LGBT research slammed by religious conservatives

Graham Robson May 15, 2013

Sirpa Pietikäinen MEP
Sirpa Pietikäinen MEP

Two years of research undertaken by the EU’s Agency for Fundamental Rights into the discrimination and violence experienced by LGBT people in the EU and China has come under fire from religious conservatives before publication of the results.

Conservative religious groups, including the US-based Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute, claim the results, which will be published at The Hague on Friday, May 17 and received over 93,000 responses, are made up and have slammed them for not including the views of straight people.

Sirpa Pietikäinen MEP, Vice-President of the LGBT Intergroup from the centre-right EPP group, said:

“I respect conservative Catholic groups’ freedom of opinion, including on women’s and LGBT rights—but I don’t appreciate their way of criticising research even before it is published. In any case, they receive very little attention, even from centre-right MEPs.”

European Dignity Watch, a lobby group advocating for Catholic-inspired policies to limit access to abortion, stop stem-cell research and roll back LGBT people’s rights, also criticised the research as early as April last year, claiming the survey “fabricates […] facts” and argues its results are worthless because the research was anonymous.

Sophie in ‘t Veld MEP, Vice-President of the LGBT Intergroup and Vice-Chair of the Committee on Civil Liberties, said:

“I find it sad that these groups find any reason to criticise the work of the Fundamental Rights Agency whenever it promotes the rights of women or LGBT people. Their knee-jerk reflex shows that this survey is highly needed, and that unfortunately, equality still has a lot of opponents.”

The results of the LGBT survey will be made available online on Friday, May 17.

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