LGBT

In many EU Member States, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people face discrimination and harassment on a daily basis. Prejudices and misconceptions about homosexuality and transgender persons further fuel intolerant attitudes and behaviour towards this community.

FRA research over the last five years has found that LGBT persons face discrimination across all areas of social and economic life, are vulnerable to verbal and physical attacks and remain largely invisible out of fear of negative consequences. In 2012, some 93,000 LGBT people responded to an EU-wide survey which FRA carried out to discover the everyday issues affecting LGBT people. This survey collected comparable data on LGBT people’s experiences of hate crime and discrimination, as well as their level of awareness about their rights. The final survey results were published in May 2013. The results of the survey will be supplemented by research among public officials and key service providers in the area of education, health and law enforcement, with the aim of identifying barriers to the full implementation of LGBT rights.

Globally, UN treaty bodies have included sexual orientation and gender identity on the open-ended lists of discrimination grounds on the basis of the relevant UN covenants. In the EU, lesbian, bisexual and gay people are currently protected from discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation under EU law in the field of employment only. Transgender persons are protected from discrimination on the ground of sex to the extent that discrimination arises from gender reassignment (the EU directive implementing the principle of equal treatment between men and women in the access to and supply of goods and services).

The EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation. Transgender persons are protected from discrimination on the ground of ‘sex’ in the Charter of Fundamental Rights, in line with the jurisprudence of the Court of Justice.

Latest news View all

12/05/2015

The rights of intersex people are too often overlooked

Often the fundamental rights of intersex people are not respected as they remain largely unrecognised in European societies. The mainstream approach, which recognises people as either male or female, impacts on law and policy, finds the latest research from the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA).

Latest projects View all

Status: 
Findings available

Surveying LGBT people and authorities

This project encompasses two related surveys: A survey on discrimination against and victimisation of LGBT people. This survey aims to generate comparable data about the ...

Latest publications View all

May
2015

The fundamental rights situation of intersex people

Paper
This paper examines the legal situation of intersex people from a fundamental rights perspective. It draws on evidence from the Agency’s updated legal analysis on homophobia, transphobia, and discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity, which now includes a section on intersex issues.
December
2014

Being Trans in the EU - Comparative analysis of the EU LGBT survey data

Report
Trans persons, or those whose gender identity and/or gender expression differs from the sex assigned them at birth, face frequent discrimination, harassment and violence across the European Union (EU) today. This reality triggers fears that persuade many to hide or disguise their true selves. This report examines issues of equal treatment and discrimination on two grounds, namely sexual orientation and gender identity. It analyses data on the experiences of 6,579 trans respondents from the EU Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) survey, the largest body of empirical evidence of its kind to date.