Life Across Europe

A new report on LGBT rights in 47 European countries was published by the Council of Europe in June. “Discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity in Europe” is pretty comprehensive at 134 pages, covering: Attitudes and perceptions, Legal Standards and their implementation, Protection: violence and asylum, Participation: freedoms of assembly, expression and association, Privacy: gender recognition and family life and Access to health care, education and employment.

Some parts mention bisexuals separately from a group including Lesbians and Gay men:

page 21: “human rights issues affecting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons respectively are significantly different for each sub-group concerned, despite the interconnected nature of the encountered discrimination, and would therefore require different approaches.”

[self-organised groups and social movements] “also gradually started to address the demands of bisexual persons.”

They don’t say what the “different approaches” might be and this could be a good opportunity to tell them.

page 25: [on studies] “the use of different methodologies is common: normally the focus is on lesbian and gay persons only rather than on bisexual and transgender persons. This often makes the figures incomparable. However, some overall patterns can be identified in these studies.”

Again, researcher types with more knowledge of bisexuality might chip in here.

The glossary on page 132: “sexual orientation is understood to refer to each person’s capacity for profound emotional, affectional and sexual attraction to, and intimate and sexual relations with, individuals of a different gender (heterosexual) or the same gender (homosexual, lesbian, gay) or more than one gender (bisexual)” – with a reference to the Yogyakarta Principles.

This definition avoids saying bisexuality is attraction to two genders only. The Yogyakarta Principles are a universal guide to human rights which affirm binding international legal standards with which all States must comply. See
www.yogyakartaprinciples.org

The report (ISBN 978-92-871-6913-6) is available at
www.coe.int/t/Commissioner/Source/LGBT/LGBTStudy2011_en.pdf

Grant