Rainbow Rose General Assembly warns of growing right-wing backlash against LGBTIQ community

30/11/2020 - PES associated organisation moves conference online to discuss LGBTIQ rights in Europe

S&D at women's protest outside the European Parliament

Rainbow Rose General Assembly meeting by videoconference

Under the cover of the fight against Covid-19, right-wing politicians are using the LGBTIQ community as their first target to cut back human rights, the Rainbow Rose General Assembly has warned. Hate speech across Europe is intensifying - often carried out by political figures and governments - and recent wins for the LGBTIQ movement are fragile: a rollback on rights and attitudes could come at any time.

Last weekend Rainbow Rose met virtually in this extraordinary year for its annual General Assembly. With Covid-19 pandemic continuing, the LGBTIQ organisation decided to hold its 2020 conference online to further important discussions about LGBTIQ rights in Europe whilst protecting everyone’s health.

At the same time as the right-wing backlash against the LGBTIQ community, the conference welcomed progress driven by the PES political family, highlighting the law on life partnerships for same-sex couples passed in Montenegro (July). This decision was led by our associated member parties in Montenegro with the PES team giving support and help. Rainbow Rose also welcomed the commitments set out in the European Commission’s LGBTIQ Equality Strategy - the first of its kind at the European level - under the leadership of progressive Commissioner for Equality Helena Dalli. 

President of Rainbow Rose, Camila Garfias, stressed:

“During this difficult year right-wing populist governments have shown their true face: at the very first chance they threatened the LGBTIQ community and attacked their constitutional rights. As socialists and progressives we will never accept that human rights can be cut back. In times of crisis it shows the importance of a strong socialist family, and I am proud that Rainbow Rose will continue its fight for a better world in solidarity with our allies.”

PES President, Sergei Stanishev, said:

“2020 hasn't been a positive year for the community in the EU. We have seen a backlash on your rights, as well as on women rights. But it can be turned around if we maintain ourselves, standing together for equality and fighting any kind of discrimination. Because it is my aim, our aim, as socialists and democrats, to be at the forefront of the fight for an inclusive and European future.”

The online Rainbow Rose General Assembly was attended by Commissioner for Equality Helena Dalli, S&D President Iratxe Garcia, PES President Sergei Stanishev, PES Women President Zita Gurmai, YES President Alicia Homs MEP, and Marc Angel, Chair of the LGBTI Intergroup in the European Parliament. Progressives and socialists stand united to promote LGBTIQ rights all over Europe and beyond.