Parliament urges Commission & Member States to guarantee freedom of movement LGBTQ families

Yesterday, the European Parliament adopted a non-binding resolution on protection and non-discrimination with regard to minorities in the EU Member States. The resolution contains strong wording on the free movement of LGBTQ families.

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In the resolution, the European Parliament urges the European Commission and Member States to correctly implement the Free Movement Directive, “consistently respecting, inter alia, the provisions related to family members and prohibiting discrimination on any grounds.” (par. 20)

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This Directive gives citizens, the right of free movement and residence across the EU. This right extends to their direct family members, including (non-EU) spouse, and their children.

However, in practice, same-sex spouses are often denied these rights. Also transgender persons’ marriage certificates or ID documents are not necessarily recognised by other Member States, despite their validity and legality.

That’s why the European Parliament calls on the Commission “to take action to ensure that LGBTQ individuals and their families can exercise their right to free movement.” (par. 21) and to provide “clear and accessible information on the recognition of cross-border rights for LGBTI persons and their families in the EU.” (par. 19)

Daniele Viotti MEP, Co-President of the LGBTI Intergroup, commented: “It isn’t freedom of movement if your civil status literally evaporates at the border of one Member State. Whenever a civil status is already legal in one Member States, others must recognise this.”

“This won’t introduce same-sex unions into countries that don’t want it at the moment—the EU cannot do this. This is respecting the sovereignty of Member States where these unions exist as well as respecting the lives of the people who are part of these unions.”

Cecilia Wikström MEP, Chair of the Petitions Committee and Member of the LGBTI Intergroup, commented: “In the last years the European Parliament has repeatedly called for true equality in freedom of movement for citizens and their families.”

“It’s time for Member States to finally start respecting the laws that they have voted and implement freedom of movement for everyone.”

Photo By Kurt Löwenstein Educational Center International Team from Germany (ws’08 (5)) [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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