Discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation is prohibited by Article 13 of the EC Treaty and the EU's Charter of Fundamental Rights. However, the current social situation for LGBT persons in the European Union remains difficult.
According to the evidence provided in this FRA report, LGBT persons experience discrimination, bullying and harassment throughout the EU. This often takes the form of demeaning statements, name calling and insults or the use of abusive language, but also verbal and physical attacks, including even deadly assaults.
The report also examines the areas of healthcare and religion, where reactions to LGBT persons vary considerably. It shows that homophobia is prevalent in sport and that LGBT persons face particular difficulties in the process of seeking asylum. Discrimination against transgender persons was also reported in all areas investigated for this report.
The report outlines a number of good practices being implemented within the EU Member States and notes that although LGBT persons lack media visibility throughout the EU, there is evidence that things are slowly changing. FRA welcomes this process and stresses that a broad range of measures should be implemented by Member States to tackle discrimination in this field.
Erratum: In the first edition reference to Mr. Justus Eisfeld was inadvertently omitted. An updated version is available below for download.
In June 2007 the European Parliament asked the EU Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) to develop a comparative report on homophobia and sexual orientation discrimination in the EU Member States to assist the European Parliament's LIBE committee in its deliberations concerning the need for a Directive covering all grounds of discrimination. In response, the FRA launched this project composed of two parts. The first part, published in June 2008, contains a comparative legal analysis of the situation in the EU Member States. The current publication represents the second part of the project and is a comparative social analysis, based on data available throughout the EU.