On Thursday, the European Parliament voted to approve its “Annual Report on Human Rights and Democracy in the World 2013 and the European Union’s policy on the matter,” which declares both same-sex marriage and abortion to be fundamental human rights.
The Parliament, which enjoys notable freedom from democratic accountability, continues its legislative activism, pushing member states toward more liberal positions on virtually every social issue, and slinging loose language such as “homophobia.”
The report says it is “regrettable” that women and girls’ bodies “still remain an ideological battleground,” and calls for the EU and its member states to recognize the inalienable rights of women, including “the right to access voluntary family planning and safe and legal abortion.”
It also states that “the denial of lifesaving abortion amounts to a serious breach of human rights.”
In the area of sexual orientation, the report urges the Commission “to raise the issue of LGBTI rights in political and human rights dialogues with third countries and multilateral forums” and enjoins its policy-working group, the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) to “support organisations defending LGBTI rights by empowering them to challenge homophobic and transphobic laws and discrimination against LGBTI people.”
The report applauds the legalization of same-sex marriage in an increasing number of countries (17 to date), and encourages the EU institutions and the member states to frame “the recognition of same-sex marriage or same-sex civil union as a political, social and human and civil rights issue.”
It is “regrettable,” the report states, that in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia “a bill constitutionally banning same-sex marriage is currently being considered in parliament,” claiming that “such developments contribute to a climate of homophobia and discrimination.”
The Federation of Catholic Family Associations in Europe said that the resolution’s position on marriage “threatens the right of children to have a father and a mother.” It said children’s best interest should be considered, and their needs “should be respected” and “cannot be neglected in favor of adults’ desires.”
An overwhelming majority approved the report Thursday, with 390 voting yes, 151 no, and 97 abstaining, during the plenary meeting of the European Parliament in Strasbourg.
Liberal parliamentarian Antonio Panzeri prepared the report, which has come to be known simply as the “Panzeri Report.”
Follow Thomas D. Williams on Twitter @tdwilliamsrome.