Coinciding with Human Rights Day, yesterday the Minister for Social Welfare and Family presided over yet another edition of the LGBT National Council meeting at the Palau de Pedralbes in Barcelona. In her opening statement, Minister Neus Munté made reference to the Government of Catalonia’s continued effort to eradicate homophobia, lesbophobia and transphobia and reminded the meeting’s participants that the Executive has already begun to implement the law furthering the protection of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender rights, which was passed by the Catalan Parliament in October.
In this respect, Munté also affirmed to the more than 50 participants representing various LGBT entities that the Catalan Government was working towards the proposal of another law to be passed by Parliament within 8 months which would attempt to ensure the equal treatment and non-discrimination of the LGBT community in Catalonia.
With these two laws, which can be considered as “ground-breaking” in terms of the rest of the Spanish State, Munté announced that “Catalonia is at the forefront in terms of the protection of human rights”, highlighting the appropriateness of the day of the meeting, as it coincided with Human Rights Day, 66 years after the approval of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948.  In this regard, the Minister for Social Welfare and Family reminded the attendees of the immense work which was still pending at an international level to ensure the universal rights of homosexuals, bisexuals and transgender individuals, citing how homosexuality was “still illegal in 80 countries, 10 of which where homosexual orientation can be punishable by death”.
Despite this, however, the Minister affirmed that the situation in Catalonia is vastly different and even though there is still room for improvement to guarantee respectful attitudes and non-discrimination within society, at legal level Catalonia “finds itself at a very high standard within Europe in terms of regulations and administrative practices which protect gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender rights”.  “The time has come to see things in a positive light, to be conscious of what we have accomplished but also of where we want to be headed” added Munté.