This website is an archive of the work of Marietje Schaake in the European Parliament between 2009 and 2019. Marietje can be reached at

Plenary speech on sexual orientation and gender identity at the UN Human Rights Council

Madam President, Madam High Representative, we spoke about the Middle East today as well as the turnarounds in North Africa. We touched on the urgent need for the EU to be a partner in ensuring that reforms on human rights are inclusive, deep and meaningful. The exact same goes for LGBTI rights. My party, the Dutch liberal D66 party, was the initiator of same-sex marriage, which we established ten years ago. Unfortunately the challenges, both within the EU and in the rest of the world, are often much more elementary. In our Union, and unfortunately also in this House, there are too many who discriminate, exclude and even attack sons, daughters, fathers and mothers, neighbours and colleagues simply because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, and it is much worse elsewhere. Iran and Uganda were highlighted. Let us work together towards solid and inclusive respect for human rights in the EU so that, along with our (hopefully) more effective and ambitious policies, we are a credible global player. In the EU, North Africa, the Middle East or elsewhere in the world, LGBT rights are human rights. We must use the toolkit that is available. Our Group, the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe, wants to highlight the need to include asylum for those who were prosecuted for their sexual orientation or gender identity so that they can find a safe space in the EU.