Violence against lesbian women highlighted by Sinn Féin MEP
Sinn Féin MEP, Martina Anderson who was a panel member at the recent Pride Talks Back event in Belfast has welcomed the adoption by the European Parliament of a resolution on violence against lesbian women and LGBT rights in Africa.
Ms. Anderson who will be taking up a place on the European Parliament's Intergroup on LGBT Rights after the summer recess said:
"This recently adopted resolution expresses its acute concern over the arrests, violence, rape and murder of lesbian women in African countries.
"The Parliament noted the situation worsening in many African countries with lesbian women being regularly arrested and being the victims of 'corrective rape' and murders . It was also reported that in other African countries that legal and social conditions are worsening and mention was made of a potentially improving situation in Malawi, where newly appointed president, Joyce Banda aims to decriminalise homosexuality, and in Swaziland where HIV/AIDS prevention efforts are ongoing despite legal threats.
The Sinn Féin MEP continued:
"While the debate in the European Parliament was overwhelmingly supportive of the rights of LGBT people, and especially lesbian women with very strong speeches by MEPs and European Commissioner, Connie Hedegaard it was most disappinting to see the ugly opposition of right wing MEPS to this resolution.
"But despite such opposition based on the spurious argument of not being able to mix criticism of violence against LGBT people with arguments for non-discrimination, I am glad that the European Parliament has adopted this resolution expressing acute concern. While progressive MEPs must keep pushing for equality in Europe, we must also stand in solidarity with oppressed minorities facing grave danger around the world.
"I am most pleased to be joining the European Parliament's Intergroup on LGBT Rights - a group whose members take a positive stance on LGBT equality issues when they draft reports and amendments, when they vote in the European Parliament, or when they deal with constituency affairs."