The European Union’s Fundamental Rights Agency has stated that the LGBT community is in greater need of legislative protection and support.

The FRA’s report, entitled Homophobia and Discrimination on Grounds of Sexual Orientation in the EU Member States, was released yesterday and concluded that the rights and advantages of married couples should extend to gay partnerships.

The Fundamental Rights Agency is an independent authority that provides expertise and assistance to the EU member states as they attend to fundamental human rights issues.

This report is the first of two that relates to discrimination and homophobia experienced by the LGBT community. The second will be released later this year, analyzing the social aspects brought on by such discrimination.

“Equal treatment is a fundamental right that all members of our society should enjoy,” said FRA director Morten Kjaerum. He took up the directorial role at the start of this month and was previously the head of the Danish Institute for Human Rights. “The fact that lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transsexuals are not treated equally in some aspects of EU legislation, particularly concerning same-sex couples should be a cause of concern for us all.”

The report also uncovered the fact that the LGBT community only enjoys legal protection in 18 of the 27 member states. The FRA has now also called for the entire European Union to enforce criminal legislation on hate speech and hate crimes against any minority.

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