EU polls suggests homophobic abuse still a cause for concern
The European Union’s (EU) Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) have conducted their largest survey throughout Europe’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, seeing 93,000 participants from the 27 member states and Croatia answer over 150 questions about the level of discrimination they have experienced while living in the EU.
Today, in a speech announcing the survey results, FRA Director Morten Kjaerum said that “too great [a] number of LGBT people across Europe are being barred from being themselves. Their ability to enjoy their basic human right of living with dignity, to enjoy life and express themselves freely without discrimination, is being denied”.
The poll also revealed stark differences over the whole of the EU. The survey shows that the most homophobic countries which express or show an aversion towards LGBT persons in public are found towards central-eastern European countries.
However, instances of homophobia through casual jokes in everyday life are widespread in both eastern and western Europe.
The FRA itself is focusing on the fact that it found that LGBT persons start facing difficulties early at school, where they regularly experience bullying and harassment. As a result, they are recommending anti-bullying policies and teacher training about how to better tackle bullying against LGBT students.
As well as this, the poll observes that over 25% of respondents said that they had been attacked or threatened with violence in the past five years, while 20% of responds said that they have suffered discrimination at work.
Participants who answered from the UK stated that 32% thought there was a “fairly widespread” expression or aversion towards LGBT in public, while 49% thought it was “fairly rare”.