ILGA Europe

03/06/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 03/06/2024 05:42

EU candidates called to protect democracy and LGBTI human rights amid political hostility

Amidst a climate where political forces across Europe are attacking the rights of LGBTI people, candidates in the forthcoming European elections are being called upon to pledge to protect and advance the human rights of LGBTI people.

Today, March 6, Europe's leading LGBTI organisation, ILGA-Europe, have launched the 'Come out 4 Europe' pledge, giving candidates in the lead-up to the EU elections the opportunity to show how they will support and protect the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex (LGBTI) people as elected members of the European Parliament.

The 'Come Out 4 Europe' campaign arrives in the light of a new report from ILGA-Europe, charting a stark rise in anti-LGBTI speech across the EU member states, which has led to an escalation in violent protests outside schools and libraries, the targeting of Pride marches, and a further rise in attacks against LGBTI people.

ILGA-Europe are asking candidates to stand strong amidst growing attacks on LGBTI rights, and work with LGBTI organisations and activists to counter polarisation and the scapegoating of LGBTI people in political divides.

According to ILGA-Europe's Advocacy Director, Katrin Hugendubel: "The public discourse is becoming more polarised and violent, and as a result the LGBTI community has experienced the highest and most severe violence across Europe in decades. 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, and in particular the human rights of LGBTI people, are facing a strong challenge from far-right forces.

"In the last five years, we have seen political determination to advance the fundamental rights of LGBTI rights paying off across the EU, with the moves by certain member states to limit the rights of LGBTI people finally being addressed by all EU institutions, including supportive member states.

"But at the same time, LGBTI people's rights and humanity are increasingly being exploited to polarise society, undermine democracy, the rule of law and human rights."

The Come Out 4 Europe pledge, which can be signed at a dedicated website,, will give candidates the opportunity to show how they will work to protect and advance LGBTI human rights in the coming term.

Says ILGA-Europe's Executive Director, Chaber, "The protection of the human rights of LGBTI people is deeply interconnected with democracy and the protection of human rights in our societies in general. That's why it is of grave importance that in the next European Parliament 2024-2029, we have a strong mandate for the Parliament and the Commission to protect and advance LGBTI equality.

"As we witness the rise of political forces that question basic fundamental rights and freedoms, it is a crucial time for the EU to hold fast to the core values upon which it was founded."