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(May 02, 2008) It has recently been reported that the European Commission has given up its intention to introduce a directive to safeguard the rights of homosexuals, to the dismay of gay and lesbian activists. The Commission has the legal authority to proceed with such a horizontal instrument, based on article 13 of the Treaty on European Union, as amended to cover grounds of discrimination that have not previously been covered. The European Parliament has made numerous requests to the Commission to initiate legislation in this area. However, the Commission yielded to pressure to abandon the move, exerted mainly by Germany. There was also the likelihood that other conservative states would not provide the unanimity needed to adopt the proposal. Consequently, the Commission decided instead to proceed with the drafting of a directive on protection of people with disabilities, which is a less controversial issue. For discrimination on the basis of age, sexual orientation, religion, or belief, the Commission intends to adopt only guidelines, not binding legislation. (Brussels Abandons Plans to Protect Gays and Lesbians, EUOBSERVER, Apr. 22, 2008, available at

Author: Theresa Papademetriou More by this author
Topic: Discrimination More on this topic
Jurisdiction: European Union More about this jurisdiction

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Last updated: 05/02/2008