The majority parties in the Flemish parliament will this week propose a resolution to step up the fight against discrimination and violence against LGBTQ people.
The resolution has the support of the government parties N-VA, CD&V and Open VLD, as well as opposition parties Vooruit and Groen. Only Vlaams Belang, the socialist PVDA and the single French-speaking member are not included.
“LGBTQI rights are enshrined in the law as equal rights,” said Freya Perdaens (N-VA), who submitted the resolution.
“Unfortunately, the fact that they were acquired on paper still does not mean that you can be yourself everywhere in Flanders in complete freedom. As long as that is not the case, there is work to be done,” she said.
The text of the resolution covers a wide range of matters.
“The primary focus is on research and mapping the number of reports to see whether things are going in the right direction,” Perdaens explained.
Also included: information for targeted groups, and support for victims of discrimination, as well as a tough line to be taken against those who carry out discrimination and violence.
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Although brought before the Flemish parliament, the resolution also has a federal aspect. The Flemish responsibilities only cover sensitisation and victim support, but the resolution calls for more.
“That is why it is also important that the subject is further discussed in the federal parliament. They can increase sanctions or ensure that sanctions are carried out more effectively. We simply cannot tolerate such violence,” Perdaens said.
The resolution, which will now be discussed in the parliament on Wednesday, was spurred by the death in March this year of David Polfliet, who was lured to a park in Beveren in East Flanders by messages on a gay dating website and later killed.
The suspects, all minors, are in custody.