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The European branch of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex Association regrets that the United Kingdom will no longer be a voice for progress in the European Union.

The UK last week voted in a referendum to leave the EU, leading to the resignation of Prime Minister David Cameron.

ILGA-Europe said the UK and the EU had a long history of complementing and building on the work of the other when it came to advancing LGBTI equality.

“Anything that limits this shared work is clearly a concern for us,” they said.

“(We) have always strongly believed in the power of activists and allies to work together for a common goal, namely to improve life for LGBTI people across Europe.

“Over our 20-year history, we have supported the work of our dedicated UK membership, and learnt just as much from them in return.”

Recently, the 28 EU member states reached a consensus on LGBT rights for the first time in European history.

Under the terms of the agreement, the European Commission will prepare an annual progress report on the position of LGBT rights across every European country, evaluating progress across a number of areas with recommendations for reform.

The EU already requires member states to adopt anti-discrimination employment protections, but there is a large disparity in LGBT equality across Europe.

In the wake of the Orlando massacre, ILGA-Europe’s executive director Evelyne Paradis said it was a clear confirmation at the highest level that EU member states are committed to working together on promoting LGBTI rights across the EU and beyond.

“Now more than ever, the EU’s institutions and member states must show the LGBTI community that they are willing to stand alongside them in the face of intolerance,” she said.

“These council conclusions must be a living document that guides their work for all LGBTI people, without any ifs or buts.”

Nerelle Harper

Nerelle is a contributor for QN Magazine and QNEWS Online

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