European Parliament urges Lithuania to recognize same-sex unions

On the 8th of September, 2015 the European Parliament voted in support of a report on the situation of fundamental rights in the EU (2013-2014) [Ferrara report].

The report contains a number of LGBTI specific recommendations:

  • Calls on the European Commission to put forward an action plan or strategy at EU level for equality on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity, as repeatedly called for by Parliament and as promised by Commissioner Jourová in the process of the Commission hearings;
  • Calls for the Anti-Discrimination Directive which seeks to implement the principle of equal treatment between persons irrespective of religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation, to be unblocked in the Council;
  • Calls for a review of the framework decision in order for it to fully cover all forms of hate crime and crimes committed with a bias or discriminatory motive, and to clearly define consistent investigation and prosecution standards;
  • Calls on EU member states to facilitate legal gender recognition procedures which do not require sterilisation;
  • Deplores the fact that transgender people are still considered mentally ill in the majority of Member States and calls on them to review national mental health catalogues, while ensuring that medically necessary treatment remains available for all trans people;
  • Strongly regrets that genital “normalisation” surgery of intersex infants is widespread, despite not being medically necessary.
  • Calls nine EU member states, including Lithuania and Latvia, to ‘consider the possibility of offering’ same-sex couples ‘cohabitation, registered de facto unions and marriage.’

The national LGBT* rights organization LGL welcomes the clear statement by the European Parliament and especially the personal addressing of the Lithuanian government to offer same-sex unions, and is looking forward to the upcoming actions which are likely to have a positive impact on Lithuania’s human rights policy towards LGBTI people.