Nine EU Countries Refuse to Sign A New LGBTQ+ Rights Bill

Nine EU Countries Refuse to Sign A New LGBTQ+ Rights Bill

Nine EU Countries refused to sign a new LGBTQ+ rights bill at a conference held in Brussels on May 17. These include popular travel destinations like Italy, Croatia, and Hungary. Other countries that refused to sign the declaration are Bulgaria, Romania, Lithuania, Latvia, Czech Republic, and Slovakia.

Italy backed its decision to decline signature by citing a similar bill proposed by Italian Democratic Party MP and gay activist Alessandro Zan, which would increase penalties for anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination. It was speculated that Italy refused to sign the EU declaration, for the same reason it declined Zan’s bill. 

Despite this, Italy did sign a declaration against homophobia, transphobia, and biphobia from the EU External Action Service on May 7, according to Pink News. Italy, unfortunately, has been in hot water over the past year as it put a law into place removing lesbian mother names from children’s birth certificates, in an attempt to delegitimize LGBTQ+ parents. 

The May 17 declaration was proposed by the Belgian presidency to EU member states on World Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, and received support by 18 of 27 member states.

The declaration was proposed at a conference in Brussels which brought together the European Commissioner for Equality, Ministers and Secretaries of State from various EU member states, members of European Parliament, and other expert and civil society organizations, according to the Belgian presidency.

At the conference, political and civil figures discussed the obstacles facing EU strategy on equality for LGBTQ+ people and how to move forward. Those who signed the declaration have agreed to undertake an implementation of new strategies to improve LGBTQ rights by allocating sufficient resources and working with civil society. 

The Belgian Secretary of State for Gender Equality, Equal Opportunities, and Diversity said of the conference: “This high-level conference ends with a joint declaration and a strong political message to continue the work towards the real Union of Equality during the next EU legislative term. A Union where everyone is respected as they are, or as they want to be.”

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