The Outline of the European Commission’s Pro-LGBT Strategy
On the 12th November 2020, the European Commission (EC) formally unveiled its long-term strategy for LGBT equality in Europe, as initially announced by the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, in September 2020, in her State of the Union Address. According to the official press release from the EC – which can be accessed via the link below, at the end of this article – the Strategy “addresses the inequalities and challenges affecting LGBTIQ people, setting out a number of targeted actions, including legal and funding measures, for the next 5 years.”
Such measures are set to include the extension of the EU’s list of crimes to include so-called hate crimes – a term which itself has already become extremely broad in its definition, to the point where simply questioning someone or something considered a member or ideology of any demographic minority can be classed as a “hate crime”, leading to potential prosecution. Hate speech is also to be considered a punishable hate crime under the new pro-LGBT European Commission Strategy. Such a proposal would likely make it much more difficult for social conservatives across the EU to publicly speak out in defence of traditional social and cultural family values, as the list of words, phrases and terminology considered “offensive hate speech” against the LGBT community grows.
Of even greater concern is the EC Strategy’s commitment to bringing forward legislation on “mutual recognition of parenthood in cross border situations, among others.” This strongly hints at the EU’s desire to see all 27 of its member states adopt laws which legalise policies such as same-sex adoption. Currently, it is still illegal in only 9 out of the 27 EU member states for same-sex couples to adopt children (the countries being Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Slovakia).
Furthermore, the EC Strategy states that it seeks to “ensure that LGBTIQ concerns are well reflected in EU policy-making, so that LGBTIQ people, in all their diversity, are safe and have equal opportunities to prosper and fully participate in society.” This is extremely problematic for a number of reasons, not least that – as many European nations have seen first-hand – a significant majority of the LGBT community across the continent harbour a very strong obsession with spreading LGBT “culture” and ideology across as many aspects and institutions in society as possible, so that their “community” can be exposed and promoted to as wide an audience as possible, regardless of age, gender and background. With this EC Strategy embracing that concept, it is uncertain exactly how far this will allow the more vocal members of the LGBT community to go, regarding its campaign of mass self-promotion and propaganda.
In a statement made in support of the Strategy, Vice-President for Values & Transparency Vera Jourova stated the following:
Everyone should feel free to be who they are – without fear [n]or persecution. This is what Europe is about and this is what we stand for. This first strategy at [the] EU level will reinforce our joint efforts to ensure that everyone is treated equally.
Vice-President for Values & Transparency Vera Jourova
This statement is ironic and rather hypocritical when one takes into consideration how the EU and its associated institutions are more than willing to publicly oppose – and potentially persecute – any people and organisations harbouring beliefs and identities which go against those promoted by the EU. Everybody should indeed feel free to be who they are…as long as they are not social conservatives, nationalists, Eurosceptics, anti-globalists, supportive of the nation-state, etc., according to the general EU narrative.
The EU’s total disregard for other nations’ traditional social and cultural values is made even more evident with the words of Helena Dalli, Commissioner for Equality:
…The strategy calls on those member states that do not have national LGBTIQ equality strategies to adopt one, addressing the specific equality needs of LGBTIQ people within their country.
This call for the adoption of pro-LGBT policies will most likely be ignored and/or outright opposed by the more socially and nationally conservative EU member states, such as Poland and Hungary, who frequently butt heads with Brussels over several ideological differences, alongside LGBT issues.
The Four Pillars of the Pro-LGBT Strategy, 2020 – 2025
Below are a select series of actions – divided into four “pillars” – outlined by the European Commission, intended to form a significant part of its pro-LGBT strategy over the course of the next five years. The details have been taken directly from the official press release of the Strategy via the official website of the European Commission, which can be accessed via a link at the end of this article:
1. FIGHTING DISCRIMINATION
Legal protection against discrimination is key to advancing LGBTIQ equality. The Commission will undertake a stock-taking exercise, in particular in the area of employment. The report on the application of [the] Employment Equality Directive will be published by 2022. Following up to the report, the Commission will put forward any legislation, namely on strengthening the role of equality bodies. The Commission will also put forward a regulatory framework that will specifically address the risk of bias and discrimination inherent in artificial intelligence (AI) systems.
