16 years ago, the European Union ensured that EU citizens and their family members have the right to move and live freely. But LGBTQ+ people often face difficulties because Member States don’t recognise rainbow families established in another EU country. That’s why All Out has created a petition demanding change and allowing free movement of rainbow families in the EU.
Let’s start with the basics, what does free movement mean? According to the second policy chapter of the acquis communautaire of the European Union, the free movement of workers means that nationals of any member state of the European Union can take up an employment in another member state on the same conditions as the nationals of that particular member state. In particular, no discrimination based on nationality is allowed.
Key phrase: ‘no discrimination based on nationality is allowed’. Laws still vary from country to country regarding the rights of the LGBTQ+ community. While Ireland has marriage equality, Poland does not. France has laws against hate speech, while Italy is still fighting for a law that would protect victims of hate crimes.
These laws reflect individuals and same-sex couples, but what if a couple had a child or children? Children of same-sex parents fall victim to those legal gaps and are deprived of benefits and protections. Sometimes, they can’t get citizenship, they lose legal parents or even remain stateless.
On May 14, 2020, the European region of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA Europe) published its 12th Rainbow Europe package. This is an annual benchmarking tool, which ranks 49 countries in Europe on their LGBTQ+ equality laws and policies.
One category is “family” with 11 criteria, ranging from marriage equality to trans parenthood. Belgium and Malta achieved 100%. However there are seven countries with 0%: Slovakia, Romania, Lithuania, Poland, Azerbaijan, Turkey, and Serbia. Ireland scored 76%, ranking 14th out of 49.
LGBTQ+ people often face difficulties because Member States don’t recognise rainbow families established in another EU country.
It’s now on the EU institutions to call on the Members States to respect human rights conventions, settled case law, and to ensure LGBT+ families are respected and treated equally under the principle of freedom of movement across the EU.
Sign the petition organise by NELFA (Network of European LGBTIQ* Families Associations) here, to propose a new Regulation to the European Union Parliament requiring recognition of civil status documents, issued in any Member State, as valid for all purposes of national law.
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