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European Parliament Denounces Anti-Gay Nations

International Gay & Lesbian Association-- Europe: "A Big Success"

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By Rex Wockner
International Reports

top928.gif - 14.44 KThe European Parliament passed a resolution September 17 denouncing Austria, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania and Romania for unfair treatment of gays. The vote was 110 to 89 with 6 abstentions.

The move was spurred by Austria, Cyprus and Romania's recent refusals to bring their anti-gay laws into line with European human-rights standards.

The parliament also expressed its refusal to "give its consent to the accession [into the 15-nation European Union] of any country that, through its legislation or policies, violates the human rights of lesbians and gay men."

Specifically, the EP:

  • Called on Austria to repeal Article 209 of the penal code, which sets a higher age of consent for gay sex than straight sex (this is particularly embarrassing since Austria holds the EU presidency for the second half of 1998);

  • Deplored the "insufficient law reform" passed by the Parliament of Cyprus on May 21, which replaced the complete ban on male homosexuality with a series of other discriminatory provisions, including a higher age of consent;

  • Deplored the refusal of the Romanian Chamber of Deputies on June 30 to adopt a government bill that would have repealed all anti-gay legislation included in Article 200 of the penal code.

    "The adoption of this resolution is a big success for the European lesbian and gay movement," said Kurt Krickler, co-chair of ILGA-Europe, a regional body of the International Lesbian and Gay Association.


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