Since 2010, when both the Parliamentary Assembly and the Committee of Ministers adopted far-reaching texts on how to tackle discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity, important positive developments have occurred in some Council of Europe member States, including the introduction of specific legislative measures, action plans and strategies.
Despite this progress, however, prejudice against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons (LGBTs) is widespread in society. Discrimination against LGBTs remains a serious problem, as indicated by repeated infringements of the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, and the authorities’ failure to provide protection against homophobic and transphobic violence. The introduction of legislation or draft legislation on the prohibition of so-called homosexual propaganda in countries such as Lithuania, the Republic of Moldova, the Russian Federation and Ukraine is at variance with these countries’ legal obligations. It would also legitimise the prejudice against LGBTs which all too often is fuelled by inconsiderate discourse by politicians and other authoritative figures.
Council of Europe member States should take measures to prevent discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity, promote equality and tackle homophobia and transphobia. The Republic of Moldova, Poland and the Russian Federation should give full execution to the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights.
The Committee of Ministers should continue to strengthen its activities in this area with a view to ensuring the full implementation of its Recommendation CM/Rec(2010)5.