the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex, non-binary and queer (LGBTIQ) persons are human rights and as such inherent to all people, regardless of their legal status as non-citizens, refugees, migrants or foreign residents, regardless of whether they are women, men, children, elderly or have disabilities, regardless of their religion, ethnic background, political views or sexual orientation, gender identity or expression and sex characteristics;
local and regional authorities (LRAs) key players in building a European society that is based on the inclusion of all citizens, rather than the exclusion of some;
ensure that the fundamental principles of the European Union are observed, and that no municipality, region or state introduces systemic discriminatory initiatives, such as the "LGBT-free zones", adopted as "Local Government Charter of The Rights of The Family" or "Resolution against LGBT ideology", or uses funds in ways that are non-compliant with the principle of non-discrimination;
fight inequality in the EU at all levels of governance because it is a shared responsibility;
explain people's rights, identify key challenges in local communities, ensure equal participation in community life and equal access to services, and introduce tailored services for marginalised members of society;
adopt measures to counter hate speech, especially online hate speech. Hate speech against LGBTIQ people is one of the most harmful sources of discrimination and often evolves into hate crime and leads to violence;
recognition of cross-border rights for LGBTIQ people and their families in the EU;
raise the visibility of youth LGBTIQ homelessness as the ultimate form of social exclusion;
adoption of informed and properly adapted policies which reflect diversity;
an intersectional approach and intersectional measures;
increased protection of trans people who continue to face some of the highest levels of discrimination, violence and persecution
need for education measures and information campaigns for people of all ages and backgrounds.
On 22 April 2021, the SEDEC commission held a debate on "The EU as an LGBTIQ Freedom zone" following the EP declaration. Three MEPs participated in the debate: Pierre Karleskind (FR/Renew E), Maria Walsh (IE/EPP) and Terry Reintke (DE/Greens). Rapporteur Feeney was also involved in the drafting of the EP Declaration, resulting in the CoR being mentioned.
Ms. Feeney was appointed special advisor to the first jury of the DG JUST European Capitals of Diversity and Inclusion award, as rapporteur on the opinion on "Union of equality: LGBTIQ Equality Strategy 2020-2025" .
THE EUROPEAN COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS
- welcomes the resolution of the European Parliament that declared the entire EU a LGBTIQ Freedom Zone and emphasises the importance of mutual tolerance within communities;
- commits to fully promoting LGBTIQ freedom cities throughout the European Union and broader;
- urges the Commission to combat all forms of violence against LGBTIQ people, and asks for the adoption of measures aimed at preventing and combating violence against LGBTIQ people, including online violence, which could become normalised among younger people;
- calls upon the Member States to ensure that clear information on the recognition of cross-border rights for LGBTIQ people and their families in the EU are easily accessible, and that civil servants at all levels of governance are thoroughly informed;
- co-signs the request made by the European Parliament in its Resolution on the on LGBTIQ rights in the EU with regards to rainbow families and same-sex couples and urges the Commission to work on improving the position of rainbow families by rigorous application of cross-border family law and intensified dialogue with Member States, as substantive family law falls under their competence;
- calls on the European Commission, national, regional and local governments to raise the visibility of youth LGBTIQ homelessness as the ultimate form of social exclusion and to develop youth care centres and shelters in their communities, following the examples of Krakow and Berlin;
- calls on the European Commission to ensure that European funds are not granted where structural discrimination mechanisms exist, and that funding is suspended or withdrawn where this is subsequently found to be the case; believes that the demonstrated power of such measures, in combination with dialogue, can create a fully inclusive European Union;