ILGA-Europe Come Out pledge 2019 Introduction

The 2019 European Parliament elections come in an increasingly polarised social and political climate. The very core values and standards upon which the EU was founded - respect for human dignity and human rights, freedom, democracy, equality and the rule of law - are being called into question and human rights, in particular, the human rights of LGBTI people, are facing a forceful challenge.

ILGA-Europe’s Rainbow Europe Map has shown much progress in the legal and policy situation for LGBTI people across Europe in recent decades. However, increasingly, progress in some places has been accompanied by regression in others, and the strongest trend has been that of stagnation, providing fertile ground for backlash and backsliding. The current context makes it ever more important to openly “Come Out” in support of the human rights of LGBTI people, and proactively seek opportunities to ensure their protection.

ILGA-Europe Come Out pledge 2019

I, as a candidate for the European Parliament, pledge to stand up for the human rights and equality for all lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex (LGBTI) people in the European Union and beyond, and will do so by working to:

Strengthen protection in EU law and policy

I commit to be a vocal supporter of specific measures that will ensure the highest possible level of legal protection of the human rights of LGBTI people. I will actively work with others to find strategies to close gaps in legal protection on grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity and sex characteristics in the areas of anti-discrimination, hate crime and hate speech. I will work in support of measures which raise protection and support for LGBTI asylum seekers (including the adoption of the reformed Common European Asylum System), and ensure that freedom of movement is equally available to same-sex couples and their families, as confirmed by the Coman judgment. I will also actively contribute to effective implementation of policies both at an EU and national level, as a necessary step to make a real change in the lives of LGBTI people.

Ensure an enabling environment for LGBTI human rights defenders

I commit to act as a strong and vocal defender of the important work of LGBTI organisations and human rights defenders across Europe and beyond. I will do so by actively challenging any restrictions to the space for civil society and to the rule of law and by holding EU member states accountable to their commitments. I will also work to ensure continued and accessible EU funding for civil society, including LGBTI organisations, both within and beyond the EU. I will defend the human rights of LGBTI people against all forces which seek to erode the very values and standards upon which the EU was founded.

Be an ally to under-represented voices

I commit to use my position to amplify the voices of LGBTI people who are underrepresented and to proactively contribute to making EU policy-making more inclusive of LGBTI people who are not only excluded because of their sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or sex characteristics, but also their faith, colour, disability, socioeconomic status, and other grounds. I will do so by bringing underrepresented voices of the LGBTI community to the table, actively reaching out to hear their concerns, and putting their issues on the agenda of the EU institutions. I will also ensure that LGBTI voices are included in moving toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals to ensure no one is left behind.

Ensure EU leadership on LGBTI rights

I commit to ensure that the EU is a visible champion of the human rights of LGBTI people both within and outside its borders, as well as a strong ally to LGBTI activists in Europe and beyond. I will ensure that EU institutions continue to take leadership in defending the human rights of LGBTI people by adopting an EU LGBTI Strategy, and by fully taking into account LGBTI rights throughout EU policy-making. I also commit to strengthening internal and external coherence in the EU’s commitment to the human rights of LGBTI people.

Harness the Power of my Position

I pledge to use the influence of my position to advance the human rights of LGBTI people, and work towards equality and inclusion both within and beyond the EU, wherever I can. I will be open to engaging in active dialogue with LGBTI activists and organisations, who are the primary experts on their own experiences and needs. I will be a strong ally to the LGBTI community and be responsive to calls to action from LGBTI organisations across all levels.

Candidates: Sign the pledge!

Disclaimer: Please note that all signatures are reviewed by ILGA-Europe on submission. ILGA-Europe reserves the right to reject signatures from candidates who do not in practice or value stand up for the human rights and equality for all LGBTI people, or who engage in hate speech of any kind as outlined in our No Hate Appeal.