2. ENSURING SAFETY
LGBTIQ people disproportionately suffer from hate crime, hate speech and violence, while the under-reporting of hate crimes remains a serious problem. To harmonise protection against anti-LGBTIQ hate crime and hate speech, the Commission will present an initiative in 2021 to extend the list of “EU crimes” to include hate crime and hate speech, including when targeted at LGBTIQ people. In addition, the Commission will provide funding opportunities for initiatives that aim to combat hate crime, hate speech and violence against LGBTIQ people.
3. PROTECTING RIGHTS OF RAINBOW FAMILIES
Due to differences in national legislations across member states, family ties may not always be recognised when rainbow families cross the EU’s internal borders. The Commission will bring forward a legislative initiative on the mutual recognition of parenthood and explore possible measures to support the mutual recognition of same-gender partnership between member states.
4. LGBTIQ EQUALITY AROUND THE WORLD
In various parts of the world, LGBTIQ people experience serious rights violations and abuses. The Commission will support actions for LGBTIQ equality under the Neighbourhood, Development & International Co-Operation Instrument (NDICI), the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) and the Asylum & Migration Fund.
Tackling the Four Pillars
It is evident from the policy descriptions outlined in the above “four pillars” that the European Union completely lacks understanding when it comes to the reality of trying to implement pro-LGBT policies on such significant institutional levels.
The first “pillar” outlines essentially what most of Western and Northern Europe experiences on a daily basis in the workplace – equality and diversity quotas. It is clear that the European Commission desires to see a significant increase in the number of equality and diversity programmes in the workplace, with emphasis on the LGBT community. What does remain unclear, however, is exactly how the employment of a greater number of members of the LGBT community into the workplace will improve general working life and conditions of said workplace. As always, the same question can be asked about equality and diversity quotas relating to gender and race. The EC Strategy’s reference to tackling perceived “bias and discrimination” allegedly present within AI systems is a curious one, as it implies that computer software and programmes are capable of somehow differentiating between different groups of people based on factors such as sexual orientation, gender, race, etc. If such scenarios are due to specific sets of collective data patterns and/or algorithms present in AI systems, this is an interesting concept that warrants further research, and is likely to be the subject of a separate article on the matter.
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The second “pillar” has already been touched upon in the first section of this article, but another area that warrants concern is the EC’s proposal of increased funding for initiatives created to “combat” so-called hate crimes against the LGBT community. As mentioned prior, in this day and age, exactly what constitutes a hate crime against any minority demographic becomes increasingly unclear with each passing year. Of course, the most obvious crimes that spring to mind are cases of actual verbal abuse and outright violence, but with an increasing number of cases of people being publicly “named and shamed”, and sometimes persecuted if they do not conform to pro-LGBT propaganda and policies, exactly what the public needs to be aware of as cases of genuine hate crimes becomes ever more vague and confusing. Several institutions – especially in education – are already implementing policies that make any and all anti-LGBT sentiments class as punishable “hate crimes”. How soon before simply “misgendering” members of the LGBT community and denying the existence of more than two genders are classed as so-called “hate crimes”?
In March 2019, British journalist Caroline Farrow was reported to the police and investigated for allegedly “misgendering” a mother’s male-to-female transexual son via a Twitter post, whom she adamantly claimed to be her daughter. In the summer of 2019, a 17-year-old student in Scotland, UK was removed from his classroom and reprimanded by his agitated teacher after declaring that there are only two genders. The full video of the latter exchange can be viewed below:
With cases such as these on the rise across Europe, it remains to be seen whether or not the implementation of the European Commission’s pro-LGBT Strategy will lead to even more future incidents relating to so-called “anti-LGBT hate crimes”.
