Anti-LGBT Violence Runs Unchecked in Some EU Countries

By Michelle Garcia

Originally published on Advocate.com September 18 2013 1:45 PM ET

A new report says the European Union is failing to fight social and institutionalized homophobia and transphobia in many of its member countries, including Italy, Greece, and Croatia.

The report, published Wednesday by Amnesty International, shows where governments fail to specifically protect LGBT citizens with laws that prohibit discrimination or prosecute hate crimes committed on the basis of sexual orientation or gender expression. The report also cites a lack of effort in some countries to impede or prosecute antigay or antitrans violence. An estimated 80% of such crimes go unreported, and many of those surveyed say they are reluctant to notify police of such attacks because they fear being outed.

“Hate-motivated violence has a particularly damaging and long-term effect on victims,” Marco Perolini, Amnesty International’s expert on discrimination in Europe and Central Asia, said in a statement. “Yet, the EU as well as many of its members do not recognize crimes based on the perceived sexual orientation or gender identity as hate crimes in their legislation. This is unacceptable because sexual orientation and gender identity are protected grounds of discrimination in international human rights law.”