Equality Activists Alarmed at Rise of Right-Wing Parties in Europe

Published: May 30, 2014

While June is Pride month in the U.S., many Pride celebrations have taken place around the wolrd this month, many in connection with International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. We’ve noted some of these celebrations in previous recaps; this week brought additional reports from Albania, Kosovo, Moldova, and Lithuania.

Meanwhile, LGBT equality activists were among those shocked and alarmed by the strong showing made in European parliamentary elections by far-right parties from across thecontinent. A report by ILGA –Europe and the European Network Against Racism documentsexamples of anti-immigrant and anti-LGBT rhetoric that fueled the right-wing parties’ campaigns. Among the examples were a Latvian MEP’s endorsement of Russian-style “homosexual propaganda” legislation to prevent gay pride marches from opening the door to pro-pedophile marches, and an Italian MEP’s pledge to “stop mosques.” In Britain, Seb Dance, a newly elected MEP from London criticized the country’s Conservative Party for playing to right-wing paranoia about the European Union with its refusal to sign a pledgebeing circulated by ILGA-Europe calling for a five-year commitment to advancing LGBT rights. ILGA reported this week that 25 percent of newly elected members of the 751-seat European Parliament have signed the pledge.

We noted two weeks ago that the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights had adopted a resolution condemning violence against individuals based on their “real or imputed sexual orientation and gender identity.” That resolution has since been embraced by a collection of civil society organizations.

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