European Region of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association

Will French 'No' vote undermine protections against discrimination?

On 29 May 2005, the French electorate voted ‘No’ on the European Constitution’s referendum.

Despite the call from Brussels that the ratifications of the Constitution should continue in other EU member states, there is a real and serious doubt over its future.

The European Constitution, if ratified by all EU member states, would become the first international treaty explicitly banning sexual orientation discrimination. It would put EU institutions and EU member states under obligation to not discriminate against on the grounds of sexual orientation when implementing EU law.

Yesterday’s ‘No’ vote in France raises uncertainties about the future of the European Constitution and could lead to its re-negotiation by all 25 EU member states. ILGA-Europe is concerned that it might be difficult to reach unanimous agreement to give fundamental rights, including a ban on sexual orientation discrimination, a high profile place in EU basic document.

Patricia Prendiville, Executive Director of ILGA-Europe said: “Whatever the outcome of the current crisis over the European Constitution, we call upon EU institutions and EU member states to remember that equality and non-discrimination are the core fundamental principles of the Union and we hope the Union will continue its work and commitment to fight all forms of discrimination, including against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.”

For more information please contact Juris Lavrikovs at + 32 2 609 54 16

Notes for editors:

(1) ILGA-Europe is the European Region of the International Lesbian and Gay Association and works towards equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people at European level.

(2) More information about the European Constitution is available on our website: www.ilga-europe.org.