1031st meeting – 2 July 2008

Appendix 5
(Item 4.3b)

Message from the Committee of Ministers to steering committees and other committees involved in intergovernmental co-operation at the Council of Europe on equal rights and dignity of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons

(Adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 2 July 2008
at the 1031st meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies)

The Committee of Ministers recalls that it is strongly attached to the principle of equal rights and dignity of all human beings, including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons.1 The Council of Europe’s message of tolerance and non-discrimination applies to all European societies, and discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity is not compatible with this message.

It notes that instances of discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity as well as homophobia and intolerance towards transgender persons are regrettably still widespread in Europe.

Therefore, it invites all steering committees and other committees involved in intergovernmental co-operation at the Council of Europe to give, within their respective terms of reference, due attention in their current and future activities to the need for member states to avoid and remedy any discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity and to make proposals for specific intergovernmental and other activities designed to strengthen, in law and in practice, the equal rights and dignity of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons and to combat discriminatory attitudes against them in society.

Note 1 See replies adopted by the Committee of Ministers regarding the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) persons: reply to Written Question No. 524 by Mrs Acketoft: “Ban on a Chişinau demonstration by homosexuals” (adopted on 7 November 2007 at the 1010th meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies), reply to Recommendation 211 (2007) of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe on “Freedom of assembly and expression for lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender persons” (adopted on 16 January 2008 at the 1015th meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies), reply to Written Question No. 527 by Mr Huss: “Ban on a Moscow demonstration by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons in 2007” (adopted on 6 February 2008 at the 1017th meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies), reply to Written Question No. 540 by Mr Huss: “Denial of freedom of assembly and expression to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons in Lithuania” (adopted on 2 April 2008 at the 1023rd meeting of the Ministers' Deputies), and reply to Written Question No. 539 by Mr Hancock: “Laws discriminating against gay men in Gibraltar” (adopted on 23 April 2008 at the 1024th meeting of the Ministers' Deputies).


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