The EU and LGBT rights

What has the EU ever done for us?

Next month, voters will be going to the polls to vote in a ‘once in a lifetime’ referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU.

Now the EU isn’t perfect, far from, but as a gay man, I will be running to the polling station to vote ‘Remain’ on the morning of June 23rd. Here’s why:

1) Thanks to the EU, I am not discriminated against in work with regards to my sexuality: The EU forced all of its member states back in 2000 to implement anti-discrimination legislation in employment. This included discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

2) The EU is proposing an extension in anti-discrimation legislation: Discrimination in the areas of social protection, social advantages, education and access to supply of goods could be outlawed by the European Parliament. This legislation is currently making its way through the EU.

3) Protection for Transexual people: All EU laws relating to discrimination on the basis of sex has been amended to include those who have undergone gender reassignment. This means that trans people are also protected in the work place and beyond.

4) Want to move abroad with your partner? The EU requires all member states to recognise same-sex partnerships regardless of the law on the ground in the interest of free-movement.

5) There’s so much more we can do in the EU: With legislation currently making its way through the EU parliament protecting LGBT people in social protection and in schools, we need to be a part of an organisation that can deliver. Not only are we reaping the benefits of these laws, but we are helping others in countries who don’t have the same rights as we do.. Yet!

Yes the EU has its faults, but sometimes people forget what we actually gain from being a member of it. Don’t let the way in which you vote on June 23rd be defined by single issues pushed by right-wing fodder. We all know the EU needs reform, and that’s something we can push for as a member state.

Let our country work together with others to build a free, more equal Europe.

Vote ‘Remain’ on June 23rd

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