The third “pillar” further displays the EU’s ignorance towards other nations’ traditional social and cultural family values. While we have already touched upon the European Commission’s desire to promote policies supporting same-sex adoption and parenting across the EU, the Strategy also states that the European Commission wishes to advance policies in favour of recognition of same-sex partnerships in member states which otherwise do not recognise same-sex partnerships. Currently, only 6 out of the 27 EU member states do not recognise same-sex partnerships of any kind, civil union or marriage (this does not include unregistered co-habitation). These countries are Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Slovakia. The EU’s increasing levels of interference in national legal and institutional policies towards the LGBT community in countries with traditionally strong anti-LGBT sentiments will likely only lead to further hostility and growing resentment from these respective nations towards the EU and the bloc’s liberal and left-wing leadership.
The fourth “pillar” refers to the European Commission’s vision of looking beyond Europe in its pro-LGBT campaign. As part of this particular section of the Strategy, the EC states firstly that it wishes to work with the Neighbourhood, Development & International Co-Operation Instrument (NDICI). This institution was created primarily in order to transfer funds and other forms of aid towards international development programmes that the EU wishes to engage, in collaboration with non-European nations and organisations. Where exactly the LGBT community fits into this institution in the future is unclear, however, it is likely in relation to the aiding of non-European LGBT rights organisations as part of the aforementioned overseas development programmes. This proposed move by the EC heavily implies that its ambitions to promote pro-LGBT policies and propaganda is not limited to Europe, but rather the continents beyond as well.
The EC’s desire to implement pro-LGBT policies as part of the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) is far clearer in its end goal. The IPA was created in order to provide financial and technical assistance to countries whose governments are currently seeking to join the European Union. Currently, these countries include Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia (Kosovo included in the programme as a separate entity, according to the EU) and Turkey. With the inclusion of pro-LGBT initiatives as part of the IPA, it is clear that the EC seeks to use the IPA as a tool with which to funnel pro-LGBT policies and propaganda into the aforementioned countries. Fortunately, these nations are very strongly against LGBT propaganda and the community in general, so it is highly unlikely that the EC’s Strategy will find much success in this area.
Most bizarrely of all, however, is the EC Strategy’s proposal to promote pro-LGBT policies and propaganda in collaboration with the Asylum, Migration & Integration Fund (AMIF). While it goes without saying that the issues of LGBT rights and migration are completely separate and unrelated matters of discussion, what is even more bizarre is that given that the majority of migrants entering Europe are of an Islamic background – a religion that is fundamentally anti-LGBT – it is completely and utterly absurd that the EC would use AMIF as an instrument to further promote its pro-LGBT policies and propaganda, when the very people that AMIF seeks to provide aid to are vehemently against any and all notions of LGBT rights. It appears that the EC seems to have forgotten that in a number of countries from which most of these migrants hail from, members of the LGBT community are often brutally punished, often with the death penalty. It also goes without saying that this part of the EC’s Strategy is also very likely to fail.
The Strategy’s Next Steps
According to the Strategy, the European Commission will continue to encourage member states to either build upon existing pro-LGBT rights policies or to create new ones, if they have not done so already. With this in mind, it would appear that social conservatives and nationalists in Europe are to look towards Western and Northern Europe in the campaign against destructive LGBT policies and propaganda. As has been the case for decades and beyond, regions such as the Balkans and Eastern Europe are unlikely to be adopting any of these pro-LGBT policies anytime soon – if at all – but if the EC is indeed pushing for an increase in pro-LGBT propaganda across the continent, then it is the countries that are already experiencing the destructive nature of the LGBT community and sub-culture that are most at risk of the EC Strategy. Countries such as these are predominantly in Western and Northern Europe.
The European Commission will continue to monitor the progress of its Strategy, and is due to present a mid-term review of it in 2023. The full press release about the Strategy can be found here.