Europe day to day
Gender Activists Alarmed: New Report on the "Anti-Gender Mobilizations in Europe" by Left-Wing Think TankJuly 31, 2015
By Gabriele Kuby
The world-wide operating Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) is the intellectual activist centre of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) which presently governs Germany in a coalition with the Christian Democratic Party under Chancellor Angela Merkel. As their publications and conferences reflect, the FES pushes for same-sex marriage, reproductive rights, biotechnology, sexual diversity, gender equality, and sexual education. It also publishes reports with the intention of “naming and shaming” individuals, organizations, parties, and networks which work on behalf of life and the family.
The FES’s latest publication takes an international approach, describing anti-gender activists and actions in France, Germany, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia. Titled Gender as Symbolic Glue: The position and role of conservative and far-right parties in the anti-gender mobilizations in Europe, the report was published by something called the Foundation for European Progressive Studies – “with the financial support of the European Parliament” and the Budapest branch of the FES.
Two undercover videos published by the Center for Medical Progress (July 15 and July 21) recently revealed the shocking news that the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA), part of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), the world´s largest abortion provider, has been illegally selling body parts of aborted babies. Since the European branch of IPPF receives funding from the European Union, there is an urgent need to ask whether the Commission knows about this scandalous revelation, and to investigate if any similar incidents have occurred under the banner of the IPPF European Network.
In fact, it is time to question the continued EU-funding of IPPF. Numerous US senators, for example James Lankford, have already called for an investigation of Planned Parenthood. In Europe, perhaps MEPs should follow the example of MEP Miroslav Mikolásik, who has already sent a written query to the European Commission about the funding of IPPF European Network.
What is the duty and mandate of the First Vice-President of the European Commission? A closer look at the misconduct of an unbalanced “relationship” between Mr. Timmermans and ILGA-Europe.
Recent statements by Frans Timmermans, First Vice-President of the European Commission, in favour of same-sex marriage (SSM) throughout Europe raises questions about his understanding of the duty and mandate of his office. In a keynote speech on the occasion of the Equality Gala organized by the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA), Mr. Timmermans asked people “to unreservedly accept same-sex marriage as other marriages“ in the EU. He further called for “a comprehensive LGBT policy approach” so that the LGBTI community may have “full rights, full respect and full participation” in European society.
One would not expect the second highest official of the European Commission to publicly—and so explicitly—support a controversial lobby group. The nature of his role requires that he stick to his mandate of dispensing his duties impartially—and behaving in a dignified way that respects neutrality regarding contentious topics on which there is no consensus in Europe. Unfortunately, Mr. Timmermans’ behaviour and his open support for SSM across Europe blatantly transgresses this mandate.
Conscientious objection strengthened: Spanish Constitutional Court rules against recommendation of Commission on `morning-after-pill´July 10, 2015
An important ruling regarding the protection of the conscience rights of pharmacists in Spain was issued July 8 by Spain’s Constitutional Court. The decision strengthens the right of pharmacists who refuse to sell the “morning after pill” on the basis of conscientious objection and is in accord with the EU commission´s clarification on Directive 2001/83/EC from March 2015, which reaffirms medical prescriptions. The landmark ruling is bound to encourage the debate in Europe on the easy availability of contraceptives with an abortifacient effect.
On June 30 MEP Marina Albiol Guzmán (GUE/NGL) and Francsico Delgado (President of the Spanish association “laicismo.org”) gave a press conference in the European Parliament in which they presented a “European Charter for Secularism and Freedom of Conscience”. Now they seek to find supporters for an open debate on it within the EP. In its radical vision of secularism, the Charter – which appeals to all “the countries that make up Europe” – endangers a culture of dialogue within society. The paper’s argument attacks the free European societies and reveals a resolute approach against the fundamental pillars of democracies: personal freedom and responsibility, fundamental rights and the family.
Beginning with a claim for a “strict separation between the State and religious or personal beliefs”, the authors of the paper state their absolutist position against a mutual dialogue with religions. In particular they criticise the Lisbon Treaty, which calls European institutions to “respect and not prejudice, in virtue of the internal laws of each member state, the internal relations of these with religions or other philosophical entities and non-confessional groups”.