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December 18, 2019 – MEPs urge the Commission to condemn all public acts of discrimination against LGBTI people, notably the development of so-called ‘LGBTI-free zones’ in Poland.

In a resolution adopted by 463 votes in favour, 107 against and 105 abstentions on Wednesday, MEPs express their deep concern at the growing number of attacks on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people in the EU by states, state officials, national and local governments as well as politicians. Recent examples include homophobic statements during a referendum campaign in Romania and hate speech targeting LGBTI people in the context of elections in Estonia, Spain, the UK, Hungary and Poland.

Poland should revoke resolutions attacking LGBTI rights

MEPs notably condemn the areas ‘‘free from LGBTI ideology’’ established since the beginning of 2019, by dozens of municipalities, counties and regions in the southeast of Poland. In non-binding resolutions, local governments are called upon to refrain from taking any action to encourage tolerance of LGBTI people and to avoid providing financial assistance to NGOs working to promote equal rights. The European Parliament urges Polish authorities to condemn these acts and to revoke all resolutions attacking LGBTI rights.

In addition, MEPs call on the Commission to monitor how all EU funding is used, to remind stakeholders of their commitment to non-discrimination and that such funds must not be used for discriminatory purposes.

Schools should protect the rights of all children

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Parliament also deplores the attacks carried out against LGBTI people by some member states’ public authorities, targeted at educational institutions and schools. MEPs recall that schools should be places that reinforce and protect the fundamental rights of all children. They call on the Commission and member states to take concrete action to end discrimination that can lead to LGBTI people being bullied, abused or isolated at school.

Finally, MEPs highlight that, although legal measures against discrimination are in place in the majority of member states, they are not sufficiently implemented, leaving LGBTI people vulnerable to hate crimes, hate speech and discrimination. They recall that the EU Directive on non-discrimination, blocked by EU ministers for 11 years now, would help fill this gap in protection.