ECPM weary of ideologically driven survey aiming to define EU policy

On October 28th, the EU’s Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) together with the Italian Presidency of the Council of the EU (all 28 Member States) held a conference in Brussels on ‘Tackling sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination’. With more than 200 representatives from the 28 Member States and civil society organizations in attendance, the high-level conference pushed for stronger sanctions - including criminal ones - against such ‘discrimination’.

The conference’s agenda was based entirely on the unreliable results of the FRA’s survey on discrimination against LGBTI, which has been much criticized during the past year -- in the media and by many Brussels-based NGOs – because of serious flaws in its design. Despite more questions from the floor about its methodology -- and the rather ideological and unscientific nature of the entire survey – these remained unanswered.
The FRA’s director,Morten Kjaerum, the outgoing EU Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship, Martine Reicherts, the Parliamentary Secretary of State for the German Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth, Caren Marks pushed for the controversial 5th Equal Treatment Directive based on allegations of  ‘discrimination’. Then outgoing EU Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship, Martine Reicherts, said that the unanimity required at the European Council to pass the Horizontal Equal Treatment Directive (which has been stalled since 2008) would be hard to achieve. The surprising ‘solution’ she proposed was to simply change the underlying legal basis from ‘anti-discrimination’ (requiring unanimity) to ‘enhanced cooperation’ (requiring only a majority vote). In this way, firm opposition against the Directive coming from Germany and other Member States would be entirely circumvented.   

A seriously flawed methodology

Back in 2013, European Dignity Watch had reported that the FRA survey on LGBTI discrimination was fundamentally flawed. It seemed designed to generate allegedly ‘scientific’ results in order to justify a push for profoundly illiberal laws in the EU. There were no control group with whom to compare the results of the survey; no safeguards against multiple (or unlimited) entries; no objective fact-checking of ‘discrimination’ (only subjective statements); no differentiation between attacks made by the homosexual community upon themselves and those done by others (otherwise, how can something truly be considered a ‘Hate Crime’?). 
The survey’s results indicate that 26% of respondents have felt threatened or been attacked as members of the homosexual community. But how much of that is attributable to their sexuality - and not just, say, criminal involvement, ethnic abuse, ‘ageist’ abuse, bad manners, etc. – is unclear. No such questions were asked.

Partners in this FRA survey project are Europe’s biggest LGBT NGO, ILGA-Europe, and its affiliates. €400,000 of taxpayer money was spent on the survey.

They call it ‘legal protection’ but what they mean is ‘thought police’

‘Legal protection’ for LBGTI people is as necessary and justified as it is for any other member of society. Whoever is physically attacked, injured or threatened deserves legal protection regardless of his or her sexual orientation. Such legal protection already exists for everyone and if better enforcement is needed, it should be equally applied to all, regardless of their sexual orientation. But several speakers called to even sanction expressions of non-aggressive disagreement under the name of ‘legal protection’ by asking a de facto eradication of any opposition to the LGBTI lifestyle, even if expressed in a peaceful and democratic way. 

5th Equal Treatment Directive: battleground for true freedom and equality

Governments, European institutions and NGO groups are funding -- and are being funded -- to push this profoundly illiberal agenda through at all costs. It could have a seriously worrying impact on the remaining 98% of citizens who don’t belong to the LGBTI community. But in order to overcome any opposition to their agenda, any means seem to be acceptable – even anti-democratic ones. The immediate battleground will be the 5th Equal Treatment Directive – at both the national and European levels.  And if you don’t favour these ‘fundamental rights’ as defined by these special interest groups, then you will probably lose some of yours.

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