The European Gay Police Association (EGPA) marks International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT) a unique video message promoting LGBT equality across the European Union.
The video message was premiered on 11 May, in Budva, Montenegro during the Third International Ministerial IDAHOT 2015 Forum titled “Ending Hate Crime and Violence”.
More than 230 international representatives, including delegates from Gay Police Association Scotland (GPA) attended the event. The EGPA was part of the Regional Police and Judicial Training that focused on combating hate crime and bias-motivated violence against LGBT people.
As the protection of LGBT rights – for citizens and law enforcement professionals alike – is uneven across the EU, EGPA have resolved to call for new, Europe-wide norms for LGBT community policing and the protection of LGBT police within the law enforcement field.
There are currently 14 nations and territories represented on the EGPA Board: Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, France, Scotland, Italy, Austria, Norway, Ireland, Spain, Northern Ireland, Sweden, England and Wales.
EGPA’s President Herman Renes stated that “whilst significant progress has been made across many parts of Europe to tackle homophobia, transphobia and biphobia, some countries still lag behind or have introduced restricted freedom of expression laws and measures which further erode LGBT human rights.
In those places it would be almost inconceivable to be openly LGBT within the police force. Not to mention the fact that some police forces are obliged to enforce laws that lead to exclusion, discrimination, hate, brutal violence and death penalty of LGBT citizens. This unique video message highlights our joint determination to advance LGBT rights as fundamental human rights.”
Focusing on the situation in Scotland, GPA Scotland Chair Alan Sneddon highlighted said that his organisation “supports Police Scotland’s values of Integrity, Fairness and Respect and the Force’s Code of Ethics which have helped create a more social and safe work environment for LGBT police personnel,” noting that ‘it is in part thanks to GPA Scotland’s efforts over many years that homosexuality and bisexuality in the police workplace is no longer entirely hidden in the closet.”
He added: “however there is still much work to do in order to overcome LGBT prejudice both within the police service and the wider community. Whilst we have many of the right policies here in Scotland, turning that into a lived reality for many is still a long way off.”
Watch the video here: