MADRID – Spain is committed to the rights of the LGBTI community and now wants to establish a “global alliance for the decriminalisation of LGBTI-related crimes”.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, José Manuel Albares, announced this last Friday. Although the minister did not provide further details, diplomatic sources explained that the initiative will be similar to the global alliance launched in 2017 to ban the trade in capital punishment and torture instruments. That initiative was supported by the EU, Mongolia and Argentina.
Such initiatives are usually supported by several countries or organisations from different cultural areas. They include a commitment to incorporate the alliance’s objectives into the foreign relations agenda.
Global fight against criminalisation
Nearly 70 countries worldwide still punish consensual homosexual relationships between adults. Of these, around 20 countries punish these relationships with the death penalty or life imprisonment.
In recent years, homophobic laws have become stricter in countries such as Uganda, where promoting homosexuality is punishable by 20 years in prison. But it is not only African or Islamic states that enforce such laws. Russia has labelled the LGBTI movement a “radical organisation,” leading to the jailing of its activists. Even EU countries such as Hungary and Poland have been criticised for their homophobic legislation and taking homophobic measures.
Urgency in relations with Gibraltar
At the same event, organised by the Nueva Economía Forum, Minister Albares also urged the UK to quickly reach an agreement on Gibraltar-EU relations following the completion of Brexit. He emphasised that both countries are “close” to an agreement. However, he added: “It has to happen quickly.” The Foreign Minister pointed out that the EU will hold elections in June, which will entail the dissolution of the current European Commission, which must reach the agreement, and the European Parliament, which must ratify it. At the same time, the UK will also hold elections this year.