“Declare your cities and regions LGBTIQ Freedom Zones”, say European socialists ahead of Pride Month

31/05/2021 - In March 2021, the European Parliament declared the European Union an LGBTIQ Freedom Zone. This important political decision needs to be translated also at local and regional level to become reality.

Ahead of Pride Month, the PES Group in the European Committee of the Regions together with Rainbow Rose and the Party of European Socialists invites all cities and regions to declare themselves LGBTIQ Freedom Zones, as already done by the City of Lisbon, the first European city to declare itself an LGBTIQ Freedom Zone following the European Parliament.

Christophe Rouillon, President of the PES Group in the European Committee of the Regions and Mayor of Coulaines, France, declared:

“The European Parliament has shown political leadership in declaring the EU an LGBTIQ Freedom Zone. Now all cities and regions of Europe must act together. Already more than 100 Polish regions, counties and municipalities have adopted resolutions declaring themselves to be ‘free of LGBT’. For Pride Month, we hope that at least 100 other European cities and regions will join our campaign to show that they stand with LGBTIQ people, promoting and protecting their rights. We cannot remain silent in the face of discrimination and violence. Being an LGBTIQ freedom city means being a free city for all.”

Camila Garfias, President of Rainbow Rose, added:

“The importance of these actions cannot be stressed enough. LGBTIQ people live in their cities and regions, it is where their everyday life takes place and where sadly many still face discrimination. To show that as mayors of our cities and as leaders of our regions they stand for human rights and equality is a major demonstration of support to the LGBTIQ community and much needed to make Europe a Freedom Zone everywhere. I am happy that many cities have already officially declared themselves Freedom Zones and hope that much more will follow. Together we will show, no matter who you love, Europe loves you.”

Fernando Medina, Mayor of Lisbon, Portugal, and member of the PES Group, said:

“It is with great enthusiasm that Lisbon joins the campaign for LGBTIQ Freedom Zones. Happiness is not pursued by everyone in the same way. Threats to the rights of LGBTIQs are also threats against the culture of tolerance that defines Europe. For these reasons, in March 2021, we stepped up. The City Council approved a declaration stating Lisbon is an LGBTIQ Freedom Zone, pushing for the LGBTIQ rights and defining the type of society we want to become. Hoping other mayors will follow our lead, we urge all Europe to build a society where freedom and respect is strengthened for every citizen.”

Notes to the editor:

  • The website of the campaign, including the draft declaration for municipal and regional councils in 24 EU languages, is available here.
  • An interview with Lisbon’s Mayor Fernando Medina explaining what his city council did for LGBTIQ people is available here. Here is the link to download the video in HD.