- (Photo:Reuters/Vincent Kessler/File)
Humanitarian groups and bloggers are speaking out against the controversial "Lunacek Report," which was approved by the European Parliament on Tuesday. While supporters say the report creates a "roadmap" for eliminating homophobia and discrimination against LGBT people in Europe, opponents argue that it creates "special rights and privileges" for some rather than equality for all.
"By adopting this report, which advocates legal privileges for homosexuals, and at the same time rejecting an alternative motion that called on the EU and its Member States to ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights by all citizens, the Parliament has put a thick question mark behind its claim to be an institution that protects human rights," wrote J.C. von Krempach for Turtle Bay and Beyond, a blog focused on international law, policy and institutions.
"In other words, the European Parliament has with today's vote rejected the principle of universality of human rights. This is a day of shame."
The report was adopted in a 394 to 176 vote, with 72 abstentions.
Humanitarian groups had spoken out against the report, put forward by Austrian Green politician Ulrike Lunacek, arguing that it designates LGBT rights as special and different from basic human rights and thus endangers the fairness of the justice system.
"By seeking to codify certain rights, with special privileges and exemptions over and above our current definition of human rights, and apply them only to one group of persons while at the same time denying those same rights to others, Ms. Lunacek is destroying the fundamental equality of our justice system," argued Luca Volontè, chairman of the Dignitatis Humanae Institute, in a statement Monday.
"If we begin to tailor our legal understanding with laws that are not universal in their nature – that only afford rights to politically favored groups of people – we will be responsible for creating a two-tiered system. Such irresponsible manipulation will fatally undermine the most important foundation of the concept of human rights: the universality of their applicability."
The institute, which says that its goal is to "protect and promote human dignity based on the anthropological truth that man is born in the image and likeness of God," warned that the report seeks to bolster LGBT rights by including measures that will allow LGBT lobby groups to veto any legislation that goes against its interests.
Furthermore, LGBT groups could be given immunity from limits to freedom of speech that are otherwise applied to other areas of EU law, while homophobic hate crimes would be classified as an entirely separate category.
"Ms. Lunacek's report is the latest example of overzealous europhiles seeking to impose their personal social doctrine upon all member-states; irrespective of national parliaments and irrespective of national cultures," said Nirj Deva MEP, president of the International Committee on Human Dignity.
"The rights of British people, whether they are gay, straight or otherwise are sufficiently safeguarded by British law; we have neither need nor desire for the EU to divide our society and people into separate tiers of rights and privileges."
While the report presents itself as a "roadmap against homophobia and discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity," and seeks to combat homophobia and discrimination, bloggers such as Turtle Bay and Beyond have criticized it for espousing voices inside the European Parliament which have a "deeply entrenched aversion" of natural families.
Turtle Bay and Beyond proposed that ultimately the pro-family movement will be the true winner of the debate.
"The Lunacek-Report, if it gets adopted, will not be legally binding anyway. But the huge mobilization against it evidences that the real concern of people is not about so-called 'homophobia,' but about the surreptitious falsification and manipulation of human rights," it contended.
"The public has now awakened, and it will become increasingly difficult for politicians to ignore this."