EU to Potential Members: Improve LGBT Protections

The European Parliament has a message for potential members: amend protections for LGBT people. Turkey, Serbia, and Montenegro are official candidates to join the European Union, and Kosovo is currently considered a potential candidate. All four countries currently have discriminatory laws on the books.

According to an article on PinkNews.co.uk, the Parliament asked that homophobia and transphobia be included in the Turkish hate crime law, that Turkish Armed Forces cease to classify homosexuality as a ‘psychosexual illness,’ and to condemn prosecutions against LGBT people.

In Serbia, the Parliament “strongly condemns” inflammatory and discriminatory remarks on the topic by some politicians and members of the orthodox clergy. The resolution expresses concerned for “the lack of political will… to ensure the safety of the participants of the Pride Parade” in 2011, which was cancelled by police.

PinkNews.co.uk reports that the resolution on Montenegro “highlights positive developments” in the country, and “welcomes the recent adoption of the Law Against Discrimination, which explicitly mentions sexual orientation and gender identity.”

Slovenians Reject Gay & Lesbian Adoption

A national referendum in Slovenia that would allow lesbian and gay couples to adopt the biological children of their partners has been rejected. According to the Associated Press, nearly 55 percent of those who took part in the referendum rejected the law, while about 45 percent supported it.

The results are surprising as Slovenia is known for being more tolerant of LGBT people than its Balkan neighbors. In 2006, the country allowed for official registration of same-sex relationships.

Much of the efforts to defeat the referendum was backed by conservative groups with close ties to the Catholic Church.

Roman Catholic, Serbian Orthodox, and Muslim communities in Slovenia also jointly signed a petition before the referendum, asking Slovenes to reject the law in the name of “[protecting] the values of marriage and family as a community of a husband and a wife, and children.”

Due to procedural rules, proponents of the law will have to wait a year before they can formally propose the law again.

Hungarian Officials Ban Pride Event

Police in Budapest canceled a LGBT pride event citing traffic concerns. Amnesty International is now calling on the Hungarian government to lift the ban and allow LGBT people to “exercise their freedom of peaceful assembly and freedom of expression without discrimination.” According to Amnesty International, the Rainbow Mission Foundation—the organization in charge of the July 7 event—had proposed using a parade route that is often used for other events, marches, and demonstrations. As a result, Amnesty International alleges that the rejection of this particular event is about limiting the rights of LGBT people.

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