The Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights points out
that sexual orientation – be it heterosexuality, bisexuality or
homosexuality – is a profound part of the identity of each one of
us. Under international law nobody should be treated differently
because of their sexual orientation. Yet lesbian, gay, bisexual
and transgender people across Europe still face deep-rooted prejudice
and widespread discrimination. This can range from physical violence
– including, in the worst cases, killings – through to hate crimes,
gags on expression, bans on demonstrations, state intrusion into
private life and unfair treatment at school or in the workplace.
Transgender people are refused gender reassignment treatment
or told they cannot register their new gender, contributing to high
rates of suicide in this group.
These human rights violations must end, as well as incitement
to commit them from public figures, according to the committee.
Meanwhile, Council of Europe member states should ensure legal recognition
of same-sex partnerships, providing notably for ”next of kin” status
and the possibility to jointly parent each others’ children, if
not also the right of each partner to adopt the other partner’s
Dialogue between all bodies, based on mutual respect, is essential
in order to improve mutual understanding, combat attitudes of prejudice
and facilitate public debates and reforms on issues concerning lesbian,
gay, bisexual and transgender people.