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[personal profile] joan_psmith
First published at eurOut.

While the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe is stepping up and is showing its support for LGBT people, Germany is doing quite the opposite.

The Assembly is adopting a Resolution on Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Meanwhile, Germany continues to block the European Commission's new Anti-Discrimination Directive.

This directive aims at establishing a uniform minimum level of protection against discrimination for everyone within the EU beyond the labour market, irrespective of religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation.

Why Germany is blocking this I cannot imagine. Germany itself has its so called "Allgemeines Gleichbehandlungsgesetz" (General Equal Treatment Act), which is in effect since August 2006. Among other things it covers discrimination because of sexual identity, which includes sexual orientation.

Norbert Geis (CSU) tries to explain that the new directive isn't needed since many member states already have even stricter anti-discrimination laws than the directive itself is proposing and that the EU should rather concentrate on consolidating the achieved status ( This is clearly one of the lamest excuses I've ever heard, because that is exactly what the directive would be doing; by raising the level of protection it would back countries with strict anti-discrimination laws and urge the others to keep up.

The adoption of this directive requires the agreement of all 27 EU member states. Should it fail just because of Germany it really would be a shame, to put it mildly. It would mean a great throwback, not only for lgbt people.

The German opposition parties (SPD and Greens) have already appealed to the Government to stop blocking this directive. If you want to do your part you can sign the petition Amnesty International has composed.

Further reading:
- The official 'Proposal for a Council Directive on implementing the principle of equal treatment between persons irrespective of religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation': (various languages)
- List of EU anti-discrimination measures already in effect: wikipedia


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Joan Y. Psmith
"Because we're grown-ups now, and it's our turn to decide what that means."
~ xkcd

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