Final Research Paper

Final Research Paper - The European Parliaments Intergroup...

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The European Parliament’s Intergroup on LGBT Human Rights Christina Zinkel MC 324e Professor Elyes Ghanmi September 6 th , 2010
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The battle for human rights is always on going and faces new challenges with each decade that passes. Discrimination against minority groups never ends and must always be combated in hopes of a better tomorrow. One of the most recent issues facing the European Union is addressing lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues between their nations. Most countries have differing views on how these people should be treated and some are more accepting than others. Since most European nations are Christian, the issue of religion brings a whole new component into these arguments over LGBT rights. In order to work towards greater acceptance of this group of people and protect them within the union the European Parliament’s Intergroup on LGBT Rights was formed. Since there has not been very much discussion of LGBT rights until recently there is not a great deal of history about the issues these people face. It is important to make note of the progress which has been made in the union and the role that the intergroup is now playing. Internally the European Union is struggling with the addition of Eastern European states because their views on LGBT rights are vastly different than those of the West. Polls as late as 2003 in Lithuania have found that its citizens would rather live next to a criminal than a homosexual (Black). The view that homosexuality is the ultimate evil still prevails but as time has passed small steps have been taken to try changing this view. In an attempt to increased acceptance within their borders and the first gay pride parade within Eastern Europe was held in Warsaw this year. There was a police force of 2000 for crowd control when the parade had about 8000 marchers participating. Only 8 people were arrested for disrupting the parade but overall the parade went very well (Kulish). Taking measures like these and increasing the existence of LBGT people within their countries is the best way to increase acceptance since they will become an increasing force and show that they are there to stay.
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In some cases even public officials of the European Union have expressed discriminatory views of the LGBT community. The Commissioner-designate for Justice, Freedom and Security, Rocco Buttiglione has said that he views being homosexual as a sin. His statements to this affect have lead many parliament members to believe that he is not a good fit for the position since he also has very traditional views of gender roles. He said that marriage gives women “the right to have children and the protection of a man.” To many people this statement is not acceptable and shows very narrow views. Defenders of his ideals have said that those who oppose his views are anti-Christian but those against him say that there is a lack of religious freedom coming into play between certain views (Graff). Having such extreme differences between the views of European
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Final Research Paper - The European Parliaments Intergroup...

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