■ Terry Davis, secretary general of
the Council of Europe.
Photo courtesy Council of Europe
AMSTERDAM, May 14, 2007 – The
International Gay and Lesbian Youth Organisation (IGLYO) has welcomed the
article published on Saturday by the weekly New Europe written by
Terry Davis, the secretary general of the Council of Europe.
In the article, Hate, Hypocrites and Human Rights, Mr. Davis lashed
out at the continuing homophobia in some European countries, especially in
the east of the continent.
An IGLYO statement issued last
night welcomed the article and “strongly encourages” the Council of Europe
to continue its important efforts to destroy the existing culture of
homophobia in some of its member States.
“The work of Terry Davis and Thomas
Hammarberg, the commissioner for human rights, are an enormous added value
to LGBT communities and the work of LGBT activists in Europe,” said IGLYO
board member Björn van Roozendaal.
“They unequivocally interpret the
declarations and conventions that Member States signed themselves, but fail
to abide by.”
In his New Europe article,
Terry Davis wrote that the LGBT community in Europe “is one minority which
is left to fend for themselves”.
IGLYO welcomed this recognition,
particularly considering the vulnerable situation experienced by many LGBT
activists when they stand up to defend their rights.
“For many activists, homophobia and
social stigma creates a situation in which they are further excluded and
rejected,” said Bruno Selun, another IGLYO board member.
“Not only do we need to start
implementing these instruments, but the Council of Europe and the European
Union should further protect and support these activists’ battle,” he added.
In his article, Mr. Davis wrote:
“While it is true that, also thanks to the work of the Council of Europe,
sexual orientation will no longer get you jailed, the bigots in several
European countries are free to speak and act on their homophobic beliefs
without any fear of sanction from the authorities.
“Very often the officials
themselves will be the first to voice and promote homophobic ideas. As a
result, homophobia in parts of Europe is on the increase.”
To read the full article,
Hate, Hypocrites and Human Rights, click
Posted: 14 May 2007 at
01:00 (UK time)