LGBTI network say “Solidarity Wins” in the fight to promote LGBTI rights

24/10/2018

Rainbow Rose activists

Solidarity is key to safeguarding and promoting LGBTI rights across Europe, the PES LGBTI network, Rainbow Rose, said at its annual General Assembly this weekend.

Representatives from 20 different countries attended the event in Vienna to discuss the current state of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex rights in Europe.

The event, held under the banner of “Solidarity Wins”, was hosted by the Austrian social democratic LGBTIQ organisation SoHo.

PES Deputy Secretary General Marije Laffeber congratulated the Assembly on behalf of the PES and its President Sergei Stanishev. 

“We are the first European political party to have an LGBTI road map and Rainbow Rose was the driving force behind it. The rights of LGBTI people are, and always will be, on our political agenda. LGBTI rights are at the core of the resolutions for our next PES Congress as we prepare for the 2019 European elections.”

Sedef Çakmak, Cumhuriyet Halk Partisi, Turkey and President of Rainbow Rose, said:

“We are here together and our strength comes from this solidarity. Together with your family and friends we are building the world we want to live in.”

SoHo president Mario Lindner said progressives need to work together to tackle the conservative backlash:

“We have welcomed activists from all over Europe to our conference. With the elections next year, it is more important than ever to tackle sexism, homophobia, transphobia and racism together! The fight for LGBTI rights cannot be separated from the fight for equality for all.”

Andrea Brunner, Deputy Secretary General of SPÖ, underlined the recent progress in struggle for LGBTI rights:

“Although marriage equality will finally be a reality in Austria as of 2019, legal and social discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity still exists. Our goal is to work together to secure full equality for the LGBTI community all over Europe!”

Prominent progressive politicians and LGBTI activists attended the event, including Mario Linder, SoHo president and SPÖ MP, Marije Laffeber, PES Deputy Secretary General, Andrea Brunner, SPÖ Deputy Secretary General, and Zita Gurmai, PES Women president, MSZP MP, amongst others.

The General Assembly was an opportunity for the network to hear about the work carried out by the Rainbow Road Board since the previous General Assembly, and to exchange ideas and establish cross-organisational links.