Posted by Patrick Hart, Partner
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Calls for same-sex couples to receive equal rights in every EU state
The European Parliament this month called for same-sex couples to be given greater rights across the whole of the EU.
MEPs recently backed a resolution which argued that “legal institutions such as cohabitation, registered partnership or gay marriage” should be extended to the LGBT community.
The UK’s own House of Commons voted in favour of gay marriage in 2013 and before that a system of civil partnership was in place.
Earlier this year, Ireland followed suit and a referendum to introduce same-sex marriage won overwhelming public support.
Out of 28 member states, there are however nine, including Greece, Poland and Bulgaria, who are yet to make any provision for gay couples who want to give their relationship legal recognition.
Italy, the only nation in Western Europe to have not introduced legislation for civil unions, was accused of violating human rights during the summer.
The European Parliament said that progress had been made over the course of the past decade but is now encouraging countries to adopt action plans for the legislation they intend to bring forward.
Gay rights activist Evelyne Paradis welcomed this month’s resolution.
She said: “[The] report is a clear evidence of the European Parliament’s ongoing commitment to hold EU institutions and member states accountable when it comes to human rights. We need the Parliament to remain this driving force for human rights in the union.”