Charlemagne-Life Beyond the European Rainbow Curtains | Europe

IReland and Lithuania has a lot in common. Both are small, Catholic, European, enjoying tricky relationships with their larger neighbors and serving potato-rich dishes. As for gay rights, both left late. Homosexuality was decriminalized only in 1993 in both countries. But since then things have diverged. In the space of generations, Ireland has moved from seeing homosexuality as a crime to allowing homosexual marriage and electing a homosexual prime minister with little fuss. The life of gay Lithuanians was not so happy. The law banning homosexual “propaganda” still remains in the book. Civil partnerships are a dream, not to mention same-sex marriage.Living without fear will improve: 84% LGBT Lithuanian people are worried about revealing their identities.

Where the Iron Curtain once divided Europe, the Rainbow Curtain now divides the continent. In Western Europe, gay people enjoy quality of life more than anywhere else on the planet. They are free to marry and adopt their children and are protected from discrimination in all areas. The ones in Eastern Europe are not so good. With seven EU In countries, including Poland, Hungary and Romania, less than half of the population agrees that gay people should have the same rights as heterosexuals.Civil partnership is not offered in 6 EU Countries, all Central and Eastern Europe. Poland is “LGBT-Free Zone “, a legally meaningless gimmick that has the practical effect of declaring an open season to gay people. Meanwhile, Hungary is working on a law banning the adoption of gay couples.For gay people behind the rainbow curtain-it covers about a quarter EUPopulation — Life can be tough.

The division of the west and the east is a scar for the continent, which boasts gay rights. After all, homosexual rights are very important in European life. Denmark was the first country to allow civil partnerships, and the Netherlands first introduced gay marriage in the same year that allowed adoption of gay couples in 2001.In Brussels, gay rights are an area of ​​diversity EU Officials are easy to talk to. Officials flinch when the race is held. EU organ. But there are many gay people in the corridor of power. One of the few transcontinental events, the Eurovision Song Contest is a camp festival. (Not for everyone, but in the year Conchita Wurst, the Austrian drug act, won the event, Poland entered an apparent heteronormativity act featuring a plump woman who seductively stirs butter. .)

Improving the rights of gay people has been the pros and cons of membership. EU Romania, for example, was forced to abolish the law on homosexuality before it was allowed to enter 2007. EU Membership approached the political class and complaints were limited to Romanian Orthodox bishops. (Citation example: “I want to enter Europe, not Sodom and Gomorrah”). But when they entered the club, this leverage disappeared and backsliding began. When Poland’s right-wing Conservative Party, Law and Justice, first came to power in 2005, one of its immediate actions was to abolish the responsible government sector. LGBT policy.Things are so terrible that Poles Robert Beadron MEP And one of the few prominent ones in the country LGBT The numbers say he started learning Swedish in case he had to escape. Just as the Polish and Hungarian governments trampled on judicial independence and free media, they also cracked down on homosexual rights. Generally gay people EUIn the first place, we cannot guarantee that the country will maintain the standard for joining a club.

Because family law depends primarily on the member states EU This can be done if a member country wants to stop a lesbian marriage or adoption of a gay couple. Brussels can be effective when the right to free movement conflicts with national law. What if a gay couple and their child move to a country where such a relationship is not allowed? The European Commission wants to smooth out these uplifts so that if you move to a country where gay adoption is prohibited, your child will not be disconnected from his homosexual parents. .. Few are directly affected, but such movements have a powerful symbolic power. The definition of online hate speech has been extended to include homophobic abuse.Introduced town LGBT-In the Polish free zone EU Funds have been reduced.But the main thing is EU What we can offer is the pulpit, which beats leaders who refuse to treat citizens equally.

Look behind the curtain

Such a bang on drums for gay rights by Brussels carries risks. It’s a battle that both sides want. Populists usually rely on caricatures when aiming for Brussels. In this case, the need is reduced. Populist politicians EU We are doing everything we can to force the country to treat gay people better. EU Authorities are willing to plead guilty. A common complaint is that Eastern Europe is expected to undergo decades of social change over the next few years. (Denmark legalized gay sex in 1933, but it took nearly 80 years for gay people to get married.) But changes can happen soon. Ireland enjoyed a social revolution in less than a generation, and Malta passed many laws that helped Ireland become the most gay-friendly country. EU In just a few years. When it comes to living standards, there are few complaints about the pace of change in Central and Eastern Europe.

With EU Under the second wave of the covid-19 case, in the midst of an unprecedented recession, the dispute over gay rights can easily break the ranks. Should not be.The· EU We have emphasized the promotion of “European values”. Usually these tend to mean respect for the rule of law, which is essentially rare in Europe. But when it comes to gay rights, Europe was truly a pioneer. European values ​​are not like that until gay people in Vilnius and Budapest have the same rights as gay people in Dublin and Madrid. ■■

This article was published in the printed European section under the heading “Rainbow Curtains”

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Charlemagne-Life Beyond the European Rainbow Curtains | Europe

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