LGBT issues included in EU accession reports

by Rex Wockner

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

LGBT issues figure prominently in the European Commission's Nov. 9 progress reports on the hoped-for addition to the European Union of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Iceland, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey.

The report on Croatia notes that LGBT people face threats and attacks that are inadequately investigated by the authorities. Macedonia's report points out that the nation's laws do not provide adequate nondiscrimination protections.

Turkey violates the human rights of, in particular, transgender people, its report said. Albania and Montenegro ban anti-gay discrimination but need to do more to prevent actual discriminatory incidents, their reports said.

"We welcome the way in which the human rights of LGBT people are raised in this year's progress reports and encourage the commission to continue asserting the principles of nondiscrimination and equality in accession negotiations with the countries," said Lilit Poghosyan, senior programs and policy officer for ILGA-Europe, the European Region of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association.

It is a requirement of EU membership that a nation have legal protections against anti-gay discrimination.

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