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 Full text 
Tuesday, 26 November 2019 - Strasbourg Revised edition

Public discrimination and hate speech against LGBTI people, including LGBTI free zones (debate)

  Terry Reintke, on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group. – Madam President, the map that I’m holding up here is a map of Poland, and you can see the areas of Poland where LGBT free zones have been declared by the local councils.

Imagine for one moment you are growing up in one of these regions as a young gay, lesbian or transperson. You are already lost. As it stands, being a teenager is never easy, and especially not if you’re LGBTI. You probably have a lot of questions, some of which you might not want to discuss with your parents, but in your school you cannot discuss it with anyone because your teachers are not supposed to talk to you about this. Then your city council unanimously approves a motion that states that you are against the law of nature. That the way you love, or the way that you are is threatening so-called Christian morality and family. How would you feel? Alone, abandoned, scared.

Already LGBTI youth are at the highest risk of attempting or committing suicide inside of the European Union. These declarations are fuelling a problem that has already cost far too much hardship in European families, and we here in this Parliament we have to be the voice telling these young people - you are not alone, you are not wrong, you might be different, but that’s okay. You have rights and we, as the European Union, will stand up and defend them here in this Parliament, and we are there for you. We cannot accept such an attack on European values and fundamental rights in this Union and this is why more than this resolution that we have to adopt, we have to make this part of the Article 7 procedure against Poland because this is going beyond anything that the European Union stands for.

And lastly, I was raised and baptised as a Roman Catholic. The Jesus that I learned about in my church, was not preaching hatred, he was preaching the exact opposite. He was not telling his followers to go with pitchforks against anyone who is different. He was preaching love, and we should bring exactly the same to the people who are marginalised today, and not use our Christianity against them (applause). So please, let’s stand up for these young LGBTI people in Poland.

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