Strasbourg, October 20 (TASR-correspondent) – The European Parliament (EP) on Thursday called on the Slovak Government to make “meaningful progress in the protection of LGBTIQ+ people” against hate crimes.
In reaction to a recent case in Bratislava in which a far-right radicalised gunman murdered two young men, Matus Horvath and Juraj Vankulic, in front of a gay bar on Zamocka Street, the EP adopted a resolution, calling on the Government to take up a strong public stance against violations of the human rights of these people.
In the resolution, adopted by 447 votes against 78 and 45 abstentions, MEPs condemn hate and violence against “persons based on their gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression and sex characteristics in both Slovakia and the EU”.
The resolution describes the attack as “a cowardly act of terror” against the LGBTIQ+ community and states that it was motivated by far-right ideology.
At the same time, the EP expressed its “grave concern over the frequent use of offensive, aggressive and homophobic language towards the LGBTIQ+ community in Slovakia, including by former and current members of the government”. MEPs also called for “any form of cooperation with far-right extremist forces” to be rejected.
Referring to similar hate crimes in Bulgaria, Croatia and Lithuania, MEPs voiced their deep concern over “the impunity with which anti-LGBTIQ+ groups, in particular far-right extremist groups, operate in some member states” and strongly condemned EU governments that rely on “support by far-right and other LGBTIQ+-phobic political parties to access and maintain themselves in power”.
MEPs worry that the younger generations “feel less and less concerned about the history of fascism”, including hate and “discrimination against LGBTIQ+ people, ethnic minorities and the Jewish population”. For this reason, they stress the need for school curricula to include the topic of various ideologies and their consequences.
According to the resolution, member states should make sure that hate crimes against LGBTIQ+ people are investigated and prosecuted, including those committed online.
In addition, the EU should launch campaigns against anti-LGBTIQ+ narratives and fund programmes supporting grassroots organisations and citizens’ initiatives to help develop the population’s ability to resist right-wing extremism. MEPs also urged the Council of the EU to extend the list of EU crimes to include speech and hate crimes, asking Hungary and Poland to stop blocking the adoption of this decision.