Friday

23rd Jun 2017

MEP receives 41,000 emails against gay rights

  • MEPs say the European Union currently lacks a comprehensive policy to protect the fundamental rights of LGBTI people (Photo: bubbletea1)

An MEP who drafted a resolution on securing the basic rights of LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex) people in the EU has so far received almost 41,000 emails against the proposal.

“My website was hacked as well, I don’t know who it was from. It might be coincidence, it might not be a coincidence,” Green Austrian MEP Ulrike Lunacek told the Strasbourg assembly on Monday (3 February).

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

A large banner which says "Warning - visiting this website may harm your computer!" has replaced her personal site since last week.

Her office said they are working to get it back to normal. They suspect it was hacked by ultra-conservative groups.

“Such resistance to a report that basically talks about the right of people to love and live their lives without fear, is something I did not expect,” noted Lunacek.

Deputies adopted her report anyway and passed a resolution on Tuesday by 394 in favour. It calls for the EU to draw up a roadmap to protect the fundamental rights of LGBTI people.

Another 176 MEPs from right wing groups in the assembly voted against it, often arguing that the EU should not be tackling family issues.

The parliament has already asked the EU 10 times in the past to draft a policy for equality on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity, but it is the first time it adopted a resolution.

The backlash against Lunacek’s initiative is not unique.

Portuguese Social Democrat MEP Edite Estrela received over 200,000 emails against her December report on the sexual and reproductive rights of women.

The parliament did not back her report.

But the offices of both Estrela and Lunacek told this website the email campaigns against the two were organised by the same people.

“This very aggressive campaign was led by the most conservative movements in Europe,” said Estrella.

Lunacek’s assistant said at one point they were receiving around 18 spam emails a minute.

Among the mail pushers is Citizen Go, created by Hazte Oír, a leading international opposition organisation based in Madrid.

The online platform is designed to support petitions against abortion rights, same-sex marriage, and assisted reproductive technologies.

It is partnered with anti-choice organisations like Italy-based Novae Terrae, Brussels-based European Dignity Watch, Austria-based Observatory Against Christianophobia, and Actright.com in the US.

The group sent emails to both Lunacek and Estrella.

EUcheck.org, a German online platform run by “Zivile Koalition,” is also said to lead initiatives and campaigns promoting right-wing populist notions and ultra-conservative ideas.

Lobbypedia.de, a German website, notes Zivile Koalition is headed by Sven von Storch and Beatrix von Storch, born Duchess of Oldenburg, who is also a candidate for the German anti-Euro party “Alternative für Deutschland”.

Meanwhile, “In the Name of the Family," a Church-backed group, collected almost 700,000 signatures last summer to seek a nationwide vote to define marriage as a union between a man and woman in Croatia.

The EU’s newest member state then rejected same-sex marriage in a public referendum in December.

In France, the so-called Manif Pour Tous staged large rallies last year against gay marriage.

Last week, primary students were pulled from classes, in part, to protest against homosexual couples within the public school systems in France.

Juris Lavrikovs at Ilga-Europe, the EU umbrella organisation for the rights of LGBTI people, said such campaigns use misleading information and scare tactics.

He noted that French far-right leader Marine Le Pen, in a television debate aired on France2 on Monday, was using terms like "Lunacek Directive."

“She completely presented wrong information about what it is all about,” he said.

Border management going virtual

EU leaders at a summit in Brussels are set to endorse new border control measures, while the head of a Tallinn-based EU agency predicts a future where border management goes virtual.

Interview

EU visa waiver unlikely to import Ukraine crime

Visa-free travel, which began last week, unlikely to prompt a Ukrainian crime wave, an EU police expert has said, but Ukraine itself is seeing increases in lawlessness.

Opinion

Why Schengen deserves to be saved

Far-right parties around Europe have managed to turn the passport-free Schengen area into a game of political hot potato despite its numerous benefits.

News in Brief

  1. Merkel and Macron hold symbolic joint press conference
  2. Juncker has 'no' clear idea of kind of Brexit UK wants
  3. Belgian PM calls May's proposal on EU citizens 'vague'
  4. UK lacks support of EU countries in UN vote
  5. Spain to command anti-smuggler Mediterranean force
  6. Estonia confirms opposition to Nord Stream 2 pipeline
  7. Ireland and Denmark outside EU military plan
  8. EU leaders renew vows to uphold Paris climate deal

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EPSUOn Public Services Day, Stop Austerity! Workers Need a Pay Rise!
  2. EGBAOnline Gambling: The EU Court Rejects Closed Licensing Regimes In Member States
  3. World VisionFaces of Today, Leaders of Tomorrow: Join the Debate on Violence Against Girls - 29 June
  4. ECR GroupThe EU Must Better Protect Industry from Unfair Competition
  5. Malta EU 2017Better Protection for Workers From Cancer-Causing Substances
  6. EPSUAfter 9 Years of Austerity Europe's Public Sector Workers Deserve a Pay Rise!
  7. Dialogue PlatformGlobalised Religions and the Dialogue Imperative. Join the Debate!
  8. UNICEFEU Trust Fund Contribution to UNICEF's Syria Crisis Response Reaches Nearly €200 Million
  9. EUSEW17Bringing Buildings Into the Circular Economy. Discuss at EU Sustainable Energy Week
  10. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceCan an Ideal Body Weight Lead to Premature Death?
  11. Malta EU 2017End of Roaming Charges: What Does It Entail?
  12. World VisionWorld Refugee Day, a Dark Reminder of the Reality of Children on the Move

Latest News

  1. Macron’s investment screening idea watered down by leaders
  2. Leaders unimpressed by May’s offer to EU citizens
  3. New Irish PM praises unscripted nature of EU summits
  4. EU extends sanctions on Russia
  5. UK's universities set 'Brexit wish list'
  6. Decision on post-Brexit home for EU agencies postponed
  7. May's offer on citizens’ rights dismissed as ‘pathetic’
  8. 'Historic' defence plan gets launch date at EU summit