The Council of Europe has approved a report by the Parliamentary Assembly which condemns “extensive and often virulent attacks on the rights of LGBTI people” in a number of European countries. The report, published on Tuesday, singles out Hungary, Poland, Russia, Turkey and the United Kingdom for threatening LGBT rights.
The report criticises the spread of “highly prejudicial anti-gender, gender-critical and anti-trans narratives” which hinder the pursuit of equal rights for LGBTI people.
“Such narratives deny the very existence of LGBTI people, dehumanise them, and often falsely portray their rights as being in conflict with women’s and children’s rights, or societal and family values in general,” the report reads. “All of these are deeply damaging to LGBTI people, while also harming women’s and children’s rights and social cohesion.”
It may seem shocking to see the UK listed alongside countries like Russia – where 18% of the population believes that homosexuals should be “eliminated from society” – but evidence suggests that the UK does foster similarly hostile attitudes towards the LGBT community.
Data obtained by Vice World News in 2021 found that there was a 210 per cent increase in reports of hate crimes based on sexual orientation between 2014-15 and 2020-21. Disturbingly, for reports of transphobic hate crimes across the same period, there was a rise of 332 per cent. In total, 64 per cent of LGBT people in the UK have experienced anti-LGBT violence or abuse.
“The significant advances achieved in recent years are today under threat,” the report continues. “It is crucial to react quickly in order to prevent further backsliding and work actively to promote full respect for the rights of LGBTI people.”
Speaking to Dazed, Sasha Misra, Associate Director of Communications and External Affairs at Stonewall, said: “Today’s resolution from the Council of Europe has exposed the ‘extensive and often virulent’ onslaught on LGBTQ+ civil rights happening across the continent – and sees the UK condemned as a country of concern.”
“It notes that backed by a complicit media and with growing support in UK politics, anti-trans propaganda has been gaining baseless and concerning credibility, at the expense of both trans people’s civil liberties, and women’s and children’s rights. The material outcome is that the UK is now a hostile place for trans people, and the world is noticing.”