Friday, 16 May 2014

UKIP And Tory MEPs Named And Shamed Over LGBT Voting Record

New research released today on the eve of International day against homophobia (17 May) reveals that UKIP and Conservative MEPs are amongst those with the worst records on LGBT rights in the European Parliament.

The research by the European Parliament's Intergroup on LGBT Rights shows that:
  • UKIP voted against EU-wide recognition of same-sex marriages, while the Conservatives abstained.
  • UKIP failed to condemn homophobic legislation in Russia.
  • UKIP and the Conservative MEPs did not support the call by MEPs for the protection of freedom of expression for LGBT people in Lithuania.
  • The introduction of an EU LGBT Roadmap to tackle discrimination was not supported by UKIP and Tory MEPs.
Whereas Liberal Democrat MEPs supported LGBT rights in each of these votes, only 33% of the Conservatives' ECR group and 13% of MEPs from UKIP's EDF group supported these measures to promote equality.

Liberal Democrat MEP and European justice and home affairs spokeswoman Sarah Ludford commented:

"This exposes Nigel Farage's fraudulent claim to be standing up for British values."

"UKIP MEPs have consistently failed to support persecuted LGBT people abroad in countries such as Russia, undermining Britain's image as a compassionate and tolerant country."

"The UK has the best record in Europe for gay rights, partly thanks to introduction of same-sex marriage by the LibDems in government. But with half of LGBT people in Europe subject to discrimination, we need to work with other countries to defend equality, diversity and respect regardless of a person's gender or sexuality."