative and Reformers group, which is largely dominated by the British Conservative Party, voted against the report.
The report divided the centre-right European People's Party (EPP) group, many of whom supported the report.
Roberta Metsola, a Maltese MEP who led the EPP's work on the report, urged her colleagues to support it. European Voice quoted her after the vote as saying: "The text strikes the right balance and fully respects the principle of subsidiarity. I am proud to have supported it."
But the petitioners remained unconvinced, suggesting that: "If adopted, the Lunacek Report will give EU institutions and Member States no choice but to incorporate the homosexual agenda into public policy making."
They believed that this would include "domains that were previously the competencies of national governments: public health and education".
"It will also make the homosexual agenda mainstream in matters of employment, asylum, and external relations," they said.
"The EU and the Member States must be faithful to EU law but should not create special rights because of the sexual behaviour of a small group of citizens."