European Queers Harassed In the Office, School & Hospital

A SHOCKING NEW STUDY says queers are facing “widespread harassment, bullying and discrimination” across Europe. That the European Union poured money into studying the targeting of GLBTs is a worthwhile cause; its results, however, are anything but surprising.

That discrimination occurs “in all areas of social life”, from schools to the workplace to health care centres, the report by the EU’s Fundamental Rights Agency said.

Agency Director Morten Kjaerum said it found gays and lesbians continue to face assault despite EU rules meant to guarantee equality.

“These are alarming signals in an EU that prides itself on its principles of equal treatment and non-discrimination,” he said at the European Parliament.

The report said gay pride events were being obstructed in Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Poland and Romania. Meanwhile, politicians and religious leaders in Italy, Hungary, Malta, Bulgaria and the Czech Republic have also rejected calls to improve the rights of gays and lesbians.

Kjaerum said, “very few incidents” of assault, hate speech by public figures or verbal attacks are reported to police.

The report said homophobic abuse is usually carried out by young men in groups, but is also persistent at work, in school or when trying to get medical care. [Cape Times]