Politicizing sexual orientation: the inclusion of LGBTI rights into political party agendas

About publication

Author: Wanda Tiefenbacher

Publishing year: 2015

Over the past years, the “LGBTI agenda” (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans- and Intersexual) has gained support throughout various political systems. Particularly in the European Union, political parties continue to involve the “LGBTI agenda” into their party manifestos, thus providing the LGBTI community with a political outlet through which to advance their interests, as well as to secure equal opportunities and the respect of human rights.

In June 2013, the EU adopted a set of guidelines for supporting LGBTI human rights to be implemented throughout the Union. The document outlines that the EU is gravely concerned that sexual orientation and gender identity remain to be used to justify serious human rights violations around the world. LGBTI persons constitute a vulnerable group, who continue to be victims of persecution, discrimination, bullying and gross ill-treatment, often involving extreme forms of violence, torture and murder. Discrimination against LGBTI persons is frequently rooted in societal norms and perceived roles that perpetuate gender inequalities. The EU is particularly concerned that in some countries, sexual relations between consenting adults of the same sex are criminalised and are liable to be punished with imprisonment or with the death penalty. In other countries governments actively seek to limit freedom of assembly, association and expression of LGBTI persons.