Volt stands against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia

On International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia, Volt reiterates its condemnation of anti-LGBTQIA+ rhetoric, policy and legislation.

May 17, 2023

Europe is making steady progress towards guaranteeing LGBTQIA+ rights. Recent positive legislative action in, among others, France, Greece, Slovakia and Lithuania is welcome. However, it is evident that the fight to rid both the continent and the world of discrimination and hatred is ongoing.

Reports suggest that hate crimes against LGBTQIA+ Europeans are at the highest rate for a decade, with some countries witnessing unprecedented levels of violence. Shootings at LGBTQIA+ venues in Oslo and Bratislava last year resulted in the deaths of four people with many more injured. These shocking murders made headlines, however violent attacks against queer people are a regular occurrence and many go unreported to police.

Hate speech also remains common, both in general society and in Europe’s legislative chambers, fanned by homophobic and transphobic media messaging.

Furthermore, despite legal protections, LGBTQIA+ people are still frequently discriminated against at work, when accessing healthcare and social services, and in education. This often leads to mental health problems, higher rates of suicide and internalised homophobia. 

Volt believes that discriminatory practices, violence and harassment against LGBTQIA+ people are abhorrent and must be eliminated.

We demand adequate deterrents against hate crimes perpetrated against LGBTQIA+ citizens, including financial and criminal penalties. We call for mandatory training on hate crimes for those working in law enforcement and on biases for those in the judicial system.

Furthermore, Volt supports legislation to ensure that private enterprises are penalised if they discriminate against LGBTQIA+ people at any point during the employment process.

We advocate for the legalisation of marriage for all and legal adoption for same-sex couples (including provisions to ensure legal parenthood). And we aim to establish a standardised, EU-wide curriculum of sexuality education that covers not only reproductive health, but sexual orientation, gender identity and respect for plurality.

With regard to transgender rights, Volt seeks to guarantee that gender-affirming procedures, such as hormone treatment, surgery, and psychological support are made accessible for all transgender people. In addition, we aim to challenge existing legislation that requires transgender individuals to undergo medical procedures or be diagnosed as mentally ill to change their gender legally. Such requirements remain in place in 20 EU Member States (two states offer no legal recognition).

We also seek the prohibition of medically unnecessary ‘sex-normalising’ surgery, sterilisation and other treatments performed on intersex babies and children before they are able to participate in the decision.

Ultimately, Volt advocates for a world in which all people can live as their true selves without the threat of discrimination, violence and stigmatisation.

For more information about Volt’s policies relating to LGBTQIA+ rights, check out our policy portfolio.

Article by Kate Fistric.