Over the last months, we have continued witnessing an alarming backlash against LGBTIQ rights all over Europe, with some right-wing governments, such as in Poland and Hungary, challenging the freedom and respect of LGBTIQ people. This needs to stop. In March, the European Parliament took an historical step by declaring the EU an “LGBTIQ Freedom Zone”. One week later, the Lisbon City Council did the same at local level.
Protecting and promoting LGBTIQ rights must start locally: if we really want Europe to be a place in which the fundamental rights of everybody are respected, we need concrete action on the ground. We therefore call on all European cities, municipalities and regions to follow the example of Lisbon’s mayor Fernando Medina.
Ahead of Pride Month, the PES Group together with Rainbow Rose launched a campaign for “LGBTIQ Freedom Cities and Regions”. Together, let’s pave the way for a Union of Equality in which the rainbow flag is raised high every day!
How can you take part?
Make your city or region become an #LGBTIQFreedomZone
Follow the example of many other progressive cities and regions and ask your local or regional council to adopt a resolution. Here you can find a draft text to propose to your municipal or regional council in your language: Bulgarian | Croatian | Czech | Danish | Dutch | English | Estonian | Finnish | French | Gaelic | German | Greek | Hungarian | Italian | Latvian | Lithuanian | Maltese | Polish | Portuguese | Romanian | Slovak | Slovenian | Spanish | Swedish. If you adopt the resolution, please get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org so we can spread the news across the EU!
Join our social media campaign #LoveWhereILive
Post a picture of you in front of your city hall/symbol with a rainbow flag and/or hold a sign, or both. Make sure that the name of the city is visible.
The template message could be “My city is a LGBTIQ freedom zone” or “I want my city to be an #LGBTIQFreedomZone”. The sign can be written in English or your native language. Use the hashtags #LGBTIQFreedomZone #LoveWhereILive and tag us in your post (@PES_CoR, @RainbowRose_PES, @PES_PSE).
Please also email it to email@example.com putting “LGBTIQ Freedom Zone Cities and Regions” in the subject line, so that we can also share it on our social media channels.
Tell us your #ProgressiveLocalStories!
Is your city or region a front-runner in promoting LGBTIQ rights and do you believe that other cities and regions can learn from it? Does your city or region have an inspiring story to share? We want to know more! Get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org and find inspiration from all the stories already posted here below.
Take part in our online debates
On 29 June, we gathered online to share best practises and experiences of cities and regions and what the European Union can do. Stay tuned to more events coming up!
Progressive LGBTIQ freedom cities and regions that already joined us
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at email@example.com.