MEP pushes for anti-gay discrimination laws

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

Dutch Green MEP Kathalijne Buitenweg has presented a proposal this week for a directive on anti-discrimination including sexual orientation and disability to the European Commission.

The proposal is aimed to act as a blueprint for legislation to address unresolved issues concerning the unequal treatment of European citizens.

Commenting on the plan, Ms Buitenweg said: “At present, there is no EU legislation to prevent someone who is gay or disabled from being refused a loan or housing.

“However, this is not the case for discrimination on the basis of the colour of the skin. This is a disturbing anomaly and the EU Commission should come forward with legislation to resolve this without delay.

“European legislation prohibits unequal treatment on the basis of race or ethnic context in a wide range of areas, however there is no such provision for discrimination on grounds of religious conviction, handicap, age, sexual orientation, to name a few. Only in the field of labour and employment is there a comprehensive ban on discrimination. Thus unequal treatment is still possible in a lot of other areas such as social security, health care, education and access to goods and services.”

Commissioner Franco Frattini said earlier this year that he wants to adapt the legislation, but the Commission has not presented a proposal because it would not obtain required the unanimity in the Council of Ministers.

In May, Mr Frattini said gays and lesbians should be allowed to live anywhere in the European Union and have their rights legally protected, even in countries where there are no same sex partner laws

In 2000, Kathalijne Buitenweg was involved in the directive against race discrimination, which was adopted.