LGBTI equality and human rights in Europe and Central Asia

ILGA-Europe's contribution to the Green Paper

Read ILGA-Europe's general recommendations and download the full text of the contribution to the European Commission's Green Paper.

Published in April 2011.

General recommendations

Take into account the difficulties that are currently experienced by same-sex partners, trans and intersex people, and their children when formulating and implementing future regulations and policies on the promotion of free movement of public documents and recognition of the effects of civil status records.

  • Gender neutral formulations are indeed useful to extend rights to all couples without discrimination. However, the Commission should also examine the existing structures of inequality on the grounds of sex, sexual orientation and gender identity and address the specific problems that LGBTI people, same-sex couples and their children may experience as a result of bureaucracy compounded with discrimination.


  • Additionally:
    • In most Member States a registered or de facto same-sex partnership is the highest level of recognition that same-sex partners can access. As a result, formulations that automatically distinguish between marriage, registered partnership and other forms of de facto recognition are likely to indirectly discriminate against same-sex partners (since unlike heterosexual couples they do not have access to marriage in all EU Member States). The Commission should therefore not distinguish between marriages and registered partnerships unless there is a real difference in the scope of the two institutions with regards to the respective policy issue;
    • Formulations based on the binary gender construct, consist of two opposite sexes (men and women) should be avoided as they are problematic from the human rights perspective of trans and intersex people as such formulations perpetuate their invisibility.

In view of the above, the Commission should conduct impact assessments with the duties laid out in the Charter and consult with relevant stakeholders.

Draw on existing data and studies published by FRA, the forthcoming Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights’ report entitled Discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity in Europe (expected in June 2011) and other available studies to look into the specific cross-border issues and experience of discrimination of LGBTI people.

The scope of future studies on cross-border issues should expressly cover LGBTI specific aspects.

Download the full text of the contribution to the European Commission's Green Paper attached.