LGTB’s under pressure in Europe

Queen Maxima of the Netherlands attending the IDAHO conference 2013 ((c) Peter Dejong)
Queen Maxima of the Netherlands attending the IDAHO conference 2013 ((c) Peter Dejong)

On the International Day Against Homophobia & Transphobia (I.D.A.H.O.) the results of a European Union (UE) wide research on homophobia were presented. Some 90.000 people took part in this research and their feedback to the questions give some grim reading. Almost half of the respondents have experienced some sort of  discrimination or harassed on the grounds of their sexual orientation. The results were published at a conference attended by Queen Maxima of the Netherlands on Thursday 17th May.

Infographics LGBT homophobia research
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Other findings in the report are also troubling. One in four of the respondents had been attacked or threatened with violence in the last five years and  91% of respondents said they heard or read negative comments about LGBT people while they were still in school. It shows that despite positive developments such as the equal marriage bill being signed into law in France, many LGBT people don’t feel free and safe. You can view the full report here.

The research was carried out by the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights and the IDAHO conference was attended by several members of the European Parliament. One of them, Kinga Göncz (Hungary), called the results of this report a wake-up call for all Europeans. “Equality for all Europeans is one of the fundamental principles of our democracy. We can’t tolerate that millions of our fellow Europeans are shamelessly discriminated on the grounds of their sexual orientation.”

Although in Amsterdam the situation may be better than in many other cities in Europe, LGBT can also experience discrimination and even violence. Luckily the city is active in supporting the LGBT community and there is even a special LGBT police-network. These LGBT policemen and -women specially support people who experience homophobia and transphobia.