More action needed against homophobia

in News · 24-05-2019 01:00:00 · 0 Comments
More action needed against homophobia

Homophobic and transphobic attitudes still prevail within Portuguese society according to ILGA Portugal, the country’s leading campaign group on such issues.

ILGA are calling for stronger laws against discrimination, the collection of official data on it, and a better system of registering complaints and training for public officials.


A report released by the Portuguese branch of ILGA. the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association , a worldwide federation campaigning for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex rights, is the second representing a follow-up on a 2010 Council of Europe recommendation of measures to combat discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity.


The first follow-up report by ILGA was issued in 2012. Seven years on, ILGA recognises that the reality of rights for LGBTI (lesbians, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex) people in Portugal has improved, but notes that the suggestions made at the time have not been adopted in full.
In comments to Lusa, Marta Ramos of the ILGA Portugal board, stressed that “there were changes in the field, but … no changes in public policy”, a fact that she considered “worrying”.


According to the ILGA report, “the social climate in Portugal is still homophobic and transphobic.” It notes that no assessment of the impact of legislation on the LGBTI community is made, and Portugal does not collect data on the experiences of these people, including crimes, despite “constant demands” to do so from various organisations.


According to Ramos, the homophobic climate can easily be seen in the annual results of the Observatory on Discrimination, in which the non-governmental organisation displays official data on incidents against LGBTI persons. Reports of such incidents to the authorities remain few and far between, compared to what ILGA itself receives, because – Ramos argued - people “often do not report these issues because that is the status quo in terms of social perception “.


On the other hand, she said that public policies lack “a context of continuity”, that is, their application “depends much on the understanding of that or that professional who will be at the time heading that department”.


On ILGA’s recommendations, Marta Ramos said that they remain the same as in its first follow-up report, including the creation of an anti-discrimination law that covers all types of discrimination.


“People are not exclusively LGBTI,” she pointed out. “They are also people of a certain ethnicity, are also people of faith, with disabilities and, therefore, it is in multiple discrimination that we continue to fail as a state.”



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