2.2 Discrimination of homosexuals

In January 2006 the European Parliament adopted a joint resolution against homophobia. The document came about because of "a series of worrying events that has taken place in a number of member states," such as bans on gay pride marches, hate speeches by political and religious leaders, breaking up of demonstrations by police, homophobic violence and constitutional amendments prohibiting same-sex unions. The resolution, titled Homophobia in Europe, was tabled by five political parties and passed by a 469-149 vote with 41 abstentions.
The long measure defines "homophobia" as "an irrational fear and aversion of homosexuality and of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people based on prejudice, similar to racism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, sexism." It calls on member states to take action "in the fight against homophobia, sexual orientation discrimination and to promote and implement the principle of equality in their society and legal order." Catholic leaders immediately criticized the resolution.
Conflict between European Parliament and the newer Eastern European member states is increasing. Poland, Latvia and Estonia have refused to permit homosexual unions. And Polish President Lech Kaczynski refused permission for "gay pride" demonstrations when he served as mayor of Warsaw. Latvia also disallowed homosexual-themed parades.

Police Police

In May 2007 the European Court of Human Rights ruled that local authorities of Warshaw had violated three provisions of the European Convention, relating to freedom of assembly, the right to an effective remedy and the prohibition of discrimination in prohibiting “Equality Days” (gay pride demonstration) in 2005. The Commissioner of Human Rights, Thomas Hammarberg, criticizes that only few politicians stand up to harassment and discrimination of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender persons (LGBT) but fuel prejudice “through stereotyped descriptions of homosexuals as dangerous propagandists who should not be allowed to be teachers or show their “lifestyle” to others.” He further emphasizes, that “[t]he legal norms are absolutely clear. The European Convention of Human Rights – which is part of national law in all Council of Europe countries - does not allow discrimination against persons because of their sexual orientation or gender identification. Guarantees against discrimination on any ground are provided in Article 14 of the Convention and in its Protocol No. 12. The Protocol, which is now in force in 14 countries, prohibits discrimination in the enjoyment of any right set forth by law as well as any discrimination by public authorities.”
In July 2007 Hungarian Nationalists attacked a gay pride parade in Budapest.

According to the Special Eurobarometer 263 attitudes towards homosexuality depend on age, education and acquaintance with homosexuals: Young people are more likely than those aged 55 and over are to feel that discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation is widespread (EU average59% vs. 45%). People who believe discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is widespread are far more likely to feel that homosexuality is still a taboo than people who believe this form of discrimination is rare (62% vs. 34%). Further, people with homosexual friends feel that discrimination is widespread compared to those who don’t have homosexual friends (56% vs. 48%).

German research (Heitmeyer et.al. 2005, 2006, 2007) discloses a correlation between sexism and homophobia: With increasing homophobia sexism is increasing as well. Although it is more men who reject homosexuality, almost same amount of men and women believe that women should return to traditional roles. 

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