Mrs. Lunacek is getting nervous. From the beginning, she’s imagined that her “Report on the EU Roadmap against homophobia and discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity” would pass plenary this upcoming 4th of February without debate — and without major resistance from the public. After all, the committee on Civil Liberties (LIBE) had voted in favour of the text with a solid majority last December. But with more and more citizens all over Europe taking an interest in the Report’s actual contents, massive opposition is growing. So far, more than 100,000 emails from concerned citizens have reached MEPs and the protests are only getting louder.
This is the second time in a scant few months that large popular protest from across Europe arises against an ‘own-initiative’ report on areas where citizens do not want to be told by politicians how to live, what to think and how to educate their children. Just like Mrs. Estrela, the rapporteur of this report, Ulrike Lunacek, tries to pass it quickly and without debate (and thus avoid any exposure to the public until after the vote). Last December, Mrs. Estrela learned her lesson. In the end, she was firmly reminded that as an MEP she is elected to represent European citizens — not the shadowy lobby groups that pushed for her report — whose views differ considerably from her own pro-abortion agenda. With this defeat fresh in her mind and with massive email protest against her own report, Mrs. Lunacek is now getting nervous.
Mrs. Lunacek now answered her critics on www.lgbt-ep.eu saying that her sole noble intention is to advance equality. Why should there be any controversy about this? Who in today’s Europe would be against equality, meaning that the law applies to all in the same way, no matter what their sexual orientation is? Certainly not Mrs. Lunacek and certainly the thousands of citizens who protest against the report either. A look beyond the equality rhetoric shows very quickly: The contrary is true. This report is not about equality, but about special rights, protections and privileges for LGBT people. Citizens all over Europe are sending a clear message now: Equalty yes, but for all citizens, not just for some!
The EU Fundamental Rights Agenda applies to all citizens independently of their individual choices on how they live their sexuality. But the Lunacek Report uses the LGBT cause to divide the world in two: those who should enjoy special rights and special protection on the one hand (that is, LGBT persons), and all others who don’t seem to deserve the same rights and the same protection on the other hand. Of course, no rights or protection is denied to anyone in this report, but one doesn’t need a university degree to see that this is the logical consequence of Lunacek’s political agenda.
This is not equality but quite the contrary: It is the belief that fundamental rights should be more rigorously applied to one social group than others.
For instance, the Lunacek Report recommends that the European Commission should ensure that Directive 2000/78 on equal treatment in employment is monitored carefully so that lesbian and gay people aren't fired because of their personal characteristics (paragraph 4(C)(i)). This is a perfect example of privileges being granted, according to the Report, that not all can enjoy.
It’s true that Directive 2000/78 provides that all employees should receive equal treatment; but the “LGBT roadmap” says this should be monitored only with regard to LGBT employees. If accepted, this would lead to bias rather than equality.
Responding to such criticism, Mrs. Lunacek acknowledged that “all the rights and policies referred to already exist under EU law, for everyone.”
If this is the case, then what is the purpose of a specific LGBT roadmap? It only can mean that the already existing rights of LGBT people should be enforced with even more rigour than the already existing rights of other people. And if the rights of LGBT people collide with those of other people, then the former should take precedence.
The Lunacek Report makes no provision to protect the right of parents to educate their children in the way they deem most suitable or protect children from being confronted by the whole gamut of different sexual lifestyles and orientations from an early age on. Questions thus arise with regards to the right not to know or see something, especially at an inappropriate age. Mrs. Lunacek rejects this criticism by saying that “we should tell our children that LGBT people exist, have existed at all times in history and everywhere on this planet.”
Mrs. Lunacek herself has no children. By proposing a parliamentary resolution on what “we should tell our children”, Mrs. Lunacek negates the right of parents to be the first educators of their own children (cf. Art. 2 of the 1st Protocol to the European Human Rights Convention). She seems to want the attitudes and values that are transmitted to children to not be those of their parents but rather those of – often childless - politicians.
Many citizens are concerned with another claim made in the Report that could lead to a sort of “veto mechanism” for the LGBT community for any future EU legislation and policy. Mrs. Lunacek says no such claim is contained in the report.
But this is simply not true. One of the core proposals made in her draft Report is to create a “mainstreaming” mechanism in order to ensure that particular attention is given to “LGBT interests” in all areas and at all levels of legislation, public action or policy-making. “Mainstreaming” here means that all legal proposals would need to be screened to determine whether or not they are in accord with the interests and rights of the group that should be mainstreamed (in this case, the LGBT community). There is no similar privilege for any other social group.
Recommendations for action
Write to your MEP with the following message:
- An alternative resolution has been proposed by the EFD group. Please vote in favour of the EFD’s alternative text.
- In case the alternative resolution is not adopted by a majority, call on your MEPs to vote against the Lunacek report.
Also, join and spread the Facebook page No to Lunacek. No to Inequality.