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.

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FRA presents results of LGBT survey at European Parliament workshop

The FRA today (26 November) presented the results of its LGBT survey at a European Parliament workshop, which aimed at shedding light on the situation of lesbians in Europe, with a particular emphasis on violence and harassment, and their legal situation.

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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 ...

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Fundamental rights: challenges and achievements in 2012

Annual report
Against a backdrop of rising unemployment and increased deprivation, this FRA Annual report closely examines the situation of those, such as children, who are vulnerable to budget cuts, impacting important fields such as education, healthcare and social services. It looks at the discrimination that Roma continue to face and the mainstreaming of elements of extremist ideology in political and public discourse. It considers the impact the crises have had on the basic principle of the rule of law, as well as stepped up EU Member State efforts to ensure trust in justice systems.