Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Latest resolution against homophobia exceeds the competences of the European Parliament

The resolution against homophobia – or better: the resolution on public control of the individual and collective mind-set of citizens in Europe passed as expected in plenary vote yesterday in Strasbourg.
As EDW reported on Wednesday, the resolution is highly problematic. One point of particular concern is the pressure that this resolution puts on member states to legalize same-sex marriage – an area that is wholly outside of the competences of the EU.The text was voted with the overwhelming majority of 430 for, 105 against and 59 abstentions. Check here how your MEP voted.  The most scandalous part of the resolution is, however, the way it was put on the political agenda of the European Parliament. 

Here is some interesting background information:
The agenda with items to be voted in plenary is discussed on Wednesdays before plenary by the conference of secretary generals. In this meeting last Wednesday, no such thing as a resolution against homophobia was discussed or tabled for the agenda.

The agenda is then submitted on Thursdays to the conference of presidents of the political groups. At this meeting, the president of the EPP group was not present due to an official obligation elsewhere. Nobody was informed that the resolution against homophobia was to be put on the agenda. 

On Monday mornings, plenary adopts, usually a quick and formal vote, since the discussion is supposed to have happened before. Suddenly, the agenda included the resolution (obviously difficult to spot among a multitude of items).

A common resolution - based on a well-prepared text of the LGBT Intergroup at the European Parliament  - is hastily “negotiated” on Tuesday afternoon and tabled just before the deadline at 7pm. The deadline for amendments of the proposal is set only one hour later. The resolution is suddenly being noticed my MEPs on Tuesday evening, after the deadline for amendments. Too late to do anything substantial about it, except asking for nominal votes. Thanks to this, we have the names of who voted in favor, against or abstained. You find the list of names here.

Recommendation of action:

Please write an email to or call your MEP! Check on the list how he or she voted and express either your opposition to such resolutions or your gratitude in case your MEP voted against it. You easily find all contact details of your MEP if you type his name here.

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