The Council of Europe has approved a new report from the Parliamentary Assembly which condemns the “extensive attacks on the rights of LGBTI people that have been occurring for several years” in a number of European countries.
Entitled Combating rising hate against LGBTI people in Europe, the report on LGBTQ+ rights criticized the stalled progress on LGBTQ+ right in countries like Russia, Hungary, Russia, Turkey, Poland, alongside the UK. Authored by General Rapporteur, the report condemned the “highly prejudicial anti-gender, gender-critical and anti-trans narratives which reduce the fight for the equality of LGBTI people to what these movements deliberately mischaracterise as ‘gender ideology’ or ‘LGBTI ideology’.”
Such narratives “deny the very existence of LGBTI people, dehumanise them, and often falsely portray their rights as being in conflict with women’s and children’s rights, or societal and family values in general”, noted the report. “All of these are deeply damaging to LGBTI people, while also harming women’s and children’s rights and social cohesion.”
The report deplored the fact that “such discourse is leading to stagnation and even backsliding in progress towards LGBTI equality." It also highlighted that “in many countries, legislative processes aimed at improving the protection of the rights of LGBTI people have stalled, and in some, progress previously achieved has been undone.”
Many are surprised to see the UK, listed alongside countries like Russia, for example, which still harbours outdated attitudes and struggles to accept homosexuality. However, similar hostile attitudes towards the LGBTQ+ community continue to exist in the UK, according to recent statistics. Over the last six years alone, for example, the number of homophobic hate crime reports in the UK has tripled (rising by 210%) and the number of transphobic hate crime reports has quadrupled (rising 332%), according to figures obtained by VICE World News.
Commenting on the European report, Sasha Misra, Associate Director of Communications and External Affairs at Stonewall, told Dazed: “The Council of Europe has exposed the ‘extensive and often virulent’ onslaught on LGBTQ+ civil rights happening across the continent – and sees the UK condemned as a country of concern. It notes that backed by a complicit media and with growing support in UK politics, anti-trans propaganda has been gaining baseless and concerning credibility, at the expense of both trans people’s civil liberties, and women’s and children’s rights. The material outcome is that the UK is now a hostile place for trans people, and the world is noticing.”