On 5 November the European Parliament’s committee for Civil Liberties (LIBE) spent one hour discussing the “Anti-Discrimination Directive”, which the Italian presidency of the EU has declared to be one of its priorities, but which has been stuck in the Council for more than 6 years.
Supporters of the controversial measure, which would undermine contractual freedom across Europe and for all citizens, are frustrated and angry over this slow progress. As they have found out, there sems to be “a lack of political will” among Member States’ governments to enact the proposal. Could that have to do with the fact that those governments have real countries to govern, and real problems to solve – contrary to the MEPs who often seem rather unconcerned over how the provisions they adopt would be applied in practice.
Much of the debate turns around the high cost some elements of this proposal might generate – for example if, as it stipulates, all new buildings would have to be planned “barrier-free” in view of the possibility that a person with physical handicap might want to rent them. But the real issue is only raised when two Polish MEPs, Marek Jurek (at 40:36 in the attached video) and Kazimierz Ujazdowski (at 49:00) , suggest that the real difficulty with the proposed directive is that it has been hijacked by the gay lobby, and that the ideology of “LGBT rights” is rejected by wide parts of society in their country. Although this is said politely and serenely, it provokes e a rather ugly outburst of several radical pro-sodomy MEPs. Caecilia Wikstrom, a Liberal MEP from Sweden (52:45), claims that she “finds it difficult to breathe the same air” as those who make such statements and calls (quite remarkably for a “liberal” parlamentarian, notably one sitting on a committee for civil liberties!) for rules to curtail free speech inside the parliament!
Maybe we should not take her words all that seriously; however, they are quite indicative of the true nature of the “liberalism” and “human rights” this kind of politicians stands for. It is, by the way, remarkable, that the Committee’s president, Claude Moraes (a Socialist from the UK) does not act in the way one might expect from a chairman, making no effort at all to interrupt Mrs. Wikstrom’s rude behaviour, or to reprimand her as she deserved. While there are no rules in the EP to prevent parlamentarians from expressing well-founded and perfectly sound criticism of certain policy agendas, there are rules that should prevent them from using inappropriate and insulting language. (Mrs. Wikstom has a nasty track record…) Definitely, this is an ugly scene – but certainly worth seeing if you are interested to know to what levels the debate is sinking.