IDAHOBIT 2020: Progressives are leading the fight for LGBTIQ equality

15/05/2020

Rainbow Rose at Brussels Pride, May 2019

Rainbow Rose President Camila Garfias with PES Deputy Secretary General Marije Laffeber and Rainbow Rose activists at Belgian Pride, Brussels, May 2019.

Socialists and social democrats from the Party of European Socialists (PES) are marking the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOBIT) (17 May) by strongly reaffirming their commitment to fighting discrimination in Europe and around the world.

This year the theme of IDAHOBIT' is “Breaking the Silence”, drawing attention to the need to speak out about discrimination.

Sergei Stanishev, PES President, said:

“Today, and every day, the PES stands shoulder to shoulder with the LGBTIQ community. We are allies, we are fighting the same fight: to make a Europe of equality a reality for all.

“Our political family will never accept homophobia, biphobia or transphobia in our societies. We will never turn a blind eye to discrimination and oppression. We want a fair and progressive Europe where diversity and everyone’s human rights are respected. Today, we proudly reaffirm this commitment.”

Camila Garfias, President of Rainbow Rose, the LGBTIQ organisation of the PES, added:

"In these difficult times of pandemic, when everyone in our societies are challenged, we see that the most vulnerable groups are being targeted by right-wing politicians. There is no excuse to use the fight against COVID-19 to limit human rights, as Hungary and Poland are currently doing. We will continue our fight, in solidarity with all members of our community, until all rights are guaranteed!"

The PES was the first European political party to adopt a comprehensive LGBTIQ roadmap and, with its network Rainbow Rose, it was the first to implement a European party political LGBTIQ network.

Mr Stanishev added:

"We're especially proud that Malta, under Prime Minister Abela and the Labour Party, has topped ILGA Europe's LGBTIQ Index for the third year in a row. Once again, progressives are at the forefront of securing LGBTIQ rights.”

On 14 May ILGA Europe presented its yearly Rainbow Europe Map, which brings together both the legal index of LGBTI equality and an overview of the social climate for LGBTI people in each country. The rankings are based on how the laws and policies of each country impact on the lives of LGBTI people.

The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) also presented this week the results of the second EU LGBTI Survey – the world’s biggest-ever survey of its kind. This survey, conducted in 2019, provides comparable data from almost 140,000 LGBTI people across the EU, the UK, North Macedonia and Serbia.

Both the ILGA Rainbow Map and FRA’s survey show that even though progress has been made in many countries, there is still a lot to do to achieve real equality all over the region. Rainbow Rose together with the Party of the European Socialists will address those inequalities by pushing and encouraging laws and policies to build a respectful society.