Past and Present LGBTQ Members of the European Parliament
The European Parliament is the political assembly of elected members from the constituent countries of the European Union (EU). Currently, the institution is composed of 705 elected members. Established in 1979, elections occur every five years. The European Parliament is organized along political party lines. Although the institution cannot propose any new legislative action, it does have budgetary powers and can enact European-wide legislation.
LGBTQ issues are a feature of legislative and budgetary action by the European Parliament. As such, it is important to have LGBTQ representation in the elected membership. While there have been a number of prominent and active members who identify as LGBTQ, it can be argued that this presence has not been proportional to the LGBTQ population of the EU itself.
Much of the work of the EU in the LGBTQ space has been concentrated on rights issues and program spending. LGBTQ rights have advanced significantly in the EU since the establishment of the parliament. A recent example has been the EU position on upholding the LGBTQ community's rights against discrimination in membership states such as Hungary and Poland where budget money has been withheld from those states until their blatant homophobic laws are retired.
The European Parliament has created the LGBTI Intergroup as a committee with 147 members to focus on specific issues relevant to the community. It works on reports, resolutions or amendments to include LGBTQ rights in formal EU texts. It organizes internal or public meetings on specific issues to raise awareness among MEPs and facilitate exchanges of views between MEPs, experts and civil society. Members of the group attend Pride marches and conferences across Europe to raise awareness of LGBTQ needs at local and national levels, liaise with local activists and ensure that authorities provide sound and secure surroundings for the events.
The following individuals represent LGBTQ elected members of the European Parliament in the past and present. Each has been very active representing the community in this important trans-national democratic institution:
- John Bowis
- David Bull
- Michael Cashman
- Seb Dance
- Alan Donnelly
- Ian Duncan
- Nikki Sinclaire
- Tom Spencer
- First Out Elected State Politicians - United States of America
- First Out Elected Politicians
- LGBTQ Head of State
- Transgender Politicians