"No person should be punished for loving someone," Mogherini says


Across the globe, cultural, traditional or religious values continue to be used to justify persecution, discrimination, bullying and ill-treatment against LGBTI persons. Even in countries with legal protection, stigmatisation due to homophobia, transphobia and biphobia remains high. It is our duty to combat this, notably through our policies, concrete actions and communication, which should be inclusive, respectful and leaving no one behind.

EU's unequivocal support for LGBTI persons

On the occasion of the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, the EU reiterates its "unswerving commitment to promoting and protecting the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) persons". The day 17th May made its mark in the history books as the day when homosexuality was declassified as mental disorder by the World Health Organization.


In the Declaration on behalf of the EU, Federica Mogherini underlines the EU's continued fight against impunity for acts of discrimination and violence against LGBTI persons both inside and outside its territory, recognizing that "countless LGBTI rights defenders working to challenge injustice and give a voice to those who suffer oppression and discrimination frequently face attacks in Europe and in many parts of the world".

EU policy toolkit and financial assistance

The international framework is the fundamental pillar for the EU policies and EU actions. The right to equality and non-discrimination are core principles of human rights, enshrined in the United Nations Charter and in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Its article 1 reads "All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights".

As reflected in the EU Guidelines to promote and protect the enjoyment of all human rights by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) persons, "no new human rights are created for them and none should be denied to them". The promotion and protection of LGBTI rights simply means the application of existing principles, such as the protection of human dignity, non-discrimination and others.

Through a combination of political action, awareness raising activities, financial assistance and specific policy tools, the EU speaks out against all sorts of human rights violations and encourages states to take the necessary steps to ensure that sexual orientation, gender identity or sexual characteristics may under no circumstances be the basis for criminal penalties.

The EU is among the top 5 donors worldwide to support LGBTI civil society organisations. It also supports projects all over the globe which aim to address and prevent discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity under the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights.

A specific call for proposals worth EUR 10 million to support LGBTI Human Rights Defenders and their organisations working in areas where LGBTI persons are most at risk of discrimination, was launched in 2018 .

EU action continues

In all its work, the EU wants to make sure that there is no justification for human rights violations because of sexual orientation and gender identity and that sexual relationships between consenting adults should be treated equally for everyone.

The protection and promotion of LGBTI persons means that LGBTI persons can live and express their love freely and safely. 


Remote video URL


The story of Yasmine shows that joint action matters. We need to continue with our work, to strengthen alliances with our partners and to make a difference for more people in Europe and globally.




The EEAS building as well as the Berlaymont, the main building of the European Commission, were lit up with the colours of the rainbow on the occasion of the day against homophobia and transphobia.



See Also