How long must LGBTI persons still wait to live free from prejudice?
[17/10/2012 11:00] "The lives of millions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex persons are still burdened by widespread prejudice, stigmatisation and in some cases even violence. Many of them are treated as second-class human beings. This situation is unbearable in today's Europe", said the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Nils Muižnieks, on the eve of his participation in the ILGA-Europe's Annual Conference "Advancing LGBTI equality in challenging economic times" in Dublin.
One serious obstacle to the full enjoyment of human rights by LGBTI persons is the denial of their right to freedoms of assembly, association and expression. "As I have stressed in a recent letter to the Prime Minister of Serbia in reaction to the ban of the Pride Parade in Belgrade on 6 October, freedoms of expression and peaceful assembly are fundamental rights in a democratic society and belong to all people, LGBTI persons included."
Legislation criminalising the "promotion of homosexuality" has also been adopted or proposed in some European countries, which potentially prohibits a wide range of activities, such as articles, speeches and events disseminating information on issues related to LGBTI persons and their human rights.
"Human rights are universal and must be applied to everyone. Politicians at national and local levels should do more to combat prejudices against LGBTI persons and educate the public with factual information about their situation. "